Call to Action on Internet Freedom
We, the undersigned, present at the Google Big Tent event in the Hague, 8 December 2011, would like to encourage the conference “Freedom Online”, to be held in the Hague, 9 December 2011, to emphasize and strengthen action to promote internet freedom as a vital tool to strengthen freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the press, including:
- to take to heart, welcome and endorse the Silicon Valley Standards as presented at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference held October 25-26 2011, in San Francisco;
- to urge the ministerial conference “Freedom Online” to develop and adopt an action plan to implement the recommendations of the UN special report on internet freedom as compiled by the UN special rapporteur on internet freedom, Mr. Frank La Rue, calling for increased access to the internet and protection of cyber- dissidents;
- And to call on all present to join the Global Network Initiative, the platform for the ICT and endorse their principles on freedom of expression and privacy.
But declarations and principles are not enough. As we speak attacks on cyber dissidents in Asia, incarceration of social media activists in the Middle East and persecution and extrajudicial killings of internetactivists and journalists in Latin America are on the rise and we need to increase our alertness and step up our actions. Therefore we call upon you to sign this call to action:
- to call on transnational and national businesses, ICT companies, software developers, telecom corporations, and internet providers to incorporate protection of human rights of their users as a primary concern when developing, producing and distributing digital technology;
- to urge governments, present at the “Freedom Online” conference in the Hague, to come with binding international legislation to curtail the export of dual-use technologies to countries where civil liberties are most at risk in order to protect cyber-dissidents, journalists and social media activists in those countries;
- to call on all civil society organizations active in the field of internet freedom to join hands and create a Protection Laboratory that engages in pro-active support to cyber dissidents, social media activists and internet journalists especially aimed at countries in which freedom of expression and the press are most at risk. We especially call on all European Organizations to step up their activities in this opportunities for the innovation and provision of countervailing ICT technology, protection software as well as tailor-made training materials and make that available to cyber-dissidents, social media activists and journalists in countries most at risk. Governments can provide funds and good offices to such a fund, ICT corporations, as part of their corporate social responsibility program can support this basket fund with brainpower, funds and in kind support, civil society organizations can host and shelter a project space for techies and scientists, provide independent monitors and set up secure liaisons to guarantee accessibility for those individuals most at risk;
Internet Freedom and access to information are pivotal rights of citizens in the trans-global information society and need to be urgently strengthened along the lines of this call to action.
Find the list of signatories here: