Historically, telecommunication, broadcasting, and other media were separate industry segments; they used different technologies and were governed by different regulations. The recent convergence of communications is dissolving established barriers, not only between professional journalists and citizens using the new tools, but also in the legal and regulatory environment.
Richard Allan, from online social portal Facebook, said: “[The] Internet is not tidy. It is complex. Everyone is both a data subject and a data controller”. His comments were made during the Internet Governance Forum. This new relationship set up by social networks can raise critical legal challenges: for governments to enforce laws, which can limit freedom of speech; for Internet companies to protect privacy and develop standards in an online environment; for users, and especially for young people, to know how to protect their privacy and free speech.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), nearly 2 billion people—over one-quarter of the world’s population—use the Internet. The Internet has opened new horizons for freedom of expression, and this trend is most likely to continue in the future.