The digital age began in 1939 with the construction of the first digital computer. In the sixty-five years that have followed, the influence of digitisation on our everyday lives has grown steadily and today digital technology has a greater influence on our lives than at any time since its development. This book examines the role played by digital technology in both the exercise and suppression of human rights. The global digital environment has allowed us to reinterpret the concept of universal human rights. Discourse on human rights need no longer be limited by national or cultural boundaries and individuals have the ability to create new forms in which to exercise their rights or even to bypass national limitations to rights. The defence of such rights is meanwhile under constant assault by the newfound ability of states to both suppress and control individual rights through the application of these same digital technologies.
This book gathers together an international group of experts working within this rapidly developing area of law and technology and focuses their attantion on the specific interaction between human rights and digital technology. This is the first work to explore the challenges brought about by digital technology to fundamental freedoms such as privacy, freedom of expression, access, assembly and dignity. It is essential reading for anyone who fears digital technology will lead to the 'Big Brother' state.
"These kinds of issues are difficult but they are what set the ethical framework for the future. Books like that edited by Mathias Klang and Andrew Murray on Human Rights in the Digital Age, should be required reading for all those interested in the future good health of our subject.
It is the future battlegrounds that Human Rights supporters should be identifying and occupying, not wasting valuable time and energy re-fighting old wars." - Professor Conor Gearty in "Can Human Rights Survive?", Oxford University Press, 2006
Introduction: Human Rights and Equity in Cyberspace. Pixels, Pimps and Prostitutes: Human Rights and the Cyber Sex Trade. The New Face of Child Pornography. Regulating Hatred. Free Expression and Defamation. Internet Service Providers and Liability. The Digital Divide: Why the 'the' is misleading. Filtering, Blocking and Rating: Chaperones or Censorship? Firewalls and Power: An Overview of Global State Censorship of the Internet. Cyber Property. Virtual Sit-Ins, Civil Disobedience and Cyberterrorism. Privacy: Charting its Developments and Prospects. Employee Surveillance. Privacy, Surveillance and Identity. Should States Have a Right to Informational Privacy? Code, Access Control. Biotechnology and Rights: Where We are Coming From and Where are we Going?