When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) were adopted, few had imagined such a place as “cyberspace” and that the principles outlined in these two documents would one day be applied to this now-ubiquitous virtual arena of human affairs. Yet today, mass surveillance activities by nation states and other cybersecurity measures are having a profound—and sometimes disillusioning—effect on our rights to privacy and free expression.

Following up on their successful “Controlling Economic Cyber Espionage” workshop, held at SU College of Law in June 2015, ISPL and its partner the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) hosted a second workshop on “Human Rights in Cyberspace” at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia (home to CCDCOE), on Oct. 1 and 2, 2015.

Leading the discussion on this critical, rapidly expanding topic of international, human rights, and cyber law were Lt. Col. Jens van Laak, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff, CCDCOE, and William C. Banks, Interim Dean, SU College of Law and Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.

Visit the CCDCOE Workshop Webpage


Human Rights in Cyberspace: Scoping, Protecting, Regulating International Human Rights Law and Tackling Future Aspects of Cyber Norms

Oct. 1, 2015

08:30 – 08:45 Opening & Welcome

  • LTC Jens van Laak, Chief of Staff, NATO CCDCOE
  • Gabor Rona, Visiting Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and former International Legal Director of Human Rights First (Workshop Chair)
  • William C. Banks, Director ISPL

Topic: The scope of IHRL as it applies in cyber, with a particular focus on the right to respect for private life and correspondence as well as
 the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

08.45 – 09:35
 The Rule of Law: The Meaning and Evolution of the Right to Privacy in the Cybersecurity Debate

  • Anja Mihr, Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Governance and Economics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

09:35 – 10:25
 Respect the Right/Respect for the Right/Promote or Fulfill the Right (ICESCR)

  • Gabor Rona, Chair, Visiting Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and former International Legal Director of Human Rights First

Topic: Extraterritorial aspects of human rights

10:45 – 11:35
 The Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaty Obligations

  • Marko Milanovic, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham School of Law

11:35 – 12:25  Rights in Cyberspace: Custom and UN Law

Ralph Wilde, Reader in Law, University College London

13:30 – 14:20
 Law Enforcement Access to Data Across Borders

  • Jennifer Daskal, Assistant Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

Topic: Protecting and promoting IHRL in cyberspace and effective enjoyment of IHRL

14:20 – 15:10
 Communication Surveillance and Surveillance Frameworks

  • Frank La Rue, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Guatemala

15:30 – 16:20
 Right to Privacy in Practice: Privacy Enhancing Technology and the Project on a New Infosite of the HCLU

  • Rita Zágoni, Data Protection Programme Officer, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
Oct. 2, 2015

Topic: Sources and kinds of conflicts involving IHRL in cyberspace

08:30 – 09:20
 The Right to Freedom of Expression and the Right to Anonymity in Cyber

  • Robert R. Spano, Judge, European Court of Human Rights

09:20 – 10:10
 Who Should Protect Your Digital Shadow?

  • Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Member, Icelandic Parliament, and Chair, International Modern Media Institution

Topic: Reforms of cybersecurity norms: future aspects

10:30 – 11:20 
Standards for Transparency and Oversight in National Security Regulation

  • Nico van Eijk, Professor of Information Law, University of Amsterdam

11:20 – 12:10
 The Cyber Future of Privacy Norms in the Context of Cross-Border Dataflow

Henning Lahmann, Journalist and Lawyer, iRights (Berlin, Germany)
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