Don’t disrespect freedom of expression or freedom of the media

16 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & SURVEILLANCE PRIVACY AND FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA

Freedom of expression & surveillance privacy and the freedom of the media are at the heart of our business. We protect and support the rights of all our customers to exchange ideas and promote the development of open and democratic societies.

Four key things

1

We respect and promote the freedom of expression and surveillance privacy of users

2

Avoid and mitigate any potential negative impacts on risks to the freedom of expression and surveillance privacy of users

3

Support the rights of users in relation to new rules that may negatively impact individuals’ freedom of expression and surveillance privacy

4

We promote and defend independent publishing and broadcasting with the responsible editorship as a cornerstone

Definitions

Freedom of expression and opinion is a fundamental human right defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

The right to surveillance privacy relates to individuals’ right to privacy in relation to authorities that mandate and/or request access to user data.

Freedom of the media includes freedom of expression exercised via broadcasting or other forms of mass media and by adhering to traditional editorial integrity principles, established journalistic practices and the sovereignty of the responsible publisher pursuant to constitutional law regarding freedom of expression.

Do the right thing

We respect and promote international standards on human rights, including our customers’ and users' right to freedom of expression and surveillance privacy and the freedom and independence of mass media..

This means we always:

  • Raise concerns about new legislative, administrative, license or law enforcement rules we are required to follow if we think they may negatively impact users’ freedom of expression or surveillance privacy, or the freedom and independence of mass media.
  • Protect, promote and support freedom of expression and surveillance privacy through responsible decision-making and are as transparent as possible regarding the extent of government restrictions on communications and surveillance

We’ve implemented a point of challenge to ensure we carefully assess unconventional requests and demands from governments that may affect the freedom of expression of our customers and users, surveillance privacy or the freedom and independence of mass media. We comply only as far as necessary, no further.

We don’t get involved in the politics of the countries in which we operate but our management does pursue public advocacy.

It also means that we hold editorial content free from ties to e.g. governments, public authorities, political parties, external financial power spheres and other organized societal interests.

Freedom of Expression
  • Anticipate, avoid and mitigate risks to the freedom of expression of users. If you become aware of requests or demands from governments or authorities which might have serious impacts on the freedom of expression of users, then escalate these so that Telia can interpret the request as narrowly as possible and challenge the request if needed.
Surveillance Privacy
  • Anticipate, avoid and mitigate risks to the surveillance privacy of users. If you become aware of requests or demands from governments or authorities which might have serious impacts on privacy, escalate these so that Telia can interpret the request as narrowly as possible and challenge the request if needed.
Freedom and independence of the mass media
  • If you don’t work in editorial operations, don’t intervene in editorial decisions. Respect the principle that editorial operations are not to receive editorial related instructions from individuals, entities etc. outside the editorial operations. All editorial decisions are solely taken by personnel within the editorial operations which are independent and separate from other parts of Telia Company.
  • Anticipate, avoid and mitigate risks to the freedom and independence of the mass media. If you become aware of requests or demands which might negatively impact the freedom and independence of mass media, escalate these so that Telia and its editorial operations can interpret the request as narrowly as possible and challenge the request if needed.

In practice

Here are some practical ways in which we promote freedom of expression & surveillance privacy and freedom of the media:

  • Our networks and services help to facilitate our strong public commitment to respect and support freedom of expression
  • We’ve also teamed up with competitors and other stakeholders to use our work to promote freedom of expression while the Law Enforcement Disclosure Reports we publish allow stakeholders to increase their knowledge and understanding, and encourage greater transparency
  • We have adopted a policy on Freedom of Expression & Surveillance Privacy as well as a Media Owner Policy

Find out more

For more information, see our Group Policy on Freedom of Expression & Surveillance Privacy and our Group Policy – Media Owner Commitments

We also have a tool that we use to assess and escalate any government requests or demands that have potential serious impacts on our customers’ freedom of expression and privacy.

Well done reading that