[IRPCoalition] IRPC Submission to the Net Mundial Meeting

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Thu Mar 6 01:53:08 EET 2014

I guess that " coercive redistributions of wealth" is libertarian mumbo
jumbo code for "paying taxes"?




From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
[mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of
Milton L Mueller
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 1:20 PM
To: parminder; irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: Re: [IRPCoalition] IRPC Submission to the Net Mundial Meeting




From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [mailto:irp-

webpage with the right text
<http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/site/campaign/> )

If those are the Principles being proposed, I have the following comments
and questions:


2) Rights and Social Justice

The Internet is a space for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of
human rights and the advancement of social justice. Everyone has the duty to
respect the human rights of all others in the online environment.

What is 'social justice'? How is it advanced? I honestly have no idea what
it means in this context. Could one add a reference to international legal
instruments here that explains what one means by human rights? 

3) Accessibility

Everyone has an equal right to access and use a secure and open Internet.

4) Expression and Association

Everyone has the right to seek, receive, and impart information freely on
the Internet without censorship or other interference. Everyone also has the
right to associate freely through and on the Internet, for social,
political, cultural or other purposes.

At last, a right that bears some resemblance to well-understood human

5) Privacy and Data Protection

Everyone has the right to privacy online. This includes freedom from
surveillance, the right to use encryption, and the right to online
anonymity. Everyone also has the right to data protection, including control
over personal data collection, retention, processing, disposal and

Ditto the above

6) Life, Liberty and Security

The rights to life, liberty, and security must be respected, protected and
fulfilled online. These rights must not be infringed upon, or used to
infringe other rights, in the online environment.

I like this, but doesn't it overlap a bit with #1 and #2, and isn't it
clearly better than #2 because it avoids undefined and divisive language
about social justice?

7) Diversity

Cultural and linguistic diversity on the Internet must be promoted, and
technical and policy innovation should be encouraged to facilitate plurality
of expression.

8) Network Equality

Everyone shall have universal and open access to the Internet's content,
free from discriminatory prioritisation, filtering or traffic control on
commercial, political or other grounds.

This one is garbled, and it overreaches, and thereby sets itself up for
rejection. It is not about "network equality" it is either about network
neutrality or the right of network users to be treated equally (except that
no one really wants to treat all network users equally). Not all content on
the internet is open, some of it you have to pay for and some of it is
shielded because you don't have authorization to access it (e.g., my bank
account). Is that a violation of this principle? What is "the Internet's
content"? "Discriminatory prioritization.on commercial, political or other
grounds" might be interpreted to mean that network operators or end users
could not discriminate against traffic tagged as spam, malware or viruses. 

9) Standards and Regulation

The Internet's architecture, communication systems, and document and data
formats shall be based on open standards that ensure complete
interoperability, inclusion and equal opportunity for all.

"Complete interoperability" tips me off that whoever wrote this hasn't
worked with standards and standardization much. Are you saying that
innovative protocols or services that don't always work well with others are
to be banned? How about IPv6, for example? 

10) Governance

Human rights and social justice must form the legal and normative
foundations upon which the Internet operates and is governed. This shall
happen in a transparent and multilateral manner, based on principles of
openness, inclusive participation and accountability.

What a mess. I simply don't believe that this principle, especially the
invocation of "multilateral" governance, has widespread consensus. I still
don't know what social justice means, but I do know how some people use the
term as a code word for coercive redistributions of wealth. 



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