The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is deeply concerned that the people of Egypt have been denied access to Internet and telecommunications services. This almost unprecedented step has enormous implications for human rights.
The GNI acknowledges the difficult situation faced by companies that provide Internet and telecommunications services. We urge companies to take action to protect freedom of expression and privacy, and preserve a free and open Internet. We urge the Egyptian government to respect its international human rights commitments.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies have a primary role in the operation of global communications networks that enable the free flow of information. All over the world, companies face the challenge of government laws and practices that violate international human rights norms. Companies can find themselves under duress from governments to operate in ways that go beyond legally accountable law enforcement activities. In these circumstances, a valuable first step for companies is to be transparent and have human rights principles in place to govern their response.
GNI can help companies develop strategies to operate in a manner that protects and advances human rights.