Even as new frontiers are being forged by these 21st Century media, however new barriers and new attempts to block, filter, and censor information are being created. Yet, proliferation of the Internet, social networks, and new-generation mobile telephony raises new concerns for privacy and security of users.
UNESCO, as the UN Agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression, recognizes that this right is central to building strong democracies, contributing to good governance, promoting civic participation and the rule of law, and encouraging human development and security. The right to freedom of expression applies as much to the Internet as to the more traditional forms of media—press, radio, and television. The challenge is to optimize fully the potential of the Internet and digital media without compromising civil liberties.
There are various national policies and approaches on privacy and freedom of expression, including industrial policy and regulation such as copyright, user-centric approaches related to child protection policy, fraud, defamation and hate speech, net-centric policies linking to domain names, and security policy on privacy and freedom of expression. How do we employ these existing mechanisms the better to protect freedom of expression in the age of digital communications? If existing mechanisms are inadequate, what should be done?