[IRP] Charter Version 1.1 DRAFT

Tapani Tarvainen tapani.tarvainen
Wed Nov 3 16:09:26 EET 2010

On Wed, Nov 03, 2010 at 01:28:06PM +0200, Henrik Almstr?m APC (henrik at apc.org) 
> Hi,
> I like the idea of stating that filtering and/or bocking does not comply
> with art 19. To be able to state that i guess there is a need to define what
> we mean by filtering and blocking. And a definition would need to be based
> on (or at least consider) the different technical ways of filtering and
> blocking access.

I'm not sure there's much need to go into technical details
(although I can if it's desired).

The key element is that people are prevented from accessing
information that's in the web - prevented in advance
by technical means (as opposed to forbidden by law,
punishable afterwards - bad though that may also be,
it's not blocking or filtering).

That leaves the question, prevented by whom,
but that's not a technical issue.

> Can anyone with more knowledge than me of such tech stuff comment on if it's
> possible to define e.g. "filtering" in a way that cover what we want to be
> illegal while at the same time allowing for what we want to be legal (end
> user filtering as Lisa suggested, or any other "good" way of content
> control)?

As I see it, any filtering that's under user's own control is good,
anything imposed on people against their will is bad.
Or to put it another way, people should have the right to
unfiltered access.

There are some real borderline cases, however.
Few would dispute parents' right to filter their childrens'
net access with young children, but with teenagers it's
already debatable. Owner's right to control his equipment
is another: should ISPs have unlimited right to filter
what they see fit? Should they even be required to tell
their customers they do it?

And there are gray areas in "voluntary".
For example, I'm not happy with such schemes as we have in Finland,
where the police maintains blacklist but using it is voluntary
*to ISPs*: even though now in practice it is voluntary to individual
customers as well, that could change too easily.
Could the government mandate extra tax on unfiltered access?
Or ask ISPs for list of customers who've requested it?

Perhaps it'd indeed be good to think about technicalities.
For example, we might accept technical solutions
that by their very nature are optional, user-selectable,
and/or where use of filtering or lack thereof is not
easily monitored, &c.

> Even if a discussion about the borders of FOE might seem endless and that
> consensus is probably not possible we need to try to define those borders
> (at least vaguely). If we don't i think the charter would seem weak to me.


Tapani Tarvainen

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