The National Institute of Human Rights (INDH by its Spanish acronym) was established in Chile by law in 2009. The Institute publishes information regarding up-and-coming topics, and its last research project, which I had the opportunity and honor to collaborate on, focused on ‘’Internet and Human Rights’’.
This latest piece addresses a variety of topics: it begins with a historical overview of the Internet and an explanation of the basic aspects of communications infrastructure and Internet infrastructure. Next, it briefly elaborates on matters currently relevant: access to the Internet as a human right or, as a facilitator of human rights.
Before analyzing those human rights where the Internet is most pertinent, the investigation introduces the Charter on Human Rights and principles for the Internet, developed by the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles within the framework of the Internet Governance Forum. The INDH piece points out that the Charter, ‘’can turn out to be a useful tool when designing regulations focused on assuring an extensive implementation of human rights on the Internet’’.
The investigation analyzes the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, access to information, the right to non discrimination and the right to privacy and reputation. Within this framework, the investigation explores the greatest threats to freedom of expression on the Internet, amongst them policies on filtering and blocking. The investigation also addresses issues related to anonymity on the Internet and its relation to freedom of expression. Finally, the investigation discusses the topic of network neutrality.
As this document articulates in its conclusions, ‘’we find ourselves in a time when the question on how to regulate the Internet so it simultaneously promotes and protects human rights is a recurring one’’. This question will surely come up in discussions within the numerous international events that are to take place in the following months. The work INDH published -in Spanish- sought to, and has given pointers on how to respond to this question.