At face value: 60 countries signed the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet,” which commits to keep the internet “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure.”
Some signers include the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Germany, France, Canada, and Australia. Many of the signatories support censorship and moderating “harmful” speech.
Between the lines: The declaration aims to “bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation” and “reduce illegal and harmful content” online to promote democracy. It’s a step away from freedom and a step towards globally coordinated censorship.
In context: The document grew out of a Biden-led effort. Right before the release of the declaration, the EU granted the government power to moderate social media (4.22.22) and the Biden Administration announced a Disinformation board (4.27.22).
The trend to curb free speech online through government power is accelerating.