internet freedom

7 petitions

Started 2 months ago

Petition to Google Inc., Google, Inc, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Google UK Limited, UK Parliament

Call on Google to Lift Anti-Censorship Blocks on Iranian People

Over the past few days, Iranians all over the country have been protesting and standing up for their basic human rights. So far, at least  21 people have died, with at least 450 people arrested alone in Tehran. Iranians have been using social media applications such as Telegram, a messaging app that offered them a crucial platform for the free flow of information, often used to connect and organise effectively.  On 31st December 2017, Iran blocked the use of Telegram in an attempt to stop the anti-government protests across the country from spreading further as part of a clampdown on Iranian citizens' internet communications. This has resulted in many Iranians turning to alternatives to communicate, either local platforms or turning to insecure and compromised circumvention tools to bypass the filters. The risk of surveillance and further repression by the Iranian authorities is often very real. As an alternative to the now blocked Telegram, Iranians could potentially use secure messaging apps such as ‘Signal’ to connect and organise. Trusted by well-respected cryptographers and privacy advocates, Signal has been long targeted by repressive governments and censored in countries like Iran and Egypt. In Egypt however, the platform was able to make use of an in-built circumvention technique called ‘domain fronting’. According to cybersecurity expert Collin Anderson, Signal’s feature to bypass filtering uses a cloud platform called Google App Engine (GAE) to conceal traffic. However, Google's decision to filter GAE in Iran means Google is denying Iranians access to Signal’s circumvention features. In a recent interview, Dr Steven Murdoch, a security researcher in the Computer Science Department at University College London, noted that this decision by Google could be due to export control.  Additionally, Anderson notes that in reality GAE could be labelled as cloud services which would be exempt from sanctions. GAE could possibly be exempt under OFAC  GL D-1 under which, Google could make GAE available to users in Iran allowing them to connect safely. Alternatively, Google could simply whitelist important services that use AppEngine such as Signal. This way Google would not be violating their own interpretation of sanction laws. With this, Google could potentially aid in secure and unfiltered communications in Iran and live up to its own slogan of 'AppEngine for All'-including Iranians. Please sign this petition to:  Call on Google Inc. & Google Limited UK to investigate this matter immediately. Call on Google to either lift the block the company has placed on its service of Google AppEngine for Iranian users or whitelist safe messaging applications such as Signal for Iranian users. Call on U.S & UK politicians and officials to stand by their words to support the Iranian people and free flow of information, urging Google to investigate this matter, encouraging Google to provide a solution on this matter immediately.  Please help us spread the word by sharing this petition and use #GoogleForIran 

Azadeh Akbari
8,855 supporters
Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to Theresa May MP, Amber Rudd MP, Karen Bradley

PM Theresa May - Please Remove the Internet Regulation Policy from the Conservative Manifesto

UPDATE (12/7/17) - Theresa May has announced her intention to amend her manifesto of certain controversial policies; Tories to ditch key manifesto pledges This is our chance to make our concerns for her Internet Regulation Policy known. Please sign and share. -- According to the Conservative Manifesto for the 2017 General Election, a policy is outlined regarding regulation of the Internet. Sources with further details can be found in the following links, including the announcement made in relation to counter-terror law; The Prime Minister is cynically exploiting the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester and the nebulous "extremist material", among other vaguely defined issues, to justify the suppression and control of information and expression. This is on top of the recently legalised state surveillance and censorship of legal online adult entertainment within the Investigatory Powers Act and the Digital Economy Bill respectively and the recent debate over encryption. This cannot go unchallenged. I understand the need to combat terrorism and to protect children from adult and extremist content, but what May is proposing is extremely reductive. Regulating the flow of information, especially within such ill-defined terms such as "hate speech", "obscene material" and "extremism", restricts the freedom of expression that allows online businesses to thrive and valuable data to be preserved and shared. To enforce regulation on top of mass surveillance amounts to criminalising millions of innocent civilians for having what they could easily define as an extremist view, an offensive opinion or an obscene publication on a dangerously broad whim. It doesn't make Britain a leader, it aligns it further with oppressive authoritarian regimes such as North Korea and China. An alternative to state regulation of information would be, in the case of extreme and obscene content, a stronger focus on education, such as teaching children how to browse the Internet safely, an honest and open discussion about sex and relationships, and how to evaluate and critically analyse information, and, regarding counter-terrorism, a much more stringent focus on preventative action, such as an immediate response to reports of a potential attack or suspect. As for hate speech and abusive communications, again education is paramount, in the sense that users must be taught to either ignore or report abuse. Here are some articles explaining how tech companies tackle illegal content on their services, what governments - UK and abroad - demand of them and the practicality of such demands and appeals for a discussion in alternative measures; The Internet is the most valuable tool we have as a global civilisation. Forcing foreign or global organisations to adhere to a guideline that only covers one nation in a global network under threat of sanctions or punitive action is counterproductive and will only drive valuable business away from the United Kingdom. To make your whole population a suspect for something only its admimistration believes is so, without evidence or even a warrant to justify the suspicion, is barbaric. To enforce regulation that controls what information and content people can consume will only endanger them more than allowing them the ability and privacy to make their own judgements. Please amend the policy to regulate the Internet so that it remains as free and useful as it is without compromising a user's access to legal content.

1,865 supporters