(WASHINGTON)-–The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) today welcomed the release of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, a joint statement from 60 countries to support an internet that is “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure.”
CDT’s President & CEO, Alexandra Givens, said:
“The Declaration for the Future of the Internet is an important commitment by nations around the world to uphold human rights online and off, advance democratic ideals, and promote an open internet. It comes at a critical time, as authoritarian regimes worldwide pursue restrictive policies to surveil and censor their populations.
The Declaration underscores important priorities: for governments to maintain an open, free, global, interoperable, secure and reliable internet; to ensure the internet reinforces democratic principles and human rights; and to promote inclusive multistakeholder internet governance processes. Most importantly, it underscores the importance of protecting personal data privacy, and enabling underserved communities to connect and navigate the internet safely.
The Declaration sets as a goal that “individuals and businesses can trust the safety and confidentiality of the digital technologies they use and that their privacy is protected.” Unfortunately, it misses the opportunity to lift up one essential tool for ensuring such protections: end-to-end encryption.
For the Declaration to have persuasive power, all signatories – including the U.S. – must review their own laws and policies against the Declaration’s standards. In the U.S., this includes taking the long overdue step of passing a meaningful federal consumer privacy law.”
The Declaration frames a positive vision for the future of the internet at a time when it is sorely needed. Now governments and all internet stakeholders should focus on living up to these ideals.”
CDT is a 27-year-old 501(c)3 nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights to put democracy and human rights at the center of the digital revolution. It works to promote democratic values by shaping technology policy and architecture, with a focus on equity and justice.