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

Acting on India’s POSH Act

Workplace Sexual Harassment Law Needs Effective Implementation 

For more than a year, India has been stunned by women journalists, students, actors, and other women professionals throughout the country who have gone public with accounts of sexual...

21 March 2019

Commentary by Anita Cheria, Director, OpenSpace

Dangerous Words, Deadly Weapons

Business Leadership Needed to Confront Growing Extremism

The horrific killing of at least 50 people in two New Zealand mosques is a tragic reminder of twin viruses attacking our societies - growing anti-immigrant, nationalist and racist rhetoric...

Rights and Wrongs - Amazon and New York: Lessons for the Extractive Sector

The unraveling of Amazon’s plans to set up its second headquarters at Long Island City in New York is a unique moment in the annals of corporate interface with communities opposed to their presence. 

In most instances, companies have won the...