Joint Statements

A key priority of the Freedom Online Coalition is the shaping of global norms through joint action. The Freedom Online Coalition offers its members an informal diplomatic space to share information and concerns about current developments that threaten to compromise Internet freedom around the world.

Through direct connections between states, members can bring worrying or positive developments to the attention of a group of likeminded governments in the Coalition.

This fast and direct information sharing allows the Coalition to react quickly to recent developments and deliberate them in an informal setting among governments who are governed by the same principles of Internet Freedom.

In many cases, this allows the Coalition to react together by issuing Joint Statements and press releases, representing the views of either the whole Coalition or specific members.

By reacting jointly to emerging issues, Coalition members are able increase the visibility of their response and the impact of their statements.

2018

Joint Statement on the ITU Plenipotentiary 2018

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Joint Statement on the ITU Plenipotentiary 2018

OCTOBER 2018

Following the first submission of proactive advice of the Freedom Online Coalition’s (FOC) Advisory Network, the FOC has issued a Joint Statement on the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2018, which takes place from 29 October – 16 November.

Within the statement, the FOC recognizes the importance of accountability, transparency and multistakeholder engagement at forums where international public policy issues are discussed, such as the ITU. It additionally recognizes the importance of engaging non-governmental human rights experts in national processes for the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference.

The statement encourages governments that are not members of the FOC to also consider enhancing their processes by engaging non-governmental human rights experts.

You can read the joint statement here.

Joint Statement on Internet Censorship

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Joint Statement on Internet Censorship

MAY 2018

As part of its efforts to promote global norms that seek to prevent and limit state-sponsored restrictions to human rights online, the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has issued a Joint Statement on Internet Censorship.

In it, the FOC expresses deep concern about the growing trend of state-sponsored Internet censorship, which challenges Coalition’s goals of protecting and promoting human rights online and protecting and extending an open and interoperable Internet, as affirmed in the FOC’s Tallinn Agenda.

To address this trend, the FOC calls upon governments to refrain from content restrictions on the Internet that violate international human rights law and to create an enabling environment for free expression and access to information online. Furthermore, it calls upon all stakeholders “to work together toward a shared approach – firmly grounded in respect for international human rights law – that aims to evaluate, respond to, and if necessary, remedy state-sponsored efforts to restrict, moderate, or manipulate online content, and that calls for greater transparency of private Internet companies’ mediation, automation, and remedial policies.”

The FOC encourages all Internet stakeholders to take note of and endorse this statement, and invites states that support an open and interoperable Internet to apply to join the FOC.

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2017

Joint Statement and Accompanying Good Practices for Government on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions

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Joint Statement and Accompanying Good Practices for Government on State-Sponsored Network Disruptions

MARCH 2017

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the growing trend of intentional state-sponsored disruptions of access to or dissemination of information online. These disruptions challenge the FOC’s goal of protecting and extending an open and interoperable Internet, as affirmed in the Tallinn Agenda. In addition to the joint statement, the Coalition has issued an accompanying document which outlines good practices, and encourages all governments to refrain from network disruptions which stifle exercise of the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly online, while bolstering multi-stakeholder, participatory and inclusive Internet governance, strengthening Internet infrastructure, and improving transparency.

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Joint Statement of the Freedom Online Coalition on Human Rights in the Context of International Security and the Work of the UN GGE

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Joint Statement of the Freedom Online Coalition on Human Rights in the Context of International Security and the Work of the UN GGE

FEBRUARY 2017

To further FOC efforts to promote human rights online, the Coalition has issued a joint statement calling upon the GGE experts to build on the stance of previous GGE reports and emphasize the central importance of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms for the maintenance of international peace and security.

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2016

Freedom Online Coalition Statement on a Human Rights Based Approach to Cybersecurity Policy Making

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Freedom Online Coalition Statement on a Human Rights Based Approach to Cybersecurity Policy Making

OCTOBER 2016

The Freedom Online Coalition applauds the direction of the work undertaken by Working Group 1, and hopes that this will work towards the realisation of a paradigm shift in cybersecurity policy making that is human rights respecting by design.

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Freedom Online Coalition Strategic Review Working Group Joint Statement on Independent Report by University of Pennsylvania

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Freedom Online Coalition Strategic Review Working Group Joint Statement on Independent Report by University of Pennsylvania

MAY 2016

The Freedom Online Coalition’s Strategic Review Working Group issued this statement on the report released on 4th May 2016 by the University of Pennsylvania and authored by Ms. Susan Morgan based on her external assessment of the Coalition’s membership, governance and structure, efforts and activities, and funding.

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Joint statement on cross-border attacks on freedom of expression online

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Joint statement on cross-border attacks on freedom of expression online

MARCH 2016

The Freedom Online Coalition has issued a statement calling upon governments to halt measures designed, in contravention of states’ international human rights obligations, to restrict the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly online, as stated in the “Tallinn Agenda”.

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2015

Joint Statement on Restrictive Data Localisation Laws

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Joint Statement on Restrictive Data Localisation Laws

SUMMER 2015

The Freedom Online Coalition issued a statement expressing its concern regarding the use of privacy and security considerations by authoritarian governments as a pretext to force Internet companies and service providers to store user data on servers physically located within their domestic borders.

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Joint Statement of the FOC presented at the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

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Joint Statement of the FOC presented at the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

JULY 2015

On behalf of members, the Ambassador of Mongolia presented a Joint Statement on online freedoms at the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, June 22 under Agenda Item 3, General Debate.

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2014

Joint Statement on the use and export of surveillance technology

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Joint Statement on the use and export of surveillance technology

OCTOBER 2014

Recently, the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has been made aware of and has become increasingly concerned by the arbitrary or even unlawful use of surveillance technology in many countries, in clear breach of international human rights law.  While welcome steps are being taken to update international trade agreements such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, greater multi-stakeholder efforts from government and private companies are necessary.  To this end the FOC governments are issuing a statement calling on governments and businesses to uphold their human rights obligations in this respect, as well as reaffirming their own commitment in their practice of upholding those same obligations

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Joint Statement on restrictions on access to social media

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Joint Statement on restrictions on access to social media

AUGUST 2014

The Freedom Online Coalition issued a statement expressing its increasing concern at the violation of human rights principles and law involved by, for example, the wholesale blocking of social media sites, and the use of third-parties to restrict access to content in violation of international law.

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2013

Joint Statement on the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Decree 72

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Joint Statement on the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Decree 72

AUGUST 2013

In response to the announcement of Vietnam’s new Decree 72, which imposed further restrictions on the way the Internet is accessed and used in Vietnam, The Freedom Online Coalition voiced deep concern and calls on the Vietnamese government to revise Decree 72 so that it promotes the ability of individuals to exercise their human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.

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Joint Statement of the FOC at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

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Joint Statement of the FOC at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

SEPTEMBER 2013

On behalf of the Freedom Online Coalition, the Permanent Representative of Estonia, Mrs Mariin Ratnik, expressed concern that the world continues to witness restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression and other fundamental freedoms online, including within social media platforms. The FOC drew special attention to the practices in some OSCE member states in this regard. The members of the FOC believe that it is time to counter the trend of increased controls over internet content and underlined the importance of safeguarding and supporting media pluralism

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Joint Statement of the FOC to the OSCE at the “Internet 2013” Conference

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Joint Statement of the FOC to the OSCE at the “Internet 2013” Conference

FEBRUARY 2013

The FOC expresses sincere gratitude to the Representative on Freedom of the Media, Ms Dunja Mijatović, and her team for having organized an OSCE conference which deals with the important topic of Internet freedom. At the same time the FOC noted with concern the continued harassment, intimidation and killings of journalists, civil society members and other professionals working online, as well as illicit monitoring, filtering and hacking, and urges all participating states to fully implement the common commitments on freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

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2012

Joint letter to the UN secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum

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Joint letter to the UN secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum

NOVEMBER 2012

On behalf of FOC members, the Dutch chair of the Coalition issued a letter to the UN Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum, urging them to review and response to a public letter of the Expression Online Internet, which expresses concerns over a series of alleged incidents at the 7th IGF in Baku.

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Statement by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to mark World Press Freedom Day

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Statement by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to mark World Press Freedom Day

MAY 2012

To mark the World Press Freedom Day, the FOC calls on all governments to protect everybody’s Internet freedom in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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