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<nettime> wsis digest no. 5
geert lovink on Thu, 18 Dec 2003 14:08:56 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> wsis digest no. 5

World Summit on Information Society
Nettime Digest, no. 5 December 18, 2003

1.   Allan Liska: More Questions Than Answers
2.   WSIS Report by Jo van der Spek
3.   Richard Stallman on WSIS
4.   OurMedia Clemencia Rodriguez reports
5.   Wolfgang Kleinwächter (Telepolis, in German)
6.   World Summit of Cities and Local Authorities
7.   Official WSIS Press Release
8.   Civil Society Representatives Present Declaration
9.   WISIS-Award.Org
10.  NTK on WSIS


1. WSIS Leaving More Questions Than Answers
By Allan Liska


An amazing thing has happened over the last month: People all over the
Internet are saying nice things about ICANN. It is difficult to imagine
something that would make so many people stand up and defend ICANN, and yet
they are. What brought about this sudden change? The change in attitude
reflects the idea that an organization even more derided than ICANN might
take over the governance of the Internet.

That organization, of course, is the United Nations, under the banner of the
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The WSIS is an attempt by
the United Nations to extend the reach of information technology throughout
the world and to use the power of information technology to allow people to
reach their full potential and improve their quality of life. One of the
ways the United Nations proposes to encourage this development is to take
the control of the Internet from ICANN and instead place it under control of
the United Nations.

The WSIS is organized around two different documents, A Declaration of
Principles and A Plan of Action. The two documents discuss a broad range of
technology issues, but the area that has created the most controversy are
the few paragraphs discussing Internet governance.

Two things are important to stress. First, nothing was decided in this
meeting, and no actions will be taken until the next meeting in 2005.
Secondly, and more importantly, as with anything the devil is in the
details. Given the vagueness of the documents available, there are few
reliable conclusions that can be drawn from the summit. Those who wish to
see bad things will see them, those who want to see good things will find
them as well.

The fact that the documents are so vague actually generates more questions
than answers, especially in the area of DNS control.

Management of ccTLDs:

The final Plan of Action produced by preparatory committee (the December
12th version) encourages governments to "manage or supervise, as
appropriate, their respective country code top level domain name (ccTLD)."

This implies that the United Nations would take over the management of the
ccTLD DNS infrastructure. At one level this is not a bad idea. ICANN is not
a political organization -- political in the sense of dealing with the
structure or affairs of government -- the United Nations is entirely a
political organization. One of the problems Jon Postel, and his staff, ran
into when initially setting up country code domains is determining what
constituted a country. Rather than make that decision, the DNS forefathers
decided to use the country code list from the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO 3166).

Over time, the original list of ccTLDs has become outdated, which results in
oddities like the ccTLD .su still being in use, even though the Soviet Union
no longer exists. It can also be difficult, not to mention outside the scope
of their responsibility, for members of a non-political body to determine
who the rightful owner of a ccTLD is.

The downside is that precisely because the United Nations is a political
organization the delegation of ccTLD authority may not be handled in an
equitable fashion. It is possible that one country will unduly influence the
delegation of the ccTLD for another country. There is no indication, within
the Plan of Action, that safeguards should be put in place to ensure the
ccTLD process is not politicized.

Management of gTLDs:

An obvious omission in both the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of
Action is discussion of generic top level domains (gTLDs). GTLDs account for
more than 90% of all registered domains. These domains are not political in
nature, and therefore require a different level of scrutiny than ccTLDs.
Conspicuous because of their absence, does the United Nations intend to
leave the gTLDs under the control of ICANN, or do they intend to take those
over as well. If the United Nations intends to take control of gTLDs, what
is the justification for that?

Also not mentioned in the Plan for Action is what would become of ARIN,
RIPE, and APNIC (as well as the smaller registries). Currently, IP Address
assignments fall under the control of ICANN, would those move to the control
of the United Nations, or would ICANN maintain control? IP Address
assignment is currently decided based on need, if the United Nations assumes
control, would that remain the same, or would they choose another criterion.

Management of Root Servers:

The Plan of Action discusses the creation regional root servers: "In
cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, promote regional root
servers..." Again, the purpose of this is rather vague. As the Internet
becomes more internationalized greater amounts of traffic will flow from
countries that now have limited Internet access. It appears the United
Nations is proposing the extension of the root servers into these parts of
the world.

This would be understandable if the current root server maintainers were not
already aware of, and addressing, this problem. At last count, there were 22
root servers located within the United States and 19 located outside of the
United States. Clearly, there is awareness within the root server community
of the need to internationalize their presence and they are quickly
addressing this.

Returning to the political nature of the United Nations, is the idea of
government-controlled root servers a good idea? Root servers are a powerful
tool that can be used to limit access to information, and, more nefariously,
to track the movements of citizens on the Internet. A government with a less
than stellar human rights record could use this part of the plan to further
limit the rights of its people. In this case, using independent entities to
distribute and maintain root servers seems to serve the greater good.

The Questions:

Before any judgments can be made about the effectiveness, or feasibility of
the ideas outlined in the Plan of Action more concrete information is
needed. The details of these plans are currently unknown to the Internet
community at large, and may even be unknown to the members of the WSIS.
Based on the information that is available it appears the Plan of Action
needs to be thought through a little more thoroughly.

Despite its sometimes justified reputation there is nothing inherently wrong
with turning some aspects of Internet governance -- such as it is -- to the
United Nations, but based on this initial effort a lot more thought has to
be given to the process.
In the meantime, I would pose the following questions to the United Nations
and the participants in WSIS. Solid, well thought out, answers to these
questions will go a long way toward making people more comfortable with the
idea of some aspects of the Internet falling under the auspices of the
United Nations:

1. What benefits does the United Nations offer over ICANN?

2. If this plan is successful, where within the United Nation's
organizational structure would DNS control lie?

3. The Draft Plan of Action specifically mentions ccTLDs as part of this
plan, but avoids any mention of Generic Top Level Domains, would those
remain under the auspices of ICANN?

4. The Plan of Action also calls for regional root servers. What is the
advantage of promoting regional root servers, what benefits will they
provide to Internet users?

5. If the plan is successful, how would the new organization impact existing
domain name holders? Would there be additional restrictions placed on domain
name holders?


2. Walking up and down the World Summit on the Information Society
By Jo van der Spek (jo {AT} xs4all.nl)

It was a global marketplace in the Palexpo of Geneva, especially in Hall 4,
ICT for development, where South-Africa had created a great safari
environment, with Radio Lora streaming from a cabin. But even in Hall 1,
with the media centre and government and company stalls, there was a quite
exotic feel to everything. Blond Swiss ladies dressed like Mauritanian
women, with posters calling for a closure of the digital gap, a cyberpuzzle
from ARS ELECTRONICA offering you a chance to reconfigure your face and a
speakers corner of the IFJ. However, one of the first shocks I got was when
I (wearing a press accreditation) discovered that you could walk DOWN the
stairs to Hall 4, but not UP the stairs to the realm of media, government
and private companies. No way, you had to walk all the way back to the
entrance hall, go once again through the security check, to go back to your
workplace: the media centre. Losing 20 minutes of valuable time and peace of

Now the media have been a contentious issue of WSIS. Under pressure from
China, Egypt and Mexico the Final Declaration threatened to make freedom of
the press subject to limitation by national laws. In other words: freedom
for governments to oppress the press.

On the other hand a lot of mainly African developing countries had put their
hopes on the establishment of a Digital Solidarity Fund, to bridge the
digital divide.

In the end it was a kind of trade off: the clause that permitted censorship
on a national scale was left out, and the Digital Solidarity Fund was put on
a low fire.

HIGHwayAfrica is, "a vibrant and growing network of African journalists
empowered to advance democracy and development through their understanding
and use of appropriate technologies". This Highway staged a news agency that
produced daily articles  from the summit,

Here's a handful of headers from their website:

The Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) exhibition
is a major event running parallel to the UN World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) in Geneva, Switzerland. The exhibition has more than 200
stands representing governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and
companies from 80 countries worldwide.

A slideshow of images and events taken at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Geneva, 2003.

A new media study launched today at the World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) shows that little or no media attention is given to issues
related to the information society and ICT's by mainstream media in Africa

A leading anti-poverty crusader, Palanguni Sainath, today lambasted
mainstream media, accusing them of superficial coverage of poverty and
playing to the whims of the corporate world.

Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has accused "the rich imperialist
northern countries" of using Information Communication Technologies (ICT's)
as tools of espionage and propaganda.

Funding for information technologies in the least developed countries has
proved to be the most difficult obstacle to overcome in the negotiations
leading up to the World Summit on the Information Society.

Following intense lobbying by media and civil society groups, the
declaration to be presented to the World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS) has included more progressive clauses on freedom of expression and
the role of the media in the information society.

Disappointed that initial promises of equal partnerships between governments
and civil societies in the WSIS processes have been empty ones, over 300
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) gathered in Geneva have decided to come
up with their own separate Civil Society Declaration to WSIS.

Open source software is the solution to making information technology
accessible to people with disabilities.

The jargon and buzzwords bandied about at the World Summit on the
Information Society can be somewhat tedious to disentangle. We have put
together this mind map to help you understand what it is all about by
explaining the some of the more important concepts.

World leaders have agreed to set up a workforce early next year to come up
with a framework to build the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF), to be created
to finance projects to bridge the digital divide between South and North.

The Gender Caucus of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has
called for a radical transformation of the ICT sector so that all people,
regardless of their gender or socio-economic sector can benefit

No doubt the effort to make a concerted stand in Geneva has cemented
cooperation between colleagues, and raised awareness of the issues at stake,
both challenges and threats. Not to mention all the shoppin', oops sorry, I
mean NETWORKING that went on.

The Right to communicate is a more fundamental and more clearly defined
demand than freedom of expression, or freedom of the press. Freedom can mean
anything these days of anti-terrorism and security. Read Orwell!

But the right to communicate is just this: the right to send and receive
messages, with all possible means. So please remember: media are just one
form of communication, and mostly only down to the
listeners/readers/viewers. Walking up and down a staircase, without being
pushed back by a deaf and dumb security person, is another one.

The right to talk back, which is now within reach thanks to ICT, cannot be
denied to any human being. But this is still beyond the capacity of the
delegates to grapple with, I'm afraid.

(Jo van der Spek is an Amsterdam-based free lance journalist and radiomaker,
specialized in tactical media in crisis areas. He trained journalist from
Baghdad and Teheran covering WSIS. http://www.radioreedflute.net)



Richard Stallman covers WSIS

The World Summit on the Information Society is supposed to formulate plans
to end the "digital divide" and make the internet accessible to everyone on
Earth.  The negotiations were completed in November, so the big official
meeting in Geneva last week was more of a trade show and conference than a
real summit meeting.

The summit procedures were designed so that non-governmental organizations
(mainly those that promote human rights and equality, and work to reduce
poverty) could attend, see the discussions, and comment.  However, the
actual declaration paid little attention to the comments and recommendations
that these organizations made.  In effect, civil society was offered the
chance to speak to a dead mike.

The summit's declaration includes little that is bold or new.  When it comes
to the question of what people will be free to do with the Internet, it
responds to demands made by various governments to impose restrictions on
citizens of cyberspace.

Part of the digital divide comes from artificial obstacles to the sharing of
information.  This includes the licenses of non-free software, and harmfully
restrictive copyright laws.  The Brazilian declaration sought measures to
promote free software, but the US delegation was firmly against it (remember
that the Bush campaign got money from Microsoft).  The outcome was a sort of
draw, with the final declaration presenting free software, open source, and
proprietary software as equally legitimate.  The US also insisted on
praising so-called "intellectual property rights."  (That biased term
promotes simplistic over-generalization; for the sake of clear thinking
about the issues of copyright law, and about the very different issues of
patent law, that term should always be avoided.)

The declaration calls on governments to ensure unhindered access to the
public domain, but says nothing about whether any additional works should
ever enter the public domain.

Human rights were given lip service, but the proposal for a "right to
communicate" (not merely to access information) using the Internet was shot
down by many of the countries.  The summit has been criticized for situating
its 2005 meeting in Tunisia, which is a prime example of what the
information society must not do. People have been imprisoned in Tunisia for
using the Internet to criticize the government.

Suppression of criticism has been evident here at the summit too.  A
counter-summit, actually a series of talks and discussions, was planned for
last Tuesday, but it was shut down by the Geneva police, who clearly were
searching for an excuse to do so. First they claimed that the landlord did
not approve use of the space, but the tenant who has a long-term lease for
the space then arrived and said he had authorized the event.  So the police
cited a fire code violation which I'm told is applicable to most buildings
in Geneva -- in effect, an all-purpose excuse to shut down anything.  Press
coverage of this maneuver eventually forced the city to allow the
counter-summit to proceed on Wednesday in a different location.

In a more minor act of suppression, the moderator of the official round
table in which I spoke told me "your time is up" well before the three
minutes each participant was supposed to have.  She later did the same thing
to the EPIC representative. I later learned that she works for the
International Chamber of Commerce -- no wonder she silenced us.  And how
telling that the summit would put a representative of the ICC at the
throttle when we spoke.

Suppression was also visible in the exclusion of certain NGOs from the
summit because their focus on human rights might embarrass the governments
that trample them. For instance, the summit refused to accredit Human
Rights In China, a group that criticizes the Chinese government for (among
other things) censorship of the internet.

Reporters Without Borders was also excluded from the summit.  To raise
awareness of their exclusion, and of the censorship of the Internet in
various countries, they set up an unauthorized radio station in nearby
France and handed out mini-radios so that summit attendees could hear what
the organization had been blocked from saying at the summit itself.

The summit may have a few useful side effects.  For instance, several people
came together to plan an organization to help organizations in Africa switch
to GNU/Linux.  But the summit did nothing to support this activity beyond
providing an occasion for us to meet.  Nor, I believe, was it intended to
support any such thing.  The overall attitude of the summit can be seen in
its having invited Microsoft to speak alongside, and before, most of the
various participating governments -- as if to accord that criminal
corporation the standing of a state.


Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 13:41:13 -0600
From: "Rodriguez, Clemencia" <clemencia {AT} OU.EDU>

December 13, 2003. I am at the airport in Chicago, still trying
to get home to Oklahoma after attending the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, Switzerland. Here are some
highlights of what the summit meant for me. As I come across other
reports on the Summit I'll try to circulate them so that we can have a
more diverse and complex vision. Please keep in mind that this is a very
personal view of the Summit.

The Declaration of Civil Society "Shaping information societies for
human needs" was, in my view, the most important accomplishment emerging
from the Summit.  The Declaration is a 21 page document that lays out
the vision of civil society for an information and communication society
conducive to inclusive, democratic, and fair societies.  The Declaration
includes key issues, such as community media, gender, indigenous
knowledges, the role of media in war and peace, the public domain, open
software, and the inclusion of "communication" as equally important to
"information."  The Declaration is a document we should all become
familiar with, and use to trigger discussion, debate, and mobilization
around issues of information and communication technologies among our
people.  Those of us in academia should include it in our syllabi; those
of us working with grassroots organizations should disseminate it and
facilitate discussions about it in our communities.  Not that everyone
should adopt the declaration as their own vision, but I truly believe in
its potential to trigger local processes of awareness and mobilization.
Please let me know if you are using the Declaration in any way, so that
we can share potential uses. Endorsements to the Declaration should be
sent to ct-endorse {AT} wsis-cs.org <mailto:ct-endorse {AT} wsis-cs.org> and will
be archived on http://www.wsis-cs.org.
The Declaration is available in Spanish, French, and English at

WE SEIZE: was the alternative summit event organized by Independent
Media Centers' and other information and communication activists from
different European communities.  While the official summit was held in
Palexpo, a sterile convention center entirely isolated and militarized
where access was strictly restricted (even those of us with the official
badge could not enter the rooms where official discussions were taking
place), WE SEIZE was organized in the heart of Geneva, in a communal
space entirely open to all.  Although the Geneva police tried to shot
down WE SEIZE, the organizers managed to negotiate with the city and
organized a series of technology workshops and open discussions around
issues such as infowars, the exploitation of information labor, and open
source software. WE SEIZE was incredibly inspiring in its
inclusiveness, openness, and technological savvy and beauty.
Unfortunately the disconnection between Palexpo and WE SEIZE made it
very difficult for academics and activists from the Global South to make
it to WE SEIZE. Looking toward the future, those of us in contact with
the Global South activists and the Indymedia activists in the North
should do more to strengthen links between these two collectives.
Information about WE SEIZE in http://www.geneva03.net/.

The official summit was a mix between a high-end technology market,
gubernatorial deliberations, and parallel panels, roundtables, and
forums.  Among all these, two forums were impressive: The Forum on
Communications Rights and The Community Media Forum.

The Forum on Communication Rights was organized by the Communication
Rights in the Information Society Campaign (CRIS www.crisinfo.org), the
World Association of Christian Communication (WACC
http://www.wacc.org.uk/), the Association for Progressive Communcation
(APC www.apc.org/english), General Intelligence Group, the Foundation
Heinrich Böll (http://www.boell.de/), Panos UK
(http://www.panos.org.uk/), People's Communication Charter
(http://www.pccharter.net/), and the WSIS' Human Rights Caucus
(http://www.iris.sgdg.org/actions/smsi/hr-wsis/).  The Forum included
panels on communication and poverty, communication and human rights,
communication, war and peace, and communication, copyrights and trade.
Soon all Forum presentations will be available at
www.communicationrights.org <http://www.communicationrights.org/>.

The Community Media Form was organized by Bread for All ( www.bfa-ppp.ch
<http://www.bfa-ppp.ch/>), the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund,
(www.fastenopfer.ch <http://www.fastenopfer.ch/>), ALER (Asociación
Latinoamericana de Educación Radiofónica, www.aler.org.ec
<http://www.aler.org.ec/>), AMARC (Asociación Mundial de Radios
Comunitarias www.amarc.org <http://www.amarc.org/>), CAMECO (Concejo de
Medios Católicos www.cameco.org <http://www.cameco.org/>), and  the
Civil Society's Community Media Caucus of the WSIS.   (I mention all
these organizations because we should keep track of their key role in
promoting global and regional mobilization initiatives).  From this
Forum I came out convinced that despite the incredible potential of
recent communication technologies, radio is still the most accessible
and therefore most important technology for most people on the planet.
I was particularly impressed by the evaluation initiative developed by
ERBOL (http://www.erbol.com.bo/) and ALER in Latin America called La
Práctica Inspira [Practice that Inspires].  On the basis of 24 case
studies plus a comprehensive inventory of community radio in the region,
this project reveals when and how community radio contributes to
building more democratic, empowered, and fair communities.  In January
the project will be available in a book and a CD, in Spanish at least.

A final comment looking toward the future: I believe it is important to
get involved in the second phase of the WSIS, in Tunisia in 2005.  At
local, national, regional and international levels, we all have a role
to play in the WSIS.  Personally, I see two types of actions we should
all contribute to: first, to connect with others; there are so many
different groups, NGOs, and individuals working with overlapping agendas
but isolated from each other.  So, the community radio folks should
connect with the Internet governance folks; the social movements folks
should connect with the technology policy folks (people working on
governance, standards, open software, technology design, etc).  Second,
we should all initiate processes of dialogue, discussion, and debate
around the WSIS Civil Society Declaration.

I hope OURMedia IV in July in Porto Alegre can become a meeting point
where we can advance these lines of action

Clemencia Rodriguez


5. Nach dem Gipfel ist vor dem Gipfel
Wolfgang Kleinwächter 16.12.2003

Die Genfer WSIS-Deklaration enthält zwar nur vage Grundsätze, aber
dennoch fand eine Bewegung in wesentlichen Dingen statt und es wurde
zusammen mit einem neuen globalen Problembewusstsein auch ein
neuartiges globales Forum geschaffen

Die erste Phase des Weltgipfels zur Informationsgesellschaft (
WSIS [1]) ist vorbei. Die 14.352 registrierten Teilnehmer sind nach
Hause gefahren. Die angenommenen Dokumente [2] sind ins Internet
gestellt. Und die Beobachter fragen sich, was hat die Bergbesteigung
denn nun wirklich gebracht? Sucht man nach konkreten Resultaten, wird
man kaum fündig. Außer Spesen also nichts gewesen? Oder war da noch

Schaut man aus der Froschperspektive auf die WSIS-Konferenz, dann ist
zweifelsohne die landläufig zu vernehmende Kritik an den
verabschiedeten Regierungs-Dokumenten berechtigt. Sie sind vage und
unverbindlich. Die Cyberwelt sieht nach dem Gipfel nicht viel anders
aus als zuvor. Und der digitale Graben ist nicht flacher geworden.

Schaut man aber aus der Vogelperspektive auf den mühsamen Aufstieg zum
Genfer Gipfel, dann entdeckt man, dass sich einige wesentliche Dinge
zwischen Minneapolis 1998, als die Veranstaltung beschlossen wurde, und
Genf 2003 bewegt haben.

Neues globales Problembewusstsein

Geändert hat sich vor allem das öffentliche Bewusstsein zum Thema
Informationsgesellschaft. 1998, im Sog des Dot-Com-Booms, war das Thema
primär auf die Faszination der technologischen Revolution, auf die
kommerziell verwertbaren Aspekte und die digitale Spaltung fixiert. Ein
Thema für Experten, Techniker, Risikokapitalinvestmentbanker und
niedere Beamte in Wirtschafts- und Entwicklungshilfeministerien.

Der Genfer Gipfel hat das Thema in den großen weltpolitischen Kontext
des 21. Jahrhunderts gestellt. In Genf ging es nicht um die
"Informationsrevolution", es ging um die Gesellschaft, die sich darauf
zu konstituieren beginnt. Zu den politischen und wirtschaftlichen
Interessen, die sich 1998 abzeichneten, kamen gesellschaftliche und
kulturelle Werte. Das machte die Verhandlungen so schwierig, weil es
eben leichter ist, einen Interessenausgleich zu erreichen als sich über
Wertvorstellungen zu verständigen. Das rückte aber das Thema auch vom
Rand der globalen Politik mehr ins Zentrum.

Die WSIS-Deklaration sagt in ihrem ersten Paragraphen, welche
Informationsgesellschaft man denn aufbauen wolle.

We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, declare our
common desire and commitment, to build a people-centred, inclusive and
development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create,
access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling
individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in
promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of
life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the
United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.

Den Menschen in den Mittelpunkt und das Schaffen, den Zugang und den
Austausch von Informationen und Wissen ins Zentrum zu rücken, sind sehr
noble, aber leider auch sehr allgemeine Zielsetzungen und
Formulierungen. Sie haben es aber dennoch in sich. Der hohe
Abstraktionsgrad bietet ein nicht zu unterschätzendes
Referenzpotential. Man denke nur an die langfristigen Wirkungen von
ähnlichen Dokumenten wie der UN-Menschenrechtsdeklaration von 1948 oder
der KSZE-Schlussakte von 1975. Erst Jahre später merkte man, was solche
allgemeinen Formeln tatsächlich bewirken.

Die Zivilgesellschaft hatte sich vom ersten Tag der PrepCom1 (Juni
2002) gegen eine technokratische oder bürokratische
Informationsgesellschaft gewandt und eine "Informationsgesellschaft mit
menschlichen Antlitz" eingefordert. Der stete Tropfen aus den
unendlichen Quellen der globalen Zivilgesellschaft höhlte
offensichtlich den Stein, der nun ein Meilenstein ist, an dem sich
zukünftige Entwicklungen messen lassen müssen.

Neues globales Verhandlungsforum

Ein zweites, nicht sofort sichtbares Resultat, ist die Tatsache, dass
WSIS einen Prozess in Gang gesetzt hat, der die Grundfragen der
Informationsgesellschaft zum Thema globaler Verhandlungen für das
nächste Jahrzehnt gemacht hat. Bei allen fünf WSIS-Themen geht es um
Grundsätzliches. Beim "Digitalen Solidaritätsfonds" geht es ums Geld,
bei "Internet Governance" um Macht, beim "geistigem Eigentum" um
Wissen, bei "Cybersicherheit" um Kontrolle und bei Informationsfreiheit
und Datenschutz um Menschenrechte.

Die Organisation und Verteilung von Geld, Macht, Wissen, Kontrolle und
Menschenrechte im Cyberspace aber ist eine gigantische langfristige
Herausforderung. Genf 2003 ist nur eine Zwischenstation. Es folgt Tunis
2005. Und der Aktionsplan zielt auf das Jahr 2015, also Tunis 10+.

Zwar enthält die Genfer WSIS-Deklaration zu den fünf Themen nur vage
Grundsätze. Das Interessante daran aber ist, dass diese Themen, die
natürlich alle miteinander verquickt sind, bislang global entweder gar
nicht oder völlig isoliert voneinander behandelt wurden. Mit WSIS haben
diese Themen nun ihre globale Verhandlungsheimstatt gefunden.

Der Europarat, Depositar der "Cybercrime Convention", wird sich die
Prinzipien der WSIS-Deklaration anschauen müssen, wenn er das Konzept
der Cybersicherheit weiter entwickeln will. WTO und WIPO werden nicht
umhin kommen, sich mit der von der WSIS-Deklaration eingeforderten
Balance zwischen Schutz des geistigen Eigentums und freien Zugang zu
Wissen zu befassen. Die Weltbank wird sich mit der Idee des "Digitalen
Solidaritätsfonds" auseinandersetzen müssen. Und bei "Internet
Governance" wird ICANN prüfen müssen, inwieweit ihr gerade beendeter
Reformprozess dem von WSIS geforderten "multistakeholder approach"

Während vor dem Genfer Gipfel Europarat, WTO, WIPO, Weltbank und ICANN
so gut wie nichts miteinander zu tun hatten, werden sie jetzt in ein
entstehendes globales institutionelles Netzwerk hineingezogen, in dem
nicht nur Regierungen, sondern auch die private Industrie und die
Zivilgesellschaft eine von der WSIS-Deklaration bestätigte "bedeutende
Rolle" spielen.

Wie weiter mit "Internet Governance"?

Die Globalisierung der WSIS-Themen wird sich vor allem bei der weiteren
Diskussion über Verwaltung der Kernressourcen des Internet zeigen. Die
Kontorverse "ITU vs. ICANN" und der dahinter liegende Konflikt über die
Zukunft des Internet zwischen der chinesischen und der amerikanischen
Regierung einerseits, sowie zwischen Regierungen, Privatwirtschaft und
Zivilgesellschaft andererseits hatte WSIS zeitweise an den Rand des
Scheiterns gebracht,. Der schließlich erreichte Kompromiss ist die
Auslösung eines neuen Prozesses. Nun soll UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan
mittels einer Arbeitsgruppe bis 2005 einen funktionsfähigen und
akzeptablen Vorschlag aus dem Hut zaubern.

Das Internet wird damit zu einem eigenständigen globalen
Verhandlungsgegenstand. WSIS holt das Thema praktisch aus der Ecke der
technischen Expertengremien mit unklaren politischen Zuständigkeiten
und transportiert es auf die große politischen Bühne der globalen
Politik. Was dass im Einzelnen bedeutet, ist momentan schwer
abzuschätzen. Möglicherweise ist Paragraph 50 der WSIS-Deklaration, der
Zusammensetzung und Mandat der neuen Gruppe definiert, das
weitreichendste Ergebnis von WSIS I.

Die Gruppe soll, so der Text von Paragraph 50, aus "Vertretern der
Regierungen, der privaten Wirtschaft und der Zivilgesellschaft aus
entwickelten und Entwicklungsländer und unter Einschluss bestehender
zwischenstaatlicher und anderer relevanter Institutionen und Foren"
gebildet werden. Den Regierungen wird dabei primär ein Mandat für die
mit dem Internet zusammenhängenden Aspekte öffentlicher Politik
zugewiesen. ("rights and responsibilities for international
Internet-related public-policy issues"). Der privaten Wirtschaft und
der Zivilgesellschaft wird eine "wichtige Rolle" bescheinigt.
Zwischenstaatliche Organisationen, wie die ITU, sollen eine "fördernde
Rolle" spielen.

Bemerkenswert darin ist nicht nur, dass erstmals in einem offiziellen
UN-Dokument der Zivilgesellschaft eine "bedeutende Rolle", ähnlich wie
der privaten Wirtschaft, zugewiesen wurde, sondern vor allem der
konzeptionelle Ansatz, der auf einem neuen "trilateralen Politikmodell"
basiert, bei dem Regierungen, private Wirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft
mit unterschiedlichen Rollen und Verantwortlichkeiten, aber praktisch
weitgehend gleichberechtigt, Hand in Hand arbeiten sollen. Das ist neu.
Wie das funktionieren soll und kann, ist noch unklar. Aber es wird
spannend werden zu beobachten, wo diese Reise hingeht.

Die neue "Kofi Annan Gruppe" soll zunächst definieren, was man denn
überhaupt unter "Internet Governance" versteht. Dann soll sie
herausfinden, welche politischen Aspekte davon tatsächlich einer
staatlichen Regulierung bedürfen. Und schließlich soll sie der zweiten
Gipfelphase im November 2005 in Tunis einen Mechanismus vorschlagen,
wie die unterschiedlichen Themen durch unterschiedliche Akteure global
und effektiv gemanagt werden können.

Dieser WSIS-Beschluss enthält möglicherweise mehr Dynamik, als man sich
heute noch vorstellen kann. Schon hat die Diskussion begonnen über das
"Wer", "Wie", "Wann" und "Wo" der Gruppe. Nitni Desai, Kofi Annans
WSIS-Botschafter, will erst einmal zuhören, was denn die einzelnen
"Stakeholder" zu sagen haben. Das erste Vorbereitungstreffen für die
zweite Gipfelphase findet im Juni 2004 statt. Bis dahin will er seine
Gedanken sortiert haben.

Einige Regierungen haben bereits vorgeschlagen, die neue Gruppe schon
Ende März 2004 in New York zu gründen, wenn sich die UN ICT Task
Force [3], die auch unter der Schirmherrschaft von Kofi Annan steht,
trifft. Der zivilgesellschaftliche "Internet ICT Governance Caucus" hat
noch in Genf einen Vorschlag zur Zusammensetzung der Gruppe in die
Debatte gebracht. Man solle den Text von Paragraph 50 wörtlich nehmen
und eine 18köpfige Gruppe bilden mit je sechs Vertretern von
Regierungen, der privaten Wirtschaft und der Zivilgesellschaft, jeweils
drei aus dem Norden und drei aus dem Süden. Der private Sektor wird
sich bei seiner routinemäßigen ICANN-Tagung Anfang März 2004 in Rom

Neue Rolle für Zivilgesellschaft

Ein drittes langfristig wirkendes Resultat ist die neue Rolle der
Zivilgesellschaft im globalen Verhandlungsprozedere. 1998 in
Minneapolis spielte die Zivilgesellschaft überhaupt keine Rolle. Dann
meldete sich im Dezember 1999 in Seattle die Zivilgesellschaft auf der
Strasse zu Wort. Die Kritiker der WTO waren von den verhandelnden
Ministern durch einen schwer bewaffneten Polizeikordon getrennt. Die
Staats- und Regierungschefs mussten sich durch die Hintereingänge den
Weg zum Plenarsaal und zum Konferenzdinner erschleichen.

US-Präsident Clinton, der die "Dinner Speech" in Seattle hielt, machte
damals einen süß-sauren Scherz. Das Winken mit der Serviette von
WTO-Generalsekretär Moorer bei seinem verspäteten Eintreffen im
Ballsaal des Konferenzhotels, so Clinton, hätte ihn an das Hissen der
weißen Flagge erinnert. Manche der vorwiegend jungen Leute draußen, so
Clinton weiter, hätten aber ein durchaus legitimes Anliegen, dem man
drinnen zuhören sollte. "Wir sollten sie in den Verhandlungsraum
einladen", sagte der US-Präsident damals.

WSIS-Genf war nicht WTO-Seattle. Die Zivilgesellschaft hat hier nicht
Steine geworfen, sondern Papiere produziert. Noch bei PrepCom1 gab es
tumultartige Szenen vor geschlossenen Konferenztüren. Zwar öffneten
sich später die Türen ein wenig, aber das "Rein oder Raus" zog sich
durch den gesamten Vorbereitungsprozess. Beim Gipfel waren aber
immerhin bei den drei offiziellen Round Tables neben Staatspräsidenten
und Ministern auch jeweils vier Vertreter der Zivilgesellschaft als
Redner eingeladen. Im Plenum konnten zehn zivilgesellschaftliche
Repräsentanten ihre Meinung sagen. Und nachdem die Regierungen ihre
Dokumente am Freitag Nachmittag per Akklamation verabschiedet hatten,
trat Bill McIver ins Rampenlicht und ans Rednerpult und präsentierte im
Namen des "Civil Society Plenary" die zivilgesellschaftliche
WSIS-Deklaration [4]. Sie sei keine Anti-Deklaration, sagte McIver,
sondern eine auf das Morgen ausgerichtete Vision, die das sage, was
Regierungen, die zum Konsensus auf dem kleinsten gemeinsamen Nenner
verpflichtet seien, nicht sagen könnten.

Die Tatsache, dass sich im WSIS-Prozess die Zivilgesellschaft in
zahlreichen "Familien", "Caucusen" und "Arbeitsgruppen" organisiert und
sich handlungsfähige repräsentative Gremien wie die "CS Plenary"
(CS-P), die "CS Content and Themes Group" (CS-C&T) und das "CS Bureau"
(CS-B) geschaffen hat, gaben ihren Aktionen ein bisher kaum vorhandene

Der Schritt von "Turmoil" zu "Trust" wurde zwar noch nicht mit einem
signifikanten Schritt von "Input" zu "Impact" belohnt, aber sieht man
sich die Regierungsdokumente genauer an, dann haben schon einige
Buchstaben den Weg von den zivilgesellschaftlichen Einlassungen in die
regierungsoffiziellen Auslassungen gefunden. Die übliche Frustration
der zivilgesellschaftlichen Gruppen hielt sich denn am Abend des 12.
Dezember 2003 daher auch in Grenzen und mischte sich mit einer
Hoffnung, dass sich engagierte und konstruktive Einmischung, wenn sie
mit Substanz und Hartnäckigkeit vorgetragen wird, am Ende doch
irgendwie lohnen kann Für die Zivilgesellschaft gilt daher in
besonderer Weise die alte, einst von Sepp Herberger formulierte
Fußballweisheit, dass "nach dem Spiel immer vor dem Spiel" ist.


[1] http://www.itu.int/wsis/
[2] http://www.itu.int/wsis/geneva/docs.html
[3] http://www.unicttaskforce.org/

Telepolis Artikel-URL:


6. From: plenary-admin {AT} wsis-cs.org

Subject: The world Summit of Cities and Local
Authorities on the information society ends today

The world Summit of Cities and Local Authorities on the information
society has just released a final Declaration of principles and an
Action Plan that is to be discussed in the following part of the summit.
It might be worth to take a look on the documents, which are, for Guy
Olivier Second, the Special Ambassador for the WSIS, of " superior
quality than those debatted in Geneva".

Declaration of principles:

Plan of action: In line soon

Official site: http://www.cities-lyon.org/


7. Official WSIS Press Release

Geneva, 12 December 2003 - The World Summit on the Information Society
closed on an optimistic note of consensus and commitment, but Yoshio Utsumi,
Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union and Summit
cautioned that the meeting was only the start of a long and complex process.

"Telephones will not feed the poor, and computers will not replace
textbooks. But ICTs can be used effectively as part of the toolbox for
addressing global problems. The Summit's successes now give us the necessary
momentum to achieve this," he said.

"Building the inclusive information society requires a multi-stakeholder
approach. The challenges raised - in areas like Internet governance,
access, investment, security, the development of applications, intellectual
property rights and privacy - require a new commitment to work together if
we are to realize the benefits of the information society."

Seeing the fruits of today's powerful knowledge-based tools in the most
impoverished economies will be the true test of an engaged, empowered
and egalitarian information society, he added.

Over 54 Heads of State, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Vice-Presidents and 83
ministers and vice-ministers from 176 countries came together in Geneva
to endorse a Declaration of Principles - or a common vision of an
information society's values - and a Plan of Action which sets forth a road
map to build on that vision and to bring the benefits of ICTs to underserved

The three-day Summit is the first multi-stakeholder global effort to share
and shape the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for
a better world.

But the Summit was groundbreaking in other ways too. It offered a genuine
"venue of opportunity" in a unique meeting of leaders,
policy-makers, ICT business people, voluntary and non-governmental
organizations of every possible kind, and top-level thinkers and speakers.
Alongside the three-days of Plenary meetings and high-level roundtables,
nearly 300 side-events helped bring the dream of an inclusive information
society one-step closer to becoming reality.

Partnership announcements included a USD 400,000 grant by the US Government
for ICT development in low-income countries. Cisco and ITU also signed a
Memorandum of Understanding to open 20 more Internet Training Centres in
developing countries. As well, Hewlett-Packard will provide low-cost
products that will help overcome the illiteracy barrier to ICT. Handwritten
texts for example will be recognized for e-mail transmission. Microsoft,
working with UNDP, will provide a billion dollar programme over 5 years to
bring ICT skills to underserved communities. One innovative initiative
announced to bridge the digital divide is the Bhutan E-Post project. For
faster, cheaper and more reliable communication to remote, mountainous areas
of Bhutan, the Government of India will deliver e-post services to the
Bhutanese Postal Service via a USD  400,000 a V-satellite network and solar
panels power system. The partners include ITU, Bhutan Telecom and Post,
Worldspace and Encore India. And at the very close of the Summit, the cities
of Geneva and Lyon and the Government of  Senegal have announced
contributions totaling about 1 million euros to fund information technology
in developing countries. The contributions will represent the first three
payments towards the Digital Solidarity Fund, the creation of which is to be
considered by a UN working group for the Tunis phase.

The second phase of the Summit takes place in Tunis in 2005 and will measure
ambitious goals set this week. With WSIS phase I over, the hard work
begins and hard work lies ahead in the two years before Tunis, to show that
the information society is on the right path.

The overarching goal of the Summit has been to gain the will and commitment
of policy-makers to make ICTs a top priority, and to bring together public
and private sector players to forge an inclusive dialogue based on the
interests of all. In these two respects, the Summit has been heralded a

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told delegates "technology has
given birth to the information age. Now it is up to all of us to build an
information society from trade to telemedicine, from education to
environmental protection, we have in our hands, on our desktops and in the
skies above, the ability to improve standards of living for millions upon
millions of people.

Top Summit targets now remain to be achieved, including connecting all
schools, villages, governments and hospitals, and bringing half the world's
population  within ICT reach, all by the year 2015.

The Summit has clearly identified national e-strategies as the key vehicle
to meet the targets. Connecting public places, revising school curricula,
extending the reach of TV and radio broadcasting services and fostering rich
multilingual content are all recognized as needing strong national-level
governmental commitments. To encourage and assist national and local
governments in this work, the Summit also foresees the development of
international statistical indicators to provide yardsticks of progress;
exchanges of experience to help develop "best practice" models, and the
fostering of public-private partnerships internationally in the interests of
sustainable ICT development.

Indeed, collaboration across the complex information society chain - from
the scientists that create powerful ICT tools, to the governments that
foster a culture of investment and rule of law, to the businesses that build
infrastructure and supply services, to the media that create and disseminate
content and - above all -human society which ultimately employs such tools
and shapes their use -lays the foundation for an inclusive knowledge-based
world on which the riches of an information society can flourish.

The Summit's most notable achievement was across-the-board consensus earned
for a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action wording around several
contentious issues, and the spirit of cooperation that permeated the Summit.

Internet governance, and financing ICT investments in underserved economies
were two of the issues which called for long negotiations. On the issue
of Internet management, the involvement of all stakeholders and
intergovernmental organizations to address both technical and public policy
issues has been underscored although global Internet governance is set to be
the subject of  deeper talks up to Tunis in 2005. An open and inclusive
working group will be set up on the topic, in order to review and make
proposals for action by the 2005 Summit.

Similarly on the issue of financing for underserved economies, a task force
will be established to undertake a review of existing ICT funding
mechanisms and will also study the feasibility of an international voluntary
Digital Solidarity Fund.

On the areas of intellectual property rights and the need for enabling
environments, universal access policies, and multilingual, diverse and
culturally appropriate content to speed ICT adoption and use -particularly
in the world's most underserved economies - government-level commitment to
follow a set of common values and principles has been attained.

Although these achievements fuel hope and may stoke further collaboration,
Mr. Utsumi, together with many world leaders, appealed to all stakeholders
keep the spirit of cooperation alive well beyond the two years to Tunis, and
to back up universally agreed principles with concrete actions to spark more
peace and prosperity across the planet.

"The realization of the Plan of Action is crucial to the long-term success
of the Summit. We need imagination and creativity to develop projects and
programmes that can really make a difference. We need commitment - on the
part of governments, the private sector and civil society - to realistic
targets and concrete actions. We need the mobilization of resources and
investment," he said.

"With the unique occasion of a World Summit, we have the chance to scale up
our ambitions to the global level, which is equal to the size of the
challenge. Let us not miss this opportunity."

To access the Declaration and the Plan of Action go to:


8. Frustrated by UN summit civil society representatives present their own

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 December 2003 -- At a conference this afternoon,
civil society representatives presented an 'alternative' declaration to the
official Declaration expected to be approved by the world's governments
tomorrow at the final day of the World Summit on the Information Society in

The civil society declaration -called Shaping information societies for
human needs- was needed because the process has constantly been
disillusioning and frustrating said representatives at the heavily-attended
conference. They recognised that some impact was made on the official WSIS
especially involving the vision and the principles, which were previously
technocratic and have become more human-centred. However, the civil society
declaration goes further, calling for information societies that are free
from discrimination, violence and hatred, and based on a framework of
social, political and economic justice and a more equitable distribution of

The civil society declaration has been written over a number of months based
on inputs from a working group on content and themes and the various
regional working groups, known as caucuses and families. The final
compilation was made over the past few weeks and was unanimously approved by
the decision-making body-the civil society plenary- on December 8.

Representatives from each regional caucus -including three speakers from APC
and APC members in the Philippines and Brazil- outlined the regions' main

Alice Munyua of APC's Africa ICT policy monitor initiative and African
caucus representative highlighted the areas of human development and social
justice, the right to communicate as a human right and Africans'
disappointment that a proposal made for a digital solidarity fund has not
been included in the official Declaration.

Carlos Afonso of RITS, Brazil, speaking for the Latin American and Caribbean
caucus emphasised the diversity of the world's people and the need to refer
to 'information societies', not one 'information society'. LAC
representatives criticised what they referred to as a simplified concept of
civil society
included in the official Declaration, claiming that themes of importance
have been marginalised, distorted and contexts have been ignored. Latin
Americans and Caribbeans complained that the primary focus of the official
WSIS documents continues to be on infrastructure and does not sufficiently
include the social use of ICTs especially for education.

Asian-Pacific representative, Al Alegre of the Foundation for Media
Alternatives, Philippines, focused on the themes of culture, knowledge and
the public domain. He pointed out that there are hundreds of languages in
Asia, many using writing scripts that are not roman-based (the principal
script used in internet). He called for cultural and linguistic diversity to
be protected from homogenisation or the over-privelige of one language. He
also referred to the need to support community media to encourage and
strengthen freedom of expression as well as linguistic diversity and stated
that intellectual property rights should serve to develop societies and meet
the public interest and not to serve corporate interests.

Jane Johnson of WFUNA, representing the Europe and North American caucus
stressed the need for equal, fair and open access to be a guiding principle
of the information society.

Shaping information societies for human needs was based on  the Essential
Benchmarks which outlined what civil society representatives wanted to see
in the official WSIS documents and was presented to government delegates in
the resumed third preparatory committee meeting in November 2003. Civil
society representatives will use the benchmarks to measure the actual impact
of the official Declaration and Action Plan to be approved tomorrow by UN
member states and to be implemented by the second WSIS which will be held in
Tunisia in 2005.

They are proposing that the declaration -Shaping information societies for
human needs- becomes part of the official outcomes of the Summit, a decision
that has to be taken by the governments.

Shaping information societies for human needs" will be online shortly in
English, Spanish and French.

If you want to endorse it, please send your name and organisation to
ct-endorse {AT} wsis-cs.org.


9. WISIS-Award.Org <http://www.wsis-award.org/>

Heads of State, Executive Heads of United Nations agencies, industry
leaders, non-governmental organizations, media and civil society
representatives - all will meet at the «World Summit on the Information
Society» (WSIS), Geneva, 10-12 December 2003, to debate trends,
perspectives and challenges of the emerging Information Society. The WSIS
will provide a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of new
Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their impact on the
development of the international community.

The World Summit Award (WSA) ? a global initiative to demonstrate the
benefits of the Information Society in terms of new contents and
applications - will be a highlight of the gathering.

The World Summit Award is an official side event of the Geneva World Summit
on the Information Society. A Showcase Event on best content from around
the world will be held on December 10th in the framework of the WSIS in the

This page links to the important bits re the Awards


10. NTK on WSIS

_   _ _____ _  __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
| \ | |_   _| |/ / _ __   __2003-12-12_ o       join! sign up at
|  \| | | | | ' / | '_ \ / _ \ \ /\ / / o    http://lists.ntk.net/
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         Everyone's got an opinion, haven't they? In a week when even
         the taciturn Torvalds started opining on how copyright law
         worked, the president of the notoriously fair and open-minded
         ICANN had *his* views summarily squelched, after a literal
         kickban from this week's WORLD SUMMIT ON THE INFORMATION
         SOCIETY. As guards hussled PAUL TWOMEY away from the DNS
         pre-meeting at the UN summit, he whined his complaints like...
         like... like an obscure domain registrar bitching on an ignored
         "public" ICANN mailing list, say. Will ICANN humbly learn
         its lesson? Hopefully not - given that the WSIS bouncers
         waved ROBERT MUGABE through to give his views on the Net
         (summary: Sluggy sucks, Penny Arcade much cooler). Is this
         some kind of hint that ICANN needs to start cracking down on
         its opposition? Or should it be more like the President of
         Iran, who found his WSIS Q&A getting bogged down in
         questions relayed from his nation of bloggers. "Do you
         blog?", they demanded, before going on to ask him whether he
         preferred Moveable Type or Livejournal, and Which Character
         From "24" Was He, exactly?
                                                   - I Am Not A Linus
                                 - ... but I play one when subpoenaed
                                               - squeal little piggie
            - Mr Mugabe has "giant Orwellian viewscreen" in his rider
                                       - I'm sorry, am I hot or what?

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