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Chris SheehyAs 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.
Chris SheehyThe 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 [...]
Chris Sheehy“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.
Enhancing Understanding of Legal Trends Impacting Freedom of Expression and Privacy in the ICT SectorThe 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.
Rocio Campos“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.
j Gregory BartonStarting 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.
Chris SheehyWe 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.
Understanding Electoral Information Flows: How to Approach the Role of Digital Technologies in Elections? By Jason Pielemeier*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.
Chris SheehyGFMD 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.
Chris SheehyIn 2018, GNI celebrated its tenth anniversary and took important steps to protect and promote freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology sector.
Chris SheehyGiven 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.
Chris SheehyIn 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.
GNI to Host UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Session: “Mapping the Impact of Digital Technology from Network Disruptions to Disinformation”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.
GNI Welcomes LIBE Committee Amendments, Calls for Further Changes to the Proposed European Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content OnlineRetaining 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.
GNI Expresses Concern About the Freedom of Expression and Privacy Implications of Australia’s “Sharing of Violent Abhorrent Material” BillAt 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.
Rocio CamposGNI 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.
Rocio Campos“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.
Chris SheehyWith 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.
Chris SheehyA 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.
Chris SheehyBNP Paribas Asset Management has been a major player in sustainable investment since 2002.
Chris Sheehy“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.
Chris SheehyGNI 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.
Rocio CamposThe Global Network Initiative seeks applications for the 2019 Google Policy Fellowship program. The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues and exploring future academic and professional interests. The [...]
GNI Statement on Europe’s Proposed Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content OnlineAs drafted, the proposed European regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content could unintentionally harm users’ rights and undermine legitimate efforts to document and counter extremists’ online activity.
“What Next for Advocacy Against Network Disruptions?” by Learning and Development Director David Sullivan"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."
“The Multistakeholder Global Network Initiative: Watch the Story Unfold” by Executive Director Judith LichtenbergWith the tenth-anniversary video as a visual guide, GNI's executive director reflects on ten years of multistakeholder collaboration for freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.
Rocio CamposGNI 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 [...]
Chris SheehyFounding 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!
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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. [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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), [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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, [...]
David SullivanLEGISLATIVE 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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”)) [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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”) [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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). [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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: • [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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 [...]
David SullivanPROVISION 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, [...]
Rocio CamposAlthough 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.
Chris SheehyOn 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.
Chris SheehyDuring 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.
GNI Joins Call for U.S. Senate to Swiftly Consider Nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board31 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.
Chris SheehyOn 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.
Chris SheehyJoin 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.
Chris SheehyArgentina's draft law on the responsibility of Internet intermediaries would serve as an important benchmark regionally and globally, facilitating innovation & investment and fostering Freedom of Expression online. GNI encourages the Chamber of Deputies to pass it into law as drafted.
GNI Provides Feedback on European Commission’s Proposal on Requests to Access Electronic Evidence Across BordersGNI 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
Chris SheehyGNI 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.
Chris SheehyGNI-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 [...]
Chris Sheehy2017 was a year of notable achievements and strategic growth for GNI. Learn more in our annual report, "Reinforcing a Global Standard."
GNI Welcomes Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression to the Human Rights CouncilSpecial 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.
Chris SheehyAuthored 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.
Chris SheehyGNI 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 [...]
Rocio Campos***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 [...]
Chris Sheehy 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.
Chris SheehyGNI 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."
Rocio CamposOn 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 [...]
Event Report: GNI & UNESCO host Improving the Communications and Information Ecosystem to Protect the Integrity of ElectionsGNI and UNESCO partnered for two feature sessions: “network availability, security and integrity around elections,” and "enhancing quality of information and elections.”
Chris SheehyThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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.
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanToday, 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanWashington 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 [...]
David SullivanSection 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes elements of the US Intelligence Community to obtain “foreign intelligence information” by targeting surveillance on non-U.S. persons located abroad. This authority is used to collect, use, and disseminate electronic communications content either stored by U.S internet companies or traversing the internet’s [...]
Civil Society Organizations from the Middle East and Latin America Join the Global Network InitiativeThe 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 [...]
David SullivanAt 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanJob title: Communications Manager Deadline for applications: November 21, 2017 Location: Washington DC Salary & Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with experience. GNI provides a benefits package that includes health care, dental coverage, paid vacation, sick days and parental leave. Working at the intersection of human rights, technology policy, and corporate social responsibility, GNI [...]
GNI Submits Comments to the European Commission’s Consultation on “Improving Cross-Border Access to Electronic Evidence in Criminal Matters”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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe Global Network Initiative today launched “Weighing the Impact of Network Shutdowns and Service Restrictions — Considerations for Policymakers,” a one-page guide aimed at governments who may consider mandating disruptions of communications networks services and online platforms. The one-page guide is available in Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, [...]
Telia Company Releases Human Rights Impact Assessment Reports on their Operations in Sweden and LithuaniaGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
GNI Hosts 2017 Annual Public Learning Forum: “Internet Freedom and the New Era of Censorship and Surveillance”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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanApril 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 [...]
admin 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
adminThe 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.
Global Network Initiative Adds Seven Companies in Milestone Expansion of Freedom of Expression and Privacy InitiativeMillicom, 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 Joins Broad Coalition Opposing US Department of Homeland Security Social Media Password Requirement ProposalThe US Government risks setting a dangerous global precedent as foreign governments implement similar password requirements at their borders.
“The shutdown in Cameroon appears to be calculated to target political speech,” said Mark Stephens, CBE., Independent Board Chair.
Experts from government, civil society and companies explored how human rights can be upheld in public-private partnerships to counter violent extremism in social media.
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 Government of Nauru should restore access to Facebook and commit to ensuring internet connectivity for all their citizens consistent with international human rights norms.”
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 |
Chris SheehyTech companies and human rights experts offer collective recommendations to address online content that is allegedly extremist in nature.
Chris SheehyThe GNI 2016 Learning Forum will be held at Georgetown University on November 30.
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 deeply concerned that LinkedIn has been blocked in Russia. The blocking order from the Russian regulator was put into effect today.
adminThe 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 [...]
Governments who disrupt the Internet could be shaving off 1.9 percent of their daily GDP. Read more for the full report.
GNI Director of Communications Kath Cummins called on governments to recognize the challenges shutdowns pose for economic development, rather than viewing shutdowns solely through a security lens.
GNI is concerned by reports showing the Ethiopian Government blocked Internet access amid escalating anti-government protests.
Chris SheehyGNI 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 is alarmed by yet another order by a Brazilian judge to block the WhatsApp messaging service across the entire country.
Global Network Initiative and Telecommunications Industry Dialogue Joint Statement on Network and Service ShutdownsThe 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 Global Network Initiative Releases Public Report on the 2015/16 Independent Assessments of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and YahooGNI has released new recommendations for governments and tech companies to protect user rights when they address content alleged to be extremist or terrorist.
GNI Joins Coalition Opposing Proposal to Bar Privacy and Civil Liberties Board From Considering the Rights of Non-U.S. PersonsThe 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.
The GNI is concerned that the French data protection authority ruling sets a disturbing precedent for the cause of an open and free Internet.
The GNI continues to urge the Brazilian government to adhere to international human rights standards on free expression and privacy and to refrain from blocking access to communications platforms.
Chris SheehySpeakers highlighted the problematic extraterritorial provisions of the UK Investigatory Powers Bill and the opportunity to build a human rights-respecting international framework for data sharing.
Panel topics include combatting terrorism online, intermediary liability, online hate speech, and human rights based approaches to cybersecurity.
Chris SheehyGNI calls on the Turkish government to respect their international human rights commitments.
Local staff working in many countries may be increasingly targeted for arrest or intimidation in cases where they are involved in the provision of encrypted services.
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 GNI is alarmed by reports that the government of Uganda has ordered mobile operators to block access to social media platforms and mobile money services during its presidential election.
Chris SheehyOn Wednesday, February 17, participants from U.S. government agencies, civil society groups, academia and ICT companies will join the discussion.
The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue Join Forces to Advance Freedom of Expression and PrivacyFrom February 1st, Millicom, Nokia, Orange, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, and Vodafone Group will have official observer status within the GNI.
Chris SheehyThe Global Network Initiative is concerned about the shutdown of communications platforms, and the intimidation of citizens and journalists for using social media.
Chris SheehyEncryption and anonymity are foundations for freedom of expression and privacy around the world.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Twitter Submit Written Evidence on the UK Investigatory Powers Bill"Governments have a responsibility to protect people and their privacy. We believe a legal framework can protect both.” Read more to find the full submission.
The UK has an opportunity to lead on a global framework for data based on transparency and the rule of law. Read more to find the full GNI submission.
The Global Network Initiative is concerned that Pakistan’s Cybercrime Bill will usher in a new era of unprecedented restriction on the free flow of information for its citizens.
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.
GNI & Stanford CIS Host Privacy, Security and Freedom of Expression Learning Day at Stanford University on December 2ndAlong 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.
In its latest transparency report, Facebook has reported an 18 percent increase in official requests for its users' data around the world.
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.
The half-day session discussed the effectiveness of restricting content for countering extremism online, and what measures could be used mitigate the harm to privacy and free expression.
GNI Meets with UK officials to discuss new “Snoopers’ Charter” bill and mutual legal assistance reformGNI 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.
Jodie brings to GNI her experience with the think tank Demos, and her distinguished journalistic career, including as a long-time foreign correspondent and a former Reuters Bureau Chief in London.
"By backing strong encryption, the White House can send a global message in support of the privacy and freedom of expression of all internet users," said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
K.S. is one of the founders of Open Net Korea, a forum for discussion and collaboration on ICT freedoms and human rights.
"Change.org is a powerful global force for social good, and we look forward to what we can accomplish together,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
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."
GNI was among the 31 civil society groups that successfully spoke out against section 603, which would have created a sweeping requirement for internet companies to report on their users.
On September 14, GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg addressed the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee.
"By backing strong encryption, the White House can send a global message in support of the privacy and freedom of expression of all internet users," said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.
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.
GNI has published a short document setting out key questions and considerations to inform the debate on the role of ICT companies in removing alleged terrorist or extremist content online.
GNI presents its 2014 Annual Report, which describes the initiative's work on behalf of freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector during the past year.
GNI welcomes the report to the Human Rights Council by David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression, on encryption, anonymity and digital communications.
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.
GNI is pleased to welcome Tatevik Sargsyan as its 2015 Google Policy Fellow.
GNI is pleased to announce that Judith Lichtenberg has been appointed as our new Executive Director.
In 2014, GNI undertook a strategic review of the initiative’s progress toward creating a standard to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy across the ICT sector.
At RightsCon Southeast Asia, GNI participants showcased the initiative’s approach to free expression and privacy.
GNI has joined with a wide range of privacy and human rights advocates, technology companies, and trade associations to agree on key elements of U.S surveillance reform.
The Global Network Initiative applauds today's landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India in support of freedom of expression.
The Global Network Initiative seeks applications for the 2015 Google Policy Fellowship program.
GNI urges the Government of Azerbaijan to drop the criminal investigation of Emin Huseynov, director of GNI civil society member the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.
Join us on January 28 for the launch of a new report commissioned by GNI to address the growing demand from law enforcement agents for access to data subject to another country’s jurisdiction.
New GNI Report Offers Reforms to Manage Rising Number of International Law Enforcement Requests for User DataA report released by GNI outlines key principles and specific reforms to drive a human rights-based approach to MLA reform for the twenty-first century.
On November 6, 2014, GNI and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue held the first of two 2014 Joint Learning Forum events in Sunnyvale, California.
On December 1, 2014, the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue and GNI held the second of their two Joint Learning Forums for the year 2014.
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.
Applications will be accepted from November 21, 2014 until January 9, 2015 from organizations interested in becoming accredited assessors for the Global Network Initiative.
Amid the contentious global debates about privacy and surveillance since the Snowden revelations, few proposed reforms have attracted more consensus than calls for greater transparency.
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 is pleased to welcome its newest member, the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University Stern School of Business.
Chris Sheehy“With her unique combination of tact and tenacity, Susan has made invaluable contributions throughout her time at GNI,” said GNI Independent Chair Mark Stephens.
Chris SheehyThe 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.
We urge reconsideration of the fast-track timeline of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill to provide adequate opportunity for Parliamentary scrutiny and public debate.
A year has passed since the American former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden began revealing the massive scope of Internet surveillance by the US National Security Agency.
The Global Network Initiative is alarmed by the widespread blocking of websites and social media amid the crisis in Iraq.
GNI urges the U.S. Senate to address serious shortcomings in the version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed by the House.
The Global Network Initiative is pleased to welcome our first Google Policy Fellow, James Losey.
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.
GNU is deeply troubled by the risks to freedom of expression and access to information from the EU Right to Be Forgotten ruling.
The Global Network Initiative today released its 2013 Annual Report, charting the initiative’s progress protecting free expression and privacy in the ICT sector.
GNI welcomes the adoption of a series of recommendations by the Freedom Online Coalition.
The Global Network Initiative urges Russian President Vladimir Putin to veto legislation that would restrict free expression and privacy rights online.
The UK response to the Snowden revelations is providing a worrying precedent for Putin and other autocrats, and has been incommensurate to the scope and scale of the problem at hand.
GNI provides input for the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on “The right to privacy in the digital age.”
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.
International Human Rights Advocate Mark Stephens, CBE Named as Global Network Initiative Board ChairThe Global Network Initiative (GNI) today announced the election of Mark Stephens as Independent Chair of its Board of Directors.
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 is deeply alarmed by reports that the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, has intercepted millions of Yahoo! webcam images.
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.
David SullivanGNI 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, [...]
David SullivanUpdate: 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanReport 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 making a good faith effort to [...]
GNI Statement on Report of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications TechnologiesGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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, [...]
David SullivanThe 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, [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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): [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanReport 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 [...]
The Global Network Initiative Joins Internet Companies & Advocates to Demand More Transparency Around Government SurveillanceWe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanRecent 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 Welcomes U.S. and Canadian Actions to Enable Access to Communications Technologies in IranThe 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 [...]
David SullivanInterview 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.
David SullivanWASHINGTON, 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,” [...]
David SullivanAt 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 Ethical Council, a Collaboration Between Funds in the Swedish National Pension System, Joins the Global Network InitiativeThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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. [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
Key Telecommunications Players Collaborate with the Global Network Initiative on Freedom of Expression and Privacy RightsThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanSusan 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.
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanDate: Thursday October 18, 10.30am – 12pm Venue: Free Word Centre, London Tickets: By invitation only. Please email email@example.com 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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.
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI'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 [...]
New Report Outlines Recommendations for Governments, Companies and Others on How to Protect Free Expression and Privacy Rights OnlineGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThis 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
Afilias Becomes the First European Company to Gain Observer Status with the Global Network InitiativeThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanWASHINGTON, 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 [...]
Global Network Initiative Welcomes Action By United States and Europe on Human Rights and TechnologyThe 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 [...]
Global Network Initiative Finds Progress by Technology Companies in Meeting Commitments on Free Expression and Privacy RightsThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 Encourages Companies Not to Respond to Pakistan’s Request for Proposals for an Internet Filtering and Blocking SystemThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
GNI Statement on Protecting Intellectual Property and Upholding Free Expression and Innovation OnlineThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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, [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
Open Letter on Freedom of Expression, Intellectual Property and H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy ActOn 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanAs 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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. [...]
David SullivanThe 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: [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanWhen 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, [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanOne 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) [...]
Statement of the Global Network Initiative on the OECD’s Update of the Revised Guidelines for Multinational EnterprisesThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanWashington, 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 [...]
David SullivanRecent 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
David SullivanOn 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
Reflecting on Google in Italy (and beyond): Implications for Online Privacy and Freedom of Expression in the Internet AgeThe 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 [...]
David SullivanThe 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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. [...]
David SullivanGNI 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; [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanIn 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 [...]
David SullivanGNI 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 [...]
GNI Identifies Intermediary Liability for Carriers and Platforms for User Generated Content as a Key Issue for Business and Public PolicyWhen 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 [...]
David Sullivan[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. [...]
Chris SheehyOn 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 [...]
Chris SheehyOn 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." [...]
Chris SheehyOn 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 [...]
Chris SheehyIn 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 [...]
GNI Concerned About Lack of Transparency and Accountability in YouTube Censorship (UPDATE: April 1, 2009)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 [...]
Chris SheehyYahoo! 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.
Chris SheehyThe 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 [...]
Chris SheehySen. 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 [...]
Chris SheehyIn 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.