The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (DC-IRP) launched on 31 March 2011 its "10 Internet Rights and Principles" for an Internet governance rooted in human rights and social justice.
These 10 Internet Rights and Principles are part of a global initiative undertaken in the framework of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), by the DC-IRP to develop a comprehensive Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet. In addition to the 10 Internet Rights and Principles, the Charter is built into two sections. The first interprets human rights and defines principles that stem from these rights for the purposes and concerns of the information society. The second section addresses the roles that different actors and stakeholders should play in order to uphold these rights and principles.
This Charter is not an attempt to create new rights, but to reinterpret and explain universal human rights standards in a new context - the Internet. The Charter re-emphasizes that human rights apply online as they do offline: human rights standards, as defined in international law, are non-negotiable. The Charter also identifies principles, deriving from human rights, which are necessary to preserve the Internet as a medium for civil, political, economic, social and cultural development. It describes the responsibilities that states have in relation to the Internet as well as the part that all individuals and society organs have to play, considering that the Internet is, through its design, a trans-boundary multi-stakeholder environment where no single entity has control.
In this context, the 10 Internet Rights and Principles outline the core demands in order to defend and expand the Internet as a space which is empowering, open and accessible to all. To this end, they identify the main requirements that should be met in the online environment, with regards to: universality and equality; rights and social justice; accessibility; expression and association; privacy and data protection; life, liberty and security; diversity; network equality; standards and regulation; and Governance. Such guidelines for policy and practice are much needed at a time where human rights and social justice are under a double threat on the Internet, from governments (both authoritarian and democratic) who seek to control it, and from businesses who seek to monetise it.
The 10 Internet Rights and Principles were launched at the second expert meeting on "Freedom of Expression and the Internet" in Stockholm, convened on 30-31 March 2011 by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, who attended this launching event, welcomed this initiative.
The DC-IRP is an international multi-stakeholder network of people and organisations - among them a number of EDRi members and observers - who are working to uphold human rights on and through the Internet. Its Charter is currently released as a beta version, and the Coalition welcomes comments and contributions on its website. The 10 Internet Rights and Principles derive from the Charter, distilling it down into 10 core demands. They are already available in more than 15 languages, with further translations still expected.