Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown issued the following statement on March 31 2014.:
We are deeply concerned with recent reports that the Turkish government is mandating curtailed access to key social media sites for millions of users across Turkey. Recent actions to implement the Turkish government’s requirement include the redirection of network routes so that Turkish citizens are not getting the correct information from the Domain Name System (DNS). They are instead being redirected to other web sites controlled by Turkish service providers. In addition to undermining core technical functions of the Internet’s architecture, such actions also threaten users’ fundamental human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas across frontiers.
Interfering with a country’s routing of Internet traffic not only harms citizens’ ability to communicate and innovate as part of the global Internet platform; it can also lead to a fragmentation of the network at the regional and global levels. Ultimately, the Turkish people and nation are the ones that will suffer, as their voices will be lost across the net.
The Internet Society believes that the Internet is a global medium that fuels economic and social development, empowers users with limitless access to knowledge, and supports aspirations for freedom. Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, added, “We strongly urge the Turkish Government to stop requiring the blocking of access to social media sites and to allow full Internet access to all Turkish citizens immediately. We believe that the opportunity to participate in the global information society should never be taken away from individuals.”The Internet Society hopes that nations around the world will come to understand that blocking citizens’ access to the tools of online communication only serves to fuel discord and is not the way to address the underlying concerns of their citizens. Such measures can only undermine citizens’ trust in their government’s ability to provide an enabling Internet environment for economic and social progress.
Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland – 12 December 2011] – The Internet Society Board of Trustees has expressed concern with a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs to protect the interests of copyright holders. While the Internet Society agrees that combating illicit online activity is an important public policy objective, these critical issues must be addressed in ways that do not undermine the viability of the Internet as a platform for innovation across all industries by compromising its global architecture. The Internet Society Board of Trustees does not believe that the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are consistent with these basic principles.
The Internet Society has issued a statement criticizing recent technical efforts to suppress the Wikileaks website.
It reads as follows:
Recently, we have witnessed the effective disappearance from the Internet of a website made infamous through international press coverage and political intrigue.
The Internet Society is founded upon key principles of free expression and non discrimination that are essential to preserve the openness and utility of the Internet. We believe that this incident dramatically illustrates that those principles are currently at risk.
Recognizing the content of the wikileaks.org website is the subject of concern to a variety of individuals and nations, we nevertheless believe it must be subject to the same laws and policies of availability as all Internet sites. Free expression should not be restricted by governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet.
Resilience and cooperation are built into the Internet as a design principle. The cooperation among several organizations has ensured that the impact on the Wikileaks organizational website has not prevented all access to Wikileaks material. This further underscores that removal of a domain is an ineffective tool to suppress communication, merely serving to undermine the integrity of the global Internet and its operation.
Unless and until appropriate laws are brought to bear to take the wikileaks.org domain down legally, technical solutions should be sought to reestablish its proper presence, and appropriate actions taken to pursue and prosecute entities (if any) that acted maliciously to take it off the air.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced an agreement with Sprint, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, that will see them block subscriber access to newsgroups that distribute child pornography, and act to purge any images from them that are stored on their servers.
Read Cuomo’s statement.