[IRP] Final Version of our Report: Values, principles and rights in internet governance
Sun Sep 6 21:27:23 EEST 2009
Re: Praise, kudos, props . . .
I finally got a chance to read this (9 days later- sounds like a horror movie), and it?s an awesome document, and I?d agree ?a potent policy advocacy instrument? (IRP?s IGF draft report).
I especially like how this paper moves, starting from its clear purpose, then parsing the definition of terms, then synthesizing the intellectual history, the development, and policy implementation of human rights over the last 100 years. All the while, the article deftly advocates a path forward, accounting for and often refuting obstacles (legalistic concerns, cultural critiques, individual vs. collective) to a common human values approach to internet governance. The article also makes nice links between human rights and internet governance (the four layers of digital communication platforms), namely in the introduction and conclusion.
The section that is most persuasive and instructive to me, in terms of making the case, is the section on trans-cultural values (pp. 18-22). I also find the pragmatism of ?values first, principles second,? very useful and convincing;--that there are clear steps to take.
Re: Readability and readership (audience)
Sophisticated and reader friendly. As an educator, I will make this report required reading for any class on digital media or new media ethics. (A dream class I?d like to teach would be ?human rights in the digital age).? As a member of IRP it is also an extremely useful primer for future participation in the coalition. As an advocacy piece it is a clear call for future governance deliberations and policy-making.
Re: Suggestions, problems, questions . . .
There is some recognition of political economy critiques of commercial media systems that can impede the adoption of universal human rights principles in internet governance. For example, you write:
?Many policy decisions are guided by only a limited number of sets of general principles. In the case of internet governance, these are too often related to issues of market competition rather than social and human interest? (p.15).
But this critique does not re-appear in the conclusion as an important issue. One place where this might come back is in the mention of the free flow of information as a general policy principle (p. 22). In terms of both the content and infrastructure layers, the free flow of information principle was used to legitimate US post-WW II dominance over world media outlets, extending a commercial model of ?marketing and consumerism onto the world community? (1996, 116). In other words, the U.S. rolled out a broadcast infrastructure that encouraged the consumption of American goods and media content (cultural and economic imperialism). This commercial or top-down model for global communication helped provide the preconditions for a corporate global order via a global media system facilitated by satellites, the internet, and of course, intellectual property law.
Commercialization of the internet can pose restrictions to Article 18 protecting the right to freedom of thought, and article 27 the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community; for example, if the web becomes more permission or pay per use based, and thoroughly colonized by mainstream ad-based portals and technologies of enclosure). Commercialization of the web may also undermine the intrinsic values and corresponding rights to Distribution of power and Aesthetics ? right to freedom of expression, and Autonomy ? right to think freely.
This is just to say that general principles of information flows could continue to be exploited by market forces to subvert human rights principles with a reassertion of limited market principles.
[Perhaps this is a quibble that could best be discussed in continued ?trans-cultural dialogue? (p. 23).]
Again, KUDOS to the authors and it?s a pleasure to read this and to participate in the ongoing discussions and workshops to come.
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Max Senges [maxsenges at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 11:58 AM
Cc: governance at lists.cpsr.org
Subject: [IRP] Final Version of our Report: Values, principles and rights in internet governance
Attached you find the final version of the report " Values, principles and rights in internet governance ", on which Lisa Horner and myself have been working over the last months (with the input & feedback of many of you). If the attachment didn't get through it's also at http://is.gd/2E8vl
We are quite happy with the result and hope that it will allow us to move from the debate "what is the rights and principles approach" about to strategic action advocating better Rights conditions for all net users around the world.
Even though this is Lisa and my final version, we want to discuss the piece and incorporate your feedback as we hope to use the report to find consenus regarding the definitions etc. among our community.
As many of you know IRP has teamed up with APC to review the Internet Rights Charter. The charter can be one of our core instruments to build a global alliance and benefit from each others (local/regional) efforts. Please join us @ the dedicated mailing list http://lists.apc.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/rights, read the current version http://www.apc.org/en/node/5677 and start editing the wiki (after registering) @ http://irc.wiki.apc.org
Both documents will be key themes of our IRP workshop on the 13th of Sept. just before the EuroDIG http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/node/166
You are all welcome! Please tell us if you are interested in remote participation.
looking forward to your input
Robert Bodle, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Division of Arts and Humanities
College of Mount St. Joseph
Cincinnati, Ohio 45233
(513) 244-4829 (office)
robert_bodle at mail.msj.edu
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