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Global Network Initiative

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Overview Edit

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) was formed in October 2008 to respond to criticism of Internet service providers and computer manufacturers who had sold technology or services to Internet-restricting countries. GNI was launched by a coalition of human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders. GNI adopts a self-regulatory approach to protect and advance individuals' rights to free expression and privacy on the Internet.

A set of principles and supporting mechanisms provide guidance to the information and communications technology (ICT) industry and its stakeholders on how to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy when faced with pressures from governments to take actions that infringe upon these rights.

Members Edit

Governments are not members of the GNI, but are encouraged to support the principles and encourage their adoption. Organizations participating in the GNI include Google, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Yahoo!, Inc. Each initial participating company committed $100,000 per year over the two-year start-up period. Organizations not participating in the initiative who where involved in its development include Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders remains skeptical about how much change GNI can effect, and pushed for standards that would require all government requests and takedown notices be made in writing.

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