In reaction to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s policy address on Internet freedom, the Global Network Initiative issued the following statement:

Secretary of State Clinton underscored how the Internet brings exciting new opportunities for 21st century diplomacy and highlighted its potential to advance human rights in her address on Internet freedom today.  To help achieve these goals, it is important that information, communication, and technology (ICT) companies are able to operate in a manner that promotes respect for human rights, even in the most challenging markets.

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is consistent with Secretary Clinton’s framework by providing principles, guidelines and support to ICT companies, helping them to think through difficult choices and make decisions that protect freedom of expression and privacy for hundreds of millions of Internet users around the world.

These guidelines are based in internationally-accepted standards on freedom of expression and ICT companies worldwide can use them to assess human rights risk when entering or leaving a market or when designing and introducing new technologies, products or services.

Participating companies work together with human rights groups, investors, and academics. They gain valuable collaboration, confidential input and collective action. These resources and processes help companies manage challenges, maintain credibility, and support the privacy and freedom of expression rights of their users.

Through participating in the GNI framework for accountability and transparency, ICT companies can credibly assure users, customers, and investors that they are committed to meeting their obligations. The GNI’s goal is to help ICT companies pursue opportunities in markets globally — with greater confidence that they are operating responsibly with regards to freedom expression and privacy.

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