Content regulation and the duty of States to protect fundamental rights

13 November 2007 - A Workshop on Openness in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The workshop seeks to enhance engagement of intended beneficiaries & 'vulnerable groups' in negotiations around what constitutes illegal/harmful content, for whom, who should intervene at what type/level of harmful content and how. Central to this debate is the role of government and recognition that states have a duty to protect the rights of all to freedom of expression & information. Specifically, it aims to document case studies that identifies what constitutes 'harmful' content on the internet, to analyse impacts of various content regulation models on women's freedom of expression and access to information, and surface concrete recommendations by end-users to address content regulation and censorship issues on the internet.


Association for Progressive Communications Women's Networking Support Program (APC WNSP)
European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA)
Council of Europe (COE)


Namita Malhotra (India) is a legal researcher at the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, India, and teaches a course on “Rethinking Media laws” at a women's college. She works on issues of media censorship, media laws, intellectual property, open content and gender.

Malcolm Hutty (United Kingdom) is the Head of Public Affairs at LINX (the London Internet Exchange,, Chair of the Network Security Information Exchange and a member of a number of organisations relating to internet regulation, including the Internet Crime Forum, and the Home Secretary's Taskforce for Child Protection on the Internet.

Dr. Matthias Traimer (Austria) is acting as the Chair of the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services in the Council of Europe. He is also a university teacher for Public, Constitutional and Media Law in Vienna and Graz, Austria.

Adrianna Veloso (Brazil) is a journalist and video maker. She works as a regional coordinator for Digital Culture Politics in the Ministry of Culture of the State of Minas Gerais, and is an active member of many Brazilian networks such as g2g, Midiatatica, Metareciclagem and Indymedia.

Aditional Information
Workshop report “Content regulations from gender and development perspectives” (IGF, Athens, 2006): official workshop report.

APC WNSP contribution for the second meeting of the IGF “The world wide web of desire - content regulation on the internet”: the paper explores some of the paradoxes that emerge in content regulation discussions.