USA: Joint letter to US telcos regarding internet & voice connectivity for expected public gatherings during 2020 elections
... We are writing to request that your company ensure mobile internet and voice connectivity during expected public gatherings and demonstrations in major cities across the United States before, during, and after the November 3, 2020, U.S. presidential election. We call on you to provide adequate bandwidth... to allow participants to maintain secure and open communications channels. The internet is an essential enabler of human rights, and mobile and voice connectivity are particularly important for people to exercise their rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and access to information. Robust wireless access to networks, applications, and services enables people to communicate with their loved ones, reach emergency services, and document rights abuses if they occur.
It is common for mobile networks to be overwhelmed by network congestion during public assemblies...
According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies have a duty to respect human rights and take steps to mitigate and remedy violations as they occur. This duty extends beyond simply following the law, and at times can require active pushback against orders that conflict with your human rights responsibilities.