[A2k] URGENT: Seeking support for civil society statement on democratising Internet governance made to UN Working Group

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Mon Aug 26 18:50:56 PDT 2013


On 24/08/2013, at 10:27 PM, anita <anita at itforchange.net> wrote:

> /_U_/_/rgent !/__//__/IT for Change needs your endorsement to push progressive civil society views into the UN Working Group that will make recommendations for democratising global governance of the Internet./_
> _//__/
> /__/Please circulate widely!/__//__/Note that the last date to send your endorsement is 29th August/__/

Not to compete with this (because the more submissions the merrier), and apologies if this is off-topic for the A2K list, but to follow up from Anita's post, I should mention that there is a broad-based civil society coalition called Best Bits, members of whom have just finalised their own statement which is now also open for endorsements:

http://bestbits.net/ec

Probably some additional background is required since this is the A2K list and many of you won't be following Internet governance issues that closely, and you might want to do some more reading before deciding whether to endorse either or both submission, or to make your own.

So in short the relevance of this process to A2K is that it addresses the question of whether the status quo in global public policy development on Internet-related issues is sufficient or not.  Bearing in mind that the status quo is that which brought us the ACTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, my organisation and the other members of the Best Bits coalition would say no.  Post-PRISM, the question has only assumed greater importance.

We now have the opportunity (and perhaps our only opportunity since it last came up eight years ago at WSIS), to recommend changes to global arrangements for developing globally-applicable Internet related public policies.  For more background about this, you can read a short briefing at http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/insights/internet-freedom-in-a-world-of-states, or a longer version of the same document at http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2013/workshop_background_paper/64_1367863304.pdf.

Other groups such as ICC-BASIS are supporting the status quo, which implies that processes like ACTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are adequate (whilst they don't give those specific examples, they do favourably mention the APEC cross-border privacy principles, from which civil society was excluded almost as much).  it is very important for us to put forward a strong submission that points out the shortcomings of the status quo, and advances a public interest perspective on this topic.

As Anita said, but I would specifically reiterate this for the Best Bits submission, please forward this opportunity for comment within your own networks because it will not come around quickly again.  The deadline for endorsements is 31 August and the URL again is:

http://bestbits.net/ec

-- 
Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers
Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
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