Strasbourg, 26.04.2012 - Representatives of Google, Facebook and Index on Censorship were among participants taking part in a round table on internet freedom yesterday, organised by PACE's Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media together with the British Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. Other speakers included British Ambassador Eleanor Fuller and Felix Treguer of La Quadrature du Net.
The participants agreed that internet freedom was increasingly at risk, both from restrictive legislation in some countries as well as by the practices of some internet companies. Internet users needed greater transparency from Internet companies about their policies, especially concerning access to information and data protection.
The internet has become a growing means of free expression. Everyone has witnessed its positive impact in many countries, most recently during the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, the internet also raises also new questions regarding intellectual property rights, data protection and security issues.
Internet governance requires the co-operation of all stakeholders - legislators, internet companies and internet users, and all should share responsibility.
The committee strongly welcomed this round table as an opportunity to open up political discussions and reinforce co-operation for protecting media freedom on the web.