The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that a Lithuanian prisoner was improperly denied Internet access in violation of his rights. Citing Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF], which states “everyone has the right to freedom of expression,” the court held that security concerns were not a sufficient reason to deny prisoner Henrikas Jankovskis access to law courses online [BBC report].
Internet rights have become a point of increased interest as internet access has become more widespread. Earlier this month a British rights group challenged [JURIST report] a UK law that allowed the government to record the internet activity of every citizen. The EU Court of Justice condemned [document, PDF] such governmental action. In December the Council of Europe urged reform [JURIST report] of a new counter-terrorism laws in the Netherlands that similarly allowed Internet monitoring. Last year the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order allowing the National Security Agency to continue compiling telephone records of a California-based law firm, just one week after a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] against the part of the agency’s surveillance program involving the bulk collection of domestic phone records