[IRP] Some punch

parminder parminder
Mon Oct 4 12:45:48 EEST 2010

Hi All

I have three comments on the text which are significant enough to be 
brought to the group. Some other less significant comments will be 
communicated directly to Lisa and Dixie.

1) I am still not convinced about the logic of the text ' we are 
creating no new rights'. No human rights document uses such text in its 
preamble. Preambles have a higher authoritativeness and great 
interpretative value for the rest of the text. In any case I am not sure 
how right to access the Internet, and net neutrality kind of rights are 
not new rights. I will like to know more about the basis of the 
'strategic choice' made in this regard that has been mentioned. As a 
possible via media, I am fine for us to say we are elaborating human 
rights standards as they apply to the Internet and to the information 
society, but not expressly say 'we seek to create no new rights'..

2) With courts in many countries - France, Costa Rica etc - have held 
right to access the Internet as a fundamental right, why should a 
non-binding forward looking progressive civil society document like this 
be so defensive on this issue to propose just a right to Internet under 
affordable conditions. It is not the kind of language a human rights 
instrument normally uses. A recent poll by BBC found that 4 out of 5 
people consider access to the Internet as a fundamental human right. I 
think we should be bold and forthright, and propose a right to the 
Internet as a human right.

3) The threat to the open architecture of Internet should be more 
clearly addressed. That is the single biggest danger looming over us 
today. I would suggest putting something like the following in the 
section on net neutrality or net equality (the text is still a bit rough)

    Internet is a global commons and its architecture has to be
    protected and promoted for it to be a vehicle for free, open, equal
    and non-discriminating exchange of information, communication and
    culture, with no special privileges for or obstacles against any
    party or content on economic, social, cultural, or political grounds.

    This however does not preclude positive discrimination to promote
    equity and diversity on and through the Internet.(ends)

Thanks, parminder

On Friday 01 October 2010 08:39 PM, Lisa Horner wrote:
> Hi all
> I just wanted to say a big thank you to Tapani for this redraft of the preamble.  I think it's really good, and would like to suggest that we use it as the basis of a redraft of the Charter for version 1.1.  Are people happy with that?
> I know that our brilliantly-named punchy working group is currently distilling a list of punchy principles to complement our Charter for advocacy, outreach and punchy purposes.  They should be sending us an update of their progress and plan soon.  The punchy text and principles might also be useful to include in the preamble, or should at least be consistent with it.
> So I suggest that we wait and see what the punchy group comes up with, and have our discussion about that within the coalition.  Then we can see if/how we can link or coordinate the preamble and punchy work, and include a new punchy preamble in version 1.1.  Does that sound ok?
> Also - thanks so much to everyone for their comments, including Vittorio.  They are all extremely useful, and I think this process has been incredibly valuable in bringing us all together to collaborate.
> And, at risk of sounding like a broken record, don't forget to send any immediate, specific and serious concerns about the text through for version 1.1 by October 10th!
> Punchily yours,
> Lisa
> On Wed, 2010-09-22 at 11:36 +0300, Tapani Tarvainen wrote:
>> Having criticized version 1.0 of the Charter for lack of punch as it
>> were, I made an effort to see if if I could, er, "punchify" it.
>> Below is the result.
>> It is not intended to be "ready" or complete text as such, yet I feel it
>> is better to present it without explanations or textual alternatives
>> I considered. I even cut out some parts I didn't feel comfortable
>> with but couldn't think of a better substitute, for my primary purpose
>> here is to convey a feeling of the kind of language I'd like to see in
>> this kind of document, inadequate though I feel my wordsmithing
>> skills to be for such a task.
>> I hope it will at least stimulate thoughts on how the text could
>> be improved.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Preamble
>> Internet is a medium people communicate with;
>> a place where people meet and congregate;
>> a tool people use for a multitude of purposes.
>> It is self-evident that universal human rights apply in the Internet
>> like they do everywhere where there are people,
>> and that same fundamental principles apply in the Internet
>> as in all areas of human endeavour.
>> Yet Internet is different from any other medium yet invented,
>> different from any other place in the world,
>> different from any other tool human ingenuity has yet produced,
>> and it is not always obvious exactly how
>> human rights and general principles apply to it.
>> At the same time, Internet's importance has grown to the extent
>> that it has become a major power in the realization of human rights -
>> for good and bad.
>> Thus it is of crucial importance to ensure Internet
>> governance is based core values of human rights
>> like human dignity, equality and non-discrimination,
>> solidarity, diversity, rule of law and social justice.
>> Hence this Charter: not an attempt to create new rights,
>> but to reinterpret and explain old ones in a new context:
>> the Internet.
>> The rights and principles identified herein are crucial for the
>> governance of the Internet. They are based on the core values of human
>> rights like human dignity, equality and non-discrimination,
>> solidarity, diversity, rule of law and social justice. Everybody needs
>> to respect, protect and fulfil all the human rights on the Internet,
>> and to ensure that the Internet operates to evolve in a way that
>> supports and expands these human rights as an instrument supportive to
>> human rights.
>> Internet governance must be guided by internationally
>> agreed human rights standards, and designed and implemented in an
>> inclusive process bringing together public administrations,
>> governments, civil society as well as businesses.
>> This Charter is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
>> (UDHR) and subsequent human rights law of the United Nations and work
>> done by other human rights institutions.
>> This Charter of Human Rights and Principles on the Internet has been
>> developed by the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles
>> and draws inspiration from the APC Internet Rights Charter and other
>> pertinent documents.
>> The Charter builds on the WSIS Declaration of Principles of Geneva
>> and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, which recognises
>> that Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) present tremendous
>> opportunities to enable individuals, communities and peoples to
>> achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable
>> development and improving their quality of life. Like the WSIS
>> Declaration, this Charter aims at building a people-centred
>> information society, which respects and upholds fundamental human
>> rights that are enshrined in the UDHR.
>> The Charter is split into two sections. The first interprets human
>> rights and defines principles for the purposes and concerns of the
>> information society. The second defines principles and guidelines
>> addressed to specific stakeholders and technologies.
>> The Charter is addressed to all actors and stake-holders of Internet
>> governance, who - according to the Preamble of the UDHR - shall strive
>> by teaching and education to promote respect for the rights contained
>> in the UDHR and to secure their universal and effective recognition
>> and observance.
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