This month, the United States assumed the Chairship of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) for 2023.  The FOC is a coalition of governments working together to support internet freedom and promote respect for human rights, including the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, as well as privacy rights, both online and offline.

As announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken last June and in line with the United States’ commitment at the December 2021 Summit for Democracy, the United States is dedicated to strengthening the coalition and collaborating with members to shape the standards and norms that govern new technologies that underpin an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet.

During its Chairship, the United States seeks to prioritize protecting fundamental freedoms online; countering digital authoritarianism and the misuse of digital technologies; advancing norms, principles, and safeguards regarding artificial intelligence; and strengthening digital inclusion.

As a founding member of the coalition, the United States has supported the work of the FOC since its inception in 2011.  The Chairship will build upon the Canadian Government’s leadership in 2022 to update high-level principles for Internet freedom as formalized in the recently published Ottawa Agenda. Under the U.S. Chairship, the FOC remains steadfast in addressing key challenges to Internet freedom and is committed to working to promote and protect human rights online globally.  The FOC’s work also forms the basis of the human rights pillar of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, which was launched by the White House and 60 other countries last year.

In 2023, the U.S. Chairship will be supported by the Friends of the Chair, comprising Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, who will provide advice and support in successfully implementing the Program of Action.  In addition, the FOC’s diplomatic networks in Geneva, Paris, and New York will facilitate coordination and engagement in relevant global and regional forums, and enable members to share information, opportunities, and concerns about current developments around Internet freedom.

For further information, please visit the Freedom Online Coalition website.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future