ITU/WSIS

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) / World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

WSIS Past, Present And Future

This Zimbabwe Standard article by Millie Phiri includes:

However the WSIS is not without historical roots. It comes after the rise and fall of the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICCO) led by UNESCO.
...
In fact the main opponents to the demand by the Third World for a new information order, the UK and the US withdrew from UNESCO.

Why does this sound so familiar? The same thing has happened with the UNESCO cultural diversity treaty. Where is Canada in all of this? We should be demanding that candidates be willing to stand up for a Canadian way, which should support UNESCO and the Development Agenda in WIPO, and no longer focus on the special economic interests of incumbent industies.

WSIS: Microsoft failed to remove free software reference

This article by John Blau, IDG News Service, includes:

Microsoft Corp. tried to have references to free software removed from a document approved at the United Nations-sponsored Internet summit in Tunis two weeks ago, a blog discussion has revealed. But the attempt failed.

Obviously what Microsoft claimed, that FLOSS would "make it impossible to generate income from software as a commercial product", is false. The change is not in the ability to generate income, but whether free market supporting FLOSS or monopolistic vendor-dependant/proprietary business models are used.

WSIS - Open source from the vending machine - FreedomToaster in South Africa

This ComputerWorld article by John Blau includes:

The bright orange, refrigerator-size vending machine is equipped with a computer inside that burns CDs, a process also known as "toasting" in the open source community, hence the name: Freedom Toaster.

Bill Thompson at WSIS: Preserving the essence of the net

This BBC article by Bill Thompson includes:

The final statement of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society is as much a framework for control of the ways the net is used as it is a call for "the freedom to seek, receive, impart and use information".

But perhaps, just perhaps, those delegates from open societies will reflect that their experience inside the UN bubble at Tunis parallels the internet's position within the political system generally.

Read more from Bill Thompson...

Open source on presidential agenda at WSIS

This tectonic article by Jason Norwood-Young includes:

While the Internet debacle grabbed headlines at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference in Tunis, Tunisia yesterday, it was the digital divide that took centre stage in many of the delegates' opening addresses. The way to bridge the divide, say many of the delegates – including South African President Thabo Mbeki – is through open source software.

See also: Highway Africa News Agency: Ouch! 'Intellectual Property Everywhere, All the Time'

Geist: Facing The Facts on Internet Governance

Michael Geist's Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, Freely available version) focuses on the Internet governance issues that will take center stage at this week's World Summit on the Information Society. He argues that the current system requires change and that building on ICANN need not lead to U.N. control over the Internet nor to greater global censorship. I conclude that rather than rhetoric, compromise is needed based on the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, and respect for national sovereignty.

Worlds apart: Global summits highlight digital policy divide

This article by Michael Geist in the Citizen includes:

Despite Prime Minister Paul Martin's repeated commitments to the developing world, Canada has quietly backed the United States on both the Internet governance and WIPO Development Agenda issues.

That position puts Ottawa at odds with the developing world and fails to recognize that the national interest lies with a globalized approach that benefits countries both the rich and poor. ITU and WIPO negotiators may be facing a fork in the policy road over the next two weeks, but Canada sadly appears to be unsure of which direction to turn.

WIPO: Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host an Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society from June 1 to 15, 2005.

The WIPO Online Forum is designed to enable and encourage an open debate on issues related to intellectual property in the information society, and in light of the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This presents a unique opportunity for all to engage and shape the emerging debate on the value of intellectual property in our day.

The WIPO Online Forum will be open to participation by all interested persons – you are invited to join in online discussions over a period of two weeks from June 1, 2005. It is hoped that the Online Forum will further inform the discussions taking place during the second phase of WSIS. The conclusions of the Online Forum will form part of WIPO’s contribution to the Tunis Summit.

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