Human Rights Considerations of Internet Filtering

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Last updated 2019-04-20 (latest revision 2018-10-17)
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This document is a survey of the filtering of content. The focus is on the human rights involved as cited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" which is one of the foundational documents for HRPC. The recent years have seen an increase in content filtering for a variety of reasons including to further the aims of governments who wish to maintain their rule and suppress dissent but also to enforce cultural norms, human rights and compliance with the law. Filters also exist for security (botnets, malware etc.), user-defined policies (parental control, corporate blocking of social networks during work time, etc.), spam control, upload of copyrighted material and other reasons. This document is based on several real world considerations: the existence of national and regional sovereignty, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) that provide connectivity and content hosting services, Over- the-top (OTTs) and Content Delivery Platforms (CDPs) that play a disproportionate role in capturing the attention and "eyeballs" of many of the users of the Internet.


Nalini Elkins (
Barry Shein (
Vittorio Bertola (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)