World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


G7 internet charter has foundations right, details dangerous

September 19, 2019— G7 member countries -with the exception of the United States- have signed the “Charter For A Free, Open and Safe Internet” (“the charter”), a voluntary pledge similar to the Christchurch Call that lists out actions that countries and online companies should take to counter illegal content on the internet. The signatories of the charter, which also include large tech platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, commit to abiding by it and to reviewing progress regularly.

Access Now welcomes the fact that, through this charter, most G7 nations and major internet players recognise that measures aimed at combating illegal content online must be built on a solid foundation that respects and promotes human rights. The charter rightly recognises the internet as a fundamental technological pillar of today’s world that must help empower individuals and communities, especially the most disenfranchised and vulnerable. Unfortunately, short-sighted or misguided policies theoretically aimed at improving the state of the internet can often do more harm than good.

"Overall, the G7’s internet charter is a welcome political initiative that recognises the importance of protecting human rights when regulating the internet, and which focuses on combating ‘illegal content’ specifically, a much clearer concept than others such as ‘online harms’ used by other initiatives," said Javier Pallero, Latin America Policy Lead at Access Now. "On the other hand, it is very concerning to see some of the world’s leading democratic governments continuing to delegate the interpretation and application of laws unto private companies and doubling-down on the use of automated upload filters, a technology that is prone to censor free speech online."

We expect governments to further engage civil society, the technical community and academia in a meaningful and timely manner when it comes to the implementation of these commitments. We also hope that the negative aspects of the declaration are reconsidered as States and companies create new policies on content governance.

Access Now is an international NGO that works on human rights and tech policy around the world.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Strike: At UN, Youth Activists Press For Bold Action

This first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit follows Friday’s global ‘climate strike’, which saw millions of young people from across the globe walk out of school and jam streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco. More>>


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>