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UN Human Rights Council Passes Resolution 'Unequivocally' Condemning Internet Shutdowns

United Nations Human Rights Council today adopted resolutions condemning measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access or dissemination of information on the Internet in violation of international human rights law. Calls on all States to refrain from and cease such measures. "[T]he same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one's choice." The resolution is non-binding.

Access Now, Geneva / 1 Jul 2016: "The resolution faced opposition by a small number of influential member states who attempted to water down the text."

Peter Micek, Global Policy and Legal Counsel, Access Now: "The UN has boldly spoken against the pressing problem of internet shutdowns. This unanimous statement by the world's highest human rights body should give governments pause before they order blocking, throttling, and other barriers to information. ... Development and human rights protections are strengthened in tandem when networks remain open, secure, and stable."

"UN council: Seriously, nations, stop switching off the damn internet," Kieren McCarthy reporting in The Register: "In particular, a number of states — notable by their authoritarian stances — were opposed to the resolution's focus on the need for an accessible and open internet, and its condemnation of violations against people for expressing their views online. A vote planned for Thursday was delayed to Friday after the issue became heated. ... Some were surprised by the 13 other countries that lined up with Russia and China in an effort to delete the text on ensuring access to the internet."

Snowden / 1 Jul 2016: "Good news today: @UN Human Rights Council affirms online rights, condemns internet disruption and shutdowns. #HRC32

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