On 28 July 2015, Laura Boldrini, the speaker of Italy’s House of Deputies announced the publication of Italian Declaration of Internet Rights. She called it the “first time that a parliament produces a declaration on Internet rights of constitutional inspiration and international scope”. Drawn up in a multistakeholder process the drafting phase also included multiple drafts, the last of which was also discussed on the IRP list in March of this year.
Controversial surveillance legislation hustled through parliament last summer has been ruled unlawful by the UK High Court, which argued that the vague terms and descriptions of powers in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) renders the act incompatible with human rights under European law.
“…The the use of encryption and anonymity tools and better digital literacy should be encouraged. Encryption and anonymity depend on their widespread adoption and I encourage states, civil society organizations, and corporations, to engage in a campaign to bring encryption by design and default to users around the world. And when necessary, to ensure that users at risk, be provided the tools that exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression securely.”
In recent years, the Snowden revelations and debates in the UK and US around the scope of government surveillance have brought the issue of privacy in the digital age a greater audience than ever before. Hanane Boujemi argues that society must change its attitude to where boundaries lie if rights are to be meaningfully protected in the online sphere.
Session 9: Freedom of Expression and Privacy, 4 March 2015; 9.30-10.50am.
This report hopefully captures the main themes and points for further discussion. An almost live transcript of the session can be found on the live blog link at Internet Rights and Principles Coalition website.
This panel considered the legal, technical, and political practicalities that emerge when the right to privacy and freedom of information are considered as interrelated; it discussed the differences in stakes, levels of action and of analysis at this intersection of fundamental freedoms online alongside their consequences in practical terms for ordinary internet users, content producers on the web, activists, and media professionals.