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‘Digital Peace Now’ campaign launches this weekend

This Saturday, 60,000-plus people will be converging on New York’s Central Park for the seventh Global Citizen Festival, a marquee gathering for worldwide changemaking and social good.

Microsoft will be there, on stage, as a partner to Global Citizen. We’re excited to announce that this year’s festival is going to be the launchpad for Digital Peace Now, a campaign to encourage world leaders to achieve digital peace.

The world’s digital citizens, and the digital world in which we all participate, have to be protected.  You can help by joining the Digital Peace Now movement.

This is the time, this is the moment, when we must take action to protect the digital world where we live, work and learn. Last year, close to a billion people were victims of a cyberattack or digital crime. But if you haven’t fallen victim to a digital attack yet, you probably know a victim. New research, being announced today, shows people like you are concerned and want to take action.

We know that nation-states are behind the worst digital attacks against both innocent people and the infrastructure that underpins societies – energy, transportation, health care, food and water. A peaceful digital global society is something truly worth fighting to achieve. Not least because virtually every digital attack ripples beyond its intended target and harms the lives of innocent citizens.

For example, the 2017 “WannaCry” attack – a true wake-up call – tore through cyberspace, hijacking more than 300,000 computers across 150 countries, including computers used by families, hospitals, governments and businesses. WannaCry was followed closely by “NotPetya,” an attack estimated to have caused $10 billion in damage ranging far beyond the initial targets in Ukraine.

WannaCry and NotPetya were our wake-up moments; they raised an alarm: if we don’t act now, global cyberattacks will continue to inflict grave economic harm and risk human lives and well-being.

At Microsoft, we are fighting to prevent digital attacks. We are not alone; others in industry and government have joined us in this fight. Now we need to amplify the voice of the people who cherish all that the digital world has given us – the digital citizens – all of you – who can make a difference by acting now to tell those in power that we want and demand digital peace.

So, we invite you to join the Global Citizen webcast this Saturday for the annual Global Citizen Festival.

Digital Peace Now is going to be all about people – people banding together in one collective voice to tell their world leaders that the internet must be a peaceful, shared community. Not a battlefield.

Also on Saturday, we’ll be launching the Digital Peace Now Petition and urging everyone – including anybody reading this – to head to digitalpeacenow.org and sign the petition:

We, as Digital Citizens, will not stand by silently as governments weaponize our shared online community — endangering individuals, organizations, and entire countries. In our digital world we create, connect, express ourselves and improve our lives and the lives of others.  Our online community must not be a battlefield. We demand Digital Peace.

Together, we will use our voices and our votes to defend the global digital society on which we depend. Our world leaders must act now to protect us.

There is no peace without Digital Peace.

The effort to achieve Digital Peace cannot be done by any company acting alone. We’re proud to launch this initiative with the founding members of the Digital Peace Campaign Advisory Board – ICT4Peace, Civicus and Observer Research Foundation. Achieving digital peace also must involve a coalition of governments, nonprofits, industry leaders, civil-society entities and global organizations. But most importantly, we need people like you to stand against those that endanger digital peace.

We all are digital citizens. We demand digital peace. Join us.

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