Joint Statement from Civil Society to Technology Companies for Expanded Transparency Reports

Joint Statement from Civil Society to Technology Companies for Expanded Transparency Reports

The undersigned organizations and individuals commend the recent efforts adopted by more than 43 companies to produce transparency reports that document the numbers of content removal and data requests by government and encourage all companies that collect user data to do the same.

However, without greater qualification of the data published and clarity on the process companies follow to determine whether a request is legal or is made by a legitimate legal entity, and how the determination to ultimately restrict content or hand over user data is made, the report’s usefulness to users, researchers, journalists, and advocates is limited, especially in the context of regimes that don’t adhere to due process and where it’s difficult to get this information any other way.


  1. Categorize types of requests, such as national security, cyber security, human trafficking, or restricted speech
  2. Cite the legal justification provided, including references to laws and articles cited as grounds. If a company claims to adhere to local laws, users should know which local laws are being invoked, both with regards to legal authority and grounds for the request
  3. State whether content removal was a result of copyright infringement or a matter of restricted speech, and if the latter, the grounds cited
  4. Name the government or law-enforcement agencies submitting the requests or restricting/validating them
  5. Disaggregate emergency and nonemergency requests and clarify the distinction between emergency and nonemergency requests
  6. Report on whether users are contacted when their account data is requested or content is restricted and what, if any, user input factors into the outcome
  7. Increase collaboration and note sharing between companies on how they deal and comply with requests from the same countries
  8. Act uniformly with different countries and attempt to standardize the manner in which government requests are entertained, in line with best practices and global principles


UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

GNI principles

Ranking Digital Rights

Transparency Reporting Index – Access 

RightsCon Signatories (March 25, 2015):

1.     Access2.     Acceso Libre USAVenezuela
3.     Arlan Kazakhstan
4.     Article 19 UK
5.     Association for Progressive Communications6.     Bolo Bhi GlobalPakistan
7.     Center for Peoples Dialogue8.     Center for Investigative Journalism MalaysiaSri Lanka
9.     Democracy.Net.PH Philippines
10. Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan
11. Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center Azerbaijan
12. Electronic Frontier Foundation USA
13. ELSAM Indonesia
14. FORGE Philippines
15. Foundation for Media Alternatives Philippines
16. Fundacion Karisma Colombia
17. Hiperderecho Peru
18. HIVOS Southeast Asia
19. Initiatives for International Dialogue Southeast Asia
20. Internet Society HK China (Hong Kong)
21. Internews USA
22. Legal Advocates for Democracy Philippines
23. Legal Aid Center for the Press Indonesia
24. Migrant Forum Asia Regional
25. Mindanao Peace Institute Philippines
26. Myanmar ICT for Development Organization Myanmar
27. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria28. PASCRES NigeriaPhilippines
29. Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance Philippines
30. Prachatai Thailand
31. Satunama Foundation Indonesia
32. Servelots Infotech India
33. Social Media Exchange Lebanon
34. TEDIC Paraguay
35. Thai Netizen Network Thailand
36. UNYPAD Philippines
37. Web Foundation Global
38. Cheekay Cinco Philippines
39. Chesca Casauay Philippines
40. Jennifer Verano Philippines
41. Kate Coyer Hungary
42. Megan Deblois USA
43. Priyanka Chrisimar India
44. Stephen Malkel UK

More Signatories:

45. Derechos Digitales – Chile

46.Instituto Panameño de Derecho y Nuevas Tecnologías (IPANDETEC) – Panama


You can still sign. Send in an email to either one: from Bolo Bhi from Foundation for Media Alternatives from Social Media Exchange


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