Internet and telecommunications companies receive thousands of requests per year from governments around the world to censor content or divulge information about their users. Many of these requests violate international human rights principles. For the past ten years, Domini has helped to build the Global Network Initiative (GNI), an organization focused on protecting freedom of expression and privacy from improper government intrusion. The GNI has established a set of principles and guidelines for companies to follow when receiving these requests and also engages in public policy and shared learning on these issues. The GNI includes prominent human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
GNI maintains the only independent assessment process of its kind, ensuring that its corporate members, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook, undergo regular independent evaluations of their commitments to the organization’s human rights principles. The GNI recently completed independent assessments of each of these companies and produced a public report describing the process and its findings, available at www.globalnetworkinitiative.org. After serving as a founding board member, Domini is currently an alternate member of the GNI Board, and was directly involved in the design of the assessment process and the recent evaluations of each company. Earlier this year, the GNI welcomed seven telecommunications companies as “observers,” in the hope that they will ultimately become full GNI members.