UN backs online rights

2012-07-05 15:55
The UN has backed internet rights for users. (AP)

The UN has backed internet rights for users. (AP)

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Geneva - The United Nations' main office for human rights for the first time said people had a right to freedom of expression on the internet and called on Thursday on all states to protect it.

In speeches, both China and Cuba voiced reservations, but joined the consensus at the 47-member state UN Human Rights Council which adopted the landmark resolution presented by Sweden.

"This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council," said Eileen Donahoe, ambassador for Washington which co-sponsored the motion with Brazil and Tunisia.

"It's the first ever UN resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world," she told reporters.

China's envoy backed the motion but said people also needed to be protected from harmful websites.

"We believe that the free flow of information on the internet and the safe flow of information on the internet are mutually dependent," Xia Jingge told the assembly.

"As the internet develops rapidly, online gambling, pornography, violence, fraud and hacking are increasing its threat to the legal rights of society and the public."

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Read more on:    un  |  internet  |  human rights

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