It's the Definition, Stupid! Framing of Online Privacy in the Internet Governance Forum Debates
21 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2013 Last revised: 5 Nov 2013
Date Written: March 30, 2013
In the policymaking realm the framing of policy issues and problem definition have long been powerful tools in setting the agenda for decision makers and influencing the prioritization of acceptable solutions. Policy debates about online privacy are riddled with buzzwords that establish privacy as a policy domain. Some of these frames survive over time, although their meaning and interpretation change; others gain temporary visibility only to be left at the margins of the discourse; yet others disappear when new frames emerge. Over the years, and depending on venue, privacy has been framed as a matter of security, freedom of expression, human rights, and more. These discursive tokens act as boundary negotiating artifacts that delineate one policy space from another, as framing is a powerful mechanism in shaping policy debates. Frames are strategically deployed to leverage the status quo to promote one’s political agenda in policy deliberation. Taken together, the prominence and the functionality of framing make it an important factor in understanding both actual policy and its potential repercussions. Yet, frames are rarely systematically analyzed in the information policy research.
Keywords: privacy, internet governance, framing, natural language processing, discourse analysis
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