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New Delhi: Amid raging debate globally over social media regulation and controls, microblogging platform Twitter on Tuesday cautioned that 'Open Internet' is more at risk now than ever before, and asserted the need for coordinated, multi-stakeholder strategy to defend free, secure, and global open internet.

In its position paper on 'Protecting the Open Internet', Twitter said governments that seek to defend and expand online freedom cannot stand by while other countries seek to silence critics, censor journalists, and block access to information.

"The harassment of employees of service providers is a worrying norm, accelerated by proposals to require local staff to be liable for decisions rather than the corporate entity," Twitter said.

The Open Internet is more at risk now than ever before, the paper concluded.

"...the targeting of independent journalists and activists highlights the willingness of some states and actors to use digital policy and manipulation to control political debate," it said.

The paper went on to say that as the control of digital infrastructure is increasingly a focus of geopolitical action, these issues cannot be viewed in isolation.

"It is essential that there is a coordinated, multi-stakeholder strategy to respond to these threats and defend the free, secure, and global Open Internet," it added.

The Open Internet is not something to be taken for granted; and in the coming years, decisions will be made that define its future, Twitter observed.

"The risk that the rhetoric of policy and language of law will be co-opted and weaponised by those seeking to usher in an age of techno-nationalism is real," Twitter said.

In the paper, Twitter outlined five guiding principles for regulation.

"The Open Internet is global, should be available to all, and should be built on open standards and the protection of human rights," Twitter said.