8th Internet Governance Forum

Council of Europe to focus on human rights for Internet users at the IGF

Strasbourg, 18.10.2013 - By a simple click, Internet users often accept the terms of reference of Internet providers without being aware of the consequences for the realisation of their human rights, in particular their freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to privacy.

Next week, at the 8th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held in Indonesia from 22 to 25 October, the Council of Europe will launch a consultation on its draft guide on human rights for Internet users with representatives from governments, business, the technical community and civil society. The document, to be presented at the IGF open forum "Human rights for Internet users" on 25 October and which is scheduled for adoption by Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in 2014, will discuss what Internet users need to know about their rights in order to be able to act upon them.

The Council of Europe is also co-organising two privacy related workshops at the IGF. One is together with the OECD on "Big data: promoting development and safeguarding privacy", which will tackle how the processing of huge volumes of data offers great potential for innovation and development, but also creates new challenges to the protection of privacy, including those concerning surveillance activities. The other, organised together with the Internet Society (ISOC) on "Privacy: from regional regulations to global connections?" will consider the lessons learned from recent initiatives such as the modernisation of the Council of Europe Convention 108, the revision of the OECD Privacy Guidelines, the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System, and the proposed revisions to the EU data protection framework.

In addition, the Council of Europe is co-organising an open forum on "Independent journalism on the Internet" in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Corporation (EBU) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The event will address the new media landscape resulting from the reduction in the number of news sources due to the economic crisis, media companies´ concerns for the safety of journalists and the diminishing resources of public broadcasters. The participants will analyse how new media business models imply new problems concerning the reliability, verification and traceability of news, and will search for ways in which the positive aspects of traditional and new media models can be combined in the new online space. Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative for Media Freedom, will participate in this forum together with a number of experts from EBU, Council of Europe, UNESCO and the World Economic Forum.

Council of Europe panellists will also participate in a number of other IGF workshops related to hate speech, the protection of privacy, national and regional IGFs, cross border Internet traffic, and digital rights protection in Europe and Latin America.

The IGF, which is organised by the United Nations, brings together once every year representatives from governments, private sector, civil society and the technical community, as well as individual citizens, to discuss public policy issues concerning the Internet.

IGF website