A blog on why norms matter online

Monday, April 23, 2012

When it comes to human rights and the Internet, it is time to start walking the walk

I wrote a report on the Stockholm Internet Forum for the "In Focus" section of Digital Rights Watch, Mark Boudreau's informative blog tracking the debate on human rights on the Internet. 

If you're interested in current developments in the field of digital rights, you need to check the blog out. 

My article covers my impressions from the Stockholm Internet Forum I went to last week, but also goes beyond it. I conclude with that we're facing a new Tunis 2.0.

"Just like 2005, when international civil society and like-minded states managed to establish human rights as essential to developing information society, 2012 will be a year of political battles. They will not take place in Tunis, but rather in Baku and Doha, at the IGF and at the ITU’s World Conference on International Telecommunications.
If the promoters of Internet freedom, of ensuring  human development as the ultimate goal of the information society, want to win this battle, they need a clear strategy. Events such as the Stockholm Internet Forum provide important food for thought. 
But arguably, the time to act is upon us. 
In light of the quest of some states to establish stronger policy-making authority over the Internet, and reestablish a traditional notion of security, the importance of Internet freedom as an empowering concept cannot be overstated. But talking the talk is not enough. The time of operationalizing human rights commitments has arrived. 
We have to start walking the walk. 
This, too, is a lesson from Stockholm."

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