Third UNESCO Congress on Ethical, Legal and Societal Challenges of Cyberspace



    David Konzevik, Economist, President and CEO of Konzevik y Associados Mexico

    On starting the new millennium we ponder on the fact that civilization has developed through three revolutions: the agrarian revolution, the industrial revolution and the information and telecommunication revolution. Today, however, in almost all emerging countries, these three revolutions have not happened sequentially. Rather, they coexist with serious implications, not only for the countries experiencing them, but for all nations. Dr. Konzevik, as a corollary to his original postulates on "The Expectation Revolution," "The Schizophrenia of Contemporary Man" and "The Lost Generation" believes that the policies to be proposed on the accessibility to information, copyright laws and freedom of expression should be considered within a framework that takes into account two basic concerns: 1) There is a limited trade-off between investment in education and time to learn the new languages of globalization; 2) the urgent need to stop the growing and wide-spread tendency to confrontation, which is progressively more violent, between the haves and the have-nots.



    Thomas B. Riley, Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow, Executive Director, Commonwealth Centre for Electronic Governance, Canada

    This paper shall look at ways in which governments can facilitate better access to information in both the public and private sector. The particular emphasis is on the growing influence of the Internet on all sectors of society. The role of the Internet and the growth of electronic democracy, are briefly explored. This is to set the parameters for discussion on how an information intensive society is changing the expectations of the citizen. In particular, the paper contends that in our information rich environment we need to finds ways for the citizen to be better informed. In the emerging knowledge economy it is time we looked at the whole question of information rights from a new perspective. In the past, the push has been access to official government information. Much of this is codified in law in many developed countries (with laws currently emerging in England and Scotland). These laws have resulted in government accountability. But, the rise of the Internet has created new expectations and citizens are now beginning to demand accountability from private sector organizations. Thus, governments have a role in providing not only better access to government information, but also leading discussions on how private sector organizations will be more accountable to the citizen and contemplating what legislation might be necessary.
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    George Papapavlou, Information society DG, Directorate A: Communication Services: Policy and Regulatory Framework, Secretary Legal Advisory Board, European Commission

    Improved access to public sector information is increasingly possible through the use of the Internet and information technologies. Such access is important for citizens, in the context of their democratic rights and new information society/electronic government possibilities. It is also important for industry in order to make its investment strategies and the information industry in particular, which can create value-added information products and services. A number of relevant issues arise : Access rights, copyright, privacy protection, competition rules, pricing policies, access to the Internet. The Commission published a Green Paper last year and a follow-up Communication more recently in which both legislative and practical initiatives are envisaged. It has also launched e-government as part of its e-Europe initiative with the aim of having e-government throughout the EU by 2003. The issues of public domain and copyright fair use, as well as the protection of human dignity in the digital era are also paticularly relevant and have been the subject of a number of EU initiatives.
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    Ekaterina U. Genieva, Director-General, The Library for Foreign Literature, Russian Federation

    The paper gives general information on the development of Internet in Russia within the last 10 years. The issues of access to information and topology of generally valid informational resources are minutely analyzed. The most important content-projects, state and public regulation of Russian segment in Internet are cited as an example. Recommendations on the creation of an efficient system of free access to information and "public domain" support in Russia are formulated on the basis of the analysis of the problems and possibilities of international cooperation are discussed.
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    Arthur Levin, Professor of Internet Law, Policy Adviser, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

    Ensuring and expanding affordable access to telecommunications services has long been a fundamental goal of national and global policy in communications. However, with the rise of the Internet, access to telecommunications has become even more urgent, since phone networks supply much of the conduit for Internet connectivity. This Paper will briefly review the historic concept of universal access and service in telecommunications, including the development at the ITU of analytical tools to measure national networks. The Paper will then examine a number of ways in which the rapid growth of the Internet impacts on the longstanding policy debate on universal access. The Paper will conclude with an assessment of the phenomenon of the Internet in the context of the Right to Communicate and a description of some recent developments at the ITU that are relevant to establishing a framework to promote expanded access to the Internet.
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    Yasuhiko Kawasumi, General Manager, Corporate Planning Headquarters, Japan Telecom Co, Ltd., Rapporteur for ITU-D-Focal Group 7, Japan

    Thanks to the remarkable progress of digital technology, radio communication technology such as satellite communications and fixed/mobile terrestrial wireless communication technologies, costs for provision of infrastructure for rural and remote communications services have come down close to the realistic level for the affordable and sustainable services. Combined with the development of Information Technology (IT), Voice over IP (VoIP) and other multimedia applications over such rural and remote infrastructure are expected to contribute to the provision of global connectivity for the rural and remote communities. Sophisticated IT technology products now being installed in rural and remote areas will allow service providers to better meet the needs of rural and remote communities by enabling a variety of pictorial, audio, text and multi-lingual interfaces and by providing the tools for rural and remote communities to create and share their own local content. Promotion of the concept of Multi-purpose Community Tele-center(MCT) for shared use of equipments, the introduction of financing scheme and/or special funding mechanism for the start-up of the rural and remote area services may be useful for the accelerated improvement of the rural and remote accessibility. There still remains barriers for improvements of accessibility such as radio frequency use or license fee and the issue of cost sharing of international access lines for Internet which affect the end user prices. [Full paper in RTF format][Power point presentation]



    Jean-Noël Tronc, Adviser for Information Society, Cabinet of Prime Minister, France

    Since 1997, through the launch of the Government's information society policy, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has wanted online networks and services to be tools that serve democracy, justice and solidarity. Education is naturally given top priority. Great efforts are being made to connect all schools and to train teachers and pupils to use the Internet. Access facilities open to all are being established to combat the emergence of a digital gap within our society. The Government has taken steps to encourage the development of high-speed networks, an essential condition for the development of the new services. Lastly, Government departments are trying to set an example by providing users with electronic administrative services and by developing free access to essential public information.[Full paper in RTF format]



    Carlos M. Correa, Director, Programme on Science and Technology Policy and Management, Specialist in Intellectual Property Rights, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Different proposals have been made to restrict the "fair use" exception in a digital context. Digitization provides tools to detect private digital copying of a protected work and to limit it. This may allow title-holders to prevent practices that have been important for educational and scholarly purposes. Given the power conferred by the technology, "fair use" exceptions established by the law may become inapplicable and substantially affect access to information, particularly in developing countries. The protection of databases, as established or proposed in some jurisdictions, may aggravate this problem. The development of new principles for the application in this context of "fair use" needs to be considered, including possible approaches to deal, under special rules, with the case of developing countries.
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    Bernt Hugenholtz, Professor in Law, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The limitations or exemptions of copyright are not 'exceptions', but important instruments in defining the delicate balance between copyright protection and user freedoms. In the digital networked environment, this balance is being redefined. Users are pressing for the preservation of copyright limitati-ons in the digital environment ('what goes online, must go offline'). The copyright industries, on the other hand, argue that the digital environment favours transactional solutions (e.g. pay-per-use licenses), and that the need for statutory limitations will gradually disappear. Indeed, information providers increasingly resort to detailed standard-form ('click-wrap') licensing, thereby overruling existing copyright limitations. Moreover, technological protection schemes may effectively rule out the possibility of users to invoke exemptions. Should the legislature intervene to safeguard essential user freedoms? If so, is copyright law the appropriate vehicle?
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    Euisun Yoo, Professor, Ewha Womans University, Korea

    This paper aims to evaluate the validity of the ‘fair use doctrine’ in information society. To this end, a legal and economic aspect of the doctrine has been assessed to clarify whether the current international intellectual property system works for balanced economic and socio-cultural development in the global marketplace. Especially based on the economic characteristics and type of information goods, various specific criteria (such as specific classroom exemption, implied permission, interactive transmission rule, and market dynamics among players) are examined to figure out the appropriate level of protection for the copyrighted material across nations.
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    Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director, American Civil Liberties Union, United States of America

    The right to free speech is widely recognized as one of the most fundamental principles in a civil society. Over the past few years, various forces have pushed for measures to expand the rights of intellectual property holders at the expense of other speakers and listeners. Unfortunately, these ill-conceived measures have watered down time-honored standards that protected freedom of expression, including the doctrine of fair use. Fair use should not be unduly limited on the pretext of preventing illicit traffic of intellectual property. At the very least, fair use should be applied to the electronic world to the same extent as with other media (such as newspapers and books). No special intellectual property regimes or "conditions" should be imposed for information in electronic media.
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    András Szinger, Copyright expert, Society Artisjus, Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors'Rights, Hungary

    The author provides the latest Hungarian copyright legislation regarding on-line uses of authors' works. Giving the International background of the Hungarian Copyright Act (WIPO Copyright Treaty as an "umbrella solution" for on-line communication to the public) he describes the right of communication to the public in the new Hungarian Copyright Act (on-line uses from legal aspect, author's right and collective management) and the exemptions (free uses) in this Act regarding on-line uses (private copying, etc.). He also informs on the licensing in practice: collective management (joint licensing) in Hungary (licensing different types of uses of different types of works in the cyberspace) and concludes that the trend is towards a balanced legislation.
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    Brian Wafawarowa, President, The Publishers Association of South Africa South Africa

    My paper focuses on Africa and takes a cursory look at the book and information sector today. It proceeds to argue that the problem is low literacy levels, poverty, limited availability of relevant and appropriate content and high levels of copyright violation. The paper further argues that in addition to economic development, literacy and education, we need better copyright protection to encourage local creativity and publishing in order to develop the local book and information sector. The special exception provision will stifle creativity and publishing on the continent while favourable laws all over the developed world will encourage the development of their information sectors. This will perpetuate and even worsen the neo-colonial situation in which Africa consumes more than 12% of the total world book output but contributes less than 3% to the content that is read in the world. The paper concludes that the special exception concept myopically focuses on the access to information and fails to look at the need to create and package the information as part and parcel of a total strategy to enhance access to relevant and appropriate information to the developing world.
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    Hansjuergen Garstka, Data Protection and Information Access, Commissioner of the State of Berlin, Germany

    The existing international rules concerning data protection of (computerized) personal data files (e.g. U.N. Guidelines of 14 December 1990, OECD Recommendation of 23 September 1980) do not pay attention to the special conditions of the use of the Internet and other telecommunication networks though these technologies create serious threats to the right to privacy. There are proposals to amend these rules introducing additional requirements for the Internet World. Following a recommendation made in the last year's International Conference of Data Protection Commissioners in Hong Kong the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications formulated Ten Commandments to protect Privacy in the Internet World which will be presented to the UNESCO Congress.
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    Amr Zaki Abdel Motaal, Attorney at Law, Arbitrator, Egypt

    The right of privacy in the modern legal systems is safeguarded by constitutional texts, Legislation and/or Case Law in each country. The right of privacy is mainly the right to be let alone, the right to be free from unwarranted publicity and the right to live without unwarranted interference by the public. The right of privacy is inherent to the individual and perhaps also to juridical entities such as corporations, cooperatives, sovereign states and international organizations. The impact of modern information systems on human liberties has been drastic on both sides of the spectrum. The regulation of modern technological innovations in communications and IT is an evasive task due to the ever-changing technical complexity of the issues and to the acceleration effect. How are the major legal systems coping with the perpetual technological change in protecting the notion of privacy? Is law enforcement effective in safeguarding the right of privacy? What is the position of the Egyptian legal system in this context as an example of a developing country.
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    Marshall Conley, Vice President Canadian Commission for UNESCO Senior Consultant, Knowledge House Inc., Halifax, Canada, Former Professor of Political Science Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Any desire to create an ethical framework for the Internet based on user-enabled choice must be predicated on the enormous challenges posed by such an action. Numerous international consultations are showing that clear policy guidelines are needed in the increasingly open, interactive and global information context. Such guidelines should cover all aspects of the global information networks - technological and economic, but also educational, scientific, cultural and social. To quote from UNESCO, "The goal of the UNESCO INFOethics programme is to stimulate reflection and debate on the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the Information Society." This paper investigates a set of mechanisms for user enabled choice and normative claims on the Internet. If there is a constant in the short history of the Internet, it is the technological symbol of the "post-modern" culture of the late twentieth century, in which unified authorities give way to multiple stakeholders with complex and contradictory agendas. A tradition of decentralized participation in the creation of socio-technical systems recognizes the encouraged individual user to add new content and tools to the system as a whole - the unified operating authority is replaced by a contradictory, and even chaotic form of control. Structural and systemic elements, such as web filtering systems, will be examined for they represent 'acknowledged conditions' to uphold freedom of expression through 'choice mechanisms'. If the Internet is to continue as an innovative means of collaboration, discovery, and social interaction, it will need to build upon its adaptability and participatory design. [Full paper in RTF format][Power point presentation]


    Simon Davies, Visiting Fellow, Computer Security Research Centre, London School of Economics, United Kingdom

    In recent years surveillance has become a fixed, value added component in the architecture of information and communication technologies. All communications systems and networks now embrace some form of fixed surveillance component. European countries are now moving to ensure that the emerging third generation of mobile technology, along with the internet, are subject to real time comprehensive surveillance. In response, the private sector and NGOs are moving quickly to develop counter-measures that will build privacy systems into the architecture of communications. The inevitable result is that the machinery of the state will be confronted by a feral and adaptable infrastructure of powerful privacy protection. This paper assesses these latest developments and suggests means by which users can protect their privacy.
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    Adama Fofana, President, Council of Information, Burkina Faso

    With the rise of the Internet and cyberspace, loopholes in national legislative frameworks make the protection of human dignity in the realm of the Web's new media problematical. While seeking to ensure that the principles of freedom of communication and expression are observed, it is important for the protection of humanity, over and above respect for simple moral rules and standards, to ensure that the dignity and privacy of each citizen all over the world are protected. This paper suggests guidelines for devising some practices by way of a code that could encourage governments and civil society to formulate policies and strategies to ensure protection of privacy and respect for the freedom of expression on world information networks. Particular consideration is given to the situation of Africa and the developing countries, which have to face three problems: the low density of the electronic network, unsound legislation and regulations, and the scale of the problem of illiteracy.
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    Duncan Campbell, Investigative journalist and TV producer, IPTV Ltd., United Kingdom

    Report to the Director-General for Research of the European parliament (Scientific and Technical Options Assessment programme office) on the development of surveillance technology and risk of abuse of economic information. This study considers the state of the art in Communications intelligence (Comint) of automated processing for intelligence purposes of intercepted broadband multi-language leased or common carrier systems, and its applicability to Comint targetingand selection, including speech recognition. The study was presented as a working document for the STOA panel of the European Parliament (Luxemburg, October 1999).
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