michael gurstein on Sun, 1 Dec 2013 22:26:01 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> FW: Internet Justice: A Meme Whose Time Has Come

(for links and -- very interesting -- comments (or to add a comment) see: 



Internet Justice: A Meme Whose Time Has Come

For some time I've been discussing with colleagues how to approach Internet
policy related issues holistically. Not just from a technical point of view,
or commercial, or "user", or even civil society but rather from a
perspective which encompasses all of these while focusing most specifically
on an integrated approach to what we, as global citizens whose world is
being remade on the Internet's digital platform, might expect (and demand).

Much of the discussion to date has focused on "Internet users" as the most
general category.  The problem with this of course, is that it excludes
those and still a majority of the world's population -  who, for whatever
reason are not able or willing to use the Internet. Meanwhile, given the
global reach and penetration of the Internet even those currently unable or
uninterested in "using" the Internet are equally impacted by it.  Based on
simple principles of democratic participation even they should have some say
in how the Internet is deployed and managed in relation to matters of most
general concern.

We are all now citizens of an Internet-enabled world whether we are "users"
or not.

And as citizens of an Internet-enabled world we have interests and
perspectives on how the Internet is deployed and managed now and well into
the future; and those need to be expressed and articulated as demands in all
the forums where the future of the Internet is being discussed.

A preliminary list of what we might call the elements of "Internet Justice"
would include:

                1. fair and equitable means to access and use the
Internet-affordable by all and designed and deployed in such a manner that
all may realize the benefits of effective use
                2. a fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of the
Internet including the benefits of the widest possible access to information
and the opportunities to communicate; the financial and other benefits that
are accruing as a result of increased efficiencies and effectiveness of
communications and information management; the benefits that result from
users contribution to and participation in system development and content
creation; and of the benefits that are rapidly accruing as a result of
increased mastery over the elements of physical being in all its complexity
and variety
                3. the right to use the Internet without systematic
interference by government authorities or corporate interests in the
messages which are being communicated
                4. The right to use the Internet in privacy and without
surreptitious surveillance
                5. the right, means and opportunity to use the Internet to
access and share without undue cost or hindrance the full intellectual
heritage of mankind
                6. an Internet infrastructure which can be relied upon to
ensure the maximum level of personal security and reliability
                7. an Internet where there is the opportunity for end users
to build or manage Internet infrastructure as and when it is needed
                8. an Internet governed on the basis of democratic
principles and processes but also one where those impacted by decisions have
a role in making those decisions; and where there is a recognition that just
as we need to invite and acknowledge the participation by the highest
quality of disinterested information, advice and intervention in support of
our physical environment so too in our technology and digital environments
                9. an Internet of peers within whose architecture each node
or end point is equal in power and privilege to every other end point.

This list is as open ended as the Internet is open ended. Just as the
horizon for enhancing the well-being of all global citizens through more
efficient and effective communication and access to and use of information
is continuously expanding, so is the need to ensure that the Internet is and
continues to be a resource available, usable and of equitable benefit to

 Comments, suggestions, edits, additions, endorsement gratefully encouraged.

Tweet: #internetjustice

Michael Gurstein, Ph.D. 
Executive Director: Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development
and Training (CCIRDT) Vancouver, BC CANADA
tel/fax: +1-604-602-0624
email: gurstein@gmail.com
web: http://communityinformatics.net
blog: http://gurstein.wordpress.com
twitter: @michaelgurstein 

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