It's for you: NGOs fill the digital space in the Telecoms Package

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Leading up to last week’s vote in the European Parliament of the Telecoms Package, it was striking to see the myriad of digital advocacy tools that were used by a group of NGOs called ‘La Quadrature du Net/Squaring the Net’. To safeguard the openness of internet and to prevent the insertion of the so called graduated response (or 3 strikes and you’re out) ‘La Quadrature du Net” put together an impressive online campaign that included:

  • A campaign wiki allows you to collaborate in the campaign – all the information related to the campaign was put on a wiki on their website that allows you to see their recommended voting list, download tools to help you contact MEPs, standard letter templates, information about the campaign and MEPs and the ability of course to add your own user generated content
  • A simple but effective website includes a blog, newsletter subscription, RSS feeds and a press review to keep you coming back
  • Search engine – if you searched for Telecoms Package on Google last week, La Quadrature du Net came up first
  • Online banners and blogs – the blog posts in favor of amendments supported by La Quadrature du Net exploded – again all downloadable from their website

All in all, if you were the assistant responsible for briefing your MEP ahead of the vote and looking for information online you would have probably found their information. If you were a supporter, there’s all you need to get you started on advocating on the issue. Although one does not necessarily has to agree with their point of view, La Quadrature du Net did manage to create a lot of noise in very short period of time and their campaign is an excellent example about how to use digital.

Perhaps an example that digital industries can learn from?


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October 03, 2008 | 4:46 PM

Hi Pierre, Thanks for your comment! Je serai très intéressé de lire votre thèse. N’hésitez pas à me l’envoyer ! Magnus

Pierre-Antoine Rousseau
October 02, 2008 | 5:00 PM

Hi, Thanks for this article Magnus. Yes, the European NGOs in the Internet sector are able to put into practice a powerful lobbying (wiki-lobbying or open-source lobbying). Basically, with a very low budget, these NGOs can reach a huge visibility on Internet on influence MEPs thanks to the professional use of wikis, etc. Btw. I have made Master's thesis on this very subject (and especially about the lobbying of one this NGO during the "software patent directive"). I can send it to you if you are interested. However, it's in French...

October 02, 2008 | 4:30 PM

Thanks for enlightening us about the "Political Memory" tool - seems really cool and useful! Looking forward hearing more about it in the future. Magnus

October 02, 2008 | 4:15 PM

Get the amendments online, so that people can discuss them. The European Parliament and other institutions still do not understand that they have to get the debate online going. The days of drafting the laws in dark rooms of EU institutions is not yet over. Where is the wiki analysis of the amendments on the IFPI website?

October 02, 2008 | 3:21 PM

Also look at "Political Memory" : It is an online wiki-based tool where one can easily get to reach his MEPs (click his phone number to call him via your favorite VoIP software), find MEPs by groups, commissions, parliament building floors, etc... People can enrich every MEPs page by adding his positions and staments on our issues. It is also used to keep track of the votes on our issues, and helps us to "rank" MEPs given to accordance between their votes and our recommandations. (here it is for Sept. 24th vote for instance : ) Political Memory was incredibly useful for helping us to reach our objectives, and we keep improving it ( :* to Gérald "gibus"!!!) Thank you for your article acknowledging the work we do on these crucial issues. 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399....