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Human rights can give guidance to the protection of data in cyber space under certain conditions

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    Predrag TASEVSKI

The usage of Internet in the past few years is drastically increasing. In details, [1, 2] each year number of users using Internet per 100 inhabitants is increasing for near 10 percent. In the other hand, people that are not using the Internet is correspondingly dropping. Along the line, the access to Internet, i.e. cyberspace has become a vital step in everyday life. We connect to Internet through various of devices. In view of this, we expose data, along with hatred feelings about other rights. Therefore, cyberspace has a vital impact in human rights, privacy and right to freedom of speech. For this reason, in this essay we will discuss and provide the guidance to the protection of data in cyber space under certain conditions. And subsequently, we will highlight the pros and cons.

Moreover, the definition of cyber space is as a global, borderless and nautral space offering an environment that consists of many participants with the ability to influence each other. Particularly to Froomkin [3] is that Internet could increase communication among all citizens. As well as, it could increase citizens participation in decision making processes. Likewise could increase the legitimacy of governments and governance structures. However, opposite view for cyberspace, or in other words “new romantic” [4] is that is misleading for the development of a clear vision from a legal prospective. Also, the broader concept of ‘right to access’ it may be limited and interfere with human rights in cyberspace in the plurality of state and non-state actors. Additionally, it is clear that the Internet provides unparalleled opportunities for the promotion and advancement of human rights, most centrally the right to seek, receive and impart information [5]. As well as, raises a difficult questions of how to simultaneously protect potential competing rights.

Obviously without question it is increasingly difficult to define human rights and responsibilities in cyberspace, noted Mansell [6]. Yet, when we discuss the human right to importance of security, bear in mind that always it refers to national and private security. Anyway, one very good example and discussion about the freedom and security in cyberspace was in May on Stockholm Internet Forum 2013 [7], where I was personally presented as participant. Particularly, we discussed the relationship between freedom and security in cyberspace, where the panelists gave their opinions emphasizing the need to keep the Internet free to make sure that it continues to be an enabler for economic growth, freedom of speech and the access to information. On the contrary, others emphasized the need to fight crime on the Internet by implementing existing laws and not necessarily by introducing new legislation contradictory to already laid down principles and norms. Turning to security, they underline the need to define security of what for whom. Explicitly, some of the participants do not feel safe on the Internet, and for that, there is need for law enforcement to improve their capabilities to fight crimes against individuals committed online. However, these measures should not limit the freedom of expression or basic human rights.

In conclusion, we have presented above different points of view regarding the human rights coupled within the protection of data in cyberspace. And with this, we can summarize that actually it is not an easy task to give a guidance for human right to the protection of data in cyberspace. Especially that this issue has been discussed in past few years, without any resolution and so forth. Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that by pursuing security coupled with freedom always leads to awkward risk.


[1] Internet users per 100 inhabitants 2001-2011, 2012. International Telecommunications Union, Geneva. link. Retrieved on 03/01/2014.

[2] Internet users per 100 inhabitants 2006-2013, 2013. International Telecommunications Union, Geneva. link. Retrieved on 03/01/2014.

[3] A. Michael Froomkin, January 2003. Toward a critical theory of cyberspace. Hardvard Law Review, volume116, number 3.

[4] Vittorio Fanchiotti and Jean Paul Pierini, 2012. Impact of Cyberspace on Human Rights and Democracy. 4th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, Tallinn, Estonia.

[5] Austrian human Rights Commission. September 2013. Background paper: Human rights in cyberspace.

[6] Robin Mansell, 2004. Introduction – human rights and equity in cyberspace. LSE Research Online. The London School of Economics and Political Science.

[7] Reconciling freedom and security in cyberspace, May 2013. Stockholm Internet Forum 2013. link. Retrieved on 03/01/2014.