Consumer Rights IS THE NEW Civil Rights
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Consumer Rights IS THE NEW Civil Rights

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Here I discussed about the shifting power-relations of people and the State and the companies. And why the consumer rights movement is now very crucial to protect our civil and political rights.

Here I discussed about the shifting power-relations of people and the State and the companies. And why the consumer rights movement is now very crucial to protect our civil and political rights.

In the Digital Age, we're living more and more in private spaces, owned by some companies, and we're more and more governed by trade laws, many times international ones. Our civil and political rights are very much, in this Digital Age, framed by these trade laws.

Because of this, the consumer rights movement, which is the movement to balance the power-relation in trade laws, should also be at the center of the fight to protect our civil and political rights -- and the consumer rights movement itself should realized about this.

Also, because our digital activities are by nature go across borders, so the violations will, and we must ensure that the protections will go across borders too.

Presented at "International Conference: Consumer Rights in the Digital Age". The Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 3 April 2014

Hosted by National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Foundation for Consumers, and Consumers International.

Find more about the Conference and other topics/speakers at https://www.facebook.com/DigitalConsumerRights

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Consumer Rights IS THE NEW Civil Rights Consumer Rights IS THE NEW Civil Rights Presentation Transcript

  • Consumer Rights IS THE NEW Civil Rights (or Why international trade agreements will override our Constitutions and we should extend the concept of consumer rights to cover civil and political rights in this very age of mobility and digitality if we want to fight back and yes I know this is a very long title) @bact @thainetizen Arthit Suriyawongkul Thai Netizen Network International Conference: Consumer Rights in the Digital Age Chiang Mai, 3 April 2014
  • First Things First ● Trans-Pacific Partnership is more than Intellectual Property. Investment Chapter is also worrisome, for example. ● Transparency: I'm not a lawyer. My background is artificial intelligence and anthropology. You have been warned :) ● Not Transparency: TPP "facts" here can be over- exaggerated and extremely outdated. Can't help. We rely on leaked documents. All negotiations are behind the closed doors.
  • Lead to Summary ● “If Facebook was a country, it’d be larger than China in three years” – DigitalTrends.com 6 Feb 2013 ● State is no longer the biggest holder of citizen’ data – Corporate is. ● There’s no real public space on the Internet – Sidewalks online? A piece of land that doesn’t owned by anyone on the Internet. – Internet physical infrastructure are always owned by someone, mostly by corporations ● These digital spaces are governed by trade laws (many levels). ● Data goes more across borders. Different jurisdictions, different protections. – Stored in one place, processed in another place, to be used in yet another place. – The strongest protection you can get is from the country that has weakest protection.
  • Summary ● The more our life goes online, the more our life governed by trade laws (copyright, etc). ● International trade agreements can override local laws. ● Membership of one country in a trade agreement can has vast effect on countries around the world, including countries outside the agreement. ● Consumer rights is now at the center of the fight. ● Consumer rights is the new civil/political/human rights. ● Violations goes across border, so should consumer rights.
  • Update from Thailand ● Latest draft of Copyright Act Amendment (Dec 2013) ● Adds sections on Technological Protection Measures (digital lock) ● Adds exceptions for the content conversion for the use of the blind ● More analysis of this Bill in Thai Netizen Report 2013 (Chapter “Commons”)
  • Issues of Concerns ● Digital Locks – Circumvention ● Temporary copies – “Time shift” in TV set-top boxes ← Attn: Broadcasting regulators! ● Content transformation restriction – Blind and deaf – Closed Caption ← Attn: Broadcasting regulators! ● Criminalization of small copyright infringement – Everybody will be criminals ● Parallel imports restriction – Monopoly of knowledge
  • Shifting Power-Relations
  • Pre-Digital Digital Infrastructure providers State Companies Contract Social contract Terms of services National regulatory frameworks Bill of Rights, Constitution Trade and consumer laws International reg. frameworks ICCPR, UN mechanisms International trade agreements Intent expression Voting Buying (or selling out yourself*) Population records by Census (every 5-10 years) Sensor (Real-time) Population activities space Within Nation-State border Cross-border Types of space Public and Private Almost All Private Relationship Citizens Consumers (or products*)
  • What’s that mean? ● We live more and more in private space, owned by some companies. Many time multinational companies. ● Our activities, and the data about them, go more and more across borders. ● International trade agreements are no longer only about trade, they’re more and more about harmonization of different other laws, including civil and criminal laws. ● To protect our civil rights, we need to deal with these “trade” laws and agreements too. ● Consumer rights movement is very important for civil and political rights and it should realized itself about that.
  • Global Effects
  • Example: Asian Chat Apps ● “Line, WeChat: Asian social networks move to conquer Europe” – AFP (29 Sep 2013) ● “How WeChat, Line plan to taken on Facebook, Skype” – The Times of India (30 Sep 2013) ● “Asian Messaging Apps WeChat and Line Challenge Silicon Valley. China’s WeChat and Japan’s Line Are Threatening the Global Growth of WhatsApp and Facebook.” – The Wall Street Journal (9 Oct 2013)
  • Change in Japanese Law Affects More People Outside Japan Mobile Chat App Country of Origin Number of Users WhatsApp US 400M Line Japan 300M (50M in Japan) WeChat China 300M (200M in China) KakaoTalk Korea 130M ChatON Korea 100M Japan join TPP?
  • Summary ● The more our life goes online, the more our life governed by trade laws (copyright, etc). ● International trade agreements can override local laws. ● Membership of one country in a trade agreement can has vast effect on countries around the world, including countries outside the agreement. ● Consumer rights is now at the center of the fight.
  • Consumer Rights is the New Civil Rights. Consumer Rights movement in the Digital Age should goes across borders.
  • International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance necessaryandproportionate.org
  • Creative Commons Attribution License. @bact Arthit Suriyawongkul arthit@thainetizen.org