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April 2017

FOC Updates

FOC Issues Joint Statement on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the growing trend of intentional state-sponsored disruptions of access to or dissemination of information online. The statement was launched at the session "Freedom Online Coalition: Multilateral Approaches to Network Disruptions", held as part of the #KeepItOn Summit at RightsCon 2017, organised by AccessNow.

These disruptions challenge the FOC’s goal of protecting and extending an open and interoperable Internet, as affirmed in the FOC Tallinn Agenda. In addition to the joint statement, the Coalition has issued an accompanying document which outlines good practices, and encourages all governments to refrain from network disruptions which stifle exercise of the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly online, while bolstering multi-stakeholder, participatory and inclusive Internet governance, strengthening Internet infrastructure, and improving transparency.

“This bold statement from the Freedom Online Coalition is an important step in preventing internet shutdowns from becoming the new normal,” said Deji Bryce Olukotun, Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Access Now. “We now have a group of countries who have drawn a firm line in the sand against this human rights violation, and they can hold other governments accountable by setting the right example.”

The statement was further welcomed by the Global Network Initiative. “This important statement from the FOC shows that the Coalition of companies, civil society organisations and governments concerned about internet disruptions is growing”, said Judith Lichtenberg, GNI Executive Director.

The FOC calls on governments, the private sector, international organizations, civil The FOC calls on governments, the private sector, international organizations, civil society, and Internet stakeholders to take note of and to endorse this statement; and invites states that support an open and interoperable Internet to apply to join the FOC.

You can read the Joint Statement and accompanying Good Practices document here.

WG1 Workshop at RightsCon

FOC WG1 held a workshop at RightsCon entitled "Walking the Cyber Talk: How Successful Have We Been in Building a Global, Multistakeholder Culture of Cybersecurity?" on Wednesday 29 March. The session aimed to take stock of how far the community has come since 2002 in building a "culture of cybersecurity" - particularly the degree to which both shared approaches have been realized and the degree to which ethics and democracy - or human rights - considerations, have been taken into account. The session also discussed how to build on the increasing calls for cybersecurity policies to be developed in a more open and inclusive manner. More information available here.

Related News 

Further to the above updates from the Freedom Online Coalition, you may be interested in looking at the following curated news digests on online freedom issues from this month. Note that the views expressed in these digests represent the views of individual authors and not necessarily the views of the Freedom Online Coalition or its members. . 
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