Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Our Visby Agenda - a new ICT policy in EU

The European Union is about to form a new ICT policy agenda replacing the current i2010 vision. They're discussing the most important policy questions for the period 2010-2015 (and beyond) and they need our help to get it right.

Therefore I think we should ask ourselves five short questions:

  1. What do you think the e-society will look like in 2015 and beyond? What has changed for worse and better? (i.e. the role of technology in society, or the role of society in technology)

  2. How would you like it to have evolved? (If you could rule the world)

  3. What do you think politicians should do about this? (what is needed to make sure that 2 is realized instead of 1?)

  4. What do you think politicians should not do in order to fulfill your vision?

  5. Which five other people do you think should answer this meme?
My answers to 1-4 are:

I won’t predict, but I hope that e-society will be of benefit to the citizens and stimulates innovation and use without put democratic values at risk.

An ICT policy agenda should focus on general topics and not comprise different policies for each and every sector or trend in society. There are definitely conflicting issues and a balance between individual rights with those of the public, but in general it should supervise people’s natural rights and ensure that these rights are executed fairly, without infringement by another individual or organization or company.

I’m concerned about most governments’ narrow-mindedness. Today they mostly to stand up for big content owners such as record companies and Hollywood studios. Today they are mostly concerned about restricting transparency and public access to governmental documents.

Most high-level proposals today focus on forcing ISPs around the world to spy on their subscribers and turn them off if the content providers think they violate some copyright law. They only satisfy the needs of those who can afford expensive lawyers and lobbyists. It is not reasonable that the wealthiest people can dictate the laws with intellectual property as a strategic business tool. The rights are more often used to keep potential competitors away, than to protect the value of individual achievement or innovation.

A democracy is dependent on the citizen’s possibility to influence the policy. Without public access to information, there is no real democracy. In societies without transparency decisions are taken behind locked doors. That is a good environment for conspiracy theories, populism and extremism. Transparency and public control is a fundament for democracy.

E-policy should facilitate the growth of individuals, organizations and communities that are capable of managing their own continuing transformation, and not to control and direct. E-policy should put less stress on to know what’s best for a particular individual, community, organization, in a particular place, at a particular time, but try to make the best use of local knowledge and the learning experiences. (That’s governmental speech for “crowd sourcing” and all that)

5. I think these should respond to this meme:

(This meme originated at Our Visby Agenda)


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