[IRP] On our way ahead with the Charter

Lee W McKnight lmcknigh
Thu Apr 21 15:33:02 EEST 2011


Sounds like a good meeting and progress being made.

But re 1. We should give up about the idea of trying to have the Charter as a whole adopted or endorsed by anyone

Why? Because CoE won't, and other narrower NGOs won't?

Frankly, those groups/orgs were never the primary audience anyway, at least in my mind; and I don't much care whether they do or don't endorse the Charter.  

If we the Dynamic Coalition are picking up new members and allies and the doc(s) are permeating/helping set agenda for other discussions, that's all we need to accomplish right.

Meaning, this is a 'People's Charter' to sound very 60s about it; and not an organizational or institutional charter. A charter generated by Internet users in their individual capacities (yeah ParminderI know I know ; ); and not in their institutional roles; though institutions can say nice things about us, or not o nice, as they wish.

And people can continue to endorse the charter and its evolution a a whole, even if we might all quibble over a particular section, as it evolves, over time. 

So...people, and some (very enlightened ; ) organizations may endorse the Charter and its open evolutionary development, without necessarily pledging allegiance to implementation in national law of every last sentence in the doc.

It's up to those otherand inst itutions entities to either do something or not, or incorporate some or all elements of charter or not; which is always up to them and not to us.  

What we can do is continue to evolve the docs and reach out as Meryem suggests; and if someone or some entity align - and even endorses - great; if not, no problem. imho


From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Meryem Marzouki [meryem at marzouki.info]
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 5:17 AM
Subject: [IRP] On our way ahead with the Charter

Dear all,

Thanks Dixie for the report! I also felt that the meeting went well, and that there might be opportunities to go ahead with them as well as with other institutions.

However, my (very personal) sentiment after that meeting is that we should learn, as a lesson for the future, that:

- Institutions and governments are looking for *very* pragmatic initiatives and have *very pragmatic* objectives. They are not really interested in "charters" and in what they see as "loose principles", especially since they have their own agenda and needs

- In addition, it would be really difficult to have anyone, even NGOs, adopt a charter like ours, because its very long, detailed, comprehensive although never precise enough... and, consequently there will always be some kind of disagreement or reservation on one point or another, which is quite understandable

- Moreover, there are many other initiatives of the same kind, that we already know about and that we will probably see in the future.

As a consequence, I think we should take some time to discuss our strategy for the future, and I would like to propose the following ideas for your comments and suggestions:

1. We should give up about the idea of trying to have the Charter as a whole adopted or endorsed by anyone

2. We should keep working on the Charter, as a continuous work in progress, enriching it with all the comments and suggestions we receive

3. At the same time, we should make clear (to us and to the others) that we take this Charter as our main vehicle to learn, understand each other and find as common as possible grounds on the issue of HR in the online environment

4. We should present, advocate and use the Charter as the matrix or the main material from which different kinds of initiatives could originate. These initiative might be undertaken by the coalition as a whole, by some of its members, or even by external groups. They can relate to all HR or only to some of them, depending on the objectives and agendas. Such initiatives could be:
- A short and "punchy" summary, such as the 10 IRP principles (done)
- the so-called "section 2" on the role of different actors at different layers (in progress)
- Internet HR curricula, such as what I suggested during the meeting with CoE (to be done)
- Specific principles in a given Internet sector or "population", such as what Olivier suggested for registrants (to be done)
- Specific and more precise principles w.r.t. to one given HR or "principles", such as what the CoE is trying to achieve for Internet governance (in progress on their side, to be done or at least discussed from our side)
- Adaptation to a specific national or regional context (relevance???)
- etc.

So, these are my ideas as for now. I would like to hear what you think. If we adopt this strategy, then we should probably:
- elaborate it and write it down,
- make clear what we mean by the Charter being an "open source" document (i.e. probably rather a kind "creative commons" reference - I'm not saying licence - that would clearly state that the given work has orginated from the Charter, following this or that process and with this or that objective)
- define some kind of commitment to be agreed upon (i.e. no one could reference an initiative as originating from the Charter in case this initiative contradicts any of the Charter aspect, etc.).
- (not sure at all about the relevance of this last suggestin) establish a kind of "IRP Coalition Charter Label" that we would give (or not) to any initiative claiming to originate from the charter


Le 21 avr. 2011 ? 10:15, Dixie Hawtin a ?crit :

Hi all,

On Tuesday we had an informal consultation with some experts from the Council of Europe to talk about the Charter ? to raise awareness, see what kind of feedback they had about the initiative and the substance, and to discuss overlap between Council of Europe and IRP Coalition goals and areas for collaboration.

Attendance: Jan Malinowski, Lee Hibbard, Michael Remmert, Jan Kleijssen, Denis Huber, Amb. Thomas Hajnoczi, Sophie Kwasny, Marie Georges, Wolfgang Benedek, Meryem Marzouki, Parminder Jeet Singh, Katitza Rodriguez, Olivier Crepin-Leblond, Wolf Ludwig, Dixie Hawtin.

The meeting was a small event but I think it had a lot of really positive outcomes, and it was certainly great to have such a strong showing from the Coalition. It was very positive to note that almost all of the CoE people already knew a lot about the Charter and for those who hadn?t already heard, they seemed very appreciative of the initiative.

We had some feedback about the actual contents of the Charter, and Lee has said that he will seek more feedback on the actual contents of the Charter in written form. The comments we received covered:
a)       E-participation and e-democracy: it was felt that these sections do not yet cover the full spectrum of enhanced democracy that is possible using the Internet. In particular the link between online protest and organisation (which is covered under freedom of association) could also be stressed here. The important of the internet in Internet campaigning was also mentioned. Also, it was felt that it was erroneous to leave out e-voting when it is becoming an important part of the voting system in some countries (e.g. Estonia and Switzerland). Earlier e-voting was included in the Charter but it was removed following much concern from Coalition members about the security of such a system. I think this is something we could continue to think about and discuss. Council of Europe recommendations and guidelines in this area were drawn attention to as possible sources to consult.
b)      Privacy and data protection: it was felt that more needed to be done to distinguish the right to privacy and the right to digital data protection, and also to make sure that the principles of data protection come across clearly in a user friendly way. The concepts of ?personal data? and  ?consent? would benefit from more explanation. We need to include the fact that privacy policies must be clear and understandable(as well as accessible). And the ?right to be forgotten? also arose as something we might want to address outrightly in the Charter. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
c)       There was also interest in the matrix of responsibilities of different actors that Meryem has been working on. It was felt that it would be very valuable for this document to also include information about collaborations between actors (i.e. which actors should work together to achieve certain goals)

One initiative that the CoE is toying with quite seriously at the moment, and that there may be an opportunity to derive some content/approach from the Charter in future, is creating a charter of enforceable remedies for Internet users which would operate similarly to airplane passenger rights by Europe (http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=125). We also heard (from Olivier) about an initiative at ALAC to put together a registrants rights charter which sounds very interesting and is exactly the type of thing which I think we would like the charter to be supporting and feeding into.

Most of the conversation was spent talking about CoE work in this area and possible areas for collaboration. Possibilities included:
*Having a formal meeting at the CoE for 1.5/2 days and go through each of the Charter sections individually.
*Spin-off education materials based on the Charter could be used for training and education as part of the North-South Centre.
*Put the text to the parliamentary assembly to have them approve it (please note this is just an option, and if it were to happen it would be them taking it as an open source document and building on it, rather than taking over our Charter.)

-Lee Hibbard will circulate the Charter around CoE staff with expertise in different areas covered by the Charter but who were unable to attend the meeting, asking for feedback particularly on drafting and also on our approach to different rights more generally.
-Katitza Rodriguez has taken responsibility for the ?privacy? and ?data protection? sections of the Charter and will work (with her many privacy expert friends) on honing in the language.
(many thanks to both of you!)

Overall, I think that the Charter is now definitely on the CoE agenda and that this could be the start of a really useful dialogue and one that we should definitely invest some energy in cultivating!
And if anyone has thoughts on any of the above please do share. Also, see Meryem?s email before ? it would be really useful to think about where our Charter fits in the patchwork of principles and standards which are emerging at different fora.

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

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