The Internet and information and communications technologies (ICT) are powerful tools for expression and political participation. Increasingly, however, repressive countries (and even some democratic ones) are harnessing the power of the Internet and ICTs in ways that violate basic human rights such as freedom of expression and privacy. Authoritarian regimes censor web content, encourage self-censorship, demand real-name registration, actively surveil and block online communications, and even limit Internet access altogether. They also punish activists who attempt to use the Internet as a medium to dissent or challenge state authority. Governments also often seek to enlist technology companies and other intermediaries in these efforts.
CDT's fast-growing work in promoting global Internet freedom focuses on developing best practices for industry for advancing freedom of expression and privacy, promoting governmental policies that advance and protect human rights, and supporting the efforts of other global Internet freedom advocates all over the world by providing policy advice and technical assistance.