The ACLU and dozens of other organizations – including Free Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation – have teamed up to create the Declaration of Internet Freedom, which sets for a set of principles providing a positive vision to preserve the Internet as a platform for speech, innovation and creativity.
This effort rose out of the debate surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate earlier this year. As you may recall, SOPA and PIPA were bills aimed at stopping online piracy that would have would have also impacted a wealth of completely legal content online, limiting online innovation and free speech. Thanks to millions of Internet users coming together, we were able to stop SOPA and PIPA. But these battles remind us how fragile the free and open Internet is — and make it clear that if we don’t fight to protect it, no one will.
With that in mind, more than 100 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators are launching a Declaration of Internet Freedom — five principles outlining the basic freedoms that all Internet users should enjoy: expression; access; openness; innovation; and privacy.
We encourage you to respond to this document — you can agree or disagree with it, debate it, translate it, make it your own and broaden the discussion. No platform other than a free and open Internet allows this kind of interaction. The Declaration is meant to spark a passionate, global discussion among Internet users and communities about the Internet and our role in protecting it, so that the next time we are faced with threats to Internet freedom, we’ll have a common set of principles in place to combat them with.
The declaration reads:
We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.
We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for…
We hope you’ll agree that these principles are worth fighting for. Please sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom today.