Monday, June 6, 2011

United Nations Must Protect Human Rights In Cyberspace

United Nations has been regulating many international issues all over the world and the most important one is protection of human rights. However, UN is not very serious about protection of human rights in cyberspace.

In the past as well suggestions have been given by many techno legal experts to UN to ensure protection of human rights in cyberspace. However, this issue seems to be a complicated one as UN is taking lots of time to protect human rights in cyberspace.

The World community on Human Rights, Cyber Law and Cyber Security must start thinking in this direction as issues like Cyber Warfare, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Espionage, Cyber Crimes, E-Surveillance, Unlawful Interceptions, etc are “Transnational” in nature, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and CEO of the exclusive Cyberspace Human Rights Protection Centre of India.

If different Countries would have different laws for these issues, it would be very difficult to truly enforce protective provisions against these menaces at National and International levels, opines Dalal.

Finally, UN has shown some inclination in this regard. UN now considers Internet access a Human Right and considers disconnecting people from the Internet as a violation of Human Rights and International Law, informs Dalal.

A Report by the UN Human Rights Council’s 17th Session underscored the “unique and transformative" nature of the Internet allowing individuals to exercise a range of Human Rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole.

This is a good step taken by the UN especially with the growing use of e-surveillance, Internet censorship and website blockings all over the world. India is one such country that is indulging in endemic e-surveillance activities that also without any legal framework or with the help of unconstitutional laws like cyber law of India.

Experts in India have even suggested repeal of the information technology act 2000, the sole cyber law of India. Let us hope UN would come up with international standards for protection of human rights in cyberspace very soon.