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Information Society Project Issues Technology Policy Recommendations

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School has issued a set of technology policy recommendations aimed at helping shape public debate on the topic during the current U.S. presidential election. The release of these principles, entitled “9.5 Theses for Technology Policy in the Next Administration,” is timed to coincide with the 18th Annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy (CFP) Conference to be held in New Haven May 20-23, 2008. The theme of the conference is “Technology Policy 2008.”  

“The CFP conference, as well as the election of a new administration, is an opportunity for the Yale ISP to promote greater public debate in key areas of U.S. technology policy,” ISP Executive Director Laura DeNardis explained, adding that many critical issues in technology policy have not yet sufficiently entered mainstream public conversations.

The Yale ISP’s 9.5 theses are:

1.  Privacy. Protect human dignity, autonomy, and privacy by providing individuals with control over the collection, use, and distribution of their personal information and medical information.

2.  Access. Promote high-speed Internet access and increased connectivity for all, through both government and private initiatives, to reduce the digital divide. 

3.  Network Neutrality. Legislate against unreasonable discrimination by network providers against particular applications or content to maintain the Internet’s role in fostering innovation, economic growth, and democratic communication.

4.  Transparency. Preserve accountability and oversight of government functions by strengthening freedom of information and improving electronic access to government deliberations and materials. 

5.  Innovation. Restore balance to intellectual property rules and explore alternative incentives to better promote innovation, freedom, access to knowledge, and human development. 

6.  Democracy. Empower individuals to fully participate in government and politics by making electronic voting consistent, reliable, and secure with voter-verifiable paper trails. 

7.  Education. Expand effective exceptions and limitations to intellectual property for education to ensure that teachers and students have access to innovative digital teaching techniques and educational resources.

8.  Culture. Ensure that law and technology promote a free, vibrant and democratic culture, fair exchanges between different cultures, and individual rights to create and participate in culture.

9.  Diversity. Limit media concentration and expand media ownership to ensure a diverse marketplace of ideas. 

9.5   Openness. Support innovation and fair competition by stimulating openness in software, technological standards, Internet governance, and content licensing. 

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School was founded in 1997 by Professor Jack Balkin to study the impact of the Internet and other information technologies on law and society. For more information, visit http://isp.law.yale.edu/.