The Civil Society Internet Rights Project (CSIR) is
a GreenNet Educational Trust
(GET)-sponsored initiative to provide knowledge, resources and tools
for civil society organisations to safely and productively use the Internet
as a means of increasing democracy and to campaign on social justice issues.
is the UK member of the Association
for Progressive Communications (APC), and is leading the European
section of the APC's Civil
Society Internet Rights Project. The primary goal of this project
is to provide the resources and tools necessary to defend and expand space
and opportunities for social campaigning work on the Internet against
the emerging threats to civil society's use of the 'Net. This involves
developing ways and means of defending threatened material and campaigning,
as well as lobbying to ensure a favourable legal situation for free expression
on issues of public interest.
Until recently, the social norms of Internet communities,
together with a very open architecture based on supporting these norms,
regulated the Internet, and was responsible for its openness. The main
forces of regulation now, however, are the business sector and government
legislation. Corporations and governments are pressing for fundamental
changes in legislation and in the architecture of the Internet. Unless
challenged, these moves could radically change the nature of the 'Net,
making it a place of oppressive controls instead of freedom and openness.
It is in this context that APC's Internet Rights project is being developed.