[IRP] Charter Version 1.1 DRAFT

Meryem Marzouki meryem
Wed Nov 3 16:36:34 EET 2010

Hi Henrik and all,

You'll probably be interested in these documents from the Council of  
Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)6 of the Committee of Ministers to member  
states on measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression  
and information with regard to Internet filters (https://wcd.coe.int/ 
ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Rec(2008)6) and accompanying report at https:// 


Le 3 nov. 10 ? 12:28, Henrik Almstr?m APC a ?crit :

> 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.
> 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)?
> 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.
> /Henrik
> 2010/11/3 Lisa Horner <LisaH at global-partners.co.uk>
> 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,
> Lisa
> -----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
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> -- 
> Henrik Almstr?m
> Association for Progressive Communications, APC
> Johannesburg, South Africa
> skype: henrikalmstrom
> henrik at apc.org
> mobile: +27 72 311 9613
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