The Election of the Century is just a day away. Lots of things are on the electorate's mind, but we here at CDT hope the next president
- whomever he is - devotes considerable attention to one last major issue: global Internet freedom.
What is Global Internet Freedom?
Whether you call it global Internet freedom, digital human rights, or something else, it's the idea that governments around the world will not interfere with the free flow of information and ideas on global communications networks, particularly the Internet.
It's the idea that governments will respect, regardless of the medium of communication, the universally recognized human rights of freedom of expression and privacy enshrined in global documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It's the idea that governments won't directly or indirectly (for example, by putting pressure on technology companies) block, take down, or otherwise engage in censorship of online content, and access users' personal information, conduct electronic surveillance or persecute cyber dissidents and citizen journalists.
However, many governments are successfully remaking the Internet into a tool of government control. They recognize that the Internet has become a global communications medium that fuels both economic growth and democratic reforms. The global Internet's inherent openness and lack of central control is particularly threatening to authoritarian countries and those with weak rule of law and poor human rights records.
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