Legal Frameworks on Freedom of Expression and Privacy in Telecommunications

The GNI Country Legal Frameworks Resource (CFLR) is a detailed set of resources for academics, rights advocates and others that explore the legal environment affecting freedom of expression and privacy in countries around the world.

Developed to enhance the transparency around the applicable domestic laws when a government may intercept and disrupt communications or require the blocking of content or access to user data, the CLFR allows the comparison of laws and polices across jurisdictions. The project also serves as a basis for the development of industry best practices, and for advocacy with individual governments to improve human rights.

The CLFR was established in 2015 by the former Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (TID) group of telecommunications operators and vendor companies and was absorbed by the Global Network Initiative in March 2017 when seven TID companies formally joined the GNI.

Research for the country profiles is also supported by Vodafone, Telenor Group, and Millicom, with some country research being done by law firms acting in an advisory role. We thank Hogan Lovells for their support on a number of the reports.

The reports on this site reflect the most up-to-date research of GNI companies and partners. Moving forward, GNI aims to provide updates reflecting changes in legislation and to add new countries whose laws have implications for the free expression and privacy landscape in the ICT sector.

The legal frameworks that govern privacy and freedom of expression in a particular jurisdiction are often complex, and may be overlapping, vague, or lack uniform interpretation by the courts and authorities that oversee, administer and enforce them.

In particular, the GNI is concerned about a worldwide trend towards government laws and policies which pressure ICT companies to intercept communications, share user data, and restrict content and service access in ways that may threaten internationally recognized rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

These country profiles in CLFR are licensed under Creative Commons and may be used with attribution.

We welcome questions and feedback on this project. Please contact