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[liberationtech] Sign the Freedom of Information and Expression-Declaration!

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Thu Apr 3 11:36:53 PDT 2014


Thanks for the collection.

On the one hand I do not see why one should stop declaring and 
petitioning as long as the world is bad and the Internet endangered.

On the other hand there is a qualitative difference between neoliberal 
declarations that want to fully open up the Internet to corporate 
domination (e.g. Toffler...) and others that try to save it from such 
control...

Cheers, CF

On 03/04/2014 19:27, Jillian C. York wrote:
> Just out of curiosity, why another Declaration?  Don't get me wrong, I
> don't think there's any harm here, but there are at least half a dozen
> similar projects, most of which have been done in the past few years.  See:
>
>
> 1994:
> http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/futureinsights/fi1.2magnacarta.html
>
> 1996:
> https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html
>
> 2001:
> http://www.cato.org/publications/techknowledge/libertarian-vision-telecom-hightechnology
>
> 2009:
> http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/site/
>
> 2012:
> http://www.internetdeclaration.org/
>
> 2012:
> http://declarationofinternetfreedom.org/
>
> 2013:
> http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9236603/A_Declaration_of_the_Interdependence_of_Cyberspace
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 8:58 AM, Christian Fuchs <christian.fuchs at uti.at
> <mailto:christian.fuchs at uti.at>> wrote:
>
>     The information society, the Internet and the media are today
>     largely controlled by large corporations such as Google and Facebook
>     and a state-industrial complex. The control mechanisms unveiled by
>     Edward Snowden, the closure of and attack against public service
>     media, repression against critcal journalists, online platforms and
>     activists, and a highly centralised Internet and media economy are
>     characteristic for this situation.
>
>     We live in an unfree information society with limits to expression
>     and an unfree Internet.
>
>     Sign the Freedom of Information and Expression Declaration that
>     demands a free Internet, free media and a free information society!
>
>     The 2014 Vienna Declaration on Freedom of Information and Expression
>     Sign:
>     https://secure.avaaz.org/en/__petition/The_2014_Vienna___Declaration_on_Freedom_of___Information_and_Expression___Petition/
>     <https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_2014_Vienna_Declaration_on_Freedom_of_Information_and_Expression_Petition/>
>
>     More information and videos of talks from the Freedom of Information
>     Conference:
>     http://freedom-of-information.__info/
>     <http://freedom-of-information.info/>
>     https://www.youtube.com/user/__transformeurope/feed
>     <https://www.youtube.com/user/transformeurope/feed>
>
>     -----------------------
>
>     The 2014 Vienna Declaration on Freedom of Information and Expression
>
>     This petition can be signed online at
>     https://secure.avaaz.org/en/__petition/The_2014_Vienna___Declaration_on_Freedom_of___Information_and_Expression___Petition/
>     <https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_2014_Vienna_Declaration_on_Freedom_of_Information_and_Expression_Petition/>
>
>     We, the speakers of the Vienna 2014 International Conference
>     “Freedom of Information Under Pressure. Control – Crisis – Culture”
>     (comprised of international academics, media practitioners,
>     librarians, experts of open culture and public space, activists,
>     critical citizens, lawyers and policy makers), sign the following
>     Declaration on Freedom of Information and Expression:
>
>     Having met in Vienna of Austria on 28 February and 1 March 2014 and
>     having discussed the challenges of freedom of information in the
>     light of the recent surveillance revelations and the increase in
>     censorship and prosecutions of media, journalists and
>     whistle-blowers in Europe and beyond, we express our deep concern
>     and appeal for public vigilance to defend freedom of information and
>     expression as key democratic rights.
>
>     We consider Edward Snowden’s revelations as a wake up call. His
>     story is not about one man leaking classified information; rather it
>     is about privacy, civil liberties, power and democracy. But also
>     about the future of the Internet itself, the nature of democratic
>     oversight - and much more.
>
>     We condemn the existence of a surveillance-industrial complex, in
>     which the American, British and other European states’ intelligence
>     services conduct mass surveillance of the Internet, social media,
>     mobile and landline telephones, in co-operation with communications
>     corporations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Skype,
>     Yahoo!, Aol as well as private security firms.
>
>     We express our solidarity and support to whistle-blowers,
>     journalists and organisations, including Julian Assange, Edward
>     Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, the
>     Guardian and others, for their efforts towards fostering
>     transparency and public accountability. We denounce their oppression
>     and prosecution that we consider as a major threat to freedom of
>     information.
>
>     We observe a great paradox of the media in the 21st century:
>     although more people than ever have the means to express themselves
>     freely, there are huge power asymmetries that favour corporate and
>     state control of the media: journalists in Europe and many other
>     regions face an alarming increase in violent attacks, intimidation,
>     legal threats and other restrictions on their work. Among the
>     important factors of this paradox are the growth of anti-terrorism
>     laws and new nationalisms, the fusion of political, economic and
>     media power, and the weakening of the authority of critical and
>     high-quality media, including independent media, investigative
>     journalism and public service media. Furthermore, the Internet and
>     social media are largely controlled by corporations and there is not
>     enough material support for alternative Internet and media projects.
>     This mix seems to represent an existential challenge to critical
>     media, independent journalism and to the established framework of
>     international laws and safeguards for press freedom and the freedoms
>     of expression, speech, information and opinion.
>
>     We point out that the current crisis and austerity policies have a
>     serious negative effect on important democratic freedoms. The
>     official political reactions to the crisis have given grounds for
>     the further centralisation of corporate, state and media power that
>     undermine the freedom of information and further the prosecutions of
>     citizens, activists, journalists and the media. We particularly
>     condemn attempts to limit or close down critical, independent and
>     public service media. The Greek government’s closure of the public
>     service broadcaster ERT is in this respect a particularly alarming
>     development.
>
>     We stress that under the conditions of corporatisation and
>     bureaucratisation, the potentials created by access to information
>     and public knowledge are hampered. In many countries and at a
>     transnational level we lack adequate laws for the transparency of
>     corporate and state power and citizens’ access to information about
>     it in order to hold those in power accountable.
>
>     A particularly alarming development of the limitation of freedom of
>     information can be found in the world of libraries: large corporate
>     publishers tend to license access to academic and literary works
>     only in expensive bundles and make the access to easy-to-use e-books
>     difficult and expensive. The result is a limit of public access to
>     cultural works so that people have more and more to rely on
>     purchasing books and articles, which is a matter of purchasing power
>     that disadvantages many citizens. The corporate power of publishing
>     houses thereby limits the public’s right to inform itself.
>
>     We consider that the right of access to information can promote
>     citizens’ civic and political participation by raising their levels
>     of trust in political and policy-making institutions, while it can
>     fight phenomena such as lobbying and corruption. Open access to
>     public and digitised knowledge and scholarly research is also
>     crucial for the continuous education of the broader public and
>     professionals, the promotion of cultural production and diversity
>     and the preservation of the historic and collective memory. New
>     social media, libraries and archives can and should play an
>     important role in this field.
>
>     We are convinced that freedom of information is a value worth
>     struggling for and that the current framework and developments
>     strongly threaten freedom, democracy and basic civil liberties.
>
>     A free culture, a free economy of information and a free polity of
>     information are possible!
>
>     First signees:
>     Antonis Broumas (Attorney at law, Digital Liberation Network, Greece)
>     Arne Hintz (Lecturer, University of Cardiff, UK)
>     Augustine Zenakos (Journalist, UNFOLLOW magazine, Greece)
>     Barbara Trionfi (Press Freedom Manager, International Press Institute)
>     Christian Fuchs (Professor of Social Media, University of
>     Westminster, UK)
>     Dimitris Tsapogas (Researcher, University of Vienna, Austria)
>     Gerfried Sperl (Journalist, PHOENIX, Austria)
>     Gill Phillips (Director of Editorial Legal Service, The Guardian,
>     United Kingdom)
>     Joachim Losehand (Scholar, VIBE!at, Austria)
>     Kostas Arvanitis (Journalist and Director, Sto Kokkino Radio, Greece)
>     Kostas Efimeros (Publisher, The Press Project, Greece)
>     Lisa Schilhan (VÖB, University of Graz, Austria)
>     Mariniki Alevizopoulou (Journalist, UNFOLLOW magazine, Greece)
>     Minas Samatas (Professor, University of Crete, Greece)
>     Miyase Christensen (Professor, Stockholm University, Royal Institute
>     of Technology, Sweden, London School of Economics, UK)
>     Nikolaus Hamann (Vienna Public Libraries, KRIBIBI, Austria)
>     Paloma Fernández de la Hoz (Catholic Social Academy, Austria)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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