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Fighting for Internet Freedom: Five Organizations

  • by
  • December 7, 2010
  • 10:30 pm
Fighting for Internet Freedom: Five Organizations

The Internet: Journalism? Terrorism?  Matchmaker? Bully? Surveillance? Research? Espionage? Information? Networking?
With Wikileaks dominating daily headlines and the FCC proposing a regulated substitution of net neutrality, it’s hard to say except for this– Internet is an exchange, at its best, a free-flowing exchange, filled with both legitimate and bogus resources that maintain equal grounding in existence for our own informed discrimination.  
Whether or not we like what we read, seeing different viewpoints in print validates them and opens channels to debates that wouldn’t otherwise exist without the prolific flux of alternative and non-mainstream voices.  What we find, what we believe, that’s our choice, but the bottom line is that online content is out there, and to restrict access to one thing creates nothing more than a domino effect to restrict access to all things.
The web is more than just a global platform; it’s a community, our flat world, a common ground that makes the world smaller, global interactions more immediate, and access more accountable.
Yet like any communal and democratic entity, the governing principles of the Internet, freedom and openness, only exist as long as we vigilantly fight for it.  For those who want to join, here are five organizations committed to free exchange and access to online content:

1. Electronic Frontier Foundation  EFF is an international non-profit legal organization of lawyers, policy analysts, activists and technologists, all advocating for digital rights. Founded in 1990, this leading civil liberties group calls itself “the first line of defense” in “confront[ing] cutting edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today.”  While most of their victories are achieved within the courtroom, they do maintain an Action Center where anyone can sign up and help by sending emails and faxes to elected officials regarding issues the organization has taken on. 

2. Global Internet Freedom Consortium Founded in 2006, GIFC is a group of organizations advocating for and developing anti-censorship technologies in countries where Web-based information access is controlled.  The consortium works primarily with the issue of Internet freedom in closed societies such as China, Iran and Burma.

3. Global Network Initiative  GNI is a non-governmental organization working towards two goals: prevent Internet censorship by governments, and protect Internet privacy rights of individuals.  Founded in 2008, in the 60th anniversary year of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GNI works to make sure that the document’s standards of human rights, freedom of expression, and privacy rights are carried out into the digital world.  Its support is widespread, coming from corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo; non-profits such as Center for Democracy and Technology, Human Rights Watch and World Press Freedom Committee; and educational institutions such as Harvard University, UC-Berkeley, University of Hong Kong and University of Southern California.

4. Latinos for Internet FreedomLatinos for Internet Freedom is “a coalition of local, regional and national Latino organizations and leaders” that advocates for an open-access Internet that “continues to provide Latinos with good jobs, health care, education, small business innovation and connection to our families, community and neighbors.”  Because of the high population of Latinos and Hispanics in under-served communities, Latinos for Internet Freedom has been active in questioning the FCC’s latest “net neutrality” proposal, arguing that it could lead to telecom companies charging higher prices for Internet speed on websites catered to under-served communities.  Not only could the proposal create a a digital divide, Internet speed and access could become a new class divide.

5. Save the Internet  Save the Internet, a project of Free Press, is a coalition of about two million people and thousands of non-profits, businesses and bloggers, all committed to keeping the Internet a level playing field for all so that it can remain “a crucial engine for economic growth, civic engagement and free speech.”

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50 comments

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1:48PM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

The internet is the voice of the people......OUR voice.

The corporations want us to shut up and go away.....leaving our money in their pockets.

10:19AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

If we don`t fight to keep it free and lose we will never get it back THINK ABOUT IT !!

7:58PM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Thanks for the heads up.

9:29AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

A very good non profit organization that deals with primarily, but not exclusively, specific issues which affect Canadians & Canadian media of all types - including the Internet - is Open Media. I believe their URL is http://openmedia.ca

Just an addition to the list. I'm surprised that nothing was mentioned regarding the laws regarding the Internet that Italy was trying to push through at one time, which wouldve affected Internet users worldwide. I haven't heard anything about this for quite a while, though.

Please, to every single person out there who values the freedoms & access to information we have on the Internet, sign every single petition you come across. Email foreign governments that jail & execute their citizens for such archaic 'crimes' as 'blasphemy' etc for posting things on the Internet which their dictators have deemed 'criminal', and let them know you ARE paying attention to the human rights violations in their countries. These issues are all very closely connected & affect all of us everywhere.

8:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

@Antony: Boycott are a perfect expression of freedom of choice. Nobody is compelling you to boycott Fox or Spain, as I most enthusiastically do boycott both (Fox for its cretinous lies, and Spain and all its export products for its barbaric mistreatment of animals). You want to watch Fox news? Go ahead, get the proper cable system and enjoy iit. It does make you stupid, or more stupid, you know. But your self-development is no concern of mine and should be nobody else's.

6:49AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Thanks, very interesting article.

4:49AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Thanks, on how many posts have I seen complaints that items should be removed (say Dog Fighting games)? Should outright lies be allowed? So where do you draw the line? If you want it to be free (not pay), shouldn't the person paying be able to restrict the use (they are paying)? Afraid of tracking systems? Clean your computer occasionally.

7:54AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

http://www.projectcensored.org/

10:27AM PST on Jan 29, 2011

STOP THE INTERFERENCE:
'
Go around it>>> https://www.accessnow.org/proxy-cloud

9:01AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

Madelaine KM ?

Sorry to interrupt you in full flow, but it does seem to me that "Fox news" is no worse than many other stations offering news, they all slant news their desired way, even the BBC in Britain has admitted a "left wing" bias in recent years ( while assuring us it was not, all the time,

I recall watching the story of the operation, Michael J.Fox had to help with his hand tremors, which was described as a "first" in the world, and by implication, America was first, again ! ( actually it was not, it was developed at a neurosurgery unit, in England at a place called Smethwick, on Holly lane, around the corner from my home, ( 200 yards away ), and had been done several times, before the hospital was closed, and sold off for demolition, and housing use ) So when you claim Fox is the Dragon ? in all of this, might I ask you to look up CNN in this and a few other matters first ?

And "en passant" it frightens me more, that despite all claims to the contrary,the posters here,see no irony in defending some freedoms, they like, but are unwilling to defend those they do not like, at all, much harder isn't it ?

So I feel that calling for the demise of Fox,is an inappropriate action if you claim to be a supporter of freedom, then support it, do not call; for boycotts, fight back against ignorance, with facts, not matching intolerance, Land of the Free ? Yes or No.? and that means Fox as well as the things you like, it is not multiple choice to decide here.
.

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