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#OurNetMundial – End Global Surveillance and Protect the Free Internet

photo of Kevin Flanagan

Kevin Flanagan
23rd April 2014


End Global Surveillance and Protect the Free Internet

A message to governments of the World

Edward Snowden exposed the collaboration between the governments of this world and the most powerful companies of Silicon Valley, that turned everyday technology into a tool for global surveillance and social, political as well as economic control. These unjustifiable mass violations of our trust and privacy are affecting the democratic potential of the Internet and its future.
Last year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff condemned this collusion, promising concrete actions and convening the “NETmundial Forum”.
Despite this promise, the most recent version of NETmundial’s “Internet Governance Principles” document[1] lacks any strength. References contained in previous versions[2] to non-discrimination of our communications (Net Neutrality) or to the cyber-weapon arms race have all been removed. The proposed text does not even mention NSA’s mass surveillance, nor the active participation of companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. and fails to propose any concrete action.
Governments have a moral obligation and a duty to protect their citizens’ fundamental freedoms against aggressions by public and private entities. We expect them to protect the decentralized architecture of a Free Internet as a common good.
We demand that Governments take concrete steps to:
I. Adopt, following the example of Brazil with the Internet “Marco Civil”, strong legislation that protects our freedom and Net Neutrality online, free of censorship and global surveillance mechanisms such as administrative data retention[3]
II. Take effective measures to put technology back into citizens’ hands, by investing resources to promote and reinforce: free/libre software, hardware citizens can control and trust; decentralized architectures, end-to-end encryption. They should also put an end to the militarization of cyberspace and enable universal access.
Failing this, Governments expose themselves to being, at best, accomplices in the global surveillance and censorship regime, and at worst, active participants in it, acting against citizen’s interests globally and willfully attacking the Free Internet.

[1] See and comment here: http://document.netmundial.br/1-internet-governance-principles/

[2] See draft leaked by Wikileaks on: https://wikileaks.org/netmundial-outcome/

[3] Current version of Marco Civil being discussed at the Senate contains provisions mandating data retention for providers, which is a serious violation of privacy

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