Adhering to our traditional focus on the protection of free speech and access to information, and in response to the emergence of the Internet as a universal tool for communication, CELE launched the “Freedom of Expression and Internet Initiative” (iLEI) in 2012. This materialized from CELE’s research on freedom of expression in relation to the Internet in Latin America.
In 2009, for example, CELE analyzed Argentinean jurisprudence addressing liability on the Internet for third-party generated content. For this research project, we focused on determining the viability of issuing preliminary injunctions ordering search engines to block access to allegedly “offensive” websites, concluding that such liability should not be assigned. In 2010, CELE hosted the “Latin American Experts Meeting on Freedom of Expression and the Internet,” in which we had the opportunity to debate the evolution of human rights on the Internet with prominent Latin American and global actors, including representatives of the UN and the OAS. After hosting this meeting, CELE undertook a comparative project that analysed the impact of current legislation, judicial decisions, and Internet policies on freedom of expression in a representative sample of Latin American countries. The final product of this research was a publication that comprehensively evaluated the situation in select countries. The publication, “Towards an Internet Free of Censorship,” was widely distributed and is available in English and Spanish at http://www.palermo.edu/cele/english/publication.html.
In 2012, 2013, and 2014, CELE organised training activities for policymakers and activists from Latin America. These meetings provided participants with a better understanding of some of the key aspects of the Internet that impact human rights. Participants included journalists, legal consultants, public officials, academics, and activists. The training, which was led by experts in freedom of expression, Internet, and human rights, covered themes such as net neutrality, responsibility of intermediaries, policies that block or filter content, due process, and cybercrime. More information about iLEI is available via the main CELE institutional website.