• shareshare
  • link
  • cite
  • add
Powered by OpenAIRE graph
Found an issue? Give us feedback
auto_awesome_motion View all 6 versions
Publication . Article . 2018

Building and defending the alternative Internet: the birth of the digital rights movement in France

Patrick Pétin; Félix Tréguer;
Open Access
Published: 20 Nov 2018 Journal: Internet Histories, volume 2, pages 281-298 (issn: 2470-1475, eissn: 2470-1483, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Country: France

International audience; In the mid-1990s, as the Internet underwent a major wave of growth and commodification, it also became increasingly politicised. In this article, we analyse the process that led to the birth of the digital rights movement in France. Based on archival work and interviews with key protagonists of the movement, this article blends historical, sociological and policy analysis to help explain the politicisation of French “Internet pioneers”. It documents the emergence of alternative Internet service providers, their relationship to other activist groups, and to the wider digital economy. It then shows how the same small group of individuals turned to political advocacy by surveying some of their interactions with policy-makers, focusing in particular on the debate on intermediary liability and freedom of expression. We stress that the particular social trajectories of these digital rights activists confronted with the commodification of the Internet and the power practices of the state converged to create a “perfect storm” that led them to wield exceptional influence on Internet policy in this early phase of development. We also highlight some of the movement’s internal contradictions and explain its waning influence from the early 2000s on. Through this article, we hope to help diversify the historiography of digital activism as well as to contribute to comparative-historical approaches.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Digital economy The Internet business.industry business Policy analysis Power (social and political) State (polity) media_common.quotation_subject media_common Political economy Historiography Digital rights Political science Commodification


History, Computer Science (miscellaneous), [SHS.HIST]Humanities and Social Sciences/History, [SHS.SOCIO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Sociology, [SHS]Humanities and Social Sciences, [SHS.DROIT]Humanities and Social Sciences/Law

Powered by OpenAIRE graph
Found an issue? Give us feedback
Funded by
EC| netCommons
network infrastructure as commons
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 688768
  • Funding stream: H2020 | RIA
Related to Research communities
Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
Download fromView all 4 sources
Internet Histories
Data sources: UnpayWall