Facebook Agrees To Human Rights Auditing

In an about-face, Facebook announced it is joining the Global Network Initiative (GNI).

The GNI audits global technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo for human rights compliance in a process that requires investigators to gain access to the companies’ records. Prior to joining the GNI, Facebook was an observer at the organization, which did not require it to submit to auditing. It only agreed to that status under reputed government pressure.

“Advancing human rights, including freedom of expression and the right to communicate freely, is core to our mission of making the world more open and connected,” Facebook vice president of communications, marketing, and public policy Elliot Schrage said in a release. “We’re pleased to join GNI and contribute to its efforts to shed a spotlight on government practices that threaten the economic, social and political benefits the internet provides.”

The GNI’s latest report warns of legislative proposals worldwide which could threaten free speech and privacy, as well as of various plans to spy on citizenry using social media. Facebook is routinely used by dissidents and persecuted minority groups worldwide.NU