The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, has released a report on the widespread global assault on the freedom of expression.
In particular, the Special Rapporteur highlights his growing concerns in the area of digital rights:
In the coming years, I urge States to be particularly mindful of the context of digital rights, the integrity of digital communications and the roles of intermediaries, regardless of frontiers…. I see ongoing deterioration of online rights, even as the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly urge that rights offline be respected online. The coming years will test just how genuine the commitment to that proposition is.
Mr Kaye also referenced the trend towards internet shutdowns – something that Digital Rights Watch has been working on in partnership with Access Now through the Keep It On campaign:
One of the biggest threats to online expression is the use of Internet ‘kill switches.’ More than a dozen network shutdowns have been recorded in the last year. Internet shutdowns are just one form of digital censorship among many adopted by governments today.