Information Ethics Roundtable
This Year's Topic: Information Rights as Human Rights
and featuring a workshop on Libraries and Human Rights
April 15-16, 2011
We live in an "information society." Information and information technologies are increasingly essential to our social, economic, and political interactions. Given this, serious reflection on information ethics imperative. "Information ethics" studies the value questions that arise in the creation, control, and access to information. The Information Ethics Roundtable is a yearly conference, which brings together researchers from disciplines such as philosophy, information science, communications, public administration, anthropology and law to discuss the ethical issues such as information privacy, intellectual property, intellectual freedom, and censorship.
The focus of this year's roundtable is the relation between human rights and information ethics. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights lists a number of rights related to information (e.g., Articles 18, 19, 25, and 26). Such "information rights" include the rights to create and communicate information (e.g., freedom of expression, freedom of association), to control other's access to information (e.g., privacy and intellectual property), and rights to access information (e.g., freedom of thought, the right to read). This conference will address several conceptual, empirical, and ethical issues:
- What theoretical approaches to human rights could be most fruitfully applied to questions in information ethics?
- What are the human rights related to information?
- Are information rights best conceived merely as liberties, which obligate states to refrain from restricting freedoms, or as welfare rights, which obligate states to provide resources?
- Are information rights instrumental rights, that is, do they promote the fulfillment of other human rights?
- What challenges does cultural diversity pose to a human rights approach to information ethics?
- Is there empirical research (e.g., case studies, statistical analyses) relevant to understanding the relation between information ethics and human rights?
- What are the relationships and possible conflicts between information human rights (e.g., the right to intellectual property and the right to access information)?
- Do we have human rights to access particular information technologies, such as computers, cellphones, or the Internet?
- What are the drawbacks of taking a human rights approach to information ethics?
The roundtable is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the program chair:
School of Information Resources and Library Science
University of Arizona
kmathies (at) email (dot) arizona (dot) edu
Speakers confirmed so far:
- Kit Wellman (Washington University in St. Louis, Philosophy), author of A Liberal Theory of International Justice
- Toni Samek (Alberta, Library and Information Studies), author of Librarianship and Human Rights: A Twenty-First Century Guide
- Adam D. Moore (Washington, Philosophy and the iSchool), author of Privacy Rights: Moral and Legal Foundations
- David Cuillier (Arizona, Journalism), author of The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records
- Jeannine Relly (Arizona, Journalism), author of "A Comparison of Political, Cultural, and Economic Indicators of Access to Information in Arab and non-Arab states" Government Information Quarterly
- Kay Mathiesen (Arizona, SIRLS), author of "Access to Information as a Human Right"
- Laura Lenhart (Arizona, SIRLS)
Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010
Acceptance Notification: January 1, 2011