In 2018, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) celebrated its tenth anniversary and took important steps to protect and promote freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. In this annual report, you can learn about our work to:
- Streamline the GNI assessment process and ensure the resources of companies, assessors and GNI are focused on the most critical and meaningful points of evaluation by developing an Assessment Toolkit and adapting the methodology of the assessment to accommodate the increased number of companies being assessed; this includes allowing the board greater time to review the assessors’ findings by reviewing companies on a rolling basis across the first three GNI Board meetings in 2019.
- Build evidence to influence decision makers, promote members’ consensus positions, and engage directly with key stakeholders on rights-respecting laws and policies, including through 17 public sessions; issuing the report, “Disconnected: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Network Disruptions,” which maps 130 instances of network disruptions in 2017 and recommended a holistic, human rights-centered approach to advocacy; input to five public consultations by governments and international organizations; promoting rights-respecting approaches to tackling online extremism at sessions hosted by the UN and the Council of Europe; and engaging publicly and privately on a range of legislative initiatives, including a draft intermediary liability law in Argentina, the French fake news law, and the Digital Rights and Freedom bill in Nigeria.
- Expand our membership in the Global South, welcoming civil society organizations like the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa, Digital Empowerment Foundation, NetBlocks Group, Software Freedom Law Centre, India, and Internet Sans Frontières, among others.
- Reflect on lessons learned from a decade of shared learning on freedom of expression and privacy in ICTs. The 2018 GNI learning agenda explored a variety of new and emerging censorship and surveillance challenges in 2018; the learning agenda included wide-ranging topics from refraction networking (a new censorship-circumvention technology) to the impact of the U.S. CLOUD Act on human rights in the Global South.