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Press release - Schaake: UN affirms human rights online, “practice what you preach”


Strasbourg, 5 July 2012

MEP: UN affirms human rights online, “practice what you preach” Digital freedoms Dutch Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) welcomes today’s adoption of a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council affirming human rights online. Schaake: “internet and technologies play an exponentially important role in the lives of citizens everywhere, human rights should online be equally respected and protected as offline. This is an important step in mainstreaming digital freedoms in the international legal system. We need to ensure the declaration is not merely a lip service, as countries that co-initiated this resolution do not necessarily practice what they preach.” Internet governance The global and open nature of the internet has been a precondition and a driving force of its rapid development. The internet is governed by a multi-stakeholder approach, which ensures that all stakeholders have a seat at the table. Schaake: “We see that a new era of global internet politics has been kicked off by coalitions of companies and governments that have joined efforts to introduce rigid and restrictive regulations. These proposals would increase state controle and might establish a UN internet regulatory body. This could lead to the balkanisation of the internet and restrict our citizen’s digital freedoms. We need to work together to keep the internet open.” The European Parliament has appointed Ms Schaake as the Rapporteur for a report on ‘A Digital Freedom Strategy in the EU’s Foreign Policy’. The report is to be adopted in the fall. A discussion paper outlining the pillars of the strategy can be found here. The adopted resolution can be found here.