China, supported by South Africa and others, brought a hostile oral amendment to the resolution, to include a further paragraph warning of the dangers the Internet poses for encouraging terrorism, extremism, racism, and religious intolerance. This would have introduced to agreed UN language a loophole for online censorship antithetical to the purpose of the resolution and international standards. Fortunately it was voted down by a resounding 28 votes to 15, with 4 abstentions.[1] “We are alarmed that established democracies, such as South Africa and even India, distanced themselves from consensus by supporting China’s attempt to justify State censorship” Hughes said. “The fundamental importance of open, critical and even controversial expression on the Internet is a universal value that applies in all societies. Today the HRC ultimately rejected attempts to condition the enjoyment of human rights on the Internet on ‘duties and responsibilities’ of Internet users. That is an important win, which the HRC must continue to build upon.”

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