Ten Internet Rights & Principles for Human Rights and Social Justice

By EDRi · April 6, 2011

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Deutsch: [10 Rechte und Prinzipien für das Internet | http://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_9.7_Zehn_Internetrechte_und_Prinzipien]

The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (DC-IRP) launched on 31
March 2011 its “10 Internet Rights and Principles” for an Internet
governance rooted in human rights and social justice.

These 10 Internet Rights and Principles are part of a global initiative
undertaken in the framework of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), by
the DC-IRP to develop a comprehensive Charter of Human Rights and Principles
for the Internet. In addition to the 10 Internet Rights and Principles, the
Charter is built into two sections. The first interprets human rights and
defines principles that stem from these rights for the purposes and concerns
of the information society. The second section addresses the roles that
different actors and stakeholders should play in order to uphold these
rights and principles.

This Charter is not an attempt to create new rights, but to reinterpret and
explain universal human rights standards in a new context – the Internet.
The Charter re-emphasizes that human rights apply online as they do offline:
human rights standards, as defined in international law, are non-negotiable.
The Charter also identifies principles, deriving from human rights, which
are necessary to preserve the Internet as a medium for civil, political,
economic, social and cultural development. It describes the responsibilities
that states have in relation to the Internet as well as the part that all
individuals and society organs have to play, considering that the Internet
is, through its design, a trans-boundary multi-stakeholder environment where
no single entity has control.

In this context, the 10 Internet Rights and Principles outline the core
demands in order to defend and expand the Internet as a space which is
empowering, open and accessible to all. To this end, they identify the main
requirements that should be met in the online environment, with regards to:
universality and equality; rights and social justice; accessibility;
expression and association; privacy and data protection; life, liberty and
security; diversity; network equality; standards and regulation; and
Governance. Such guidelines for policy and practice are much needed at a
time where human rights and social justice are under a double threat on the
Internet, from governments (both authoritarian and democratic) who seek to
control it, and from businesses who seek to monetise it.

The 10 Internet Rights and Principles were launched at the second expert
meeting on “Freedom of Expression and the Internet” in Stockholm, convened
on 30-31 March 2011 by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The UN
Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the OSCE
Representative on Freedom of the Media, who attended this launching event,
welcomed this initiative.

The DC-IRP is an international multi-stakeholder network of people and
organisations – among them a number of EDRi members and observers – who are
working to uphold human rights on and through the Internet. Its Charter is
currently released as a beta version, and the Coalition welcomes comments
and contributions on its website. The 10 Internet Rights and Principles
derive from the Charter, distilling it down into 10 core demands. They are
already available in more than 15 languages, with further translations still

DC-IRP main website with the 10 Internet Rights and Principles


DC-IRP website dedicated to its Charter

Second Expert Meeting on Human Rights and the Internet Stockholm

(Contribution by Meryem Marzouki, EDRI-member IRIS – France)