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Summit in Tunis: Freedoms on the Internet Must be Ensured
At the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society convening from 16 to 18 November in Tunis, the Committee for a Democratic UN (KDUN) has published a position paper regarding the future governance of the internet.
Berlin/Tunis (PRWEB) November 12, 2005 -- At the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society convening from 16 to 18 November in Tunis, the Committee for a Democratic UN (KDUN) has proposed to connect the ongoing debate on the future political administration of the internet with the development of a “social contract for cyberspace.” In a position paper the Committee furthermore highlights the dichotomy of the internet as technical network and global social environment. Both aspects would go with specific governance requirements and their administration should be separated as far as possible.
According to the Committee, governments, private corporations and civil society should participate in the institutions to administrate the internet. “Considering the global nature of the internet, it is impossible to allow any managing entity to be under the direct or indirect dependency of any single government,” the Committee says under consideration of the existing special role of the US government which controls the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). To transfer the supervision of the internet administration to a pure intergovernmental body would involve problems as well.
“It is of utmost importance to ensure that the governance of the internet may not be excessively influenced by governments which are in constant conflict with basic freedoms and human rights,” said KDUN representative Max Senges. However, it could be imaginable that the UN assumes a role within the governance of the internet. “But for this it has to be guaranteed at first that there is an effective democratic control of the UN itself and this is not yet the case,” said KDUN chairperson Andreas Bummel. One possibility to achieve this would be the establishment of a parliamentary assembly at the UN.
The position paper of the Committee recommends the development of an internet charter. Such a charter should contain democratic principles and standards for the administration and use of the internet as well as basic rights and duties of the users themselves. According to the Committee this includes rights such as: unhindered access to the internet, the right of free expression, free communication infrastructure (email), as well as the right for data protection and privacy. “The potential of the internet as global space of political participation and expression has to be preserved and extended,” said Senges.
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