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United Nations: Internet

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterparts at the United Nations on the regulation of access to the internet by Member States. (204318)

The UN World Summit on the Information Society in 2005 reaffirmed the right of individuals to access information and encouraged governments to meet their responsibilities in ensuring equitable access to Information Communication Technology, including the internet.

In taking forward the summit recommendations, the UN Secretary-General established an Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The forum provides a framework for dialogue between governments, as well as the private sector and civil society, on a range of public policy issues relating to the internet. The UK is actively engaged in the IGF and will be represented at its next meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 3-6 December 2008.

The Government remain concerned that access to information is greatly restricted in many countries around the world. We continue to raise our concerns on this, and other related issues, as part of our ongoing human rights dialogue with other countries, both bilaterally and in international fora.