[IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work

Khaled Fattal khaledfattal
Fri May 1 13:45:42 EEST 2009

you are welcome,

If we only focus on what is achievable  (awareness only) in being realistic, the most we will accomplish is only  awareness. Not bad! but not good enough in my book based on the pending challenges ahead of us I laid in my previous emails. 

This challenge I put not only to this group but to all stakeholders who will be impacted if change does not happen and very soon.

my cent and a half 


From: Emily Laidlaw 
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 11:05 AM
To: Khaled Fattal ; Bertrand de La Chapelle ; Max Senges 
Cc: irp 
Subject: RE: [IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work

Thanks Khaled. I thought I wasn't reading what you said quite right. And I do agree with you with respect to focussing on actionable results.  My work at the moment is the tricky arena of corporate social responsibility for democracy-related human rights such as freedom of expression and privacy, and though I wish to jump right into discussing these issues in depth, I might be inclined to agree with you that at this stage raising awareness is the more realistic, and achievable, goal.






From: Khaled Fattal [mailto:khaledfattal at hotmail.com] 
Sent: 01 May 2009 10:57
To: Emily Laidlaw; Bertrand de La Chapelle; Max Senges
Cc: irp
Subject: Re: [IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work


Dear Emily,


what I meant is  what you expressed as your view. the only difference/ addition is  I would make our focus on coming up with actionable results and making that the goal  instead of simply being satisfied with only raising awareness




From: Emily Laidlaw 

Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 5:10 PM

To: Khaled Fattal ; Bertrand de La Chapelle ; Max Senges 

Cc: irp 

Subject: RE: [IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work


Hi everyone,


I was away for a few weeks and return to some very interesting and important discussions. Khaled, I wasn't sure from your email whether you think we should hold off on pushing the issue of corporate and individual social responsibility and international oversight of such responsibility to allow systems to develop organically, or whether you think this is important to address now.


My view is that, particularly concerning human rights, we should be having discussions about corporate and individual social responsibilities now, and that the IGF is an important place for such discussions.  How to balance the fine line between that self-regulatory ethos of the Internet that nurtures the innovations and behaviours that has made the Internet such a revolutionary space, and the need for accountability and consistency at an international level is difficult (and what an understatement).  What is clear, however, is that it is not just states that are in powerful positions to protect or hinder digital human rights.  If we do not want to use the strong arm of the law from the outset, we should be discussing corporate and individual responsibility and efforts such as the initiative by Facebook that Bertrand mentioned.  




From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Khaled Fattal
Sent: 30 April 2009 12:29
To: Bertrand de La Chapelle; Max Senges
Cc: irp
Subject: Re: [IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work


Dear Bertrand and  all,


Wolfgang and others who raise the issue of social responsibility are absolutely right to raise these issues I have been pushing on this for the last 27 years. I think Bertrand's suggestion is an excellent one and I support it fully, but I would also add that coming out with actionable results will need to be the goal. 


However, I would also add that we ought to table raising the awareness and the need to factor social and corporate responsibility specifically at all levels of the internet so that individuals, corporate and social responsibilities become the Standard Code of Practice on the net  categorized as domestic / international  individual and corporate social responsibilities. 


If you wonder why read on.


The internet today is predominantly self regulated with minimal regulation and oversight it lacks any enforceability especially on international scale. But when we also look at the global financial and banking collapse particularly attributed to too much self regulation not enough oversight, checks and balances based on a laissez Faire supply side economic philosophy that called for minimal government intervention (preferred if none) and a lot of self regulation. this is how and  where greed flourished to epic proportions.


Just imagine the internet only 5 or ten years from now- a  multilingual internet with IDNs in full swing and more than 3, 4 or perhaps 5 billion people actively using it across the globe. 


Now imagine the Internet's self regulation ethos generally remaining unchanged with  little change on international management, oversight especially international cooperation between national law enforcement agencies and little progress to streamline legal enforceability of internet crimes committed in one country but targeted at another, such as cyber crimes, cyber terrorism, child pornography, to name a few, ( these already happen and they will grow exponentially as the internet users grows and becomes Multilingual) .


I hope you are the picture so far.


 If you are just add to it that if we do not not create new and serious mechanisms of oversight, management and enforcement soon (I am  not talking about "talk-shops and event" that are non binding and non committing) I can safely predict with confidence that the global banking and financial collapse will pale in comparison in how it will adversely impact us individually, nationally and internationally. 


my 2 cents


Khaled Fattal 

From: Bertrand de La Chapelle 

Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:22 AM

To: Max Senges 

Cc: irp 

Subject: [IRP] An article by Jonathan Zittrain relevant to our work


Dear all,

Wolfgang Kleinw?chter has pointed the governance list to a recent article by Jonathan Zittrain regarding the initiative by Facebook to have a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and a process to involve registered users in the evolution of its terms of reference. The article is there : http://www.opendemocracy.net/node/47778/pdf

Please find below the comments I sent in response on the governance list, as it pertains to the workshop proposal that I have submitted on "Governance of Social Media" at the request of Max. I hope it will go through and am looking forward to exchanging further on that topic.

Quote :

Thanks Wolfgang for pointing us to this article. 

As a matter of fact, the US representative in the recent ITU World Telecom Policy Forum in Lisbon has used himself the analogy that Jonathan raises by saying explicitly : "if Facebook were a country, it would be the fifth largest". If Facebook is really 200 million registered users, it has indeed passed Brazil in the list of countries ranked by population. (see : http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbrank.pl)

Jonathan's points make sense and I have raised them in the IGF, in particular in Hyderabad, to highlight the fact that such companies "terms of service" are not traditional terms of service but become the law of the space for most users. 

The two questions that this brings are :
- What is the governance of such social networks : the processes by which such terms of service are "elaborated and applied" (cf. the definition of Internet Governance), as they represent "principles, norms, decision-making procedures and programs" - and in this respect, Facebook is clearly taking unprecedented initiatives
- What relation with the web of national laws : the articulation between those "company governance regimes" and the various national laws and legal jurisdictions that should apply.

The Internet has evolved form the physical IP-based network used mostly for email and file transfer into the http/html-based World Wide Web used to access information. It is clearly reaching a third stage with social networking applications, creating a sort of SocioNet, that is looking for its appropriate governance protocols. 

This is the reason why, on behalf of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles, I have suggested a workshop theme for the next IGF, under the title : "The Governance of Social Media", precisely to address this type of issues. I hope it will be retained.



Bertrand de La Chapelle
D?l?gu? Sp?cial pour la Soci?t? de l'Information / Special Envoy for the Information Society
Minist?re des Affaires Etrang?res et Europ?ennes/ French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Tel : +33 (0)6 11 88 33 32

"Le plus beau m?tier des hommes, c'est d'unir les hommes" Antoine de Saint Exup?ry
("there is no greater mission for humans than uniting humans")


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