The Internet should have an open and distributed architecture, and should continue to be based on open standards and application interfaces and guarantee interoperability so as to enable a common exchange of information and knowledge. Opportunities to share ideas and information on the Internet are integral to promoting freedom of expression, media pluralism and cultural diversity. Open standards support innovation and competition, and a commitment to network neutrality promotes equal and non-discriminatory access to and exchange of information on the Internet.
In accordance with the principle of network neutrality, all data on the Internet must be treated in an equal and non-discriminatory manner, and shall not be charged differentially, according to user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication. The architecture of the Internet is to be preserved as a vehicle for free, open, equal and non-discriminatory exchange of information, communication and culture. There should be no special privileges for, or obstacles against, the exchange of information online or any party or content on economic, social, cultural or political grounds. However, nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as preventing affirmative action aimed at ensuring substantive equality for marginalised peoples or groups.
Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) looked at internet rights and democratisation, with a focus on freedom of expression and association online. This Special Edition, analyses more than 60 country and thematic reports in order to better reveal and build understanding of the broad range of practical actions and strategies that activists are developing.
Natasha Msonza from Her Zimbabwe shares her views on women's experiences online, this post was written during her participation in the Gender and Internet Governance Exchange program in Addis Ababa, 2015.
Sandra Kambo is from Kenya where she works at AS&K Digital Communications, as a software and test engineer. She has practiced in this role for the past six years, while being in the ICT industry for over a decade npw. In her blog post she reflects on her experience at the African School on Internet Governance and how it can be applied to eveyday life situations from her country's perspective.