Internet Bill of Rights: an old goal

Since the Tunisian revolution, I saw some people calling for amending the right for Internet access in the Tunisian constitution. I am not sure how we can define such right that but it let me to remember the several attempts (yep it is not something new) for defining a charter for user rights or Internet bill of rights or to some extent the core principles for Internet, it depends to the perspective of the promoters and those charters can overlap and be complementary. I tried to collect some links :

  • Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet : still in beta version, detailed charter drafted by the Dynamic Coalition for Internet Rights and Principles from people involved on Internet Governance working to let it compliant to international treaties and,taking different perspective and to be exhaustive.  (Disclosure: I am member of the steering committee of the DC but not involved in the charter drafting)
  • Principles for the governance and use of the Internet : 10 principles stated by the Brazilian Internet Steering committee (a multistakeholder body)  not focused in the user rights but more in the core principles for free and open Internet
  • Internet Bill of Rights : another attempt to draft Internet Bill of Rights which is led by Swedish pirate party MEP Engstrom, I am not sure about the status of this project (the previous IBR projects : 1 and 2 ).
  • The Declaration of The Independence of the Cyberspace : I guess the first “proto-charter” led by John Perry Barlow clearly asking states to not intervene on Internet and de facto protecting user rights there.
  • Declaration of Digital Rights : project lead by some (or all?) Pirate Parties, translated in different languages and containing set of principles. not sure if it is the same project led by Engstrom
  • Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge: project from Free Culture Forum , it is not a charter about Internet rights per se but it focuses on the A2K aspect becoming critical with Internet (or amplified by Internet)
  • Bill of Rights in Cyberspace: a yet another  Internet bill of rights, this time suggested by Jeff Jeffries Jarvis, someone forgot to google before starting his project :)? seriously, I think that the promoter wanted more simple charter and the context was related to wikileaks.

[UPDATE] : Thanks to suggestion and correction from Mrs Meryem Marzouki an experienced Human Rights and Internet activist, we can list two other initiatives, but I could find a link only to one charter:

  • APC Internet Rights charter : one of most exhaustive charter which is used as source for Internet Rights and Principles charter, and also more “operational”, promoted by Association for Progressive Communication an old organization operating in many developing countries and active to represent civil society in Internet field.

About core principles of Internet, I advise reading the reports done by Imagining the Internet team from Elon university and watching the videos of 2 workshops hold in Internet Governance Forum in Lithuania:


Please feel free to comment and mention other projects that I missed.

[UPDATE] just discovered in twitter,a yet another “digital bill of rights” this time from SOPA opponents and started during PDF (Personal Democracy Forum)

~ by rafikdammak on 2011/03/05.

4 Responses to “Internet Bill of Rights: an old goal”

  1. Good list. Yes, what I want is a discussion of principles (in re Wikileaks, Egypt, China & Google, net neutrality).

    (Psst. It’s Jeff Jarvis. thanks.)

    • Thank you Jeff, sorry for the typo, mea culpa.
      I added another initiative lead by APC, an interesting charter, quite detailed and aimed to more operation-oriented.

  2. <— contains so many declarations and initiatives on open everything that we could easily entertain ourselves for a life-time.

    I think ultimately it's not a matter of charters, but building a proper infrastructure. If you look at Iceland and the IMMI proposals, they did not start out with a charter or a resolution. They started out researching what would make Iceland better and then worked with public authorities to get those things done. Since Tunisia is also in a situation of "rebuilding" (I guess) Tunisia would be much better served by a similar initiave. Luckily for Tunisia there is now an IMMI foundation under the leadership of Smari McCarthy ( with the purpose and task of helping such initiatives out.

    • Hi Amelia, I was not promoting or bashing such charters , just observing how many there are ,overlapping and so on.
      For Smari I am already in touch with him :p

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