[IRP] layers approach to stratify internet governance

Wolfgang Benedek wolfgang.benedek
Tue Sep 15 18:07:58 EEST 2009

I consider this a very practical proposal which should be followed.

I suggest to put a close deadline, because otherwise we will have nothing to
show or discuss at the next IGF.


Am 15.09.09 16:44 schrieb "Lisa Horner" unter <lisa at global-partners.co.uk>:

> Hi all
> I think it would be useful to structure the charter on human rights and
> principles according to different "layers" of the communciations environment.
> The ones I personally findmost useful are infrastructure, code, applications
> and content.  Structuring rights and principles in these layers might help us
> to identify all of the issues and challenges involved, and make sure we catch
> them all.  (nb we did something like this int he freedom of expression project
> - see 
> http://www.freedomofexpression.org.uk/resources/public+interest+principles+for
> +the+networked+communications+environment for more).
> I think it'd make sense to outline the key UDHR rights in the preamble, and
> then flesh them out as rights and principles in the rest of the doc, split
> into layers.
> The point was raised in the meeting on sunday that using the language of
> "commons" might be confusing...it's a fairly complex concept, and is best
> known in terms of the "information commons".
> However, there wasn't clear consensus on this in the meeting.  So we agreed to
> try and structure the doc according to human rights rather than layers, which
> makes sense if we're translating human rights to apply in the internet
> environment.  I commented that I thought this would be difficult as it would
> be repetitive,,,,many of the rights apply to different issues at different
> layers.  
> However, tt's difficult to talk about this in the abstract,  We agreed that a
> good place to start with this might be to look at the rights and principles
> currently contained in the charter and look for gaps, things to be taken out
> and ammendments.  Once we've done that, a clear structure might emerge, or we
> could do both and see what works best......
> If anyone has any opinions on this, let the list know.  Then coordinators can
> send out a mail with a clear list of next steps for people to contribute
> to....
> All the best,
> Lisa
> From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org on behalf of Max
> Senges
> Sent: Mon 14/09/2009 17:30
> To: irp
> Subject: [IRP] layers approach to stratify internet governance
> Dear all 
> One of the interesting and constructive debates in our workshop yesterday was
> about how to stratify our struggle for human rights and principles on the
> internet.
> Anriette has pointed me to the APC 2006 anual report where she distinguishes
> between: a physical layer, a protocols infrastructure layer, and an
> interactional or relational layer.
> As you know Lisa and myself have proposed for very similar layers/commons
> (infrastructure, services (everybody who runs a website or service), social =
> netiquette, and of course Access as an extremely important goal, but
> politically different animal).
> The structuring of our discourse around rights is the most natural, but as I
> have argued before: I believe that it is more strategic to address existing
> communities (the infrastructure people, the services, and the users) rather
> than gather around our rights flag.
> I copy Anriette's text below.
> Looking forward to your comments and especially edits either to the google doc
> (i tried to make it editable for everyone but it should definitly work through
> the invitation i sent to the list) or in the http://irc.wiki.apc.org/ (where
> you need to register)
> hasta pronto 
> max
> Why is information and communications infrastructure
> so fundamental to development and social change?
> I believe the answer lies in the layered nature of information and
> communications 
> infrastructure. It has a physical layer (e.g. the internet backbone, radio
> spectrum, 
> computers), a protocol or logical layer (e.g. open standards to ensure all
> sectors of 
> the internet ?talk? to each other), and content and applications.
> Yet one can also argue that there is another layer, one which is constituted
> by 
> the social processes that are facilitated by the infrastructure. It can be
> termed the 
> ?interactional? or ?relational? layer of ICT infrastructure. I like to think
> of this layer 
> as having two primary components.
> First, it is where the narratives of globalisation, diversity, inclusion and
> exclusion 
> are located. ICT expansion has positive and negative consequences.
> E-governance and 
> reliance on the internet for access to information can increase exclusion and
> contribute 
> to the formation of new elites. New applications and services emerge every
> day, but 
> usually require access to credit cards and bank accounts.
> But it is also in this layer where people, individually and in groups,
> appropriate the 
> infrastructure and claim space for protest, self-expression, sharing and
> learning. It is a
> kind of macro-microcosm. Blogging, podcasting, social bookmarking, photo
> sharing, 
> citizens? journalism: there are many different labels and tools. There is an
> ongoing 
> tug of war between developers, markets, people and cultures of use.
> What about people who do not have access? Is the global communications infra-
> structure a public good to which all people should have access?
> APC believes the answer is ?yes?. People who live in poverty, who are
> socially, 
> economically and politically disempowered, deserve access to means that will
> enable 
> them to speak, to be heard, to use online services and to participate in
> decisions that 
> impact on their lives.
> The second component of the interactional or relational layer of this
> infrastructure 
> is the public participation or social justice component. In a real sense it
> can facilitate 
> transparency and accountability, participatory policy formulation and
> implementation, 
> mobilisation, solidarity and protest. This does not happen because of the
> existence 
> of the internet. It happens because people, communities and organisations use
> the 
> internet to organise and/or obtain the information they need to improve their
> lives.   
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> ""Progress is the realization of Utopia"
>>   .   .   .   .  .   .   . . . . Oscar Wilde
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> Dr. Max Senges 
>> www.maxsenges.com <http://www.maxsenges.com/>
>> www.knowledgeentrepreneur.com <http://www.knowledgeentrepreneur.com/>
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
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