Internet principles and security  21.5.11

As Chris Marden puts it:

“So the governments of the West are at least rhetorically in favour of a free Internet…”

Rhetorically. The difference between the Council of Europe and the core of the European Council though is that only the latter is of substantial relevance for immediate political and legislative outcomes outcomes. Plus: a CoE is quite different from the “goverments of the West.” Anyhow:

Frequent IGF discussion panelists and committed multistakeholderists like icanny Bertrand de la Chapelle, bustling Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Christian Singer (Austrian Ministry for Traffic, Innovation and Technology), Rolf H. Weber (CoE) and Mr Michael V. Yakushev (Head of Directorate of Legal Programme of the Russian Institute of Information Society) have come together as the “Council of Europe Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Cross-border Internet” and released their ten internet governance commandments called “draft Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Declaration on Internet Governance Principles” this April.

It’s a rare case of non-securitisation of internet governance. No instance of the word “security”, no hits for “safe*” except “legal safegards”, no hits for “cyber*”. Probably the first text in ages on internet governance relevant issues without any security rattling. Between the line though it touches human security (1. “ensure the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms”); the wording on infrastructural security is more open: “stability, robustness and resilience should be the key objectives”.

Earlier this year, the Internet Rights & Principles Coalition issues their broader “10 Internet Rights and Principles.” All the complexities of normative dimensions of internet security governance neatly packed into two sentences:

“6) Life, Liberty and Security. The rights to life, liberty, and security must be respected, protected and fulfilled online. These rights must not be infringed upon, or used to infringe other rights, in the online environment.”

Liberty, freedom vs. security. The old conflict that will resolved by principles, but is nourished by daily internet Realpolitik.

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