It took all of us to build the web that we have. It will take all of us to secure its future.

Half of the world’s population still can’t get online. For the other half, the web’s benefits seem to come with far too many unacceptable risks: to our privacy, our democracy, our health and our security.

Now for the first time ever, we have a global plan of action — the Contract for the Web — created by experts and citizens from across the world to make sure our online world is safe, empowering and genuinely for everyone. We invite governments, companies, civil society organizations and individuals to back the Contract and uphold its principles and clauses.

The Contract for the Web will become a strong mechanism for each party to be held accountable for doing their part to build an open and free web.

Questions or suggestions? Contact at

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was involved in building the Contract?

  • The process was guided by a core group of 10 which met regularly to coordinate and plan for the contract’s success.
    • Governments: France, Germany
    • Civil Society: Wikimedia, Avaaz, CIPESA, Web Foundation, The NewNow
    • Companies: Pango (formerly known as AnchorFree), Google, Microsoft
  • Five working groups worked to turn these principles into concrete commitments included in the final Contract: 1) Access, 2) Openness, 3) Privacy & Data Rights, 4) Positive Tech 5) Public Action
  • Representation:
    • 35% of working group members came from the private sector, 50% from CSOs, and the remaining 15% from government
    • 30% came from the Global South

How was the Contract drafted?

  • Over the course of ten months, more than 80 signatories to the Contract principles debated and negotiated the full details and commitments to be outlined in the full Contract.
  • That process was informed by a public consultation with input from more than 600 people, including policy experts.

What authority does the Contract have?

  • The Contract for the Web was built with the input and support of some of the most important players shaping the future of the web.
  • It is grounded in existing human rights law and international frameworks that have been endorsed by governments around the world.
  • We will continue to work to embed the Contract principles in other international fora like the UN, and in national laws and regulations.

What would success look like?

  • The vision behind the Contract for the Web is a world where all people around the world are able to use the web to learn, communicate and collaborate, free from fear of abuse, privacy infringement, misinformation and suppression.
  • There will be some global actors who will never back the Contract’s principles, just as they flout other global agreements, but we know we will have succeeded when those governments and companies are true outliers.
  • We will have succeeded when a critical mass of governments and companies have put the right laws, regulations and policies in place to create an open and empowering web for all; when they know their citizens and customers expect this of them; when it is the norm that most people communicate positively and respectfully online.
  • It is a huge job, but we are starting with a diverse and powerful coalition of the willing and support is continuing to build.


This effort is guided by others’ past work on digital and human rights, including: