Human Rights Council backs Internet freedom

July 5, 2012
A woman views the Chinese social media website Weibo at a cafe in Beijing in April 2012. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva passed its first resolution on Internet freedom on Thursday with a call for all states to support individuals' rights online as much as offline.

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva passed its first resolution on Internet freedom on Thursday with a call for all states to support individuals' rights online as much as offline.

Despite opposition on the issue from countries including China, Russia and India, countries promoting the resolution hailed the support of dozens of nations ahead of its adoption.

"This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council," US ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told reporters.

"It's the first UN resolution that confirms that human rights in the Internet realm must be protected with the same commitment as in the real world."

The text had the support of 85 co-sponsors, 30 of whom are members of the HRC, Donahoe added.

Of the states that supported the initiative, Tunisia's ambassador Moncef Baati said it was particularly important for his country because of the role accredited to in ousting president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

"The most important result of the Tunisian revolution is this right to freedom of expression...(this) is very important at the moment (in Tunisia) and it is for this reason that there is a strong commitment in Tunisia to consolidate .

"Our link with all during the revolution doubles the importance of this commitment to freedom of expression on the Internet which remains a major tool for ."

Other countries that backed the resolution on the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet included Brazil, Nigeria, Sweden and Turkey.

Explore further: France, Netherlands seek to halt Internet censorship

Related Stories

Clinton renews push for open Internet access

February 15, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton renews her push Tuesday for the free and open use of the Internet, which protesters from Egypt to Iran have used to demand political freedoms.

'Anonymous' group hacks Tunisian Islamist sites

March 12, 2012

Hackers claiming to belong to the Anonymous Internet freedom group posted video messages on Facebook pages of Tunisian Islamists, threatening reprisals over their efforts to introduce Salafist laws.

Recommended for you

SkinTrack technology turns arm into smartwatch touchpad

May 5, 2016

Ever since the advent of smartwatches, technologists have been looking to expand interactions beyond the confines of the small watch face. A new wearable technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University suggests turning ...

Do people want to talk to bots?

May 5, 2016

Humans are so passe. Facebook now wants to expand your social circle in its messaging app, Messenger, beyond friends to include robots - or chatbots - that are powered by artificial intelligence, and designed to shop, search ...

Solar plane on global trip arrives in Arizona

May 3, 2016

A solar-powered airplane landed in suburban Phoenix Monday night after a daylong flight from California—the latest leg in its around the world journey using only energy from the sun.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.