The Council of Europe works with its 46 member states, the private sector, civil society and other actors to shape an Internet based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It aims to ensure that the Internet provides a safe and open environment where freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, diversity, culture, education and knowledge can flourish.

To achieve this goal, the organisation has created international conventions in fields such as cybercrime, personal data protection and the protection of children. It also develops model legislation – via recommendations to its member states – and guidelines for private sector Internet actors.

The key pillar for the protection of human rights online is the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, which rules on applications alleging violations of the Convention, has already delivered landmark judgments concerning the online environment, in particular in connection to the right to freedom of expression and to access to information, and the right to privacy.

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Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation

Committee of Ministers Chairmanship Strasbourg 27 September 2016
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Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation

The event on “Culture 4D: Digitisation, Data, Disruptions, Diversity” will explore how to harness Big Data for European culture and empower diverse groups to enhance the “Internet of Citizens”. Cultural policy makers and practitioners, researchers, media and technology specialists, business representatives will look at the digital means for empowering everyone, overcoming cultural barriers and contributing to societal inclusion. The outcome will be inserted into the Council of Europe policy guidelines on the digitisation of culture.

The third Platform Exchange is being organised under the Estonian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, in co-operation with the University of Tallinn.

Multimedia Multimedia

Safety of journalists, bloggers and other media workers


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Focus Focus

Human Rights of Internet Users

The Council of Europe has created a guide for Internet users to help them better understand their human rights online and what they can do when these rights are challenged.

Generally, these rights are set out in the terms of service of Internet companies, which are mostly lengthy legal contractual conditions which are seldom read and even more seldom fully understood.