Civil society groups urge G20 to lead on digital rights, online privacy and cyber-security

A coalition of twenty-four civil society organisations have today written to leaders of the G20, urging a new model for digital development that places the public interest at the forefront of its agenda. The open letter comes as the 2018 G20 summit gets under way in Argentina.

The signatories, comprising regional and international CSOs including the NetBlocks Group and its allies in the digital rights sector, have outlined five key areas G20 countries must focus on to ensure a safe, secure and inclusive digital future that serves the interests of the general public.

Meaningful AccessPrivacy and Data ProtectionFreedom of ExpressionCybersecurityCompetition

We urge G20 members to invest significantly in expanding affordable Internet access for everyone -including through community networks- to boost economies and digital literacy programmes, thus empowering all individuals to reap the benefits of the digital age.

We urge the G20 members to adopt, apply and enforce a comprehensive approach to privacy that protects all users’ privacy and personal data, whether citizens or not. People must be given more control and agency over their data.

We urge G20 members to promote freedom of expression online by adopting positions and policies that are consistent with maintaining an open internet for everyone.

We urge the G20 members to develop cybersecurity approaches in close collaboration with all stakeholders that protect human rights and values, and preserve the Internet as a global public resource. Promoting strong encryption is essential to both these aims.

We urge G20 members to ensure that competition in the digital economy is sustainable, that the market encourages new entrants and the interoperability of new services, and that consumers are protected from unfair practices.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, NetBlocks director Alp Toker said,

“We need to introduce a rights-based approach to support the booming G20 digital economy. To support a sustainable digital future, cyber-security must be enhanced, the rights of minorities and at-risk groups must be protected and corporate interests must be balanced with the interests of the general public. We believe the G20 countries are best positioned to show the way on social responsibility and with this letter we reach out to those leaders at the meeting in Argentina to take action.”

A copy of the letter as sent to the G20 leaders is available for download and the G20 open letter campaign site will continue to track new signatories and responses as they are received.

On 24 May the letter will be opened up to new signatories who share the vision of a rights-based approach to digital development.

About the G20
The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Read more.

For inquiries, please email contact@netblocks.org