Internet Bill Of Rights

Looks like the Brazilian and Italian governments are getting together to draft an Internet Bill Of Rights. This is a good idea, and it would appear that they are on the right track, since they are discussing

Privacy, data protection, freedom of expression, universal accessibility, network neutrability, interoperability, use of format and open standards, free access to information and knowledge, right to innovation and a fair and competitive market and consumers safeguard.

Among the signees of this resolution are Gilberto Gil, a Brazilian musician who is also the Brazilian Minister for Culture. I have respect for Gil and what he does as a politician. I remember Lawrence Lessig writing about an encounter he had with Gil a couple of years ago:

This was a scene that was astonishing on a million levels. I’ve seen rallies for free software in many placed around the world. I’ve never seen anything like this. There were geeks, to be sure. But not many. The mix was broad-based and young. They cheered free software as if it were a candidate for President. But more striking still was just the dynamic of this democracy. Barlow captured the picture at the top, which in a sense captures it all. Here’s a Minister of the government, face to face with supporters, and opponents. He speaks, people protest, and he engages their protest. Passionately and directly, he stands at their level. There is no distance. There is no “free speech zone.” Or rather, Brazil is the free speech zone. Gil practices zone rules.

Let’s hope this sees the light of day; the values contained in this declaration do need to be foregrounded in discussion.

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