Internet and Social Media in Asia: Battleground for Freedom of ExpressionTweet
Recent developments and advancements on the Internet in Asia, including the tremendous growth in Internet accessibility and the use of social media, have created an unprecedented platform and space for free speech and opinions particularly in less open societies in the region. As a result, many governments in Asia have heightened efforts to restrict and control the Internet and the use of social media. Based on the cases compiled in this publication, the following key emerging trends and concerns relating to freedom of expression on the Internet and social media in the region have been identified:
- Heightened censorship measures during specific key political events, as well as the employment of mechanisms to censor, block, or filter out online contents. More often than not, these measures are implemented in a nontransparent manner.
- The increasing use of existing harsh criminal laws (including laws relating to national security and incitement to hatred), as well as the introduction of new laws and policies, which are often vaguely worded and overly broad, to criminalise free speech online.
- Increasing liability of intermediaries over online contents, and the growing pressure on intermediaries to play the role of regulating the Internet.
- Violations of freedom of expression, including cyber attacks and physical threats and harassment, by non-state actors, who in some cases are allegedly employed by governments.
- Vietnam: Joint NGO Letter to the UN ECOSOC regarding the Consultative Status of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF)
- AICHR to hold its second meeting in Danang, Vietnam, 28 June – 2 July
- VIETNAM – Three Christians arrested for gathering to worship
- VIETNAM – 164 International Human Rights Leagues condemn crackdown on human rights defenders
Other Items on East Asia Country Programme,South Asia Country Programme
- Item 2: Annual Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the OHCHR and the Secretary‐General ‐ General Debate
- Item 10: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Surya Subedi
- Item 6: Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Plenary on Bangladesh
- Item 4: Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention – General Debate