2011   Global  C ivil   Society  Representa7ves  Statement  on  I nternet  Governance Sept.

 30,  2011   Nairobi,   K enya First,  we  want  to  say  how  pleased  we  are  to  be  mee7ng  at  the  I GF  in  Africa.  As  a  Tunisian,  I  can  bear  witness  that  the  movement  for   freedom  on  our  con7nent  has  been  facilitated  by  the  availability  of  new  ways  for  us  to  communicate.      W hen  the  W orld  Summit  on   the  I nforma7on  Society  was  held  in  my  country  in  2005  the  regime  thought  that  it  would  serve  to  legi7mate  its  dictatorship.  I nstead,   because  so  many  people  were  present,  like  those  who  are  here  in  this  hall,  those  of  us  in  the  country  who  wanted  a  new  future  were   inspired  by  the  show  of  support  from  abroad  for  our  striving  for  freedom.  Given  that  so  many  people  were  present  from  abroad  with   so  many  connec7ons  to  each  other  across  the  world,  the  effect  on  the  con7nua7on  of  a  repressive  regime  was  exactly  the  reverse  of   what  the  dictator  thought  would  happen.  This  precedent  showed  other  dictatorships  that  think  they  can  exploit  the  magnificent   prospects  of  the  New  W orld   I nforma7on  Society  can  also  be  undone.     I  am  aNending  the  I GF  for  the  first  7me  and  I  am  part  of  a  group  of  internet  freedom  ac7vists.  W e  come  from  Tunisia,  Belarus,   Indonesia,  P akistan,  I ran,  C hina,  Brazil,  Malaysia,  Thailand,  Nigeria,  Russia  and  Bahrain.   As  diverse  as  we  are,  we  all  agree  on  the  following:   We  appeal  to  the  democracies  to  enact  policies  and  legisla7on  that  prevent  repressive  regimes  that  con7nue  to  oppress  their  peoples.   This  means  that  the  export  of  technologies  that  can  be  used  to  maintain  dictatorships  should  systema7cally  be  banned  by  the  world's   democracies.    Voluntary  codes  of  conduct  adopted  by  major  companies  are  a  posi7ve  step  that  should  be  backed  up  by  strong   legisla7on  enacted  by  their  home  governments.    Some  companies  have  indicated  that  they  would  welcome  such  legisla7on  to  create  a   level  playing  field.   Ac7vists  and  ordinary  ci7zens  everywhere,  especially  in  repressive  regimes  need  secure  social  networks.  W e  have  seen  that  social   networks  provide  a  powerful  tool  against  repression.  Ac7vists  need  such  networks.  But  those  who  provide  those  services  should   therefore  make  it  possible  for  democra7c  movements  to  communicate  amongst  themselves  in  a  secure  way.    I n  that  regard,  privacy   and  the  right  to  anonymity  are  major  factors  for  security.  Any  viola7ons  of  those  principles  must  be  the  excep7on  in  extraordinary   circumstances  defined  by  law  in  accordance  with  the  Universal  D eclara7on  of  H uman  Rights. There  is  always  a  good  excuse  by  dictators  to  limit  our  freedoms,  whether  in  the  name  of  na7onal  security,  cultural  protec7on,  respect   for  religion,  or  protec7on  of  officials  against  insult.  These  are  all  amongst  the  pretexts  for  limi7ng  our  human  rights.  There  are  just  so   many  different  ways  of  describing  censorship,  against  which  the  I GF  should  stand.   These  essen7al  demands  are  not,  of  course,  the  only  concerns  of  the  H uman  Rights  community.   But,  if  these  were  to  be  followed,  they   would  clearly  improve  the  climate  for    internet  governance  in  the  world.  


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