IRIS is calling up against the MAI
IRIS (Imaginons un Réseau Internet Solidaire) is joining the international mobilization against the multilateral agreement on investment (MAI). This mobilization has begun in France since the publication of Lori M. Wallach's article in Le Monde Diplomatique (February 1998 issue), and the availability of the MAI draft on the Web site of this monthly journal, which allowed French deputies to learn about this document.
Following the initiative of personalities from the Culture field, the French mobilization currently concentrates mainly on the dangers of the MAI with regards to intellectual property. The French government is now supporting the claim to include a cultural exception in the MAI draft, like the one formalized in the GATT agreement in 1993.
However, if the MAI draft does include substantially dangerous provisions with regards to intellectual property, the sole cultural exception, if recognized by the MAI, wouldn't be satisfactory.
We have to reject the MAI as a whole, and influence in this direction the decisions to be made, particularly at the national and European levels.
The MAI establishes the absolute domination of the political power by the economic power, by giving all the rights to the « investors », and leaving all the duties to the governments.
By replacing many international agreements, and specially bilateral agreements, the MAI will lead to the relinquishment of social protection and democracy guarantees
More specifically concerning the Internet, the MAI includes the following dangers :
- The banning of any possibility of public service access to the Internet.
- The bounding to failure of personal data protection and privacy regulation.
- The banning of any government, local community, or any public organization support to any project with solidary objectives.
- The setting up of almost automatic retaliation measures against any action considered by a commercial company as detrimental to its activity.
- The acceleration of the seizure of the Internet by multinational companies, specially facilitated by the « convergence of services » and the de facto monopolies.
- The domination of the commercial use of the Internet, and the generalization of consumer-only pratices.
Moreover, the provisions against intellectual property rights will also apply on the Internet.
For these reasons, and following its open letter against the subservience of the French government towards the monopolistic aims of the Microsoft company, IRIS is taking part in the international mobilization against the MAI draft with the following actions :
- Signing on the Joint NGO statement on the MAI (an initiative of the « Public Citizen » organization in the USA)
- Calling up other French NGOs to sign this statement. IRIS has made available a French translation of the statement.
- Contributing to raising the awareness in France on the MAI (distribution and translation of various documents, available on IRIS Web site)
- Sensitizing on this issue IRIS partners from the GILC (Global Internet Liberty Campaign) international coalition.
(dernière mise à jour le ) - firstname.lastname@example.org