Access in the News
Encryption and anonymity on the internet are necessary for the advancement of human rights, according to a new report from the United Nations. The report from David Kaye, a UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, asserts that privacy is a “gateway for freedom of opinion and expression.”
11:29am | 27 May 2015 | by Access Team,
This year’s RightsCon, held in Manila, was a sold-out event bringing together 660 attendees from 56 different countries to explore real-world strategies for keeping the internet open and free. It was an extraordinarily productive conference. To participate, the leader of each session was asked a simple question: How would your engagement create real-world change? The newly released RightsCon Southeast Asia Outcomes Report shows how the participants — representing civil society, the private sector, government, tech, and academia — answered that question.
As negotiations on the Telecoms Single Market (TSM) near conclusion in the EU, the Parliament may break its promise to deliver Net Neutrality.
2:27pm | 26 May 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,
The island nation of Nauru may be tiny — it’s only 21 square kilometers (8.5 square miles) — but what is happening there matters to people around the world. Today, Access and a coalition of international organizations sent a letter calling for the government to stop blocking internet services and to repeal a dangerous new criminal law that restricts free expression.
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, presented on May 6th a handful of cosmetic proposals to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. ISDS has been a central point of the ongoing discussions about the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, currently being negotiated between the U.S. and the EU. Malmström’s “new” ISDS reminds us of a Thai turn of phrase, "same same but different."
3:19pm | 22 May 2015 | by Peter Micek,
In a major step forward for free expression and human rights in Crimea, the United States today lifted some of its previous restrictions on the export of vital communications technology to the region. Journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary people in Crimea can now freely use key communications technologies, software, and services to make their voices heard.
10:54am | 21 May 2015 | by Brett Solomon,
The island nation of Nauru may be tiny — only 21 square kilometers (8.5 square miles) — but what is happening there should reverberate around the world. Over the past few weeks, the government of Nauru has imposed an internet shutdown, blocking people from using certain sites on the pretext of protecting them from online pornography. At the same time, it has passed a dangerous new provision in its criminal code that could restrict free expression. These developments are putting people who care about human rights on high alert.
On May 6, the European Union’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, and the Vice President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, presented the EU Commission’s strategic plan to establish the Digital Single Market, or DSM.
Facebook has published "myths and facts" about Internet.org in an attempt to address the growing concerns that digital rights defenders have about the program. But its "demythification" attempt falls short.
Access joins coalition opposing crypto backdoors, but that’s just the beginning.
8:49am | 18 May 2015 | by Josh Levy,
Today 65 organizations from 31 countries and regions released an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailing significant concerns with Facebook's Internet.org initiative.
11:55am | 14 May 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,
Internet censorship in Nauru could lead to other human rights abuses.
Access calls on Senate to strengthen USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 ahead of deadline
12:35pm | 12 May 2015 | by Peter Micek,
The United States sat through its 2nd-ever hearing at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday. The hearing is part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, a fairly new mechanism through which every U.N. member state undergoes scrutiny of its human rights record. We give an overview of what was said about U.S. surveillance, provide the U.S. response in full, and offer our analysis of that response.
This year, 11 companies published transparency reports for the first time, including Snapchat, Kickstarter, and GitHub. We take a look at the information that some of these companies are sharing (or not sharing), and the implications for users' rights.