Friday, November 8

Freedom of Expression And Democracy in the Digital Age

- Opportunities, rights, responsibilities

 In his keynote speech at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society today, the Commissioner highlighted restrictions to media freedom on grounds of national security as particularly serious ones, following the recent disclosure of the US and UK mass surveillance programmes.

"Spying on individuals on a massive scale, without strict legal rules and democratic oversight, can have adverse effects on freedom of expression by provoking a chilling effect on investigative journalists and activists who might fear exposing their sources."

The Commissioner stressed that we must ensure that media freedom applies to the new, digital environment where bloggers, activists and ordinary citizens have joined journalists in reporting in the public interest. "Maintaining an open Internet, without undue restrictions by the authorities (or the private industry) is therefore an important dimension of my work on freedom of expression".

Nils Muiznieks, EU Commissioner for Human Rights, <>  Belgrade, 7/11/2013 -

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