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Internet Activa: A Course on Digital Rights and Civil Liberties

The Colombian foundation Karisma [es] has gained Google's sponsorship and the support of the Colombian organization Red Pa Todos [es] (Internet for Everyone) to launch Internet Activa [es] (Active Internet), “an open and digital online course aimed at supporting those who want to actively participate in defending the open, participatory, and free Internet that we know.”

The Karisma foundation, among other things, spreads information and investigates Information and Communication Technologies -ICTs- and new, open and collaborative educational experiences.

But under what circumstances and context did Internet Activa arise? they explain [es]:

…Internet va penetrando las sociedades y evidenciando esa nueva sociedad permitiendo que pensemos en un verdadero acceso libre al conocimiento que potencie el desarrollo, ha facilitado movilizaciones sociales como las de la primavera árabe, ha globalizado movimientos como el de los Indignados y convertido en un reclamo por la libertad de expresión las leyes que con apodos pegajosos van asustando a los habitantes de la red por el mundo (Sinde, Hadopi, Ley Lleras, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, etc.).

Durante los próximos años diseñaremos el entorno legal de Internet y estará en nuestras manos explicar a los legisladores, al gobierno, a la sociedad por qué nos importa y cuál es la relación que tiene con nuestros derechos, los derechos digitales que defenderemos.

…The Internet continues to penetrate our societies and demonstrates that new society allowing us to think about the possibility of truly free access to knowledge that enhances development. It has facilitated social movements like the Arab Spring, it has globalized movements such as the Indignados (The Outraged) and it has turned laws with catchy nicknames that continue to surprise people on the internet all over the world (Sinde, Hadopi, Ley Lleras, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, etc.) into a call for freedom of expression.

During the next few years a legal environment for the Internet will be designed and it will be our responsibility to explain to legislators, the government, and to society why this is important and how this is related to our own rights, the digital rights we are defending.

Using the experience of RedPaTodos with the issue of copyright, the people at Karisma have planned an online course to “activate the net” which will strive to:

Internet Activa

- Apoyar a quienes quieren participar actívamente en la defensa del Internet abierto, participativo y libre que conocemos.
- Dar bases conceptuales y herramientas prácticas básicas para entender los temas claves del Internet.
- Apoyar el conocimiento sobre el entorno legal de Internet en su relación con los derechos digitales y civiles
- Conocer experiencias similares, relacionadas con los derechos digitales e Internet, en nuestra región para conectarnos con pares.
- Aprender sobre mecanismos civiles de participación ciudadana para participar en las políticas públicas que diseñan el futuro de la Red en nuestro entorno

- Support those who want to actively take part in the defense of the open, participatory, and free Internet we know.
- Provide conceptual foundations and practical tools to understand key issues on the Internet.
- Support knowledge of the Internet's legal environment in relation to digital and civil rights.
- Share similar experiences, related to digital rights and the Internet, from our region to connect with peers.
- Learn about civil mechanisms for citizen participation to get involved with the public policies that shape the future of the Internet in our environment.

Lastly they add:

Esperamos que el curso tenga una gran receptividad y después de esta primera edición que hemos titulado Derechos digitales y libertades civiles en la red, 12 lecciones básicas activadas desde Internet, continuemos abordando, formándonos y profundizando en temas para mantener el Internet abierto, colaborativo y dinámico que conocemos.

We hope that the course will be met with great receptivity and that after this first edition, which we have titled Digital Rights and Civil Liberties on the Net, 12 Basic Online Lessons [es], we will continue to address, learn about, and delve into issues to keep the Internet an open, collaborative, and dynamic environment for all.

The initiative was announced on September 14, 2012, and September 27 will mark the start of its first module: “Internet, Society of Information and Tools of Participation”, with conferences led by Michel Bauwens and Offray Luna. There will be 17 expert activists in total, the majority from Latin America, who will be in charge of leading the 12 programmed lessons or modules.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Pilar Sáenz [es], from the Karisma foundation, regarding this subject. She was in Lima because the organization Escuelab [es] will serve as one of the chosen auditoriums [es], in this case for Peru. This is what Pilar had to say about Internet Activa.


The YouTube channel for Colombian website Desde Abajo [es] (From Below) published a video not too long ago with Carolina Botero [es], also from the Karisma foundation, and Beatriz Busaniche [es], from the Argentinian foundation VíaLibre [es]. Both have scheduled talks with Internet Activa, but you can listen to them now in the following video where they discuss the right and value of free expression on the internet, the Llera Laws, and other subjects:

Michel Bauwens, who will kick off the series of conferences, has given a few TED Talks, the first in 2009 in Brussels, and the second in 2011 in Stockholm.

The module schedule [es] is available on Internet Activa's webpage. It is important to emphasize the free nature of the talks: you don't have to sign up in order to participate, you simply connect, and it will be possible to freely access the talks once they are uploaded to the site.

Don't forget to follow Internet Activa on Twitter [es] and Facebook [es].

Original post published in Juan Arellano's personal blog [es].
Subtitles by Hernan Botero

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