As many have observed, the world is at a crucial moment when it comes to Internet freedom. In many countries around the world, new laws are being created to censor the Internet, while bloggers are increasingly at risk for speaking out.
In the past year, organizations around the world have banded together like never before to fight for online freedoms. From the fight against SOPA and PIPA in the United States to global efforts that killed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), we have reached a zeitgeist of Internet freedom and openness.
With that in mind, a number of groups recently came together to create a Declaration of Internet Freedom, to which Global Voices Advocacy was one of the original signatories. To date, the Declaration has been signed by more than 1300 organizations and companies and is still growing. Below, you will find the original text of the Declaration. You can sign the Declaration here; you can also engage with it through numerous organizations, including the EFF, Free Press, Access, and even Cheezburger.
We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.
We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.
Let’s discuss these principles — agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community — as only the Internet can make possible.
Join us in keeping the Internet free and open.
We stand for a free and open Internet.
We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:
Expression: Don't censor the Internet.
Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.
Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.
Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.
The debate over “Internet freedom” is not one sided. The voices of artists whose work is being exploited seem to have been drowned out by the cries of online activists “fighting for their rights.” Stealing has never been a so-called “right,” so why is it that suddenly stealing intellectual property is something the online community feels it needs to defend. Efforts such at the ACTA simply address the fact that certain laws are needed to set restrictions on the Internet in a way that is fair to all, including those who produce the content that users enjoy.
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