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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the eRunnymede dept.

nobbis writes:

"In an interview with the Guardian, Tim Berners-Lee proposes a bill of rights for the web. His plan is part of a wider initiative, The Web We Want, a campaign for a 'free open and truly global Internet.' Berners-Lee suggests that governments need an increased understanding of technology, and a revisiting of legal issues such as copyright law.

More controversially he proposes removal of US control of IANA claiming "The removal of the explicit link to the US department of commerce is long overdue. The US can't have a global place in the running of something which is so non-national". He sees the web at risk of fragmentation into "national silos" if people do not fight for the web.

There is potential overlap here with Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which states,'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.' Would an internet bill of rights be successful in nations where the principles of the UDHR are ignored ?

Given the anarchic evolution of the internet, is it possible or desirable to attempt to control it in any way?"

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by etherscythe on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:37PM

    by etherscythe (937) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:37PM (#15367) Journal

    Governments are allowed to restrict your rights (including Article 19) for all sorts of general reasons:

    This is just codifying the practical reality. Do you think the declaration of martial law is constitutional in the US? I rather say it explicitly is not - it is the suspension of the constitution during a crisis. Governments will want to keep that option open; it is strongly in their interests to maintain public order under any circumstance.

    No universal human rights, except at the sufferance of government entities

    What you are talking about is anarchy (or "pure democracy" if you prefer; when national boundaries are crossed it amounts to much the same thing), in the sense of having no strong central government. While the Web might allow citizens to organize quickly in response to threats on their freedoms, it depends on an enlightened and educated (and attentive) citizenry, something which has arguably never existed. The Web may, once again, make this possible, particularly in the generation now growing up with almost ubiquitous access, but it is far from clear that individualism will triumph over centrism and nationalism. It will require grassroots, international cooperation. I'm rather pessimistic about this possibility occurring in my lifetime, although I do think it is inevitable, particularly once humans establish a large presence extra-terrestrially on an ongoing basis.

    "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
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