Policy

UN: Internet Freedom Is a Human Right

7/09/2012 10:28 AM Eastern

The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its meeting last week with a raft of resolutions, including one supporting Internet expression as a basic human right and promoting broadband deployment.

In a resolution on "the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet," the UN council affirmed that "[T]he same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression." The resolution "calls upon all States to promote and facilitate access to the Internet and decides to continue its consideration of how the Internet can be an important tool for development and for exercising human rights."

The U.S. has already made promoting Internet freedom internationally a part of its foreign policy goals, outlined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech in 2010, in which she likened the freedom to connect to the Internet to freedom of assembly during a speech that mirrored the Four Freedoms speech of Franklin Roosevelt.

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