[IRPCoalition] IRPC Submission to the Net Mundial Meeting

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Mar 6 05:03:14 EET 2014

About 'what is social justice', Milton, perhaps you should ask your long 
time funder - Ford Foundation, who use this term as an overarching 
programmatic theme. See http://www.fordfoundation.org/issues . In fact, 
they subsume FoE under Social Justice!

Maybe you never told them that you did not think social justice is at 
all a meaningful term, in fact, as per you, it is a rather dangerous 
concept... They may be under the wrong impression that you are doing 
work that is aligned to their social justice goals...


On Thursday 06 March 2014 02:50 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> *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 rights.
>     *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 disclosure.
>     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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