▸ Human Rights Considerations

Broadly speaking, Quad9's understanding of our responsibilities regarding human rights derive from the UN General Assembly's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Particularly,

  • Article 2 states that everyone is entitled to rights and freedoms without distinction made on the basis of their country;
  • Article 12 states that no one shall be subjected to interference with their privacy or correspondence, and everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks;
  • Article 19 states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression including the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers;
  • Article 20 states that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and
  • Article 27 states that everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community.

Together, these form a clear, if general, picture of our responsibilities as custodians of the infrastructure that supports the public's practical ability to exercise their rights. These are the duties of care we assume in relation to the public's rights of association, cultural and political participation, and private communication.

Articles 8 and 9 of Resolution 42/15 of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to privacy in the digital age of 26 September 2019 more directly define the responsibilities of the private sector toward the furtherance of human rights in modern terms. Specifically, we undertake these responsibilities:

  • to respect human rights;
  • to inform users about the collection, use, sharing, and retention of their data;
  • to establish transparency and policies that allow for the informed consent of users;
  • to implement administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure data is processed lawfully; to ensure that such processing is necessary in relation to the purposes of the processing; and to ensure the legitimacy of such purposes and the accuracy, integrity, and confidentiality of the processing;
  • to ensure that respect for human rights is incorporated into the design and operation of systems; and
  • to enable technical solutions to secure and protect the confidentiality of digital communications, including measures for encryption and anonymity.

Within the context of the internet and its operational standards, we acknowledge the Guidelines for Human Rights Protocol and Architecture Considerations of the Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the applicable authority over internet communications standards and operations. These guidelines provide the specific framework within which we evaluate the efficacy of our principles, policies, and actions in upholding human rights.

We adhere to this framework and these principles in the performance of our work.