Telecommunications plays an important role in enabling citizens to exchange ideas and express opinions, which can be beneficial for human rights and democratic development. Telecommunications is a tool that enables freedom of expression and privacy. In exceptional circumstances, telecommunications can be misused by governments, having an impact on human rights.
Telenor acknowledges that there are occasions in which governments must address societal needs, such as national security, requiring telecommunications companies to comply with requests that may impact privacy and freedom of expression. In these instances, Telenor believes that active engagement with governments, NGOs, the media and industry peers to be important in addressing how these issues are handled, verified and reported.
Telenor is also in regular dialogue with industry counterparts through the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy to find ways to tackle human rights issues that affect the telecommunications industry as a whole.
Guiding Principles – Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy
On March 12, 2013, the Industry Dialogue launched the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy Guiding Principles.
These principles address the issues of privacy and freedom of expression as they relate to the telecommunications sector, specifically exploring the interaction and boundaries between a government’s duty to protect human rights and the corporate responsibility of telecommunications companies to respect human rights.