Today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution with the message that there can be no division or double standard regarding human rights online. The landmark resolution makes clear that all individuals are entitled to the same human rights and fundamental freedoms online as they are offline, and all governments must protect those rights regardless of the medium.
The free flow of news and information is under threat in countries around the world. We are witnessing an alarming surge in the number of cases involving government censorship and persecution of individuals for their actions online – sometimes for just a single tweet or text message.
This resolution is a welcome addition in the fight for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms online, in particular the freedom of expression, as well as the freedoms of religion or belief, assembly and association, and the right to be free of arbitrary interference with privacy.
The United States was proud to work with the main sponsor, Sweden, and over 80 co-sponsors, including Brazil, Turkey, Nigeria, and Tunisia, to help pass this resolution. We will continue to stand with our partners to address challenges to online freedom, and to ensure that human rights are protected in the public square of the 21st century.