thoughts and observations of a privacy, security and internet researcher, activist, and policy advisor

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dynamic Coalition on Privacy launched at UN Internet Meeting in Athens

Gus Hosein and I have been getting very good feedback to the two privacy workshops we organized at the Internet Governance Forum, and in other discussions here in Athens the importance of privacy was highlighted as well. In order to use the momentum and the spirit of Athens, a group of diverse stakeholders has now announced a "dynamic coalition" (that is the official wording here) to further work on privacy issues in internet governance. Below is our press release from today. The list of entities that want to join is getting longer every hour at the moment. If you are interested, drop me a mail at [bendrath (at) zedat.fu-berlin.de].

Press Release / IGF outcome on Privacy Protection

Dynamic Coalition on Privacy launched at UN Internet Meeting in Athens
IGF participants kick off process for privacy in digital identity management, development, and freedom of expression

Athens, 2 November 2006. At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN conference on future internet public policy taking place in Athens this week, a diverse group of stakeholders has agreed to launch a Dynamic Coalition on Privacy, which will address emerging issues of internet privacy protection such as digital identities, the link between privacy and development, and the importance of privacy and anonymity for freedom of expression. It will initiate an open process to further develop and clarify the public policy aspects of privacy in internet governance in the perspective of the next IGF meeting in Brazil in 2007. The group will use online collaboration tools as well as facilitate meetings at related events all over the world throughout the year. Participants in Athens in particular agreed that there is a need for greater public participation in technical and legal standardizations that have a global public policy impact on privacy. They also emphasised that it is important to better include perspectives from developing countries in these processes.

One of the main outcomes of the IGF is the creation of "dynamic coalitions" or multi-stakeholder groups working together on a common issue over a multi-year process. The Dynamic Coalition on Privacy is a direct outcome of two privacy workshops at the IGF on 31 October, co-organized by the Information Systems Group at the LSE and the University of Bremen. It also reflects discussions held during the IGF main session on cyber-security as well as the IGF workshops on "Human Rights and the Internet" organized by the Council of Europe and on an "Internet Bill of Rights" organized by the Government of Italy together with IP Justice and the Internet Society of Italy. It builds upon several months of multi-stakeholder collaboration in the run-up to the UN meeting in Athens.

Start-up actors include representatives from

  1. Privacy International
  2. "Privacy and Identity Management in Europe" (PRIME) Project
  3. Association for Progressive Communication (APC)
  4. Microsoft
  5. SAP
  6. Amnesty International
  7. French Government
  8. Council of Europe (to be confirmed)
  9. Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  10. WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Privacy and Security
  11. WSIS Human Rights Caucus
  12. North American Consumer Project on Electronic Commerce (NACPEC)
  13. Net Dialogue of Harvard's Berkman Center and Stanford's Center for Internet and Society
  14. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
  15. LSE Information Systems Group
  16. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  17. University of Bremen
  18. Internet Service Providers' Association of South Africa
  19. Hellenic Data Protection Authority
  20. IP Justice
  21. European Digital Rights (EDRi)
  22. Danish Human Rights Institute
  23. Electronic Frontier Finland
  24. Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Kiel, Germany
  25. WISeKey
  26. Digital Rights Ireland,
  27. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)
  28. Privaterra
  29. Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz (DVD)
  30. Metamorphosis Foundation
  31. Kuwait Information Technology Society
  32. Japan Computer Access for Empowerment (JCAFE)
  33. Netzwerk Neue Medien (NNM)
  34. Identity Commons Working Group on Identity Rights Agreements
  35. Cyberlaw Asia
  36. Center for Communications & Policy Research, India
  37. Associazione per la Libertà nella Comunicazione Elettronica Interattiva (ALCEI)

The coalition is open to interested parties and will start a global process to engage more stakeholders over the next year. Therefore, the start-up actors call for people interested in or willing to join the work of this coalition and for recommending other stakeholders that should be contacted.

The French government has offered to host a follow-up meeting in Paris in early 2007.

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