The Council of Europe (CoE) is asking the 47 member states to back its push for improved privacy protection, data security and internet traffic transparency.
The CoE has united behind a number of recommendations that should inform international debate on modern internet concerns like net neutrality, open communications and the general protection of personal privacy.
Its demands mirror those of other concerned parties, including rights groups who want less industry inspection, and industry that wants less government inspection, and suggest that a widespread overhaul is needed with involvement from regulators and industry.
Current problems identified by the CoE include post-Snowden concerns about a loss of privacy and control to the US, the threat posed by the internet to privacy, and the Right to be Forgotten ruling.
"The Committee of Ministers asks states to ensure that any interference with internet traffic within their territory should be carefully assessed in advance and not result in an unnecessary and disproportionate impact beyond their borders," the CoE said in a statement.
"The recommendation also calls on states to encourage and facilitate the development of appropriate self-regulatory codes of conduct so that internet stakeholders respect human rights, and to promote cooperation among them to develop and implement technical best practices."
The recommendations are not binding, but are designed to guide member states when creating policy and legislation.
"States should exercise due diligence when assessing, developing and implementing national policies with a view to identifying and avoiding interference with internet traffic which have an adverse impact on the free trans-boundary flow of information on the internet," the CoE said.
"This implies taking the following points into consideration. States should encourage, facilitate and support the development of appropriate self-regulatory codes of conduct so that all stakeholders respect the right to respect for private and family life, the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of assembly and association, with particular regard to the free flow of internet traffic."
Supporting this is a CoE platform for journalists designed to protect the interests of anyone who acts, blogs, writes or communicates for human rights in the public interest. This was welcomed by Article 19, Index on Censorship and the European Federation of Journalists.
The CoE also recommends new rules on the way businesses process employee information, and the way they provide and monitor access to the internet.
These suggestions are less obviously dramatic, and include the advice that employees should be notified when they are being monitored and be able to demand whatever personal information might be held about them.
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