For Immediate Release: May 22, 2013
Washington, DC – Human Rights First today praised Facebook’s decision to join the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder group established in 2008 with the goal of protecting online freedom of expression and privacy in the face of government pressure to comply with domestic laws which may run up against international human rights norms. GNI is comprised of companies, investors, academics, and civil society organizations, including Human Rights First, a member of GNI’s Board of Directors.
“Facebook’s decision to join the Global Network Initiative as a company member recognizes that no company, no matter how large its user base, can go it alone in confronting government threats to freedom of expression and privacy,” said Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack. “Threats to internet freedom are proliferating. By joining GNI, Facebook is committing to policies aimed at protecting and promoting freedom of expression and privacy, as well as to independent assessments of their efforts. With Facebook’s decision, the GNI is reaching ‘critical mass’ in driving both global standards and expectations regarding company behavior.”
In April 2012, the GNI released a report detailing progress made by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo in protecting internet freedom of expression and privacy online. This report, based on an independent assessment of company policies, marked an important milestone in protecting user privacy and strengthening consumer trust in the face of increasing government demands to limit or circumscribe service. The report also detailed proliferating threats to internet freedom in every corner of the world, including Europe and the United States.
For more information about the GNI or to speak with Roggensack, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-370-3323.