QuickLinks - Information society and Internet policy
QuickLinks - Information society and Internet policy
Issue no. 375 - 9 May 2007
- WSIS - World Information Society Report 2007 coming soon
The second edition of the World Information Society Report: Beyond WSIS is going to be launched on the occasion of the World Information Society Day on 16 May 2007. Published by ITU and UNCTAD, this report looks beyond the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS, Geneva 2003 - Tunis 2005) to the creation of an inclusive, people-centered and development-oriented Information Society, open to all. Some of the themes covered in the report are: the evolution of the digital divide, trends in the information society, ICT growth strategies, cybersecurity and WSIS implementation. The report tracks progress in digital opportunity for 181 economies over the past few years since the start of the WSIS process and is accompanied by a series of tables providing the latest statistics on the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) worldwide.
Issue no. 374 - 1 April 2007
- Beyond Internet Governance: The Emerging International Framework for Governing the Networked World
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society)
by Mary C. Rundle. Increasingly, governments are regulating the "Net" - that is, the Internet and people's activities over it. Because the Net is global in nature, governments are turning to intergovernmental organizations to iron out common approaches. Taken together, these international Net initiatives foray into all areas of government traditionally dealt with by domestic regimes - addressing foreign commercial relations, jurisdiction, infrastructure, security, monetary authority, property, relations between private parties, and citizenship.
- Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies: A Survey
by Mary Rundle and Chris Conley. The Infoethics Survey of Emerging Technologies prepared by the NGO Geneva Net Dialogue at the request of UNESCO aims at providing an outlook to the ethical implications of future communication and information technologies. The report further aims at alerting UNESCO's Member States and partners to the increasing power and presence of emerging technologies and draws attention to their potential to affect the exercise of basic human rights. Perhaps as its most salient deduction, the study signals that these days all decision makers, developers, the corporate scholar and users are entrusted with a profound responsibility with respect to technological developments and their impact on the future orientation of knowledge societies.
Issue no. 373 - 11 March 2007
- EU - Time to strengthen economic relations between Japan and the EU
Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Annual Conference for the Joint Government-Private Sector Dialogue, Brussels, 26 February 2007. Speaking about creative contents, and notably audiovisual contents, I would like to make two comments related to EU-Japan cooperation. First, I would like a better distribution of Japanese films, notably feature films, in the EU and a better distribution of European films in Japan. Second, I must reflect here the debate which is taking place in EU countries on videogames. As you may know, worries have been expressed in European countries about very violent games imported in Europe. Our industry, with the support of the European Commission, has developed a good functioning system of labelling as regards games not appropriate for certain age categories and content categories. I believe this is a domain, where a discussion is needed between the EU and Japan in order to better understand each other and take advantage of existing best practice.
- EU Study on Indicators for media pluralism in the Member States
Study on "Indicators for media pluralism in the Member States - towards a risk-based approach". SMART 007A 2007-0002. Tender procedure in the field of Media policy. Deadline 31/05/2007.
- UK - Internet governance
(Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology)
There is increasing international debate on 'Internet governance', which encompasses a variety of public policy issues related to internet infrastructure, management and use. This POSTnote describes the structure of the Internet and summarises the debate over its management. It also discusses the prospects for its international governance, following the first meeting of the UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum.
Issue no. 372 - 25 February 2007
- EFF Europe Office Opens in Brussels
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) opened a new office in Brussels to work with various institutions of the European Union (EU) on innovation and digital rights, acting as a watchdog for the public interest in intellectual property and civil liberties policy initiatives that impact the European digital environment. EFF's new European Affairs Coordinator is Erik Josefsson. previously the president of the Swedish chapter of Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII.se).
- US - Internet Policy: What Congress Should Do
Over the next couple weeks, I'm going to try to put together short presentations outlining arguments for five Internet-related proposals that I believe Congress should enact: Copyright - Orphan Works and Remix Culture; Network Neutrality; Spam; Harmful to Minors Material.
Issue no. 370 - 3 December 2006
- IGF - Discussion against Internet content control
The first global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was organized by United Nations in Athens between 30 October and 2 November 2006. The forum has shown a strong and large opposition to Internet blocking and filtering, putting under pressure repressive governments such as China. The three sessions devoted to content regulation and control have been dominated by the advocates of anti-censorship and access to knowledge that have criticized the state control of Internet content.
- IGF - Eine Erfindung für die Globalpolitik
von Wolfgang Kleinwächter. Das erste Internet Governance Forum (IGF) war ein Experiment, eine Innovation, von der niemand wusste, ob sie funktioniert. Das IGF betrete "unbekanntes Territorium" ("unchartered water") hatte UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan zu Beginn des IGF gesagt. Nach vier Tagen Diskussion in sechs Plenarsitzungen, knapp 40 Workshops mit mehr als 200 Vorträgen und nicht mehr überschaubaren bi- und multilateralen Gesprächen am Rande der Tagung über nahezu alle Aspekte der zukünftigen Internetentwicklung hat die Mehrheit der 1.500 Teilnehmer, die von Regierungen, der Privatwirtschaft, der Zivilgesellschaft sowie der technischen akademischen Community kamen, einen positive Bilanz gezogen. Das IGF funktioniert, es war ein Erfolg, es war sogar ein "außerordentlicher Erfolg" ("outstanding success") wie der sonst eher nüchtern urteilende Vorsitzende der IGF-Advisory Group, Kofi Annans Internet Berater Nitin Desai, am Ende sagte.
- IGF- Internet governance: it's like an arranged marriage
By the last day of the IGF everyone had decided that the forum had come up trumps. A determined effort by the OECD to create an international coalition to fight spam finally took off. Another 'dynamic coalition' was formed to push open standards to governments across the world. A third coalition promised to look at gender issues; a fourth determined to set up an 'Internet Bill of Rights'. Another was set up to raise funds for developing countries. Yet another promised to push access to knowledge and to protect freedom of expression online.
Issue no. 369 - 5 November 2006
- IGF - Cuba: We're forced to 'finance' the Internet
Debate erupts at United Nations summit over Cuba's Net connection, including why it's expensive and whether it's censored. A Cuba government official told the Internet Governance Forum that the U.S. government was to blame for the poor Internet access that its citizens enjoy. A longtime Internet engineer and researcher was present and challenged those claims.
- IGF - Free speech online 'under threat'
Bloggers are being asked to show their support for freedom of expression by Amnesty International. The human rights group also wants web log writers to highlight the plight of fellow bloggers jailed for what they wrote in their online journals. The organisation said fundamental rights such as free speech faced graver threats than ever before.
- IGF - The Internet - key to freedom, democracy and economic development
Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Internet Governance Forum Athens, 30 October 2006.
- IGF - U.N. summit revives concerns about Net control
A long-simmering dispute over whether the U.S. government has too much control over the Internet's underpinnings will heat up again next week at a United Nations summit in Greece. Officially, the inaugural meeting of the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum is designed to explore topics like free speech, security, spam and multilingualism. But the diplomatic subtext is more pointed: Does the U.S. government have too much influence over how Internet addresses are allocated and domain names are assigned?
- IGF - World discusses internet future
The future of the net is the ambitious topic under discussion at the first global Internet Governance Forum being held in Athens. It has been set up by the UN to give governments, companies, organisations and individuals space for debate. see Reporter's Log.
- The future of the Internet
If you're interested in 'the future of the Internet,' the long-term trend of parsing out Internet functions to specialized devices, or the One Laptop Per Child Initiative, check out this summary of Prof. Jonathan Zittrain's presentation on the future of the Internet at LSE.
- Web inventor fears for the future
The developer of the world wide web says he is worried about the way it could be used to spread misinformation and "undemocratic forces". The web has transformed the way many people work, play and do business. But Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC News he feared that, if the way the internet is used is left to develop unchecked, "bad things" could happen. He wants to set up a web science research project to study the social implications of the web's development.
Issue no. 368 - 15 October 2006
- Internet's future in 2020 debated
The internet will be a thriving, low-cost network of billions of devices by 2020, says a major survey of leading technology thinkers. The Pew report on the future internet surveyed 742 experts in the fields of computing, politics and business. More than half of respondents had a positive vision of the net's future but 46% had serious reservations. Almost 60% said that a counter culture of Luddites would emerge, some resorting to violence.
Issue no. 367 - 23 September 2006
Issue no. 366 - 3 September 2006
- OECD - Future of the Internet
Workshop held in Paris on 8 March 2006. The objectives of the workshop were to discuss the trends shaping the future of the Internet and foster a forward-looking, international discussion on critical issues related to the future of the Internet and to explore the various approaches - technical, regulatory, and economic - that are being taken or can be taken to create new functionality for and increased trust in the Internet, in order to promote its sustained growth and adoption.
Issue no. 365 - 15 August 2006
- US - Saving Online Free Speech:
(Progress & Freedom Foundation)
by Adam Thierer. Not since 1996 has online freedom of speech been under such intense attack in Washington. Proposals are pending or being considered that would impose: Extensive data retention mandates requiring companies to collect information about all of their customers for many months or even years; Mandatory age verification of minors before they're allowed to go online; Potential regulation of voluntary industry ratings or labeling systems (such as the video game industry's ratings system); A mandatory new top-level Internet domain designation (.xxx) for adult-oriented websites; A ban on social networking sites in schools and libraries; Mandatory labeling for "sexually explicit" websites; Other filtering / labeling requirements. All companies doing business online must show policymakers and the general public that they are serious about addressing these concerns. What is needed is a voluntary code of conduct for companies doing business online.
Issue no. 363 - 25 June 2006
- FR - Le projet de la France pour une Europe numérique
Le ministre délégué à l'Industrie, François Loos, a exposé - à l'occasion du Conseil télécommunications - la vision de la France pour faciliter l'émergence et le développement d'une « Europe numérique ». Ce document sera transmis au début de l'été aux homologues européens du ministre. De la « réduction de la fracture numérique » à la diversité culturelle en passant par la 3G, l'Internet du futur, la bibliothèque numérique, le commerce électronique et la lutte contre la piraterie, tous les thèmes marquants propres à la révolution numérique sont évoqués.
- Human Rights in the Global Information Society
Book edited by Rikke Frank Jørgensen. The contributors examine the links between information technology and human rights from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Scholars, human rights activists, and practitioners discuss such topics as freedom of expression, access to information, privacy, discrimination, gender equality, intellectual property, political participation, and freedom of assembly in the context of the revolution in information and communication technology, exploring the ways in which the information society can either advance human rights around the world or threaten them.
- Stoff für den Streit um die Internet-Verwaltung
50 Forscher aus 30 Ländern haben am vergangenen Wochenende im sächsischen Rathen das GigaNet gegründet, das sich als Plattform für Forschung rund um das Thema 'Internet Governance' versteht.
Issue no. 362 - 11 June 2006
- US- Jefferson Rebuffed - The United States and the Future of Internet Governance
(Kennedy School of Government)
by Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger and Malte Ziewitz. The United States has long resisted internationalization of Internet governance, fearing in particular the growing influence of China and similar nations. In September 2005 the European Union put forward a proposal which would have offered a constitutional moment for Internet governance by suggesting internationalization based on fundamental values of the Internet community. The swift rejection of the proposal by the US was surprising, both from a tactical as well as a substantive viewpoint.
Issue no. 361 - 23 May 2006
- EU - ICT for growth and jobs: most Member States need to be more ambitious,
To get the full benefits from information and communication technologies (ICT), EU Member States need more ambitious plans to exploit them, says the Commission in its first annual progress report on i2010; To help get growth back on track, Member States need to step up their efforts to improve access to broadband internet connections, facilitate the EU-wide circulation of digital content, free up radio spectrum for new applications, integrate research and innovation and modernise public services.
- How could we regulate the Internet?
Roger Darlington put forward ideas on the subject of the regulation of the Internet that he has been developing as a result of his experience at the Internet Watch Foundation and the Ofcom Consumer Panel.
- WSIS - Internet Governance Forum Advisory Group appointed
(UN Press Release)
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has established an Advisory Group to assist him in convening the Internet Governance Forum, a new forum for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Internet governance. The Group includes 47 members from Government, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, who represent all regions of the world. It is chaired by Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General?s Special Adviser for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), who may also select special advisers to assist him. see also Kofi Annan benennt neue Beratergruppe für Internet Governance Forum (Heise - Monika Emert).
- WSIS- Regierungsvertreter bringen ihre Themenvorschläge für Internet Governance Forum ein
Das Thema "Internet Governance" dürfe beim ersten "Internet Governance Forum" (IGF) im Herbst in Athen nicht unter den Tisch fallen. Das forderte der brasilianische Regierungsvertreter José Marcos Nogueira Viana in Genf zu Beginn des Vorbereitungstreffens der Beratergruppe für das neue UN-Forum. Vertreter anderer Länder, darunter auch die EU, favorisieren Spam und Sicherheitsfragen als Hauptthemen für das erste IGF-Treffen. Russland nannte Cyberterrorismus und Cyberwarfare vordringlich.
Issue no. 359 - 9 May 2006
- EU - Diplomatie zum Informationsweltgipfel: Dichtung und Wahrheit
Den "Ausbau der Menschenrechte, insbesondere im Hinblick auf den freien Empfang von Informationen und den Zugang zu ihnen", hat die EU-Kommission zur ersten Priorität im Nachfolgeprozess zum Weltgipfel der Informationsgesellschaft (WSIS) erklärt.
- EU - Internet: Commission seeks global partnership
To keep up the momentum of the successful World Summit on Information Society (Tunis, 16-18 November 2005), the European Commission has set out its priorities for implementing the international policy commitments made at the Summit. These priorities include safeguarding and strengthening human rights, in particular the freedom to receive and access information. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) should be used to contribute to open democratic societies and to economic and social progress worldwide. The Commission calls for continuing international talks to improve Internet governance through the two new processes created by the Summit: the multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Forum and the mechanism of enhanced cooperation that will involve all governments on an equal footing.
- The Future of the Internet - and How to Stop It
Webcast of Inaugural Lecture by Jonathan Zittrain (Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford Internet Institute & Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School). The lecture proposes a theory about what lies around the corner for the Internet, how to avoid it, and how to study and affect the future of the internet using the distributed power of the network itself, using privacy as a signal example.
- Benkler's book is out
Yochai Benkler's book, The Wealth of Networks, is out. This is - by far - the most important and powerful book written in the fields that matter most to me in the last ten years. If there is one book you read this year, it should be this. The book has a wiki; it can be downloaded as a pdf for free under a Creative Commons license; or it can be bought at places like Amazon. Read it. Understand it. You are not serious about these issues - on either side of these debates - unless you have read this book.
Issue no. 357 - 26 March 2006
- 2006-03-08 OECD, Paris - The Future of the Internet
The OECD ICCP workshop "The Future of the Internet" brought together policy-makers, leading academics, private sector organisations, and civil society organisations to discuss the trends shaping the future of the Internet, explore the various approaches - technical, regulatory, and economic - that are being taken or can be taken to create new functionality for and increased trust in the Internet, to promote its sustained growth and adoption, and to identify opportunities for increased international cooperation on pressing issues.
- CN - China's wild, wild Web
(New York Times)
By some estimates, there are more than 30,000 people patrolling the Web in China, helping form one of the world's most sophisticated Internet filtering systems. But while China's huge Internet police force is busy deleting annoying phrases like 'free speech' and 'human rights,' experts say that Wild West capitalism, crime, piracy, pornography and other scourges of the real economy in China have moved into the virtual one.
- EU - Broadband for all: Commission mobilises all its policy instruments to bridge the broadband gap
The Commission considers wide broadband coverage in Europe as crucial for fostering growth and jobs in Europe. This is why EU telecoms legislation, structural and rural policy instruments need to be mobilised in full respect of state aid rules in a joint drive to bring high-speed "broadband" internet access to all Europeans, in particular to the EU's less-developed areas. This is the conclusion of "Bridging the Broadband Gap", a European Commission Communication presented jointly by the European Commissioners for Information Society and Media, Competition, Regional Policy and Agriculture and Rural Development.
- UK - interview with John Whittingdale, MP
Interview with John Whittingdale, MP, (Conservative), Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. February 16, 2006. One area of likely consensus we uncovered in the interview between the Conservatives and New Labour is the issue of the European Commission's proposed revisions to the Television Without Frontiers Directive. Whittingdale indicates that he supports the government's opposition to the EC's proposals, calling them 'bonkers'.
- WSIS - Internet Governance Forum Advisory Group to be Established
In light of the consultations on the convening of the IGF, the United Nations Secretary-General will set up a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to assist him in this task. The Group will consist of about forty members, representing governments, private sector and civil society and include members of the academic and technical communities. The members of the group will be chosen in their personal capacity. All stakeholders are invited to submit recommendations for members of the Advisory Group to the IGF secretariat by 18 April. A new round of consultations on the convening of the IGF will be held at the United Nations in Geneva on 19 May 2006. They will be open to all stakeholders and will focus on the substantive preparation of the inaugural meeting of the IGF.
- WSIS - Preparations Begin for Internet Governance Forum
The UN Secretary-General has decided to establish a small Secretariat in Geneva to assist in the convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Secretary-General was asked by the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November, to convene such a Forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue. see also Global net tussle reaches uneasy truce and IGF: success, great success or useful sideshow? (The Register).
Issue no. 356 - 27 February 2006
- How to Build an Internet Governance Forum
by Milton Mueller. Public consultations on the new "Internet Governance Forum" being created by the United Nations will be held in Geneva February 16-17. The Internet Governance Project has released a new discussion paper explaining how the Forum could work.
- ICANN -Die Internet-Verwaltung und die Netzpolitik: Machtfrage ungelöst
Der Auseinandersetzung um die Machtverteilung im Netz geht in die nächste Runde. Eine direktere Einflussnahme aller Regierungen und nicht allein der USA forderte Michael Leibrandt vom Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft (BMWi). Dort, wo öffentliche Interessen berührt sind, sollten alle Regierungen mitentscheiden, betonte er beim Domainpulse-Treffen der deutschsprachigen Domain-Registries DeNIC, Switch und Nic.at.
- WSIS - IGF - Quatschbude oder Kreativitätstube?
von Wolfgang Kleinwächter. Der 2. UN-Weltgipfel zur Informationsgesellschaft (WSIS) hatte im November 2005 in Tunis nach monatelangen zähen Verhandlungen über die Zukunft des Internet beschlossen, ein neues Internet Governance Forum (IGF) zu gründen. Der Kompromiss überdeckte nur die Konflikte, die bei der Vorbereitung des Forums jetzt wieder aufzubrechen drohen. Ende der Woche finden in Genf die ersten IGF-Konsultationen statt.
Issue no. 355 - 5 February 2006
- Who Will Control the Internet?
by Kenneth Neil Cukier. Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution. Washington has responded with a Monroe Doctrine for our times, setting the stage for further controversy.
Issue no. 354 - 31 January 2006
- UK - How we could regulate the Internet
Ofcom has regular lunchtime sessions open to all its staff where different guest speakers are invited to address topics concerning regulation of communications. Roger Darlington gave a presentation entitled "The Regulation Of The Internet". The presentation was prompted by the growing debate about whether existing controls on Internet content adequately meet the concerns of users and what happens when the heavily regulated world of broadcasting collides with the virtually unregulated world of the Internet. The essence of his case was that: The Internet cannot - and should not - be regulated like "old" media. However, more can and should be done, especially in relation to harmful content. New initiatives should be low-cost, practical and promoted on a voluntary basis. Most problematic Internet content is not illegal or harmful and users must take appropriate responsibility while being advised on tools and techniques.
Issue no. 353 - 15 January 2006
- WSIS - First Consultations on Establishment of Internet Governance Forum
At the second phase of WSIS in Tunis, the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society called for the establishment of an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in paragraphs 72 - 79. The first meeting of the IGF will take place in Greece in 2006. The first consultations on the convening of the IGF will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 and 17 February 2006. Additional information can be found at www.intgovforum.org.
Issue no. 352 - 18 December 2005
- So what happened at WSIS?
(Singapore Internet Research Centre)
by Peng Hwa Ang. So what happened at the WSIS? Did the USA "win", as the US media seemed to have portrayed? I'll let you draw your own conclusions at the end of this.
Issue no. 351 - 11 December 2005
- EU - Reinforcing the competitiveness of Europe's publishing industry
Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, European Publishers Forum. Brussels, 6 December 2005. Interesting reference to the Charge of the Light Brigade in the context of the "country of origin" vs "country of destination" debate.
Issue no. 349 - 27 November 2005
- EDRI-gram - Number 3.23, WSIS Special
Items include: Urgent call for support for EDRI-gram; General disappointment in WSIS-host Tunisia; Tunisian government blocks citizens counter summit; Agreement on internet governance issue; Civil Society Tunis declaration; Panel meeting with EU delegation; RSF report: 15 enemies of the internet; Panel on freedom of expression; Panel on privacy and security; Panel on WIPO and intellectual property; P2P, filesharing and digital rights; Forum on ubiquitous computing; Unesco round table; Recommended reading: 3 books; Petition closed: 58.000 signatures; Agenda.
- The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch
(Reporters sans frontières)
Reporters Without Borders marks the World Summit on the Information Society by presenting 15 countries that are "enemies of the Internet" and pointing to a dozen others whose attitude to it is worrying. The 15 "enemies" are the countries that crack down hardest on the Internet, censoring independent news sites and opposition publications, monitoring the Web to stifle dissident voices, and harassing, intimidating and sometimes imprisoning Internet users and bloggers who deviate from the regime's official line. The "countries to watch" do not have much in common with the "enemies of the Internet". Yet many countries that have so far respected online freedom seem these days to want to control the Internet more. Their often laudable aims include fighting terrorism, paedophilia and Internet-based crime, but the measures sometimes threaten freedom of expression.
Index page see also Internet content
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