Session: The Business of Human Rights: Corporate Responsibility and ICTs

Time: 
Wed, 2011-09-28 14:30 - 16:00

Concise Description:
ICTs are becoming increasingly central to commerce, economic development, expression, civic participation, and personal identity. ICTs can empower users to speak, organize around issues of common concern, and access the world’s information. However, the technology companies that provide the conduits and platforms for user activity can find themselves under pressure to take actions that restrict the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users. Governments may ask companies to cut off Internet access, take down content, or turn over information about users – sometimes according to law and in pursuit of legitimate aims, but in some contexts, such governmental actions may conflict with the human rights of users. Such instances raise questions around what responsibility companies have to their users when they are asked to assist in actions that may undermine free expression, privacy, and other human rights. These questions are especially salient in the ICT sector, where the platforms for user expression are often operated by private companies.
The UN Special Representative on business and human rights John Ruggie has published the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework to help a range of stakeholders navigate these emerging issues. The framework provides guidance for companies regarding their responsibilities with respect to human rights.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) provides a principled approach and action framework for ICT companies and civil society struggling with these complex issues. GNI is an effort to apply and refine the Protect, Respect, and Remedy framework for the ICT sector and to engage a diverse range of actors, including civil society organizations, investors and academics in developing collaborative interventions and solutions. The GNI provides a set of Principles and Implementation Guidelines for companies in the ICT sector to guide responsible decision making when facing requests or demands from governments that may conflict with the internationally recognized rights of their users.
At this workshop participants will discuss:
• the impact and implications of public discourse taking place on private networks
• how human rights risks may arise in the provision of ICT products and services
• strategies some ICT companies have adopted to promote the free flow of information, protect privacy, and minimize possible risk to human rights of their users
• the value of a multi-stakeholder approach to finding solutions to these challenges
• more about the work of GNI
The GNI is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations, investors and academics, who work together to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

From twitter...


DamnThaSOPAMan (DamnThaMan)

Domain name seizures: The end of the dot com dominance? http://t.co/jJbGcF00 #in #icann #igf11 #cdntech #c30 #sop... cc @lamarsmithtx21

2 years 21 weeks ago

dreammex (dreammex)

RT @asteris: Google LatinAm policy counsel: "Turkey asked us to block vids for entire globe", cites Neda vid & need to highlight repression #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

asteris (Asteris Masouras)

RT @FreedomPrayers: companies have responsibility when they are working with products which carry big human rights risks. #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

SamGregory (Sam Gregory)

+1 Allon from @accessnow broadening human rights debate; not just repressive regimes, it's issues of privacy for everyday users #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

FreedomPrayers (FreedomPrayers)

companies have responsibility when they are working with products which carry big human rights risks. #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

asteris (Asteris Masouras)

RT @aleeve1: Corporates want to protect themselves (and employees) but civ. society think the risks should be taken within repressive regimes #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

aleeve1 (Alex Everett)

Nokia-Siemens try to patch up: clarification - instead: 'who is to decide if a govt is repressive or not?' emphasis on broadness #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

aleeve1 (Alex Everett)

Corporates want to protect themselves (and employees) but civ. society think the risks should be taken within repressive regimes #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago

asteris (Asteris Masouras)

RT @WebofTomorrow: #IGF11 #438 - business of human rights: "Allowing Turkey to block net content, affects me in Egypt as well."

2 years 43 weeks ago

aleeve1 (Alex Everett)

Nokia-Siemens say they cannot be held responsible for discerning between a repressive and a just govt #igf11 #438

2 years 43 weeks ago