The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is thrilled to announce that BT plc has joined GNI after participating as an observer during the past year.

“BT’s membership, by committing to the GNI Principles, is a testament to their really serious corporate commitment to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy globally, as well as their willingness to deepen relationships with GNI’s multistakeholder membership of academics, civil society organizations, and investors,” said Mark Stephens, GNI’s Board Chair.

“BT is delighted to be joining the GNI, having been an observer for the last year. GNI is at the forefront of debates on privacy and free expression in relation to government investigatory powers. We look forward to working with our fellow members to promote and build better understanding on these key human rights issues,” said Moira Oliver, BT’s Head of Policy & Chief Counsel, Human/Digital Rights.

BT joins 11 leading ICT companies working together with 45 academic, civil society, and investor members from across the world. In so doing, BT agrees to adhere to the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines, which provide a framework for responding to government requests and restrictions in a manner that protects and advances freedom of expression and privacy. BT will undergo GNI’s independent assessment process on their actions to implement the GNI Principles.

BT provides communications services to a wide range of customers, including 30 million consumers in the U.K., 1 million businesses, and around 1,500 multinational corporations. BT is committed to respecting human rights and use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to guide their approach. BT is particularly aware of their potential impacts on people’s rights to privacy and free expression.