Information & Communication Technology

The Transformative Potential of ICT to Support Human Rights

08 May 2018

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

IHRB's Chief Executive John Morrison delivered the keynote speech at the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) meeting in Brussels on 8 May 2018.

Entitled "The Transformative Potential of ICT to Support Human Rights - Sleeping Giants in the Valley of Opportunity", he highlights the benefits of the ICT revolution: freedom of expression and improved access to other human rights; the Internet of Things, and 'wonder of all wonders' blockchain. But he also warns of three 'sleeping giants' in the ICT realm: data privacy, consent, and fake news.  

He asks:

"Where does an ICT company’s responsibility lie? It is inevitable that governments will lean on companies to do the censorship for them – weeding out the fake and keeping the true. But truth is a philosophical concept, and companies are not made up of philosophers. Nor are they made up of lawyers or human rights experts. Companies can try to pass the buck back to the governments, saying it is the state’s responsibility – but companies do exercise power to control content, under the omnibus term ‘policies’.

Read the full speech here

Latest IHRB Publications

The Governance Legacy of Mega-Sporting Events: A Golden Opportunity to Promote Human Rights

Human rights’ next of kin is the global anti-corruption movement. These two efforts increasingly work in tandem, creating the conditions in which humans flourish. Their synergy has at least two explanations. Most obviously, we know that corruption...

Channelling Sir Geoffrey Chandler on the History and Future of Business and Human Rights

I write from Tokyo this week where I am honouring a longstanding commitment to address business and human rights issues. But there is nowhere in the world I would rather be today - professionally or personally - than with you at the Bonavero...

06 December 2018

Commentary by Bennett Freeman

Rights and Wrongs: Best Or Loudest?

Last week, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, visited India. He met a few leading women activists and journalists who use the social media platform extensively, in order to understand better how they felt about the space his company...