[IRP] Charter Version 1.1 DRAFT

Lisa Horner LisaH
Wed Nov 3 12:55:13 EET 2010

Hi Tapani

I completely agree that we don't want to limit or narrow existing rights through the Charter.  That's absolutely fundamental.  You're right that the current language could be confusing or misconstrued - saying "no prior censorship", and then saying that where filtering and blocking is used for legal/legitimate reasons it has to adhere to principles.  We'll need to figure out the correct language, or if we decide to not talk about restrictions at all, remove it altogether.

I think you suggested removing it completely in your previous email.  We'll need to all discuss that. But if people do want to leave it in/define the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable, what language/phrasing would you suggest?  Maybe it all needs to be in the same article of "freedom from prior censorship", and then say that freedom of expression can only be restricted in extremely narrow circumstances etc. Could we go so far as to say that filtering and blocking does not meet the criteria for restrictions in international law as it is not narrowly targeted and disproportionately undermines the capacity of the Internet to support free expression?  That would be changing tack from the current draft...from saying that filtering is acceptable in very limited circumstances, to saying that it is never acceptable and that alternatives to controlling illegal content have to be found (e.g. end user filtering, take down).

Looking forward to working this out together...and hopefully after the call on Friday we'll have worked out a more structured process for doing so.

All the best,

-----Original Message-----
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Tapani Tarvainen
Sent: 03 November 2010 09:35
To: irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: Re: [IRP] Charter Version 1.1 DRAFT

On Tue, Nov 02, 2010 at 09:43:45AM +0000, Lisa Horner (LisaH at global-partners.co

> As Dixie's mandate was only to remove errors from the
> text and distinguish more clearly between rights and principles, she
> wasn't able to make too many substantive changes. But, as she
> mentioned, this version is still very much up for discussion.

Right. Apologies if my comment sounded like it was directed
at Dixies work, I appreciate it was just textual editing.

> Regarding your comment on freedom of expression, I don't see what is
> there as contradictory.

You don't see a contradiction when one paragraph says
"there shall be no censorship" and the next
"censorship is OK if..."?

> It's an attempt to define what the boundaries to legal restrictions
> on freedom of expression are on the Internet.

Exactly. But it appears to narrow them down from what's
acceptable outside Internet. And that's what I don't accept.

If the Charter ends up saying that traditional Human Rights
do not really apply to the Internet, that they may be
limited in the Internet as they mustn't elsewhere
because it's technically possible or whatever,
then it'll just make things worse.

> On the other hand, there are situations (albeit limited) in which
> certain rights can be limited.

Of course. I'm not arguing for an absolutist position.
There are old and well-justified limits on Freedom of
Expression as well, from libel to fraud, and they should
apply in the Internet as well as outside it.
But prior censorship cannot be reconciled with FoE,
it is not acceptable in the Internet any better than
outside it, even if it appears technically easier.

(To clarify, I mean censorship as applied to general population -
restrictions on specific individuals in specific situations,
like what you may do while at work or in prison or the like
are another matter.)

> However, the boundaries are being pushed, and illegitimate
> restrictions are being placed on rights.

Yes. That is the very reason I think -- hope -- this Charter may
prove useful.

> Do we want to try and address that through clarifying what is and is
> not acceptable, seeing as the Charter is supposed to be an
> educational resource?

Of course we do. But the starting point should be that
use of Internet must not limit, narrow down existing rights.

Tapani Tarvainen
IRP mailing list
IRP at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org

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