As a former student of modern information topics like the digital divide, privacy, and net neutrality, this news piece from the Guardian comes as no surprise. It has been a long time coming. If we are to look at the history of the Internet, it’s creation was founded on egalitarian principles of equal access and later, during its early years, as an outlet for free speech and even cyber-activism.
Is it inevitable that with the pervasive quality of the various social media outlets on the Internet today affecting the international political landscape that the United Nations would take notice? The Council of Europe‘s commissioner for human rights, Thomas Hammarberg, believes that the UN should do more to urge political actors to engage actively in this debate that they consider global. The debate surrounds the question of media censorship as outlined by the organisation, Article 19. The Council wants the UN to take up the gauntlet on protecting media freedom and privacy issues online.
Despite the fact that such hopes to find solutions which can regulate the Internet at all, even on a national scale, have mostly remained an elusive Utopian dream, this is a positive step. Such an international collaboration among IGO bodies to raise more awareness among the political realm could only lend legitimacy to what has mostly just been the fanciful ideals that freedom of expression and diversity should be allowed to exist on the Internet.