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Call for submissions from NGOs and other stakeholders: Study on Telecommunications and Internet Access Sector

The UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression is conducting a study on freedom of expression in the telecommunications and Internet access sector. He will examine State regulation and action that affect access to telecommunications and Internet networks and services, particularly those provided by Telecommunications and Internet Service Providers (“Telcos and ISPs”). He will also analyze the relevant internal policies and practices of Telcos, ISPs and associated businesses.

His findings and recommendations will be published in the June 2017 report to the Human Rights Council. For more information on the Special Rapporteur’s study, please see the concept note attached.

The Special Rapporteur invites civil society and other interested stakeholders to share concise comments and/or existing work product focusing on one or more of the following questions:

  • Please share information concerning trends in State regulation, public-private contractual arrangements and extralegal measures identified in the Questionnaire for States, including variation for local, regional, and industry conditions. Please share information concerning their impact on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and efforts to prevent, mitigate or challenge such impact. Please also identify examples of positive trends and measures where possible.
  • Please share information concerning the policies, practices and processes of Telcos, ISPs and associated businesses identified in the Questionnaire for Business Enterprises, and their impact on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Please identify areas of concern and, where possible, best practices and recommendations for improvement.
  •  Please share information concerning the role of relevant standards and Internet governance bodies in protecting and promoting freedom of expression, and how that role may be improved. 

Submissions will be posted on the OHCHR website at the time of the report’s publication, except those containing a clear request not to be made public. Please send submissions no later than 1 November 2016 to freedex@ohchr.org using the email title: “Submission to study on freedom of expression and the telecommunications and Internet access sector.” Those wishing to file securely may submit to atoh@law.uci.edu (fingerprint: 5C85 1D96 D604 8BE0 F983 A0DF 14CA 643A 9603 79DD).