Strasbourg, 25.04.2012 – In a resolution adopted today, PACE asked member states to "ensure respect for freedom of expression and information on the internet and online media by public as well as private entities". The Assembly considers that member states should also encourage intermediaries of media based on new information and communication technologies – such as Internet service or access providers and telecommunications or mobile phone companies – "to set up self-regulatory codes of conduct for the respect of their users' right to freedom of expression and information", while ensuring the jurisdiction of domestic courts in case of violations.
Following the conclusions of the rapporteur, Zaruhi Postanjyan (Armenia, EPP/CD), the adopted text spells out that, at the same time, these intermediaries must be held responsible for unlawful content, with particular attention being paid to child pornography and content which incites xenophobic and racist discrimination, hatred, violence or terrorism.
Referring to the wide concerns raised regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – in particular the possibility of obliging an online service provider to disclose information allowing the identification of a subscriber whose account has allegedly been used to infringe copyright – the Assembly also invited member states to pursue public consultations about future domestic legislation resulting from the ACTA. Such legislation must in particular respect Articles 6, 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of its first Protocol as well as the Convention on Cybercrime and the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.