www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> ICANN or UN? (Declan)
geert lovink on Fri, 12 Dec 2003 12:11:42 +0100 (CET)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> ICANN or UN? (Declan)



This posting of Politech Declan seems to representative of the U.S.
libertarains and academics' postion towards WSIS--at least I have not yet
heard other voices. This position seems to mix up national governments with
UN, as if they are one and the same. But even more remarkable is their
defense of ICANN. Even the most prominent ICANN critics such as Milton
Mueller is openly defending the status quo (see my interview with him lately
on nettime). This could be explained in cultural terms like Americans being
traditionally distrustful of goverments in general, but I do not quite buy
into that explanation. It could be a late 911 effect (like... the world is
conspiring against us, etc.). Anyway, I find it interesting to see that,
instead of going into the offensive and using WSIS as a platform to
formulate global alternatives to ICANN, a lot of these Americans start to
openly defend ICANN. Interesting politics. Ciao, Geert (on the train to
Geneva)

--

From: "Declan McCullagh" <declan {AT} well.com>
To: <politech {AT} politechbot.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 2:13 AM
Subject: [Politech] U.N./ITU convenes world Internet summit this week in
Geneva [fs]

The aptly-named "Digital Solidarity Agenda" for this week's United
Nations/ITU summit on the Internet and information society is mostly
duplicative and predictable. Documents posted Saturday call for more taxes
and spending by governments on politically-favored information technology
programs, the protection of "indigenous peoples'" cultural heritage,
outlawing so-called hate speech ("I think the Irish suck!"), and so on.
There's the obligatory crypto-censorial suggestion that governments must
take "appropriate measures" to combat "combat illegal and harmful content
in media content," whatever that means.

Then there's section D2, which says the U.S. government should take
"concrete efforts" toward expropriating $97 billion a year from American
taxpayers in grants to third-world nations. I'm not sure how much
non-military foreign aid the U.S. hands out today, but in 1997 we gave
around $7 billion. (If we have perhaps 150 million U.S. taxpayers, without
adjusting for income disparities, the extra $90 billion amounts to an
average tax increase of $600 per taxpayer per year. A bargain!)

Of course the U.N. bureaucrats will insist on seeing that extra $90 billion
goes to the rightful recipients -- after they take their cut off the top.
See a report from a former U.S. State Department official titled "A Miasma
of Corruption: The United Nations at 50":
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-253.html

In light of the Geneva U.N. conference this week, an excerpt from that
report is telling: 'One of the most egregious abuses is the United Nations'
penchant for holding international conferences of dubious worth. A splendid
example was last year's $2.5 million Summit for Social Development held in
Copenhagen, Denmark. Featuring 100 world leaders, the summit (and its dozen
preparatory meetings) fuzzily focused on poverty, job creation, and
"solidarity." The outcome was roughly divisible into two categories:
bromides that few could quarrel with or find of practical use and proposals
for yet more government intervention to promote societal betterment.'

The same is true with this week's meeting. About the only concrete
proposal, as you can see in the links below, is a naked power grab to wrest
control of Internet governance (domain names, addresses) from ICANN. As
flawed as ICANN may be, it's probably a heck of a lot better than letting
the U.N. take over.

News coverage:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3300071.stm
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/aptech_story.asp?category=1700&slug=UN%20Tech%20Summit

-Declan

---

http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs/pc3/declaration-principles.pdf

2. Our challenge is to harness the potential of information and
communication technology to promote the development goals of the
Millennium Declaration, namely the eradication of extreme poverty and
hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender
equality and empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality;
improvement of maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and development of global
partnerships for development for the attainment of a more peaceful, just
and prosperous world.

15. In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must
be given to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the
preservation of their heritage and their cultural legacy.

33. To achieve a sustainable development of the Information Society,
national capability in ICT research and development should be enhanced.
Furthermore, partnerships, in particular between and among developed and
developing countries, including countries with economies in transition, in
research and development, technology transfer, manufacturing and
utilisation of ICT products and services are crucial for promoting
capacity building and global participation in the Information Society. The
manufacture of ICTs presents a significant opportunity for creation of
wealth.

36. While recognizing the principles of universal and non-discriminatory
access to ICTs for all nations, we support the activities of the United
Nations to prevent the potential use of ICTs for purposes that are
inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability
and security, and may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure
within States, to the detriment of their security. It is necessary to
prevent the use of information resources and technologies for criminal and
terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights.

37. Spam is a significant and growing problem for users, networks and the
Internet as a whole. Spam and cyber-security should be dealt with at
appropriate national and international levels.

39. ...  Governments should intervene, as appropriate, to correct market
failures, to maintain fair competition, to attract investment, to enhance
the development of the ICT infrastructure and applications, to maximize
economic and social benefits, and to serve national priorities.

48. The Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the
public and its governance should constitute a core issue of the
Information Society agenda. The international management of the Internet
should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full
involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and
international organizations. It should ensure an equitable distribution of
resources, facilitate access for all and ensure a stable and secure
functioning of the Internet, taking into account multilingualism.

50. ... We ask the Secretary-General of the United Nations to set up a
working group on Internet governance, in an open and inclusive process
that ensures a mechanism for the full and active participation of
governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and
developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and
international organizations and forums, to investigate and make proposals
for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005.

59. All actors in the Information Society should take appropriate actions
and preventive measures, as determined by law, against abusive uses of
ICTs, such as illegal and other acts motivated by racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance...


http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs/pc3/plan-action.pdf

e) In the context of national e-strategies, address the special
requirements of older people, persons with disabilities, children,
especially marginalized children and other disadvantaged and vulnerable
groups, including by appropriate educational administrative and
legislative measures to ensure their full inclusion in the Information
Society.

b) Governments in cooperation with the private sector should prevent,
detect and respond to cyber crime and misuse of ICTs by: developing
guidelines that take into account ongoing efforts in these areas;
considering legislation that allows for effective investigation and
prosecution of misuse; promoting effective mutual assistance efforts;
strengthening institutional support at the international level for
preventing, detecting and recovering from such incidents; and encouraging
education and raising awareness. c) Governments, and other stakeholders,
should actively promote user education and awareness about online privacy
and the means of protecting privacy. d) Take appropriate action on spam at
national and international levels. e) Encourage the domestic assessment of
national law with a view to overcoming any obstacles to the effective use
of electronic documents and transactions including electronic means of
authentication. f) Further strengthen the trust and security framework
with complementary and mutually reinforcing initiatives in the fields of
security in the use of ICTs, with initiatives or guidelines with respect
to rights to privacy, data and consumer protection.

6 b) We ask the Secretary General of the United Nations to set up a
working group on Internet governance, in an open and inclusive process
that ensures a mechanism for the full and active participation of
governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and
developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and
international organizations and forums, to investigate and make proposals
for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005. The
group should, inter alia:
i) develop a working definition of Internet governance;
ii) identify the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet
governance;
iii) develop a common understanding of the respective roles and
responsibilities of governments, existing intergovernmental and
international organisations and other forums as well as the private sector
and civil society from both developing and developed countries;
iv) prepare a report on the results of this activity to be presented for
consideration and appropriate action for the second phase of WSIS in Tunis
in 2005.

27. The Digital Solidarity Agenda aims at putting in place the conditions
for mobilizing human, financial and technological resources for inclusion
of all men and women in the emerging Information Society. Close national,
regional and international cooperation among all stakeholders in the
implementation of this Agenda is vital. To overcome the digital divide, we
need to use more efficiently existing approaches and mechanisms and fully
explore new ones, in order to provide financing for the development of
infrastructure, equipment, capacity building and content, which are
essential for participation in the Information Society.

b) Developed countries should make concrete efforts to fulfil their
international commitments to financing development including the Monterrey
Consensus, in which developed countries that have not done so are urged to
make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national
product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of
GNP of developed countries to least developed countries.

D2. Mobilizing resources 
a) All countries and international organisations
should act to create conditions conducive to increasing the availability
and effective mobilisation of resources for financing development as
elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus.
b) Developed countries should make concrete efforts to fulfil their
international commitments to financing development including the Monterrey
Consensus, in which developed countries that have not done so are urged to
make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national
product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of
GNP of developed countries to least developed countries.

_______________________________________________
Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)



#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net