CIRCA:Ethics Codes and Charters (excerpts)

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PRIVILEGING THE INFORMATION SOCIETY: IS THERE A HUMAN RIGHT TO COMMUNITCATE?

  • Raphael Capurro and Intercultural Ethics
“one main task of intercultural ethics is to foster cultural identities not through their isolation or mere addition or even collision but through a process of communication being held more and more on the basis of the digital “infosphere.”” (11)
- Consider the digital divide.
- Consider the necessary conditions for dialogue (Geoffrey).
Does digitization reproduce inequalities?
“The digital globalisation not only reinforces and expands upon the divide between the digital haves and have-nots but also makes more explicit and even deepens existing inequalities” (Warschauer 2002) – quoted in Capurro on page 12.
“Intercultural information ethics matters not only in order to overcome the isolation of moral traditions with regard to the Internet but also in order to provide a platform for pragmatic action, for the kind of declarations and (quasi-) legal agreements that can be used as a framework for preservation and fostering of cultural differences in the new digital environment. It is still an open question how far these activities could and should be coordinated by an international agency or by one of the existing UN bodies or by some other kind of institution” (18).
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (pg. 15 in Capurro)
- What about the freedom to express non-expression? Sacred indigenous burial rights and ceremonies, for example.
- “hovering around the idea of equality” (Keavy)
- Right to publishing—where does it come from? What about academic responsibility and integrity? Where did the language of “[academic] rights” come in?
- Negative (no one can stop you from doing it but they can sue you after) and positive rights (right to shelter; society has to take some initiative to ensure these rights are met (Geoffrey))
  • World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS 2003)
1. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled in Geneva from 10-12 December 2003 for the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, declare our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. We reaffirm the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration. We also reaffirm that democracy, sustainable development, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as good governance at all levels are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We further resolve to strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in national affairs.
- Enlightenment philosophy
- Otherness of the “other”
- Should some things remain incommensurable?
15. In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must be given to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their heritage and their cultural legacy.
42. Intellectual Property protection is important to encourage innovation and creativity in the Information Society; similarly, the wide dissemination, diffusion, and sharing of knowledge is important to encourage innovation and creativity. Facilitating meaningful participation by all in intellectual property issues and knowledge sharing through full awareness and capacity building is a fundamental part of an inclusive Information Society.
- Recall Alina Ng’s article: “When Users are Authors: Authorship in the Age of Digital Media” which presents the argument that digital media enables greater creativity; Ng celebrates the “remix culture”.
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