Skip to main content

US signs Declaration for the Future of the Internet alongside 60 global partners

Best Wi-Fi Router
Best Wi-Fi Router (Image credit: Netgear)

What you need to know

  • The United States is one of 61 countries to sign the Declaration for the Future of the Internet.
  • The document calls for a global internet that protects human rights and privacy and that promotes the free flow of information.
  • The signatories of the declaration envision an internet that is affordable and inclusive as well.

The United States and 60 global partners have signed the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (PDF). The White House highlighted the "trend of rising digital authoritarianism" in its briefing on the declaration. Signatories of the document have committed to creating a "single global Internet" that is open and that protects human rights.

"Globally, we are witnessing a trend of rising digital authoritarianism where some states act to repress freedom of expression, censor independent news sites, interfere with elections, promote disinformation, and deny their citizens other human rights," said the White House.

The brief also points to other issues that prevent people around the world from accessing the web. "Millions of people still face barriers to access and cybersecurity risks and threats undermine the trust and reliability of networks."

The White House outlined the principles of the document:

  • Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people;
  • Promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information;
  • Advance inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy;
  • Promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy; and Protect and strengthen the multistakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.

Below are the countries that have signed the declaration:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cabo Verde
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • The European Commission
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • North Macedonia
  • Palau
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay

More countries are expected to sign the declaration in the future.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

13 Comments
  • Is this the same open internet concept that has the EU already threatening Elon Musk of his thoughts on content moderation? I don't buy this open internet crap these countries market.
  • We're from the government and we're here to help!
  • Of course it is. They know what's best for everyone.
  • What part of the declaration did you find objectionable? Or is it more of a general objection to governments "prescribing" what our digital rights should be? No shade, I'm genuinely interested. I don't follow this sector of tech closely and I'm interested in learning more.
  • I don't want the government let alone a group of them defining our digital rights online. I want them no where near any of this. They want to censor. They want to stop what they get to define is misinformation. Giving them more power over any of us essentially, is a horrible idea.
  • I'm sure you could list a whole bunch of dumb examples of people being "censored." They'll all be decisions made by private companies. You hate that too, but you fight it with ... wait, what do you fight it with again? Meanwhile, this program targets *authoritarian countries* who *actually do censor* the Internet. Not the made-up man-baby "all I did was call people c*nts and break the EULA" censorship. Actual, real censorship.
  • You are right. Private companies are allowed to curate their platforms. Not censorship. However, the gerontocracy just established a Board of "Misinformation". That is a whole different story. Not as easy to dismiss. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/white-house-defends-... *Those* censors aren't a private company, just a piece of Homeland security. Coming from tbe same administration that tried to brand as terrorists parents concerned about high school rapes in Virginia (cost them an election), there is a wee bit of concern about what gets branded as "misinformation" by these particular aparatchiks. Doesn't sound as if tbey learned anything from Virginia. Coung on lawsuits incoming.
  • No thanks. We do not need this
  • Privacy. Cybersecurity. Human rights and fundamental freedoms. More access. But all the conservative man-children see is CeNSorHiipPPP!!!! Buck up, guys, you can still hurl racial slurs at people in public! No EULA there!
  • Things like this are meaningless PR crap. None of this is enforceable, but everyone gets to feel good because "my country" signed up. While we are at it, let's get the U.N. to make an equally fluffy "Declaration". Whoopee. Meanwhile, certain countries will continue to censor what their citizens can see. And there is not a dam thing anyone can do about it.
  • Or want to.
    Just the words: "free speech" scare the pants off the powers that be.
    Lip service is the least they can do and the least tbey can do is the most they will do.
    This will go nowhere.
  • Agree -What pisses me off is these bureaucrats waste our money so they can "feel good and have meaning in their life" Go ahead and practice your "feel good religion", but use your own money!
  • Surprised I do not see China on this list :-) (It would be a celebrated lie.... just like the Chinese signing the Paris accord.... lies, lies lies.... Our ruling class is so stupid they celebrate while getting a knife in their back)