Saturday, December 4, 2010

9th Annual Information Ethics Roundtable

The Information Ethics Roundtable

Conference on Information Rights as Human Rights


April 15-16, 2011
University of Arizona, Tucson

Keynote Speaker: Kit Wellman, Department of Philosophy, University of Washington, St. Louis

The focus of this year's Information Ethics 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 related to human rights and information:

  • What theoretical approaches to human rights could be most fruitfully applied to questions in information ethics?
  • What are the benefits or drawbacks of taking a human rights approach to information ethics?
  • What are the human rights related to information?
  • Are information rights best conceived as liberties, which obligate states to protect individuals from interference, 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 different information human rights (e.g., the right to intellectual property and the right to access information)?
  • What sorts of institutions (e.g., libraries, public schools) are necessary in order to protect human rights to access information?
  • Do we have human rights to access particular information technologies, such as computers, cellphones, or the Internet?

Submit an abstract of up to 500 words on any of the above or closely related topics. E-mail abstracts to Include your full name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address. Address any queries about the conference to Kay Mathiesen (

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010
Acceptance Notification: January 1, 2011

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