[Battlemesh] Fwd: [liberationtech] Civil Society Statement on the "eG8"

Mitar mitar at tnode.com
Sat May 21 08:18:16 CEST 2011


I am inviting you to sign ...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jochai Ben-Avie <jochai at accessnow.org>
Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Subject: [liberationtech] Civil Society Statement on the "eG8"
To: liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu

Hi everyone,

Many of you may be aware that next week the G8 will be meeting in
France. President Sarkozy – who holds the rotating G8 Presidency this
year – has organized an “eG8” immediately before the G8summit, with a
view to shaping the G8 agenda regarding key global internet policy
issues. Indded, this is the first year that the internet’s role in
society and the economy is explicitly on the G8 agenda.

To express our concerns about this event a number of organizations have
put together and signed a civil society statement (full text below)
including Access, Reporters without Borders, EFF, Witness, Mobile
Active, May First/People Link, The Guardian Project, Digital Democracy,
ATTAC, LQDN, EDRi, APC, Movements.org and Open Rights Group.

Other organizations wish to sign? Please send me an email by this
Monday, May 23rd. Full text of the letter is below and at:

If there are individuals who want to support efforts to influence the
G8, please consider signing Access’ petition around this campaign:

Thanks so much.




Jochai Ben-Avie
Access | Policy Analyst
jochai at accessnow.org
+1-888-414-0100 x704 (tel)
JochaiBen-Avie (skype)

DRAFT Civil Society Statement to the e-G8 and G8

The signatories of this statement are representatives of civil society
from around the world working towards the promotion of Internet freedom,
digital rights, and open communication.

We understand that the French Presidency of the G8 is holding a G8
internet meeting -- the "e-G8 Forum" -- immediately before the G8 Summit
in Deauville, with a view to shaping the agenda of the G8 Summit
regarding key global internet policy issues. This meeting is significant
in that this is the first year that the internet’s role in society and
the economy is explicitly on the G8 agenda.

As key world leaders, your policies have a major influence on internet
policy globally. Regrettably, certain policies being implemented in the
most developed economies are undermining the open and neutral internet
-- the very qualities that represent the essence of its democratic and
economic potential. We believe that G8 Member States should use the e-G8
meeting as an opportunity to publicly commit to expanding internet
access for all, combating digital censorship and surveillance, limiting
online intermediary liability, and upholding principles of net neutrality.

Internet Access for All

We are particularly concerned about the increasing trend of nations
cutting off citizens’ access to the Internet and mobile networks in
times of crisis, as Egypt, Libya, Iran, China, Nepal, and Burma have all
done. In many if not all of these countries, we see how important access
to the Internet is as a gateway to a plethora of others civil,
political, and fundamental human rights.

Many G8 countries are actively pursuing policies that would similarly
seek to restrict and control access; these policies legitimize actions
of repressive regimes and threaten the core of the internet economy. As
many nations endeavor to improve basic and universal access, the
increase of restrictive policies in both the developed and developing
world is a regressive and deeply worrying trend.

Freedom from Online Censorship & Surveillance

Simultaneously, repressive regimes are harnessing the internet’s power
for their own purposes, often with the help of multinational
corporations based in G8 countries. We urge you to end the sale of these
technologies both at home and abroad, and put an end to these gross
invasions of user privacy and security.

Online Intermediary Liability and Intellectual Property

To defend freedom of speech online it is critical that we resist
mounting pressure from the entertainment industry and other sectors to
impose greater intermediary liability on online service providers for
the actions of their users (e.g., HADOPI and ACTA).

In this regard, we urge you to follow the example of the Brazilian
government’s Principles for the Governance and Use of the Internet,
specifically #7 which reads: “All action taken against illicit activity
on the network must be aimed at those directly responsible for such
activities, and not at the means of access and transport, always
upholding the fundamental principles of freedom, privacy and the respect
for human rights.”[1]

Net Neutrality

We further call on you to codify and commit your nations to protecting
net neutrality -- the principle that all web traffic should be treated
on an equitable basis no matter where it originated or the type of data
being transmitted.

These are some of the key Internet governance issues which we feel merit
and require the attention of the G8. We also draw your attention to two
comprehensive declarations of principles we believe should guide nation
states in Internet governance:

●      The 10 Internet Rights and Principles developed under the aegis
of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition[2].

●      Assembly Declaration of the right of Communication, written at
the World Social Forum 2011.[3]

We would also like to highlight our concerns regarding the planning of
the e-G8. We join our voices to the Internet Governance Caucus[4] which
expresses our collective concern about the lack of representation of
civil society at the e-G8 and G8 meetings this year.

Contrary to current best practices in policymaking, the invite list has
been limited primarily to representatives of government and corporate
leaders, who already enjoy disproportionately large influence over
Internet regulation. Specifically, we are deeply concerned that
corporate interests will dominate discussions at the e-G8 and G8
summits; issues like strict intellectual property enforcement and
increasing online intermediary liability seem likely to take primacy
over citizen-centered policies like net neutrality, Free Software, and
combating online censorship.

As corporations pay $100,000 for seats at the e-G8 table, few
representatives of civil society are present to advocate for the
priorities of citizen-users of the world. We are at a critical point in
the history of the Internet and the struggle for human rights. As the
elected leadership of some of the world’s most powerful nations, we urge
you to act now to uphold and defend the principles of digital rights and
internet freedom, not just for your citizens, but for people all over
the world.

[1]The full document of which is available at:

[2]The English version is available here:
http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/node/397 and in French here:


[4] http://www.igcaucus.org/open-letter-president-sarkozy-eg8-meeting-plan

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