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GNI Submission on Draft Amendments to Intermediary Guidelines in India

January 31, 2019|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Publication|

GNI is concerned the amendments, as drafted, would place significant pressure on a wide range of ICT companies to monitor Indian users’ activities, remove content, and hand over data in ways that could unnecessarily and inappropriately impact users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

Apply for a Google Policy Fellowship at the Global Network Initiative

January 24, 2019|feature, media releases|

The Global Network Initiative seeks applications for the 2019 Google Policy Fellowship program. The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues and exploring future academic and professional interests. The [...]

GNI Statement on Europe’s Proposed Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online

January 15, 2019|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, Publication|

As drafted, the proposed European regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content could unintentionally harm users’ rights and undermine legitimate efforts to document and counter extremists’ online activity.

“What Next for Advocacy Against Network Disruptions?” by Learning and Development Director David Sullivan

November 29, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, network disruptions|

"We need to marshal a much broader movement, one including the media, labor unions, and a wider set of sectors, to demonstrate the consequences of government-ordered shutdowns and educate policymakers about alternatives." Read David Sullivan's reflections on the recent IGF session: "Tackling Internet Disruptions via Multi-stakeholder Advocacy."
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GNI Welcomes Facebook’s Publication of its Human Rights Impact Assessment in Myanmar

November 7, 2018|media releases, Publication|

GNI welcomes Facebook’s full publication of an independent report assessing the human rights impacts of the company in Myanmar, formerly Burma, where some estimated 20 million of the 50 million population are Facebook users. Facebook commissioned Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a business network and consultancy dedicated to sustainability, to [...]

Albania

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE INTERCEPTION LAW Article 22 of Law No. 9157, dated 4.12.2003 ‘On interception of electronic communications’, as amended (the Interception Law), provides that when the Albanian Intelligence Agency or the relevant ministry cannot implement an interception using only their own resources, the Director of [...]

Australia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 1997 Carriers and carriage service providers (carriers), such as Vodafone, have legislative obligations under the Telecommunications Act 1997 (TA) to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies and national security agencies with the interception of individual customer communications (live communications) where authorised. Section [...]

Bangladesh

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act, 2001 (the “BTRA”) Section 35 BTRA requires every person establishing or operating a telecommunication system to have a licence. The term, “person” is defined in section 2(24) of the BTRA and includes any natural person, partnership, society, company, corporation, co-operative [...]

Belgium

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE The Code of Criminal Procedure makes it possible to impose measures with a view to intercepting a person’s communications following a warrant by the examining magistrate (juge d’instruction/ onderzoeksrechter). This warrant also needs to be communicated to the public prosecutor. [...]

Bolivia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE PROVISIONS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND INVIOLABILITY OF COMMUNICATIONS (a) Articles 21 and 25 of the Bolivian Constitution of 2009 Article 21 of the Bolivian Constitution guarantees the right to privacy. The first paragraph of Article 25 guarantees the secrecy of private communications [...]

Bulgaria

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE LAW ON ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS 2007 (the “LEC”) Article 304 states that undertakings which provide public electronic communications networks and/or services must ensure that they are set up in a way which allows for interception of electronic communications in real time and real time access [...]

Colombia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE COLOMBIAN CONSTITUTION Article 15 of the Colombian Constitution sets out the general principle that no correspondence or private communication in any form may be intercepted by government agencies unless a judicial order has been granted to permit it.  The particular circumstances in which such [...]

Czech Republic

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT Section 97(1) of Act No. 127/2005 Coll. on Electronic Communications (the Electronic Communications Act) states that a network provider is obliged on request to set up and secure an interface to enable the following authorities to carry out surveillance and recording [...]

Denmark

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CONSOLIDATION ACT ON ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS AND SERVICES, 2014 (Bekendtgørelse af lov om elektroniske kommunikationsnet og –tjenester (Act no. 128 of 7 February 2014, (the “Tele Act”))  The Tele Act, in conjunction with the Retention Order (described in section 2 of this report below), [...]

DR Congo

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE FRAMEWORK LAW NO. 013-2002 ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS Articles 54(a) and 55 of the Framework Law No. 013-2002 of 16 October 2002 on telecommunications in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Framework Law) provides for the interception of communications in two scenarios: firstly in the context [...]

Egypt

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CONSTITUTION OF EGYPT Articles 57 and 58 of the Constitution of Egypt explicitly protect the privacy of communications, prohibiting their surveillance except with a reasoned court order for a specific time, in accordance with the law. THE EGYPTIAN CRIMINAL CODE AND THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURES [...]

Fiji

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROMULGATION 2008 Under s.73(2) of the Telecommunications Promulgation 2008, mobile network operators must give officers and authorities of the government such help as is reasonably necessary for the purposes of enforcing criminal law and enforcing laws imposing pecuniary penalties, protecting public revenue and [...]

France

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE FRENCH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE The French Criminal Procedure Code (the CPP) states that, for the investigation of felonies and misdemeanours, if the penalty incurred is at least two years’ imprisonment, the investigating judge (juge d’instruction) may authorise the implementation of the interception, recording and transcription [...]

Germany

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE GERMAN TELECOMMUNICATION ACT (TELEKOMMUNIKATIONSGESETZ) The German Telecommunication Act (TKG) requires certain operators of telecommunication systems used to provide telecommunication services to the public to maintain technical and organisational capabilities to execute interception measures provided for by law (Section 110 TKG). Section 110 TKG [...]

Ghana

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2008 (ACT 775) (THE “ECA”) Under Section 100 of the ECA, the President may, by executive instrument, make written requests and issue orders to operators or providers of electronic communications networks or services requiring them to intercept communications and provide [...]

Greece

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE According to Article 19(1) of the Greek Constitution, the confidentiality of communications is absolutely inviolable; however, there are conditions under which a judicial authority is not bound by such confidentiality, where national security or particularly serious crimes are involved. Law 2225/1994 was adopted on [...]

Hungary

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICE ACT Act 125 of 1995 on the National Security Services (the “National Security Service Act”); Act 34 of 1994 on the police (the “Police Act”) and Act 19 of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings (the “Criminal Proceedings Act”) give the competent court, [...]

India

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

LEGISLATIVE BACKGROUND INDIAN TELEGRAPH ACT 1885 (“ITA Act”) This is the parent legislation governing telecommunications in India and the government grants the following licenses to service providers in accordance with the provisions of this Act: UNIFIED ACCESS SERVICE LICENSE (“UASL”) This is the license governing the provision of access services [...]

Ireland

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ACT 1983 AS AMENDED BY THE POSTAL PACKETS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS MESSAGES (REGULATION) ACT 1993 The Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983 (the “1983 Act”) (as amended by the Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 (the “1993 Act”)) [...]

Italy

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE Real-time lawful interception forms part of the criminal investigation powers of the law enforcement agencies (LEAs), ie police, carabinieri, tax police and other authorised agencies: LEAs and intelligence agencies, as authorised by the competent judge or prosecutor. ITALIAN CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE (Articles 266 to 271 [...]

Jordan

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE JORDANIAN CONSTITUTION OF 1952 Under article 18 of the Jordanian Constitution of 1952 (as amended), “all postal and telegraphic correspondence, telephonic communications and the other communications means” are regarded as confidential.  They may not be lawfully intercepted unless a judicial order has been granted [...]

Kazakhstan

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN ON INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES NO. 154-XIII DATED 15 SEPTEMBER 1994 (THE “LAW ON INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES”) Under article 12 of the Law on Investigation Activities and Article 232.2 of Criminal Procedural Code (discussed further below), real-time interception of private communications [...]

Kenya

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT (ACT NO. 28 OF 2012) The National Intelligence Service Act (Act No. 28 of 2012) ( the NIS Act) allows the Director-General (the DG) of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) (pursuant to Section 36) to monitor or otherwise interfere with [...]

Lesotho

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2012 Section 44(1)(f) of the Communications Act 2012 (“Communications Act”) provides that a person may not intercept communications or messages unless authorised by a court of competent jurisdiction. Therefore, the government does not have the legal authority to require Vodafone to intercept [...]

Malaysia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE Legislation which specifically provides authority to intercept communications is summarised below. Where not explicit, these rights can be interpreted widely to require network operators and service providers to assist law enforcement and intelligence agencies in their surveillance and censorship activities. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE (the “CPC”) [...]

Malta

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE SECURITY SERVICE ACT Under the Security Service Act (Chapter 391) of the Laws of Malta, the Security Service of Malta can obtain authorisation for interception or interference with communications by means of a warrant issued by the Minister responsible for the Security Service (the Minister). [...]

Montenegro

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CONSTITUTION OF MONTENEGRO (Official Gazette of Montenegro no.1/2007 and 38/2013, Ustav Crne Gore) (the “Constitution”) Article 42 of the Constitution guarantees confidentiality of letters, telephone conversations and other means of communication and provides that derogation from this right is allowed only on the basis of [...]

Mozambique

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE DECREE N.º33/2001 Article 35 of the Regulation of the licensing and register for the providing of telecommunications services of public usage and establishing and usage of the public network of telecommunications (Decree No. 33/2001 of 6 November) states that licensed providers are obliged to cooperate [...]

Myanmar

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW 2013 (the “2013 Law”) The 2013 Law was drafted to update Myanmar’s telecommunications sector and to provide a legal framework for the introduction of foreign private investment in the industry. It repealed the Myanmar Telegraph Act 1895 (the “1895 Act”) and the Myanmar [...]

Netherlands

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT According to Article 13.1 of the Telecommunications Act (the TCA), providers of public telecommunications networks and publicly available telecommunications services (service providers) will only make their telecommunications networks and services available to users if these can be wiretapped. Rules may be set [...]

New Zealand

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE The information outlined below represents the law as in effect at April 2016. On 11 May 2014 the TICA was repealed and fully replaced by the TICSA. The TICSA contains much of the same requirements set out in the TICA, and goes further in [...]

Norway

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1981 ((LOV-1981-05-22-25) Lov om rettergang i straffesaker) (the “CPA”) According to section 216a CPA (which falls under chapter 16a on control of communications generally), the district court may make an order permitting the police to carry out communications surveillance when any person [...]

Pakistan

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE PAKISTAN TELECOMMUNICATION (Re-Organisation) Act 1996 (“PTRA”) Under section 54 of PTRA, the federal government of Pakistan may authorise any person to intercept calls or messages, or to trace calls made through any telecommunications system for national security reasons or for the investigation of any [...]

Portugal

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC There are two instances in which the courts can authorise and demand the provision of real-time interception assistance: 1. According to Article 34,4 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, interception of telephone communications is only expressly allowed [...]

Qatar

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE DECREE LAW NO. (34) OF 2006 Decree Law No. (34) of 2006 on the promulgation of the Telecommunications Law (the Telecommunications Law) and No. (1) of 2009 on the promulgation of the Executive By-Laws for the Telecommunications Law (the Telecoms By-Laws) require telecommunications systems operators [...]

Romania

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONVENTION ON CYBERCRIME By Law No. 64/2004, Romania has rati ed the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185, 23 November 2001). Since that rati cation, Romanian national laws have been amended so as to comply with the requirements [...]

Russia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE FEDERAL LAW NO. 144-FZ DATED 12 AUGUST 1995 (THE “LAW ON INVESTIGATIVE ACTIVITIES”) Under article 8 of the Law on Investigative Activities, any state investigatory authority may apply to court for permission to intercept a person’s private communications.  Article 13 of the Law on [...]

Serbia

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 98/2006, Ustav Republike Srbije) (the “Constitution”) Article 41 of the Constitution guarantees the confidentiality of letters and other means of communication, and provides that derogation from this right is allowed only [...]

South Africa

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE REGULATION OF INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PROVISIONS OF COMMUNICATIONS-RELATED INFORMATION ACT NO. 70 OF 2002 The Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act No.70 of 2002 (RICA) states that the interception and monitoring of communications is prohibited unless: • [...]

Spain

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE Service providers and operators of public electronic communication networks may be required to intercept communications in the following scenarios: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT a. A judge may, either ex officio or following an initiative by the judicial police or Public Prosecutor, issue an interception order if [...]

Sweden

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2003 (2003:389) (lag (2003:389) om elektronisk kommunikation) (the “ECA”) According to chapter 6, section 17, it is prohibited to intercept content data or monitor metadata associated with an electronic message. However, under chapter 6, sections 19 and 21, network operators and service [...]

Tanzania

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE ELECTRONIC AND POSTAL COMMUNICATION ACT The Electronic and Postal Communication Act of 2010 (the EPOCA) does not specifically make provision for the interception of customer communications. However, the existence of intercept powers can be implied from Section 120 of the EPOCA which states [...]

Thailand

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND (INTERIM) B.E. 2557 (2014) (the “Interim Constitution”) Following the coup d’état, the National Council for Peace and Order issued the Interim Constitution and repealed the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 2007 (the “2007 Constitution”). The 2007 Constitution protected [...]

Turkey

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME LAWFUL INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE THE TURKISH CONSTITUTION Article 22 of the Turkish Constitution states that interception of communication will be granted if there is a decision duly given by a judge on one or several of the grounds of national security, public order, prevention of crime, protection of public [...]

United Kingdom

October 6, 2018|legal frameworks|

PROVISION OF REAL-TIME INTERCEPTION ASSISTANCE REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000 The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) gives senior cabinet ministers the power to authorise the interception of a person’s communications following an application made by an intelligence or law enforcement agency (LEA). Under Section 5 of RIPA, [...]
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New World Borders: How Governments Assert Authority Across Borders in the Internet Age

October 2, 2018|events, feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Multimedia|

Although the transfer of data across jurisdictions is a fundamental byproduct of the global, interoperable Internet, it can also put pressures on legal systems designed for the pre-Internet age. For the 2018 Learning Forum, "New World Borders." GNI joined with ASIL and OTI at New America to explore pressing questions related to jurisdiction and human rights online.

Experts Share International Perspectives on the CLOUD Act at Capitol Hill Event

October 2, 2018|events, feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

On 18 September, GNI convened a group of experts to discuss how possible partner countries measure against the criteria the U.S. CLOUD Act sets out for bilateral agreements for evidence sharing, how Congress can help ensure the agreements protect human rights, and how the law may impact Internet governance globally.

GNI Joins Call for U.S. Senate to Swiftly Consider Nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

August 30, 2018|surveillance|

31 organizations sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to consider the final two PCLOB nominees as quickly as possible. PCLOB has not been able to perform its critical duties in reviewing U.S. federal counterterrorism programs and ensuring they provide adequate safeguards for privacy and civil liberties for over 19 months.

GNI 2018 Learning Forum: “New World Borders: How Jurisdiction Affects Human Rights Online”

August 28, 2018|events|

On 18 September at New America, GNI will host two sessions on distinct but interrelated state actions that impact the flow of data across borders: sharing electronic evidence across jurisdictions, and global takedown orders. The event is co-hosted with the American Society for International Law and the Open Technology Institute at New America.

The Global Network Initiative Supports Argentina’s Draft Intermediary Liability Law

July 27, 2018|feature, intermediary liability, issues highlight, media releases, News|

Argentina's draft law on the responsibility of Internet intermediaries would serve as an important benchmark regionally and globally, facilitating innovation & investment and fostering Freedom of Expression online. GNI encourages the Chamber of Deputies to pass it into law as drafted.

GNI Provides Feedback on European Commission’s Proposal on Requests to Access Electronic Evidence Across Borders

July 24, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, Publication, Resources, Uncategorized|

GNI recognizes that the Commission's proposal on requests to access electronic evidence across borders may expedite legitimate law enforcement investigations, but implementation also raises potential risks for users' rights. Read our recommendations

BT Joins the Global Network Initiative

July 18, 2018|feature, media releases, New Members|

GNI is thrilled to announce that BT plc has joined GNI after participating as an observer during the past year. 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.

GNI Submission to UK Government Consultation: “The Internet: to regulate or not to regulate?”

July 13, 2018|Publication, Resources|

GNI-Evidence-UK-Select-Committee-Communications-May-2018 In April 2018, the U.K. Select Committee launched a public inquiry titled "The Internet: to regulate or not to regulate?" in order to explore "how Internet regulation could be improved, including through better self-regulation and governance, and whether a new regulatory framework for the Internet is necessary or whether the [...]
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GNI Welcomes Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression to the Human Rights Council

June 1, 2018|feature, intermediary liability, issues highlight|

Special Rapporteur David Kaye issued a report to the Human Rights Council on the regulation of user-generated content online. GNI submitted input to this report, and the recommendations for companies included elements of the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines.

New Report! Disconnected: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Network Disruptions

May 30, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, network disruptions, Publication, reports, Resources|

Authored by former policy fellow Jan Rydzak, the report presents a wealth of data relevant to both researchers and activists, including identifying over 100 instances of deliberate network disruption worldwide in 2017, and provides recommendations for all stakeholders to respond.

GNI in Toronto for RightsCon 2018

May 10, 2018|events, feature|

GNI Member Sessions - RightsCon 2018 From 16-18 May representatives from GNI's academic, civil society, company, and investor members will join over 2,000 others from the global digital rights community for RightsCon 2018. GNI staff are leading discussions on the nature and impacts of network disruptions and the new and increasing legislative pressures [...]

GNI JOB OPPORTUNITY: POLICY & PROGRAM OFFICER

May 7, 2018|feature, media releases|

***This position is no longer taking applications*** The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is an international multistakeholder group of Internet and telecommunications companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics, who have created a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy [...]

2018 Corporate Accountability Index Highlights Good Practices by GNI Companies

April 27, 2018|events, feature, media releases|

On Wednesday 25 April, the Ranking Digital Rights Project (RDR) launched its third Corporate Accountability Index – ranking 22 of the world's largest Internet, mobile and telecommunications companies on their publicly stated commitments to free expression and privacy. With 35 indicators in the categories of governance, freedom of expression, and privacy, the standards used [...]

Digital Empowerment Foundation Joins the Global Network Initiative

April 20, 2018|feature, media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce that New Delhi-based Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has joined GNI as a member of the civil society constituency.    GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg said, “With one of world’s largest, growing digital user bases, ongoing legal and policy discussions in India [...]

Disruptions of Social Media Platforms in Sri Lanka

March 8, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative is closely monitoring reports that access to social media and messaging platforms in Sri Lanka has been widely disrupted. These disruptions follow religious rioting and related violence and the imposition of a state of emergency. GNI recognizes the government of Sri Lanka’s duty to protect public safety, but [...]

Apply for a Google Policy Fellowship at the Global Network Initiative

March 5, 2018|media releases|

The Global Network Initiative seeks applications for the 2018 Google Policy Fellowship program. The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests.

GNI Welcomes Pakistan Court Decision on Network Disruptions

February 28, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative welcomes Monday's decision by the Islamabad High Court declaring shutdowns of mobile networks on the pretext of security illegal throughout the country unless they are accompanied by a presidential proclamation of emergency. According to GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg, “The Decision by the High Court in Islamabad is an [...]

Leslie Harris Joins GNI’s Academic Constituency

February 12, 2018|media releases, New Members|

Today, February 11, 2018, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomed Leslie Harris of Georgetown University in her independent capacity as the newest member of the GNI Academic Constituency. Ms. Harris is an adjust professor in the Georgetown University Master's degree program in Communications, Culture and Technology, where she teaches ICT [...]

GNI Condemns Network Disruptions Amidst Protests in Iran

January 10, 2018|feature, Issues, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative is deeply concerned about restrictions on internet and messaging services that occurred during recent nationwide protests in Iran. On December 31, 2017, Iranian authorities blocked access to the messaging service Telegram and photo-sharing service Instagram in order to “maintain peace,” according to reporting on Iranian state television. In [...]
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GNI Provides Input for UN Report on “Content Regulation in the Digital Age”

December 20, 2017|intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

GNI Submission for SR Report on Content Regulation Today the Global Network Initiative submitted input to the UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, for his report on content regulation in the digital age. The report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in [...]

The Global Network Initiative Welcomes Ericsson as an Observer

December 10, 2017|media releases, New Members|

Washington D.C./ Amsterdam / Stockholm — On December 10, 2017, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomed Ericsson as its newest observer company. Ericsson provides communications services, software, and infrastructure in over 180 countries worldwide. Ericsson brings to GNI’s international, multistakeholder collaboration on free expression and privacy a deep commitment to company human rights policies [...]
  • A large eye in the middle of a target with cameras on the top

GNI Hosts Discussion of U.S. Surveillance Law on Capitol Hill

December 1, 2017|events, surveillance|

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes elements of the US Intelligence Community to obtain “foreign intelligence information” by targeting surveillance on non-U.S. persons located abroad.  This authority is used to collect, use, and disseminate electronic communications content either stored by U.S internet companies or traversing the internet’s [...]

Civil Society Organizations from the Middle East and Latin America Join the Global Network Initiative

November 20, 2017|media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative is pleased to welcome two new civil society organizations as members: Lebanon’s SMEX, and Derechos Digitales, which works to protect human rights online throughout Latin America. “The rising threats to free expression and privacy online are truly global in nature,” GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg said. “We are [...]

GNI Joins a Panel on Extremism and the Internet with UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd

November 14, 2017|intermediary liability, media releases|

At the New America Foundation on Thursday, November 9, GNI Policy Director Jason Pielemeier participated in “An Evening with the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, U.K. Home Secretary,” a panel discussion on the challenges around extremist groups’ continued use of online platforms and the role of the private sector in [...]

GNI to Promote Human Rights in new Partnership with the Council of Europe

November 8, 2017|media releases|

The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that it is joining with global technology firms and technology and telecommunications trade associations in a new partnership with the Council of Europe to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. The statement from the Council of Europe is below. The following [...]

Global Network Initiative Seeks a Communications Manager

November 1, 2017|Uncategorized|

Job title: Communications Manager Deadline for applications: November 21, 2017 Location: Washington DC Salary & Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with experience. GNI provides a benefits package that includes health care, dental coverage, paid vacation, sick days and parental leave. Working at the intersection of human rights, technology policy, and corporate social responsibility, GNI [...]

GNI Submits Comments to the European Commission’s Consultation on “Improving Cross-Border Access to Electronic Evidence in Criminal Matters”

October 30, 2017|Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Publication|

GNI Submission - EC Cross-Border Evidence Consultation On Friday, October 27, GNI submitted comments to the European Commission's consultation on "improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters," emphasizing the importance of rights-respecting legal procedures to the maintenance of the open, interoperable Internet. The Commission's consultation is part of [...]

New Limits on US Government “Gag Orders” Will Advance the Rights of Global Technology Users

October 25, 2017|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the decision by the United States Department of Justice to issue new guidelines that allow companies to be more transparent about government demands to access user data. If implemented, this binding guidance will be an important advancement for the rights of technology users around the world. By limiting the use [...]

GNI Hosts Closed Roundtable in London on Intermediary Liability

October 10, 2017|events, intermediary liability, Issues|

In London on October 6, 2017, GNI convened a range of relevant stakeholders for "Addressing the Message and Protecting the Medium." The closed roundtable discussion explored the impact of laws and policies addressing online extremism and hate speech, assessing the risks and opportunities for security, economies, and human rights, with [...]

Global Partners Digital Joins GNI

October 2, 2017|media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Global Partners Digital (GPD) has joined our international multi-stakeholder initiative for free expression and privacy. A social purpose company dedicated to fostering a digital environment underpinned by human rights and democratic values, GPD works with a global community of stakeholders around the world [...]

GNI Welcomes Three New Academic and Civil Society Members

August 24, 2017|media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the newest three members of our multi-stakeholder collaboration. Paradigm Initiative In August, Paradigm Initiative, a digital rights NGO headquartered in Lagos, joined GNI as its first-ever member organization from Africa. “Paradigm Initiative leads digital rights advocacy efforts in Nigeria and elsewhere [...]

GNI 2016 Annual Report

August 15, 2017|Yearly Reporting|

Amidst these threats to user rights, our 2016 Annual Report shows a newly energized and expanding GNI working to forge constructive multi-stakeholder solutions in support of free speech and privacy. | August 7, 2017

GNI Welcomes Policy Director Jason Pielemeier

August 2, 2017|media releases|

The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Jason Pielemeier has joined the organization as Policy Director, as of August 1. Jason will be responsible for working with GNI's diverse members to develop and articulate GNI's policy positions, and engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders to enhance protections [...]

GNI Statement on the Global De-listing Case Referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union

July 20, 2017|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

The Global Network Initiative notes the decision by the French courts to refer the global internet search de-listing case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. " This important case raises complex issues related to internationally protected rights to freedom of expression and privacy, and the ability of governments [...]

The Consequences of Network Shutdowns and Service Disruptions: A One-page Guide for Policymakers

July 18, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, Publication|

The Global Network Initiative today launched “Weighing the Impact of Network Shutdowns and Service Restrictions — Considerations for Policymakers,” a one-page guide aimed at governments who may consider mandating disruptions of communications networks services and online platforms. The one-page guide is available in Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, [...]

Telia Company Releases Human Rights Impact Assessment Reports on their Operations in Sweden and Lithuania

July 12, 2017|media releases|

GNI member Telia Company released detailed human rights impact assessment (HRIA) reports on their operations in Sweden and Lithuania. Telia Company, headquartered in Stockholm, commissioned the reports from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), an independent nonprofit business network and consultancy dedicated to sustainability. BSR’s reports outline the company’s due diligence efforts on [...]

GNI Co-Hosts Network Disruptions Learning Call with Freedom Online Coalition and Access Now

July 7, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions|

On 27 June, the Global Network Initiative Now co-hosted a learning call on government-sponsored intentional network disruptions alongside the Freedom Online Coalition and AccessNow. GNI sought feedback on our one-page brief, “Weighing the Impact of Network Shutdowns and Service Restrictions,” to be launched next week. We hope this tool will assist [...]
  • Speakers at the 2017 Learning Forum discuss why multi-stakeholder collaboration matters for privacy and freedom of expression.

GNI Hosts 2017 Annual Public Learning Forum: “Internet Freedom and the New Era of Censorship and Surveillance”

June 29, 2017|events|

Watch the event on YouTube.  On June 21, the 2017 GNI Annual Public Learning forum brought together more than 100 experts, government representatives, students and advocates in Washington DC. Panel discussions and questions from the audience explored current government threats to free expression and privacy in the ICT sector. Addressing extremism, hate speech [...]

2017 GNI Annual Public Learning Forum, June 21 in Washington, D.C.

June 13, 2017|events, media releases|

GNI Annual Public Learning Forum Internet Freedom and the New Era of Censorship and Surveillance June 21, 2017. 1pm–6.30pm | Google 25 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC Video and Event Summary In 2017, threats to freedom of expression and privacy online are escalating around the world. Democratic and authoritarian governments alike [...]

GNI Welcomes UN Expert’s Report on Free Expression and the Digital Access Industry

June 13, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the 2017 report to the UN Human Rights Council presented by UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye. The report is a timely warning on the escalating threats to digital expression and Internet freedom, including increasing pressures on private actors to [...]

GNI Welcomes the Open Technology Institute at New America as a New Member

June 13, 2017|media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that the Open Technology Institute at New America has become the newest member of our multi-stakeholder freedom of expression and privacy platform. From today, OTI will join our civil society constituency, working alongside a diverse group of international and regionally-based internet and [...]

GNI Seeks New Organizations to Become Accredited Independent Assessors

May 24, 2017|media releases|

GNI Independence and Competency Criteria for Assessors From May 24, 2017, until June 14, 2017, the Global Network Initiative is accepting applications from organizations interested in becoming accredited assessors in support of the GNI Independent Company Assessments. The work of the GNI is based on a set of Principles on [...]

Global Network Initiative Welcomes BT as an Observer

May 16, 2017|media releases, New Members|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce that BT plc has joined GNI as an observer. Observer status will allow the United Kingdom-based global telecommunications company to engage directly on freedom of expression and privacy issues at part of GNI’s multi-stakeholder platform, which brings together internet, telecommunications and [...]

Proposed German Legislation Threatens Free Expression Around the World

April 20, 2017|intermediary liability, Issues, media releases|

April 20, 2017 – AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS/LONDON/WASHINGTON DC – The Global Network Initiative is deeply concerned by the “Draft Law to Improve Law Enforcement in Social Networks” (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz) approved by the German cabinet on April 5. GNI is mindful of the complex challenges that governments and companies face when dealing with controversial [...]

GNI Welcomes Freedom Online Coalition Joint Statement on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions

April 5, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the Joint Statement and accompanying Good Practices for Governments on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions issued by the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC). In its statement, the partnership of 30 governments working to advance internet freedom “expresses deep concern over the growing trend of intentional state-sponsored disruptions of access to or dissemination of information online.” The [...]

GNI Welcomes Freedom Online Coalition Joint Statement on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions

April 5, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the Joint Statement and accompanying Good Practices for Governments on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions issued by the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC). In its statement, the partnership of 30 governments working to advance internet freedom “expresses deep concern over the growing trend of intentional state-sponsored disruptions of access to or dissemination of information online.” The statement [...]

Global Network Initiative Adds Seven Companies in Milestone Expansion of Freedom of Expression and Privacy Initiative

March 27, 2017|feature, media releases|

Millicom, Nokia, Orange, Telefónica, Telenor Group, Telia Company and Vodafone Group join with GNI’s five global internet company members – Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo – and with more than 35 human rights and press freedom groups, academics and investor members in this unique collaboration to strengthen protections for global digital rights.

GNI Companies Again Top Ranking Digital Rights 2017 Corporate Accountability Index

March 23, 2017|media releases|

"When companies work together with stakeholders to implement human rights commitments, it makes a difference. GNI and TID companies performed better than all other companies evaluated in the Index on indicators measuring the extent to which companies have institutionalized their corporate-level commitments to freedom of expression and privacy,” said Ranking Digital Rights Director Rebecca MacKinnon.

Disruptions of Social Media Platforms in Turkey

November 7, 2016|Issues, media releases, network disruptions|

The Global Network Initiative is closely monitoring reports that access to social media platforms in Turkey is being widely disrupted. These latest restrictions come after reports last week of a complete Internet shutdown in the southeast of the country, and follow a series of other disruptions to communications services over [...]

GNI 2015 Annual Report

October 1, 2016|Yearly Reporting|

GNI 2015 Annual Report 2015 was an exciting year of transition and growth for the Global Network Initiative. We ushered in new leadership; we laid the foundation to grow our network of participants by more than any other single year since our founding in 2008; we launched our second cycle [...]

GNI Briefs the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Internet Freedom

March 4, 2016|events, intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, GNI Director of Policy and Learning Lisl Brunner presented to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) at a briefing titled “Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists.”

The Global Network Initiative Urges Kazakhstan to Respect the Security of Digital Communications

December 21, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is troubled by a provision in the new communications law of Kazakhstan which would require all Internet users to install a “national security certificate” on their devices. The certificate would permit government authorities to access all Internet traffic, regardless of whether encryption technology is used. Governments should support strong encryption, and rather than compromising digital security, they should use legal process to make requests of companies who encrypt and store their users’ data.

The GNI Expresses Concern over Suspension of Messaging Service in Brazil

December 18, 2015|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

A Brazilian court’s decision instituted a nationwide blocking of the WhatsApp messaging service on December 17. The GNI urges the Brazilian government to adhere to international human rights standards on free expression and privacy and to refrain from blocking access to communications platforms.

GNI & Stanford CIS Host Privacy, Security and Freedom of Expression Learning Day at Stanford University on December 2nd

December 2, 2015|events, media releases|

Along with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, GNI explored topical subjects in privacy and digital free expression. Our four panel sessions covered extremist content on the web, reform of the legal frameworks for cross-border data exchanges, the first-ever Ranking Digital Rights Report by Rebecca Mackinnon, and the impacts of the EU Court of Justice Ruling that declared the Safe Harbour Agreement Invalid.