The Biden administration and 55 countries have partnered to call for a new Declaration for the Future of the Internet.
Administration officials said the declaration is part of a “response to a rising trend of digital authoritarianism, including Russia’s actions to block credible news sites and promote disinformation during and leading up to the invasion of Ukraine.”
The document spells out ways to promote a shared vision among the countries while acting within their jurisdictions and under their respective laws.
It focuses on Internet safety, including promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms online and ensuring people globally can access safe and reliable Internet.
“Partners actively support a future for the Internet that is an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure,” according to the document. “We further affirm our commitment to protecting and respecting human rights online and across the digital ecosystem.”
“Partners in this Declaration intend to work toward an environment that reinforces our democratic systems and promotes active participation of every citizen in democratic processes, secures and protects individuals’ privacy, maintains secure and reliable connectivity, resists efforts to splinter the global Internet, and promotes a free and competitive global economy,” administration officials said.
Further, the declaration’s principles include commitments to:
- Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people;
- Promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information;
- Advance inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy;
- Promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy; and
- Protect and strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.
“In signing this Declaration, the United States and partners will work together to promote this vision and its principles globally,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
“Over the last year, the United States has worked with partners from all over the world – including civil society, industry, academia, and other stakeholders to reaffirm the vision of an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet and reverse negative trends in this regard.
“Under this vision, people everywhere will benefit from an Internet that is unified un-fragmented; facilitates global communications and commerce; and supports freedom, innovation, education, and trust.”