Framing the Net

Framing the Net

The Internet and Human Rights

Rikke Frank Jørgensen

This important book examines how human rights are being applied in the digital era. The focus on ‘internet freedoms’ and ‘internet rights’ has risen considerably in recent years, and in July 2012 the first resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Chapter 2: Revisiting public and private

Rikke Frank Jørgensen

Subjects: law - academic, internet and technology law, politics and public policy, human rights


One of the characteristics of the internet era is the way it changes the modal- ities for public and private life. Public life is increasingly recorded, trackable, shareable, and utilized as a commodity to generate income. Private life, by contrast, requires a special effort, which is an option that one has to acti- vate. Moreover, policy controversies related to internet regulation in many cases concern conflicting interests related to various internet domains and activities as public in relation to private. This is the case, for example, in con- troversies where ownership rights conflict with online practices of sharing information. In order to understand the human rights implications of these dynamics, the public/private distinction is next explored, including how it relates to the internet metaphors presented in the second part of this book.

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