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Low levels of media literacy and trust, combined with efforts to de-legitimize media, can affect the very norm of independence. The safety of journalists, the fourth pillar of analysis, is a crosscutting issue. There is no media freedom without safety, nor can there be independence or pluralism, when journalists work in fear. Yet the world seems increasingly unsafe for those performing journalistic functions. Safety issues point especially to the responsibility of the State in protecting media freedom and ensuring that there is not impunity for crimes against the people who do journalism.
The involvement of stakeholder groups eg. Arbitrary jailing for journalism work is recognized as an SDG indicator by the UN Statistics Commission, as are kidnappings and abductions. Psychological and digital dimensions of safety are also relevant. In terms of the analysis in this Report, these elements—freedom, pluralism, independence and safety—interact to yield varying aspects of press freedom in various societies and contexts.
Political configurations, historical contingencies and economic models amongst other factors affect each element in the equation as well as the overall situation—but assessment of any trends needs to be from the position that the diversity should nevertheless align to the universal international standards of freedom of expression.
Gender equality is a key crosscutting issue that is addressed in each of the four pillars, impacting on freedom, pluralism, independence and safety. This is why each individual chapter covers the significance to the issue of the experience of women journalists and the representation of women more generally. Technological, social and political context The past few years have been tumultuous times marked by profound political shifts and social changes that have altered the context for press freedom.
Several stand out as crosscutting issues that have shaped and influenced trends in media freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists, as well as the gender dynamics in all these. Online and especially social media have continued to rise as major sources of information and opinion for many people around the world.
Technological convergence has created unpredictability for traditional media as well as new potentialities for both expression and censorship. Before social media, much content was filtered through traditional intermediaries—print, radio, and television enterprises. Media freedom existed with the assumption that these traditional institutions should function or claim to function as guardians of the public interest.
Although this is not a violation of freedom of expression, it falls below the standards of professional journalism and public service as such. Into this already complicated mediascape, the internet has led to the rapid overshadowing of traditional news media as familiar intermediaries—and particularly as entities that can be subjected to governmental control and influence. The past five years have seen a shift from widespread acceptance of a principle of limited liability for internet companies to increasing calls for intermediaries to be more active as mediating gatekeepers.
In this changing context, ideas of necessity and proportionality, so central to traditional Article 19 analysis, have very different applications where huge platforms, in occasional negotiation with governments, engage in private notice-and-take down decisions. Having private decision-making, often automated and with scant investment in human review, and decisions based on terms of service agreements rather than duly adopted laws aligned to international human rights standards, shifts the centre of traditional practices of norm formation and enforcement.
Whatever the ambiguity, it is evident that technologies have disruptive implications and thus give rise to the need for the adjustment of existing policies and the introduction of new ones. In reaction, States have sought new ways of asserting jurisdiction and power over communications that appear transnational, but which many States feel have domestic impact on both citizens and politics.
In this regard, trends are divergent. Most parts of the world have allowed the growth of global enterprises of scale which transcend the regulatory state and for which modes of self- regulation in consultation with governments is the trend. As part of this latter trend, internet providers are government-owned or controlled, or are in the hands of businesses close to the government, and data localisation is mandated. In both trends, some governments have empowered strong regulators to remove websites as well as maintain the capability of closing down the entire internet.
Media freedom in these changing contexts links closely to pluralism and independence. This is evident in the new actors that have arisen on the supply side such as non-media communicating institutions, groups and individuals who do not aspire to professional journalistic standards, as 3 de Sola Pool The accelerating shift to a data-based society has led to a profound reworking of the traditional relationship between the sender and the receiver of information.
For many transactions in the data society, a key feature is gaining the unknowing or unwilling surrender of personal data. This is part of the same massive shift from a model of transmission and receipt to a context of studied surveillance and manipulated interaction. Through the lenses of a changing political economy of communications, extending beyond the state are new trends of para-censorship and surveillance-like modalities.
These data-driven dynamics reduce the ability of individuals to shape and take control of their information environments, and concentrate increasing power in the hands of governments and large internet and media corporation intermediaries, as well as governments.
As new media technologies are progressively embedded in everyday life, their inner workings are also becoming more complex and opaque. As a consequence, understandings of media freedom, pluralism and independence are increasingly dependent on comprehension of the technical architectures underpinning the production and exchange of information. Artificial intelligence is also becoming increasingly salient. All this impacts the foundations of press freedom and the rights and limitations inherent in the concept, and on the analysis in this World Trends Report.
There is a significant push to expand the internet to those who remain unconnected, particularly in the global south. The UN Sustainable Development Goals have recognised that ICT connectivity is an important accelerator of development and have set the goal of universal connectivity by At present an estimated 35 per cent of people in developing countries have access to the internet and in the Least Developed Countries this drops to only 10 per cent.
Accessibility in the form of language provision and advanced user competencies are also key. As indicated throughout this Report, access to a plurality of media platforms and content has increased significantly between and , and yet there seems to be little indication that this progress has dented pre-existing inequalities, which have continued to rise in most regions. While research on the causes and consequences of the widening gap between rich and poor has made progress, studies connecting inequalities and media use are still few and mostly explorative.
It also casts an important light on attempts to create two-tiered or multiple- tiered internets, as assessed in this Report. Conflict and violent extremism Press freedom faces specific challenges in conflict zones and countries in transition.
During the period since , violent conflict worsened in several regions. This negatively affected media freedom, and saw much media being instrumentalised as a weapon in the conflict. In states where there were efforts to have negotiated stability, debates occurred over whether media could transition from being a factor for polarization into a platform for peace.
In some regions, the nuances of media freedom were affected by the threat of election or post-election violence and efforts to thwart or diminish such violence. Media freedom, pluralism, independence and safety are invariably casualties in context of conflict. How to consider speech that incites violence, seeks to recruit for extremism, and contributes to protracted and ongoing conflict, has been a major debate over the period.
Governments and large technology companies are increasingly interacting on the tracking and takedown of content that seeks to encourage terrorism. Attacks have triggered strong language from politicians that governments and technology companies must take greater action about the assumed potential for individuals to be radicalized online, although the academic evidence of a link is weak.
An example is by collateral censorship of professional news reportage on terrorism, or collaboration in implementing censorship regimes that deliberately conflate journalism and terrorism. The extent to which self- regulation by Internet companies respects media independence and is itself founded on principles of professional journalism is the issue here.
Youth and Violent Extremism on Social Media. In all regions, governments and leaders cite national security in order to enhance surveillance and restrict speech, posing challenges for both privacy and media freedom. Finding a balance that aligns to international standards is not widely evident. National security concerns are also cited in the growing use of internet blackouts or shutdowns where governments rule to close certain popular platforms or even block access to the internet entirely.
This often coincides with major political events, such as elections or widespread unrest where media pluralism is presented as a threat to public order. Forced migration and the refugee crisis Since , the movement and migration of humans, often fleeing from conflict, and associated violations of human rights, has accelerated.
While migration to richer northern countries has been unprecedented and received significant media coverage, refugee and forced migration numbers are largest in the regions that are conflict affected and in proximate countries. This development especially impacts on pluralism, independence and gender equality in and via media, as well as media development more broadly, and is assessed as such in this Report. An appendix includes a list of these regions and their state constituents.
Teams of analysts were assembled to report on trends in their respective regions. To provide support and peer review, an advisory committee was established that had regional and subject matter expertise see page 9. From the resulting research, trends identified at the regional level could be synthesised into this overall study. At the same time, account was taken of global trends as well as trends not clearly evident at the regional level.
Taking into account the reporting period, it was necessary to examine both published academic reports and studies, as well as to triangulate information from credible news and other reports. The network of international special rapporteurs, and institutions such as the European Court on Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights were further important sources of information. The research had to surmount several challenges. Where there are secondary studies to draw from, they often had inconsistent bases the countries studied in one report differ from those in another.
Some regions had more in the way of data than others. Comparing vast regions which include very disparate countries often yielded divergent results which demonstrated unevenness rather than shared trends. The process nevertheless was able to uncover some similarities as well as differences both at a macro or regional level. In the nature of this kind of meta-research, the trends outlined in the Report are indicative, rather than definitive.
Nevertheless, they do represent cumulative and possibly ongoing developments. This resonates with as the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of expression and media development are inextricably linked to the bigger agenda of human rights.
Not only are the trends outlined in this Report conceptually part of a bigger picture, they are also partly shaped by the broader status of rights on the ground. What follows provides an overall mapping against which regional and national trends can be compared, and corrective measures taken in order to shape our communication for a better future. In the period covered in this study, to , the media in many parts of the world have been in a state of considerable flux.
Rapid transformations in media structures continue alongside the accelerating spread of new technologies and the increasing role of large internet companies. Within this rapidly changing terrain, traditional methods of media regulation have transformed. International bodies, governments, cross- national tribunals and civil society are playing a growing role in establishing the norms of media regulation.
The trends in media freedom observed in this study reflect, to a large degree, an assertion of state power in media affairs and the transformative impact of powerful internet companies. These internet developments are obviously of great significance; however, they should not detract from the continuing salience of news media institutions irrespective of publishing platform.
The period under review for this study has been marked by disruptions related to political upheavals, radicalization and violent extremism. The fears and fearmongering that these engender have contributed to restrictions on media freedom. Much of this contraction in media freedom appears to be due to concerns about the dissemination of oppositional messages, as well as what state authorities deem to be anti- state or terrorist propaganda, and attempts to exert government control over online content.
During this period, with the rapid expansion of diverse media content producers online, the very definition of journalism continued to be examined and enlarged, with state regulation being applied to a broader category of actors. In many regions around the world, public perception of media freedom has declined. At the same time, there is growing recognition of the right of public access to information and the right to privacy, as well as concerted efforts to consolidate internet arrangements that advance a system contributing to media freedom.
Understanding media freedom Media freedom can be conceptualized as the liberty to publish and distribute content on media platforms. This is a precondition for many organizations as well as any individual who wishes to reach a public—for example, through social media. It is also essential to news media institutions and others doing journalism because their publishing impacts on power.
Any restrictions on media freedom, however, can impact all actors who use this public dimension of the right to freedom of expression. Safeguarding and advancing media freedom is central to achieving a more democratic society. Never something that can be taken for granted, media freedom has become more fragile in intensified ways. How can the trends in this regard be evaluated? Media freedom is very much a function of the political, judicial and regulatory environment in which journalists and institutions of the press operate.
Key to assessing media freedom is therefore the legal status of freedom of expression, as well as how that status is translated into practice. Media freedom can thus be assessed in terms of limits that restrict public expression beyond accepted international standards; such as when journalists are required to be licensed, when media are arbitrarily banned, blocked or filtered, and when internet access is cut off.
Another indicator of media freedom is the existence and application of criminal defamation law, which turns a civil matter into a criminal one and may therefore be considered disproportionate in terms of international standards. Media freedom is also impacted by the definitions and applications of laws such as those related to national security or hate speech.
Guarantees in law, and respect in practice, for the right to access information, are also significant to assess. The concept of press freedom goes wider than media freedom because it designates an ecosystem where freedom is accompanied by conditions for media pluralism, independence, safety and gender equality assessed in subsequent chapters of this Report.
Relatedly, there is an interdependent relationship between media freedom and the safety of those practicing journalism, which will be addressed in Chapter 4. In this wider context, media freedom is the core focus each year of World Press Freedom Day, which is led by UNESCO globally in order to promote the importance of related international norms that underpin the liberty of actors to exercise public expression on any media platform.
Vastly increased state capacity to monitor citizens has altered the balance between surveillance and privacy, accompanied by increased recognition of the impact on media freedom in particular, and more broadly free expression and access to information. Large internet companies now serve as key actors in supporting an enabling environment for media freedom, but their massive data tracking roles and their ability to unilaterally develop and enforce terms of service not necessarily respectful of international standards can also weaken media freedom.
The current global climate for media freedom is marked by continued technological advancements, increased political polarization, and contestation and threats by non-state actors to national security Enhanced awareness of the rights of freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information Annual celebration of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, held in more than countries in Policy research Several volumes in the Series on Internet Freedom: o Countering online hate speech o Fostering freedom online: the role of Internet intermediaries o Human rights and encryption o Principles for governing the Internet o Privacy, free expression and transparency o Protecting journalism sources in the digital age o Survey on privacy in Media and Information Literacy with youth perspectives o What if we all governed the Internet?
They are selected by an international and independent jury, consisting of six members who represent all types of media. Jury members are well-known for their work in the area of news gathering, journalism, press freedom, and freedom of expression. The Prize has been awarded to journalists and activists, in some cases posthumously. Although most countries have constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression, in practice, media are often unduly restricted in ways that do not meet international standards for legitimate limitations on freedom of expression.
Criminalized defamation in particular remains a persistent restriction on media freedom in parts of all regions. The first World Trends Report recorded that in , defamation was still criminalized in countries, although there had been a slow move towards decriminalization in recent years. Many of the laws pertaining to defamation include specific provisions for harsher punishment for speech or publications critical of heads of state, public officials, state bodies and the State itself.
Following campaigns to decriminalize defamation and landmark judicial rulings, the gradual trend towards decriminalization of defamation has continued, particularly in Africa, where at least four Member States decriminalized defamation between and Countries in every region have moved to advance the criminalization of defamation by extending legislation to online content. Cybercrime and anti-terrorism laws passed throughout the world have led to bloggers appearing before courts, with some serving time in prison.
A number of countries also continue to include harsh punishments for blasphemy and religious insult. Media freedom has also been impacted as recent years have seen a growing push to use legislative measures to combat hate speech, particularly in parts of Europe. In some regions, hate speech laws are administered without what has been seen as the requisite attention to such criteria as necessity or proportionality.
Legislation has varied in focus, but a striking trend has been a move from within a number of States and intergovernmental bodies to pressure internet companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to do more in this area. One recent example of this is the introduction of legislation in one country in Western Europe that requires internet platforms to remove potentially illegal content in less than 24 hours or risk steep fines.
In this context, legitimate news and political criticism could become a casualty of automated censorship processes. However, several of the remedies, such as new legislative efforts and increased pressure on internet intermediaries, are seen to pose new risks to media freedom.
At the same time, licensing has also been seen as a way for state authorities to constrain who can be a journalist and how free he or she can be. In several regions today, as the production and distribution of news are increasingly transferred to new media, licensing requirements have expanded in ways that have impinged on media freedom. For example, some States require online news outlets or bloggers with a certain number of readers to register with a government authority.
Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred. There has been a noticeable increase in the use of blocking and filtering of online content since , though it is difficult to find assessments as to how these relate to news media content, and whether they are justified in terms of international standards for legitimate limitations or not.
There is also an emerging trend in blanket slowdowns and shutdowns of whole platforms, applications and direct access to the internet itself. While global data on this trend can be difficult to obtain, available studies provide insights into such restrictions being placed on access to online media. The Open Observatory of Network Interference OONI , for example, has used crowdsourcing and open software to collect data on website censorship and traffic manipulation such as network throttling.
By performing over 1 million HTTP requests between and , OONI data provide a preliminary picture of targeted instances of censorship broken down by country. While such anomalies do not necessarily indicate intentional censorship, OONI states that they were able to confirm cases of deliberate censorship in 12 countries from the Arab, Asia and Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, and Western Europe and North America regions.
OONI also discovered the presence of software designed to manipulate internet traffic in 12 other countries, predominantly in Western Europe and North America, but also in the Arab, Africa, and Asia and Pacific regions. It should be noted that not all forms of online censorship are detectable through this method. Through conducting empirical experiments, the researchers found image filtering as well as blocking of certain combinations of keywords and images on the platforms WeChat and Sina Weibo.
This dramatically increased in to 56 documented cases of internet shutdowns in 18 countries, in the same regions. In many instances, States have argued that such actions are necessary to combat perceived rising threats from within and beyond their borders. Official justifications ranged from safeguarding government authority, reducing public dissidence, fighting terrorism, maintaining national security, preventing plagiarism during exams and protecting local businesses and economic interests.
The risk of such disruptions of access to, or dissemination of, information extends beyond media organizations as censorship inhibits political processes, limits peaceful protests, and prevents human rights defenders from documenting abuses by security forces. As the measures to inhibit media freedom online become increasingly common, however, campaigns to raise awareness of the threats posed by digital censorship and shutdowns have increased.
Access Now has led the KeepItOn campaign, joined by more than civil society organizations. A study from the Pew Research Center indicated that in 32 of the 38 countries surveyed, over 50 per cent of respondents said that it was important that people could use the internet without government censorship. In this trend of a rising awareness throughout the world of the threats posed to media freedom, one important development has been the growing robustness in transparency reports made available by Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major internet companies.
These transparency reports show the number of requests each entity receives from governments to take down content and access user data and although less frequently , the category of the request and whether the company complies or not. For example, as indicated in Figure , in the second half of , Google received a record number of content removal requests 15, from court orders, law enforcement and executive branches of government worldwide, bringing the total number of official requests the company had received since to 48, from more than countries across all regions.
Source: Google. Transparency Report — Government requests to remove content; Twitter. Twitter transparency report — Removal requests. When Facebook is added to the analysis, the number of requests it received dwarfed those received by Google and Twitter, also indicating a steady increase over the years.
Google has also released data about its compliance with these requests. What remains opaque, however, is the number of takedowns conducted outside of government requests, either by the company itself acting in accordance with its own Terms of Service or in response to user requests. For example, in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights affirmed that a portal, under the circumstances of the case, did not have immunity, as an intermediary, from liability for intemperate or threatening comments by those who responded to a news story.
It was a commercial portal, and that was a factor. National security and countering violent extremism National security concerns have been cited by many States to enact measures that present a clear challenge to media freedom, raising issues of necessity and proportionality. Across all regions, declarations of states of emergency have been a frequently cited reason for suspending or significantly curtailing free expression.
At times, states of emergency, ostensibly introduced to handle a particular moment of crisis, have become protracted, and journalists covering terrorism have been charged under laws that equate them with terrorists themselves. In addition to issues around mass surveillance and privacy discussed further below, anti-terrorism legislation has also led to the declaring of certain kinds of speech illegal, such as that which allegedly glorifies terrorism.
In regions across the globe, governments are moving to introduce such anti-terrorism laws or have increased the use of national security laws to combat the threat posed by pro-terrorist propaganda. However, terrorism is often an ill-defined concept in these laws, which can be interpreted overly broadly to restrict critical speech. The courts are pushing back on the breadth of these repressive laws, though, and in a few African countries where new anti-terrorism laws were created following the increased threat faced from regional violent extremist groups, independent judicial branches have struck down a number of the most egregious clauses, expressly citing violations of media freedom.
At the global level, in , several Special Rapporteurs in the area of free expression prepared a Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Countering Violent Extremism. It also recommends that States should not restrict reporting on acts, threats or promotion of terrorism and other violent activities unless the reporting itself is intended to incite imminent 30 UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, et al, However, a recent UNESCO study signals the lack of definitive evidence thus far in research of a clear and direct link between social media and violent radicalization processes for young people, highlighting the need to avoid policy based on assumptions that can lead to disproportionate limits on media freedom.
It is a key for transparency and development see Box As Kpargoi grew older, the memory of this perceived injustice became career defining, framing his understanding of the importance of access to information for ensuring government transparency and fostering democratic processes.
Thanks to his efforts, and those of many others, Liberia passed its first Freedom of Information Law in , the first country in West Africa to do so and the sixth in the broader African region, representing a tangible expression of progress on the road to greater transparency as a foundation for stable democracy.
For Kpargoi, although significant challenges remain in its implementation, the adoption of the law was a milestone that has led to the establishment of the Office for Freedom of Information and structures within government that are designed to supports its implementation. For Kpargoi, transparency and access to information are fundamental pillars for sustainable development, acting as the first defense against corruption.
I think access to information is the common thread that ensures good governance. His work serving as the Officer-in-Charge at the Liberia Media Center, where he publishes reports that analyze the state of freedom of expression in the country, shines a light on the role that access to information plays in paving the way forward for sustainable development. The results show that countries have now adopted freedom of information FOI Figure Member States by region with a freedom of information law or policy legislation or similar administrative regulations.
At the regional level, Africa has seen the highest growth, with 10 countries adopting FOI legislation in the last five years, more than doubling the number of countries in the region to have such legislation from nine to A similarly high growth rate has occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, where seven countries adopted FOI laws in the last five years, bringing the total to In addition, during the reporting period, two countries in the Arab region, two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and one country in Western Europe and North America adopted FOI legislation.
The vast majority of the 36 freedominfo. While there has been an increase in countries with FOI laws, their implementation and effectiveness vary considerably across the world. This development may in part reflect the progress made over the past two decades by civil society groups and States in the Open Government Partnership OGP —see below—in setting and insisting upon more demanding international standards. While it is too early to know how some of these FOI laws will be implemented, a few early markers already support the premise that strong protections result from strong laws.
In many parts of the world, a widespread lack of awareness about the right to information may be seen to compromise the existence of any legal safeguards. Additionally, journalists often do not make effective use of FOI laws for a multitude of reasons: official failure to respond to information requests, extensive delays, receipt of heavily redacted documents, arbitrarily steep fees for certain types of requests, and a lack of professional training.
In , the data. Similarly, as part of the OGP, a multilateral network established in , some 70 countries have now issued National Action Plans, the majority of which contain strong open data commitments designed to foster greater transparency, generate economic growth, empower citizens, fight corruption and more generally enhance governance.
These include helping to solve complex public problems by improving situational awareness, bringing a wider range of expertise and knowledge to bear on public problems, and by allowing policymakers, civil society groups and citizens to better target interventions and track impact. Open data efforts can also empower citizens by improving their capacity to make decisions and widen their choices, and by acting as a catalyst for social mobilization. Transparent and convenient access to government data is a crucial component of an enabling environment for freedom of information.
However, as with the implementation of FOI laws themselves, the implementation of open data policies is frequently deficient. Political momentum has thus emerged as a crucial factor in ensuring the effectiveness of open data platforms. Without political will, however, open data portals typically lapse into redundancy. This can be due to a range of factors, including a lack of content development capacity, a reluctance to broaden access to information in particular government agencies, a lack of financial resources, and the pervasiveness of a culture of government secrecy.
The collection and trade of personal information has become a key component of the internet, especially when key services—from search to communication among peers—are offered for free in exchange for the right to make use of the valuable traces users leave online. States, on their part, have increasingly adopted laws and policies to legalize monitoring of communication, justifying these practices with the need to defend their own citizens and national interests.
While legality is a precondition for legitimate limitations of human rights, the issue is 42 Open Data Charter a. Against this background, a shift has occurred in the balance of power between public and private entities that have become increasingly opaque with regard to what they collect and how they make use of it, and users, who have become increasingly transparent to those entities, often in ways in which users themselves have limited control or awareness.
This balance is only partially redressed by the move detailed above towards greater transparency created through the adoption of FOI laws and company transparency reports across the globe. In the years covered by this study, some governments have reaffirmed their rights to protect and enforce their sovereignty over their national information space, sometimes protecting their citizens from the interference of foreign entities, but not necessarily offering greater protections from their own surveillance and related actions.
In this environment, the UN Human Rights Council has taken a number of steps to highlight the importance of the universal right to privacy online. In , in a resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, it established a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. Countries have increasingly paid it heed as more and more of their citizens are directly participating in the exchange of data online.
Since , four new countries belonging to the Council of Europe have signed or ratified the Convention, as well as three countries that do not belong to the Council, from Africa and Latin America. During the same period, 23 countries revised their data protection laws, reflecting the new challenges to data protection in the digital era. Regional courts are also playing a noteworthy role in the development of online privacy regulations.
Privacy Shield, which includes data protection obligations on companies receiving personal data from the EU, safeguards on U. The court came to this decision in part because of the negative potential consequences that constant surveillance can have for freedom of expression online. Journalistic entities often and effectively fall within a data protection regime designed to apply when an organization, including a newspaper, collects users or keeps information about a living person.
How journalists and journalistic enterprises navigate the world of big data—including the increasingly important question of what constitutes a journalistic purpose—is likely to be a significant question in the years to come. Recital of the EU General Data Protection Regulation,57 which will take effect in May , is an example of regional authorities attempting to work out this relationship between journalism and data protection.
The processing of personal data solely for journalistic purposes…should be subject to derogations or exemptions from certain provisions of this Regulation if necessary to reconcile the right to the protection of personal data with the right to freedom of expression and information, as enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter. Alongside the regulatory advancements witnessed in the right to privacy online has come an increased recognition of the important role that data encryption plays in ensuring online privacy and media freedom.
While end-users are turning to open 56 Greenleaf This study in the UNESCO Series on Internet Freedom addresses the relevance of encryption to human rights in the media and communications field and offers policy recommendations for state practice and other stakeholders. This is highlighted in a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the freedom of opinion and expression, which also expresses concern about the lack of rationales that States give for impeding private encryption efforts.
Encrypted and anonymous communications may frustrate law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials, and they complicate surveillance, but state authorities have not generally identified situations—even in general terms, given the potential need for confidentiality—where a restriction has been necessary to achieve a legitimate goal.
Questions as to who is entitled to the privilege of source protection and in what circumstances have become more open to debate as the category of information gatherer and diffuser of news has expanded. Leading contemporary threats include mass surveillance technologies, mandatory data retention policies, and disclosure of personal digital activities by third party intermediaries.
Without a thorough understanding of how to shield their digital communications and traces, journalists and sources can unwittingly reveal identifying information. Both of these trends can have the adverse effect of undermining confidence in the law to uphold the right to protect sources, which in turn, can produce a chilling effect on public interest journalism that relies on confidential sources. An environment where surveillance is widespread, and unlimited by due process or judicial oversight, cannot sustain the presumption of protection of sources.
This study in the UNESCO Series on Internet Freedom examines changes that impact on legal frameworks that support protection of journalistic sources in the digital age. The Arab region had the most notable developments, where 86 per cent of States had demonstrated shifts, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean 85 per cent , Asia and the Pacific 75 per cent , Western Europe and North America 66 per cent and finally Africa, where 56 per cent of States examined had revised their source protection laws.
As of , at least 60 States had adopted some form of whistle-blower protection. Attorney General of Burundi Convention against Corruption: Signature and Ratification Status. Nonetheless, where they exist, these legal protections have not necessarily worked to increase the ability of journalists to uncover corruption and for sources to come forward without repercussions. Internet governance and media freedom Understanding the context in which media freedom operates in the digital age requires stepping back to examine larger developments in the internet governance ecosystem.
Media, freedom of expression and freedom of information have been long recognized as principles of internet governance, included in the Geneva Declaration and Tunis Commitment of the World Summit on the Information Society WSIS.
In broad terms, two different visions have been seen to shape global internet governance debates in recent years. Countries in the Central and Eastern European, Asia-Pacific, and African regions all have legislation requiring some localization. There has been a rise in reported data localization proposals and policies globally,87 but the trend has been particularly pronounced in the Asian and European regions, often based on arguments of enhancing national security, protecting personal privacy, aiding law enforcement, and preventing foreign surveillance.
On the other hand, the dominant practice has been towards a unified, universal internet with broadly shared norms and principles. The ROAM Principles combine standards for process multi-stakeholderism to avoid potential capture of the internet by a single power centre with corresponding risks , with recommendations about substance what those principles should be.
The fundamental position is for a global internet where ROAM principles frame regional, national and local diversities. In this context, significant objectives are media freedom, network interoperability, net neutrality and the free flow of information minimal barriers to the rights to receive and impart information across borders, and any limitations to accord with international standards.
For instance, a particular balance can have adverse impact on the essential openness of the internet or on accessibility, which illustrates why internet decision-making here is best done through a multistakeholder modality.
A major characteristic of the global efforts to realize internet universality has been the emphasis on multistakeholderism, broadening involvement in decision-making from States to include participation from civil society, the technical community and the private sector, as well as recognizing the role of the media. Another result of the multistakeholder approach has been the Tallinn Manual 2. All this provides important context, as developments in cybersecurity laws increasingly affect media freedom.
The extensive debate on these governance issues at the international level has also occurred at the regional level, though unevenly. However, many contain vague restrictions that could be used to curtail media freedom. By contrast, other countries, particularly in Latin America, have pushed forward rights- respecting internet-related legislation, including provisions on such things as the amount of data a company can retain on its users, judicial review of takedown requests for illegal content and a commitment to the principles of net neutrality.
Gender equality and media freedom The freedom to participate in media, the rights of expression, and access to and production of media content are all issues that can be fully understood only by considering their gender equality dimensions.
These issues often overlap, and they have been compounded by the growing complexity of the digital sphere. Across all these issues, women do not enjoy full equality with men, nor do they have their work valued to the same extent as men. In many newsrooms around the world, there continues to be a culture that makes it difficult for women to progress.
This ongoing issue appears to have stagnated in recent years. Minimizing the divide between the number of women and men in senior decision-making roles in relation to internet governance is an important step to ensuring that gender-based issues relating to access, privacy and security are prioritized. Although there has been increased recognition of the importance of freedom of information, little emphasis has been placed on ensuring women have equal access to it.
Social barriers such as illiteracy and lack of digital empowerment have created stark inequalities in navigating the tools used for access to information, often exacerbating lack of awareness of issues that directly relate to women and gender, such as sexual health. There have also been examples of other more extreme measures, such as local community authorities banning or restricting mobile phone use for girls and unmarried women in their communities.
Women journalists face unique concerns, such as personal safety when dealing with confidential sources, which can restrict their freedom of expression and add challenges that can hamper their ability to carry Kovacs Another dimension is the manifestation of physical violence as virtual violence through the increased incidence of hate speech and abuse directed towards women and the LGBTQI community. Such abuse has had a chilling effect and disrupted the online participation of these communities.
How to counter the proliferation of such abuse has proved a serious challenge for policy-makers wanting to minimize the harm directed towards vulnerable groups. However, technological advancements do not progress uniformly; such advancements often spread unevenly across regions, across gender, and across digital and other divides. New technologies can become technologies of freedom as well as potential instruments of surveillance and even coercion. In the period covered by this Report, the right to seek and receive information has improved, but the right to impart has faced new curbs.
Freedom of information and open data activities have expanded, but conditions for journalists, including protection of sources and protection against various forms of harassment, intimidation and exclusion have declined. Wholesale disruptions like internet shutdowns have become much more common. Gender gaps in journalism and law continue to affect the implementation of full media freedom.
Since the publication of the first Report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, the power of private internet platforms and social media companies to influence media freedom has increased dramatically. Violent conflict across the globe as well as terrorism cause threats that many States believe justify the curtailment of media freedom. In this context, emphases on sovereignty and calls for the defence of national security have proven powerful. National security has been invoked to weaken the protection of journalists, increase surveillance efforts and shut down newspapers and radio stations.
In many countries around the world, this has led to an often substantial narrowing of the freedom that new technologies can permit. This comes on top of pre-existing defamation and blasphemy laws. Media freedom, as designating the liberty for all actors to use media platforms for public expression, is intertwined with capacity to enrich and deepen the multiplicity of cultures.
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression each recognized the need of different societies to protect and promote their constitutive values while encouraging open debates and free expression, and on the basis of respect for human rights. CLT; La Rue As with other considerations, in a multicultural world, any limitations on media freedom should be framed within the wider norms of universal human rights and the principle of non- discrimination.
In , the International Publishers Association adopted a manifesto on freedom to publish. Advances in media freedom depend on the continued vitality of a long-standing public and institutional commitment to international norms such as those embodied in Article 19 of the ICCPR and similar documents. As changes in technology continue to broaden and internet companies gain increasing influence, the commitment to this norm will require continued attention. Trends here cover pluralism at the level of access, economic models, content diversity and gender in media.
Access to a plurality of media has continued to grow, thanks to greatly expanded access to the internet and the digital switchover. This has enabled an increased availability of media content, largely through sharing and user-generated content on social media, in addition to the multiplied number of digital channels to which individuals have access across television and radio. Yet this greater diversity of content has been accompanied by a prominent trend, prevalent across the globe, but differently articulated in each region, of a new form of polarized pluralism.
Multiple kinds of information and programming are available, but each segmented group may only ingest one branch of the whole. In other regions, such as the Arab States and Africa, broadcasting has represented a more central element of this trend towards polarization, especially in countries where liberalization has led to increased sectarianism and capture of the media by competing political actors.
Some elements of this fragmentation have also occurred at the infrastructural level. Traditional business models for the news media continue to be disrupted, leading to vertical and horizontal concentration and introduction of new types of cross ownership. The ongoing challenges to media funding have led many news media outlets to experiment with new economic models, such as the introduction of pay-walls and crowd-funding initiatives, with mixed results.
Pluralism continues to be diluted by the ongoing underrepresentation of women in both the media workforce, particularly in decision-making roles, and in media content. Women still face significant barriers in terms of career progression. In response, civil society has intensified its efforts to diversify the media and counteract the endemic marginalization of women, notably through the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Media and Gender and by applying the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.
Pluralism requires sensitivity to a variety of economic ownership models and a technical architecture of delivery in which multichannel and multi-platform distribution is available. Pluralism often requires strong commitments on behalf of governments to public service and community media to provide for diversity. This study examines these important dimensions.
In addition, the explosion of access to media through the internet, the increasingly common practice for users to consume information across a variety of platforms, and the rise of algorithmic profiling bring to the fore questions about users and how they access—or are shielded from accessing—a plurality of sources. The chapter thus analyses continuing trends that have affected and continue to affect pluralism—such as concentration of ownership and the balance between state-led and private-led provision of information—and emerging trends, which require new conceptual tools to understand whether the abundance of information and presence of new media platforms in fact reflects and serves the principles of media pluralism.
The following sections assess trends in media pluralism in terms of access to a range of media, the production and availability of diversity of content on each media platform and across platforms, and in terms of plurality of economic models and multiplicity of owners and media types, all of which structure the consumption and production of information. If you're a new company and don't embrace this standard, then the market will likely show you what mistake you've made.
While this method would be infinitely better if the mounts were threaded left-handed, the universal nature absolutely beats out any of the warts. If there were LH threads there one would potentially loosen the LH threaded joint when trying to secure the can onto the host. I have one can with one LH joint in the same location, adapter to can body, and I absolutely hate it.
It is fine when I am taking the can off, but it is absolutely annoying because it comes loose at that joint every time I try to mount it. It sucks, they got it right with using all RH threads. The, to the contrary, keep the can threads greased up, in order to prevent such an issue.. I have a Gemtech One and have been looking for a bi-lock to 1. Can you post which one you have used and what you recommend? Your email address will not be published. I know it seems like a great idea to have LH threads in the adapter-to-can joint but to isn't.
Sounds like you're threading your can on too tightly. The nice thing about LH thread is they won't come loose, they'll tighten on. You risk it locking onto the gun more than unthreading anything so you don't need to tighten it on like a crazy person. Dave Merrill. SHOT American Made: Aero Precision. Preview - Right Light - Handheld or Mounted?
Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. Print off as many as you like ammo not included. November 21, at pm. Chaz says:. November 27, at am. Area says:. January 7, at pm. Ace says:. May 27, at pm. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. View Comments I know it seems like a great idea to have LH threads in the adapter-to-can joint but to isn't.
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