Internet Declaration

Online freedom declaration
Internet Declaration


The Declaration of Internet Freedom believes a free and open internet can create a better world.
Internet Declaration
Internet Declaration Overview ‧ read
A free internet is a powerful thing. It can make the world a better place by giving everyone an equal voice. That includes people who are downtrodden by their governments, silenced by their communities, or economically disadvantaged. So long as the internet offers freedom of expression around the world, we all have a platform from which to speak.

But the internet doesn’t stay free by itself. It takes a commitment from individual citizens, businesses, and governments to protect the internet from censorship. That’s where the Declaration of Internet Freedom comes in.

The declaration is an international movement to defend internet freedom, available in 70 languages and supported by many of the biggest names on the internet. Signatories include Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The declaration is also supported by Access Now, Amnesty International, Fight for the Future, and many more digital rights defenders.

What’s the Declaration of Internet Freedom (or Internet Declaration) all about? Here’s our profile.

A reminder to governments: We’re watching you

The declaration was created in 2012, when dangerous censorship bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) were fresh in the minds of internet users. Both of these attempts to curb online expression were defeated by impressive online activism. And many people, including the folks behind Save the Internet and the Free Press, knew that more attacks on our digital rights were inevitable.

They need to know that they're being watched, so that they can no longer try to conduct things behind closed doors, with special interests.
So the Free Press drew up the Internet Declaration to show governments and lawmakers that we won’t accept a censored internet. “They need to know that they're being watched,” said Free Press campaign director Josh Levy, “so that they can no longer try to conduct things behind closed doors, with special interests.”

This short declaration isn’t carved in stone

The Internet Declaration is a deliberately short and open document, designed to provoke debate in online communities. “Let’s discuss these principles—agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community—as only the Internet can make possible,” says the website.

Here’s the full text of the Internet Declaration:

We stand for a free and open Internet.

We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

Expression: Don't censor the Internet.

Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.

Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.

Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies and don’t punish innovators for their users' actions.

Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.
You can sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom here.

The Declaration of Internet Freedom gains momentum

Just two months after its launch in summer 2012, the declaration had already been signed by 1,500 organizations and 50,000 people from more than 130 countries.

Internet users also answered the call to translate and spread the document around the world. In July 2012, the volunteer language community Global Voices ran a 24-hour marathon effort to translate the declaration into as many languages and dialects as humanly possible. By 2016, it had been translated into 70 different languages.

Notable signatories include Cheezburger, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Minecraft developer Mojang AB, Mozilla, Reddit, Techdirt, and the World Wide Web Foundation.

Sending a powerful message

The Declaration of Internet Freedom isn’t like other online activism groups. There’s no single goal, nor is there a defined plan of action besides spreading the message and gathering as many signatures as possible.

Even still, the declaration sends a powerful message to people in power. It’s a statement of the expectations of global internet users, which tells governments and regulators: We refuse to accept anything less than a free, uncensored internet. And it’s a reminder that we’re ready to make a strong protest, just like we have before, if they try to take away our rights.

The declaration is also a way to nail your flag to the mast of internet freedom. Take a read at and decide for yourself.