US joins 55 countries to enact new global rules for the internet

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) – The United States and 55 other countries signed a political pledge on Thursday to push through internet rules backed by democratic values, at a time when the US accused Russia of playing internet disruptions as a role of the escalating attacks on Ukraine.

The commitment, dubbed the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” – the first effort of its kind – protects human rights, promotes the free flow of information, protects users’ privacy and sets rules for a growing global digital economy between steps to counter what two Biden administration officials called a “dangerous new model” of internet policy from countries like Russia and China.

The United States is witnessing a global trend of increasing digital authoritarianism, with countries like Russia acting to suppress free speech, censor independent news sites, meddle in elections, promote disinformation and deny their citizens other human rights, the officials said.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“Look at what… Russia is doing, some of the steps China is taking, and I think we see this as a response to this kind of ‘splinter net’ tendencies from some authoritarian countries around the world,” said one of the leaders. the officials said, referring to a characterization of the Internet as fragmentation and divisiveness due to various factors, such as politics.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has launched cyber-attacks, including hacking into a satellite Internet service provider’s network at the start of the invasion. Government officials said the new effort is not an attempt to tackle cyber warfare.

The statement is an adapted version of last year’s efforts by the White House to unite a coalition of democracies around a vision for an open and free web.

The countries joining the US are Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

The effort will be launched virtually Thursday at the White House by Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, at 7:30 a.m. ET (1130 GMT).

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment