[IRP] Notes from call on preamble.

M I Franklin cos02mf
Mon Dec 20 12:07:55 EET 2010

Hi Mike

You have a point in terms of how the whole context into which the Charter 
1.1 will be finding its way to various 'communities' may well strengthen 
its claims.

As for which communities; I was reiterating a general feeling over the past 
year about which I am less concerned. That said, as this is a tactical 
point towards said 'HR Community' whether it is the best tactic remains to 
be seen. Perhaps others who feel strongly about this could elucidate which 
community/ies they are thinking of? I too would like some more specifics!


--On Friday, December 17, 2010 12:05 -0800 Michael Gurstein 
<gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:

> One question Marianne, you say below "making this ("Right to the
> Internet|) explicit would create resistance in the communities we are
> looking to engage"... I'm not sure which "communities" you are referring
> to here. Could you elaborate?
> My own observation has been (and is now significantly reinforced by the
> widespread discussion and position taking around Wikileaks) is that the
> broader "Internet Community" including the techies, the tech activists and
> tech oriented NGO's and many of those with sympathies in those directions
> would be strong supporters and advocates for a Charter of Human Rights and
> Principles in an Internet Environment (with examples chosen selectively
> from the Wikileaks phenomenae...
> So while this approach might offend some of those with a more narrow HR
> interest/perspective it would in fact create a much larger coalition among
> these other groups and could provide a basis for mobilizing many of these
> in support of this initiative.
> Best,
> Mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
> [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of M
> I Franklin
> Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 7:03 AM
> To: Lisa Horner; IRP
> Subject: Re: [IRP] Notes from call on preamble.
> Dear All
> After a week out of action with flu I have been catching up on the
> correspondence and discussions around the drafting of Charter 1.1. There
> are persuasive and very eloquent arguments on all sides of the debate,
> particularly about whether or not to make a 'right to the Internet' more
> explicit if not a foundational clause.
> As I have noted before with others, this notion is actually implicit to
> the  whole Charter process so in a sense we have been debating a tactical
> issue  rather than a technical one. Here I think the consensus is that
> 'caution is  the better part of valour' in that  would create
> resistance in the communities we are looking to engage. I am happy to go
> along with this. Only time will tell whether we have erred too far on the
> side of caution. But that said, the whole Charter is itself a political
> process and given that its opponents already argue that it is either an
> overly ambitious initiative if not one superfluous to requirements given
> the many national and international agreements in place, we will always
> stand accused of this conceit. Let that be.
> With that preamble and resisting the desire to engage with any number of
> important points raised in the discussion between Mike, Meryem,
> Parminder,  and Tapani inter alia, I'll confine my responses to Lisa's
> summary and  requests as follows:
> 1) Preambles: I think that the tighter, more direct wording of the
> preamble  being proposed is more than good enough for now; as long as we
> are clear  and direct in this section about the aims and objectives of
> this Charter as  an initiative that looks to develop the UDHR *for* the
> Internet as  well as  in light of what can happen, and does happen *on*
> the Internet. The point  here is that the Internet, so long as it is
> defined in an inclusive way,  *is* a new 'paradigm' (as Parminder puts
> it) that adds up to more than the  sum of its 'tubes' (as Mike notes) or
> protocols. For that reason, this  Charter has emerged as an advocacy tool
> as well as a policy instrument as  well as a statement of principles. All
> this *is* new terrain, by  definition; new is not only defined by
> something that supercedes what came  before so we should not be coy about
> the need for this Charter. But, as  others note we do need to be sure of
> generic, rather than time-sensitive  terms to avoid being made obsolete
> before the Charter gets off the starting  blocks!
> 2) Right to the Internet vs, Right to access the Internet: This is not an
> either-or issue to me and I don't have (as yet) such strong views on
> which  is best or not per se. In any case, I have to defer to the
> expertise and  experience of others in this sort of drafting; its an
> impressive set of  arguments and nuances to think about already.  But
> there is an analytical,  political, and practical distinction between the
> two phrases. In that sense  I think we need to keep that clear; right to
> access the Internet being the  explicitly developed clauses and right to
> the Internet as a subtext vs. an  overt reference (here I agree with
> Wolfgang's approach).
> That said, I find myself caught between the persuasiveness of both Meryem
> and Parminder's arguments; intuitively we are working here along the
> lines  that 'the' Internet (understood in more holistic rather than
> technical  terms) is emerging as a new right. However not any sort of
> Internet hence  the need to break this 'right' down and create directions
> for a  human-centred vs. techno-economic driven communications paradigm
> (here the  old can morph into the new). Is this not we are doing with the
> Charter,  namely calling to account instrumentalised notions of the
> Internet, viz.  computer-mediated communications not entirely premised on
> national(istic)  models? As in the Brazilian and APC cases, this Charter
> is about  re-politicising the design and governing precepts of what has
> become if not  the primary means and medium of communication for all
> peoples in the future  then an ideal type for future models; as
> stipulated by the UN and every  other major government. Once again, I
> have no idea whether this will  actually eventuate or how it will all
> look some time in the future (here I  think about the ending to the film,
> 'The Planet of the Apes'). As a right  to the Internet is being written
> into the law books in various countries,  we can let that stand and
> concentrate on refining what sort of Internet it  is that makes another
> world possible (not the one currently hell-bent on  gagging Wikileaks
> alongside others).
> 3) Naming and prepositions; I had noticed this slippage between 'on' and
> 'for'. It's an interesting one for semioticians. Right now though, the
> most  elegant and suitable title in Lisa's list is clearly for me is (3)
> 'Charter  of Internet Rights and Principles'; this allows for all
> possible  permutations and leaves moot whether we are talking about on or
> for; we are  talking about on *and* for. The more legalistic and
> technical language can  reside in the other parts of the document.
> 4) Timing: As these sorts of documents can take a lifetime to draft and
> arguments around interpretation become grist to research mills (and
> novels  e.g. Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House'!)  I do think we need to
> finalise/balance out what is possible as soon as possible so that 1.1 can
> begin the consultative round. Many of these discussions, and others, will
> no doubt return as other stakeholders have their say. The point is that
> they have their say.
> So, finally, the breaking-down of the larger Charter into three documents
> as we have developed is an important way to allow these distinctions to
> have their place; more open-ended and politically explicit advocacy
> statements in the preamble; more careful and judicious wording in the
> clauses; more technical finesse in the third, operational part,
> That's it (and here I was thinking I could keep it brief). Looking
> forward  to 1.1.
> best
> MF
> --On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 19:21 +0000 Lisa Horner
> <LisaH at global-partners.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi all
>> Thanks to everyone who joined the call this afternoon - it was really
>> productive.  We had Parminder, Mike, Shaila, Henrik, Dixie and me.
>> Brief notes from the call (as always, please correct me if I'm wrong
>> or make additions/comments!)
>> 1) Everyone agreed that they liked the format of Meryem's redraft of
>> the preamble, splitting it into "context" and "preamble". (reminder -
>> drafts can be found here:
>> http://www.freedomofexpression.org.uk/resources/irp+charter+of+human+r
>> igh
>> ts+and+principles+for+the+internet)
>> 2) The concern was raised about using the language of "human rights on
>> the Internet".  Those of us on the call felt that, through all of the
>> discussions we've been having over the past weeks, we've agreed that
>> we're talking about more than human rights *on* the Internet.  We're
>> talking about rights online, but also about rights of people who
>> aren't yet online, what kind of Internet people should have access to
>> and be able to use etc. Dixie will check through the text and clarify
>> the language.
>> We then realised that we may need to revisit the name of the Charter:
>> "human rights and principles for the Internet".  (note - on the call,
>> we thought the title was "on" the Internet.  But I've just double
>> checked, and it's actually been "for" the Internet in all previous
>> drafts).  We recognized that we were quite a small group on the call,
>> and to change the name is quite a big issue at this stage.  So we said
>> we'd suggest some options, and see if there is enough agreement on the
>> list about a potential name change. If we can't agree, we'll discuss
>> and consult for 2.0.
>> So please comment on the following options and say which you prefer:
>> a. Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet
>> b. Charter of Internet Rights and Principles
>> c. Charter of human rights and principles in the Internet environment
>> d. Charter of human rights and principles in an Internet enabled
>> world.
>> 3) We also discussed the language surrounding para 4 of the draft
>> relating to the roles and responsibilities of different
>> entities/stakeholders.  I think we agree that, under human rights law,
>> it's only states that are legally bound to uphold human rights (and
>> make sure that they're not being violated by private sector etc).
>> This is in the current version, but it was felt it needed to perhaps
>> be clearer. There were concerns in the group that the current text
>> implies that other stakeholders also have responsibilities and that
>> this might give states opportunities to shirk their responsibilities,
>> and also that we don't give small companies too many burdens to
>> shoulder.  I put forward the Ruggie framework as something I think we
>> could follow: States have legal responsibility to respect, protect,
>> fulfill human rights; companies have moral duties to respect. We
>> agreed there's a need to discuss this in more depth - there are slight
>> disagreements/nuances in the coalition that we don't have time to iron
>> out at this stage.  Some also didn't like the terms "actors" and
>> "society organs".  Dixie will try and draft a paragraph that will
>> hopefully satisfy all concerns at this stage, and then we can consult
>> and discuss further in 2011. Please look out for that tomorrow and
>> comment.
>> 4) Question of whether we should include "Right to the Internet".
>> We've discussed this in quite a lot of depth on the list and haven't
>> come to an agreement.  On the call, I outlined my concerns: - there's
>> not enough consensus amongst us to include "right to the Internet" at
>> this stage. - We haven't done enough work as a group to define exactly
>> what we mean and why we're saying it. - We're arguing our positions
>> without having really talked to other people about it, beyond our
>> immediate group. We need to consult on this. - If we're going to say
>> we're declaring a right to the Internet, we should do it loud and
>> proud...e.g. build a campaign around it asking for its acceptance at
>> international level.
>> We then had some discussion in the group.  We clarified that we
>> thought, as a coalition, we've come to agree that there is a
>> difference between "right to access" and "right to the Internet".
>> Physical access and accessibility/inclusivity is one specific part of
>> a broader right to the Internet.  The right to the Internet
>> encompasses all of the rights and principles in the Charter.
>> We thought about putting some kind of note in the "context" section
>> that we are thinking about whether the Charter constitutes a right to
>> the Internet.  In the end, we agreed that there isn't enough agreement
>> at the moment, and that we would include it as a priority issue in the
>> consultation.  We have to put together a document to guide our
>> consultations, explicitly seeking input and comments from people on
>> specific issues.  We will explain the concept of the "right to the
>> Internet" in that document and consult on it as a priority issue.
>> We also agreed we'd change the language in the "context" so that we're
>> not saying "this Charter is not an attempt to create new rights".
>> 5) There were a few other concerns about the language of the text, but
>> it was thought we could consult on the preamble more widely and that a
>> new version is likely to emerge with 2.0 anyway. But if anyone has
>> immediate concerns or suggestions, now is the time to voice them!
>> - Please comment on the wording for the title of the Charter.
>> - Look out for Dixie's email suggesting alternative language on
>> responsibilities of different entities and suggest changes. - If you
>> have any other  comments on the preamble, please send them through.
>> We did initially say that we'd have a final call on how we address
>> limitations to rights in the Charter.  But we've run out of time.  We
>> have had quite a bit of discussion on this already related to
>> filtering and blocking, so I think it's alright not to have another
>> call.  Is that alright with everyone?
>> So...to finalise version 1.1 and to see the fruits of all of our work,
>> I suggest the following: Based on the conversations we've had over the
>> past few weeks, Dixie will edit the draft version 1.1 that we have.
>> She will send a version out next Tuesday 21st December, highlighting
>> the changes. People can then check the draft, and send comments
>> through by Monday 3rd January.  We'll then have a final week for
>> discussion and a final 1.1 ready for Monday 10th December.  Does that
>> sound ok to everyone?  I know it feels intense. But it's been a really
>> productive few weeks, and it'll be really good to finalise this draft,
>> and start getting external input during our consultation period.
>> Thanks again for all of the inputs and productive conversations.
>> All the best,
>> Lisa
>> ___________________________________________________________
>> Lisa Horner
>> Head of Research & Policy? Global Partners and Associates
>> 338 City Road, London, EC1V 2PY, UK
>> Office: + 44 207 239 8251???? Mobile: +44 7867 795859
>> LisaH at global-partners.co.uk? www.global-partners.co.uk
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>> rig
>> htsandprinciples.org
> Dr Marianne Franklin
> Reader
> Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program Media
> & Communications Goldsmiths New Cross London SE14 6NW United Kingdom Tel
> (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
> Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
> email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk
> http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/media-communications/staff/franklin.php
> http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/pg/ma-transnational-communications-global-med
> ia. php
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Dr Marianne Franklin
Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program
Media & Communications
New Cross
London SE14 6NW
United Kingdom
Tel (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk

"It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature,
without forming an opinion on them. On the other hand, it is perfectly
possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have
the slightest thought about them whatsoever." (Douglas Adams)

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