Open Internet for Democracy

Open Internet for Democracy

Our Belief: An open and accessible Internet is fundamental to the success of democratic societies worldwide.

Our Goal: Build a network of open Internet advocates who champion the democratic values and principles that should guide the future development of the Internet.

Latest Updates

Latest Updates

Deadline Extended! Apply Now for the 2020-2021 Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020-2021 Open Internet for Democracy Leaders program! This year's theme is "Strengthening Democratic Digital Governance: Raising Local Voices for Digital Rights." If you're passionate about preserving digital rights and protecting a free and open internet, the Open Internet for Democracy Initiative hopes to support you in your work, collaborate around shared advocacy goals, and connect you with a global set of peers pushing back against digital authoritarianism. The deadlne for applications is June 30, 2020

Apply Now!

Read the Democratic Principles for an Open Internet

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) are facilitating an initiative to identify and promote internet norms and principles essential to democratic governance. Success requires the diverse voices of a wide range of local and multinational organizations, including political and human rights groups, citizen activists, media representatives, civil society organizations, and members of the private sector. 

The Democratic Principles for an Open Internet have been primarily designed for citizens and civil society organizations in fragile and emerging democracies, who are new to the digital rights space, are beginning to engage more regularly online, and who may be more likely to encounter deliberate internet disruptions as a result of government interference. We hope this guide will help activists working for democracy in an internet age and connect them in global peer networks to exchange best practices. The guide also serves as an advocacy tool that organizations can utilize in pushing governments, the private sector, and civil society to adhere to universal human rights through open internet principles and standards.

Read the Principles!




South African Professor Thuli Madonsela discusses the rule of law in the age of COVID-19, including important considerations around data protection and freedom of expression.
The use of facial recognition technology is on the rise, particularly among governments who claim that it helps keep their citizens safer. But how do these technologies impact an individual's right to privacy? A new research paper by Olga Kyryliuk explores how facial recognition is being deployed across the European Union, what arguments citizens have used to push back against their use, and how the legal community has responded.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led many governments to enact emergency measures that temporarily expand their powers in an effort to combat and contain the virus. However, the measures taken in response - such as citizen surveillance or restrictions on movement - must be carefully monitored to ensure that their "temporary" nature, justified in the name of public health, don't instead become a pathway for the permanent restriction or abuse of an individuals' rights.
Disinformation can also have less immediately visible but equally dangerous results that undermine democracy by distorting public discourse and interfering with democratic decision-making. Furthermore, because disinformation has polluted online channels of communication in Africa and beyond, fundamental digital rights such as freedom of expression, information, and privacy in the digital age are increasingly under threat.
Ukraine's proposed legislative amendments raise concerns about the future of freedom of speech and the free flow of information.