Ronda Hauben on Sun, 6 Jun 1999 20:32:08 +0200 (CEST)

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

<nettime> Internet Society Censors the Press

Sadly the Internet Society doesn't seem to recognize that
inviting and supporting a diversity of viewpoints and 
is what has made the Internet possible.

I want to bring to your attention the Internet Society's 
(ISOC) refusal to grant editors of the Amateur Computerist 
a press pass for this coming INET '99.

We wrote a criticism of what happened at the IFWP meeting
last year and also an article about INET '98 pointing
out that there was a narrow agenda for the topics for 
the conference which left out consideration of library issues,
community networking issues and other such public concerns
about the current and future state of the Internet.

Apparently, those in the press who are critical of ISOC's
narrow agenda lose the right to press passes to their

We were encouraged to apply for the press pass and to send
an issue of the Amateur Computerist. After the issue was 
received, our application was rejected.

Editors of the Amateur Computerist have attended two previous 
ISOC conferences on a press pass INET '96 and INET '98 and 
reported on both conferences in the Amateur Computerist and 
in accounts that went out over the Internet and are in 
various other online or periodical journals.

We have more than fulfilled any criteria given by ISOC to be
entitled to a press pass, but are being denied press passes.

ISOC's narrow agenda of support for only ecommerce as the present and 
future of the Internet is a deliberate effort to deny the public
their ability to have public purposes and public participation
on the present and future Internet. 

Also several of those in the Internet Society leadership have been 
active promoting ICANN to take over essential functions of the Internet
in the interests of some hidden private sector entities.

One of the reasons that I have been told that a press pass
was denied is for participating in the IFWP meetings
(chaired by David Maher) after the INET '98 meeting.

At the INET '98 press conference all the press were invited 
to participate in and cover the IFWP meeting which followed
INET '98.

Also after talking with Jon Postel after the press conference
last year about that users were being disenfranchised by the plan 
creating ICANN, he said to go to the IFWP meeting and to make these 
concerns known.

There was an effort to do so.

The response by an official of ISOC was to tell an editor 
of the Amateur Computerist that she wasn't allowed
to participate in the IFWP meeting or that she would have to give 
up her press pass.

That was a criteria distinctly different from what had
been announced at the press conference and also from
a criteria applied to anyone else from the press.

ISOC it seems has enpowered people to make up the rules
as they go along and to try to deprive the press of 
any right to a critical reporting of what happens
or else one will lose ones press pass.

The Internet Society is supposedly created to educate
the public about the Internet. However, it has done
all it can to hide what is happening with the creation
of ICANN to take over essential functions of the Internet
from the cooperative and public way they were previously
owned and controlled.

We have asked for a way to appeal this denial and 
have not been given any procedure to do so.


For the issue of the Amateur Computerist reporting on
INET '98 see

About ICANN, See Cone of Silence by John Horvath

#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: