= assemblage of objects, subjects and semantic resources. Technologies have always played an important role in collective action (show examples of that)
Internet supported – low threshold Donating money, helping fair trade ( platforms to determine correct price etc.), street demonstrations
Internet supported – high threshold Transnational demonstrations (Iraq war in 2003), transnational meetings or more violent protest actions
Internet based – low threshold Online petitions, virtual sit-ins, Emergence of new movements: Avaaz
Internet based – high threshold Protest websites, alternative media sites, culture jamming, hacktivism : Indymedia website ‘ electronic civil disobedience’, ‘hacktivism’ or as ‘cyber-terrorism’
Internet based – high threshold Hacktivism : ‘ electronic civil disobedience’, ‘hacktivism’ or as ‘cyber-terrorism’
Objective is to influence policy-making process
(competition, spectrum, European regulatory authority, consumer protection...).
High threshold and internet-based
Open collaboration (add images of wiki, etherpad, etc.)
EU Parliament open for civil society input. But, most MEPs not concerned directly with package. Internet issues considered as an economical issue (not a civil society one) or a hobby/gadget. Massive lobbying campaign: repeated emails, phone calls and letters to MEPs, media attention (am. 138). Online monitoring not welcomed by all MEPs: Oversimplification and misrepresentation of a complex piece of legislation. Absence of debate on other issues covered by package.
Legitimacy – persuasive presentation of claims and expertise. Persuasive presentation of claims and expertise Critiques of citizen instrumentation, copy-paste activism, Attempts to discredit activists. Perceived as dogmatic and not-fact based, storytelling
MEPs would double-check facts and position on controversial amendments: Influence on overall package small but very important on amendment 138 (three-strikes), less so on net neutrality. Influence reduced during conciliation, after elections.
Digital Rights campaigning in the EU, Yana Breindl ECF 2012
Digital Rights Campaigning:How do decision-makers perceive civil society input? Yana Breindl Post-doctoral fellow Oxford Internet Institute 21 March 2012
Awareness“Its impossible not to notice or be insensitive totheir argumentation” (ADLE political adviser)“When you looked at sorts of networking sites, youcould see my reply was being passed around andthen people would contact you. In some stage, itwas like having your exam papers marked” (EPP-ED MEP, rapporteur)
Credibility“You absolutely had to take [them] into account.Because behind them, there was an entire population ofpeople who make the economy of the future” (ADLE adviser)“They present themselves as three guys in a garage butbehind they do have a few very well informed andeducated persons who are very competent on a certainnumber of issues” (committee administrator)“Loose interpretation that references previous stages butrewrites certain parts” (S&D assistant)
Change“When there is this type of campaign,everybody starts doubting” (ADLE adviser)“It showed how a small lobby, when they knowthe techniques, can reach a lot” (Committee administrator)« Reflections of campaign all over package » (EP administrator)
Was the campaign successful? Broad awareness inside the institutions Battle for credibility Legitimacy Persuasion/expertise Relative influence Strong counter-lobbying Electoral pressure (or lack of) Relative power of the European Parliament
Conclusions• How inclusive are political institutions? – Functional integration• What type of citizen input is valued? Pure quantity of emails not sufficient, need to be different, fact-based and supported by direct contact with MEPs. Increases threshold for collective action.
Yana Breindl Oxford Internet Instituteyana.firstname.lastname@example.org