A group of advocates for community media, women’s rights and digital rights, mostly from south Asia, met in New Delhi on February 16, 2014 to discuss “the Internet We Want.” Many of the participants were meeting for the first time, so in addition to beginning the important process of producing a set of principles on Internet rights and freedoms, the group was engaged in knowledge sharing across sectors and regions. The first half of the meeting was comprised of introductions and a discussion of what the “Internet we need” meant to people. While a bit unstructured, this exercise was useful in helping members of the group become comfortable with one another. The majority of attendees were from India, and many of them work in community media and radio. Other attendees were from Bangladesh, Kenya, France and the U.S.
The key issues raised during the first half of the meeting were:
- Applying social justice values to Internet governance and regulation
- The need to radically democratize the policymaking process in India, which is currently mostly closed to civil society. The solution is not just access to the Internet; the public needs to gain policymaking literacy (A common remark: There is little transparency in government yet the government expects transparency in people).
- Applying the same rule of law online as offline.
- Since the group felt that developing a set of principles was premature, the second half of the meeting focused on developing a framework for a deliberative process.
A second dialogue is expected to take place and it might lead to a process similar to Marco Civil in Brazil.
Event Organizers: IT for Change