Threats to the Open Net: July 6, 2012

  • Twitter unveiled its first Twitter Transparency Report, which will document the requests the microblogging service receives from governments and copyright holders asking Twitter to take down content or release user information. According to the first report, which covered the period from January 1 to June 30 of this year, Twitter received more government requests in the first half of 2012 than in all of 2011. Twitter plans to release future reports biannually.
  • A coalition of privacy groups, websites and individuals launched the Declaration of Internet Freedom, a petition outlining principles of a free and open Internet. People can sign the petition or debate the issues surrounding the petition on a number of websites, since the proclamation is open for discussion.
  • On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a nonbinding resolution supporting freedom of expression on the Internet, which is the first time the council’s 47 member states agreed that Internet access and freedom is a right that should be guaranteed and protected.
  • The European Union Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after opponents raised concerns that the controversial anti-piracy trade agreement would curtail Internet freedom. Supporters of the law said it was necessary to standardize copyright laws to protect the intellectual property subject to theft and piracy. However, the law, which sparked large protests across Europe, may be reintroduced in a different form.

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