GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks has authored a contribution to the Internet & Society Co:llaboratory Discussion Paper on Human Rights and Internet Governance. The article responds to a proposition by Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.
New technologies have played a catalytic role in support of democratic aspirations in the Middle East and around the world. In her essay Shirin Ebadi eloquently describes how free expression, “the first step to democracy,” facilitates the meaningful realization of other rights, and the impact of virtual communications networks in Iran. But innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs) present risks as well as opportunities to advance human rights. The challenges of navigating this nexus are too complicated for companies to manage alone, and a growing number of companies, civil society organizations, investors, and academics are collaborating to advance freedom of expression and privacy rights through the Global Network Initiative (GNI).