This section lists key actions that companies, governments, and other stakeholders can take in order to maximize Internet and telecommunications companies’ respect for users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

For companies

Below are recommendations that apply to many companies in the Index.
Recommendations for specific companies can be found in the individual company reports.

For governments

While companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, governments have a primary duty to protect human rights. Other projects such as Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net report provide more specific measures of the extent to which governments are living up to their duty to protect Internet users’ rights. This Index data underscores the fact that governments create legal and regulatory environments that maximize companies’ ability to respect users’ rights. The following steps by governments would help companies in this Index to improve their performance:

For all others: Individuals, advocates, activists, investors, and researchers

The data in this Index has many uses for individuals, consumer advocates, human rights activists, responsible investors, and researchers. In the months after launch, we will work with advocates, investors, and researchers to help them develop specific strategies for using the Index data. This work will be continuously documented on the project website. In the meantime, we have the following general suggestions:

Demand transparency and accountability of both companies and government actors regarding requests and expectations – legal and extralegal – being placed on companies. At present, no government provides meaningful transparency on requests made to companies. Citizens should push any government that is a signatory of the Open Government Partnership and/or the Freedom Online Coalition but does not release transparency reports about requests from authorities to companies for assistance with censorship and surveillance, to act in a manner more consistent with their commitments.