Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 2008 – Throughout the world, companies in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector face growing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies in ways that may conflict with the internationally recognized human rights of privacy and freedom of expression.



Pamela Passman, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Global Corporate Affairs

In response, a diverse coalition of organizations has launched the Global Network Initiative, which seeks to establish guidelines for resisting government efforts seeking to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance. Microsoft is collaborating with other companies, investors, civil society organizations, and academics to establish and implement Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. These principles are based on internationally recognized laws and standards for human rights. 

A press release explaining more about the Global Network Initiative and its objects is available on the Global Network Initiative’s Web site.

 In support of the Global Network Initiative, Pamela Passman, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Global Corporate Affairs, has issued the following statement:

“Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and organizations to realize their full potential, including the social and economic opportunity that technology can unlock through access to information.  This Initiative helps us further that mission by creating a systemic approach to company practices, a unique collaboration among industry, human rights organizations, academics and investors, and a strong foundation to engage further around the globe to help advance basic protections for freedom of expression, privacy and to build consumer trust across global networks.”