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MEPs launch Internet freedom campaign on Facebook


17 Apr 2009


EU Priorities 2020

Human rights need also to be respected Online -
Nine Members of the European Parliament launched their campaign for global Internet freedom on Facebook today.

This Facebook campaign is against the censorship of the Internet in support of the protection of online freedom worldwide. The main aim is to raise awareness that around the world countries are tightening their control over the Internet. In July 2008 this group of MEPs representing the four major political Groups in the European Parliament and who are from nine different EU member states have come up with a package of proposals for European Internet freedom legislation: the Global Online Freedom Act (EU GOFA), based on a similar proposal launched in the US House of Representatives in 2006.

Dutch liberal Jules Maaten (VVD, Netherlands): "We must make sure that Internet companies promote an open Internet and will not limit the freedom people have online. It is not the Internet that needs regulation, it is Governments and business that need to know their limits. Freedom of speech must remain the basis of the Internet. Human rights need also to be respected online".

MEPs propose among other things:

1. Annual naming and shaming of Internet restricting countries
2. Corporate standards for Internet businesses operating in authoritarian states
3. Development and distribution of anti-censorship tools and services
4. Human Rights Impact Assessments for exports to internet restricting countries
5. Treat internet censorship as an international barrier to trade

The European GOFA is proposed by: Chistofer Fjellner (EPP), Edward McMillan-Scott (EPP), Paulo Casaca (PSE), Stavros Lambrinidis (PSE), Jules Maaten (ALDE), Karin Riis Jorgensen (ALDE), Henrik Lax (ALDE), Eva Lichtenberger (Verts) and Frithjof Schmidt (Verts).


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