The Council of Europe, organized on the 18th and 19th April 2011 in Strasbourg the conference “Internet Freedom: From principles to global treaty law?” The goal of the conference was to answer the question: what kind of responsibility should states have to preserve the Internet?

Recent events in Northern Africa and developments related to the Wikileaks case have clearly shown how access to the Internet content and services can be easily disrupted. The Internet can be switched off, snatching from millions of people the possibility to communicate or access information. The fundamental right to freedom of expression may be jeopardized and values of democracy may be put in question.

The conference’s agenda was to examine possible ways to protect and promote Internet’s universality, intergrity and openness. It discusses whether there is scope for further international law action to preserve the Internet as a means of safeguarding freedom of expression and access to information. The outcome of the conference was a success: Draft Program Conference Internet Freedom Council of Europe. The representatives of Council of Europe member states, the US Department of State, International Telecommunications Union (private sector), civil society and experts on cross-border Internet were present.

Read the opening Speech by Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe