Council of Europe adopts guidelines on role & responsibilities of internet co's in upholding human rights online

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8 March 2018

Council of Europe takes world-leading step towards protecting online rights

Author: EUbusiness

"This initiative is very welcome", said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights. "The Council of Europe has taken a crucial first step towards protecting the pillars of democracy in the digital age."

The Recommendation is a major milestone towards understanding the obligations of states and of internet companies when it comes to upholding human rights online. At a time when governments increasingly use political pressure on companies to filter and block freedom of expression and companies undermine our privacy online, a clear understanding of the legal framework is long overdue...

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7 March 2018

Protecting human rights online: new guidelines on internet intermediaries

Author: Council of Europe

The Council of Europe today adopted policy guidelines addressed to its 47 member states on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries such as search engines and social media.

The power of such intermediaries as protagonists of online expression is such that their role and impact on human rights, as well as their corresponding responsibilities, should be clarified.

In its Recommendation on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries, the Committee of Ministers [...] therefore calls on states to provide a human rights and rule of law-based framework that lays out the main obligations of the states with respect to the protection and promotion of human rights in the digital environment, and the respective responsibilities of intermediaries. 

The recommendation calls on states to create a safe and enabling online environment where intermediaries, users and all affected parties know their rights and duties, to encourage the development of appropriate self- and co-regulatory frameworks, and  to ensure the availability of redress mechanisms for all claims of violations of human rights in the digital environment. 

It also underlines the importance of more transparency being introduced in all processes of content moderation.

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