The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted a resolution on human rights and the Internet, recommending sweeping freedoms of expression and the right to free speech through all forms of new media technology. The resolution was approved by 80 nations.
The resolution affirms that the right to freedom of expression established under the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also applied to the Internet.
The right to freedom of expression that applies “off” the Internet must also apply equally “online,” said the resolution.
The resolution also affirms the importance of the Internet to global development and called on all states to promote access to the Internet, both in terms of infrastructure as well as content.
The resolution noted that the exercise of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression, on the Internet is an issue for all individuals all over the world who use new information and communications technologies.
It also recognized the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms.
The resolution encouraged all countries to take special measures to ensure Internet principles of freedom are included in existing laws.
Percentage of the population using the Internet by region and how usage has grown since 2000
|World Regions||Population||Internet Users Dec. 31, 2000||Internet Users Latest Data||% Population||Growth 2000-2011|
Source: Internet World Stats