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Estonia Will Organise One of the Year’s Most Important Internet Freedom Conferences

27.11.2013

In spring 2014, Estonia will host the ministers and specialists of nearly 40 states in connection with the Freedom Online Coalition annual conference entitled “Free and Secure Internet for All”. The event is one of the most important meetings about internet freedom on the global level. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with Estonian non-governmental organisations dealing with internet freedom in order to discuss questions associated with the organisation of the conference.

“As the current chairman of the Freedom Online Coalition, Estonia will organise the annual conference in the spring of 2014,” said Foreign Minister Urmas Paet. “In addition to freedom of expression online, the high-level meeting will also focus on privacy and transparency, public-private partnership, and other questions affecting the future of free and secure internet usage. Emphasising the importance of internet freedom has become an everyday aspect of international discussions. We consider it important that stakeholders can have a say in the organisation of the conference; cooperation will ensure that all timely topics can be addressed at the international meeting,” added Paet.

According to Minister Paet, the conference will be a positive challenge not only for the public sector and non-governmental organisations but also for the representatives of businesses because the topics that will come under discussion involve all aspects of life. One of the objectives of the meeting will be the adoption of principles that ensure the continuation of internet freedom. “At this point, it is important that all sectors are visible and that their needs are taken into account,” he said.

The content of the conference, which is taking place on 28-29 April 2014, is being prepared by the e-Governance Academy in cooperation with Estonian and international experts. At the conference, Estonia’s objective will be to emphasise the importance and possibility of a free and secure internet for the world. At the same time, on 23-30 April 2014, an information and communication technology week entitled “Estonian ICT Week” will be taking place in Tallinn as well.

The Internet Freedom Coalition was  established in 2011 at an internet freedom conference in The Hague under the leadership of the Dutch Foreign Ministry. By today, the membership has grown to 21 states. The other member states besides Estonia are Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Holland, USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Costa Rica, Finland, Tunisia, Latvia, Germany, and Georgia. The objective of the Freedom Online Coalition is to defend and advance internet freedom in the world and shape international decisions based on those foundational principles.

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