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Day 1

SESSION 2: Internet and New Activism: The dawn of a new democracy?

Essential Readings

Recommended Readings

Website articles/Blogs
Journal articles
Alternate Sources

SESSION 3 + SESSION 4: How has Internet-mediation reshaped society? – Some Propositions + Social Justice and the Network Society

Essential Readings

Recommended Readings

Website articles/Blogs
Journal articles

Alternate Sources

ICTs and pol participation

SESSION 5 :Where are the Alternatives ? Is distributed power possible?

Essential Readings

Recommended Readings

Website articles/Blogs
Journal articles

Alternate sources

Day 2

SESSION 1: THE INTERNET : Tracing the locus of its power

Essential Readings

Recommended Readingss

Journal article
Website articles/Blogs

Alternate resources

SESSION 2 : Where is State Power in Network Society?

Essential Readings

Website articles/Blogs

Recommended Readings

Recommended Readings

Journal articles

SESSION 3: The internet promotes Sharing/Caring

Recommended Readings

Journal articles

Alternate sources

SESSION 4 : An information society for the future – towards an ethical framework

Essential Readings

Day 3

Framing a Manifesto for an Equitable, Just and Democratic Internet : A Group Exercise


The Internet today underlies so many important social activities, facilitating transformations in multiple spheres of society. It therefore becomes important for us to understand the Internet in its essential/core social implications and recognize its place within struggles for equity and social justice.

What makes this task especially hard is that the Internet means many things to many different people: a global knowledge commons, a new Athenian agora reshaping democratic cultures, the underlying infrastructure for a new world economic order, or simply, a new communication channel. There is no consensus on how the Internet as a multi-dimensional artifact of our times, must be regulated, if at all. For some, the Internet is the last bastion where an anarchist vision can prevail, and it is imperative to protect it from the clutches of state control. For others, the Internet is an ungoverned commons that is being rapidly enclosed by the rise of a new networked capitalism. But what is indisputable is that the Internet's potential for furthering the social justice and equity agenda remains a paradox. We have witnessed both its ability to further a progressive political agenda; and its control by retrograde forces, in recent years.

It is in this context that we introduce this group exercise – of framing a 'Manifesto for an Equitable, Just and Democratic Internet'. This exercise aims at enabling the participants to construct a collective vision of the Internet as a force for greater equity and social justice in the world, and identify key public policy principles and action points pertaining to the global Internet governance agenda.

However, articulating this collective vision is an uphill task, considering the omni-presence of the Internet and its entrenchment in existing power structures. Developing this vision requires us to first map the key characteristics of Internet-mediated change, in key domains of the contemporary social order: media and culture; participatory governance; markets and economic relations; and collaborative knowledge production. If the Internet is embedded in all of these, then which traditions of governance and regulation do we apply to it? Till now, the main paradigm of Internet governance flows from seeing it primarily as a 'platform for global e-commerce', as recognized by the Clinton administration. What other conceptions are needed to complete the picture? And perhaps, enable better articulation of the potential role of the Internet in furthering the struggles for equity and social justice?

This exercise to develop a Manifesto for a just, equitable and democratic Internet will examine the Internet from five standpoints: - as supporting a global knowledge commons, -as a new 'social medium' and a vibrant site of culture, -as a space for free expression and association, - as a channel for democracy and public services, -and as a competitive open marketplace with low barriers to entry.


We would like to divide the participants into 5 groups, each of which will take up one of the aspects mentioned above, and investigate the impact of the Internet in that particular thematic area. We have provided some guiding questions for each of the 5 areas, which may serve as useful points of departure for the group, in deliberating upon the potential of the Internet to promote the social justice agenda,w.r.t the thematic area they have been assigned. Each group is expected to use the evolve a manifesto that contains the following sections: a Preamble that outlines the group's vision of 'the Internet we need', and a subsequent section that specifically addresses the question of what principles and action points are required for furthering the social justice and equity agenda within the thematic area they have been assigned. The groups will begin their ideation for the exercise on the evening of Day 2, and hand in the Manifesto they prepare, as digital text, on the morning of Day 3. Each group will also make a presentation on the key points of their Manifesto and share the key concerns and dilemmas the group encountered while thinking about the impacts of Internet-mediation,on Day 3.

We list below some indicative questions for each group that can assist in such an inquiry, and also some reading material. Please note that the readings and the questions outlined here are only starting points, and we urge the participants to freely use the world-wide web to identify more readings and resources that can inform their in-group discussions.

Introductory Readings for all groups

Sassen, Saskia.2002.”Towards a Sociology of Information Technology”

Epstein, Dmitry.2012. “The duality of information policy debates: The case of the Internet Governance Forum”. pp.13-20

“Declaration of the World Summit on the Information Society”. 2003.

Purkayastha, P, Bailey, R. “Evolving a new Internet Governance Paradigm”

HRC.2012."Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development"

HRC.2013."Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development "

OECD.2008."The Seoul Declaration for the Future of the Internet Economy"

Harraway, Donna. 1991."A Cyborg Manifesto Science, Technology, And Socialist-Feminism In The Late Twentieth Century"

APC.2006."APC Internet Rights Charter"

Fraser, Nancy.1997."From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a “Postsocialist” Age"

Gurstein, Michael.2013."The Open (Internet) Society and Its Enemies: Can Multistakeholderism Survive “Information Dominance?"

Gurstein, Michael.2013."If multistakeholderism had Prevailed in the late 19th – early 20th Century, would women have the vote/would we still have slavery?"

Net Neutrality 101 FAQs

Reardon, Marguerite.2014."Appeals court strikes down FCC's Net neutrality rules"

Theme 1: The Internet as supporting a global Knowledge commons

1. How does the Internet change the global knowledge-sharing landscape?

2. What may be happening to the Internet that could be diminishing its global knowledge sharing potential/ characteristic – such as the increasing criminalization of p2p activity on the Internet?

3. What can be done to enhance the global knowledge sharing potential/ characteristic of the Internet? Specifically, what kind of legal and technical architectural issues may be implicated here?


Moglen, Eben.1999."Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright"

Malcolm, Jeremy.2013."Is digital piracy harmful to consumers?"

Malcolm, Jeremy.2013."DRM, the rights of the consumer ... and the UN"

Raffl, Celina.2009."Meaningful to Whom?” Technology Design and Stakeholder Integration"

Napoli M., P.2013."Translating Diversity to Internet Governance"

Personal Web Searching in the case of semantic capitalism: Diagnosing the mechanisms of personalisation

The Movement against SOPA and PIPA

Black, Ed.2012.”Proposed Web Regulations Threaten Free Internet”

The case of Hadopi Law

Jayasuriya, Mehan, 2010.”What the Google/Verizon deal means for net neutrality – and you”

Theme 2 : The Internet as a new social medium and vibrant site of culture

1. Is Internet, or generally the broader category of 'social software' (which includes networked applications like search engines and social networking sites), a new 'social medium'?

2.What is unique about the Internet as a vibrant site of cultural creation and reproduction? How would one characterize the Internet in this regard?

3. What are the public policy implications of the Internet being a new 'social medium' and a site for cultural creation and reproduction? In this regard, can the Internet be considered as an ordinary economic service /commodity? If no, how else can we conceptualise this?

4.Do some considerations that are used in media regulation, like preventing media consolidation and pro-actively supporting alternative media apply to the Internet and its governance? If so, how?

5. Similarly, to what extent do concepts from telecom infrastructure, such as 'unbundling' and 'common carriage' apply to the Internet?


Shirky, Clay. 2009."The Net Advantage"

[ Neumayer, C., Raffl, C. 2009. “Facebook for Protest? The Value of Social Software for Political Activism in the Anti-FARC Rallies”]

Abbas, Sara. 2012. “Revolution is female: the uprising of women in the Arab world”

Wikipedia Entry: Facebook group defaced

Dean, Jodi. 1999."Virtual fears"

Morozov,Evgeny.2013.”Why Social Movements Should Ignore Social Media”

Fenton, Natalie, Barassi, Veronica. 2011." Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: The Politics of Individuation and Political Participation"

Lindgren, Simon.2013. "The Potential and Limitations 
of Twitter Activism: Mapping the 2011 Libyan Uprising"

Gurstein, Michael. 2012. “The Mobile Revolution and the Rise and Rise of Possessive Individualism”

Venetia Papa, Dimitra L. Milioni, 2013. "Active Citizenship or Activist Citizenship? A Framework for Studying Citizenship in New Social Movements and the Role of ICTs"

Jose Marichal, 2013."Political Facebook Groups: Micro-activism and the Digital Front Stage"

Flint, Joe. 2013. “Free Press report critical of media consolidation and FCC”

Media Consolidation and Who Owns the Media?

Republican House Files: Modernizing the Communications Act

Can this Mockumaentary make the Public Care about Net Neutrality

Brown, B.D. 2013. “Is Google like Gas or like Steel?'

Theme 3: Internet as a space for Free expression and association

1. The Internet is instinctively considered a bastion of free expression and association. What element of its architecture promotes this characteristics? Are there any new developments around this architecture that may be cause for concerns? What can be done to promote an architecture of the architecture of the Internet such that its value for free expression and association can be maximized?

2. What legal frameworks restrict the Internet's propensity to encourage free expression and association, and what frameworks encourage the same? From a legal or regulatory point of view, how is Internet unlike old media and how it is quite like them? What does it mean for legal/ regulatory frameworks for the Internet? Are existing frameworks adequate, or are new ones needed, and if so, what kind?

3. States fear the subversive potential of the Internet and try to control it. How can regulatory structures for the Internet be insulated from interference based on such illegitimate considerations?

4. To what extent are Internet businesses allies in promoting this aspect of the Internet? In which ways could they themselves be a problem?


Sami Ben Gharbia (2010), The Internet freedom fallacy and the Arab digital activism

McLelland, M. 2011. Australia's 'child-abuse material' legislation, internet regulation and the juridification of the imagination

McNamee, J. 2011. “The slide from “self-regulation” to corporate censorship”

[ Jeet Singh, P. 2012. “Hyping one threat to hide another”]

Morozov, E. 2013. “The Price of Hypocrisy”

[Gurstein, Michael. 2014.“DRAFT VERSION: The Internet, Global Governance, and the Surveillance State in a Post-Snowden World”]

Malcolm, Jeremy. 2012. “Online freedom of expression: edge cases and safety valves”

Theme 4 : Internet, democracy and public services

1. On the one hand, the State is using the Internet to consolidate its controls. On the other hand, the present times have also seen a withdrawal of the State from some of its essential roles in the lives of citizens, such as the provision of public services. How does the Internet impact the changing role of the State?

2. Does the Internet enhance democracy? If so, how? Do you think the Internet, and new forms of social interactions and anti-social proclivities that it may support/ promote, may be actually harming democracy?

3. What is the 'Internet we need' to maximise its potential to enhance democracy and provide responsive and accountable public services?

4. Is the Internet becoming so central and/ or essential to exercising democracy and obtaining public services that access to the Internet, and its basic applications, ought to be considered as a human right? If so, what are its public policy implications ?

5. Since considerations of equity and inclusion are central to democracy, what kind of Internet is needed to address the issues of linguistic and cultural diversity, disability, marginalization of various kinds, and so on? In this regard, what are the implications for the Internet's architecture, and for policy and legal frameworks?


Sirky, Clay. 2009. “The Net Advantage”

Gurumurthy, Anita.2013."Tracing t[e impact of ICTs on the social and political participation of women"

Fenton, Natalie, Barassi, Veronica. 2011." Alternative Media and Social Networking Sites: The Politics of Individuation and Political Participation"

Veneklassen, Lisa.2011."Citizen Action and the Perverse Confluence of Opposing Agendas"

Bellamy Foster, J., McChesney, R.W. 2011."The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism"

Bardi, Ugo. 2013."Elections in Italy: the rise of networked politics"

Mc Namee, Joe.2013."Freedom of Speech, Nipples and the Rule of Law"

Martin, Kirsten.2013."Transaction Costs, Privacy and Trust: The laudable goals and ultimate failure of notice and choice to respect privacy online"

Ustaran, Eduardo. 2013."Yes, Consent Is Dead. Further, Continuing To Give It A Central Role Is Dangerous"

Ramanathan, Usha. 2010. "Implications of registering, tracking, profiling"

Wikipedia Entry: Echo Chamber

Wikipedia Entry: Right to Internet Access

Global Impact Study Summary – Public Access

Napoli M., P.2013."Translating Diversity to Internet Governance"

Theme 5: Internet as an open competitive market place, and consumer rights

1.Can the Internet be considered as providing a perfect or near perfect marketplace, with few barriers to entry, removing informational asymmetries, ensuring universal reach, and so on?

2. How does Internet facilitate a kind of new peer-to-peer economy which may not necessarily be market-logic based?

3. What technical and regulatory characteristics of the Internet have allowed and enabled its 'open and competitive marketplace' characteristic? What technical and regulatory characteristics impede such potential of the Internet? Have there been recent changes in the Internet that either improve or subvert its open, competitive 'market- place' nature?

4. Is it necessary to apply competition law to the Internet? In this regard, are there any features unique to the Internet and the services over it? What are these, and how do/ should they effect application of competition law? Are barriers to entry really low on the Internet?

5. What kind of vertical and horizontal integrations may be occurring on the Internet, and how does it impact consumer choice and social choice?

6. Are there any consumer rights vis a vis the Internet? Do they apply to services that are global and not easily made subject to domestic laws? What should, and can be, done about it?


[ Reuters Article: EU says needs more concessions from Google within weeks in anti-trust probe]

Jakobsson and Steinsterdt.2010. "Pirates of the Silicon Valley:State of Exception and Dispossesion in Web 2.0"

Yong Jin, D.2013."The Construction of Platform Imperialism in the Globalization Era"

Oboler, Andre,Welsh,Kristopher,Cruz,Lito.2012."The Danger of Big Data: Social Media as Computational Social Science"Kreps, David.2013."Social Networking and Transnational Capitalism"

Fuchs, Christian, Sevignani, Sebastian.2013."What Is Digital Labour? What Is Digital Work? What’s their Difference? And Why Do These Questions Matter for Understanding Social Media?"

Jilani, Zaid.2013."When the World’s Richest Billionaire Owns Your Paper”

Gupta, Himanshu.2013."Why did Google make an ad for promoting “Search” in India where it has over 97% market share?"

A cartoon on Trademarks

Irani, Lilly.2013."The cultural work of microwork"

Riley,.2012."The rise of the sharing economy"

Jansen, D.W. n.d. “The New Economy and Beyond: Past, Present and Future”

Want China Times article: “Google wins app lawsuit against Taipei city government”

Malcolm, Jeremy. 2014. “Developing online payment systems that protect consumers - See more at:”

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