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← [EN] La société civile s'en va t'en guerre à l' e-G8

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Afficher la révision 12 créée 05/31/2011 par HgO.

  1. Thank you, everyone to be here,
  2. sorry for the improvising and
  3. the impromptu condition
  4. of this press conference,
  5. as you also know,
  6. there is very very little, if any,
  7. representation of civil society in this eG8
  8. In last minute on Thursday,
  9. they threw in some foldable chairs for us,
  10. they improvised some freedom of expression panel
  11. just to say that our issues
  12. were represented after all.
  13. But what we saw yesterday
  14. was Nicolas Sarkozy addressing
  15. only CEOs and business actors,
  16. telling them You are the Internet,
  17. You are the revolution and
  18. You are doing everything.
  19. And you now have the responsibility
  20. to fight the pedonazis,
  21. the terrorists, and the copyright wars
  22. so this is something that disturbs us,
  23. I think, all of us, here.
  24. Maybe each of us will make
  25. a quick statement of 4 to 5 minutes
  26. let's say 4 minutes if we can do it
  27. We have fantastic people around here
  28. from Yochai Benkler of the Berkman Center
  29. to Jean-François Julliard of Reporters Sans Frontières
  30. to Susan, how would you define yourself?
  31. Susan Crawford, former ICANN board member.
  32. Professor Lawrence Lessig who doesn't need any
  33. introduction at all, and Jeff Jarvis.
  34. Maybe Susan, you can begin.
  35. The communique's already been drafted
  36. for this g8 summit,
  37. errr meeting, this e-g8 meeting.
  38. It's been leaked to the NYtimes
  39. which published this story this morning,
  40. explaining exactly what the communique would say
  41. The reason this press conference has been called is
  42. that civil society groups have joined together
  43. from around the world,
  44. to issue a very short and simple statement
  45. calling on the eG8 and in turn the G8
  46. to protect the open Internet
  47. to maintain the neutrality of the Internet,
  48. to establish the principles that encourage
  49. the free flow of the information
  50. All of us sitting up here today
  51. understand as do you out there
  52. that an open Internet is actually the basis
  53. for a democratic flourishing around the world
  54. that all government policies
  55. that hoped to encourage citizens
  56. to flourish including education,
  57. health, energy policy...
  58. every variety of policy
  59. that operates in the world today
  60. are all encouraged by the existence of an open Internet
  61. and that access to the Internet
  62. is fundamental to human beings around the world
  63. These are the most important policies
  64. that governments should be embracing :
  65. an open, fast and fair, and free Internet
  66. so it's a very simple reason for this conference.
  67. We wanna make sure that
  68. these other voices are heard
  69. even though the communique itself
  70. may already have been drafted.
  71. I call on my colleagues here,
  72. Mr Jarvis, Mr Lessig, Mr Benkler and
  73. Reporters Without Borders
  74. to amplify on these remarks.
  75. But it's really very simple :
  76. we feel these voices aren't being heard
  77. We really want to ensure that the voiceless,
  78. the future that hasn't been invited to this conference,
  79. is allowed to have its say as well.
  80. Thank you Suzan
  81. We have a few copies here
  82. of the civil society statement to the eG8 and G8.
  83. The signature list is not the latest one
  84. You can see groups such as Access Now
  85. who couldn't get a badge to enter here
  86. the Association for Progressive Communications
  87. I won’t name them all, but
  88. there is german Digitale Gesellschaft,
  89. the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
  90. the European EDRI and so on and so on…
  91. There is also this petition,
  92. that was organized by Access Now,
  93. that has been signed now by people
  94. from more than nineteen countries
  95. to reclaim exactly what was mentioned before
  96. which is all that is not at the eG8
  97. So, maybe we will hear now Jean-François,
  98. because he will be leaving for a workshop later on
  99. and yep : Reporters Without Borders.
  100. Yeah, thank you, I’m going to speak in French,
  101. I’m sorry for those who don’t understand French,
  102. but I will say the same during
  103. the next panel in a couple of minutes,
  104. but I would like to say a few words
  105. in French because there are many French reporters here.
  106. I am extremely disappointed by what is said here,
  107. in this meeting from the start
  108. because we gathered the top people concerned with
  109. the internet throughout the world
  110. the CEOs of the biggest companies
  111. those that made Internet’s
  112. extraordinary growth possible
  113. whereas there hasn’t been a single word
  114. concerning those who are suffering
  115. because of the Internet
  116. I think of the 126 people who are now in jail,
  117. 126 bloggers NetCitizens, Internet users
  118. who are jailed in Iran, in China, in Libya, in Vietnam
  119. and in a whole lot of other countries,
  120. who are jailed only because they have used Internet
  121. I find this outrageous
  122. that no one had a thought for them yet,
  123. none of the leaders in the Internet sector
  124. who talked since the beginning of the meeting
  125. have had a thought for them
  126. It is good to want to promote Internet,
  127. but we should start with having a thought for those
  128. who are suffering from this.
  129. And I can also tell that if we need
  130. to make only one recommendation to the G8
  131. and the governments that compose the G8,
  132. it would be to put the defence
  133. of a Free internet before anything else.
  134. There is today one person in three in the world,
  135. one internet user in three,
  136. who doesn’t have access to a free internet.
  137. So before thinking of regulation,
  138. before thinking of even defending intellectual property,
  139. before thinking to promote
  140. economic transactions on the Internet,
  141. we need to focus on keeping Internet free
  142. Focus on allowing the Internet users,
  143. all around the world,
  144. wherever they might be,
  145. to keep accessing a free Internet,
  146. and to keep accessing the same Internet.
  147. So if we have to make only one recommendation,
  148. it’s this one,
  149. disregarding any other recommendation,
  150. the G8 governments need to make the defence
  151. of a Free internet their one absolute priority.
  152. Thank you Jean-François.
  153. It's very hard now to choose
  154. who between those impressive analysts
  155. will speak first
  156. Shall we cast a vote ?
  157. Professor Lessig, maybe ?
  158. Yes, so, I just spoke and I'll be very brief.
  159. It's surprising to come to France
  160. and find something so deeply American going on
  161. In the United States, for the last 30 years,
  162. we've been trapped in an ideology
  163. that says that we should regulate
  164. by getting business together
  165. and ask them what is good public policy.
  166. We've done that in the United States
  167. to our great detriment.
  168. The financial crisis brought about by deregulation
  169. pushed on the American government by
  170. financial interests who benefited
  171. and then brought the economy down
  172. And in every other area of Internet policy
  173. we see the same thing
  174. we have no broadband
  175. as Bankler's report for the Berkman Center demonstrates,
  176. we have no penetration,
  177. no effect of broadband in the United States
  178. because of a strong policy of deregulation
  179. that the American government bought,
  180. and it bought because the only people
  181. they cared to listen to were business
  182. So to come to France,
  183. and to see an event like this
  184. where the presumption of the President is
  185. « Get the biggest businesses together
  186. and ask them what the future
  187. of the internet should be » is astonishing
  188. it’s just...
  189. You know, I did a little bit of French philosophy,
  190. but I don’t remember the French philosopher
  191. who said : « Public policy is best devised
  192. by asking the businesses
  193. to draw up the public policy ».
  194. That doesn’t sound very French to me.
  195. So I’d love to come back to the Paris
  196. that I loved before,
  197. which is not the American version of Paris,
  198. but the French version of Paris
  199. by a reminder that they are more interests
  200. than the interest of business.
  201. Business is important,
  202. and in business there is a division between
  203. the incumbents and the innovators
  204. and we have to keep that division alive.
  205. But there is also the people
  206. who built the internet.
  207. They weren’t originally business,
  208. it was civil society, it was ISOC,
  209. it was ICANN... it was not ICANN, it was IETF
  210. but it was a bunch of people who just aren’t here
  211. so I agree with Susan,
  212. we need to find a way to remind the people here,
  213. that the people who are not here,
  214. who are just as important to the story as them.
  215. To avoid repeating
  216. the critical change produced by
  217. the digital network environment
  218. is the radical decentralization
  219. of the capacity to speak, to create,
  220. to innovate, to see together, to socialize,
  221. the radical distribution of the poor means
  222. of production, computations, communications,
  223. storage, sensing, capture, human sociality
  224. that which gets us together
  225. inside the experience,
  226. being there on the ground.
  227. That is true for the first time
  228. since the industrial revolution,
  229. that people can actually,
  230. with the things they own,
  231. capture the world and do something
  232. that is at the very core
  233. of the most advanced economies.
  234. Preserving that framework,
  235. preserving a framework that is open,
  236. free-flowing, flexible, adaptive to change
  237. and inviting so that one person's sacrifice
  238. in Sidi Bouzid can then be translated
  239. throughout the Arab world into
  240. a moment of mobilization
  241. That’s new, that’s what is critical.
  242. For over fifteen years now,
  243. we have seen two opposing camps
  244. around the question of internet policy.
  245. One camp is the camp of the 20th century incumbents,
  246. who are afraid that something will change
  247. who are afraid of the people rising to participate
  248. afraid of the outsiders innovating,
  249. and coming from the edges
  250. who aren't authorized by the incumbents to innovate
  251. who don’t have to come and say
  252. « Will you please implement this
  253. for me on your network? ».
  254. These are all the companies
  255. that we see now as great fifteen years ago
  256. were from the outside
  257. That’s where the source of innovation is
  258. And the other model has been
  259. « Let’s keep things open,
  260. let’s keep things flexible, let’s keep things flow. »
  261. And this opposition between those who say
  262. « It’s going too fast, slow it down,
  263. make it manageable, make it safe »
  264. and those who say
  265. « It’s extraordinary, it’s creative, let’s open this up,
  266. because we’re in a process of
  267. continuous experimentation,
  268. and adaptation, and learning.»
  269. This is an enormous learning moment.
  270. That opposition has been there for fifteen years
  271. and occasionally we’ve seen periods
  272. such as in the United States twelve years ago
  273. where the approach of shutting things down
  274. making Internet Service Providers
  275. have to look upon of what it is that the content
  276. of their producers, regulating on software
  277. regulating new services
  278. to make sure that they don't make too much
  279. of a threat to the incumbent industries win.
  280. Then there was a long period of lolling
  281. in between where we understood
  282. the centrality of the commons
  283. where we understood the centrality of what's open
  284. and now what is baffling about this two days
  285. is the seeming resurgence of what we saw
  286. ten, twelve, fifteen years ago
  287. as though we had learned nothing.
  288. When people yesterday on the panel on IP
  289. were talking about if we don't have
  290. strong intellectual property
  291. the Internet will be just
  292. an empty set of tubes and boxes,
  293. I heard that fifteen years ago, and maybe,
  294. maybe then it was a plausible assumption.
  295. Today, it is laughable,
  296. except that it seems to have the ear of power.
  297. So, I think that what's critical here,
  298. is to understand is that there are pathways,
  299. like the Hargreaves Report from last week
  300. shows a pathway that says: No!
  301. I don't have to lock things down,
  302. I have to be very careful about
  303. locking things down for IP
  304. instead I need to explore ways
  305. to open and allow flows.
  306. That's the critical opposition.
  307. Achieving socially desirable
  308. and acceptable and legitimate goals
  309. while retaining an open fluid free Internet.
  310. Versus, being so scared of the new,
  311. that you are willing to lock it down,
  312. or to try to lock it down and to distort it.
  313. That's the opposition on which we all have to be
  314. -- whether it's about business, and innovation
  315. about social equality and access,
  316. or about democracy and participation
  317. whether it's about liberty, equality or fraternity
  318. -- we all have to be on the same side of the path
  319. of retaining an open net
  320. Thank you. Yes.
  321. I find myself profoundly frightened
  322. in these two days
  323. I'm frightened of those who are so
  324. frightened of change that they will try to stop it.
  325. The Internet is not governments,
  326. I said to President Sarkozy yesterday,
  327. yet the government tries to act as if it is.
  328. He said it was not clear,
  329. he feels he has the authority to regulate it.
  330. I tweeted this morning
  331. that I felt rather like a native,
  332. to be so presumptuous,
  333. of the Americas or of Africa
  334. when the colonist ships
  335. would come in to civilize it
  336. « We have nothing to fear »
  337. As the CTO of the Verizon Administration
  338. in America calls it,
  339. the Internet is « The Eighth Continent ».
  340. It is a new land;
  341. it has not been colonized,
  342. there is no flag from France
  343. or the US or the UK or anyone on it.
  344. It is ours.
  345. So, to that extent
  346. I don't blame President Sarkozy
  347. and Publicis at all for convening this meeting
  348. because they are filling a vacuum
  349. that we the people have left.
  350. Then I think it is incumbent upon us,
  351. the citizens of this 8th continent,
  352. of this new land,
  353. to hold and convene our own meeting,
  354. and our own discussion,
  355. so we can invite,
  356. we should invite, the governments,
  357. we should invite the companies.
  358. But I'd rather this discussion
  359. was held at our table,
  360. rather then at government's table,
  361. which is what's happening here.
  362. So what does that discussion need to entail?
  363. I don't think that we need to have
  364. Constitution or a set of laws on the Internet.
  365. This... as my esteemed colleagues up here say,
  366. it is the very architecture of the Internet,
  367. that is its best protection
  368. that is its very openness,
  369. that is its best protection to stay open.
  370. And the fact that it is distributed.
  371. So I think that we need to have
  372. a discussion of principles
  373. as I say, or in... in...
  374. it won't end in some sort of statute or constitution
  375. because I don't think it should.
  376. Yet I do think we need to have a discussion,
  377. because we need principles we can point
  378. to when we see them violated,
  379. when we see Verizon, and Google,
  380. right I am going to talk about Google,
  381. I am a certified fanboy
  382. but I am very disapointed in Google
  383. for doing a devil's pact with Verizon
  384. to cut up the Internet,
  385. into the Internet and Schminternet
  386. when you are on the wire it acts one way,
  387. when you are out of the wire it acts another way
  388. it's all in one Internet.
  389. So, what are those principles?
  390. On my blog I wrote a post
  391. that led up to my question
  392. to President Sarkozy yesterday
  393. on my suggestion that he and others
  394. take an Hippocratic Oath,
  395. and I'm so honored to have been quoted by
  396. Professor Lessig in a Lessig Powerpoint,
  397. I'm sorry keynote,
  398. I'm sorry we'll have an au revoir on this, but I...
  399. There are many good efforts
  400. to build Bills of Rights for the Internet,
  401. and I have thrown out my humble suggestions,
  402. and they weren't certainly wrong,
  403. but I think among them
  404. there is the right to connect,
  405. and when someone cuts off that right
  406. it's a violation of Human Rights.
  407. So when Egypt cuts off the Internet connection,
  408. the Human Rights have been violated.
  409. That right to connect is a preamble
  410. to the right of free speech.
  411. And what follows the right of free speech
  412. is the right to act and to assemble.
  413. It was in the French constitution
  414. that the notion of the right
  415. to assemble was invented.
  416. I think we need a notion that
  417. our information of our institutions
  418. and of our government
  419. should be open by default,
  420. and closed only by necessity.
  421. We are the opposite today.
  422. I think we have to have an understanding
  423. of what it means to be private and to be public.
  424. I wrote a whole book on that
  425. - I won't bore you with that.
  426. I think we have to respond
  427. to the notion of net neutrality by saying that
  428. all bits are created equal,
  429. and that when anyone restricts a bit
  430. for any reason, whether that it was a telco
  431. to restrict how you watch a movie,
  432. whether that it is China restricting you
  433. to search for Falun Gong,
  434. or is that Egypt cutting off the internet,
  435. whatever the flow of the internet that is restricted,
  436. the whole internet is restricted.
  437. And so finally we have to hold up
  438. to the structure of the internet
  439. to be open and distributed
  440. because that is its only defense.
  441. But I would argue... I would say that...
  442. they convened you've gone today.
  443. It's very important and should continue
  444. and we need to talk about these issues
  445. at the table of the internet,
  446. and not at this table here,
  447. or not only at this table here.
  448. Before we go to questions I have
  449. comments myself on this whole « eG8 » thing.
  450. Thank you for restating.
  451. I think that beyond the right to connect,
  452. it's existing fundamental rights
  453. that are being used through the internet.
  454. There is maybe no need to define
  455. new freedoms because it's the existing
  456. freedoms that are being attacked today.
  457. So this eG8 forum,
  458. beyond the local political whitewash
  459. of Nicolas Sarkozy, after 4 years of pushing
  460. for disconnecting French citizens
  461. with the HADOPI law,
  462. censorship of web content with the LOPPSI,
  463. and pushing of his notion of a « civilized internet »,
  464. he pushed up to the organization of this event.
  465. Beyond that local political whitewash,
  466. this eG8 forum is to me a smokescreen
  467. to what the governments are really
  468. doing towards the Internet.
  469. In the last twelve months,
  470. we witnessed an increase in the rate of
  471. repressive measures attacking the Internet,
  472. attacking our fundamental freedoms.
  473. I'm thinking of the US government reaction
  474. to Wikileaks, the US government seizure
  475. of domain names,
  476. the COICA PROTECT-IP act,
  477. the conclusion of the ACTA
  478. (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
  479. that will turn internet actors into
  480. private copyright police
  481. the blackout of Internet in Egypt of course,
  482. the administrative censorship of websites
  483. in France, and other countries of Europe.
  484. Everywhere you look,
  485. governments are trying
  486. to gain control of the Internet.
  487. And what we are being sold here
  488. is the red carpet to those, Orange,
  489. Vivendi, Alcatel-Lucent and so on.
  490. But if you look a little bit closer,
  491. those very companies
  492. are more and more basing their business models
  493. on the restriction of fundamental freedoms.
  494. Orange by selling this non-neutral
  495. so-called « mobile Internet access »,
  496. Vivendi by pushing for the tougher
  497. copyright vision, 19th century vision
  498. where you try to forbid copies at all costs
  499. even if it implies to ban freedom to read,
  500. share and access culture;
  501. Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei are manufacturing
  502. the devices that are being used
  503. in authoritarian regimes to censor the Internet,
  504. and by telecoms operators
  505. who harm our freedom of communication
  506. by harming net neutrality
  507. So we, the citizens,
  508. would expect from the governments
  509. that they protect us from those corporations,
  510. that they regulate the behaviours,
  511. whether they're anti-competitive
  512. or against our fundamental freedoms
  513. from the corporations, but instead of that,
  514. what we see here is the glitter and a red carpet.
  515. Now if you have questions,
  516. I see Jean-François has to leave,
  517. but maybe if you're late to
  518. that thing it will be all right.
  519. 5 minutes or something?
  520. I mean, they're French, they will be late already.
  521. Yes, of course but it will be another audience,
  522. to tell the same, so I want to use
  523. this opportunity as well
  524. to raise this issue in a more official format as well.
  525. You have maybe three or four minutes,
  526. if then one has questions directed to Jean-François,
  527. maybe first the questions directed to Jean-François ?
  528. Or general questions ?
  529. Ok, no questions so I'm free. Merci.
  530. General questions ?
  531. One here, one here and one here.
  532. Yes, please, maybe you'd like
  533. to speak in a microphone ?
  534. If you want to come here,
  535. Yes, one quick question,
  536. I'm Eric Scherer at France Télévisions.
  537. How do you reconcile
  538. what you are saying,
  539. about open Internet and freedom of expression
  540. and the need to educate governments,
  541. members of Parliament
  542. and the rest of the society
  543. about what you are just saying?
  544. There is a big need of Internet literacy
  545. to the governments
  546. and to the members of Parliament.
  547. They are totally illiterate about that.
  548. How do you reconcile that?
  549. Shall I take this one?
  550. Well, that's what we are trying to do
  551. with « La Quadrature du Net »
  552. for more than 3 years now. And we are building,
  553. thanks to an open internet,
  554. a toolbox for citizens first of all
  555. to understand what's going on,
  556. and then to participate in the public debate.
  557. So, we, La Quadrature du Net,
  558. are nothing but the sum
  559. of all supporters caring about those issues
  560. and pushing for those issues,
  561. to the parliament, to the elected representatives
  562. and to all layers of civil society.
  563. I think we have all the tools,
  564. here on the table to do it,
  565. it's just a matter of working towards it.
  566. Larry ?
  567. Yes. I think that the net
  568. has been pretty good at educating itself
  569. about the values of this network.
  570. I can't speak for France or for Europe,
  571. but I think in the United States,
  572. we see in civil society communities
  573. that are engaged in trying to spread
  574. and defend what Internet is about.
  575. The problem that I see in the United States is,
  576. and again, I speak only of the United States:
  577. our government is so deeply corrupted
  578. by the dynamic that I'm talking about,
  579. that there is a wide gap between
  580. what the educators, the parents, the students,
  581. everybody understands
  582. the future policy should be,
  583. and what our government actually hears.
  584. So, I have shifted a bunch of my work
  585. towards addressing that issue of
  586. that corruption in the United States,
  587. because I don't think we get
  588. anything until we solve that.
  589. But I think that we have
  590. actually seen massive progress on this issue
  591. over the past decade, and I'm encouraged by that,
  592. at least in the context of what people think.
  593. There was one question somewhere... over here ?
  594. Ok. Jean-Jacques ?
  595. Do you want to come to the microphone or shout ?
  596. I can shout, if you can hear me.
  597. Jean-Jacques, I work for European Internet Company
  598. and I'm also Council member
  599. of the Internet Society, ISOC.
  600. Rather than questions, just to make a point,
  601. this is not actually just another
  602. of these ideas which are shared by civil society,
  603. a lot of these ideas are also shared by
  604. companies and actually the vast majority
  605. of Internet companies out there.
  606. Just yesterday, ISOC issued
  607. a press statement which also
  608. called for all stakeholders to be involved
  609. in this discussion around the internet
  610. and internet policy making.
  611. Without all stakeholders being involved
  612. have no point of having a discussion;
  613. and they also called for governments
  614. to uphold and protect the open
  615. and decentralised nature of the Internet.
  616. This is fundamental for all of us
  617. in this ecosystem. It needs to happen.
  618. This is not just about civil society.
  619. This is about users, civil society,
  620. technical communities and companies
  621. and governments sitting around the table
  622. discussing the issues.
  623. Thank you -- I actually want to take that up
  624. and emphasize it.
  625. We have a long tradition
  626. of thinking there is an opposition
  627. between efficiency or competition
  628. or markets, and justice and society,
  629. and that somehow we have to trade off
  630. between two competing goals
  631. that aid society: growth and welfare,
  632. and justice and redistribution.
  633. But in fact, what has happened with the Internet,
  634. is that growth and innovation is exactly
  635. what democracy and justice require.
  636. Both of them need the means of production
  637. distributed widely in the population,
  638. so that anyone can speak, anyone can create,
  639. anyone can create their own innovation,
  640. anyone can create their own business.
  641. This age old traditional divide is a divide
  642. of the industrial economy.
  643. We have been able to overcome that divide
  644. and today it's between
  645. 20th century business models,
  646. and both innovation and growth
  647. and civil society, democracy and justice
  648. on the other opposing side.
  649. In that battle between on one hand innovation,
  650. growth, democracy and justice
  651. and preserving revenue streams
  652. of incumbent industries,
  653. it is not a closed choice.
  654. There was a question here ?
  655. Yes, I guess this question is really
  656. for Professor Lessig.
  657. Very basically, why is this so hard?
  658. You know the car came along,
  659. we have parking tickets,
  660. you can lose your license,
  661. there are charges for homicide.
  662. There is a wide range of penalties
  663. for all violation shit.
  664. Copyright law, as you rightly pointed out
  665. at the debate yesterday was
  666. the exact same one as it was in 1999.
  667. So the Internet is not new,
  668. copyright is not new
  669. and I know there are obviously different
  670. regulatory legal things around this,
  671. but why have we seemingly made
  672. no progress on coming up with
  673. a very basic framework that has penalties
  674. that fit all the different shades of violation?
  675. I think it's actually different depending on the country.
  676. I am struck by the debate
  677. in France around copyright.
  678. I was at conference at Avignon two years ago
  679. and I felt like it was 1995 all over again.
  680. Because as if nothing had been
  681. ever talked about this issues,
  682. it was the exact same framework
  683. that we were fighting back then.
  684. But other countries in Europe are different.
  685. I think Germany, for example,
  686. the green party has been pushing
  687. what they call a « cultural flat rate »
  688. that would be an alternative way
  689. to raise money for artists,
  690. that would decriminalize much of the activity
  691. which in France people would be kicked off the internet.
  692. And this point was made.
  693. I want to re-emphasize,
  694. there is something really outrageous,
  695. this point was made on my panel,
  696. by the French entrepreneurs.
  697. There is something really outrageous
  698. about the idea that the penalty
  699. that has been discussed in France
  700. is the idea that you disconnect yourself
  701. from the Internet.
  702. Only somebody seventy years old would think
  703. - people don’t touch the internet
  704. at seventy years old -
  705. would think that's proportionate.
  706. The idea that you will disconnect yourself
  707. from the most important infrastructure
  708. for community, and commerce,
  709. and political activity is outrageous
  710. and yet that is discussed here.
  711. And in other countries, the Nordic countries
  712. and in Germany it is a much more open debate.
  713. In United States again,
  714. I think it is just hide out
  715. by this political framework
  716. where both Democrats and Republicans
  717. are so deeply wedded to the content industry
  718. that you can’t even have an open debate
  719. about this issue among politicians.
  720. This is just not a political issue.
  721. And I think that we need to take advantage
  722. of places where it is a political issue.
  723. So Brazil has been extremely important
  724. getting people to recognize why
  725. there is an interesting
  726. opportunity here for development.
  727. And we need to push in those places
  728. to move it along.
  729. But finally, what has been amazing
  730. to me has been WIPO.
  731. I was at WIPO about six years ago,
  732. when I walked in the bulding I was the devil
  733. and the director general wouln't talk to me
  734. and everybody said no word.
  735. I was just there six months ago
  736. and the Director General is extraordinarily
  737. innovative in his ways of thinking about
  738. the way copyright has got to evolve.
  739. And he's thinking exactly about
  740. the kind of framework
  741. for thinking about what
  742. a future regime should look like,
  743. and I got to address the delegates,
  744. the delegates were encouraging
  745. and thinking about these issues.
  746. It was a completely different place.
  747. And I think we have to take an advantage of that
  748. to some point show countries like
  749. the United States and France that 1995
  750. thinking is so twentieth century.
  751. If I may add something on that, though?
  752. It's very difficult to add something
  753. on professor Lessig.
  754. Those companies with business models
  755. in the XXth century
  756. were based on controlling the channels
  757. of distribution of copies
  758. still have hope in managing to attain
  759. the same objective with the Internet.
  760. There is still a chance with the ongoing mergers
  761. between those medias group and telcos,
  762. with the very strong influence
  763. they have on policy makers.
  764. They still have a chance to turn the Internet,
  765. the universal Internet we love and share
  766. into a globalized distribution channel
  767. for Vivendi, Fox and those guys.
  768. So we're really at a turning point here:
  769. why they are continuing like it's 1999,
  770. it's because they probably still have a chance,
  771. and maybe they have a greater chance
  772. than they had in 1999 to achieve this objective
  773. I'm sure there are tons of other questions.
  774. Andrew Rasiej, the Personal Democracy Forum
  775. I just want to make a point,
  776. and you're welcome to comment on it,
  777. that the arguments will be made now
  778. by the government officials and by
  779. the incumbents that the digital divide
  780. has been bridged because
  781. broadband distribution is available
  782. in many places where it wasn't before.
  783. But they are not actually focussing
  784. on the fact there is a new digital divide
  785. that most working class people
  786. can’t afford the broadband that is available,
  787. and so we need a reframing
  788. of the term « digital divide » specifically around
  789. this subject which is that cost has reached
  790. beyond the point of most people
  791. to be able to participate
  792. in the 21th century economy.
  793. We have to be careful that they don’t argue
  794. against these points that you are making
  795. today to say that we bridge the digital divide
  796. and therefore obscure what is really going on.
  797. Yes, just to add onto that:
  798. to make things very simple,
  799. we are in a moment when government
  800. can join hands with the content industry
  801. and with the telcos to enforce scarcity,
  802. content controls, and lots of their desired goals,
  803. in a sense this is feeding a revenue model
  804. of governments and Hollywood
  805. to constrain Internet access,
  806. to make it much more like a 20th century
  807. broadcast medium and our older policy makers
  808. see the Internet as nothing more
  809. than a one-way screen.
  810. The rest of the world understands
  811. that the world has been turned upside down,
  812. anybody can be a publisher,
  813. anybody should get access to this platform
  814. for democracy, for speech,
  815. for content creation, for human flourishing.
  816. What we are witnessing today
  817. is the joining of hands of these giants incumbents
  818. -- and government is one of the incumbents --
  819. to try to keep things as they were.
  820. And many voices are being left
  821. out of that conversation
  822. who could add significantly.
  823. So a purpose of this meeting here today
  824. with all of you is to make sure that no one
  825. walks away thinking that there is consensus.
  826. There is no consensus on enforcing scarcity,
  827. higher prices and constrain access
  828. for world citizens.
  829. The next Google could come from France,
  830. could come from France,
  831. should come from France
  832. but if Internet access is constrained
  833. and controlled, it won't.
  834. I think this also provides an opportunity
  835. to talk about something that we
  836. - who come here from the US -
  837. can learn very well from France
  838. and perhaps that France can learn
  839. from itself and its own experience.
  840. In a study I did for the FCC last year,
  841. it became very clear
  842. that US broadband penetration,
  843. broadband prices, broadband speeds,
  844. relative to its performance in 2000-2001
  845. had declined from 2002 until 2009
  846. by comparison to European countries.
  847. In doing a very close case study
  848. of half the OECD countries,
  849. what became very clear
  850. was that on all these questions
  851. of penetration, speed and price,
  852. the critical intervention
  853. that European governments undertook,
  854. and in particular in this case
  855. very successfully the French government
  856. that has in France some of the lowest prices
  857. for the highest performance in the OECD
  858. because of this, is to force monopolists
  859. to introduce competition.
  860. And what we have to learn
  861. is that we take this simple principle,
  862. I mean understand whatever it is,
  863. that there is a core platform
  864. that can't be worked around,
  865. one of the things that government can do
  866. is to make sure that there is competition
  867. as a way of reaching this goal
  868. of not having people priced out
  869. even though in theory there is a connection.
  870. It is absolutely critical that we commit
  871. in the US to open access
  872. in the broadband physical layer,
  873. it is absolutely critical that we commit
  874. to open access higher up when
  875. we talk about mobile wireless,
  876. and we need to go to each country
  877. and learn what it has done well
  878. in its processes that have worked
  879. and translate that both to other countries
  880. and to other regulatory problems.
  881. If you are looking for some more digital divides,
  882. I can think of one.
  883. Wouldn't there be a digital divide
  884. between people being connected to universal,
  885. unrestricted Internet access
  886. and the people connected
  887. to some kind of restricted, blocked,
  888. throttled, prioritised network
  889. that isn't related to the Internet?
  890. And if we look at this divide,
  891. maybe there are already more people
  892. if you take into account China
  893. and mobile Internet users,
  894. there may be more people
  895. on the wrong side of that
  896. digital divide as of today.
  897. I'm sure there are plenty of other questions.
  898. Alex Howard, O'Reilly Media.
  899. To what extent can people make a difference?
  900. We've heard this communique has been leaked.
  901. What can and should civil society
  902. and average citizens do
  903. to actually make a difference
  904. to governments who are coming
  905. together tomorrow?
  906. As for tomorrow, we put up
  907. -- it's more of a joyful protest
  908. than something that may have an effect --
  909. we launched a website called
  910. on which we put a manifesto
  911. and called people to react by creative resistance.
  912. So there are dozens of works
  913. that are being submitted, some very funny videos
  914. or images, some trolls and so on.
  915. But beyond that, I think it's about using
  916. that freedom of expression
  917. and freedom of communication
  918. that we have between our hands
  919. in an unprecedented way,
  920. use it to make governments accountable,
  921. use it to make our elected
  922. representatives accountable,
  923. and that's one key point
  924. in the way we campaign
  925. at La Quadrature du Net,
  926. is to try to increase the political cost
  927. of taking the bad decision for policy makers.
  928. This is what we can do with our
  929. added freedom of expression.
  930. I just wanted to add to that
  931. and emphasise a point that Susan has made.
  932. I think that the biggest thing
  933. that we can do is to negate the framing
  934. of this conference as « everyone agrees here's
  935. what the future of the Internet needs ».
  936. And we negate that by first pointing out
  937. that « the Internet was not here »
  938. one slice of the Internet was here,
  939. companies that can afford
  940. the hundred thousand euros
  941. sponsorship cost and whatever else.
  942. They were here, that's fine,
  943. but another huge part of the Internet is not here
  944. and especially the innovating companies
  945. that five years from now
  946. will think of this equivalent of Twitter,
  947. they were not here and so
  948. « everybody was not here », number one;
  949. and number two « we all don't agree
  950. on the basic principles of what
  951. we should be doing going forward »,
  952. so I encourage the G8 to think about
  953. how to open up a conversation
  954. about what the Internet should look like.
  955. I think Sarkozy's decision this year
  956. to try to do that was a good one
  957. but the question is :
  958. « how do you do it so it really is the Internet
  959. that we're talking about
  960. and involve enough of the Internet
  961. so they we can begin a conversation
  962. towards that policy that would make sense ? »
  963. Larry, if I may, you've just said that
  964. you thought that it was a good idea
  965. that Sarkozy launched this discussion
  966. between governments.
  967. Don't you see this also maybe
  968. as some kind of takeover of Internet governance
  969. by government to some extent?
  970. Well, if the idea entails,
  971. I think as Jeff was putting it,
  972. the idea that we should be
  973. taking over the Internet in some way, yes,
  974. I don't think that's a good idea.
  975. But I think that it is necessary
  976. that we figure out how we preserve
  977. this ecology of the Internet.
  978. Like what do we do to make sure that it survives,
  979. and we need that conversation
  980. to include more people who say
  981. « keep your hands off of this part;
  982. intervene here, like Yochai was just saying
  983. to ensure competition in access
  984. at the physical layer ».
  985. That's a conversation that's complicated
  986. and important to have.
  987. And I think that we need to have that,
  988. and I think just right that we should have been
  989. facilitating that more on our own.
  990. We don't quite have the resources
  991. that France has perhaps
  992. to launch that conversation, but if we did,
  993. I'd be happy to have that conversation certainly.
  994. Yes, there's a choice between governments
  995. only talking about this which is what the eG8 is
  996. and a multi-stakeholders approach
  997. which would involve civil society,
  998. all the Internet users and the idea
  999. that the Internet is for everyone
  1000. and not just for the large incumbents.
  1001. But I'm... I'm still scared.
  1002. And I want you to help me.
  1003. I think it's the right question:
  1004. « What the fuck do we do? »
  1005. Right? We can talk here,
  1006. we can change the framing.
  1007. But governments have the force of law
  1008. and companies have the force of the kill switch.
  1009. And so I'm not sure what it is that we,
  1010. the people of the Internet, really do.
  1011. What is the force that we are...
  1012. I'm a faux professor in journalism
  1013. so it's ballsy of me to quote Habermas.
  1014. But the counter to the weight
  1015. of government that he sought in the salons
  1016. and coffee houses, that I think is questionable,
  1017. we do have now, as a counterweight
  1018. to government and a counterweight
  1019. because Sarkozy said yesterday
  1020. that government is the only appropriate
  1021. spokesman for the people of a nation.
  1022. God forbid no!
  1023. Tell that to Wael Ghonim in Egypt.
  1024. The internet became the means
  1025. for the true voice of Egypt to come out.
  1026. And so I really ought to say
  1027. I don’t know what to do,
  1028. is there anything else we should be pointing out ?
  1029. Here is one point:
  1030. you know, we can romanticize the Internet
  1031. and I have spent many many years as a cheerleader
  1032. but the fact is, what the Internet does,
  1033. what people on the Internet do,
  1034. is more effective in some places than others
  1035. So I don't know if you saw
  1036. when the big bank bonuses were
  1037. recently announced and Goldman Sachs
  1038. -- huge bank bonuses.
  1039. In the United States there was
  1040. some frustration about it.
  1041. In Holland there was a twitter campain against,
  1042. that led to the governement
  1043. blocking bankers in Holland
  1044. from taking those bonuses,
  1045. a kind of unimaginable effectiveness
  1046. of the Internet to goverment policy
  1047. by getting involved in having
  1048. a government listen.
  1049. And you know,
  1050. compare that to the United States
  1051. where we just lost a battle in North Carolina,
  1052. where after the telecom companies
  1053. had succeeded into getting
  1054. the federal government to say
  1055. « No regulation of telecom companies,
  1056. not having any of your open access regulation
  1057. that Yochaim has been arguing for,
  1058. not even having any effective
  1059. network neutrality regulation.
  1060. They then went to the states,
  1061. because in the states,
  1062. you have local communities
  1063. that are building their own high-speed networks
  1064. much faster, much cheaper
  1065. than what the telecom monopolies provide.
  1066. And the telecom monopolies didn’t like that,
  1067. so what they did is they got the states
  1068. to pass laws banning
  1069. this local telecom franchises.
  1070. So here they do not want any regulation
  1071. from the federal government
  1072. but they want state regulation
  1073. to block some competition from local...
  1074. So we try to raise a campaign
  1075. around this and though we get thousands
  1076. of people calling the governor,
  1077. the governor doesn't think she needs
  1078. to pay any attention to
  1079. the internet community at all
  1080. So the difference here is not so much
  1081. the internet: the internet is the same.
  1082. The difference is the political culture
  1083. that feels that it needs to pay attention to it.
  1084. And the only way to force a political culture
  1085. to pay attention to you
  1086. is to punish them when they don't.
  1087. So in France, this three-strikes fact (Hadopi Law)
  1088. should be a source of extraordinary political
  1089. organization to punish
  1090. the French government and obviously...
  1091. It is, it is
  1092. is of course. It is!...
  1093. but the point is when that gets delivered
  1094. and that had a message,
  1095. when you go from a 5% return to a 20% return
  1096. then you're going to see
  1097. people recognize the internet is a force.
  1098. But we need to do that everywhere,
  1099. it is not something we can take for granted,
  1100. it is really something that's a culture
  1101. that needs to be built.
  1102. So what I hear you saying,
  1103. to oversimplify as is my want:
  1104. we're not protecting the internet,
  1105. we're protecting the speech, still.
  1106. Well, to simplify it even further,
  1107. when roles and office depend on
  1108. understanding what the internet is
  1109. and forwarding the internet's openess,
  1110. then we'll get the result we need.
  1111. If we can vote people in or out
  1112. based on their reaction to the internet.
  1113. Then we'll be going somewhere.
  1114. Governments only listen to
  1115. the people who elect them
  1116. and the businesses that fund their campaigns.
  1117. Right? So Larry is taking on the businesses
  1118. that fund their campaigns.
  1119. We, the internet people,
  1120. have to take on their election.
  1121. This has to become, as it has become in Australia
  1122. and in Canada, an issue
  1123. for the electoral politics.
  1124. Maybe we can ...
  1125. actually, we are all replying
  1126. with our own words to the great question of Jeff.
  1127. Maybe this will be used as a conclusion
  1128. I don't know, maybe there will be
  1129. some more questions but ...
  1130. There will be, there's one more question ...
  1131. In my view we have to continue
  1132. what we are doing, doing it more
  1133. and being more numerous to do it.
  1134. I've got a few examples
  1135. with our own campaigning
  1136. where we really made a difference,
  1137. whether it is with the amendment 138
  1138. in the European Parliament
  1139. that made everybody be shaking
  1140. with fear of « Internet's freedom issue »
  1141. we moved the lines in the ACTA agreement,
  1142. we directly changed some of its contents
  1143. and when we leaked that letter
  1144. from Nicolas Sarkozy to Bernard Kouchner,
  1145. who was at the time minister of foreign affairs,
  1146. who was to organise a conference
  1147. about freedom of speech on the Internet,
  1148. Sarkozy telling him
  1149. « in the balance of the freedom of speech
  1150. on the Internet, you'll put the HADOPI
  1151. and you'll put the civilized Internet »,
  1152. just leaking that letter
  1153. and organizing the leak with our Dutch friends
  1154. from Bits of Freedom made
  1155. the whole conference to be cancelled.
  1156. So we have examples already
  1157. of civil society pressures getting to a result.
  1158. I think it is the way we use our
  1159. freedoms of speech or expression.
  1160. I think it is the way we use it collectively
  1161. that makes us be citizens,
  1162. that makes us do our jobs of citizens
  1163. that makes us participate to politics
  1164. in the noble antic sense of citizens carrying
  1165. of the life of the « Cité » and this is exactly
  1166. what we have to do between two elections
  1167. and this how we win if you have
  1168. some volunteer time to contribute.
  1169. Well said
  1170. I just want to hear Yochai's answer
  1171. to Jeff's question first if you don't mind.
  1172. I don't want to take more time.
  1173. It's just, the stories you heard
  1174. tell both that we know how
  1175. and that it is very hard.
  1176. There are success stories,
  1177. there are failure stories.
  1178. But kinds of civil organisation
  1179. that were extremely difficult
  1180. and happened only in great moments of crisis
  1181. when people came out in the streets
  1182. are now more feasible
  1183. at lower levels of activation.
  1184. Whether it's free software developers
  1185. organising against software patents
  1186. at the European level,
  1187. whether it's the story you just call
  1188. about the conference on free speech,
  1189. the level of activation necessary
  1190. because the effort necessary
  1191. to participate is lower,
  1192. allows us more direct participation
  1193. but the stakes are very
  1194. very high on the other side.
  1195. If you look at the net neutrality
  1196. debates in the United States,
  1197. we did exactly that, we put it on the,
  1198. oh you, put it on the agenda.
  1199. It became a real agenda item, the only thing -
  1200. « We are unfortunatly not able
  1201. to provide you the last 3 minutes
  1202. of the Press conference.
  1203. See you on »