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Afilias becomes first European company to gain observer status with the Global Network Initiative

Afilias joins Facebook as a GNI “Observer” member

Afilias Limited, an Ireland-based global provider of registry services for top-level Internet domains, today announced that it is the first European company to gain observer status with the Global Network Initiative (GNI). The GNI is a multi-stakeholder initiative comprised of companies and other stakeholders in the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry that are committed to protecting and advancing online freedom of expression and privacy.

“We are delighted to join the Global Network Initiative as an observer member,” said Desiree Miloshevic, Senior Public Policy and International Affairs Advisor at Afilias. “At Afilias, we believe that GNI's goals and principles, such as multi-stakeholder collaboration, freedom of expression and privacy, are integral to maintaining an open Internet ecosystem.”

Afilias is the second company to gain observer status with GNI, following Facebook who became an observer earlier this month. The observer status lasts for one non-renewable twelve-month term. Observers participate in dedicated policy and learning sessions organized by GNI, and engage with current GNI participants and staff.

“Gaining a European company with a global footprint and extensive expertise on the technical side of Internet governance as an observer of GNI is another important step in increasing the international reach of GNI, which is critically important as we work to develop a corporate standard on free expression and privacy,” said GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan.

GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks added, "GNI has grown substantially in the past year, adding new members and completing the first independent assessments of its founding companies, and the addition of Afilias as an observer builds on this success. We hope to see more international companies engage with GNI in the near future."

About The Global Network Initiative (GNI)

GNI is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics, who have created a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. GNI provides resources for ICT companies to help them address difficult issues related to freedom of expression and privacy that they may face anywhere in the world. GNI has created a framework of principles and a confidential, collaborative approach to working through challenges of corporate responsibility in the ICT sector. For more information, see http://globalnetworkinitiative.org.

About Afilias

Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias’ reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS. For more information on Afilias TLD services, visit http://www.afilias.info.