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Telematics, the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics, is the most

crucial industry sector for the future of humanity. It is key to the indispensable
updating and possible deepening of our democratic systems, through their adequate
extension to the global level and to the main systems of public opinion formation.
Only such extension, in fact, will avoid that citizens of the world will stand,
both powerless and unaware, while largely unaccountable interests lead them to
ultimate nuclear, environmental and biological catastrophe.
The patterns of control over network-enabled software that will become legal and
predominant over the next few years, will weigh more than anything on a definite
slide of humanity towards, either its extinction, or an unprecedented deepening of
democracy and freedom.

Telematics can be defined as ways software programs are used to control hardware
devices and data networks to provide a communication experience. Software is not
only the key element of information networks like the Internet and the Web but, by
now and increasingly, of practically all those media that originated as bare
telecommunication channels, such as: radio, analog TV, satellite and digital TV,
mobile phones.

Paradoxically, over the next few years, the practical nature of certain telematics
innovations, especially those enabling remote democratic organizing and audience-
controlled mass self communications, and the way our democratic societies will
legislate and enforce their access and control, will be the main potential
instrument for reviving democracy and therefore substantially reducing the
abovementioned risks (3).

SOFTWARE IN THE CURRENT HISTORICAL CONTEXT

The mounting pressures exerted by imperial ambitions, media concentration and


corporate globalization over outdated constitutional systems are rapidly eroding
the ability of liberal democracies to provide for their citizens’ wellbeing and
survival.
By all accounts, it is increasingly probable that a major global catastrophe will
take place and trigger large-scale non-conventional military conflicts, leading
humanity to extinction or to the further entrenching of durable forms of inhumane
global governance.

The power dynamics exposing us to such grave risks are neither natural nor
inevitable.
They are the direct product of the inability of humans to establish and maintain
sufficiently rational forms of governance, through rapidly changing social and
technological contexts.
In particular, it is caused by the increasing gap between the frantic development
of private technological innovations and the actual advancement of technological
progress, which materializes only when access and control to such innovations
become available to a large majority of people.
In fact, when important technological innovations remain controlled and accessible
by a small minority of privileged individuals, through cost of use or right of
access, they have the regressive effect of increasing their power to advance their
exclusive interests.

Technological progress and the expansion of democratic forms of governance have


historically promoted each other through synergic dynamics. More recently,
however, the rapidly increased pace of technological innovation, generated by such
positive feedback loops, have left democratic theory and institutions gaping
behind in awe.
Today, technological innovations in every field of society are increasingly driven
by telematics and software applications, which constitute overwhelmingly the
defining instruments of their research, development and production.
Increasingly, the controlling element and practical non-emotional economic value
of any product or service in the economy is constituted by or attained by
software.
Software is the defining component of almost all current telematics services.
Use of telematic services and devices occupies about 5 hours of the average day of
a western citizen, and it has become the gateway for well over half of all his
human communications, and growing.
In our interaction with content, software, at the same time, empowers us, and
strongly controls and constrains us. It interactively controls - on the basis user
input and often its detailed profile - the available content, the easy-to-find
content, the navigation options, the personalization of advertising, the data
formats I can access, how and if I can read content I have purchased, and much
more.
It also can, and often does, maintain growing user interaction records with very
limited possibility for users to verify their fair use. If often becomes content
itself when the ways in which it allows content interaction become a greater
attractive to users than the content itself.

“And the good news is that nobody owns software” (2). Not today. Not yet.

Nobody can ever own it, just as no one can ever own any product of the human
intellect. Nobody rightly claim property rights over software, or a movie or a
song; such as those we can claim for our car or our piece of land.
Nobody holds, and can ever hold, any kind of permanent right over software.
Regardless of what the media and public relations industry lead us to think, the
property or ownership of software is currently illegal.
Yes, nobody owns software because our western constitutions do not allow it. They
do not allow the ownership of any product of the human intellect. In fact, the
Constitution of the United States gives the US Congress an optional power to
temporary, and only temporary, grant authors the exclusive right over an
intellectual good, provided that such grant ultimately promote the progress of
society. Such granting power is given to US Congress on an objective conditions -
that it is applied “for limited times” - and a subjective conditions - that it
ultimately “promotes progress of science and useful Arts” (1).
So therefore, whenever you hear anyone use the phrase “Intellectual Property
Rights” while referring to copyrights or patents that someone holds over certain
intellectual goods; it is not different, from a legal and constitutional point of
view, from using “Children Property Rights” when referring to the temporary and
limited rights that a parent holds over his own children.

All-powerful media and software giants, however, with the increasing support of
political elites, have been working hard to convince us of the contrary, by
extensively calling “property rights” what are in reality “conditional temporary
rights”, aiming to extend more and more the duration and scope of the same. In
fact, they have almost realized the de-fact property of ideas, when they have
successfully (in the US) lobbied for the extension of duration of copyright, at a
time when the majority of the economic useful life of intellectual goods has been
shrinking dramatically. Such shrinking is due to the accelerated of pace social
and technological change that renders all creations largely obsolete in a very
short time.

CRITICALITIES OF TELEMATICS IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES

TELEMATICS INFLUENCE ON DEMOCRATIC SYSTEMS IS HIGHLY UNDERRATED BY MEDIA

Telematics, especially broadcast media, have an unaccountable transformational


influence on democratic systems, that is much deeper than what political and
economic elites forcefully lead people to think, through their control of the
media itself.
This happens and will continue to happen because it is in the main financial and
power retaining interest of those controllers.
In fact, ownership of mainstream domestic media brings the highest potential
economic benefits, to those corporations that depend on a political protection to
maintain and extend profitable market dominance that they would otherwise loose in
a “free market”.
It is no coincidence that many who own the main agenda-setting media in Italy, are
the same that placed their hands on the private monopolies created out of former
public monopolies. It is no coincidence that major US military/industrial groups,
such as general electric, own major global news and history channels, such as NBC
and the History Channel (9).

SOFTWARE PATENTS, LICENSES AND TRUSTS

It is undeniable that copyright has been legal for software, and that it has been
the main incentive driving an accelerated pace of fantastic informatics
innovations. Much less certain, instead, is the way this model has, especially in
recent decades, succeeded in spreading actual technological progress, especially
when measured in comparative terms among countries and social classes.
The main reason it worked was that organizations had incentives to invest in
research and development of new product in the expectation of ripping profit by
temporary controlling access to those innovations.
Since the start, this model has had some negative effects as well. In fact, the
temporary denial of access to those innovations reduces dramatically the number of
people able to enjoy the benefits of such innovation, as well as the number of
creators able to leverage on them to further create.
These negative effects have now become much more acute, for the following
interconnected phenomena.
1. The marginal cost of creating an additional copy of an innovation has reduced
to almost zero, increasing hugely the opportunity cost of preventing such access
to the public.
2. Access to a large numbers of updated intellectual goods, thanks to the
communication revolution, has become both the primary means of production and the
primary raw material of both research and production on new intellectual goods.
3. While the duration of copyright has been extended to many decades, the product
life of intellectual goods, especially technical information like software, has
decreased to a few years at most.
4. The increase in the legal scope and sheer number of software patents in the US
has allowed few software giants holding hundreds of licenses - while exempting
each through bi-lateral patent pools - are in the position of suing or threatening
to sue any smaller competitor that may get close to compete with them in
profitable markets.

The combination of these phenomena create a situation of large economic


inefficiencies in various markets and of danger for freedom and democracy.

GROWING COMPLEXITY OF TELEMATIC POLICIES & CITIZENSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The growing gap between the complexity of policies related to intellectual goods
and educational opportunities of most, is a formidable impediment to citizens’
ability to supervise over possible severe abuses of their constitutional rights by
PA and other entities.
Their increased use of software in the exercise of their prerogatives and
obligations as citizens exposes their essential constitutional rights, such as
vote and privacy, to large scale and continuous abuse by an increasing number of
entities.
Those in the position to exercise such abuses in a huge scale, includes large
numbers of people and entities, with a motive, that can gather the necessary
sufficient funds, capacity or connections.

COPYLEFT FLOSS AND FREEDOM OF WEB USERS

It is a great danger for democracy that in an era when our constitutional rights
of speech and civic participation, are increasingly exercised by interacting with
devices connected to software-controlled telematics services, we have no way to
verify what is the software controlling those services.
The Web started as a way to navigate across a huge decentralized repositories of
documents stored in different websites. Today, the typical web page is not made of
a single document but of ready-made content, compiled dynamically from various
data sources by software. Web applications, such as Google, Yahoo, Amazon or your
work intranet, have become a simple gateway by which we use, free or at a charge,
software programs, in order to filter, navigate, modify, or, in general, interact
with data and documents.
The invention of FLOSS software licensing has brought and still brings a great
amount of freedom to desktop software users and, to a lesser degree, to developers
and managers of server-side applications. Its success has been mostly due to the
widespread adoption of GNU GPLv2 license and other copyleft licenses, which have
ensure virtuous economic dynamics while preserving the freedom of software and its
derivatives.
As more and more user computing moves from the desktop to the Internet, copyleft
FLOSS is ordained to fail in bringing freedom to software users because the
copyleft provisions of the GPLv2 do not consider web users as software users.
Currently, copyleft FLOSS licenses paradoxically prohibit the developer of a web-
accessible derivative version from requiring his own licensees to share those same
freedoms with the actual web users.

This creates the current paradox where software users globally, who increasingly
use software through a web browser interface, end up having no rights at all
beyond the right of use, with or without charge. Worse even, most of the software
they are running is a derivative of FLOSS software - developed mostly by thousands
of well-intentioned volunteer developers - becomes the most powerful instrument
for large web software giants to keep people with even less rights, than those
given to them by traditional desktop proprietary software licenses.

Authors of new version of the GNU GPL copyleft FLOSS license, the most used
license for free software, have intended to fix such “freedom bug” for a long
time. Much as the inventors of copyleft software licenses, used the excessive
powers given by laws to holders of copyrighted material, in order to increase the
power of their users, I will later propose that we use this new “freedom bug” as
the primary tool to fix itself.
Unfortunately, from the final drafts of such license, it appears that fixes will
only be partial and optional. Such optional clause, the Affero clause, states in
fact that web users of derivative software should be able to download the software
they are using from a link on the same website.
It is not clear, nor probable at this stage, that most copyright holders of
widely-used web-accessible FLOSS will decide to make their software available
under this new license, and decide to apply the optional Affero clause.

An even greater and crucial problem is that, paraphrasing the words of Richard
Stallman, the inventor of FLOSS and one of the co-drafters of this license, “even
such clause, does not provide the web user any means to verify that the software
he is downloading from the provided link is really the software that is actually
running in that moment”; or, for that matter, was running 2 hours ago or will be
running next week.

HOW DEMOCRACY SHOULD FIGHT BACK

I outline below a set of proposed actions that, if enacted, decisively and


concurrently, by a large number of elected national legislative bodies, would, I
claim, reduce substantially the grave risks outlined at the onset of this writing.
These proposals are highly dependent on one another in order to be effective,
though to different degrees.

ENACT INTEGRATED AND SWEEPING MEDIA ANTITRUST LAWS

I ask you to give a special chance to what I will be proposing here, by


considering that the reason the scope of what I will propose will sounds odd to
you - and squarely outside “the range of acceptable opinions” held by mainstream
politicians and media – may be because such ranges are indirectly, but nonetheless
very firmly controlled, on the long term, by the main loosers of such proposals:
the owners and controllers of mainstream media, and other telematic
infrastructure.

In a media environment where separation of media communications in different


channels or means, becomes impossible, the way to measure antitrust limits should
be based on the percentage of the total time a web user, reader or member of the
audience, spends placing “primary attention” on printed material or telematic
services that are, fully or partially, controlled by a certain entity.
For reasons explained below, antitrust limits should be very severe in
contemporary society, even considering the arguable negative increased costs of
the average media product, due to the reduced possibility of realizing economies
of scale.

Here is an example of the kind of antitrust laws that could be put in place, based
on the mentioned assumptions.
No entity, foreign or domestic, should hold a controlling stake of a more than a
maximum percentage of the total “primary attention” of citizens, within a
geographical area. Such local maximum percentages should be set to 4% at the
national level, 6% in the province, and 8% within a city.
No entity, owning more than 5% of the total shares of companies that are in the
business of production or reselling of advertising in that geographical area, can
control stakes of media entities that exceed half of the local maximum percentage.
No entity, owning more than 2% of the total shares of companies in any kind of
business in that geographical area, can control stakes of media entities that
exceed one quarter of the local maximum percentage.
National and local government should redirect 50% of their current financing of
“public” media – that are currently controlled by semi-political personnel mostly
appointed by the leaders of the parties of governing coalitions – to finance a
very extensive, decentralized and democratic program of audience-financed media.
According to this method, each citizen, at the time of his tax declaration, will
choose among candidate non-profit media outlets – not accepting donations or
advertising - one or more to which he will instruct the PA to donate 200 euros.
This would enable the economic sustainability to hundreds of independent media
outlets that would respond only to their audience and sympathizers.
These proposed actions are just examples of ways in which societal communications
could be radically democratized, and a true free market of ideas can be created.

In fact, every liberal and neo-liberal economist has always agreed on the need for
a minimum set of governmental rules, including antitrust laws, in every industry
sector to set off the virtuous dynamics of the “free market”.
Nowadays, on a national and a global level, telecommunications and software -
sectors whose functioning according to “free market” rhetoric would most be
necessary for a democratic society - are paradoxically the most monopolized and
“oligopolized”, because of practically inexistent antitrust laws. The absence of
any cry whatsoever from the liberal or neo-liberal politicians and intellectuals,
to liberalize those markets, says a lot about their honesty.
In fact, a monopoly in the market of shoes in a country will surely result in a
substantial long-term rise in their cost, and a decrease in their quality and
variety. That’s bad but bearable.

A far more serious problem arises when monopolies and oligopolies arise in the
market of ideas themselves, in those sectors directly influencing public opinion.
If a monopoly arises in the markets of instruments used by humans to access,
navigate, create and spread ideas, the same effects follows on price, variety and
quality that we expect in other sectors. But not only, it also has the effect of
giving the relative market leaders a very controlling stake over the most crucial
economic asset attainable in the economy of a democratic society: control over
public opinion.

The average person in western countries spends about 5 hours a day consuming
telematic services, that are run and managed by software, on devices that are
increasingly controlled by software: satellite and terrestrial TV, Internet and
Web.
A small part of this time is spent navigating and searching for content through
the accessible and most promoted options made available to my specific
geographical area by powerful private interests, via remote control and
increasingly via software-driven user interfaces.
The largest majority of this time is spent consuming content of primarily
entertaining or “informative” nature, which is selectively made available, as well
as easy and cheap to access, by those same interests. A miniscule time - but
increasing for a few, mostly privileged, citizens - is spent actively contributing
content by submitting, as well as remixing, or submitting descriptive information
to, existing content.

In contrast, people spend much less time communicating to friends, relatives,


party or union co-members or work colleagues. Home, work, and squares attending
speech events, were a prime locus of political opinion formation. For good reason
our democratic systems constitutionally protected the free access to such
communication spaces to anyone, to ensure the maintenance of a reasonably free
market of ideas.
People spent hours a day practicing these largely horizontal and free mass self
communications. They constituted the so-called “public sphere”, a basic
precondition for the very idea of democracy, whereas ideas would freely compete
within society for the approval of the largest number of citizens.
Today, technological innovation and social changes have brought citizens to
replace those traditional mass self communications with software-mediated remote
communications that are mostly vertically-controlled, highly passive and one way,
and covertly mediated.

The consequence of this is a huge power over of public opinion in the hands of
controllers of those distribution networks, hardware and software, that are
predominant, or the sole available, for the consumption of those services.
Their goal is, quite obviously, the furthering of their financial interests.
Core to this goal, is to protect their market dominance from the risks of a “free
market”, through the extension of their power of influence over public opinion to
further such interests, and those of their main politician friends, financers,
clients, partners and shareholders.
In order to maintain such influence, they first of all must ensure the largest
majority remains convinced that such power is much smaller than it really is or
inexistent, in order to avoid that a spreading of such understanding among
citizens may help modify laws and constitutions in ways that would seriously
decentralize and democratize such power.

AMEND NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONS TO MAKE THEM UPDATABLE BY CURRENT GENERATIONS

Amendments to the constitutions of democratic nations should ensure that highly


democratic Constitutional Reviews would be called every several years or on
request of a majority of citizens. Several carefully developed provisions should
ensure both the highest levels of democratic and informed participation and an
effective contribution from constitutional engineering experts.

This procedure is currently present, although in a form drained of any actual


effectiveness, in article 109 of the UN Charter.
As far as concrete provisions for these amendments, it could be stated, for
example, that the election of Constitutional Review Assemblies, and other re-
constituting bodies, may be reserved to citizens that have never been to political
office or official role in political organizations. This would reduce the chance
that a governing majority of professional politicians could dangerously reduce
minority and civil rights through constitutional amendments.

In fact, our current constitutional systems are structurally defenseless in front


of the scope of the latest change in the nature of human communications, just as
they were - and still are - in front of the advent of pervasive broadcast media.
In fact, original drafters of most national democratic constitutions were clearly
unable to predict the nature and pace of changes in human communications,
financial globalization and military technology, which we have witnessed.
Such constitutions do not provide, nearly the required checks and balances, that
are necessary to prevent the controllers and “market leaders” in those sectors
from fatally diminishing the effective sovereignty of citizens in liberal
democracies.
The risk is the slide of our liberal democracies towards novel forms of multi-
party electoral undemocratic regimes.
These constitutional provisions would enable future generations to democratically
evolve their constitutions, ensuring that radical societal changes would fatally
weaken their ability to put in practice their inspiring principles.

GUARANTEE FULL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS COMPLAINCE FOR SOFTWARE USED BY PA

Here is how PAs can enforce the constitutional rights of their citizens and at the
same time spur growth in their domestic software industry. These provisions are
meant to be best enacted progressively over a few years.

1. Severely limit the ability of exercising domestic commercial activity to those


foreign software patent holders, who exercise, or threat to exercise, patent
infringements suits against EU-based entities.

2. Reduce the admissible duration of copyright for all intellectual goods to a


fixed duration from the date of creation, ranging from 0 to 10 years, depending
mostly on the average duration of useful economic life of each type of
intellectual good.

3. For all desktop and network-enabled software used or financed by the PA,
guarantee full constitutional rights by giving both the right, and concrete means,
to acces the source code of software used at any given time.
Require that all desktop and network-enabled software used, managed and acquired
by the PA be FLOSS.
Require that any PA-financed development of new server software, or extension of
current FLOSS, be never released under any license, but instead be given “access”
to all citizens through a Universal Public Access Policy. Through such “Access
Policy”, national Pas, and other guarantors, would affirm to all citizens the
following conditional rights:
I. Basic FLOSS freedoms: to use, inspect, improve and create a modified
version.
II. Copyleft obligations, extended to all citizens (7). The obligation for all
authors of derivatives of PA software, to make available any modified version not
only to users, and users through a network interface, but to all citizens.
III. The right, and the concrete means, to verify that all the software running
on servers hosting PA services corresponds, at any given time, to that available
for download through the network session.
In order to provide these freedoms, the software would not technically be released
to anyone, but it would legally be given network “access to”. In order to provide
these freedoms, national PAs would require the signing of a copyright assignment
from anyone wishing to audit, modify or extend such software.
In order to promote a healthy economy around PA-contracted software development
and an active development of software application over which the PA has decided to
invest, the PA, for less privacy critical systems, would allow non-PA derivative
authors to choose to retain, for 1 to 3 years, the exclusive right to modification
to the source code - except the right of the PA and fixing bugs or porting to
previously unsupported hardware or operating system.
An exception would be done for desktop software, not meant to interact with any
kind of personal data of individual citizens, including PA employees. In these
cases, the ability to audit the software source code may be enough.

4. Legislate the obligation of the PA to render all its service, documents and
data available also in publicly accessible data formats, and whose viewing is
available through FLOSS software, which is available in versions running on all
networked-enabled devices, used by over 1% of the national population.

In a global software market dominated by a handful of giant corporations through


patents, proprietary licenses and data formats, the choice by a single nation to
stand behind its citizens’ constitutional rights could come at a substantial cost.
The current state of affairs, however, is too dangerous for democracy. It
seriously damages the proper functioning of a democracy, because it decreased
efficiency and increased costs of its operations, because it stifles the domestic
informatics industry and, most of all, it critically reduces freedom and
democracy.

Such impact varies widely depending on the private or public of the data
manipulated by the software and, especially, weather it is used on a desktop or on
a remote server, through a web browser for example.
Standalone client applications running in PA offices are often used for producing
non-personal documents or exchanging non-personal communications within the PA. In
such case, there are just increased costs and decreased efficiency.

PROMOTE LOCAL EXPERIMENTS OF NEW MODELS DEMOCRACY FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

Legally enable and finance, local experiments of new forms of direct and
participatory democracy, which take full account of the deeply changed nature of
human communications.
Such experiments should focus on rendering available devices and software,
necessary for the practice of formal and informal democratic participation and
deliberative discourse. These should be completely integrated with in-person
participation, in-person participatory meetings, and all remote means of
communication that are today readily available and familiar to all citizens, such
as telephone and post.
Main goal of such experiments should be to deal face on with the critical issues
of the privacy of communications, as well as with the security and privacy of vote
and other citizens’ civic contribution.
For this reason, PAs should promote experiments that promote two opposite
approaches to such crucial problems.
On one side, it should finance and legally enable local PAs attempts to
technically restore and enhance the actual enforcement of constitutional rights of
privacy and vote of citizens. Such local PAs would attempt to make so that all
citizens have readily available, for a low costs, computing devices through which
they can exercise with full certainty, or almost full, their rights to private
digital text and voice communications towards other citizens and in their exercise
of their prerogatives and duties as citizens.

Conversely, it should also finance experiments in models of democracy that –


taking for granted the fact the communication privacy is today accessible to well-
financed organized criminals and those in power positions– would experiment
sweeping new forms of democracy that do away with the secrecy of vote and the
secrecy of participation in religious or political organizations.

Such solutions should experiment locally repeatedly and extensively, and


eventually deployed to increasingly larger geographical level.

FINANCE GLOBAL DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENT PROCESSES

Greatly finance and promote, through every diplomatic channel, the discussion and
design of, both feasible and sufficiently democratic, organizational processes,
electoral processes and telematic infrastructure necessary to initiate proper
global constituent processes.

In fact, the creation and enforcement of laws, which would enable telematics to
play its necessary role in enhancing democratic systems, cannot succeed if the
attempt to get them enacted and enforced stops at the national level.
The attempt by any one country, to deploy the sweeping legislation changes,
required to create a sufficiently plain field in their domestic market of ideas,
would be countered by huge outcries by elite corporations and countries, about a
supposed attack on freedom of speech and freedom of “property”. Even if enacted,
they would be strongly weakened by the transnational nature of major telematics
infrastructure, as well as their past concession of sovereignty, through
international treaties, to undemocratic global governmental organizations (wto,
wipo, etc.).
The opposition of domestic national media would be even stronger, as major
shareholders are often the largest and most parasitic economic groups of the
country, and they would see threatened their direct control over public opinion
formation and, therefore, over corrupt friendly legislators.

It is clear to most, that the people of just a single country, can hardly have any
hope that their government - no matter how smart and honest – is be able to
seriously attempt to resolve their most crucial collective problems and threats.
The most urgent of those threats are nuclear and environmental disasters, but
these are rapidly being compounded by new threats, sparked by technical
innovations.
Unfortunately, it is not at all clear to most, that the solution to those global
threats is exactly the same solution that largely resolved those same problems
within democratic nations: a functioning democratic government. For example, large
scale health damage caused by coal factories in early 20th century England was
eventually stopped by laws passed and enforced by a democratic government; the
insecurity and continuous fighting among small states and city states within
nations, typical of many that are today democratic, were solved by giving and
enforcing a monopoly of violence to democratically-controlled public agencies
based on the rule of law.
Unfortunately, these same systems of governance, that we take for granted as the
best way to manage power in our national communities, when envisioned on a global
scale, appear to us, in our media-shaped collective imaginary, as undesirable,
impossible, “the end of freedom”, “the realization of a world dictatorship”.

Much of this paradox has to do ultimately with the pervasiveness of nationalist


and religious propaganda, that have so strongly been inculcated in all of us from
the major opinion formation structures of society.
The nationalist and religious propaganda has historically been an unfortunate
necessity for the survival of many peoples. It has been militarily essential to
instill in poor young people the determination to volunteer happily to risk their
life to kill other poor young people that happen to be born within another country
or religion.
Although useful and necessary at times, as we have seen, it was often abused as
the primary fuel of national propaganda efforts to convince them of inexistent
imminent dangers posed by a foreign nation, its citizens, or entire ethnic groups
or religions.
Today, such “necessary illusions”(8) represent the greatest obstacle to humans’
awareness of the dire need of a rapid globalization of democracy, through the
democratic creation of a fully empowered and democratic Global Federal Government.
These “emotionally potent oversimplifications” (8) are used by economic and
political elites to blind people from the oneness of humanity, its complete
interdependence and the fundamental similarity all humans based on shared basic
needs and aspirations.

CONCLUSIONS

I hope to have convinced you of the great importance of telematics public policies
and telematics solutions to the promotion of a positive future for humanity. This
outcome cannot avoid the need to tackle the great tasks of radically democratizing
human communications and building a global federal government.
Readily-available and self-controlled telematic services and devices – especially
those in support of remote democratic discourse, integrated with in-person, post
and telephone communications - can become a decisive factor in convincing world
citizens of the practical feasibility of having fair global elections, through the
enablement of global democratic discourse on equal basis across great differences
of language, habits, means and societal values.
Most importantly, they are the key element through which proper global constituent
processes may be eventually initiated, and conducted in very democratic,
participatory and informed manner. In fact, those tools are crucial to leverage
limited translation resources, the creation of cost-effective large-scale remote
democratic discourses between millions of world citizens, sampled world citizens
and their elected representatives.
The level of democratic participation and citizens’ control over those processes
is, in fact, the factor that can best guarantee that the outcome of such
constituent processes will be a global institutional architecture with sufficient
checks and balances to maintain a course of self-improvement.

EXTENDED GLOSSARY

PA(s): Public Administration(s). In our liberal democratic system, PA defines all


those organizations, and their appointed sub-organizations, which are elected and
financed by all people who have citizenship right in a given geographical area.
Nonetheless, when media or software commercial conferences refer to PA, they
almost exclusively refer to the less critical bureaucratic organizations that
provide various kinds of services to citizens under the indirect control of the
executive branch of government.

FLOSS: Free/Libre and Open Source Software defines all of those software
applications for which an “adequate” set of selected and conditional rights have
been conceded by its copyright holders to at least one person, with or without
charge. Which sets are to be considered “adequate” is decided by appointed
committees of 2 US-based non-profit organizations, on the basis of definitions
(4)(5) written by the founders of such organizations and maintained by other
appointed committees or the founders themselves (8) in such organizations.

REFERENCES

1. http://pages.citebite.com/q1p2g9w3g1hwr - Text - (Art. I, Sect. 8, 8th


paragraph, United States Constitution).
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NorfgQlEJv8 - Video stream - see minutes
4:00-6:40 and beyond, (Eben Moglen, co-draft of first and most used free software
license at a Software conference, Sept. 2006)
3. http://youtube.com/v/KSxYEzSpFdc.swf - Video stream - Noam Chomsky speaking
on prospects of democracy and human survival
4. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html - The Free Software Definition by
the Free Software Foundation
5. http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php - The Open Source Definition
by the Open Source Initiative
6. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html - CopyleftedSoftware - The
Definition of Copylefted Free Software by the Free Software Foundation
7. http://pages.citebite.com/i1j2t9y7m6xxd - Section 7.b.4 of the latest draft
of the GNU General Public License.
8. http://pages.citebite.com/v1d3p7o0n3jfp -Text - Book excerpt,“Necessary
Illusions” by Noam Chomsky 1989, Chapt. 1.
9. http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart.php - Data - 2005, Chart of media
ownership in the US.
10. http://pages.citebite.com/l1r3b8n3v8mlt - Text - Charter of the United
Nations, article 109.

If you have problems with any of the provided links or have comments and
suggestions on the text, please contact the author at:
http://www.blog.guerreschi.org
Technical note: You can go to www.getdemocracy.com to download a software
application (Mac, Win and Linux) which will allow you to both search, download and
watch these and other videos using FLOSS software.
Telematics, the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics, is the most
crucial industry sector for the future of humanity. It is ke