The United Nations officially condemned the practice of countries shutting down access to the internet at a meeting of the Human Rights Council on Friday.
A resolution [PDF] entitled The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet effectively extends human rights held offline to the internet. It was passed by consensus, but only after a determined effort by a number of countries, including China and Russia, to pull out key parts of the text.
In particular, a number of states – notable by their authoritarian stances – were opposed to the resolution's focus on the need for an accessible and open internet, and its condemnation of violations against people for expressing their views online. A vote planned for Thursday was delayed to Friday after the issue became heated.
Four amendments pulling out that language were tabled, but none were adopted after an impassioned debate.