[IRP] Blocking and filtering text

Dixie Hawtin Dixie
Wed Nov 10 14:30:50 EET 2010

Hi all,

I just wanted to remind everyone that if you have specific suggestions for more concrete wording of any of the provisions, or specific suggestions for principles that you would like to see in the Charter but which are not currently there, please send them through to the list by Monday.

Tapani, I apologise for the absence of "freedom from religion" in the draft Version 1.1. I had taken on board your earlier comments and inserted it into the text, however it unintentionally got lost in the proliferation of copies I was working on! Thank you for pointing this out and it will be reinserted into the text. The line I used was as follows: "This right also includes the right to freedom from religion and belief". Is that enough do you think?

With regards to the very interesting discussion about filtering and blocking: I fully agree that this was not dealt with well in the version I sent around. It's great that this conversation has started, let's see if we can agree on a new approach and new wording.

What I tried to do was to more stringently define the cases in which filtering and blocking may* (although it seems I may have been wrong about this) be acceptable. I am not a technical expert but is it true that blocking and filtering is always necessarily prior censorship? I thought that if a particular piece of content could legitimately be limited under human rights law, and that the decision to limit the content was made by a court (following all trial requirements) and that the content was only then blocked (and the block only covered that specific piece of content), this would not constitute prior censorship. I know that none of the blocking systems (which I am aware of) follow these requirements, and thus my intention was to make the majority or even all blocking systems illegal on that premise.

If however, as seems to be the case, the general coalition consensus is that blocking and filtering is never legitimate, then this must be changed.

The current thinking on the list seems to be along the lines of:
Filtering and blocking is always in contravention of Article 19 with two limited exceptions:
a) end-user filtering; and
b) filtering and blocking aimed at controlling spam and malware

Does anyone have any suggestions/comments? Please note, I am not suggesting this exact wording, but if anyone does have some exact wording to suggest I would be grateful!

I have a question which might be obvious, but I don't know the answer so if anyone could clear it up for me I would appreciate it - from what I understand the reasons that filtering and blocking are always in contravention of Article 19 are that they cannot be targeted narrowly and they disproportionately undermine the capacity of the internet to support freedom of expression. I understand how end-user filtering is an exception as the intelligence is at the edge of the network, and it doesn't matter if they are not narrowly targeted as the user controls this. However, I am not completely clear on why we think that blocking for spam and malware is a valid exception - does this not also undermine the openness of the internet, and if not why not?

All the best,
Dixie Hawtin
Researcher Global Partners and Associates
338 City Road, London, EC1V 2PY, UK
Office: + 44 207 239 8251     Mobile: +44 7769 181 556
dixie at global-partners.co.uk<mailto:lisa at global-partners.co.uk>  www.global-partners.co.uk<http://www.global-partners.co.uk/>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/pipermail/irp-internetrightsandprinciples.org/attachments/20101110/06984eb8/attachment.htm>

More information about the IRP mailing list