[Ip-Watch.org] UN Expert: No Government Internet Restrictions For Political Reasons

Governments should refrain from restricting the flow of information on the internet, and the private sector should not be in charge of policing it, a United Nations advisor on freedom of opinion and expression said last week in a report. He also criticised disconnection of users on intellectual property rights grounds.

He also asked that states give up criminalisation of defamation, and said that intermediaries should not be held liable for refusing to take action that “infringes individuals’ human rights.” Request to prevent access to certain content or disclosure of private information should be done through a legal procedure and a court order, he said.

La Quadrature du Net said the report ”will help citizens hold their governments accountable for policies undermining online freedoms.” In particular, it said, the recent G8′s conclusions ran contrary to the rapporteur’s report on intermediaries.