New Council of Europe committee on human rights and internet

By EDRi · December 30, 2004

The Council of Europe is working on a new declaration or recommendation on
human rights and internet. An ad-hoc committee of experts on the
information society has been meeting for the first time in November 2004,
and will have a second meeting in Strasbourg on 3 and 4 February 2005. The
Council does not provide any information about the proceedings or specific
members of the committee, but has recently published the terms of
reference. The aim of the committee is to provide “a draft political
statement on the principles and guidelines for ensuring respect for
freedom of expression and opinion, for human rights and for the rule of
law in the Information Society, with a view to its use as a Committee of
Ministers’ contribution to the Third Summit of Heads of State and
Government of the Council of Europe (16-17 May 2005) and the 2005 Tunis
phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (16-18 November

The list of topics to be covered by the committee is very large, and
ranges from freedom of expression to privacy, especially related to
mandatory retention of traffic data. But the committee is also expected to
cover e-voting, the prohibition of racism and xenophobic speech on the
internet and “the protection of intellectual property in cyberspace.”

Only the official representative of each member state will get reimbursed
for travel and subsistence costs. Together with the representatives of 11
Council of Europe and European Commission steering committees they will be
able to vote on the outcomes. All other parties listed to be able to send
a representative will have to bear all costs themselves and will not have
a right to vote.

Terms of reference of the Multidisciplinary Ad-Hoc Committee of Experts on
the Information Society (CAHSI)