Stop the Secrecy

Scaling up together to meet the threats to the open Internet

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 13:09 -- OpenMedia

From the beginning the Internet has always been about us; those who use the Internet to connect with one another, to create, to express ourselves, and to make our lives just a little bit easier. We must stand up to lobbyists who act to restrict Internet freedom in their drive to prop up outdated governance and business models. To that end we’re happy to announce the launch of our mobile-adaptive OpenMedia International beta website.

Various pro-Internet organizations have joined together in a campaign to Stop the Internet Trap, forming a coalition to oppose legislation that limits and controls the potential of the Internet and that criminalizes its users. The Internet is a global network and so this is a challenge that affects people from all around the world, but global citizens are not being given a say. Instead Big Media conglomerates are being given the power to decide how our Internet should be regulated.

Case in point: in Canadian citizens successfully fought back against some of the most anti-Internet provisions in the copyright bill passed by the government earlier this year, and U.S. citizens pushed back against similar legislation in the form of the Stop Online Piracy Act. But now those provisions are being reintroduced in an international trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, that our governments are determined to sign. So it’s time to unite our efforts and form a global pro-Internet community.

OpenMedia International is working with global partners—like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), FreePress, Public Knowledge, New Zealand’s InternetNZ, and Chilean group Derechos Digitales—to stop this Internet trap before it's too late, but we realize we need more than just a campaign. We need capacity devoted to ensuring that battles won in each nation are true wins. We can’t put all our energy into stop-gap measures at home while our democracy and our digital rights are eroded abroad by lobbyists and un-elected trade representatives working in almost total secrecy.

That's why we are taking a massive step to launch the OpenMedia International beta website.

You should know:

  1. and OpenMedia International are about ensuring that citizens are truly empowered to decide how the Internet evolves—how it remains a force for national and global connection.
  2. The pro-Internet community can only get stronger by becoming an international movement, able to meet the challenges to the open Internet wherever they arise.
  3. Many of our partner organizations and others are doing amazing work to safeguard Internet freedom already and their work deserves to reach even more people! Our new platform will curate the important work being done so you can stay in the loop about all the exciting Internet freedom activities on the go.

We’re starting this project through the creation of a new social-media infused website that will be a hub for rallying citizens around the world, and providing the international pro-Internet movement with a platform to pressure leaders everywhere. When attacks on our digital future go global, we will be able to respond with a coordinated effort. Many of our past tools from our letter-to-the-editor tool, to our pro-Internet candidates resource and so much more, were only possible because people chipped in what they could. Your contributions can make this new site everything it could be, so if you haven’t already please do consider chipping into our donation drive now.

This is a pivotal and thrilling moment for the pro-Internet movement. Something is changing: groups and people around the world are noticeably more motivated to come together and cooperate across national borders. The Internet has made us aware of the value of global connection; we’re hopeful that we can come together globally to defend it from increasingly secretive, large-scale, anti-democratic threats. Anti-Internet lobbyists would like to trap us in the past, but the pro-Internet movement is coming together around the world to assert our rights to an open, fair, and stable digital future.

The possibilities of the open Internet become crystal clear when we look at them through a global lens. We hope the OpenMedia international hub will help the pro-Internet community speak up for the possibilities of the Internet, crafting a connected future with an open, affordable, surveillance-free Internet for all.

As the amplifiers of your voices, the pro-Internet coalition has been excited to feel this global movement starting to take shape. And we’re so excited to have you join us as we get started at:

For the Internet!

Reilly, Lindsey, Steve on behalf of your OpenMedia team