Our imaginations help us protect our rights and a free Internet
Call for creative action

Friday, 13 May 2011

The Internet is the place where we meet, speak, create, educate
ourselves and organize. However, as we are at a turning point in early
web history, it could either become a prime tool for improving our
societies, knowledge and culture, or a totalitarian tool of suveillance
and control.

After 15 years of fighting the sharing of culture in the name of an
obsolete copyright regime, governments of the World are uniting to
control and censor the Internet. The black-out of the Egyptian Net, the
US government’s reaction to Wikileaks, the adoption of website blocking
mechanisms in Europe, or the plans for “Internet kill switches”[1] are
all major threats on our freedom of expression and communication. These
threats come from corporations and politicians, unsettled by the advent
of the Internet.

As a host of the G8, France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to step up
centralized control over the Internet. He has convened world leaders to
a summit aimed at working towards a “civilized Internet”, a concept he
borrowed from the Chinese government. By creating fears such as
“cyber-terrorism”, their objective is to generalize rules of exception
in order to establish censorship and control, thereby undermining free
speech and other civil liberties.

They will package this policy using words like “democracy” and
“responsibility”, but look at their acts. Sarkozy has already enabled
disconnection of citizens from the Internet and the censorship of online
content in France.

The Internet allows us to express our opinions universally. The Internet
unites us and makes us strong. It is a space in which the common
civilisation of our diverse planet meets. Our imaginations, through all
kinds of media we create and publish, help us protect our rights and a
free Internet. As world leaders gather at the end of this month, we must
all come together and use our creativity to reject any attempt at
turning the Internet into a tool of repression and control.

Everyone is invited to send URIs web addresses of any bits of expression
produced in answer to this call to submit@g8internet.com.

[1] See also, the seizure by the US government of hundreds of domain
names, or the copyright fundamentalists turning Internet companies into
a privatized police and justice using the PROTECT IP Act in the US, the
IPR enforcement initiatives and the Great European Firewall project- cf.
point 8 – in Europe, and ACTA everywhere, etc.

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