The Council of Europe works with its 47 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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Artificial intelligence: Expert committee to explore the development of a legal framework

Committee of Ministers 12 September 2019 Strasbourg

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe representing its 47 members states has decided to set up an intergovernmental committee of experts to examine the feasibility of a legal framework for the development, design and application of artificial intelligence. To carry out its work, the...

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Using technology in managing offenders in prison and probation: conference in Ayia Napa

Council of Europe 20 May 2019 Strasbourg

The annual Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services of the Council of Europe, to be held on 21 and 22 May in Ayia Napa (Cyprus), will discuss the advantages and pitfalls when using new technologies in the management of suspects and offenders, and the central place of the human...

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Unboxing artificial intelligence: 10 steps to protect human rights

Commissioner for Human Rights 14 May 2019 Strasbourg

Ensuring that human rights are strengthened and not undermined by artificial intelligence is one of the key factors that will define the world we live in”, says Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a Recommendation published today. This Recommendation – entitled...

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Safety of journalists, bloggers and other media workers


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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.