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GILC Submission to W3C re PICSRules (2)

Hier nun die Reaktion des W3C auf die Erklärung 
der GILC. 


FITUG e.V. Förderkreis Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

>Return-Path: <gilc-plan@gilc.org>
>Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:56:34 -0500
>From: Dave Banisar <banisar@epic.org>
>Subject: fwd> Re: GILC Submission to W3C re PICSRules
>To: Global Internet Liberty Campaign <gilc-plan@gilc.org>
>Precedence: Bulk
>Reply-To: gilc-plan@gilc.org
>Errors-To: list-admin@gilc.org
>X-UIDL: 10012a4fb945d52648fdd1b30dc3a525
>>Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:39:10 -0500
>>To: banisar@gilc.org
>>From: "Joseph M. Reagle Jr." <reagle@w3.org>
>>Subject: Re: Re: GILC Submission to W3C re PICSRules
>>Mime-Version: 1.0
>>Forwarded Text ----
>> From: "GILC-Plan" <gilc-plan@gilc.org>
>> Subject: Re: Re: GILC Submission to W3C re PICSRules
>> To: "Joseph M. Reagle Jr." <reagle@w3.org> (by way of Michael Baker
>> Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:20:50 -0500
>> Status:
>> -------------------- Original Message Follows --------------------
>> Mr. Baker,
>>  Thankyou for the very well presented concerns regarding PICS and PICSRules.
>>  >*  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly
>>  >protects freedom of expression for all and specifically the "freedom to
>>  >hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
>>  >information and ideas through any media".
>> Understood, however, this issue is a problematic one:
>> Does my country have a right to filter what I see?
>> The norms for what is considered to be appropriate speech across nations and
>> cultures obviously varies. The W3C is not the proper organization for
>> resolving cultural differences. However, some of these differences have been
>> addressed by a number of international organizations. The following
>> quotation demonstrates that international treaties on civil rights actually
>> have provisions for restricting certain types of speech:
>> Americans don't rely solely on the First Amendment for guidelines on freedom
>> of expression, according to Ann Ginger of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties
>> Institute. Also on the books are:
>> The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, 18 USC Sec.1091 CHAPTER 50A:
>> Passed in 1987 by the U.S. Senate, the act made it a crime to try to destroy
>> people on the basis of race, creed or religious orientation. More
>> significantly, the act also criminalized direct public incitement to
>> genocide, such as hate speech.
>> Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
>> Passed by the U.S. Senate, it became effective Sept. 8, 1992. The covenant
>> prohibits any propaganda for war, as well as "any advocacy of national,
>> racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination,
>> hostility or violence.
>> http://www.fac.org/publicat/fafuture.htm
>>  >*  This principle has been reaffirmed in multiple international
>>  >agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political
>>  >Rights.
>>         See Article 20. My point being it is not our place to determine what
>> is the proper use or exercise of free speech.
>>  >* PICSRules 1.1 have been developed for, or can be used for, the
>>  >purposes of:
>>  >
>>  >  - preventing individuals from using the Internet to exchange
>>  >information on topics that may be controversial or unpopular,
>>  >
>>  >  - enabling the development of country profiles to facilitate a
>>  >global/universal rating system desired by governments,
>>         This is not our intent, though we have been very frank in stating
>> that PICS technology could be used in such a way. Not that we advise or
>> endorse this. Our intent has been the exchange of preference files,
>> (particularly when it comes to privacy) and to continue to enable user
>> empowerment on the Web.
>>  >* PICSRules 1.1 go far beyond the original objective of PICS to
>>  >empower Internet users to control what they and those under their care
>>  >access. They further facilitate the implementation of server/
>>  >proxy-based filtering thus providing a more simplified means of
>>  >enabling upstream censorship, beyond the control of the end user.
>> Some form of trust management (how to make decisions given meta-data, certs,
>> vouchers, digitally signed statements, etc.) has long been a part of our
>> work on meta-data. Lorrie Cranor did a good job of explaining this on the
>> Fight Censhorship list.
>>  >We draw to W3C's attention that:
>>  >
>>  >*  similar techniques that block Internet sites have prevented access
>>  >to innocuous speech, either by deliberate intent, through oversight,
>>  >or as a result of ignorance of the infrastructure of the Web,
>> This is lamentable/unfortunate, and I'm always glad to see people such as
>> yourselves call those organizations on it.
>>  >climate of confidence for the furtherance of electronic commerce. In
>>  >fact, filtering and rating systems intended for the protection of
>>  >minors have proven inefficient and counter-productive,
>>         I am not sure I would agree with this.
>>  >* the ability of community organisations to develop a ratings system
>>  >applicable to their values, a stated original intent of PICS, is not
>>  >enhanced by the complex, albeit sophisticated, language of PICSRules
>>  >1.1.
>>         PICSRules implies that there will be multiple systems, preferences,
>> and ways of selecting/blocking content. I think one of the most outstanding
>> difficulty with filtering systems today is there lack of transparency (the
>> user can't see what is going on.) The product, rating system, or the method
>> for including sites in a white list or black list are biased. Consequently,
>> efforts to remove cultural biases from rating systems and to make them
>> clear, unbiased, and simple can be a good thing IMHO. I think the PICSRules
>> is supportive of point 5 of the EFF guidelines (though you would obviously
>> criticize it with respect to points 11 and 12.):
>> http://www.eff.org/pub/Net_info/Tools/Ratings_filters/eff_filter.principles
>>  >even a cursory analysis of PICSRules 1.1 indicates that the likelihood
>>  >of community organisations developing complex profiles is slim. The
>>  >necessary expertise is more likely to be acquired by governments
>>  >seeking to restrict access to content and inhibit freedom of
>>  >expression.
>>         Hopefully, you would just set your preferences in a nice GUI, them
>> dump them to a file, we have working test code that does this at the W3C.
>>  >It seems apparent that PICSRules have been developed in response to
>>  >calls from governments who seek a more efficient and effective
>>  >technological means of restricting human-to-human communications.
>>         I do not believe this is the case.
>>  >proposed in the UK, Australia, USA. The ability of governments to
>>  >restrict access and freedom of expression through the use of firewalls
>>  >/proxies will be enhanced by the adoption of PICSRules 1.1.
>>         Again, on a pragmatic level, this could be done without
>> PICSRules.Thought has been given by various entities to PICS rating systems
>> translators have already been given some attention. Regardless, a question
>> to ask ones-self when presented with the options of
>>   1. a government stating they will pass a law which makes various entities
>>   liable or that content must be suppressed at the source
>>   2. or a government stating  that you should/must use a specific preference
>> file
>>   when browsing the Web
>> which is better?
>> I believe that your position is that Australia or other countries would do
>> the first, and the policy would be bad, but unactionable. The net gain is
>> that the law on the books would be moot, its implementation would be
>> impracticable, and "free speech" is not practically hindered. With
>> PICSRules, the policy itself may be less onerous, but the practical impact
>> would be troublesome. My response to this is that this is a pragmatic issue
>> of assessing the likelihood of various outcomes, where others may actually
>> disagree with you. Second, it is not the position of the W3C at this point
>> to try to weigh these various outcomes in the many different cultures and
>> jurisdictions that want to use the Web and to make value judgements about
>> which is better. Though I will say that such an analysis did seem to be the
>> reason PICS was started in the US/CDA context (and now that the SC struck
>> down the CDA, people's assessment of the balance and slipperiness of certain
>> outcomes is changing.) Also, the people working on the technology probably
>> make these types of judgements for themselves, personally. I can't speak for
>> them, but for myself, and I think for most of the people, are still trying
>> to push client side, self empowering type solutions.
>>  >However, once there is a global rating system, people in Sweden, Brazil,
>>  >USA, or wherever, will be able to rate material with that rating system.
>>         I think the global rating system is of concern in your context given
>> the pragmatic assessments you make, but is not something the W3C is
>> responsible for and is orthogonal to PICSRules. Also, we are not in the
>> position to publicly question and judge the motivations of our members. Work
>> is produced according to typical  W3C process, there has to be a fair amount
>> of interest and consensus.
>>  >In view of the above, we oppose the proposed adoption of PICSRules 1.1
>>  >on the grounds that they will provide a tool for widespread global
>>  >censorship, which will conflict with W3C's mission to "realize the
>>  >full potential of the Web...as an efficient human-human communications
>>  >medium".
>>End Forwarded Text ----