[IRP] Outcomes of call on right to access/right to the Internet.

Meryem Marzouki meryem
Thu Dec 9 23:48:52 EET 2010


Le 9 d?c. 10 ? 20:38, Michael Gurstein a ?crit :

> One thing I do "know" though is that the current spreading tsunami  
> around Wikileaks is making an extremely powerful case for (and for  
> certain parties against) a Right to the Internet (not simply to  
> "access" but also to make "effective use" of the Internet) and if  
> positioned correctly a campaign around Right to the Internet could  
> ride this particular wave alongside those who could and should be  
> our allies in this effort while drawing fire from those who would  
> likely oppose even the mildest positioning around a "Right to  
> Access the Internet".

I fail to see how the Wikileaks issue could make a case for or  
against a right to the Internet, and I equally fail to see how it  
could help defining such a right.

The issue with Wikileaks is an issue of freedom to publish and to  
access information, an issue of democratic transparency, and an issue  
of due process of law, all being covered by provisions of our  
Charter. Is that what you call a right to make "effective use" of the  
Internet? If so, then it is much more powerful to approach its  
defense (in this case) and upholding (in general) through relying on  
existing fundamental human rights, as is done in the Charter.

What I mean is that we don't need any new right to defend Wikileaks:  
what is only needed is that the realization, on the Internet, of  
currently binding human rights be fully implemented in national  
legislation (especially, in this case, in the US  legislation on  
technical and financial intermediaries) and that these rights be  
claimed before courts. Moreover, we need an "Appropriate Social and  
International Order for the Internet" (also covered in the Charter)  
forbidding that political pressure from a given government (here, the  
US government and its allies) on national or multinational companies  
leads to denying the rights of a person (Assange) or an organization  
(Wikileaks), even though this person is a citizenship of another  
country or this organization is registered in another country. Not to  
mention the voluntary confusion between Assange himself (charges of  
sexual aggression, that should be decided by a Swedish court in  
normal proceedings) and Wikileaks activity of documents disclosure:  
one might wonder whether Interpol would have put him on its most  
wanted list if the cables were not disclosed. Now he is arrested in  
the UK (following these charges and the Interpol arrest warrant), has  
refused to be extraded to Sweden (which is the competent jurisdiction  
for the sex charges), and, according to The Independent, his  
extradition to the US (for espionnage charges) is under discussion  
between the US and Sweden.

What does that mean? That a "right to the Internet" is not guaranteed  
or that there are multiple and huge breaches of the rule of law and  
of Assange's rights? What has a so-called (and not defined) "right to  
the Internet" to deal with all this?

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