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A coalition of interest groups and prominent individuals has launched the Declaration of Internet Freedom, a manifesto calling for a free and open Internet.

Signed by 91 organisations and 38 prominent individuals including Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social news website, the document is based on five core principles.

It calls against censorship of the Internet and for the promotion of universal access to networks, freedom of expression, protection of privacy and the right to create and innovate.

“We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles,” the coalition said in its preamble to the declaration.

“We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.”

The declaration was also signed by founder Cory Doctorow who spoke at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Internet Freedom conference in Dublin last month.

The coalition hopes to engender debate and invites the public to “agree or disagree with them” and to “broaden the discussion with your community – as only the Internet can make possible.”

The Declaration

* We stand for a free and open Internet.

* We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

Expression: Don’t censor the Internet.

Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.

Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.

Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.

Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.