Human Rights in the Digital Era

Legal scholar Dr Upendra Baxi recently opined that protecting human rights in the digital era is a complex challenge for governments everywhere and more so in the case of India. After reading through his article and getting to know about the report on ‘Disinformation and Freedom of Opinion and Expression’, which was recently submitted by UNHRC Special Rapporteur Irene Khan for discussion, we decided to explore the subject from a legal and policy perspective. Through our project on ‘Human Rights in the Digital Era’ we seek to highlight the intersectional difficulties in protecting and upholding human rights when the digital realm dominates the lives of all citizens.  (more…)

Need for the Re-Conceptualization of Human Rights in the Digital Era

Our lives are now controlled by digital technologies that subconsciously influence our judgments and have a bearing on our decisions, freedom, and perception of things. Digital technology has transformed the means through which human rights are both exercised and violated by affecting our freedom of speech and expression, association, right to privacy, and right against harassment, amongst others. The emergence and evolution of ‘digital’ rights have challenged and transformed the more traditional understanding of human rights. Undoubtedly, the digital arena is an indispensable tool for the larger public. However, we often come across information on how digital technologies are increasingly undermining human rights. Data collection, privatization, surveillance, and security are some of the issues that affect our digital rights. But what about the ripple effect caused by our digital rights on our human rights?   (more…)

Proposed Regulation of OTT Platforms and Digital Content in India : Implications and the Way Ahead

India is predicted to become the 6th largest market for OTT (Over-the-top) platforms by 2024, with digital media reaching a valuation of $5.1 billion by 2021 alone. This growth can be credited to several factors including record low internet prices and the proliferation of mobile devices. This massive and undeniable change in the media landscape raises, perhaps inevitably, the issue of the integration of digital media into a broader policy landscape. The dialogue surrounding the regulation of digital media in all its forms has been steadily gaining momentum globally and in India. The question of content regulation in particular has proven to be a complex and nuanced issue with different stakeholders such as the government and media entities representing varied perspectives. (more…)