ALCEI Declaration of Principles

Who we are and what we do

What ALCEI is

ALCEI is a free association of citizens. Its purpose is to defend, develop and affirm the rights of the “electronic citizen” – each one of us when we use an electronic communication system or service; including those people who, though they do not have or use a direct access to a communication device, use those services to send or receive information.

These rights relate to present and future regulation and public knowledge of this subject, as well as daily practice; and they coincide with the duties of the electronic citizen, such as respect of everyone’s opinion and privacy.

Anyone can be a member of ALCEI; but people who violate the basic principles of ethics and honesty, mutually respectful and free society, or behavior in electronic communication, can be excluded.

What ALCEI wants

ALCEI wants the right for each electronic citizen to express his or her opinion in total freedom, and with full protection of privacy; and opposes firmly any attempt to limit these rights.

ALCEI opposes with active and civilized protest any form of censorship, in whatever way it presents itself and in any form it may be disguised; and any attempt by anyone to interfere with the freedom of people whose opinion one does not share.

ALCEI defends everyone: the individual user, direct or indirect, of the smallest system or the largest centers of electronic publishing as well as the operators and managers of sites or networks, with special attention for those small units that, without any commercial purpose, work with a passion for service to their fellow citizens.

ALCEI defends the people who use the internet or by any other means use electronic communication for education, knowledge, curiosity, amusement or a private pursuit of their own.

ALCEI defends people who pay for service or have free access – as in universities or in public or private companies – but do not because of that lose their “electronic rights” nor give up the right of privacy of personal communication. Rights that exist in open networks as well as in private systems.

ALCEI intends to protect also system operators, opposing any attempt to make them “objectively responsible” for all information or opinion available on their system – or any other interpretation or regulation that may limit their professional freedom or interfere with their invaluable role in culture and society.

More generally, ALCEI intends to intervene, also legally if necessary, in all those situations where the (otherwise legitimate) needs of system security, or commercial or political pressures, may limit freedom of opinion and information.

ALCEI does not practice any discrimination – philosophical, ideological, religious, ethnic or political.

What ALCEI does

ALCEI intends to be a point of documentation of all cases in which the freedom and rights of the electronic citizen are violated or threatened.

ALCEI intends to intervene wherever freedom of expression is in any way limited and where the right of access, or the freedom to choose “with whom” to communicate, is impeded or limited.

This in all cases: be it caused by legal conditions or political action, by bureaucratic-administrative controls, by economic pressures or interests – or motivated by the legitimate needs of security, which can and must be satisfied without interfering with individual freedom and privacy.

ALCEI intends to be involved where the fast growing development of communication technology opens immense possibilities –to protect and affirm, in the spaces that now exist as in those that will be created, the rights and freedom of “electronic citizens” against any form of repression or subordination.

ALCEI: its range of action and ways of intervention

ALCEI does not work only with information campaigns but its priority, and preferred tool, is to communicate via mass media and all other places where public opinion is formed; using whenever possible direct and open relations with traditional information media, printed or audiovisual; but using to its full capacity the power of electronic communication on a national and global scale.

ALCEI will make full use of places of dialogue and electronic connections available in Italy and worldwide – and will encourage the opening of new communication channels if these can increase the freedom of electronic citizens and expand their horizons of exploration.

ALCEI intends to defend the right of each electronic citizen in any system – small or large, independent or commercial, public or private – to have full and free access to areas of debate and confrontation.

The information flux will be exchanged with international communities, other organizations that share the same objectives and “electronic citizens” worldwide, through interactive and transparent electronic channels.

ALCEI does not wish to be only a “consumer association” but a point of production and development of the expanding culture of interactive communication, a nucleus of initiative for the growth of awareness in all spheres of Italian society of the productive, social and educational potential offered by the “electronic frontier” of communication, by the crucial role of this interactive tool for the democratic life of communities and of the entire country.

ALCEI is not only an association for defense. It is and wants to be an agency for the collection and choice of information, for the elaboration and spreading of knowledge. A source and a tool of new information and communication; and also a legal and social entity, ready to act in all appropriate places to affirm the rights of the electronic citizen.

What ALCEI is not and does not do

ALCEI is not a “lobby” available to companies, groups or special interests; it is not a trade union, nor the representative of any specific category of enterprises; it is not a political party, nor the supporter of any political group.

ALCEI is not an organization for the protection of legal software; but, while it recognizes right of ownership of intellectual property, it strongly defends electronic citizens as software consumers on matters of quality, service, distribution, fair price and free access, against any constriction which may limit freedom of choice.

ALCEI lives of the financial and professional contribution of its members; it does not accept government grants. It accepts private contributions by individuals, companies or other entities, but only as support of its objectives and not as a way of conditioning its behavior.

ALCEI does not define interactive communication as the use of specific tools (such as a computer, a modem or a protocol). Beyond any technological development, interactive communication remains as a human reality – free exchange between free citizens of all the world.