[IRP] Charter Strategy (was FW: Charter of Human Rights and Principles forthe Internet)

Anja Kovacs anja
Thu Aug 19 16:51:37 EEST 2010

Dear all,

My apologies too for late submission of comments - I understand that
they might not be taken into account in the call now, but I thought it
would still be worthwhile to share.

First, thank you so much to the experts for the fantastic work they have
done.  While reading through the text, I could really start to feel how
useful this document is going to be for advocacy - it has shaped up

A few comments/questions:

- on the issue of "stakeholders", I too prefer the wording of "people"
or "human beings"

- is freedom of access the same as an equal right to access? (the former
somehow seems more restricted in meaning here)

- the section on sustainable development (p.8) can perhaps also refer to
the issue of e-waste (if others agree, I am happy to look for wording)

- I'm not sure how useful it is to refer to the MDGs, for various
reasons: they are controversial; such wording will soon be dated; and as
Sheila also points out, if we do, then we should ideally do so in many
more ways and at many more points. This might make the document too
unwieldy in the end.

- In the digital identity section I prefer the bracketed language.
Should we also add something here about the importance of reasonable
restrictions on governments to get access to such information?  In fact,
I feel it would be useful to have such a qualification in several more
places, eg in the sections on Anynymity and the Use of Encryption,

- I'm in favour of a glossary - I for one am not quite sure I understand
the difference between a digital identity and a virtual personality...
:) A glossary would be useful!

- At the moment, the section on FOSS and Open Standards is under the
Right to Education (p.13). Is there a reason why it has not been pleased
under A2K and IPR instead?  I presume we would like to see the
implementation of FOSS in a much broader area than just in education, so
would like to suggest to move this section.

Also, where fair use is discussed (p.14), would it be possible to
express explicit disapprovement of DRM-mechanisms that prevent such fair
use, or is that not appropriate in this document?

- Under the Right to Work (p.15), I agree that the following sentence
should be deleted: "Workers and employees should have internet access at
their work place".  Why make this an obligation?  What I am more
concerned with is what happens with people who do not develop computer
literacy, and the quality of the jobs they can get access to.  What
happens to their right to dignified work in the information society era?

In fact, I think it would be good if we could address this more
explicitly in a general fashion in the charter: what about the rights of
all those people who do not have access, and are not online, but whose
lives are surely going to be affected by the fact that so many people
do/are?  Is there a way in which we can integrate more fully those as
well?  Could we perhaps add a sentence about this under the very first
right, to Human Dignity?

- Finally, under General Clauses - Limitations for Restrictions on
Rights and Principles, why is only FoE explictly mentioned there?

I have a few smaller comments as well, that I think will be less
controversial.  For example, under FoE (p.9) it says "Organisations,
communities and individuals have the right to use the internet to
organise and engage in online protest". I would propose we make that "in
online and offline protest". What would be the best time to share this
type of input?

Excited about how this is moving forward, and meet some of you soon in
the call!


On Thursday 19 August 2010 10:53 AM, shaila mistry wrote:
> Ho everyone 
> I sincerely apologize for the late submission of my comments. Unfortunately, I 
> have been traveling back to back through out this last month.I have however read 
> this document a few times and have tried to absorb it and formulate some 
> comments in a meaning full way. It is good work and I thank the authors for 
> their efforts. As others have suggested, we can present as a draft and a work in 
> progress that way we have time to fine tune it and of course work on Section 
> two. I agree about the " soft law approach  that Lisa suggested and also the 
> idea of building consensus that Wolfgang suggests. This is a massive undertaking 
> and  more time and input will enable us to develop it into the instrument we all 
> would like it to become ....please see my comments below...
> Preamble 
> Second Para the sentence ....?Internet governance must therefore be guided 
> by.........? till the end should be in its own paragraph as it conveys in a 
> nutshell the purpose of the charter.
> Human Dignity 
> 1 b) ?everyone has an equal right to access to the Internet ....?  Will be 
> better understood and strengthened, if followed by the same or similar verbiage 
> used in under 1 c)   Something that state the responsibility of all players to 
> enable access. As it stands many would dispute that access is an original human 
> right. (I am one of the folks that fought for this right)
>  1 b) 4 Para ... Can we also include after child abuse trafficking of women and 
> children...
> Equality before the law
> 4 a)  Can we spell out that we mean all individuals regardless of the 
> constituency they represent ie civil society, government and private sector. How 
> then do we see the rights of entities...can we address this? 
> Right to development
> 5c) Can we add.. ?Elimination of violence against women and children...? since 
> we are referring to the MDG?s. Also add something about ...enabling education 
> through the use of technology. Ensure that we don?t create a new illiteracy.
> Freedom of Opinion and Expression 
> 6 a) and b) Can we include the responsibility and awareness of not inciting 
> hate...I know that it is mentioned elsewhere..
> regards and hope to see you tomorrow at 8.00 am my time right  ? California time 
> ?
> Shaila Rao Mistry
> Life is too short ....challenge the rules
> Forgive quickly ... love truly ...and tenderly
> Laugh constantly.....and never stop dreaming! 
> ________________________________
> From: "Benedek, Wolfgang (wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at)" 
> <wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at>
> To: Lisa Horner <LisaH at global-partners.co.uk>; 
> "irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org" 
> <irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org>
> Cc: "irp-charter at rp.lip6.fr" <irp-charter at rp.lip6.fr>
> Sent: Tue, August 17, 2010 11:07:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [IRP] Charter Strategy (was FW: Charter of Human Rights and 
> Principles forthe Internet)
> Re: [IRP] Charter Strategy (was <SPAN id="misspell-13" class="mark" >FW</SPAN>: 
> Charter of Human Rights and Principles <SPAN id="misspell-14" class="mark" 
>> forthe</SPAN> Internet) Thank You, Lisa, for preparing this important 
> discussion. 
> My vision is that the DC IRP adopts the Charter by a rough consensus and that 
> other actors including individuals endorse or use  it either fully or in part. 
> We need to build some consensus on the text otherwise it will have no authority 
> and cannot serve ist purpose of providing thr orientation needed in teh field of 
> human rights in internet governance.
> Wolfgang Benedek
> Am 17.08.10 18:53 schrieb "Lisa Horner" unter <LisaH at global-partners.co.uk>:
> Hi all
>> I just wanted to respond quickly to Mike?s point about the eventual ?owner? of 
>> the Charter.  We?ve had some discussion about this within the coalition at 
>> various meetings and on list, but never really pinned the answer down. However, 
>> it?s important that we all have the same understanding of what we?re planning to 
>> do with the Charter.  I?d like to discuss this during the coalition business 
>> meeting (separate from the official DC workshop) at the IGF...we need to define 
>> a strategy for the wider consultation process and also be clear on our short, 
>> medium and long term goals and objectives.
>>From my point of view, I don?t think we should necessarily be aiming towards the 
>> formal adoption of the Charter by the UN in the short term.  Strong feelings 
>> have been expressed by a number of people working within the human rights field 
>> that any attempt to push for new rights standards relating to civil and 
>> political rights (note ? I know our Charter is broader) at this point in time, 
>> the result will be an erosion of existing rights standards.  The overall 
>> direction of change at the moment is regression, for example with the recent GA 
>> resolutions on the defamation of religions.
>> However, I do see the Charter having a positive role in terms of soft law ? an 
>> attempt to create norms and informal standards from the bottom-up which may 
>> eventually in the long term be institutionalised enough to be enshrined in 
>> international law.  We?re effectively providing guidelines that can help to 
>> interpret existing legal standards, putting digital flesh on the human rights 
>> bones.  As Mike notes, there are a range of IG institutions that we?re trying to 
>> influence through this work ...owing to the dispersed nature of the internet 
>> governance system, ownership of a document by this by a single institution may 
>> not be effective/desirable.
>> However, we do need to discuss this, and also be clear about goals and process 
>> of reaching them.  We discussed before about not asking people or organisations 
>> to endorse the Charter itself, but rather the process of applying human rights 
>> to internet governance.  I doubt we would get many endorsements from outside of 
>> civil society for the Charter itself, which is problematic for a 
>> multi-stakeholder coalition.  However, quite a wide range of individuals and 
>> organisations have expressed interest in the process.  We?ve also agreed that 
>> the Charter (at least the principles and the reference to specific technologies) 
>> should be a living and breathing document that evolves as technologies evolve. 
>> So maybe we could still continue to present the Charter as a process with 
>> broad-based participation and ownership.  The aim of which is to shift the 
>> norms, policy and practices of internet governance through providing guidance 
>> and interpretation of existing international legal standards?  Different 
>> coalition members and other groups could then be pursuing these goals in their 
>> own arenas, institutions, countries etc.
>> Anyway, as Mike mentions, I don?t want to distract from our work on the 
>> substance of the Charter.  In the short term, I think our energies need to be 
>> focused on giving the document enough substance, rigour and backing to serve as 
>> a starting point for national and international IG policy.  But we will need to 
>> discuss the issues of goals and process fairly soon, so if you have any thoughts 
>> now, please do share them!
>> All the best,
>> Lisa
>> From: Michael Gurstein [mailto:gurstein at gmail.com] 
>> Sent: 13 August 2010 15:29
>> To: Lisa Horner; 'parminder'; irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
>> Cc: irp-charter at rp.lip6.fr
>> Subject: RE: [IRP] FW: Charter of Human Rights and Principles forthe Internet
>> I think the terminology of "people" is probably better than "citizens" which in 
>> a national context could be discriminatory against non-citizens.  
>> This does though, raise in my mind a question--who is meant to be the "owner" of 
>> the Charter.  I'm assuming the UN (GA?) but as we all know, I guess, the remit 
>> of the UN in Internet/digital communications areas is a subject of some dispute 
>> and even (ICANN?) areas of "non-jurisdiction" or in other case (the IGF?) shared 
>> jurisdiction?
>> This querstion of course, raises very significant issues for the medium and 
>> longer term and may be a mis-direction of energies at this point but it will 
>> need to be addressed at some point.
>> BTW, I strongly agree with Parminder's point about "multi-stakeholderism" (which 
>> is in fact a sister issue to the above).  The fact that certain institutions 
>> (state structures) are proving less than completely effective (to a considerable 
>> degree as a result of deliberate processes of undermining their capacity and 
>> legitimacy) doesn't mean that we abandon them, but rather for civil society it 
>> should mean that we redouble our efforts to strengthen them as frameworks for 
>> democratic action and expression.
>> Mike
>> ____________
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Dr. Anja Kovacs
Centre for Internet and Society
No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross
Domlur 2nd Stage
Bangalore 560071, India
T: +91-(0)80-25350955 | F: +91-(0)80-41148130
M: +91-9611747212 | W: www.cis-india.org

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