a2k4: freedom to innovate

Moderator: Nahla Rizk, AUC

Edward Felten, Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy

Information technologies: how do we use technology and provide active engagement with the technology to help people know how to engage. How did people build their technology? by ripping it apart and learning it – tinkering with technology. Then have a community with whom they can talk and work on the product. It is a social activity that engages people in the technology.

How can public policy encourage that? success of open source technology. Is OS technology an alternative business model to proprietary software? yes. It is a space that provides ability to tinker.

As for mobile phones which is the primary mode of access to ICT in much of the developing world. There is tension bet open and closed models and that is seen everywhere. Open source provides tech playground but offers also opportunity in becoming collaborative and engaged. But there is a tension over this kind of tinkering in the intellectual properties movement.

It is possible to reconcile open source and intellectual property. Some sort of protection for tinkering is important. We can foster competition. When you make technology accessible then it makes sense to the setting it is in.

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freedom to innovate: knowledge, tech and culture

Some of the questions to be pursued by this panel include:

** What policy areas (e.g. spectrum policies, open access) are the critical topics of study to address the freedom to innovate? To what extent is a human rights framing for these issues helpful or desirable?

** What are the technological and legal architectures that are necessary to give individuals the space and the opportunity to innovate? How do these structures rely on, enhance or inhibit the enjoyment of rights?  Whose rights are counted in this story?

** Where will new content and information technologies come from and how we can empower as many different individuals as possible to maximize innovation? What is the role of civil and political liberties themselves in creating the conditions that facilitate innovation?

source: http://yaleisp.org/2010/02/ak4f2i/

right to education panel – a2k4

Some of the questions to be pursued by this panel include:

Does the greater cost-effectiveness of online venues strengthen the argument to recognize a more universal human right to higher education? Alternatively, could the availability of free online resources become an undesirable substitute for public efforts to promote traditional education?

Is digital education more democratic than previous forms of education? How can we ensure that preexisting social inequities – of gender, race, class, and linguistic background – are not replicated or reinforced in ways that violate the right to equal educational opportunities?

What are roadblocks to digital education in areas such as telecommunication policies, broadband infrastructures and access, and accreditation. What are the new business models or institutional forms that can support the expansion of digital education? What is the necessary role of the state and of companies that may not self-consciously see themselves as providing digital education, although their tools and services may be essential to this end?

Source: http://yaleisp.org/2010/02/a2k4education/

right to health panel – a2k4 – public awareness and shared global responsibility

A2K4 Panel III. The Right to Health: Promoting Innovation and Equity

Thana Cristina de Campos, Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School – Sao Paulo

Wants to raise public awarness on a shared global responsiblity. Phramaceutical companies have the knowledge and power and responsibility bec it places us in a position to act.

Access to medicine is a human right. 4 principles: availability, accessibility, treatment acceptablity, and good quality. Accessibility is most important esp in marginalized communities.

Amy Kapczynski, UC Berkeley School of Law

What do we mean by human rights in this context? is it a philosophical perception or economic and welfare system etc. There is also the human rights machinery. Focusing on access to medicine issues because they are the most developed in human rights health issues.

There are issues of obligations to non-state parties, and also obligations to non-nationals. How does the right to medicine apply transnationally? It is hard to talk about corporate responsibility and about transnational responsibility.

Talha Syed, UC Berkeley School of Law

Distributed justice is much better framework than human rights. Information economics is not that bad.

Christopher Mason, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

Patenting Genes: what are genomic rights? What if someone took some of the cells you leave behind when you walk or sit and created a clone of you? this is not illegal, but it is most certainly disturbing. There is precedent to genomic rights in US history.

technologies of dissent – a2k4 – human rigths usa and EFF

Theresa Harris, Human Rights USA

Filtering is the best example of censorship. Eg. in Saudi Arabia or taking down videos of police brutality in Egypt. This software is provided by US companies.  How can you provide facebook to Iranians without it being used to arrest protestsors? should we provide this software or shouldn’t we?

Many have been dealing with this dilemma and the comapnies have not been held accountable. Comapnies claim that it is ‘business as usual’, and that they are not responsible for what those countries do with them.

We tend to focus on the technology and not the govt abuse of it. That is why the human rights framework is important. How is it different? It is a using a universal standard and not putting one country’s interest over another. Tying technology to progressive issues – eg. freedom of speech etc..

What are the steps to implement that? There could be voluntary codes of conduct for corporations. We could have domestic regulations. Putting this on an international treaty.

Eddan Katz, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Hilary Clinton’s speech was important bec it was well articulated. The freedom to connect helps transform society and that is described in Clinton’s speech. The US engages in practices of surveillance and the echelon system is also maintained. How do we then talk of the disruption of networks?

Censorship: gvt. providing money to develop technologies to express themselves.

Reservations about the speech: absence of freedom of speech framework and anonymity because of terrorism issues. EFF stands firm on the side of anonymity.

The issue of the protection of IP: technologies of surveillance are in place and being developed to apply copyright infringements.

Many companies are building the surveillance infra-structure. EFF proposes an instrumental approach: a direct action with the person causing harm; the capabilities approach; the ethics approach is not enough but we need the socio-technical impact. We can create an interesting balance between the human rights discourse and the technological infrastructure.

Read white paper called Surveillance Self-Defense International.