Held by the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, the debate was part of preparations for a resolution to be finalised at the 133rd IPU Assembly in Cartagena, Colombia in November 2015.
Discussion participants considered the digital era to be vastly expanding the opportunities to foster democracy and promote progressive outlooks on democracy and human rights locally and globally.
However, it poses a potential threat to privacy and individual freedoms, and therefore to democracy itself as extremist groups employ digital communication techniques to spread propaganda against human and national values.
It is also becoming a channel for crime through the use of sophisticated technology, including the theft of personal information and illegal cyber-attacks.
During the discussion, member states presented solutions to simultaneously protect democracy and citizen privacy.
Deputy Chairman of the Law Committee at Vietnam’s National Assembly Le Minh Thong stressed that it is vital to touch on the topic in the current context and urged the establishment of a legal framework to fight hateful propaganda and protect citizens’ rights.
Countries should increase information exchange in related issues and ramp up international cooperation in cyber security protection, he stated.