(No.139) To Protect and Respect: The Intersection of Public and Private Sector Responsibilities for Human Rights in the ICT Sector
Building on last year’s workshop on the business of human rights in the ICT sector, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) will present a new research study on the roles and responsibilities of governments and companies in the ICT sector, from Internet service providers, to mobile networks to telecommunications. Using the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as GNI’s own Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy, as a jumping off point, the workshop will present a comparative look at freedom of expression and privacy risks resulting from government-company interactions, examining the issue across regions and in different segments of the ICT sector. A multi-stakeholder panel of respondents representing human rights NGOs, ICT sector companies, and academic experts will discuss the implications of this new research and practical recommendations. The workshop will incorporate learning from and reflection upon a report to be published by GNI in June 2012 exploring the balance points between freedom of expression, privacy, law enforcement and national security, based upon multi-stakeholder consultations held in London, New Delhi, and Washington DC, and will seek to build upon multilateral and intergovernmental work on free expression, notably the Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and the Internet by UN, OSCE, OAS, and AU Special Rapporteurs. GNI provides a principled approach and action framework for ICT companies and civil society struggling with these complex issues. GNI is an effort to apply and refine the UN Protect, Respect, and Remedy framework for the ICT sector and to engage a diverse range of actors, including civil society organizations, investors and academics in developing collaborative interventions and solutions. The GNI provides a set of Principles and Implementation Guidelines for companies in the ICT sector to guide responsible decision making when facing requests or demands from governments that may conflict with the internationally recognized rights of their users.
Ms. Susan Morgan, Executive Director, Global Network Initiative (multi-stakeholder initiative) The GNI is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations, investors and academics, who work together to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. www.globalnetworkinitiative.org
• Sunil Abraham, Center for Internet & Society • Susan Morgan, Global Network Initiative • Chris Tuppen, Founder and Senior Partner, Advancing Sustainability LLP • Cynthia Wong, Center for Democracy & Technology • Government representative to be confirmed • Industry representative to be confirmed