The Right of Access to Information Through the Internet: the Comparison of “Hard law” and “Soft law”
The internet has become a necessary tool for the development of people’s lives. It is impossible to imagine a life without the internet since the vast majority of human beings use it in almost all of their daily activities. However, it is controlled by many government authorities around the world. This achievement of mankind, the world wide web, must not be arbitrarily deprived by the ruling authorities of any state. The question that this paper addresses is how the right of access to information through the internet is protected and restricted through international human rights instruments. Particularly, it identifies that “soft law” human rights instruments provide an access to information through the internet as an individual’s claim-right, whereas “hard law” provides it as a freedom. The method of the comparison of “hard law” and “soft law” instruments make it possible to understand that the human right is still better protected by a “soft” tool. The first part of this paper will compare the degree of protection provided by “hard law” and “soft law” instruments on the right of access to information through the internet. The second part of this paper will identify to what extent the “hard law” and “soft law” instruments justify the restrictions applied on the right of access to information through the internet.