Dissecting The “Internet Freedom” Agenda

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Both radical civil society organizations and mainstream defenders of the status quo agree that the free and open internet is threatened: see for example the Delhi Declaration, Bob Hinden’s 2014 Year End Thoughts, and Kathy Brown’s March 2015 statement at a UNESCO conference. The threats include government censorship and mass surveillance, but also the failure of governments to control rampant industry concentration and commercial exploitation of personal data, which increasingly takes the form of providing “free” services in exchange for personal information that is resold at a profit, or used to provide targeted advertising, also at a profit, Richard Hill writes in a review of the new book, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom.

Philanthropies And Expression: An Interview With Ford Foundation President Darren Walker

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Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, one of the largest and historically most influential private philanthropies in the United States, dedicated to human welfare worldwide. Among its areas of focus are programs on freedom of expression and internet rights, extremely timely given current national and global events. Ford, along with four other leading foundations, and leaders from government, business and the technology community recently announced NetGain, a partnership to “spark the next generation of innovation for social change and progress.” Intellectual Property Watch’s William New recently interviewed Darren Walker on his vision for the foundation, internet governance, and the world at large.

Can The Internet Be Saved Without Harming Democracy?

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[From The Guardian-] Citizens of the internet: here is some welcome news. Your downtrodden digital rights might be getting a well-overdue booster shot. But it comes with some warnings.

Last week in the Hague, a high-level group of 29 internet policymakers and influencers – including prominent ex-US and UK security and intelligence officials Michael Chertoff, Joseph Nye, Melissa Hathaway and David Omand – issued a clarion call for the protection and promotion of human rights online. Self-styled the Global Commission on Internet Governance, the group made this call as part of the broader objective of restoring trust and confidence in the internet.

EU, US Issue Joint Statement On Information Society

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The European Union and the United States today held the 13th bilateral Information Society Dialogue and issued a statement highlighting issues discussed and agreed.

The two government entities covered topics such as the EU Digital Single Market, digital skills, open internet, the data-driven economy, internet governance, the United Nations review of the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and cooperation on international telecommunications policy.

A Global Digital Magna Carta? Maybe, But First Identify Needs, Panel Says

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NEW YORK – A recent panel of internet governance experts was divided on whether a primary global set of principles protecting the balance of power on the internet is needed.

UN Human Rights Council Approves Expert On Privacy In The Digital Age

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The UN Human Rights Council at its 28th session today in Geneva adopted a resolution that establishes a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on Privacy in the Digital Age. The Council also approved a resolution extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights for 3 years, and took note of the current rapporteur’s recent report raising concerns about the impact of copyright on human rights.

No, Democracy is Not Excess Baggage

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There was quite some controversy at the 3-4 March 2015 UNESCO Connecting the Dots Conference regarding whether or not the term “democracy” should be included in the conference’s outcome statement to make it clear that internet governance must be democratic.

Revolving Chairs In The IP World: People Shift Positions. But Interests? Not So Much

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A lot has happened among the global intellectual property community over the past months. Beyond the usual shifts in law offices, many key positions have either changed hands or been filled. For example, the European commissioners changed, and the United States nominated a new “piracy czar” and a new head of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The International Telecommunication Union, UNITAID and other organisations have new heads. And the World Intellectual Property Organization has a new top management team.

Non-governmental organisations and the private sector also saw a lot of movement in recent months, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the International Trademark Association, the International Publishers Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America.

In this article, we take the opportunity to catch up. Here is a look at some of the changes.

NetMundial Initiative: Still Breathing

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After a report by the Register’s Kieren McCarthy on a postponement of the inaugural meeting of the NetMundial Initiative (NMI) Council discussions were revived over the need for the new body in several mailing lists.

Brazil’s Internet Legal Framework Regulation And Draft Bill For Privacy Law Public Consultation

Flavia Rebello

On 28 January 2015, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice launched public consultations involving two key pieces of legislation, namely: the decree that will regulate the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (the “Internet Legal Framework”); and the Draft Bill for the Protection of Personal Data (“Draft Bill”). A consultation period is being conducted in relation to these two laws via online platforms set up by the government.