freedom of speech
Petition to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tom Watson MP
Oppose Theresa May's Plans to Censor the Internet before it is too late
Earlier this year my website was blocked by Virgin Media for three weeks, which meant I was unable to add or edit content, and thousands of potential customers could not access my site. This affected both my business and my brother's. We were not notified that our websites were blocked, it was discovered purely by chance. What is blocking? Blocking is where your internet service provider (ISP)restricts your access to the internet. This is currently done by classifying websites into broad categories, based on their content. The problem is that these categories are too broad, and too many websites, operated by small business owners, are getting blocked inappropriately. Your ISP may have a broad category named "adult content" which sounds reasonable in terms of protecting children, but in practice includes many websites that are legitimate businesses: online bingo or lotteries, sales of essential oils, herbs, astrological services or alternative therapies can also fall into the same category. So if you switch on your child protection, you will also lose access to a whole range of other websites. This is part of the Government's crackdown on the internet. In the name of child protection and the prevention of terrorism, the Government requires internet service providers (ISP's) like Virgin to block access to websites. Responsible companies like Virgin at least give customers the option of switching on a child protection and/or a virus protection filter, but you cannot have a "whitelist" of sites you still want access to. Some ISP's are block by default and you have no option to switch off their filter. HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU According to a survey in 2014 as many as 1 in 5 websites were blocked by filters. Source: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2014/blockedproject The issue of blocking access to the internet raises several concerns about human rights and freedoms, especially in light of the Government's stated intention to further tighten internet regulation: Your freedom of choice is affected: Choice is limited - you can't see all your options... only those that have not been blocked by your ISP. The current system is open to abuse by ISP's Your ISP can prevent you from accessing content offered by their competitors, and/or slow down your downloads and live streaming from competitors sites. See the recent example in the US where Time Warner blocked their customers access to CBS http://abcnews.go.com/Business/time-warner-cable-customers-hope-build-class-action/story?id=19970548 Your ability to earn extra income, run a home business, run an internet business can be affected: Your ISP can block access to your own website, as happened to me and my brother. Potential customers will be unable to find you and they won't know their own ISP blocking them - they'll just think your website is having problems. Your access to alternative lifestyles and healthcare can be restricted: Without transparency and accountability, there is nothing to stop big pharmaceutical corporations from blocking legal sites that currently sell alternative remedies herbs, hemp oil products, essential oils, chinese medicines etc. This can prevent you from offering these kinds of services and/or sourcing these kinds of therapies for yourself. Your Right to Freedom of Speech is affected:If people cannot create and write independent blogs - then we cannot speak out about injustices and human rights abuses - political dissidents can be silenced easily. Anyone who speaks out against bigotry and abuse or simply opposes the Government can easily be silenced. This is a vital issue for the freedom of the people, democracy, and the free world. Yes we all want our children to be safe - but generalised blanket filtering of the internet is not the answer. What needs to happen:When we leave the EU the UK needs to legislate to fully support NetNeutrality. Broad blanket filtering needs to stop. • ISP companies should maintain public blacklists of blocked and illegal sites (and servers) with the reasons for blocking clearly stated.• Consumers should always be able to opt-out of filtering systems.• There should be more options than just on/off - there should be a consumer controlled black and white lists, when filtering is on for example consumers could switch off sexually explicit adult content and still have access to aromatherapy and alternative medical sites.• There should be a clear communication pathway. ISP's should be required to inform website owners when their sites are blocked, give the reasons why, and there should be a clear procedure that website owners can follow to have their sites unblocked. In the name of democracy and freedom of speech it is imperative to keep the internet free from disproportionate, unaccountable, surveillance and censorship. Once we have lost our basic human rights and freedoms it is an uphill struggle to get them back. The Government's plans to clampdown further on the internet must be resisted before it is too late.
Petition to Apple, Google, Inc
Get Google and Apple to take down the UAE Government's VOIP Apps
Recently in the United Arab Emirates the two Telecommunications companies Etisalat and DU blocked the use of free VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) this includes the popular skype software. Being an expat in a foreign country this affects my family, and thousands of people in the UAE. not only have they blocked free VOIP, they advertise their own service which for a monthly fee gives the same experience as skype and other free VOIP services. the internet is source of free speech, and freedom, help us restore that freedom. to do this we petition Apple, and Google to take down the government paid VOIP services of: BOTIM Android BOTIM IOS C'Me Android C'Me IOS This change will help thousands of people within the UAE, by forcing the Government to allow free VOIP services.
Petition to David Kurten
Stop Sadiq Kahn's "hate crime hub"
Sadiq Khan is allocating over £1,730,726 to an 'online hate crime hub' enabling police to track and arrest 'trolls' who 'target' individuals and communities. this is a serious breach of the freedom of speech and privacy. It needs to be stopped. Already dubbed the 'thought police' this is a serious breach of free speech and another step to erode criticism of organisations and people. Complications include examples that Islamophobia is not defined, what is the line between Islamophobia and criticism? People will be arrested for what are ultimately law enforcement subjective views and not facts. Please share this petition far and wide, the importance of getting lots of supporters is of ever growing importance. A link to this petition is on Breitbart here http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/09/17/ukips-london-assembly-rep-vows-fight-muslim-mayors-free-speech-crack/
Petition to Antonio Guterres (United Nations Secretary General), United Nations, Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Office Geneva, Commonwealth United Nations, Theresa May MP, President of the United States, Emmanuel Macron, UK Parliament
STOP The Human Rights Abuses: Ask The CommonWealth & UN to Suspend Cameroon's Membership
Please join us in asking that: Cameroon is suspended from the Commonwealth and that the United Nations should impose Sanctions on the government of Cameroon, until they call for meaningful dialogue to address the root causes of the Anglophone crisis. The United Nations and the Commonwealth joins in asking for the Unconditional release of all detained activists. The United Nations & the Commonwealth uses its influence to ask President Paul Biya to personally address the ongoing crisis in English-Speaking Cameroon. The United Nations & the Commonwealth joins us in demanding that an independent inquiry is carried out into the systematic abuse of human rights that have occurred since the beginning of this current crisis and the perpetrators brought to justice. The Cameroon government stops the militarisation of the English-Speaking regions and stop the arbitrary arrests The Internet is immediately restored within the English-Speaking Regions of Cameroon --------------------------------------------It should be noted that:· The Internet was shut down in the English-Speaking Regions of Cameroon from January 17, 2017 and the shutdown lasted 93 days. This is how the government of Cameroon has flagrantly misused its powers and infringed on human rights. In the weekend of 1st October, 2017, the government of Cameroon reneged on its public promise statement and again cut internet access from this region of the country · Since October 2016, there has been no schools and the courts have not been operating in the English-Speaking Regions. Instead of resolving the problems, the government unleashed a reign of terror, arbitrarily arresting lawyers, teachers and members of the Anglophone community and taking them to a maximum political prison over 300 miles away from their homes. · Those arrested stand trial for treason and were to face the death penalty. After over 7 months in prison, some were released while others are still being held in prison and many more unaccounted for. --------------------------------------------- Mindful of the fact that in 1995, with the approval of all other member countries, Cameroon joined the Commonwealth and subscribed to the Charter of the Commonwealth; Mindful of the fact that the Commonwealth Charter promises to uphold and promote the values and aspirations of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; Mindful of the fact that the same Charter expresses the commitment of its member states to the development of free and democratic societies and the promotion of peace and prosperity to improve the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth; Mindful of the fact that the same Charter also acknowledges the role of civil society in supporting the goals and values of the Commonwealth; Also, mindful of the fact that the Commonwealth Secretariat aims to promote democracy, rule of law, human rights, good governance and social and economic development, by being the voice for small states and a champion for youth empowerment; Further mindful of the fact that on the 11 November 1995 the Commonwealth Heads of Government suspended Nigeria from membership of the Commonwealth for contravening the principles of the Harare Commonwealth Declaration ------------------------------------------------------- We Recall: v That in 1916, the upon defeating the Germans, the British and French arbitrary divided the country into two zones – The Northern and Southern Cameroons (administered by the British) and La Republique Du Cameroun (under French control); v That in the 1950s when the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) led by Ruben Um Nyobe demanded that French and British Cameroons be united into one independent country, the party was banned and many thousands, including Um Nyobe, were killed. v That the Republic gained independence on January 1, 1960, and following a UN plebiscite in 1961. Northern Cameroons chose to unite with Nigeria while Southern Cameroons in October 1961, joined the Republic and the country became THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON, with each section maintaining their parliaments and named West Cameroon and East Cameroon respectively. v That in 1972, in what many West Cameroonians today consider a move towards annexation, President Ahmadou Ahidjo oversaw the dissolution of the Federation and made it THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON. v That without any referendum or public vote, President Paul Biya in 1984, started the process for the complete extinction of West Cameroon by changing the name of the country back to THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON – the name held by the French region before the union in 1961. ----------------------------------------------- We further recall that: · This heightened the consistent marginalization of English-Speaking Cameroonians. The English language which was to be an official language with equal status as French was gradually relegated to the background. This is evident in the fact that President Paul Biya who has been President for 35 years has never bothered to learn English. · Official documents are mostly in French and that for 35 years, the President has only been to the English-speaking Regions a handful of times. We bring your attention to the fact: Ø That when the government ignored resolutions made at the inaugural All-Cameroon common law lawyers’ conference held in Bamenda on 9 May, 2015 denouncing among other things, the “bias nature of law making in Cameroon” and particularly condemning the past discriminatory amendments of the Constitution, the lawyers subsequently decided to go on strike and peacefully demonstrate to call the government to action. Ø That security forces attacked the lawyers with teargas and many were injured, while the gowns and wigs of some were confiscated. Ø That teachers and other members of civil society subsequently joined the strikes and demonstrations across Bamenda and Buea, all denouncing what is now commonly known as the ‘Anglophone Problem’. Ø That there has been the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests by the security forces and there are several allegations of torture and rape (including the rape of a 17-year-old student) by the security forces. Ø That many students from the University of Buea who joined the protests chanting ‘no to violence’ were brutally beaten and many arrested and detained. Ø That on 6 December 2016, the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium declared that the strike actions continue and demanded a return to a TWO-STATE FEDERATION as the best guarantee of the protection, promotion, and preservation of minority rights, especially the rights of English-Speaking Cameroonians (See attached). In the light of the above, we submit that the Cameroon government has failed to: § Uphold the Rule of law by ordering security forces to beat, harass and confiscate the property of lawyers. § Respect the basic human rights of its citizens. That the basic human rights of Cameroonians have been consistently violated by the Biya government with arbitrary suppression of personal freedoms, brutalization, and rape of civilians. § Uphold the principles of good governance: That the principle of good governance and social and economic development in Cameroon is almost non-existent. This is evident in the fact that for the last 34 years there has been a consistent and drastic increase in youth unemployment.  § Promote the principles of democracy as the ‘democracy’ under Paul Biya is one in which one man who calls himself the “President” rules the nation as a personal estate, makes mockery of the constitution, controls the nation’s coffers and dishes out money as if it were his personal account, and spends most of his time abroad. § Protect the lives of Cameroonians given that after 34 years in power, poverty is ravaging Cameroon, many people have died of curable diseases simply because they could not afford to pay hospital bills. Based on these violations of the principles of the charter of the Commonwealth, we ask that: 4. Cameroon is suspended from the Commonwealth until the government calls for dialogue and start listening to the demands of the Civil Society. 5. The Commonwealth uses its influence to ask President Paul Biya to personally address the ongoing crisis in Cameroon. 6. The Commonwealth joins us in demanding that an independent inquiry is carried out into the systematic abuse of human rights that have occurred since the beginning of this current crisis and the perpetrators brought to justice. Trusting that the Commonwealth is going to live by its creed, we thereby plead with you to sign this petition.  In most parts of the country, especially in the North West and South West Regions, corporations (U.N.V.D.A., PAFSAT, WADA, MIDEVIV, MIDENO, Marketing Boards, Cooperative societies, just to name a few) have either folded up or are shadows of what they used to be. Only the carcasses of these institutions remind one of their existences-once upon a time. We recall that in early March 2016 Monique Koumate, a 31-year-old pregnant woman with twins and about to give birth died along with her two babies at the doors of the Laquintinie Hospital, sparking outrage throughout Cameroon and abroad. This is the reality of the majority of Cameroonians. We also recall that on 21 October 2016, while Paul Biya, as usual, was on an extended stay abroad, Cameroon experienced one of its worst transportation disasters, as a direct consequence of poorly maintained roads and railway links. Hundreds of people were killed and an equally large number injured.
Petition to The sensible folk of the UK
When will we have a HETEROSEXUAL PRIDE march?
Make no mistake. There should be equal rights for all. No hate, no discrimination, no intimidation. "Live and let live" - as long as somebody else's beliefs aren't forced down your throat, as long as that somebody else's actions and behaviour don't encroach upon other people and unwelcomingly disturb their way of life. We can live equally, side by side, showing each other respect and acting with dignity. Old fashioned values maybe but they are the ones which work. Values which allow people to live together, harmoniously. But in this country, and elsewhere in the world, in the 21st century, we seem to feel a burning and paramount need to be politically correct. Perhaps it is us attempting to assuage our guilt for past sins i.e. the denigration, humilation, intimidation, restriction, discrimination etc. of and against minority groups - not just LGBTQ but many others - women, jews, muslims, other religions, pakistanis, blacks, the homeless, the handicapped and so many others. We are perpetual apologists. We don't have to be. Why is LGBT a "special case"? It is just a sexual orientation. Why must we indulge in and promote an enormously unequal focus on gay rights and live in a world of perpetual apology? We simply, all of us, straight or LGBT, need to be better than yesterday and live by the values aforementioned. I am a heterosexual. Is that something I need to celebrate? I don't believe so. Do I force the fact down other people's throats? No, I don't. Should I be treated as a "special case"? I don't believe so. And if I shouldn't have to celebrate or be treated as a special case, both of which I see as inappropriate, then why does any other sexual orientation need to celebrate because that is all it is, a sexual orientation. And should I take over the centre of a City to celebrate? No. Celebration should be of events - like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries. Celebration should be of individuals, groups, governments etc. who do great things, who change the world, who change history, who make the world a better place. I don't celebrate the fact that if I have sex, I choose to do so with a woman. I would be laughed at for celebrating and marching about that. And even if I should celebrate then why do the left wing, politically correct, underdog loving "do-gooders" and "luvvies" in government and elsewhere not create, subsidise and promote a HETEROSEXUAL pride movement and march? Is a LGBT march for anything other than self-glorification and publicity? If we can all treat others with respect, dignity and consideration then a pride march is unnecessary and becomes nothing more than a vehicle for self promotion. And will a march change any residual negative attitudes towards LGBT? Of course not. Will it achieve anything other than disruption? How could it? Might it well provoke antipathy? I think it does. I am part of an ethnic community. I am jewish. Rather than just having their rights denied, 6 million of my ancestors were MURDERED. 6 million. Should that afford me special consideration? No. Should I march once a year for that or for being jewish? No. Should people learn from the horror? Of course they should. That's by way of education and awareness, not by way of a march. Should I lead a decent, considerate life, considerate of others? Yes. Should others do the same? Yes. And that is all that is required. How is there equality - which the Gay Rights Movement (rightly) seeks - in an exclusive focus on and promotion of one section of society? A focus on them. But no, we have to continue to pander, placing LGBT in a god-like, unassailable position of "specialness". Why? Moreover, why do sections of the LGBT community, who attend pride marches, feel the need to shock and disgust, the need to be lewd, the need to be exhibitionist, the need to cause disruption and nuisance and why does such behaviour appear to be condoned and not acted on by the authorities? It's because the authorities create a politically correct "exception" for a "special group" which doesn't apply to the rest of us. We continue to tolerate behaviour which sits at odds with the common values I suggest we should live by and no such behaviour is ever tolerated of heterosexual people. That's not LGBT equality, that's LGBT "special case". Why? Should I ask a policeman not to arrest me when I'm drunk and half naked "because I am a heterosexual"? Why does such an exemption appear to apply to LGBT? 3 years ago, my wife and I went to Berlin, as tourists. There we were, minding our own business, wandering the central shopping streets of the City when we were suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a gay pride march. But this was no peaceful march, no peaceful celebration. The roads and therefore our rightful passage were blocked. There was an endless line of open top party buses playing music at an ear splitting level. So loud that you couldn't even talk to each other inside the surrounding shops? Many of the participants were drunk, they were intimidating but worst of all, there were many who were half naked with their genitals on full display - in a major shopping area of a major City in front of men, women and young children. Why did they have this "right"? Would I parade in this way? Of course not. I've seen silent protests where the protesters stand, hold banners and maintain complete silence. That is effective, dignified, stoical and poignant. It gets the point across in striking fashion. Why instead do LGBT pride marches have to descend into a ritual of noise, nuisance and vulgarity? What point does that make, other than those involved demeaning themselves and reducing their reputation to that of drunken revellers and football hooligans? Do I really, honestly want a heterosexual pride movement and march? Of course I don't but the point is made and it's about time we also stood up for OUR rights.
Petition to Chris Daniels, Mark Zuckerberg, Pavel Durov, Moxie Marlinspike, Ma Huateng
Open letter to messaging apps urging platform changes to protect users
As active users of your on-line messaging services, and also as members of the global multi-stakeholder community around Information and Communication Technologies, we are writing to express our concern regarding the handling of group messages by your services – specifically, the ability of any user with administrator rights to add any other user to a group without the latter’s express permission. In the absence of a mechanism to prevent themselves from being added to groups that they would not like to participate in, users have no option but to manually exit the groups. This is a troubling state of affairs because users may be forcefully exposed to a range of subjectively undesirable content that they would never have signed up for otherwise, which can be particularly damaging, especially in situations where malicious actors attempt to intimidate, disparage, harass or harm individuals in any way. For instance, journalists and reporters writing/speaking about controversial topics like political misconduct often face constant harassment from those who seek to subdue criticism. On the Internet, organized troll-groups (and independent trolls) make concerted efforts to prevent engagement on such topics by any means necessary. This frequently involves attacking the journalists/reporters with content (like highly derogatory remarks and false statements) that is designed to break spirits and discredit work. In India, prominent journalists and reporters like Ravish Kumar, Arnab Goswami, Rana Ayyub, and Karuna John among many others have expressed that they face crippling levels of on-line hate and harassment on a regular basis. The problem is equally relevant for non-public-personalities as well, especially those belonging to minority and otherwise vulnerable groups. A significant number of women report having been harassed on-line at some point in their lives, and cyber-bullying against children is on the rise. Members of ethnic/religious minorities are routinely attacked on-line, as is anyone holding what is perceived to be “unpopular” opinions. While blocking malicious actors can usually help mitigate the damage to an extent, on on-line messaging services like yours, they are able to easily circumvent blocks by creating groups and adding their targets to these groups. The problem is only made worse from there as personal information like phone numbers, user IDs and photographs are shared with a large number of users, which opens the doors to even greater abuse. Considering that the Internet is believed to be an important enabler of free speech and open discourse, it is highly unfortunate that a design flaw with group messages is undermining this role of the Internet in a big way. Your services also a violate individual privacy as personal information is shared amongst group members without consent. In addition, they fail to observe the “privacy by design” principle - “privacy as default setting” in particular – as they do not provide adequate safeguards to prevent infringement of user rights. We therefore urge you to take immediate steps to address this issue, and implement measures to make it so that being added to group conversations without permission is no longer a possibility. Not only will this greatly help in limiting abusive uses of your services, but it will also make users less wary of using the services, making the Internet a safer space for us all. We hope you treat this matter with utmost urgency and take corrective measures at the earliest. Sincerely, Software Freedom Law Centre, India Digital Empowerment Foundation Centre for Internet and Society Society for Knowledge Commons Prof. Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard Chair Professor in ICT for Sustainable Economic Development, IIM Bangalore Faisal Farooqui, CEO, Mouthshut.com Geeta Seshu, Independent Journalist Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, The Caravan Magazine
Petition to Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, david gauke, John Cater
Stop UK University Illegally Banning Free Speech
Whilst we are eventually leaving Europe, we still have freedom of expression rights - not just under the Human Rights Act 1998 (article 10) but also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19). Yet, in a move that even prevents people publicly complaining about homophobic bullying, Edge Hill University is illegally restricting this, in breach of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 with the following clause in its Student Code of Behaviour: 'A student must not intentionally or recklessly use the name of the University or any of its members in oral, written or electronic form (including social networking sites, fora and blogs) in such a way that either by content or expression it brings the good name of the University into disrepute.' This clause has already been used against students who exercised their legal right to freedom of expression, in order to prevent them making complaints about the University. It is a 'chilling effect' clause and needs to be removed. Instead, it is being used to punish students who complain. It is an illegal way to prevent any kind of criticism of the University. The clause must be removed and students apologised to, particularly as the wording of the clause prevents students publicly complaining about harassment (even sexual harassment). Someone could be subjected to bullying (e.g. homophobic bullying), and then if they're not taken seriously by the University, they're punished if they make their story public!
Petition to Governor Mike Sonko, President Uhuru Kenyatta, KENYA FILM COMMISION BOARD, Ezekiel Mutua
GIVE KENYAN CREATIVES A CHANCE
How do you require tonnes of young people without stable and proper earnings to be able to afford the new Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) rates? Not forgetting that unemployment is an unresolved issue in Kenya. Youtube is a free platform where anyone can post a video or vlog and it does not pay the owner of the video content, therefore the users agree to terms and conditions and any form of content uploaded is viewed by the youtube officials, therefore the KFCB claim of charging and having mandatory licenses for posting on youtube is vague and a show of disregard of Kenyan youth creative content. HERE IS A BREAKDOWN OF THE KFCB YOUTUBE/VLOGGING FEES, Vloggers/Kenyan youtubers to pay an annual fee of Ksh 12,000 ($120) for registering and licensing film agents, local and international filmmakers. Pay Ksh 5000 ($50) license fee every week you upload a video on youtube. Payment of ksh 1000 ($10) every day that they film The videos or content to be uploaded has to be approved by the KFCB before being uploaded. A fine of ksh 100,000 to be paid if found vlogging with no license. This is a clear indication of disregard of Kenyan talent and freedom of expression within the country. why are we being charged to post content on a platform that is free? This is the first we have heard of people paying to upload videos on an internationally recognized and free platform (Youtube). We are not to be led like sheep, we have our voices and it is time to raise them! As the youth of Kenya we cannot allow bigotry from these people who disregard Kenyan talent. Their time is up. It is our time to rise, shine and let our voices be heard. They cannot disregard our local content and praise international content that portrays our nation when we can do it ourselves. These are the double standards that are making us as a nation lag behind. Dear Mr. Ezekiel Mutua We as a young nation will not let you dictate our freedom of expression! We are here to stay!! signed, The Kenyan youth.