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UN: Forced 'net disconnection violates civil rights
Fri, 20th May 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

A UN human rights expert has called mandatory internet disconnection, even in the case of copyright violation, a "disproportionate" measure which violates an international covenant on civil rights. 

The report by the UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, on the right to freedom of expression, was released earlier this week. 

In the report, La Rue urged State bodies to "repeal or amend existing intellectual copyright laws which permit users to be disconnected from internet access, and to refrain from adopting such laws."

La Rue also said he is "deeply concerned" by the trend toward State-led internet filtering and censorship. 

The New Zealand Government recently pushed through new legislation that makes mandatory internet disconnection one of the potential repercussions for copyright infringement. The Government also has a voluntary internet filter list, created with the intention of blocking child pornography though some have expressed concern at the potential for the list to be used to block otherwise legitimate content. 

Photo credit: balleyne via Flickr