Freedom of Connection – Freedom of Expression:The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet William H. Dutton Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford Presentation for UNESCO Conference with Moroccan Internet Society on Freedom of Expression over the Internet, Marrakech, Morocco, 15 February 2013.
UNESCO Request to CriticallyReview Status of Research onFreedom of Expression:• Some Pioneering Studies Report Launch• More Advocacy v Research at UNESCO, Paris, 30 May 2011; Arabic• Political Minefield (e.g., the trans. 2013.McBride Commission 1977)•Too Single-Issue Focused
The Internet Reconfigures Access in Waysthat Can Empower Networked Individuals A Fifth Estate?
Balancing Digital Rights• Access – Freedom of Connection• Freedom of Expression• Censorship• Equality (media literacy)• Freedom of Information• Privacy & Data Protection
Technical Innovations: Worldwide Diffusion of Technologies of Connection• Internet• World Wide Web Percent of global Internet population• Mobile and Mobile Number of Internet users (mio.) Internet penetration within region Internet 100% 825 900 Total number of Internet users in region (mio.) 800 80% 77% 700 %Internet users 61% 600 60% 58% 475 500 400 40% 35% 266 30% 42% 300 205 22% 20% 200 24% 111 21 63 11% 100 14% 6% 1% 10% 3% 0% 0 North Oceania / Europe Latin Middle Asia Africa America Australia America / East Caribbean Source: Internet World Stats - www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Penetration rates are based on a world population of 6,845,609,960 and 1,966,514,816 estimated Internet users for June 30, 2010.
Percentage of Internet Users Across Regions of theWorld
Regions as Percentage of the Worldwide Population of Users
Number and Proportion of Internet Users by Region 90% 1200 79% 80% 1017 1000 70% 68% Total number of Internet users (Mil.) 61% 60% 800% of Internet users 50% 600 40% 45% 40% 501 36% 30% 26% 400 273 20% 236 22% 14% 200 139 10% 12% 77 10% 24 1% 3% 6% 0% 0 Percentage of global Internet population Number of Internet Users (mio.) Internet penetration within region Source: Internet World Stats- www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Penetration rates are based on a world population of 6,930,055,154 and 2,267,233,742 estimated Internet users for December 31, 2011.
Technical Innovations: Technologies of DisconnectionMeta-analysis of Internet filtering surveys:• Global growth of filtering (and increasing worldwide)• No single country• Variety of Objectives: • Political • Moral • CommercialBUT: Potential to Decentralize, e.g.,Home Hubs
Industrial Policy and Regulation• Technology-led Industrial Strategies, support economic growth• ICT for Development (ICT4D)• Competition Policy• IPR: Copyright• IPR: Patents
Industrial Policy and RegulationCopyright enforcement:• ‘Three Strikes’ policy in France• Digital Economy Act (UK)• Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)Countered by:• The Pirate Party• Brazilian Copyright Reform Bill Copyright Mot
User-Centric Policy• Child Protection Policy• Decency: Pornography• Libel: Defamation• Prevention of Hate Speech• Consumer Protection: Fraud• Section 127 of the UK Com Act 2003 – electronic com that is ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or Copyright Mugley menacing character; …’
Internet Policy• Internet Governance and Regulation (Multi-stakeholder Approach)• Domain Names and Numbers• Net Neutrality• Licensing, Regulation of Service Providers: Intermediaries• Internationalised Top-level Domain Names
Internet Policy:Standard-setting: Identity, Anonymity, Real Name Registration
Security• Secrecy, Confidentiality• Security against Malware• Counter-Radicalisation• National Security – Blackberry Use – WikiLeaks: Confidentiality-Security – UK Data Communications Act
Encouraging Themes for Freedom of Expression • Internet Empowering Networked Individuals – Enhancing Freedom of Connection and Expression (5th Estate) • Major Issues of Human Rights are Increasingly Being Centered on the Internet and Web • The Internet Space is not the ‘Wild West’ – much regulation exists
Countervailing Themes•Freedom of Expression is not an Inevitable Outcome ofTechnological Innovation• Continuing Global and Local Digital Divides in Accessand the Production of Content• Global Increase in Content Filtering and Censorship• Freedom Shaped by Choices in the Wider Ecology ofActors, Objectives and Policies• Use of Inappropriate Models for Internet Governanceand Regulation threatens to Foster ‘Over-Regulation’,e.g., fear or complacency of the ‘Old Internet World’
Directions for Policy• Reduce Digital Divides• Broaden Perspectives on Freedom of Expression – the Larger Legal and Regulatory Ecology − ways to democratize content control• Renew and Inform Debates over: – Appropriate Regulatory Models for the Internet – Global and Local Approaches to Internet Governance – Ways to Inform the Public and Elected Officials about the Internet and Legal-Regulatory Issues
Renew Research on Freedom of Expression• More Systematic and Sustained Monitoring of Innovations in, and Use of, Internet Filtering• Need to Track an Expanded Range of Policies and Regulatory Issues in this Ecology• Critically Explore Relationships between Freedom of Expression and other Core Values and Rights• Study Impacts on the Ground, including Public Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavior• Understand Assaults on Freedom of Expression as efforts to protect other Values and Interests