Strasbourg, 8 November 2017

Council of Europe partners with leading technology companies

to promote respect for human rights


Thomas Myrup Kristensen, Managing Director EU Affairs, Head of Office Brussels, Facebook

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Council of Europe on the next stage of its pioneering work looking at human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the internet.”

Marco Pancini, Director Public Policy, Google:

"We’re pleased to take part in this important forum and continue the open and honest dialogue needed to ensure a free and open web that respects user privacy, enables free access to information, and protects against abuse that could undermine those freedoms."

Anton Shingarev, Vice-President for Public Affairs, Kaspersky Lab:

“The internet is a unique domain - a place all of us check-in to every day. We read the news and social media, plan our holidays, and shop and bank online - and we leave a huge digital footprint every single day. But this unique space is under serious threat today: cybercriminals are trying to exploit and abuse it, terrorists use it to enroll recruits, and governments are busy trying to regulate it. We’re happy to partner with CoE in making the internet safe and secure - so all of us can continue to enjoy our digital lives to the full.”

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE:

“79% of Europeans use the internet regularly and digital technologies have deeply transformed the way our society and economy operate. As DIGITALEUROPE represents over 25,000 digital companies of all sizes and all sectors, we are committed to build a digital environment based on the shared values that govern our off-line world : safe and respectful of fundamental rights and diversity.”

Afke Schaart, Head of GSMA Europe:

“Mobile industry development is tied to the evolution of internet-enabled services and devices, so decisions about the use, management and regulation of the internet affect mobile service providers and their customers. We believe that no single institution or mechanism can or should effectively govern the internet, and that the multistakeholder model, enabled through collaboration between governments, industry and other stakeholder groups, should be preserved and allowed to evolve. We therefore welcome the Council of Europe’s establishment of a platform to facilitate collaboration between governments and major internet companies and associations on respect for human rights and the rule of law online. We are pleased to confirm our commitment to cooperate in order to strengthen dialogue and explore ways to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of internet users.”

Judith Lichtenberg, GNI Executive Director:

“By forging this partnership, the Council of Europe is investing in dialogue between states, companies, and civil society to address the critical global digital rights challenges all countries face. The inclusion of GNI's unique multi-stakeholder alliance - companies, academics, investors, and civil society organizations - will foster a broad, deep, and ongoing conversation on human rights in the digital age.”

Thimotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom

„Our world is becoming increasingly complex. I believe that strong collaboration between the telecommunications and internet companies as well as government on the upcoming challenges of digitalization and the protection of core human rights and fundamental freedoms of internet users is crucial for being successful – today and even more tomorrow. We can only develop digital responsibility together.“