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

Michael Gurstein gurstein
Fri Dec 10 01:07:48 EET 2010

Hi Meryem,
Without entering into a discussion of Wikileaks as per your detailed
analysis I would just say that in the absence of the Internet--little of
what has happened with Wikileaks would have been possible (or even
conceivable)--the scale, distribution, global political and other impact not
to speak of the second order impacts as various parties attempt to respond
along with the responses to the responses and so on. 
As I understand the current moves against the site they are not simply to
deny "access" to that site but rather to deny to wikileaks and its
organizers the entire range of opportunities available through the internet
(transactions, anonymity, credit, visiblity, and so on and so on...
This seems to me to go rather beyond issues of "freedom to publish... or to
access information.
-----Original Message-----
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
[mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of
Meryem Marzouki
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: [IRP] Outcomes of call on right to access/right to the


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?


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/pipermail/irp-internetrightsandprinciples.org/attachments/20101209/945417cc/attachment.htm>

More information about the IRP mailing list