Civil Society participants of The Public Voice coalition at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future on the Internet affirmed "that the policy goals for the Future of the Internet should be considered within the broader framework of protection of human rights, the promotion of democratic institutions, and the provision of affordable and non-discriminatory access to advanced communication infrastructures and services. Economic growth should be for the many and not the few. The Internet should be available to all."
The coalition called attention to government officials around the world on:
Freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is being violated around the globe by state censorship and by more subtle measures such as content filtering, privatized censorship and restrictions on so-called harmful content. We urge governments to defend freedom of expression and to oppose mandated filtering, censorship of Internet content, and criminalization of content that is protected under international freedom of expression standards.
Protection of Privacy and Transparency. We reaffirm our support for the OECD Privacy Guidelines as a fundamental policy instrument setting out minimal requirements for the transborder flow of personal data. We call on governments to adopt and enforce data protection laws covering all sectors, both online and offline, and to establish international data protection standards that are legally enforceable. We further urge member states to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability for all data processing for border security, identification, and decision-making concerning individuals.
Consumer Protection. Trust and confidence are critical to the success of the Internet economy. Governments should ensure that consumer protection laws are properly enforced and cover digital products to the same extent that other consumer goods and services are covered.
Employment, Decent Work and Skills. We recommend governments promote learning and training opportunities for workers and address the technological and organizational change in the workplace.
Promotion of Access to Knowledge. We support open access to government-funded scientific and scholarly works and endorse the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data.
Internet Governance. Internet governance structures should reflect democratic values and be transparent and publicly accountable to users. Global Internet policymaking should involve equal participation of all people, countries, and stakeholders. We call states to support the Internet Governance Forum and to promote the multi-stakeholder process of the World Summit on the Information Society.
Promotion of Open Standards and Net Neutrality. Standards-making processes should be open and should encourage competition. This promotes innovation and development. We support the procurement policies that promote open standards, open data formats, and free and open software. We further recommend Countries to oppose discrimination by network providers against particular applications, devices, or content and preserve the Internet's role in fostering innovation, economic growth, and democratic communication.
Balanced Intellectual Property Policies. We urge countries to maintain a balanced framework for intellectual property protection that is least intrusive to personal privacy, least restrictive for the development of new technologies, and that promotes creativity, innovation, and learning. Countries should oppose proposals that would deny individuals access to all Internet services and opportunities based on alleged copyright infringement. We are also concerned about the secrecy of the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" (ACTA) treaty process and the possibility of policies that may limit legitimate business activity, the participative web, and e-government service delivery.
Support for Pluralistic Media. The Internet is a universal platform for innovation, growth, and the ability of people to express and share their views. New forms of media and new applications are emerging that challenge old paradigms and enable broader public participation. At the same time, dominant Internet firms are moving to consolidate their control over the Internet.
Inclusive Digital Society. The Internet should be accessible to all. Governments should ensure that all residents have the means to access the Internet and should provide public Internet access, training and support. Particular attention should be paid to rural, remote and aboriginal populations, as well as the disability community.
Cultural Diversity. Governments should promote access to the full range of the world's cultures and to ensure that the Internet economy reflects the true diversity of language, art, science, and literature in our world. The deployment of International Domain Names should be a priority.
OneWebDay: Your Web. Your Day
OneWebDay has attracted a global network of partner organizations and individual activists committed to broadening the public awareness of Internet and Web issues while deepening a culture of participation in building a Web that works for everyone. In 2008, OneWebDay organizers documented volunteer-driven events 34 different cities across the world.
The Civil Society Seoul Declaration
On June 16, 2008, more than 150 participants from 15 countries gathered in Seoul, South Korea, for the Civil Society - Labor Forum "Making the Future of the Internet Economy Work for Citizens, Consumers, and Workers. The event was organized by the Public Voice coalition, the Trade Union Advisory Committee, and the OECD Civil Society Reference group, which includes the Association for Progressive Communications, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public interest Clinic, Consumers Korea, the European Digital Rights Initiative, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Internet Governance Project, and the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue.
The Civil Society Seoul Declaration was signed by 82 organizations and more than 100 individuals.
Consultation due on December 31, 2009
This is a listing of events which may be useful for civil society to participate, connect and network on issues relating to information and communication technologies and policies.
Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society Internet Governance Caucus »
Washington DC, United States. Internet Governance Forum USA
September 14 - 15
Seoul, South Korea. ICANN No. 36.
October 25 -30, 2009
Sharm El Sheikh - Egypt. United Nations. IV Internet Governance Forum November 15-18, 2009