The right to access the Internet

    Yesterday, the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Feldman registered the bill “On guaranteeing the right of individuals to access the Internet”. The bill proposes that the right to access the Internet be classified as basic human rights. This is the answer received by the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine to its initiatives of “anti-piracy law”.

    One can only dream of a shorter and laconic law, usually it’s dozens of pages of text with a bunch of corrections and loopholes for people lobbying for the law. In this case, the bill was reduced to three points:
    1. An individual has the right to access the Internet.
    2. The right of an individual to access the Internet cannot be limited.
    3. Restriction of access to certain data that is stored on the Internet is possible only on the basis of a court decision on the illegality of such data.

    In the explanatory note to the bill, the deputy indicated the following motivation:

    "... Today in Ukraine, access to the Internet is not such that is guaranteed by the state at the level with other human rights. Therefore, situations remain when access to the Internet may be limited. But when attributing access to the Internet to human rights, such restrictions are automatically suppressed ... "

    " ... The bill proposes to assign the right of an individual to access the Internet to personal non-property rights that ensure social life ... "

    "... The UN Human Rights Council has confirmed that the same rights that a person has in an offline environment must be protected online, in particular the right to express thoughts, regardless of boundaries and for any media chosen by a person, in accordance with Articles 19 of the General the Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Resolution A / HRC / 20 / L.13). In the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, the issue of access to the Internet has been the subject of a separate study back in 2012. In the judgment on the case “ Ahmet Yuldi them against Turkey "ECHR (application number 3111/10), it was found that" it is necessary to recognize the right to unimpeded access to the Internet "..."

    "... The adoption of the proposed bill will provide free and non-discriminatory access to the Internet, and also will not allow restricting the freedom of citizens to access the Internet as one of the key freedoms of the modern information community ..."

    All this sounds, of course, very beautiful and very correct, but how will be in practice, let's see. In Ukraine, the presence of some kind of law does not necessarily imply its implementation, and in court you can forbid anything you want, there would be money. The bill was sent to the relevant committees, we will monitor the development of events.

    Recall, the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine three times tried to push through the "anti-piracy law", but all to no avail. The bill provides an opportunity for subjects of copyright and related rights in case of a violation to contact the service department (provider, telecommunications operator) with a statement about the violation, if there is no reaction of the site owner to the application within 2 days, the service department is obliged to block the site, which actually allow copyright holders to block content without a court order or other authorized bodies.

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