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UNESCO Internet study and conference welcomed at Berlin event

The relevance of UNESCO’s comprehensive Internet study and the related conference “CONNECTing the dots”, was highlighted this week at the Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit, taking place from December 3 to 5 2014.

The event in Berlin was co-hosted by the EastWest Institute and Federal Republic of Germany, Foreign Office. It was attended by UNESCO’s Director for freedom of expression and media development, Guy Berger.

“There was great interest amongst participants in the research that UNESCO is doing into online access to information and knowledge, free expression, privacy and ethics,” said Berger.

Many delegates expressed interest in contributing to the process, including the March 3-4 2015 conference on the Study, he added. They saw links between UNESCO’s concerns and their own discussions which covered topics including surveillance, privacy and big data, as well as on governing and managing the Internet.

Berger was a speaker in a session titled “Managing policy barriers that limit access to information for innovation and education

In his remarks, the Director proposed a human-rights based approach to the topic, explaining how the right of access to information is also relevant to the post-2015 development agenda. He further outlined how international standards require that any blocking and filtering of access to information should only be exceptional, and should correspond to recognized safeguards such as being necessary and proportional.