No-Three-Strikes, Yes to Net Neutrality: Distributed Campaigning and Digital Rights in the European Union

34 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2011  

Yana Breindl

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: September 13, 2011

Abstract

The paper focuses on the distributed campaigning techniques of an ad hoc coalition of digital rights activists intervening in the European Union’s Telecoms Package Reform from 2007 to 2009. It examines how technically skilled actors take advantage of networked collaboration and information production, as they discover, learn about, challenge and attempt to modify European policy-making. Activists do not only question the status quo but advance new alternatives and models built on innovative distribution systems of knowledge goods, such as free software and open access initiatives.

Second, the campaign’s effectiveness is assessed through policy-makers perception in the analysis of three interrelated questions: a) did the campaign generate awareness among representatives? b) were protest actors perceived as credible and legitimate interlocutors? c) did the campaign trigger concrete political and/or legal changes? The evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaign allows to draw nuanced conclusions as to the concrete impact of internet-based campaigning targeting European institutions and processes, and constitutes a major contribution to the literature on internet-based collective action.

The analysis shows how resource-poor, internet-grounded actors can substantially affect policy-making by disrupting the course of parliamentary lawmaking at the European level. We provide an analytical framework to study these processes, and carry out a detailed confrontation between oppositional strategies and actual legislative and political outputs, with reference to the literature on internet-based collective action, and the politics of intellectual property in particular. Technical skills and control of the informational environment emerge as key elements in successful campaigning, posing new challenges to political institutions that rely on extra-institutional expertise.

Keywords: Internet-Based Campaigning, European Union, Information, Effectiveness

Suggested Citation

Breindl, Yana, No-Three-Strikes, Yes to Net Neutrality: Distributed Campaigning and Digital Rights in the European Union (September 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1926986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1926986

Yana Breindl (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
91
Rank
235,864
Abstract Views
1,737