Home Committees and topics HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TOPIC


Protection of Human Rights in Digital Age

It is undeniable that the Internet plays a major role in our lives, and its benefits are evident. It enables us to conduct research with ease — all the necessary information is just one click away. It also makes communication more efficient. Any owner of a digital device with Internet access today can come in contact with anyone they want online. As useful as it is for global security, business, education and other social exchange, it brings along certain risks.

Being at the tip of someone’s fingers makes you an easy target. It doesn’t even matter if you have a tendency to overshare personal information online or not — any savvier computer user can find out what you like or dislike, or where you live, based on your search engine entries, social media communication and so on.

However, the Internet doesnt only represent a threat to your right to privacy. According to statistics, almost 1 in 4 young people come across hate or racist messages online. Internet abuse has long exceeded the already serious level of peer violence among children and adolescents — it has become a means of recruiting like-minded individuals into various extremist groups and it makes discrimination of all kinds viral.

What is more, in spite of allowing us to find out everything that’s going on in the world the second it takes place, the Internet makes it easy for untrue information (the so-called ‘fake news’) to spread at equal speed. The media has always had the power to alter the outcome of  events by placing biased reports, and the Internet has ensured it does so much faster, affecting a broader audience, worldwide.

It is therefore of crucial importance for all nations to find an efficientway of protection of human rights in the digital world in full bloom. UN adopted several resolutions regarding the issue of surveillance and data collection, however, they do not yet cover all the threats to human rights online. Many questions remain unanswered, such as:

Given the law is less dynamic than the modern society in perpetual change, how can these rights be fully protected in what is considered the most dynamic aspect of our civilization — the digital world?

How can we ensure the solutions remain effective regardless of the future technological advancements we cannot yet predict and comprehend?

The Internet puts the whole world in interaction. What steps should the nations take in order to protect human rights online globally, not just on a local level?

Where do we draw the line between global safety and personal privacy?