The Freedom Online Coalition

is a partnership of 30 governments, working to advance Internet freedom. Coalition members work closely together to coordinate their diplomatic efforts and engage with civil society and the private sector to support Internet freedom – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide.

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The Annual Freedom Online Conference

is the flagship event of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), bringing together governments and stakeholders from around the world to discuss the most urgent challenges to the realization of human rights online. This year, the Conference will take place at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin from 28-30 November.

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Conference Aims

The conference offers an open platform for discussion among all stakeholders – governments, civil society, the private sector, and others – to share relevant information, develop joint strategies and combine efforts towards their mutual goal of a human rights based Internet.

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Common Paths Toward Strengthening Rights Online

To many around the world, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday life. For too many, however, Internet freedom – freedom of expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – remains a distant promise. The Freedom on the Net Report 2017 documents a seventh consecutive year of overall decline in global Internet freedom. While in some countries  a lack of access remains an ongoing issue, in others authoritarian governments work to control and restrict the use of the Internet. Such “authoritarian backlash” not only prevents individuals from enjoying the benefits of the Internet, but is detrimental to social and economic development as a whole. More importantly, associated measures have problematic implications under international human rights law.

In order to reverse current negative trends, common action by governments, the private sector and civil society is required. This conference will provide a unique forum for all stakeholders to exchange perspectives on the most pressing threats to human rights in the digital age and identify solutions.

Meet our Featured Participants

The Conference will take place from the 28-30 November and will include a ‘Day Zero’ on Wednesday 28 November, which will be comprised of FOC working meetings in the morning, followed by open sessions and social events in the afternoon and evening.

The Conference will be opened officially on the Thursday 29 November, with a welcome address by Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Heiko Maas, and keynote speeches by distinguished representatives.

This conference program has been jointly developed by the Chair, FOC Members and the FOC Advisory Network. Please note that this program is subject to change and will continue to be updated until confirmed.

Day 0
28 Nov 2018
Day 1
29 Nov 2018
Day 2
30 Nov 2018






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Headquarters of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin