Multistakeholder working group sets norms for cybersecurity policy that respects human rights

By APC Publisher: APCNews     Costa Rica,

At last week’s sixth annual Freedom Online Conference, the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) launched policy recommendations for human rights-based approaches to cybersecurity, a product of one of three FOC working groups.

The launch of the recommendations represents a culmination of a two-year, multistakeholder dialogue among working group members who represent governments, the private sector, civil society and academia, as well as the broader community, aimed at bringing a human rights framing to ongoing debates on cybersecurity.

“These recommendations,” reads the preamble, “are a first step towards ensuring that cybersecurity policies and practices are based upon and fully consistent with human rights – effectively, that cybersecurity policies and practices are rights-respecting by design.” The recommendations are aimed at policy makers and other stakeholders engaged in issues of cybersecurity. They touch upon, among other issues, the security of persons online and offline, responses to cyber threats, encryption and anonymity, and cybersecurity capacity building.

All 30 government member states of the FOC support the recommendations. Additionally, the governments of the United States and Canada, industry representatives like Mozilla, and civil society organisations including the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Center for Democracy and Technology have expressed support for the recommendations.

Each non-governmental member of the working group participates in their own capacity. APC’s senior technology coordinator, Mallory Knodel, is a member of the working group. APC’s individual member Poncelet Ileleji is a member of the FOC’s third working group on privacy and transparency. The second FOC working group is dedicated to capacity building.

The recommendations remain open for expressions of support from all stakeholders, and can be endorsed via

To read the recommendations, its framing narrative, and existing expressions of support, visit

About the Freedom Online Coalition

An Internet Free and Secure is a multistakeholder working group that operates under a mandate from the Freedom Online Coalition, a partnership of 30 governments devoted to advance internet freedom by coordinating their diplomatic efforts and engaging with civil society and the private sector. Coalition members work closely together to coordinate their diplomatic efforts and engage with civil society and the private sector to support internet freedom – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide.

About the Association for Progressive Communications

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.

Media contact: Flavia Fascendini, Communications Manager,

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