Matthias C. Kettemann, Co-Chair of the Internet Rights & Principles Coalition/Institute of International Law, University of Graz
The number of reports published on human rights on the internet in the last year alone is staggering. Who has the time to read them all, some might ask. The good news: You don’t have to. If you take the time to read one report, make it GISWatch 2011.
Written by internationally renowned experts, the report brings its readers easy-to-read and yet comprehensive articles, many with policy proposals, on the most important challenges protecting human rights on the Internet is facing today. But the Internet is about people and their stories. This is where the report's country studies come in. They shed light on how the Internet can truly be a catalyst for change – and how it can be misused.
As the speed of information and communication interchange increases, finding a collection of studies that allow readers to stop and study, to gather their thoughts and form opinions on the future development of human rights protection online, is exceedingly welcome. This report is just what international Internet lawyers need to, first, understand some of the most pressing issues of today, and, then, to see why their work, their efforts, their energies matter. The stories the report tells are impressive, saddening, moving, uplifting.
The people at the centre of these stories are why we got involved in protecting human rights on the Internet. APC and Hivos deserve our thanks. And the people of the world our unflinching commitment to their human rights. Online and offline.