36 NGOs are addressing their concerns about the way the eG8 has been organized and the issues that will be raised in a joint declaration published exclusively on Owni.eu.
36 NGOs are addressing their concerns about the way the eG8 has been organized and the issues that will be raised in a joint declaration published exclusively on Owni.eu. In the wake of the G8 Summit on the Internet, organized in Paris on May 24th and 25th, AccessNow, La Quadrature du Net. Attac, etc want to highlight the importance of online freedoms and the access to Internet and make sure the participants are reminded of their responsibilities towards civil society, especially with regards to the current mideast uprisings.
Among these NGOs, only 2 were invited at the Summit (Reporters Without Borders and Electronic Frontier Foundation). In its latest report published mon March 11th, Reporters Without Borders listed France as a country “under surveillance” and according to their barometer, 125 are jailed worldwide because of their online activity.
The signatories of this statement are representatives of civil society from around the world working towards the promotion of Internet freedom, digital rights, and open communication.
We understand that the French Presidency of the G8 is holding a G8 internet meeting – the “e-G8 Forum” – immediately before the G8 Summit in Deauville, with a view to shaping the agenda of the G8 Summit regarding key global internet policy issues. This meeting is significant in that this is the first year that the internet’s role in society and the economy is explicitly on the G8 agenda.
As key world leaders, your policies have a major influence on internet policy globally. Regrettably, certain policies being implemented in the most developed economies are undermining the open and neutral internet – the very qualities that represent the essence of its democratic and economic potential. We believe that G8 Member States should use the e-G8 meeting as an opportunity to publicly commit to expanding internet access for all, combating digital censorship and surveillance, limiting online intermediary liability, and upholding principles of net neutrality.
We are particularly concerned about the increasing trend of nations cutting off citizens’ access to the Internet and mobile networks in times of crisis, as Egypt, Libya, Iran, China, Nepal, and Burma have all done. In many if not all of these countries, we see how important access to the Internet is as a gateway to a plethora of others civil, political, and fundamental human rights.
Many G8 countries are actively pursuing policies that would similarly seek to restrict and control access; these policies legitimize actions of repressive regimes and threaten the core of the internet economy. As many nations endeavor to improve basic and universal access, the increase of restrictive policies in both the developed and developing world is a regressive and deeply worrying trend.
Simultaneously, repressive regimes are harnessing the internet’s power for their own purposes, often with the help of multinational corporations based in G8 countries. We urge you to end the sale of these technologies both at home and abroad, and put an end to these gross invasions of user privacy and security.
To defend freedom of speech online it is critical that we resist mounting pressure from the entertainment industry and other sectors to impose greater intermediary liability on online service providers for the actions of their users (e.g., HADOPI and ACTA).
In this regard, we urge you to follow the example of the Brazilian government’s Principles for the Governance and Use of the Internet, specifically #7 which reads:
“All action taken against illicit activity on the network must be aimed at those directly responsible for such activities, and not at the means of access and transport, always upholding the fundamental principles of freedom, privacy and the respect for human rights.” 
We further call on you to codify and commit your nations to protecting net neutrality — the principle that all web traffic should be treated on an equitable basis no matter where it originated or the type of data being transmitted.
These are some of the key Internet governance issues which we feel merit and require the attention of the G8. We also draw your attention to two comprehensive declarations of principles we believe should guide nation states in Internet governance:
● The 10 Internet Rights and Principles developed under the aegis of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition .
● Assembly Declaration of the right of Communication, written at the World Social Forum 2011.
We would also like to highlight our concerns regarding the planning of the e-G8. We join our voices to the Internet Governance Caucus which expresses our collective concern about the lack of representation of civil society at the e-G8 and G8 meetings this year.
Contrary to current best practices in policymaking, the invite list has been limited primarily to representatives of government and corporate leaders, who already enjoy disproportionately large influence over Internet regulation. Specifically, we are deeply concerned that corporate interests will dominate discussions at the e-G8 and G8 summits; issues like strict intellectual property enforcement and increasing online intermediary liability seem likely to take primacy over citizen-centered policies like net neutrality, Free Software, and combating online censorship.
As corporations pay $100,000 for seats at the e-G8 table, few representatives of civil society are present to advocate for the priorities of citizen-users of the world. We are at a critical point in the history of the Internet and the struggle for human rights. As the elected leadership of some of the world’s most powerful nations, we urge you to act now to uphold and defend the principles of digital rights and internet freedom, not just for your citizens, but for people all over the world.
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financière et l’Aide aux Citoyens (ATTAC)
Center for Internet and Society
Citizen Lab, Munk School of Government, University of Toronto
Communication Is Your Right!
Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
European Digital Rights (EDRi)
Fédération SUD-PTT (syndicat poste et télécommunication)
Fundacion Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes (EsLaRed)
The Guardian Project
Internet Rights & Principles Coalition
The Julia Group/Juliagruppen
La Quadrature du Net (LQDN)
May First/People Link
Net Users’ Rights Protection Association (NURPA)
Open Rights Group (ORG)
Open Source Initiative (OSI)
Progressive Technology Project
The Public Sphere Project
Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF)
WLAN Slovenia, Open Wireless Network
Van Reepinghen & Simon
 The full document of which is available here
 The English version is available here and in French here