miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016

Human Rights on the Internet

Without any doubts, both the traditional and online media pay more attention to the economist side of the Internet than to its humanistic side. it is not difficult to read all the days pieces of news and reports regarding the new services brought by the digital disruption and its impact on growth, also we receive through different media the news of the latest online consumer services and new manners to  take advantage of our leisure time. Unfortunately, less information and news are available about the impact of the new and shining world of online services on our rights as human beings.

There is a rationale behind this lack of news regarding human rights on the online world: there are more national an international organisations devoted to understand the consequences of the technology in the economic activity and promote the appropiate measures to adapt the production activity to the new paradigm. One of the few points of activity regarding human rights online is the United Nations, nearly all the papers and resolutions regarding the information society produced by UN institutions have some kind of reference to privacy, freedom of information or inequality on the Internet. Unfortunately, less and less attention is paid to UN resolutions in old Europe.

Last June, the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) approved a resolution regarding "The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet". Although not all the country delegations have voted in favour of the resolution, the document is an excellent base for the developing of a much needed common understanding on the issue. There is a strong connection between privacy online and freedom of expression on the network, as well as we can appreciate new forms of discrimination on the online world that bring us memories of overcomed prejudices.

The commitments of the resolution started with a strong affirmation that we should enjoy the same rights online as offline, particularly the freedom of expression and highlighting the connection of rights on the Internet and the role of the network on economic progress. The Council also recalled the need of spreading digital literacy to overcome any type of digital divide, particularly the gender digital divide, and encourage the development of services that are accesible to all in order to allow anyone to reap the benefits of the digital era. Finally, the Council enshrined collaboration based onn the multistakeholder model, especially in cybersecurity, to combat the new digital faces of human right violations, advocacy of hatred and other kind of abuses.

To sum up, a reference document for the future. I certainly expect the report on ways to bridge the digital divide on human rights promised in the document. Human rights by default should be one of design principles of digital services.

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