Friday, September 28, 2012
Secure access to uncensored Internet is essential for sharing and receiving information. More and more people worldwide have access to the Internet. But control and censorship are seeming to catch up with this development. For Free Press Unlimited, Hivos and XS4ALL reason to team up and set up the Internet Protection Lab.

The Internet Protection Lab is supporting journalists, bloggers and activists with internet access, knowledge and secure webhosting. And this is much needed according to Leon Willems, Director Free Press Unlimited: “In our work, we notice that authoroties have an almost irresistible tendency to regulate the Internet until it's gone. There is not enough attention worldwide for how far governments go to use the Internet against their own citizens. To locate them, to control them, or even worse. ”

Today, September 28th, the Internet Protection Lab is launched during an event of the Dutch Internet Governance Forum. Marietje Schaake is a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party and member of Free Press Unlimited's Supervisory board. She will be the keynote speaker of the congress. Schaake: “Accessibility and freedom on the Internet is a tremendous opportunity for people everywhere.” Niels ten Oever, Program coordinator Free Press Unlimited, agrees: “For example, Sudanese and Russian officials where filmed with mobile phones while stuffing ballot boxes. Civilian web-criticism has influenced constitution writing in Morocco, and what about the horrifying images coming from Syria. If we want to protect these courageous citizens and journalists who risk their lives informing each other and the world, we need to step up our actions to increase privacy and anonymity.”

The Internet Protection Lab is a first step following Free Press Unlimited's Call to Action on Internet Freedom in December 2011. The lab will provide training and technical assistance. Goal is to protect people who send out information on the web and to ensure free access to this information worldwide for people who need it most. Read more on the website of the Internet Projection Lab.