Overview The Global Network Initiative (GNI) was established in 2008, bringing together information and communication technology (ICT) companies, civil society organizations, academics, and investors working to enhance respect for freedom of expression and privacy in the face of government pressures, restrictions, and demands. GNI’s approach is reflected in the GNI [...]
On September 21, 2022, the Ministry of Communications in India released the Draft Indian Telecom Bill, 2022 (“Draft Bill”). The Draft Bill followed a previous consultation paper from the Department of Telecommunications outlining the “Need for a new legal framework governing Telecommunication in India,” with a call for input that [...]
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 in the ICT sector. The GNI seeks [...]
Overview GNI is seeking a consultant with significant experience in evaluating and reviewing human rights and advocacy programs for Civil Society Organizations especially those funded by US donors to undertake an independent evaluation of its five-year project, Sustaining Multi-stakeholder Networks for Internet Freedom (SuNI). Launched in 2018, originally as the [...]
PDF of summary here By Elizabeth Whatcott As human rights due diligence frameworks for the ICT sector proliferate around the globe, GNI convened its Annual Learning Forum on September 27, 2022 to share tools, resources, and expertise on due diligence for the ICT industry. Entitled “Taking Due Diligence Out of [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) and Global Partners Digital (GPD) have launched a new guide to support civil society organisations in engaging with the tech sector around issues affecting human rights. Engaging Tech Companies on Human Rights: A How-To Guide for Civil Society is structured in three parts: Part I identifies and explains the [...]
In our submission, we emphasize that international human rights law should always be at the center of company and government decisions related to freedom of expression, including during times of conflict. In particular, regulators should limit and clarify circumstances where proactive detection of harmful content is required.
GNI condemns the Iranian government’s apparent efforts to stifle freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, including through disruption of information and communication technologies. We call on the government to lift restrictions and censorship measures in online and offline spaces.
The GNI is pleased to announce new additions to our staff. Long time GNI member and former Board representative Elonnai Hickok will be joining as GNI's Managing Director. Elonnai has contributed to the advancement of human and digital rights in technology and policy for over a decade and has developed research [...]
GNI Annual Learning Forum 2022: Taking Due Diligence Out of the Box – RSVP by Sept 27 2022 GNI Annual Learning Forum Date: Friday, September 30, 2022. Time: 9am-12 pm ET In person: Hilton Garden Inn, 815 14th St NW, Washington, DC [...]
“Zoom has been very engaged throughout their Observer Membership in GNI and we are excited to continue working together as they join GNI as a full member,” said Jason Pielemeier, GNI’s Executive Director.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome NDI into GNI,” said GNI Executive Director Jason Pielemeier. “We are particularly keen to collaborate with the Democracy and Technology Division, which brings unique reach, insight, and capacity based on its global engagement on digital rights.”
“NEI adds strength and valuable perspective to GNI’s investor constituency and will be a great partner in our continuing work to foster an environment that encourages responsible ICT company conduct,” said Jason Pielemeier, GNI’s Executive Director.
“ITS Rio has been doing incredible work at the intersection of technology and society for many years, and we are very excited about the expertise, insights, and perspectives that they will bring to GNI,” said GNI Executive Director Jason Pielemeier.
“ITLP is an innovative institution that brings together an incredible range of expertise, filtered through critical inquiry and systems-level insight,” said Jason Pielemeier, GNI’s Executive Director. “We will benefit tremendously from their participation.”
“7amleh has demonstrated an ability to advocate for digital rights in complex situations,” said Jason Pielemeier, GNI’s Executive Director. “We look forward to integrating their insight and perspective into our collective work in support of freedom of expression and privacy.”
GNI issued a statement outlining a series of concerns regarding the impacts of the EU's sanctions on Russian broadcasters on freedom of expression. GNI recognizes the legitimate concerns about the Russian government's efforts to spread disinformation and propaganda regarding its unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, and the EU's right to respond to these threats. In sharing and publishing this statement, GNI seeks to highlight where the EU's current approach can be amended to ensure harms to freedom of expression are mitigated.
In our submission, we emphasize that international human rights law should always be at the center of company and government decisions related to freedom of expression, including during times of conflict.
GNI welcomes the recent Declaration for the Future of the Internet, in particular the centrality of human rights and the emphasis placed on multistakeholder approaches. As a multistakeholder organization that has been working for over a dozen years to protect digital rights, GNI looks forward to continuing to engage with signatories and stakeholders, and will work to hold signatory nations to the principles laid out in this Declaration. Read more for the full statement.
GNI will greatly benefit from Dr. Bertoni's long-standing familiarity with GNI and exceptional expertise in international human rights law, particularly in the area of freedom of expression and access to information
GNI expresses concern about proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s Law on Informatization. While the amendments’ stated goal is to reduce cyberbullying, it appears they will impose significant risks for freedom of expression and privacy in Kazakhstan and undermine this goal. The amendments could impose monitoring obligations on a wide range of ICT companies, increase the government’s authority to order content restrictions, and threaten shutdown of access to services that fail to comply. Read more for the full statement.
GNI joins the broader global community in expressing shock, opprobrium, and deep dismay about the unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the physical attacks being perpetrated against Ukraine, the Russian government has taken active steps to undermine and restrict access to accurate information in Ukraine and Russia, as well as spreading disinformation and propaganda. GNI condemns all violations of the rights to freedom of expression unequivocally. Read more in our full statement.
The broadened scope and expanded penalties for critical speech in the Amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act follow previous concerns GNI has raised about rushed processes for content regulation and undue restrictions on intermediaries providing services in Pakistan.
GNI recently submitted comment on the draft digital platform regulation from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). GNI is concerned about the rushed process, including overlap with a similar proposal from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as well as the risks to digital rights from the significant obligations in the draft regulation. GNI stands ready to engage with the BTRC in support of rights-respecting content regulation.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the opportunity to engage with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the practical application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to the activities of technology companies ahead of the March 7–8 consultation and subsequent [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes this opportunity to provide input to UN Human Rights on the preparation of the thematic report on Internet shutdowns and human rights, as requested in Human Rights Council resolution 47/22, "to study the trend in Internet shutdowns, analysing their causes, their legal implications [...]
GNI expresses serious concern about a recently proposed cybersecurity law in Myanmar, reaffirming and adding to concerns about a draft introduced by the military-led State Administrative Council last year. GNI calls on the authorities to revoke the legislation. Read more for ur analysis of the proposal.
There is broad agreement that more transparency and collaboration around company and government data use is needed. We seek an experienced consultant to serve as a project lead for a new initiative working to better align existing efforts to address these concerns and to help bridge barriers to "meaningful transparency."
GNI is thrilled to announce that Verizon Communications (Verizon) has joined the GNI, becoming the first U.S.-based telecommunication company to do so. Verizon is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services.
In November 2021, GNI signed onto a joint organization letter authored by DIGI and submitted to Australian officials in response to Australia’s proposed Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) Determination. The letter, which was co-signed by 11 organizations in Australia and internationally and is available for view here, details concerns regarding [...]
GNI is looking to hire an experienced Development Manager to join our growing and dynamic organization and help us foster strategic and sustainable growth in support of freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and early applications are encouraged.
GNI is optimistic that the TTC can create spaces to more effectively address the complex issues in the technology sphere, and is eager to engage proactively and constructively with these governments and other relevant stakeholders, including through relevant TTC working groups.
Este reporte revisa el desarrollo de tecnologías para el combate a la pandemia bajo diferentes marcos legales en Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador y El Salvador. Analiza los impactos de las respuestas de los gobiernos en el derecho a la privacidad de los usuarios y ofrece recomendaciones.
This report looks at the development of technologies to fight the pandemic under different legal frameworks in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and El Salvador. It analyzes the impacts of governments' responses on users’ privacy rights and makes recommendations.
A proposed draft bill to regulate digital platforms in Chile — built around the concept of "digital freedom of expression — is likely to undermine these very rights. We articulate these concerns in our letter to lawmakers in Chile and subsequent analysis.
GNI is very pleased to announce Agustina Del Campo’s appointment as GNI Vice Chair. Agustina was unanimously elected for this position during GNI’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Members and she will serve for the remainder of the current board term, through March 2023.
Canada's leadership in supporting Internet freedom around the world could be undermined by the government’s recently proposed approach to content regulation. GNI expressed concerns about pressures to restrict content and facilitate access to user data in the current approach.
CDT Europe and GNI are pleased to share two reports from a recent closed-door expert roundtable and a public event looking at human rights due diligence in the tech policy sector and the DSA. Watch the public discussion or read the reports from both events.
The protection of the rights of children and adolescents are important and admirable aims, which GNI fully supports. However, as drafted, the proposed "childhood protection law" poses significant risks for freedom of expression and privacy, reflecting a rushed process, and including vague definitions, broad enforcement authorities for the executive, and significant obligations for intermediaries, including content filters.
GNI is pleased to announce that Zoom Video Communications has become a company observer member. The San Jose, California-based company, provides internationally accessible video-first communications and content-sharing services.
The Indian digital rights organization Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) has joined GNI’s civil society constituency. IFF advocates for the protection of fundamental rights and deepened digital liberties as society becomes increasingly reliant on technology.
Given the significant constitutional, due process, human rights, and jurisdictional concerns that the draft presidential decree on freedom of expression and the Internet has generated, the undersigned organizations collectively call for it to be formally withdrawn.
In GNI’s 2020 Annual Report: Following the GNI Principles you will learn how we seized opportunities for dialogue with decision makers in favor of freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology sector, the resources we developed to keep human rights at the forefront of our collective efforts, and the growing and increasingly diverse membership that makes GNI possible.
GNI welcomes Unwanted Witness as a member of the GNI civil society constituency. Based in Uganda, Unwanted Witness was established in 2012 to advocate for a free, open, and inclusive Internet that contributes to the realization of human rights and good governance.
Data localization mandates can impact a broad range of human rights, including privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of association, personal security, and non-discrimination. The workshop hosted by GNI and Freedom House explored the technical and legal dimensions of data localization requirements and featured company and non-company perspectives.
GNI is looking for a Communications Fellow starting as early as July for a period of 15 to 18 weeks working 12 to 16 hours a week. Candidates with strong writing and editing skills, experience with working in a fast-paced international environment and on small, dynamic teams, and interest in human rights and/or technology policy are encouraged to apply!
"MR5" regulation in Indonesia, for which implementation is currently postponed, features problematic elements similar to those we have highlighted in other recent digital regulations: broad, vague definitions of companies and content in scope, significant threats of penalties for noncompliance, including to required local company contacts, and exceptional powers to access company data — both metadata and content of communications — including a potential direct access arrangement.
GNI encourages lawmakers to examine the practice of government procurement of user data and support legislative efforts to ensure that government agencies are not procuring such data in order to avoid or circumvent legal requirements that would otherwise apply.
This web page calls attention to legal and technical arrangements that allow government authorities to access data streams directly – that is, without having to request data from, or even notify, the service providers that collect and/or transmit the data. Read more for the full GNI statement, "defining direct access", plus a one-page visual explainer and related resources.
GNI welcomes this opportunity to provide input to UN Human Rights on the preparation of the thematic report on artificial intelligence and the right to privacy. In our submission, we outline risks and opportunities for human rights, recommended safeguards, and legal and regulatory considerations to ensure the increasing adoption of AI technologies contributes to the promotion and protection of the right to privacy.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce that the Peruvian digital rights organization Hiperderecho has joined GNI’s civil society constituency. “We work to improve public knowledge and understanding of the social implications of technology’s role in everyday life. We develop research projects under a human rights and social [...]
Today marks two months since mobile Internet was shut down in Myanmar. As nationwide restrictions to mobile Internet and wireless broadband continue, MCRB and GNI again call for equal and unrestricted access to information across all telecommunications networks.
GNI welcomes Dr. Sejal Parmar as a member of the GNI academic constituency. “GNI will greatly benefit from Dr. Parmar’s expertise in international human rights law, particularly in the area of freedom of expression,” said GNI Executive Director, Judith Lichtenberg.
The Senate of Australia is currently considering the 2021 Online Safety Bill. In our letter to the Minister of Communications and subsequent analysis, we call for a set of amendments that could allow Australia to model strong, participatory governance to successfully address legitimate concerns around online harms while protecting human rights.
GNI is pleased to announce that the digital rights and civic technology organization TEDIC, based in Paraguay, has joined GNI’s civil society constituency. TEDIC was also one of the 2020 GNI-Internews Fellows.
GNI share concerns from the government of New Zealand about how best to act on and deter illegal content online. However, GNI urges the government to reconsider requirements for content filtering in the FCPVA, and ensure any new authorities for mandating removal of content include robust safeguards, mechanisms for appeal and redress, and appropriate oversight.
In our response to the European Commission's open feedback period on its draft for the DSA, GNI recommends revisions to the governance structure, liability scheme, and categories of intermediaries, among others, to ensure the protection of fundamental rights.
Authored by Tomiwa Ilori of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the report surveys experts and practitioners from eleven countries in Africa where the Internet was disrupted for 1144 days total between 2011 and 2020.
Recently notified IT Rules in India, which follow a previous draft GNI commented on in early 2019, continue to pose significant risks for freedom of expression and privacy. Read GNI's letter to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and corresponding analysis of the Rules.
Given the severe social, economic, and human rights consequences that the draft cybersecurity law is likely to have on both users and companies inside the country, GNI calls on the Myanmar military to withdraw and reconsider the law.
In dozens of countries around the world, lawmakers are putting forward new proposals to regulate online content, from incitement to violence to disinformation. On 26 January 2021, GNI hosted a learning forum moderated by GNI’s Independent Board Chair David Kaye, with Tom Malinowski (U.S. Congressman, Democrat, New Jersey), Shazia Marri [...]
We call on government authorities in Myanmar to immediately restore full network connectivity, reverse orders blocking social media sites, and refrain from issuing further orders or putting pressure on internet and telecommunications companies that contravene the country’s international human rights law commitments, including the freedom of opinion and expression and privacy.
After the Internet was shut down ahead of the Jan 14 general elections in Uganda, ongoing disruptions targeting digital communications platforms continue, proving detrimental to information access and daily livelihoods, in addition to social, economic, educational, and political engagement. We encourage the government to restore access immediately.
UPDATED TIME: Tuesday 26 January 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST (16:00 – 17:00 CET) RSVP Here In dozens of countries around the world, lawmakers are putting forward new proposals to tackle vexing challenges around online content, from incitement to violence to disinformation, and from hate speech to child protection. [...]
In the Op-Ed “The Right Way to Regulate Digital Harms” published by Project Syndicate on December 21, 2020, GNI Independent Board Chair David Kaye and GNI Policy Director Jason Pielemeier discuss the importance of clear and comprehensive regulatory approaches, based on human-rights principles, when addressing toxic content online from terrorist [...]
**GNI IS NO LONGER RECEIVING APPLICATIONS FOR THE EMERGING VOICES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM** GNI warmly welcomes applications for the next one-year GNI Emerging Voices Fellowship Program. The fellowship program seeks to further online freedom of expression and privacy around the world by facilitating collaboration and conversation among diverse stakeholders. Three [...]
GNI is seeking to expand its pool of accredited assessors to participate in its next cycle of independent assessments and is accepting applications from interested organizations from November 5, 2020 to November 30, 2020.
In a letter to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Irene Khan, GNI raises concerns about ongoing restrictions on digital communications in Myanmar, including network disruptions, website blocking, and efforts by governmental actors to manipulate social media platforms.
"Content Regulation and Human Rights: Analysis and Recommendations" uses human rights to analyze more than 20 recent, governmental initiatives that claim to address various forms of digital harm. The brief is the result of months of multistakeholder analysis by GNI’s diverse, expert membership, as well as six virtual consultations with government actors and other key stakeholders in Africa, the EU, India, Pakistan, and the UK.
The DSA is expected to transform the regulatory environment for tech companies and have wide-reaching impacts beyond the EU. In our response to a European Commission consultation, GNI shares important considerations for protecting digital rights in three areas: 1) Safety and Responsibility; 2) Liability Regime; and 3) Governance and Enforcement.
GNI convened representatives from civil society, academia, the ICT industry, and the U.K. government to consider the Online Harms White Paper in the context of the human rights framework, with four discussion topics: codes of conduct, duty of care, remedy, and privacy. GNI previewed the content regulation policy brief to be launched in the coming weeks.
Digital rights advocates have sometimes seen companies as adversaries when they cooperate with orders to limit or shut off services. But new research demonstrates a set of practical steps companies caught between these competing pressures can take to uphold their responsibilities and work together with advocates to discourage government disruption orders.
Cloudflare is the first web-infrastructure and security company to join GNI as an observer. “We believe Cloudflare’s cybersecurity expertise will add great value to our diversity of perspectives on ICT and human rights,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
On 16 July 2020, GNI hosted a multistakeholder roundtable discussion with local experts and policymakers on digital content regulation in Pakistan. The discussion was informed by a forthcoming policy brief from GNI examining content regulation efforts worldwide with a human rights lens.
LINE becomes the first Asian company to join other 14 leading information communications and technology companies and more than 50 academic, civil society and investor members globally in advocating GNI policy priorities to protect data privacy and freedom of expression.
Representatives from civil society, academia, the legal community, ICT companies, and policymakers in India joined a roundtable discussion to examine the Draft Intermediaries Guidelines through the lens of international human rights law, framed by a forthcoming GNI policy brief on content regulation and human rights.
In GNI’s "2019 Annual Report: Enhancing Diversity and Participation," we present important achievements from which we are distilling lessons to face new challenges, as we see governments approaching technology companies worldwide with demands to use their data to combat COVID-19. These lessons and the diversity of our membership – both [...]
GNI is very concerned about a new social media bill currently being considered by the Turkish parliament, which contains problematic provisions likely to complicate the operation of social media services & challenge the ability of Turkish citizens to freely exercise their rights.
International human rights expert David Kaye will join the Global Network Initiative as the new independent chair of its Board of Directors upon completing his term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
An introduction to the GNI blog series examining government efforts to address online harms around the world. Written by members and close collaborators, the series will provide practical guidance to those seeking to regulate content while upholding human rights.
Several provisions of the proposed "Law of Freedom, Responsibility, and Transparency on the Internet” in Brazil would be counterproductive to the stated intent of the bill and pose risks for freedom of expression and privacy. Brazil’s legislature should heed calls from international experts and civil society and take care to respect the rights enshrined in Marco Civil by rejecting the bill and engaging in meaningful and transparent multi-stakeholder consultation to find a truly rights-respecting way forward.
On June 4, 2020, GNI hosted a multistakeholder roundtable discussion to examine key provisions of the anticipated European Union Digital Services Act through the lens of international human rights law. Held under Chatham House Rule, the online event was attended by nearly 70 guests, including EU policymakers and experts from academia, civil society, and ICT companies. Read more in the event report.
The Wikimedia Foundation’s experience as a global platform positions them to significantly contribute to the conversations among GNI companies, while their unique perspective as a non-profit hosting provider will benefit all GNI members,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
On 28 May, GNI brought together UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović, and a set of experts from GNI’s multistakeholder membership to explore a human rights-based approach to content regulation in the context of EU Digital Services Act (DSA). Read the event recap or watch the video recording.
In the Op-Ed "Companies Must Defend Digital Rights in the COVID-19 Era," published by Project Syndicate on June 4, 2020, GNI Independent Board Chair, Mark Stephens CBE outlines some valuable lessons from the most recent GNI assessments on how to navigate evolving government pressures on technology companies. He reflects on [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes efforts by companies to increase transparency around human rights due diligence (HRDD) and human rights impact assessments (HRIAs). As part of companies’ HRDD processes, the use of HRIAs assists companies in identifying, preventing, and mitigating human rights risks and meeting their responsibility to respect [...]
The risks of government-mandated network disruptions for human rights, media freedom, economic activity and development, and security are more acute during the ongoing pandemic. To lessen the negative impacts of the novel coronavirus, ensure the public’s access to information, and facilitate the development and application of new, constructive, and inclusive solutions, it is important to understand how government-mandated network disruptions intentional degradation of access can undermine these goals.
GNI completed its third cycle of independent company assessments and released the 2018/2019 public assessment report of 11 member companies. The report shares points of progress and areas for future shared learning of how companies integrate the GNI Principles into their business operations, ways to enhance and expand training efforts inside companies, and developing tools and guidance on topics such as human rights due diligence and impact assessment.
"The 2018/19 assessment report demonstrates that this is an iterative process - an experiment in accountability that continues to evolve." GNI Board Member Adam Kanzer reflects on the 2018/19 cycle of independent company assessments for the GNI blog.
“GNI welcomes IPANDETEC’s expertise monitoring and analyzing Internet policies and legislation with a focus on gender, cybersecurity, and data protection,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
With over 100 individuals from GNI members in attendance, the calls discussed the opportunities and risks of using ICT company data to respond to the pandemic, as well as the impact of different government measures on the flow of important health information.
GNI is looking for candidates who have strong organizational skills; an eye for detail; experience working in a fast-paced environment and on small teams; a desire for professional growth; and a demonstrated interest in human rights and/or technology policy.
The Citizens Protection (Rules Against Online Harm) 2020, approved by the Government of Pakistan on 21 January 2020, creates significant risks for the privacy and free expression rights of ICT users both within and outside of Pakistan.
Two recent rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union — Google vs. CNIL and Glawischnig-Piesczek vs. Facebook — fail to sufficiently consider freedom of expression and privacy risks when EU countries' domestic authorities assert global authority and jurisdiction over online content. Greater efforts at intergovernmental and multistakeholder deliberation are needed to determine the appropriate scope of application for domestic legal orders on global internet companies.
GNI is deeply concerned about reports of network disruptions across India, including in New Delhi, amid mass protests. GNI urges the government to consider its international commitments to freedom of expression and the risks disruptions pose for public safety, health and emergency services, the economy, and the news media.
GNI wrote to the Australian INLSM, Dr. James Renwick, to underscore critical considerations for fit-for-purpose, human rights-oriented oversight mechanisms and maxium transparency and accountability in the Assistance and Access Bill. The letter followed a recent consultation with Dr. Renwick and GNI non-company members and other partners, informing the INSLM's legislative review.
As the practice of human rights due diligence takes root in the technology sector, how can companies keep pace with new risks to freedom of expression and privacy? Read GNI members' lessons learned from ten years of HRDD and thoughts on the road ahead in the 2019 learning forum event report.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to join the Christchurch Call Advisory Network, whose participating members were announced on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2019. “GNI’s multistakeholder membership looks forward to continuing to engage with participating governments, companies, and other stakeholders to address extremist [...]
“GNI welcomes WOUGNET’s policy advocacy and gender perspective on the use of technology, which will enrich our endeavors to protect the rights of freedom of expression and privacy around the world,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
The new and improved GNI Country Legal Frameworks Resource (CLFR) is Live! The CLFR centralizes and facilitates search and comparison across a repository of more than 50 country-specific reports on governments' authorities to access user data or restrict communications.
“Ericsson's membership is a testament to their corporate commitment to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy globally, bringing valuable expertise on vendor-specific issues on ICT and human rights to GNI,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. Ericsson joins after participating as an observer.
Starting in March 2020, the new Independent Chair will be prepared to dedicate at least one-fifth of their time to working closely with the GNI Board, Executive Director and staff, participants and other stakeholders to strengthen GNI as a global standard and force for freedom of expression and the right to privacy across the ICT sector.
We are concerned that the approach outlined in the White Paper is both too broad and unnecessarily vague. We ask the government to take the time necessary to narrow and flesh-out its approach in more detail, in broad consultation with all stakeholders and before moving forward with legislation, in order to protect freedom of expression online, promote innovation and competition, and provide the coherence and certainty that the government seeks to deliver.
GNI's session at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day explored information flows and potential abuses of ICTs during elections, and lessons for upcoming elections in Ethiopia. GNI Policy Director Jason Pielemeier reflects on the session for the GNI Blog.
GFMD is an international network of around 200 members working across 70 countries to provide an international platform for journalism support and media development practitioners to interact with donors, governments, opinion leaders, and the wider public in order to advocate for media development as a primary pillar for social, economic, and political progress.
Given the potential ramifications for civil society, journalists, technology platforms, and global users, it is essential that the Christchurch Call is conducted in an open and inclusive manner. Substantively, GNI members underscore the importance of framing the call in international human rights language.
In his talk at the Berkman Klein Center, learning and development director David walked through lessons learned for digital rights advocates from his ten years of experience working closely with technology companies on vexing human rights challenges.
In Addis on 3 May, GNI will discuss the impacts of digital technology on election-relevant information flows and the interrelationships between these impacts. GNI members participating include the Committee to Protect Journalists, CIPESA, Facebook, and International Media Support.
Retaining amendments from the LIBE Committee, including the removal of problematic provisions on extra-legal referrals and proactive measures, is essential for human rights. But GNI remains concerned over one-hour timelines for removal and the role of non-judicial authorities in determining the legality of content.
At a time when states around the world are considering various approaches to regulating Internet content, GNI is concerned that the government of Australia’s efforts to rush through the "Sharing of Violent Abhorrent Material" Bill could have significant negative impacts on freedom of expression and privacy for Internet users in Australia and beyond.
GNI has published the Assessment Toolkit, a common methodology to be used by all assessors drawing from the Global Reporting Initiative, UNGPs, and previous assessments. The GNI Board will review company assessments on a rolling basis across its first three meetings in 2019.
“We are pleased with our extended pool of 12 assessors. Identifying assessors with the optimal qualifications to successfully conduct assessments of member companies is essential to the credibility of GNI’s assessment process,” said Judith Lichtenberg, GNI Executive Director.
With exceptional experience advocating for rights-respecting Internet laws and policies, the participation of AfroLeadership, CIPESA, Derechos Digitales, Digital Empowerment Foundation, IPANDETEC, and SFLC.In creates new opportunities for GNI policy and learning activities.
A review of Europe’s Internet Referral Units shows the need for greater transparency, remedy, and accountability. The proposal in the draft EU terrorist content regulation to expand government take-down referrals to companies poses similar, if not greater, risks for users' freedom of expression and privacy.
“Our work in Latin America and other regions will greatly benefit from R3D’s expertise, particularly around surveillance. R3D’s membership demonstrates GNI’s continued expansion in the Global South,” said Judith Lichtenberg, GNI Executive Director.
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.
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 [...]
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.
"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."
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 [...]
Founding GNI members, and experts on business, human rights, and technology reflect on GNI’s first ten years advancing freedom of expression and privacy online. Follow medium.com/global-network-initiative-collection for more!
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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), [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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”)) [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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”) [...]
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). [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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: • [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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.
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.
During their observer year, the Wikimedia Foundation will join GNI's policy and learning activities, strengthening our efforts to protect and promote freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.
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.
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.
Join us on Tuesday, 18 September, for a discussion featuring several prominent GNI civil society, academic, and company members presenting their perspectives on the potential global implications of the U.S. CLOUD Act.
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 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
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-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 [...]
GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg said, “ISF’s experience engaging with companies, governments, and civil society alike, at both the international and local levels, has proven them a key actor for global digital rights.”
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.
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 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 [...]
***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 [...]
GNI outlined the relevant provisions of the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines that address privacy and suggested they may serve as models for the “principles, standards and best practices” that the Office of the High Commissioner is seeking to develop.
GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg said, “There is no doubt that SFLC.in’s demonstrated policy expertise and engagement on digital rights challenges in India will enhance GNI's efforts to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights in India and around the world."
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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
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 [...]
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 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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The CLFR is a detailed set of resources for academics, rights advocates and others that explores the legal environment affecting freedom of expression and privacy in jurisdictions around the world. These additions bring the total number of countries included in the project to 50.
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 led sessions on the economic costs of network and communications disruptions and shutdowns, shifting trends in country legal frameworks affecting companies’ abilities to respect rights in their operations, and GNI's multi-stakeholder approaches to advancing privacy and freedom of expression in the ICT sector.
"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.
In accordance with GNI’s Governance Charter, and following extensive deliberations and consultations, GNI is pleased to publish updates we have made to the GNI Principles for Freedom of Expression and Privacy and the Implementation Guidelines.
GNI is deeply concerned by the government's statutory order that telecommunications operators block social media beginning Monday, December 19, when President Joseph Kabila’s second term of office ends.
The workshop used breakout groups to facilitate detailed discussions of three topics pertaining to shutdowns: connections to elections and moments of political importance, economic impacts, and technical considerations. | December 10, 2016 | Network Shutdowns |
GNI launched a new policy brief, "Extremist Content and the ICT Sector," and convened discussions on the imposition of government restrictions beyond borders. | December 2, 2016 | Right to Be Forgotten |
As companies respond to government requests that can impact freedom of expression and privacy, the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines can steer the ICT sector. Read more for the full submission.
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 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 [...]
The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue are deeply concerned by the increasing number of government orders to shut down or restrict access to communication networks and related services around the world.
The coalition, which consisted of civil society groups, companies, and trade associations, urges the U.S. Senate to oppose a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2017 (Act, S. 3017). Read more for the full letter.
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 (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.
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.
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.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) seeks energetic and engaged interns for the academic semester and summer in its Washington, DC office. Internships are open to graduate and undergraduate students in all majors. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
A report presented to the October 2015 Amsterdam Privacy Conference has called on telco and Internet companies facing surveillance by governments to adopt the Global Network Initiative’s international standards-based best practices for the ICT sector.
GNI met with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, and the Cabinet Office to express concerns about the impact the Investigatory Powers Bill will have internationally on privacy and free expression rights.
At the State Department Internet Freedom Technology Showcase held in New York on Sept 26, 2015, Ambassador Power urged internet companies "to embrace the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to join the Global Network Initiative."
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) joined human rights and civil liberties organizations and trade associations to convey its concerns with a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (S. 1705) in a coalition letter to Senate.
The Global Network Initiative applauds the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, a critical first step toward reforming surveillance practices that will help to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights.
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Deloitte Statsautoriseret Revisionspartnerselskab, the Denmark member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, has become an accredited GNI assessor.
In reaction to the Financial Times op-ed by Richard Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, GNI Board Chair Mark Stephens wrote this letter to the editor, "Need to intrude must be demonstrated, not merely asserted" published November 5.
The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy present 2014 learning forums on Transparency and Human Rights in the Digital Age in Mountain View, California and Geneva, Switzerland.
The Global Network Initiative joined a coalition letter signed by members of Congress, former government officials, civil society organizations and companies to urge the Obama Administration to reform surveillance practices under Executive Order 12333.
The Global Network Initiative and the Internet and Mobile Association of India are working together to explain how India’s Internet and technology laws holding back economic innovation and freedom of expression.
Last week's judgment by the European court of justice allowing anyone to demand that a search engine should remove unwanted information from its index – even if it is accurate, lawful, and publicly available elsewhere – is a dangerous step in the wrong direction.
The Global Network Initiative urges Turkey to restore full access to Twitter and YouTube, and ensure access to communications and the free flow of information, particularly in advance of local elections on March 30.
The Global Network Initiative today released a report prepared by Copenhagen Economics, which found that online platforms that support user-generated content can become an important part of India’s Internet economy.
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with approximately 277 million members worldwide, is the latest company to join GNI.
GNI is deeply concerned by Prime Minister Erdogon's threats to block Facebook and YouTube in Turkey, as well as reports that the Russian government is blocking webpages of Ukrainian dissidents and interfering with mobile networks in Crimea.
The Global Network Initiative will host a roundtable at RightsCon in San Francisco, entitled “Toward Accountability: Reflecting on ICT Industry Action To Protect User Rights.” on Tuesday March 4, 4-5pm.
GNI Letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - Feb 2014 The Global Network Initiative has written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of an expert seminar on the right to privacy in the digital age organized by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Brazil, Germany, Liechtenstein, Mexico, [...]
Update: Turkey’s parliament passed the legislation on Wednesday February 5, 2014. GNI urges Turkish President Abdullah Gül to veto the bill. The Global Network Initiative is greatly concerned by legislation under consideration in Turkey that if passed, would loosen already troubling standards for blocking of online content and require Internet service providers (ISPs) to [...]
The Global Network Initiative urges President Obama and the U.S. Congress to enact reforms to U.S. national security surveillance laws, policies and practices that would ensure a rights-based approach to national security and help to restore trust in the Internet for users around the world. Public debate and prospects for [...]
Report Executive Summary available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. WASHINGTON, DC—The Global Network Initiative today released a public report on the independent assessments of founding companies Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The assessments looked at cases of government requests implicating the rights of Internet users, and found that each company is [...]
GNI welcomes the public release of the report by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, an important first step from the Obama administration toward communications surveillance reform. The report makes 46 recommendations that add momentum to the push for reform, including significant changes to the surveillance programs operated pursuant [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes the principles on Global Government Surveillance Reform launched today by a group of technology companies including GNI member companies Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and observer company LinkedIn. The companies call for an end to bulk data collection of Internet communications, demand independent judicial review of surveillance requests, [...]
The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy 2013 Learning Forum Brussels, Belgium Event Summary On 13 November 2013, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (ID) held their first joint Learning Forum, presenting an opportunity for information and communications technology (ICT) companies, [...]
The Global Network Initiative joined a broad coalition of civil society groups, trade associations, companies and investors, signing an open letter to Congressional leadership calling on Congress to reform U.S. intelligence surveillance practices. “Recent disclosures regarding intelligence surveillance activity raise important concerns about the privacy and security of communications. This surveillance has already [...]
This piece by GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks and Policy & Communications Director David Sullivan originally appeared at Guardian Sustainable Business: The disclosure of secret documents detailing massive government surveillance programs has triggered an outcry around the globe. The bulk collection of US call records and revelations about secret orders that [...]
The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy present their 2013 joint Learning Forum in Brussels, Belgium. 2013 Learning Forum 13 November 2013 Brussels Marriott Hotel Brussels, Belgium Moderated by John Kampfner, this first joint multi-stakeholder learning forum will bring to Brussels an [...]
The Global Network Initiative applauds the letter sent by six technology companies—including GNI members Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!—to U.S. Senate leaders urging transparency and reforms to government surveillance practices that would include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs. GNI believes that legislative reforms [...]
The Global Network Initiative will participate in the 2013 Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia. GNI is jointly organizing the following workshop and we and invite you to join the discussion in person or via remote participation: No. 183, Oppression Online: Rights and Restrictions on the Network Day 2 (October 23): [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce new companies, civil society organizations, investors, and academics joining its collaborative approach to protecting freedom of expression and privacy. “As new companies commit to GNI’s Principles on freedom of expression and privacy, and as new human rights groups, investors and academics join [...]
The Global Network Initiative has written to the governments in the Freedom Online Coalition, asking them to report on the requests they make for electronic communications surveillance and to make it legally possible for companies to report regularly to the public on the government requests that they receive from law [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes the commitment by President Obama to work with Congress on the reform of section 215 of the Patriot Act and to increase transparency and oversight around communications surveillance programs in the United States. The Global Network Initiative is encouraged by the introduction of bills like [...]
The Global Network Initiative submitted comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) regarding surveillance programs operated pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Worldwide concerns about U.S. surveillance practices seriously threaten the United States’ reputation as a champion of [...]
GNI Letter to Bytes for All - July 2013 On July 30, 2013, GNI wrote to Pakistani human rights organization Bytes For All, formally responding to the open letter they sent to GNI on July 17, 2013. The text of GNI's response is below: ----- Dear Shahzad, Subject: Open Letter in Response to [...]
Report Executive Summary available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. Washington, DC — The human rights obligations of telecommunications companies are in the global spotlight in the wake of recent reports about national security-related communications surveillance. Companies committed to respecting free expression and privacy rights should take this opportunity to work with governments to increase [...]
We Need to Know - Transparency Letter The Global Network Initiative has joined a coalition of technology companies and advocates for free speech and privacy rights to deliver a letter to the US government demanding greater transparency around national security-related surveillance of Internet and telephone communications. Organized by GNI member the Center for [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy (Industry Dialogue) are delighted to announce that Lisl Brunner has been appointed as the Facilitator for the Industry Dialogue. Prior to joining GNI, Lisl spent five years as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on [...]
This piece by GNI Policy and Communications Director David Sullivan originally appeared on ThinkProgress: There is no shortage of divergent views about the once secret NSA surveillance programs former contractor Edward Snowden allegedly leaked. But there is one point on which even the fiercest critics and staunchest defenders of national security communications surveillance seem to [...]
In light of recent events, the Global Network Initiative calls on the United States and other governments to increase the transparency, oversight, and accountability of laws, regulations, and actions concerning communications surveillance. GNI Principles and the rule of law GNI’s Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy are rooted in international human [...]
Recent statements by U.S. government officials about communications surveillance programs highlight the need for thoughtful public debate on the appropriate balance between freedom of expression and privacy on the one hand, and legitimate law enforcement and national security precautions, on the other. This is not just about the United States. [...]
The Global Network Initiative commends recent actions by the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure that sanctions do not prevent Iranian citizens from using information and communication technologies to communicate securely. On May 30, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a new General License authorizing exports to Iran of certain services, software, and [...]
Interview with Susan Morgan, Executive Director of the GNI and Patrik Hiselius, Chair of the Industry Dialogue and Senior Advisor, TeliaSonera, on the challenges and opportunities telecommunications are facing regarding freedom of expression and human rights.
WASHINGTON, DC—The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Facebook has become the sixth company to join GNI. “We welcome Facebook as a full member of GNI and look forward to working more closely with them to advance the freedom of expression and privacy rights of Internet users worldwide,” [...]
At the April 16 meeting of the Global Network Initiative Board of Directors, Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks informed the Board of his intention to step down at the end of this year, consistent with his commitment to serve at least one year of his second two-year term. Jermyn has applied [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes its newest investor member, the Ethical Council, a collaboration between four funds in the national Swedish pension system. “The Ethical Council is the first pension fund to join the growing group of investors in GNI supporting free expression and privacy rights in the technology sector,” said [...]
This piece by David Sullivan originally appeared on Slate's Future Tense blog: On May 7 at 3 p.m., for the second time in six months, Syria’s connection to the global Internet was severed. Web traffic in and out of Syria dropped to zero, according to several monitoring companies and the Google traffic report. [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Bolo Bhi, a free expression organization based in Karachi, Pakistan, is joining GNI. An advocacy, policy, and research organization, Bolo Bhi worked together with GNI and a number of Pakistani and international organizations to help block the Government of Pakistan’s procurement of a [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes new participant the Nexa Center for Internet & Society at Turin’s Polytechnic University in Italy. “We’re pleased to welcome GNI’s first participant from Italy, “says GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan. “The Nexa Center is a critical source of interdisciplinary research, informed by expertise in technology, law, and [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce a two-year collaboration with a group of eight global companies that belong to the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. By working together, GNI and the Industry Dialogue aim to advance freedom of expression and privacy rights in [...]
GNI Comments on EC Draft ICT Sector Guidance The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry project to develop guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments on the draft [...]
This past week in Dubai, governments from around the world attempted to use an international telecommunications treaty to increase government control over the Internet in ways harmful to online free expression and privacy. Negotiations concluded with 89 governments signing the new treaty, and 55 governments indicating they would not sign or that [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes its newest academic participant, the George Washington University Law School. “Based in Washington, GW Law has a global commitment to freedom of expression and privacy rights and we look forward to their participation in our growing network,” said GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan. GW Law [...]
Susan Morgan hosts a Google Big Tent Hangout discussing the UK draft Communications Data Bill, featuring Lord Paul Strasburger, member of the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee, and Jamie Bartlett from Demos. Read the GNI statement on the report of the UK Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill.
The Global Network Initiative welcomes the report of the UK Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill and the Prime Minister’s commitment to rewrite the legislation. “The UK government has an important responsibility to protect the public, but the proposed bill does not strike the right balance with privacy rights,” says GNI [...]
This op-ed by GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks originally appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Global Edition of the New York Times, on December 6, 2012. A chorus of human rights groups, diplomats, companies and technologists has achieved something remarkable. They are shining a media spotlight on the most boring international [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is alarmed by the nationwide shutdown of the Internet, as well as reported communications network disruptions, in Syria. Data from Internet monitoring companies starkly shows the loss of international connectivity, as does traffic from Google’s Transparency Report. We urge the Syrian government to restore access. Information and communications technologies play an [...]
GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks has authored a contribution to the Internet & Society Co:llaboratory Discussion Paper on Human Rights and Internet Governance. The article responds to a proposition by Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. New technologies have played a catalytic role in support of democratic aspirations in the [...]
GNI Independence and Competency Criteria for Assessors Applications will be accepted from November 16 until December 11, 2012 from organizations interested in becoming an accredited assessor for the Global Network Initiative (GNI). The work of the GNI is based on a set of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy for the [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes its newest member, the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) based in Baku, Azerbaijan. IRFS is an Azerbaijani civil society organization dedicated to protecting the rights of journalists and media personnel in Azerbaijan, and to promoting freedom of expression and the rule of [...]
GNI Statement to Helsinki Commission - 2012 On October 19, 2012, GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan presented to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) at a briefing entitled "Online Safety under Repressive Regimes: What is the Responsibility of Technology Companies?" In her testimony, Morgan described the difference that [...]
Date: Thursday October 18, 10.30am – 12pm Venue: Free Word Centre, London Tickets: By invitation only. Please email [email protected] to request a place. Index on Censorship and the Global Network Initiative will be hosting this on-the-record panel discussion considering the government’s planned legislation around our communications online. John Kampfner will chair a panel featuring [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) has submitted comments to the European Commission on two recent consultations relevant to freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. Procedures for Notifying and Acting on Illegal Content Hosted by Online Intermediaries GNI Comments on EU Notice and Action GNI responded to the consultation on [...]
GNI Policy Brief - Corporate Responsibility & Internet Governance A Global Network Initiative Policy Brief1 This December in Dubai, world governments will gather to renegotiate a key treaty under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency that specializes in global telecommunications. The meeting, known as the [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) condemns the recent violence associated with protests around the world against an inflammatory film insulting to Islam. GNI’s Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy aim to guide responsible decisions by companies when facing requests or demands from governments. But private companies also make decisions about removing [...]
GNI Submission on UK Communications Data Bill - August 2012 The Global Network Initiative (GNI) submitted the following written evidence to the Joint Committee of Parliament currently considering the UK Government's proposed Draft Communications Data Bill (C8359). Our submission has been published on the Committee website alongside other submissions. Global Network Initiative Written [...]
This op-ed was distributed by Global India Newswire and originally appeared on the International Business Times: Responding to India’s Internet Clampdown By Susan Morgan and David Sullivan WASHINGTON: Last week, the Indian government missed an opportunity to show the world the right way to handle social media in a time of crisis. With [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that the three core documents that describe the Initiative’s objectives and the key commitments of the participants have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian. Translations of the GNI Principles, Implementation Guidelines, and Governance, Accountability, and Learning Framework are available in PDF format on our website.
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is concerned by the restrictions on the right to freedom of expression imposed by the Government of Tajikistan following violence in the region of Gorno-Badakhshan. Last week the government mandated the blocking of video-sharing website YouTube and reportedly shut down communications networks in Gorno-Badakhshan, severely [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is concerned that a legislative proposal under active consideration by the Russian Duma will curb freedom of expression online. The draft bill, Law 89417-6, which is due to have its second reading in the State Duma on July 11, would create a list of prohibited [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet adopted on July 6, 2012. At a time of great debate regarding the role of governments, companies, and other stakeholders on Internet governance, it is important that a [...]
The Global Network Initiative urges the retention of the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance as global policy forums create policy for the future. Several important decisions are to be made around Internet governance in the coming year. The roles of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Telecom Policy [...]
GNI's inaugural Learning Forum brought to Washington, D.C. an exciting lineup of international speakers on cutting-edge issues relating to freedom of expression and privacy rights online: Digital Freedoms in International Law: Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online GNI presents a new report authored by Ian Brown of the Oxford Cyber Security [...]
GNI Report - Digital Freedoms in International Law Governments, companies, and other stakeholders can collaborate to protect rights to freedom of expression and privacy online, according to the authors of “Digital Freedoms in International Law: Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online” released today. The report, co-authored by Dr. Ian [...]
This op-ed by GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal Asia: The Thai government bought one million tablet computers last month to distribute to students across the country. This ambitious "one tablet per child" policy, one of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's campaign promises, is the largest [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is troubled by the conviction of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of the online forum Prachathai, under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act for not moving quickly enough to remove content posted by users. Her conviction illustrates the serious harm that occurs when companies are held liable for content uploaded [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce that Afilias Limited, an Ireland-based global provider of registry services for top-level Internet domains, is the first European company to gain observer status with GNI. Afilias provide and operate back-end doman name registry services for Top-level-Domains, such as .info and .mobi, as [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is deeply concerned by the free speech and privacy implications of the Government of Vietnam’s Draft Decree on Internet Services, draft legislation which, if made into law, would oblige Internet companies and other providers of information to Internet users in Vietnam to cooperate with the [...]
WASHINGTON, DC — The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce that Facebook is the first company to gain observer status with GNI. Observer status is an opportunity for companies who are actively considering joining GNI to examine the initiative's programs as well as its principles on free expression and [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) commends recent action by the U.S. government and Europe to press for accountability from Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies in relation to human rights abuses in Iran and Syria. This is particularly important as at the same time some Internet technologies empower citizens to [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) has completed the world’s first independent assessment of technology companies’ policies and procedures for responding to government requests affecting free speech and privacy. The organization’s second annual report, released today, describes the assessment process undertaken by the founding GNI companies—Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!. GNI’s member companies [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to launch its 2011 Annual Report with a panel discussion side event at the Stockholm Internet Forum on Internet Freedom for Global Development: From Responsibility to Accountability: A Progress Report from the Global Network Initiative Date: April 18, 2012 14:00 – 15:30 Information and [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) supports the objective of legislation that would protect and advance rights to free expression and privacy online and provide increased transparency and accountability for information and communications technology (ICT) companies operating worldwide. GNI member companies have made a public commitment to undertake human rights due [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) commends the companies that have made public commitments not to respond to the Government of Pakistan's request for proposals (RFP) to build and implement a new system for Internet blocking and filtering. GNI member Websense was the first company to say it would not respond to [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce its newest member, the Centre for Internet & Society based in Bangalore, India. A technology policy research institute, CIS brings to GNI in-depth expertise on global Internet governance as well as online freedom of expression and privacy in India. “We are [...]
The three founding Global Network Initiative (GNI) companies—Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!—have undergone the first independent assessments to determine how they are implementing their GNI commitments so far. This was the world's first independent assessment of corporate policies and procedures in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry to address freedom [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is concerned with the Government of Pakistan’s request for proposals (RFP) to build and implement a new system for Internet filtering and blocking. The RFP specifies that the system be capable of blocking "undesirable" content on the scale of up to 50 million URLs. Given the Pakistani [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the decision by Congressional leaders to postpone immediate consideration of proposed intellectual property legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives. GNI supports the goal of protecting intellectual property online, but we firmly believe that the approach used in the Stop Online Piracy Act [...]
GNI Letter to UN WG on Business and Human Rights The Global Network Initiative submitted the following letter to the UN Working Group on business and human rights. Our submission and that of other stakeholders can also be viewed on their website. December 8, 2011 UN Working Group on Human Rights [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the high-level international attention to Internet freedom at the Freedom Online ministerial conference in the Netherlands, and stands ready to engage with companies across the information and communications technology (ICT) sector at a time of increased scrutiny regarding how their practices affect internet freedom. We [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Websense, a global provider of web, data, and email security, will become the fifth company to join GNI. Websense joins four other GNI company members, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Evoca. “By committing to GNI’s principles on freedom of expression and privacy, [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is inviting a limited number of companies who are actively considering joining GNI and interested in learning more about its approach to advancing privacy and freedom of expression to apply for observer status. Companies who are granted observer status will have the opportunity to learn [...]
On 15 November 2011, GNI wrote to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives about freedom of expression, intellectual property and H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. The text of the letter is below. Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers, The Global Network Initiative [...]
In reaction to a column by Michael Skapinker in the Financial Times, GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan wrote this letter to the editor, "Collaborating over Human Rights:" Sir, Michael Skapinker (“Business needs a world view of its own,” October 27) makes a salient point about the risks faced by companies, especially [...]
As entrepreneurs, engineers, and activists gathered in San Francisco, California for the inaugural Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference on October 25-26, 2011, the work of the Global Network Initiative was “at the center of debate” according to Politico, and repeatedly highlighted as a crucial component of wider efforts to manage the [...]
On September 20, 2011, GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan spoke at "Yahoo! and YouTube: Balancing Human Rights and Business" at the Carnegie Council in New York. The lunchtime Ethics in Business workshop also featured Ebele Okobi-Harris, Director of Business and Human Rights at Yahoo Inc. and a GNI Board Member, as [...]
The GNI is pleased to announce a report released by the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society on “Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users.” This document grew out of the GNI’s ongoing learning series on the impact on user rights of the [...]
GNI is delighted to announce that it is continuing to grow, with four organizations becoming new members. Evoca is a US based company offering cloud based voice recording services for journalists, media companies, marketers, advocates and educators to create, publish and share audio content online with global and internal audiences. [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce it will be hosting a workshop at the 6th Annual Internet Governance Forum 2011, held September 27th-30th at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya. GNI would like to welcome all those interested to attend the workshop, entitled "The Business of Human Rights: [...]
GNI is delighted to announce that David Sullivan will join GNI on 19 September as Policy and Communications Director. David joins GNI from the Enough Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity. As Research Director at Enough, David helped to [...]
On 24 August 2011, GNI wrote to the UK Home Secretary about the discussions between the Government and companies in the ICT sector following the recent violence in London. The text of the letter is below. Dear Home Secretary, In this open letter we write regarding discussions due to [...]
In his response to the violent unrest in the UK over the past week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the government is considering whether it would be right to place limits on social media access in certain cases. While criminality and violence deserve condemnation and prosecution under the full [...]
On the 28th of July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations approved a new “General Comment” of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving clear guidance on the legitimate restrictions on freedom of expression that states can make. The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes [...]
When GNI was launched in 2008, the participating companies publicly committed to implement a set of Principles to integrate decision-making around freedom of expression and privacy issues within their operations. Independent assessment of compliance with these Principles supports learning and accountability specifically and GNI generally by enabling stakeholders, including users, [...]
On July 14th, as part of our learning series on “Emerging Issues”, the GNI held its fourth call on the topic of account deactivation and content removal by platforms that host user-generated content. Both GNI members and external participants from industry, civil society, the investor community, and other sectors participated [...]
One year contract. Based in Washington DC, with domestic and international travel. The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on protecting and advancing freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups) [...]
The Global Network Initiative welcomes the reference to human rights and Internet freedom in the OECD's recent update of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These guidelines are indicative of a broad international consensus on key aspects of the ongoing effort to ensure protection for fundamental rights and recognize that collaboration [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dele Olojede, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former foreign editor of New York Newsday, as the inaugural chairman of its newly established international Advisory Council. The Council will help extend the reach of GNI and deepen our collective [...]
The Global Network Initiative is delighted to announce that CELE, The Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information at the University of Palermo School of Law in Buenos Aires, has joined GNI. Commenting on CELE’s membership, Susan Morgan, Executive Director for GNI said “as GNI’s first [...]
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce influential free speech campaign group and publisher Index on Censorship is to join GNI. Index on Censorship, Britain's leading organization promoting free expression, will become the first non-founding NGO to join the multi-stakeholder organization. Susan Morgan, Executive Director of GNI, commented "We [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the continued focus by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Internet freedom and her acknowledgment of our initiative. We share her emphasis on fundamental human rights and the value of an open and free Internet. We support increased attention to the role and [...]
The Global Network Initiative is delighted to announce leading Swedish investor Folksam is to join the GNI. Folksam, with $38 billion in asset under management, will become the first non-founding investor to join the multi-stakeholder organization, expanding the voice of this critical constituency. Susan Morgan, Executive Director of GNI commented [...]
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 [...]
Washington, D.C.: The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jermyn Brooks as its first Independent Chair, effective immediately. As Independent Chair, Mr. Brooks will have responsibility for the governance of GNI's Board and will be a leading advocate and spokesperson for GNI in senior company [...]
Recent decisions by some technology companies to restrict access to or sever ties with WikiLeaks highlight the difficulties companies face when governments attempt to restrict controversial information. The Global Network Initiative does not take a position on WikiLeaks decision to publish these materials or on their content, but is concerned [...]
On October 28th, the GNI held the third call as part of our “Emerging Issues” learning series, which is focused on highlighting, exploring, and deepening our understanding and responses to emerging online free expression and privacy issues. Overview of the Issue Online service providers usually reserve—and often exercise—the right to [...]
GNI Statement for OECD Workshop on Intermediary Liability Intermediary Liability: Balancing creativity, ICT development, and the free flow of information with other policy objectives – Susan Morgan International law enshrines core human rights principles and forms the basis of the Principles of the Global Network Initiative (GNI). It is the [...]
On 16th April 2010 the GNI held a conference call attended by over 30 company and human rights organization representatives to discuss the human rights impacts of account deactivation and content removal. Online services - such as email, social networking sites and blogs - are important sets of tools for [...]
In recent months, censorship and privacy issues have been making headlines around the globe. With censorship issues in China, the use social media during the protests in Iran, and hearings on the issues of privacy and freedom of expression in the U.S. Congress, censorship and privacy have become hot button [...]
GNI Implementation Dialogue - Invite The GNI is seeing a rapidly growing interest in how the GNI’s Principles and Implementation Guidelines can be adapted for other segments of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. Senator Durbin recently sent two letters to ICT companies seeking more information about their approach to human [...]
The Italian court decision to hold three Google executives criminally liable for privacy violations raises important questions for human rights and for the technology industry. Privacy and freedom of expression are fundamental rights. How to best to align policies that protect both these rights is an issue that warrants broad [...]
The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Morgan as its first Executive Director. As Executive Director, Ms. Morgan will be responsible for continuing to make GNI a leading voice in defending and promoting freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology [...]
GNI Statement - Senate Judiciary Committee - March 2010 On March 2, 2010, U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law held a hearing on “Global Internet Freedom and the Rule of Law, Part II.” The Global Network Initiative submitted a written statement [PDF] to help inform the Subcommittee’s work. [...]
GNI Implementation Dialogue - Key Issues The GNI’s Principles and Implementation Guidelines are particularly relevant for internet and telecommunications companies worldwide. However, there is great interest in understanding how the Principles and Implementation Guidelines may be adapted to apply to other segments of the ICT industry, such as equipment manufacturers; [...]
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 [...]
In reaction to Google's decision to take a new approach to its business operations in China, the Global Network Initiative issued the following statement: Google’s decision to reconsider its business in China is an indication of the tough choices information and communications technology (ICT) companies face around the world where respect for [...]
GNI has identified significant interest from companies across the technology sector in guidance regarding freedom of expression and privacy issues, including challenges posed by sales of equipment, software, or services to governments, and challenges related to government mandates for modification of equipment, installation of software, or other mandates. (See also [...]
When companies are held liable for content uploaded or sent by users, freedom of expression can suffer. Collaborative efforts should help advance policy solutions that better protect fundamental rights to expression and access to information. The Global Network Initiative (GNI) believes that freedom of opinion and expression is a human [...]
[UPDATE 08.19] Announcement from Chinese official and translation: Green Dam no longer mandatory for general consumers The Global Network Initiative is actively monitoring developments regarding the Chinese government’s directive that requires computer manufacturers to install the Green Dam/Youth Escort content control software on personal computers produced or sold in China. [...]
On May 5, 2009, the GNI participated in a panel entitled, “The GNI’s Multistakeholder Approach” at the first annual Yahoo! Business & Human Rights Summit. The summit was organized by Yahoo!’s Business & Human Rights Program, which brings together a team of professionals from across the company to integrate human rights [...]
On May 27, 2009, GNI participated in a roundtable discussion on civil society engagement at the 7th Chinese Internet Research Conference. This year's conference was hosted by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and focused on "The Chinese Internet and Civil Society: Civic Engagement, Deliberation and Culture." [...]
On May 4, 2009, Global Network Initiative participants took part in a panel at the Soul of the New Machine Conference in Berkeley, California. Participants discussed recent challenges to freedom of expression and privacy in Korea, Moldova, and Australia, and the role of the GNI as a source of first [...]
In responding to the removal, censorship and blocking of online publishing services – home to increasingly popular user generated content such as blogs, videos and photos – the Global Network Initiative stated today that its participating companies will continue to take steps to minimize the impact on users and the [...]
UPDATE: April 1, 2009 - YouTube has been blocked again in China. After being temporarily unblocked on Sunday and Monday (China time), YouTube was blocked again starting Monday, March 30 late in the day PDT. As before, no official explanation has been given for the blockage. Additional resources: Herdict Web [...]
Yahoo! VP and Deputy General Counsel Michael Samway appeared on The Communicators to discuss human rights challenges facing information and communications companies and the role of GNI in meeting those challenges.
The Global Network Initiative successfully held its first Public Forum in Paris on December 4. The well-attended event was held in conjunction with the International Seminar on Business and Human Rights in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and [...]
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, and Rep. Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued separate statements in support of the Global Network Initiative. Statement Of Senator Patrick [...]
In an effort to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy, a diverse coalition of leading information and communications companies, major human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders today launched the Global Network Initiative.