Lets Hop Right in with the Internet Declaration of Freedom

A couple of days ago Free Press, their associated Save the Internet, and countless other organizations including the Electronic Frontier FoundationCenter for Democracy and Technology, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty InternationalPublic Knowledge, Mozilla, Color of Change, and TechDirt. (all of which are kickass organizations which you should totally check out) launched the Internet Declaration of Freedom (internetdeclaration.org).

The site basically talks about the international movement to support a free and open internet and then lays down the following principles for discussion.

We stand for a free and open Internet.

We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

Expression: Don’t censor the Internet.

Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.

Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.

Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.

Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.

There’s a ton of links from the main site to sign the petition etc. ( I think the best one is here).

In my next post I’m gonna start to pick apart some of these principles and the ideas behind the declarations since they are pretty vague and symbolic as written.

To me, the coalition behind this thing is an all-star team of my favorite political advocates, and while I’m excited to see them all lining up and united on this issue, it is also true that the broad brush rhetoric of the declaration is easy to get behind when you’re not talking about details.

In reaction to this move the more conservative corporate backed group Tech Freedom put up their own version of a declaration ofiInternet freedom at declarationofinternetfreedom.org. While clearly trying to co-opt the message (just like they are trying to co-opt the internet IMO) the whopping 9 likes on Tumblr pretty much says it all as far as support goes.

In a future post will react to Tech Freedom’s ideas in the their version of the declaration (i.e. I’ll tell you why I think they are dead wrong).

Lastly Google unintentionally jumps into the mix with their Celebrate freedom. Support a free and open Internet post on the official Google Blog. Google’s message? Basically that we already have a free and open internet so just be patriotic and jam out the Star Spangled Banner being played on an electric guitar.

It’s saddens me that Google didn’t get behind the real Declatration of Internet Freedom but I didn’t really expect them to. Google’s take action page doesn’t go anything beyond the words “Support a free and open internet” and give you a place to sign up for their email list.