The 47-member Council of Europe (COE) announced on March 15 the adoption of a four-year Internet Governance Strategy to promote the universality, integrity, and openness of the Internet while protecting users’ rights.
The COE indicated that the Internet Governance Strategy will complement existing laws protecting free online expression and combating cybercrime. The COE will partner with member and nonmember state governments, the private sector, technical communities, and other interested parties in developing policies and industry guidelines.
The strategy identifies priorities and sets goals for the next four years (2012-2015) to advance the protection and respect for human rights, the rule of law, and democracy on the Internet. The main objectives of the strategy include:
(1) Protecting the Internet’s universality, integrity, and openness;The Strategy builds on and complements the COE Committee of Ministers’ 2011 Declaration on Internet Governance Principle and Recommendation (CM/Rec(2011)8).
(2) Maximizing rights and freedoms for Internet users;
(3) Advancing data protection and privacy;
(4) Enhancing the rule of law and effective co-operation against cybercrime;
(5) Maximizing the Internet’s potential to promote democracy and cultural diversity, and
(6) Protecting and empowering children and young people.