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February 2010

The Widening Web of Control

The International Council on Human Rights Policy have published a draft report named The Widening Web of Control: A Human Rights Analysis of Public Policy Responses to Crime, Social Problems and Deviance, which is available for comments and review. The multidisciplinary project involved research in five different policy areas: public health/infectious diseases control; city and urban poor; punishment and incarceration; policing and surveillance; controls over migrant and non-citizens.

IGF 2010 First Round Meeting

An open consultation to discuss the agenda of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Vilnius was held in Geneva, Switzerland on February 9, 2010. During the consultation, a discussion on the desirability of the continuation of the IGF was introduced by Patrick Spearing from the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNDESA). UNDESA is the Secretariat department having responsibility for the report containing the recommendations of the Secretary-General on the desirability of continuation of the forum.

Mr Spearing recalled that "the forum was established by an UN General Assembly decision on the basis of the Tunis Agenda," and that "it will be the United Nations membership that determines whether or not to support its continuation." Mr Spearing further stressed that, "in order for the General Assembly to consider the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the report of the Secretary-General containing those recommendations must be submitted to the UN General Assembly at the 65th session later in 2010." Mr. Spearing also noted that the United Nations Economic and Social Council "has primary responsibility for relations among development actors and has a mechanism for consultation with nongovernmental organizations."

Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the UN Internet Governance Forum Meet in Geneva

The fifth Annual Meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 14-17 September 2010. The IGF was formed to support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society with regard to convening a new multi-stakeholder policy dialogue forum to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance. The IGF was established in July 2006 and since then four annual forums have been organized.

A first round of open consultations will be held in Geneva on 9 February 2010 to take stock of the Sharm El Sheikh meeting and will discuss the agenda and the format of the Vilnius meeting. On February 10-11, a Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the Internet Governance Secretariat will meet to discuss the preparation of the Vilnius meeting. Comments on the Substantive Program Agenda had been published online. The Remote Participation Working Group (RPWG) in cooperation with the IGF Secretariat will make available a moderated chat function for online interaction; the link is available here. The hashtag will be #IGF10. Katitza Rodriguez, The Public Voice Coordinator will be twittering from @thepublicvoice and @txitua. The Webcast of the open consultations will be available through this link.

Network of Networks Project Launched

The Association for Progressive Communications has recently launched the “Network of Networks” project. It aims is to build a cross-issue network of organizations working in Internet public policy and with diverse campaigning experiences to ensure that the internet is free and open. The Association for Progressive Communications has created a first advisory group whose role will be to help identify initial strategic opportunities and potential partners and alliances. Katitza Rodriguez, Coordinator of The Public Voice Coalition has been invited to join the Advisory Group. A first planning meeting will be held in Geneva on February 8, one day before the first round of consultations for the 2010 United Nations Internet Governance Forum.

EU Parliamentary Group Rejected US Deal on Data Sharing

Members of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee recommended rejecting the data sharing agreement between the United States and Europe. "Parliament should withhold its consent to the EU's interim agreement on banking data transfers to the USA via the SWIFT network", the Civil Liberties Committee suggested. The United States authorities have argued that access to that information is key to counter terrorism efforts. In 2006 Article 29 concluded that "SWIFT and the financial institutions in the EU have failed to respect the provisions of the EU Data Protection Directive." The deal will be put to a plenary vote in Strasbourg on February 11, 2010.

The SWIFT deal allows the United States to access information collected by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). In 2009, the Brussels-based banking consortium "set up a storage center for its European data in Switzerland, which meant that intra-European data was stored only in Europe. Until then, the data had also been kept on a server in the United States. This new structure required the negotiation of a new agreement between the Commission and Council on the one hand and the United States on the other." For more information: SWIFT interim agreement: Civil liberties Committee to vote on 4 February.

EU Information Society Commissioner Speech Makes Personal Data Protection a Foreign Policy Priority

Viviane Reding, European Information Society Commissioner in a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on International Privacy Day affirmed that the protection of the right of personal data should be respected at any time, even when performing simple operations like transferring money, booking a flight ticket or passing a security check at the airport. "The demand for personal data continues to grow massively, and so should our determination to reinforce the rights of individuals over the use of their personal data," Commissioner Reding added.

Commissioner Reding rejects the installation of body scanners without studying whether the devices are effective, do not harm health, and do not violate privacy. "I am convinced that body scanners have a considerable privacy-invasive potential. Their usefulness is still to be proven. Their impact on health has not yet been fully assessed. Therefore I cannot imagine this privacy-intrusive technique being imposed on us without full consideration of its impact," she noted. The European position in the current dispute is strengthened by the recent adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. For more information: The Public Voice: Stop Digital Strip Searches in Airports

European Commissioner Makes a Call to Defend Privacy on the Information Society

Making a strong call to protect personal data against any unauthorized use, and emphasizing that citizens have the right to decide how their data will be processed, EU Information Society Commissioner, Viviane Reding, delivered a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on January 28, Data Protection Day. "It is my firm belief that we cannot expect citizens to trust Europe if we are not serious in defending the right to privacy," she said. While recognizing the power of innovation of new products and services, Commissioner Reding highlighted that privacy and personal data were not always a key ingredient at the early development stage of those products and services.

The European Commission is currently analyzing over 160 responses to the public consultation on the reform of the General Data Protection Directive. Several challenges have been identified such as the need to (1) "clarify the application of some key rules and principles (such as consent and transparency) in practice; (2) ensure that personal data are protected regardless of the location of the data controller; (3) promote Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), by introducing new evolving principles (such as ‘privacy by design, (4) strengthen enforcement, and (5) incorporate the fundamental principles of data protection to cover all areas of EU competence, including police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the EU's external relations."

The 2010 European Civil Society Award Results

The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights and EDRI presented the first European Civil Society Data Protection Award to "PER.SONN.ES (in French), or FAKEFRIENDS.ME (in English). " / [is] an original and positive initiative contributing to the visibility and effectiveness of the right to privacy by raising awareness and helping to build conscious critical thinking," the Jury noted. The Jury was conformed by Pierre Barge (AEDH), Emilie Barrau (BEUC), Aleksejs Dimitrovs (AEDH), Serge Gutwirth (LSTS/VUB), Paul de Hert (LSTS/VUB), Andreas Krisch (EDRI), Meryem Marzouki (EDRI), Yves Poullet (CRID), and Daniel Retureau (EESC).

ACT NOW: Save the Independent Media in South Korea

MediAct is a communication media training and education center based in South Korea. MediAct has played a critical role to support the independent film and video production, the citizens' media monitoring movement, and the trade union movement in that country since the 1980s. However, in the past two years, the media landscape and culture sector has undergone some drastic changes under the Lee Myung-bak regime.

Now MediAct is facing the crisis of shut down with the massive and target-oriented budget cutting by Korean government. Support MediAct - Sign the Petition. For more information: MediAct Facebook Group, APC: Support for MediAct, Public Media Center in South Korea.




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.


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Past Events

The Public Voice Conference:
"Privacy Rights are a Global Challenge"

The Public Voice
Punta del Este
October 22, 2012

The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting: "Next Generation Privacy Challenges and Opportunities"

Lillie Coney, Chair
EPIC Associate Director

The Public Voice
October 25, 2010

Madrid - Spain. The Public Voice: Global Privacy Standards in a Global World
November 3, 2009

Madrid logo

Sharm El Sheikh - Egypt. United Nations. IV Internet Governance Forum November 15-18, 2009


OECD 2008 Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy

Seoul logo

Civil Society Privacy Conference
Sept. 25, 2007

Terra Incognita logo

OECD Participative Web Forum
Oct. 3, 2007

Past Public Voice Events

Cape Town Conference »

Wroclaw Conference »

Buenos Aires Conference »

Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society Internet Governance Caucus »

Civil Society Background Paper

Background paper logo