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OSCE: Freedom of the Media and Internet (fwd)

The OSCE - the Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe, which has 56 member states, not only most European
countries but also many former Russian states, the Vatican,
Canada and the USA - is one of the few supranational bodies
which has a mandate to intervene. Their office for Freedom
of the Media (OSCE-FOM), led by representative Freimut Duve,
monitors journalistic freedom in the region and has the
right to issues warnings to governments who fail to uphold
that freedom, and even to intervene.

For the first time, OSCE-FOM is considering how it should
treat similar issues on the internet. A special article for
their 2001-2002 Yearbook was written by me and co-authored
by one of the senior advisors of OSCE-FOM (published in
August 2002), attempting to give an overview of the European
situation. The full yearbook is available at
(667 Kb)and that ine particular article is also available at

Currently, OSCE-FOM is working on a conference for all its
members, to be held in late spring 2004. In preparation of
that, a workshop was held in Vienna where international
experts convened. Amongst them were represantatives of
UNESCO and the Council of Europe. Other experts were Felipe
Rodriquez (founder of XS4all), Jennifer Jenkins of Duke
University, and Sandy Starr of Sp!ked Online. The topics
debated during the workshop, which was held on 30 November,

* universal access to Cyberspace  Strategies of the "Inter-
  governmental Council of the Information for All" Programme
  (IFAP) run by UNESCO;
* Council of Europe activities regarding new information and
  communication technologies;
* the diminishing importance of constitutional rights in the
  Internet age;
* the importance of the public domain for creativity,
  innovation, and culture;
* the effects of September 11th on the Internet; and
* censorship and intellectual property rights in an inter-
  national context.

A modest press release is available at
    http://www.osce.org/news/generate.php3?news_id=2923 .
A brochure containing the vatrious contributions to the Nov.
30 Vienna workshop will be published before the Spring


- K -

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