International Law, Internet Censorship, ICCPR, Artcile 19, Internet policy, United Nations


Part I of this Note provides an overview of Internet censorship and international law, including the different approaches and theories behind Internet censorship. Part I.A discusses the development of the ICCPR and its application to the Internet. Next, Part I.B-D provides an in-depth overview of the Internet censorship models of three different countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and China. Part II examines each country’s Internet censorship model under Article 19 of the ICCPR, considering Article 19(3)’s three-part test and requirements established by recent UN reports interpreting them. The analysis will also examine each country’s copyright laws under Article 19. In Part III, this Note argues that due to the idiosyncrasies of each country’s Internet censorship policy and new challenges presented by intellectual property laws, Article 19 of the ICCPR by itself does not provide a clear analysis of a country’s Internet policy. Article 19 should be supplemented with parts of Professor Bambauer’s framework. The culturally-neutral criterion of the framework mitigates the difficulty of analyzing and comparing countries with different cultural norms and moral values. Moreover, the proposed metric also allows for analysis of indirect chilling effects caused by intellectual property laws. This Note concludes that supplementing Article 19 with the framework proposed by Professor Bambauer is a positive step towards creating a global standard of Internet regulation.

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