Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology

Global Politics, Law and International Relations

Edited by Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth

In a digitally connected world, the question of how to respect, protect and implement human rights has become unavoidable. This contemporary Research Handbook offers new insights into well-established debates by framing them in terms of human rights. It examines the issues posed by the management of key Internet resources, the governance of its architecture, the role of different stakeholders, the legitimacy of rule making and rule-enforcement, and the exercise of international public authority over users. Highly interdisciplinary, its contributions draw on law, political science, international relations and even computer science and science and technology studies.
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Chapter 5: Cybersecurity and human rights

Myriam Dunn Cavelty and Camino Kavanagh


This chapter bridges the gap between cybersecurity politics and human rights literature by discussing the threat to the right to privacy, freedom of expression and the free flow of information posed by state and non-state actors’ actions, as well as detailing the various efforts by supranational organizations and advocacy groups to strengthen human rights protection in the digital realm. Based on the work of some of these advocacy groups, we attempt to define a middle ground between cybersecurity and human rights. Importantly, we think it is necessary to take a stance against the common conception that national security and human rights as they relate to cyberspace are always incompatible. Through rights-respecting design of cybersecurity law and policy and, very importantly, technology that is security- and rights-respecting by design, both ‘camps’ can be reconciled, with benefits for all.

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