Thursday, December 2

Digital rights: the trap of freedom of expression

For this reason, in a good way, the CENID (Center for Digital Intelligence of the Province of Alicante), promoted by the Provincial Council of Alicante, the University of Alicante and the University Miguel Hernández of Elche, organized last Friday a round table where experts in the field go analyze the Digital Rights Charter proposed by the Central Government in the month of July within the Digital Spain Agenda 2025. The participation of Borja Adsuara, speaker of this project, Elvira Rodríguez, of the Association of Journalists of the Province of Alicante, and of the professor of Criminal Law of the University of Alicante, Carmen Juanatey, who had the moderation of Nuria Fernández, offered a multiplicity of perspectives in front of a really complex subject.

I have had access to this document which lists six categories of rights among which are the the right to identity in the digital environment, data protection, cybersecurity and digital heritage. Mention is also made of equal rights based on the rights of access to the Internet or the protection of minors in the digital environment. The proposal is clear and sincere: network service providers must start from the principle of neutrality, while reaffirming the rights to freedom of expression and information in digital environments and the right to freely receive truthful information. .

You do not need to be an expert in the field to understand that many of these rights are systematically violated. Where are the limits of the apparent neutrality of these ISPs? In defense of the Freedom of expression, can we pour any kind of comment into digital media? Discussing these aspects is essential to understanding in the new type of society which we are currently building. The central government document points to the guardianship measures it will take to ensure the above-mentioned rights, but allow me to express my distrust of the difficulty to supervise and monitor any excesses that may occur.

We are, therefore, facing a new challenge where lawyers, technicians and users have a lot to say: each in his area of ​​responsibility. As we heard in the round table, we need a tool for self-regulation in the social media sector that can review the decisions of the platforms themselves. delete content or suspend accounts. Similarly, the right of users to remain anonymous or to use a pseudonym must be reviewed. We must ask our rulers, both nationally and in the European space, to take the initiative not to let them attack our rights with impunity.

“I do not agree with what he says, but I will defend with my life his right to say it.” This sentence has been falsely attributed to Voltaire, although it comes from the book “The friends of Voltaire” by writer Stephen G. Tallentyre (male pseudonym of British author Evelyn Beatrice Hall). Despite these precautions, it is obvious that a world like ours must learn to respect the diversity of opinions and the right to express them. This is, therefore, the “trap” of this reality and the challenge of the new digital society: to make them compatible.

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