UK: Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director calls on ISPs to fight repression online in ISPA Awards speech

“The Internet is the new front in the battle between those who want to speak out and those who want to stop them”

The Internet industry must do more to fight governments’ attempts to repress internet users around the world, Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock will say in a speech at the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) annual awards ceremony on 15 February.

Tim Hancock is expected to say:

“The Internet has revolutionised free speech and gives a voice to millions. But we must be on our guard against those who want to limit access to information and take that free speech away.

“The Internet is the new front in the battle between those who want to speak out, and those who want to stop them.

“Businesses whose operations impact on freedom of speech bear no less responsibility for upholding human rights standards than other industries.

“Web users and service providers alike have a responsibility to keep alive the things that have made the internet great – its democracy, its freedom and the way it gives people access to knowledge and the opportunity to participate and be heard.”

Over 60,000 people have joined Amnesty International’s irrepressible.info campaign, highlighting the repression of internet users around the world, and the collusion of major Internet companies with governments such as China to restrict access to information over the Internet.

The human rights organisation recently announced that it was joining multi-stakeholder discussions with companies including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, together with other NGOs, experts and socially responsible investors, to establish principles for safeguarding human rights on the Internet.

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