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a Declaration for Distributed Online Services

We believe that Internet service providers have an inherent interest and duty to protect user privacy and stop the spread of hate on their networks. Taking a principled approach to service provision is necessary to preserve these rights for a civil society online. We welcome private sector initiatives and encourage all service providers to join us in abiding by the following principles:

  1. Respect your client’s privacy. Their data belongs to them. Provide an opt-out for log collection and retention. Encrypt their data at rest. Do not sell or share your client’s data with any third-party without prior consent. Be transparent about operations that could have a negative effect on data privacy
  2. Do your utmost to ensure that your infrastructure is not utilised to enable hate speech or the promotion of violence. Prevent your network from being used as a launchpad for malicious and destructive actions.
  3. Maintain your network in a way that benefits an open Internet at large. Share your knowledge with others. Expertise and software code that improves security and transparency on the Internet should be accessible to all.
  4. Put your clients before profits or funding. Be clear about commercial intention and services provided under free accounts. Give clients viable alternatives before terminating or changing their service.
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