More than 55 countries have launched a statement for the future of the internet, the White House said on Thursday, adding that the doors are still open to countries like India that have not joined it.
The Declaration for the Future of the Internet is, in part, a response to a rising trend of digital authoritarianism, including Russia’s actions to block credible news sites and promote disinformation during and before the invasion of Ukraine, the White House said in a fact sheet.
“This statement represents a political commitment between the partners of the statement to promote a positive vision of the Internet and digital technologies. It recaptures the promise of the Internet in the face of the global opportunities and challenges presented by the 21st century,” thus it.
“It also reaffirms and reconnects its partners into one global internet — one that is truly open and promotes competition, privacy, and respect for human rights,” the White House said when it also released the list of countries that make up this statement.
The principles of the Declaration include commitments to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people; promoting a global internet that supports the free flow of information; promoting inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy; promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through privacy protection; and protecting and strengthening the multi-stakeholder approach to governance that ensures the internet continues to work for the benefit of all.
By signing this statement, the US and its partners will work together to promote this vision and its principles worldwide while respecting each other’s regulatory autonomy within our jurisdictions and by our respective domestic laws and international legal obligations.
Those who endorse the statement include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
A senior government official confirmed that India is not yet part of the statement. “The hope remains that the time has not yet fully passed for India to join. But we have made very intensive efforts to get all these countries to join,” the official said when asked about India.
“We are not at the this of t the Declaration remains open. And for some people, it takes time to think about it or, frankly, see who else has joined. And we continue to trust that like-minded countries worldwide will sign up,” the official said.
In short, the Declaration affirms fundamental principles regarding how countries should behave about the internet and the digital ecosystem, the digital economy. It commits governments to an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet for the world,” said another official.
“This includes defending an internet governed through a multi-stakeholder approach that works with and through existing institutions and processes; an internet that promotes the protection and promotion of fundamental human rights online; and an internet that promotes these goals through relevant economic policies and regulatory activities,” the official said.
According to the official, the statement was not an “American effort” that others joined but a genuine concerted effort with America’s allies and partners.
The US and partners that endorse this statement will work together over the coming weeks, months, and years to implement these principles and promote this vision globally, respecting each other’s regulatory autonomy within their jurisdictions and by our respective domestic laws and international law. Legal obligations, the official noted.
“The statement will remain open to all partners after launch who are willing to subscribe to the vision and uphold the principles,” the official said.