Digital rights are human rights -- missing role model of pirate/digital citizen

After discussions in Le Shadok yesterday I am even more concerned about our ability to explain the positive vision of happy digital citizens of the future that outsiders to party (=most of voters) could relate to or identify with.

The problem is that we present a loose list of digital, human, civic/social and technical rights, values, principles and items of eurolingo that even we ourselves cannot properly categorize/priorise (as appeared from discussions) and that do not add up into positive vision (but a very fragmented picture).

I think preamble lacking the positive vision of what it means to be a pirate or a ally/supporter/voter is a very real problem too and @anderserk is completely right initiating a discussion about it. Current CEEP is pirate politicians talking to other (pirate) politicians, but we need to talk to (new) voters.

Things to be done

As a sketch I would propose:

  • Create a positive role model describing what we as digital citizens of EU should be entitled to (mostly related to civil/social rights or guarantees, understood to most people wherever in EU they live)

  • Establish that this model is guaranteed by digital rights which can be somewhat technical, but in essence are human rights of digital age (more abstract rights talk)

  • Explain this challenge in first couple of sentences of preamble using a positive and inclusive language making sure reader/voter can relate to it (role model to identify with)

I think this can be done mostly by restructuring chapters about Civil Society, Net Policy, Human Rights in the Digital Era, Free Software and Open Data so that it starts from tangible content such as best practises, examples, goals and then proceeds to more abstract digital rights that protect these practises.

I also strongly believe that after EU having its own declaration of DIGITAL RIGHTS we should start using it as common denominator we are always trying explain and exemplify (cf @pab here, full text here), pretending that this is something whole Europe already fully recognizes and at the same time filling the concept with our own content (because rest of the parties hardly know how to do it).

Even more, I think it would be complete waste not to do it, because without any complicated historical explanations it provides a way to say: pirates stand for digital rights for digital citizens. After that we can start adding to list of digital rights and specifying details, creating the positive role model of a digital citizen or a citizen of digital age.

With one single blow it solves the problem @anderserk was indicating, yet not looking into past, but into future and bringing pirate politics out of nerdy swamp of geek buzzwords, pretentious height of human rights allegations – and without binding it to a any of old ideologies.

Yet we can say that digital rights are human rights and each time slightly differently explain what we mean by that. I personally would expect CEEP 2024 to be covered with expressions of how pirates stand for different and constantly emerging digital rights for digital citizens.

Maybe that is the conceptual step forward from CEEP 2019, that we are seeking?

I think we should use the expectation of the public that we exemplify some sort of role model – be it a “pirate” or somebody else. It is a fact that humans can best relate to other humans (values, rights, principles are secondary in this sense), so using the program to seed our preferred role models also seems essential from that respect.

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