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Joint Statement Against Territorial Discrimination of Internet Users

Moscow, Russian Federation, April 7, 2015

We, the undersigned, hereby urge the consideration of a situation in which some Internet users have had their rights abused and are discriminated against as a result of the enforcement of the US President’s Executive Order 13685 on sanctions with regard to Crimea.

On January 23, 2015, Crimea-based Google Apps was notified that access to the service would be suspended for a week for all individuals in the area. This was followed by similar notifications from other U.S. based technology companies including Amazon, Apple, GoDaddy and Paypal. Further updates by Google’s Chrome web browser were accompanied by a notification that all websites and hosting services registered by individuals in the area would be shut down and/or deleted.

We are hereby expressing concern about these actions that may lead to a restriction of Crimean residents’ rights to even basic Internet services.

It is our strong belief that access to the information space and modern communication technology serves the public interest; it encourages and promotes stable economic progress, science and research, education and medicine, and, most importantly, social integration. Therefore, this is something that should not be affected by sanctions.

We are confident that territorial discrimination of Internet user rights is unacceptable. The current situation undermines generally accepted multilateral principles and values, mutual trust in an open and interdependent information space, is capable of discrediting further development and poses a serious threat in the form of the fragmentation of the common information space.