FOC Announces Programme of Action for 2019-2020

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Mr Mikko Kinnunen, Director General of the Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, representing Government of Finland, Incoming FOC Chair
Mr Mikko Kinnunen, Director General of the Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, representing Government of Finland, Incoming FOC Chair

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has announced its Programme of Action for 2019-2020, outlining its priorities for supporting Internet freedom and protecting human rights online.

The FOC is a group of 32 governments committed to working together to support Internet freedom and protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, as well as privacy online worldwide.

The coalition identified in the programme of action the crucial activities the FOC will endeavour to undertake in order to directly address Internet freedom challenges as identified by FOC Members and the FOC Advisory Network.

In the forthcoming year, the FOC plans to continue to tackle Internet freedom related issues, while also strengthening the Coalition’s networks.

The FOC’s activities will focus on a number of areas, including limiting state-sponsored restrictions to human rights online, defending civic spaces, closing digital divides, mainstreaming in cybersecurity debates, and highlighting the potential human rights implications of artificial intelligence in online spaces and the complex challenges to human rights caused by disinformation.

The FOC also plans to be engaging with these issues through the following methods, as highlighted in the Stockholm Terms of Reference:

  • Diplomatic Coordination between Members, local networks and outside stakeholders at multilateral forums;
  • Shaping of Global Norms through the development and promotion of FOC language and joint statements, as well as raising awareness of FOC priority areas; and
  • Multistakeholder Engagement through collaboration with the Advisory Network and other stakeholders across activities, including the Annual Freedom Online Conference.

The Coalition plans to communicate updates on the implementation of the Programme of Action through the FOC website and upcoming editions of the Quarterly FOC Newsletter.