The Bell coalition website blocking plan may violate more than just Canadian net neutrality rules. As currently framed, it may also violate human rights norms. Website blocking or other measures to limit access to the Internet raises obvious freedom of expression concerns that has sparked commentary from many international governmental organizations. Frank LaRue, the former U.N. Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, was one of several experts on freedom of expression, including representatives from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of American States, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, who issued a joint declaration in 2011 on freedom of expression and the Internet. It states the following on blocking:
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The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 10: Why It May Violate Human Rights Norms
The report, written by Frank La Rue, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (an internationally regarded human rights expert who was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize), took the political world by storm when it was released several weeks ago.
The report explored the need to ensure that citizens have Internet connectivity and also the rules associated with that access. As a result, it was highly critical of policies that block access to content, threaten to cut off Internet access due to allegations of copyright infringement, and fail to safeguard online privacy.
A group of public interest organizations in the U.S. have filed a complaint alleging that the Obama administration’s trade policy reduces access to medicines in low and middle income nations, and therefore violates international human rights obligations.
The UK Digital Economy Bill is facing mounting criticism, as an influential group of MPs has expressed concern the bill may violate human rights.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the Internet hate provision found in the Human Rights Act is unconstitutional. In a decision released today, the Tribunal ruled that the restriction on speech imposed by the provision is not a reasonable limit under Section 1 of the Charter of Rights […]