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06 July 2012, 10:08

Civil liberties organisations advocating for a free internet

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Internet Freedom Declaration logo Several international civil liberties organisations have put their weight behind a Declaration of Internet Freedom. The first signatories included the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Center for Digital Democracy, and Mozilla. Both individuals and organisations can sign the declaration which reads, in full:

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 EFF has released a statement explaining its involvement with opposition to recently proposed legislation in the US Congress, and urging the public to write to their representatives to ask them to publicly pledge their support for the declaration. According to the EFF, Congress has tried to regulate the internet at the behest of rights holders and the executive branch but at the expense of basic human rights.

The foundation wants to channel the recent public protests against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Protect IP Act (PIPA), and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) legislation into a more organised form of political opposition. The foundation's intention is to make digital rights an issue in the upcoming US presidential elections.

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