It's the End of the (Offline) World as We Know It: from Human Rights to Digital Human Rights – a Proposed Typology
37 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2020 Last revised: 18 Dec 2020
Date Written: September 26, 2020
״The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online״ is used in recent years as a dominant concept in international discourse about human rights in cyberspace. But does this notion of ‘normative equivalency’ between 'offline' and 'online' afford fully effective protection for rights in the digital age? This is the question at the heart of this Article. We first review the development of human rights in cyberspace as conceptualized in international fora, and critically evaluate the normative equivalency paradigm adopted by international bodies for the online application of human rights. In the latter part of this Article, we attempt to describe the contours of a new digital human rights framework, which goes beyond the normative equivalency paradigm. We propose such a framework should be conceptualized as built upon existing human rights norms, but containing additional protections corresponding to unique features and challenges of actors and activity in cyberspace. After laying down the normative justifications, for recognizing new digital human rights, we offer a typology of three generations in the evolution of digital human rights.
Keywords: digital human rights, international human rights law, right of access to the Internet, human rights generations
JEL Classification: K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation