[Air-L] Fwd: [ISOC] NEWS RELEASE: Internet Society Board of Trustees Views the Internet as an Enabler of Human Rights

gene loeb geneloeb at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 16:11:55 PDT 2011

Certainly pertinant to work of each of these groups
Gene Loeb, Ph.D.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Wende Cover <cover at isoc.org>
Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Subject: [ISOC] NEWS RELEASE: Internet Society Board of Trustees Views the
Internet as an Enabler of Human Rights
To: isoc-members-announce at elists.isoc.org

Internet Society Board of Trustees Views the Internet as an Enabler of Human

Organization's Founding Principles Focused on an Open and Accessible
Internet for All

[Dakar, Senegal - 25 October 2011] - The Internet Society today announced
that its Board of Trustees, during its meeting held 22 - 23 October 2011 in
Dakar, Senegal, addressed human rights issues related to Internet access.
The organization has been a long-time advocate of an open, global, and
accessible Internet, and views the Internet as an enabler for the
realization of a wide range of human rights.

The Internet Society views the Internet as an essential vehicle for
promoting freedom of opinion and expression, including "freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information
and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers," as enshrined in
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Internet Society Board noted that in 2011, in what has become known as
'Arab Spring,' the Internet gave voice to people's aspirations. "The
Internet played a vital role in generating awareness of and support for the
efforts of those seeking to bring about change," said Raul Echeberria,
Chairman of the Internet Society's Board of Trustees. "The Internet shaped a
new generation who are connected to the world and who are global citizens,
unconstrained by borders, time, and distance."

The Board also noted that the same technology that benefits billions of
people throughout the world has also raised some challenges. Among them, it
was observed that certain governments control their citizen's access and use
of the global network in order to meet economic, security, or political
objectives in an evolving policy landscape. For example, DNS blocking and
filtering are among the measures used by some to block access to websites.
Other measures used include surveillance technology or suspension of
Internet access.

The Internet Society Board cautioned against resorting to technological
shortcuts to achieve public policy objectives, as such actions can threaten
the good functioning of the global Internet as a single, unified, and global
communications network.  While the Board recognized that governments have
the responsibility to guarantee law and order for their citizens, it held
the view that the right to freedom of expression should also be guaranteed.

"The Internet Society has always been focused on Internet freedom, which is
the very embodiment of freedom of expression," added Echeberria. "These
actions by some governments to limit access to the Internet are sometimes
without due regard to the impact on an individual's ability to exercise
their fundamental human rights, and include attempts to control social
networks. This can be seen as an infringement of the right to peaceful
assembly, as guaranteed by Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human

"Limitations to the exercise of human rights should be the exception and not
the rule, a principle which applies both to the online and offline world,"
stated Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St. Amour. "Any restrictions
should respect due process and the provisions outlined in international
human rights law, such as necessity and proportionality."

The open, decentralized, and global nature of the Internet provides a
foundation for unprecedented growth in freedom of expression and access to
information and knowledge. "The increasing pressure to limit access to the
Internet has escalated the sense of urgency in addressing this situation,"
added St. Amour. "We will continue our efforts in this important policy area
and work to bring attention to the impact of Internet freedom on other
aspects of human rights."

About the Internet Society
The Internet Society is the world's trusted independent source of leadership
for Internet policy, technology standards, and future development. Based on
its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet
Society works with its members and Chapters around the world to promote the
continued evolution and growth of the open Internet through dialog among
companies, governments, and other organizations around the world. For more
information, see: http://www.internetsociety.org.

Media Contact: Wende Cover, cover at isoc.org, +1-703-439-2773

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With Sincerest Best Wishes ,

Gene Loeb, Ph.D.

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