The Pirate Party and the Green group in the European Parliament are planning to put forward an Internet Bill of Rights.
What do you think it should contain?
We haven’t written one yet, and we want to try a new way of doing so. We want to draft it together with the swarm on the Internet.
Everybody is hereby invited to participate and contribute.
We’ll start with a free form discussion, on especially two topics:
- What should be in it?
- What existing documents are there that we can cut and paste from?
The second question comes not just out of laziness a desire to work efficiently, but for a more fundamental reason. We don’t want to reinvent new fundamental rights, unless we absolutely have to.
We want to recognize the fact that the Internet is a central part of our society’s information infrastructure, and clarify that our fundamental human rights apply there as well, just like in the rest of society.
I will give a first draft of an answer to the first question: What sections should be in the Internet Bill of Rights?
- Fundamental rights. The European Convention on Human Rights should be respected on the net as well, including Article 8 (the right to privacy) and Article 10 (information freedom).
- Net neutrality. Internet operators should provide neutral connections without any restrictions on content, sites, platforms, or the kinds of equipment that may be attached.
- Mere conduit. I return for providing net neutrality, Internet operators and other suppliers of information infrastructure should not be held responsible for the information exchanged by their clients.
These are my first suggestions. Are there any other areas that ought to be covered by an Internet Bill of Rights? The floor is open, and all suggestions and comments are welcome.
Comments are even more welcome on the second question: What existing documents are there that already express things that should be in the Internet Bill of Rights?
The European Convention on Human Rights, obviously. But there are lots of other documents that are already established, that say what we want to say. The FCC definition of Net neutraly, a number of already passed EU directives, other documents by various groups or authorities…
Finding information is what the swarm is particularly good at. For that reason, I throw the question open. What is there that we should take into consideration?
The feeling I have after the successful conclusion of the Telecoms Package, is that there are many parliamentarians who agree that we need to address these issues now, and who want to be part of something good.
If we come up with a good proposal, it is not at all impossible that we will be able to build a strong political majority around it. Thing could happen here.
So let’s discuss what it is we want. The floor is open.