According to Internet freedom group European Digital Rights, provisions that would criminalize our Internet use may be dropped from the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)! While the battle isn’t over yet, this is a huge step forward for the Internet freedom community and the thousands of Canadians who shouted down the same provisions in July of this year, when they were part of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
After an overwhelming response from citizens worldwide speaking out, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has today released all documents related to next month's discussions.
In releasing the texts, the ITU has even acknowledged that there are proposals that "would have a significant impact on the Internet". It's a welcome shift towards transparency – one that has been inspired by people like you – but we need to keep up the pressure.
Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations are continuing to expand, with Canada and Mexico formally joining as 'second-tier' negotiators at next month's talks. These closed-door meetings will include discussions that could censor, criminalize and apply fines to everyday Internet users.
It's been suggested that a wave of online censorship was enforced over Chinese citizens during a recent Communist Party meeting. This authoritative muffling of free speech might come as little surprise, but the fact that it could extend beyond China's borders is sure to be unsettling.
In just under a month, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – an agency of the United Nations – will gather government representatives from around the world to discuss proposed Internet governance rules. These closed-door talks surrounding how everyday citizens use and access the Internet are reminiscent of prior and ongoing trade agreements; decisions about how we use the Internet should be made in an open and participatory way.
As many of you know, two weeks ago Canada and Mexico formally joined the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as ‘second tier’ negotiators, requiring their governments to accept the unknown provisions that have already been negotiated. The negotiations are storming ahead, keeping up an absurd level of secrecy around decisions that will limit what we can do online, and how we can innovate.
A closed-door meeting to be held next month will determine if your Internet use will become governed by a UN agency – the ITU – in imposing greater controls and limiting personal expression.
We're assembling a multi-national coalition of organizations and citizens to express their rights to Internet freedom. Learn more about who's involved with this global movement at ProtectInternetFreedom.net.
Article by Paola Totaro and Claire Connelly for News Limited Network
A Russian Internet censorship act has come into effect today that will monitor citizens' actions online, censor opponents of the ruling government from speaking out and ban access to certain websites entirely.
Censoring freedom of expression. Restricting connections and preventing conversations between citizens. Infringing on privacy and increasing surveillance.