Freedom of information

Freedom of information

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Encyclopedia
Freedom of information (or information freedom) refers to the protection of the right to freedom of expression with regards to the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 (see also, digital rights
Digital rights
The term digital rights describes the permissions of individuals legitimately to perform actions involving the use of a computer, any electronic device, or a communications network...

). Freedom of information may also concern censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 in an information technology context, i.e. the ability to access Web content
Web content
Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations....

, without censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 or restrictions.

Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, a fundamental human right recognised in international law
International human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...

, which is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression. Freedom of information may also refer to the right to privacy in the context of the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

. As with the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy is a recognised human right and freedom of information acts as an extension to this right.

Freedom of information legislation



Private bodies started to perform functions which were previously carried out by public bodies. Privatisation and de-regulation saw banks, telecommunications companies, hospitals and universities being run by private entities, leading to demands for the extension of freedom of information legislation to cover private bodies. In June 2006 nearly 70 countries had freedom of information legislations applying to information held by government bodies and in certain circumstances to private bodies. In 19 of these countries the freedom of information legislation also applied to private bodies. Access to information was increasingly recognised as a prerequisite for transparency and accountability of governments, as a facilitating consumers' ability to make informed choices, and as safeguarding citizens against mismanagement and corruption. This has led an increasing number of countries to enact freedom of information legislation in the past 10 years.

Government bodies


As of 2006 70 countries had comprehensive freedom of information legislation for public bodies, nearly half of which had been enacted in the past 10 years. Such legislation was pending in a further 50 countries.

Private bodies


As of 2006, the following 19 countries had freedom of information legislation that extended to government bodies and private bodies: Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

, Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The degree to which private bodies are covered under freedom of information legislation varies, in Angola, Armenia and Peru the legislation only applies to private companies that perform what are considered to be public functions. In the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Finland, Trinidad and Tobago, Slovakia, Poland and Iceland private bodies that receive public funding are subject to freedom of information legislation. Freedom of information legislation in Estonia, France and UK covers private bodies in certain sectors. In South Africa the access provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act have been used by individuals to establish why their loan application has been denied. The access provisions have also been used by minority shareholders in private companies and environmental groups, who were seeking information on the potential environmental damage caused by company projects.

Consumer protection


In 1983 the United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations adopted the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection
United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection
The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection is a declaration of best practices in consumer protection law and policy. The Guidelines are not binding, but do provide a set of basic consumer protection objectives upon which governments have agreed, thereby serving as a policy framework for...

 stipulating eight consumer rights, including "consumer access to adequate information to enable making informed choices according to individual wishes and needs". Access to information became to be regarded as basic consumer right and preventative disclosure, i.e. the disclosure of information on threats to human lives, health and safety began to be emphasised.

Investors


Secretive decision making by company directors and corporate scandal led to freedom of information legislation to be published for the benefits of investors. Such legislation was first adopted in Britain in the early 20th century, and later in North America and other countries. Disclosure regimes for the benefit of investors regained attention at the beginning of the 21st century as a number of corporate scandals were linked to accountancy fraud and company director secrecy. Starting with Enron, the subsequent scandals involving Worldcom, Tyco
Tyco
Tyco may refer to:* Tyco International, a diversified industrial conglomerate* Tyco Electronics, a former segment of Tyco International* Tyco Toys, a division of Mattel...

, Adelphia and Global Crossing
Global Crossing
Global Crossing Limited was a telecommunications company that provides computer networking services worldwide. It maintained a large backbone and offered transit and peering links, VPN, leased lines, audio and video conferencing, long distance telephone, managed services, dialup, colocation and...

 prompted the US Congress to impose new information disclosure obligations on companies with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Sarbanes-Oxley Act
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 , also known as the 'Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act' and 'Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act' and commonly called Sarbanes–Oxley, Sarbox or SOX, is a United States federal law enacted on July 30, 2002, which...

 2002.

The Information Society and freedom of expression


The World Summit on the Information Society
World Summit on the Information Society
The World Summit on the Information Society was a pair of United Nations-sponsored conferences about information, communication and, in broad terms, the information society that took place in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis...

 (WSIS) Declaration of Principles adopted in 2003 reaffirms democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 and the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and fundamental freedoms. The Declaration also makes specific reference to the importance of the right to freedom of expression for the "Information Society
Information society
The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic,...

" in stating:

"We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society
Information society
The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic,...

, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organisation. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the Information Society offers."

The 2004 WSIS Declaration of Principles also acknowledged that "it is necessary to prevent the use of information resources and technologies for criminal and terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights." Wolfgang Benedek comments that the WSIS Declaration only contains a number of references to human rights and does not spell out any procedures or mechanism to assure that human rights are considered in practice.

Hacktivismo



The digital rights
Digital rights
The term digital rights describes the permissions of individuals legitimately to perform actions involving the use of a computer, any electronic device, or a communications network...

 group Hacktivismo
Hacktivismo
Hacktivismo is an offshoot of CULT OF THE DEAD COW , whose beliefs include access to information as a basic human right. It was founded in 1999....

, founded in 1999, argues that access to information is a basic human right. The group's beliefs are described fully in the "Hacktivismo Declaration" which calls for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976...

 (ICCPR) to be applied to the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. The Declaration recalls the duty of member states to the ICCPR to protect the right to freedom of expression with regards to the internet and in this context freedom of information. The Hacktivismo Declaration recognises "the importance to fight against human rights abuses with respect to reasonable access to information on the Internet" and calls upon the hacker
Hacker (computer security)
In computer security and everyday language, a hacker is someone who breaks into computers and computer networks. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, including profit, protest, or because of the challenge...

 community to "study ways and means of circumventing state sponsored censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 of the internet" and "implement technologies to challenge information rights violations". The Hacktivismo Declaration does however recognise that the right to freedom of expression is subject to limitations, stating "we recognised the right of governments to forbid the publication of properly categorized state secrets, child pornography
Child pornography
Child pornography refers to images or films and, in some cases, writings depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child...

, and matters related to personal privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

 and privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

, among other accepted restrictions." However, the Hacktivismo Declaration states "but we oppose the use of state power to control access to the works of critics, intellectuals, artists, or religious figures."

Global Network Initiative


On October 29, 2008 the Global Network Initiative (GNI) was founded upon its "Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy". The Initiative was launched in the 60th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 (UDHR) and is based on internationally recognized laws and standards for human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 on freedom of expression and privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

 set out in the UDHR, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976...

 (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976...

 (ICESCR). Participants in the Initiative include the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States...

, Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

, Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

, Yahoo, other major companies, human rights NGOs, investors, and academics.

According to reports Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, United States, that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services. Cisco has more than 70,000 employees and annual revenue of US$...

 was invited to the initial discussions but didn't take part in the initiative. Harrington Investments, which proposed that Cisco establish a human rights board, has dismissed the GNI as a voluntary code of conduct not having any impact. Chief executive John Harrington called the GNI "meaningless noise" and instead calls for bylaws to be introduced that force boards of directors to accept human rights responsibilities.

Internet censorship



Jo Glanville, editor of the Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship is a campaigning publishing organisation for freedom of expression, which produces an award-winning quarterly magazine of the same name from London. The present chief executive of Index on Censorship, since 2008, is the author, broadcaster and commentator John Kampfner, former...

, states that "the internet has been a revolution for censorship as much as for free speech". The concept of freedom of information has emerged in response to state sponsored censorship, monitoring and surveillance of the internet. Internet censorship includes the control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

.
According to the Reporters without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 (RSF) "internet enemy list" the following states engage in pervasive internet censorship: Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

, Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

/Burma, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. A widely publicised example is the Great Firewall of China (in reference both to its role as a network firewall and to the ancient Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

). The system blocks content by preventing IP address
IP address
An Internet Protocol address is a numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing...

es from being routed through and consists of standard firewall and proxy server
Proxy server
In computer networks, a proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server...

s at the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 gateway
Gateway (telecommunications)
In telecommunications, the term gateway has the following meaning:*In a communications network, a network node equipped for interfacing with another network that uses different protocols....

s. The system also selectively engages in DNS poisoning when particular sites are requested. The government does not appear to be systematically examining Internet content, as this appears to be technically impractical. Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. There are no specific laws or regulations which the censorship follows...

 is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. In accordance with these laws, more than sixty Internet regulations have been made by the People's Republic of China (PRC) government, and censorship systems are vigorously implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISP
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

s, business companies, and organizations.

In 2010 Hillary Clinton, speaking on behalf of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, declared 'we stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas'. In her 'Remarks on Internet Freedom' she also draws attention to how 'even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable', while reporting President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's pronouncement 'the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become'.

See also

  • Action For Economic Reforms
    Action For Economic Reforms
    Action for Economic Reforms is a Philippine non-government organization engaged in research and advocacy. It was founded in 1996 by a group of progressive scholars and activists as an "independent, reform-oriented and activist policy group"....

  • Crypto-anarchism
    Crypto-anarchism
    Crypto-anarchism expounds the use of strong public-key cryptography to bring about privacy and freedom. It was described by Vernor Vinge as a cyberspatial realization of anarchism. Crypto-anarchists aim to create cryptographic software that can be used to evade prosecution and harassment while...

  • Cypherpunk
    Cypherpunk
    A cypherpunk is an activist advocating widespread use of strong cryptography as a route to social and political change.Originally communicating through the Cypherpunks electronic mailing list, informal groups aimed to achieve privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography...

  • Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (European Commission)
    Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (European Commission)
    EU Directorate General Information Society and Media or "DG Infso" is a Directorate-General of the European Commission.The current European Commissioner for Digital Agenda is Neelie Kroes and the Director-General is Robert Madelin....

  • Free Haven Project
  • Free Information Infrastructure
    Free Information Infrastructure
    Free Information Infrastructure is a term used primarily in Europe mirroring the official US term National Information Infrastructure, introduced in early nineties by a U.S. Patent Office paper...

  • Freenet
    Freenet
    Freenet is a decentralized, censorship-resistant distributed data store originally designed by Ian Clarke. According to Clarke, Freenet aims to provide freedom of speech through a peer-to-peer network with strong protection of anonymity; as part of supporting its users' freedom, Freenet is free and...

  • Hacktivism
    Hacktivism
    Hacktivism is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. The term was first coined in 1994 by a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective named Omega...

  • I2P
    I2P
    I2P is a mixed-license, free and open source project building an anonymous network .The network is a simple layer that applications can use to anonymously and securely send...

  • Information activist
    Information activist
    An information activist is someone who works to make information available to the general population. Library and Information Scientist Anthony Molaro coined the term in 2009: "An information activist is a vigorous advocate of knowledge gained through study, communication, research or instruction."...

  • Information privacy
  • Information wants to be free
    Information wants to be free
    Information wants to be free is a slogan of technology activists invoked against limiting access to information. According to criticism of intellectual property rights, the system of governmental control of exclusivity is in conflict with the development of a public domain of...

  • Internet censorship
    Internet censorship
    Internet censorship is the control or suppression of the publishing of, or access to information on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations either at the behest of government or on their own initiative...

  • Internet privacy
    Internet privacy
    Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, providing to third-parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. Privacy can entail both Personally Identifying Information or non-PII information such as a...

  • Market for loyalties theory
    Market for loyalties theory
    Market for Loyalties Theory is a media theory based upon neoclassical economics. It describes why governments and power-holders monopolize radio, satellite, internet and other media through censorship using regulations, technology and other controls...

  • Medical law
    Medical law
    Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient. It should not be confused with medical jurisprudence, which is a branch of medicine, rather than a branch of law....

  • Netsukuku
    Netsukuku
    Netsukuku is the name of an experimental peer-to-peer routing system, developed by the in 2006, created to build up a distributed network, anonymous and censorship-free, fully independent but not necessarily separated from the Internet, without the support of any server, ISP and no central...

  • Openness
    Openness
    Openness is the quality of being open. It sometimes refers to a very general philosophical position from which some individuals and organizations operate, often highlighted by a decision-making process recognizing communal management by distributed stakeholders rather than a centralized authority...

  • Portable Tor
    Portable Tor
    PortableTor is a free repackaged version of the bundled Tor Software by Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson. The program allows the end user to connect to the Tor anonymity network from a removable media without installing anything to the hard drive...

  • Tor (anonymity network)
    Tor (anonymity network)
    Tor is a system intended to enable online anonymity. Tor client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers in order to conceal a user's location or usage from someone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis...

  • Tor-ramdisk
    Tor-ramdisk
    Tor-ramdisk is an i686 uClibc-based micro Linux distribution whose only purpose is to host a Tor server in an environment that maximizes security and privacy. Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet...

  • Transparency (humanities)
    Transparency (humanities)
    Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed...

  • Citizen oversight
    Citizen oversight
    Citizen oversight is the act of an assembly of citizens that come together to review government activities that may be deemed misconduct or to consider possible government solutions...


External links

  • Freedom of Information: A Comparative Study, a 57 country study by Global Integrity.
  • Internet Censorship: A Comparative Study, a 55 country study by Global Integrity.
  • Right2Info, good law and practice from around the world, including FOI and other relevant laws and constitutional provisions from some 100 countries.
  • Mike Godwin, Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age
  • Learn about the latest cases from the Information Commissioner and the Tribunal via the Freedom of Information Update Podcasts and Webcasts, http://www.informationlaw.org.uk
  • Amazon take down of WikiLeaks - Is the Free Internet Dead? Paul Jay
    Paul Jay
    Paul Jay is a journalist and filmmaker, and is creator and CEO of The Real News. Jay was born and raised in Toronto and holds dual-citizenship with the United States. Jay is the nephew of screenwriter Ted Allan.- Film and television work :...

     of The Real News (TRNN) discusses the topic with Marc Rotenberg
    Marc Rotenberg
    Marc Rotenberg is President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC. He teaches Information Privacy Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and testifies frequently before Congress on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues, such as access to...

    , Tim Bray
    Tim Bray
    Timothy William Bray is a Canadian software developer and entrepreneur. He co-founded Open Text Corporation and Antarctica Systems. Bray was Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems from early 2004 to early 2010. Since then he has served as a Developer Advocate at Google, focusing on...

    and Rebecca Parsons of ThoughtWorks - December 8, 2010 (video: 43:41)