Vienna/Strasbourg, 16 November 2011 Press release

“Our Internet – Our rights, Our freedoms”: Council of Europe conference in Vienna

Vienna/Strasbourg, 16/11/2011 – A high level conference organised by the Council of Europe and the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria on the theme “Our Internet – Our rights, Our freedoms” will take place in Vienna on 24 and 25 November.

Council of Europe member states, the private sector, parliamentarians, civil society and the Internet community will look for ways to give better protection to human rights, democracy and the rule of law online.

• What are the legal standards needed to protect privacy online effectively?

• How can interference or harm to the Internet affect rights such as freedom of expression and information?

• What are the next steps in fighting cybercrime?

• How should children be empowered to use the Internet safely?

• How can users be empowered to exercise their rights?

The conference will contribute to defining the Council of Europe strategy on Internet governance for the period 2012-15, currently being prepared. (Draft Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy).

Michael Spindelegger, Austrian Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Thorbjørn Jagland, Council of Europe Secretary General, and Edward Vaizey, Minister of Culture, Communication and Creative Industries of the United Kingdom, will open the conference at 9.00 on 24 November.

Fergus O´Dowd, Minister of State of the NewEra Project of Ireland, Richard Allan, Director of Policy of Facebook in Europe, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, representing Openleaks, and Simon Hampton, Director of European Public Policy of Google, will speak at an opening session on the role of the Internet as a catalyst of political change. Nik Gowing, international journalist and broadcaster, BBC, will both actively participate in and moderate this Political Panel Session.

Practical information: The meeting, which will be held at the Vienna Diplomatic Academy (Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna, Austria), is open to the press. You are requested to submit your accreditation request to pk-anmeldungen(at) before 23 November. Accreditations will also be possible on the spot.

The conference will be webcast on and at the Conference website.


Federal Ministry of European an
International Affairs of Austria:
Sonja Linskeseder; Sonja.linskeseder(at); Tel.: +43 (0) 501150 3315
Stephanie Jakobitsch;; Tel.: +43 (0) 501150 3720 

Council of Europe:
Jaime Rodríguez; jaime.rodriguez(at); mob. +33 (0) 6 89 99 50 42