Category Archives: Human Rights in Cyberspace

State Responsibility to Protect

State Responsibility to Respect, Protect, & Fulfill Human Rights Obligations in Cyberspace

In this article, Gabor Rona and Lauren Aarons explore how international human rights law applies to cyberspace. They address the substantive obligations of the state responsibility to respect, ensure, and promote human rights in cyberspace, including protecting against third party abuse and providing remedies for violations. Finally, the authors outline the limitations of and permissible restrictions on human rights obligations in cyberspace.

Square Legal Pegs in Round Cyber Holes: The NSA, Lawfulness, and the Protection of Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties in Cyberspace

One of the major themes of the Cyberspace Policy Review (the Review) is that a national strategy on cybersecurity must be consistent with the protection of privacy rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the law. Indeed, President Obama underscored that point in announcing the Review when he said that his Administration “will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans,” reiterating the theme from his inaugural address that choosing between our safety and our ideals is a false choice. The authors of the Review are to be commended for encouraging a national dialogue on how this can be achieved while promoting national and economic security. Intelligence agencies, particularly the National Security Agency (NSA), are at the intersection of these vital interests, and intelligence lawyers face daunting but tremendously exciting and important opportunities to help ensure that their agencies operate in ways that effectively balance demands for both privacy and civil liberties and for the security of cyberspace.

Cybersecurity and Freedom on the Internet

Cybersecurity has become a national imperative and a government priority. Increased cybersecurity will help protect consumers and businesses, ensure the availability of critical infrastructures on which our economy depends, and strengthen national security. However, cybersecurity efforts must be carefully tailored in order to preserve privacy, liberty, innovation, and the open nature of the Internet.2 To design an effective and balanced cybersecurity strategy, each part of the country’s critical infrastructure3 must be considered separately. Solutions that may be appropriate for the power grid or financial networks may not be suitable for securing the public portions of the Internet that constitute the very architecture for free speech essential to our democracy. Policy toward government systems can be much more prescriptive than policy toward private systems. The characteristics that have made the Internet such a success – its openness, its decentralized and user-controlled nature, and its support for innovation and free expression – may be put at risk if heavy-handed policies are enacted…