The humanitarian sector is entering in the network age. The explosion in access to new information and communication technology (ICT) like mobile phones, the internet, and social media, is changing the way people communicate in emergency situations. However, the use of new ICT has not yet been adequately accompanied by an analysis of the challenges it represents for the application of the four humanitarian principles, namely humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. These principles provide the foundations for humanitarian action and are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected people. This article addresses that issue and provides a design framework to guide humanitarian agencies towards a principled approach to ICT.