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    At WSIS Forum, Divisions Arise Over Future Of Internet Governance

    Published on 19 May 2012 @ 1:57 am

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2012 was hailed as a success at its closing ceremony today by the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Yet sharp debates about the reluctance of the UN to hire an executive secretary for the Internet Governance Forum, the reluctance of the ITU to allow the global public to see and contribute to the coming International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR), and the need for a new UN platform for enhanced cooperation clearly illustrated that the global internet governance ship is cruising through rough seas.

    The WSIS Forum was held from 14-18 May.

    Since 2006, the ITU annually convenes the so-called WSIS forum to check on progress made along the lines set out by the 2005 WSIS and on the contribution of information technology to the UN Millennium Development Goals. This year, the ITU said it gathered 35 ministers, deputy ministers, ambassadors and CEOs to talk about issues like a global cybersecurity treaty that could, according to a Iranian delegate, even include sections on intellectual property protection, the effect of broadband access on national GDP growth (see broadband report here), or on the role of girls in information and communication technology (ICT).

    A WSIS stocktaking report lists “1,000 innovative ICT-oriented projects covering the period 2010-2012,” according to the ITU (press release on stocktaking is here).

    WSIS Forum Competes with Internet Governance Forum

    With the WSIS Forum 2012 sessions made a little more interactive and workshops being prepared by non-governmental organisations, the event somehow seemed to follow ideas developed at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the dialogue platform on all things internet established by governments as a result of the WSIS in the Tunis Agenda.

    There is clear competition between the WSIS Forum and the IGF, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, an internet governance expert at the University of Aarhus, told Intellectual Property Watch. “It’s a similar competition as in ITU versus ICANN,” Kleinwächter said, referring to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the internet domain system technical oversight body.

    Russian delegates several times proposed to combine both fora, he reported, yet the two still are distinct. “WSIS Forum is top-down, IGF is bottom up,” he said. The IGF has grown a lot over the years and received 128 workshop proposals for the upcoming meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, according to the IGF secretariat.

    What makes competing difficult for the IGF, though, is the lack of funding. Other than the WSIS Forum that is supported through the ITU, UN Economic Social and Educational Organisation (UNESCO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Sustainable Development (UNCTAD) – and from their regular membership purses – the IGF relies on a donor fund. The fund is so famished that the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) announced during a consultation on the IGF during the WSIS Forum Week that it would not fill the position of the IGF secretariat’s executive chair and had informed the 90 applicants for the position it would do so.

    Bertrand de la Chapelle, program director at the French International Diplomatic Academy and former French Special Envoy for the Information Society, called this development “extremely troublesome” as observers were faced with the choice of wilful bad intentions or inefficiency of the UN bureaucracy as a reason for the failure.

    While de la Chapelle proposed considering the IGF community to take up selection of a chair themselves in some form, a representative of UN DESA said there were ongoing talks with donors, yet legal issues prevented accepting funding from a company like Google so far.

    Thomas Schneider from the Swiss telecom regulator noted that while there was “extremely broad support of the IGF” by stakeholders including many governments, “when it comes to actively contributing to the funding of these processes, the situation is slightly different.” Switzerland for years was the second largest financial contributor to the IGF’s US$1.5 million annual budget, according to Schneider.

    Enhancing Enhanced Government

    Schneider was speaking at an open consultation meeting of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) on “enhanced cooperation,” another gathering attached to the WSIS Forum 2012. Enhanced cooperation had been the sister process to the IGF passed by the WSIS in Tunis, but governments up to now have not been able to agree on what enhanced cooperation really means.

    Schneider explained: “There are the ones that claim that enhanced cooperation has still not started yet, as they understand this to be an intergovernmental process or body, maybe with some participation of non-governmental stakeholders. Others claim that enhanced cooperation has already started years ago and is running at full speed as they see it as literally an “enhanced cooperation’ of governments and other stakeholders in existing fora like ICANN, ITU, UNESCO, IETF, ISOC, etc.” IETF refers to the Internet Engineering Task Force, and ISOC is the Internet Society.

    Lack of convergence and – as some said at the CSTD meeting in Geneva on 18 May – lack of real dialogue has resulted in proposals for yet another body, with ideas ranging from India’s idea to establish a 50-member “United Nations Committee for Internet-Related Policies” (CIRP) to develop public policy for the internet and oversee bodies like ICANN, to a more lightweight “Standing Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation,” attached to the CSTD, which even the British delegate said could be considered.

    The US delegate recommended to rather focus on the protection of “the free flow of information online,” “transparency, fair process and accountability” of internet governance processes, and to jointly “find practical solutions to the unique challenges facing developing nations.”

    Additional internet governance mechanisms were also rather bluntly rejected by the US-based Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

    When asking if the proposal for a new CSTD working group on enhanced cooperation was likely to lead to “practical benefits for real people,” and would provide significant added value in development terms, CCIA said “it does not look like this working group would pass these tests.” CCIA underlined the continuous trend and success of the continuous opening up of the UN system to non-governmental actors, the technical community and civil society, applauding ECOSOC work so far, and bashing the WSIS Forum host ITU by saying that the ITU’s political processes including the WCIT preparatory process had “fallen far behind the rest of the UN system in this respect.”

    The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) is the conference scheduled to pass the new International Telecommunications Regulations in December in Dubai (IPW, Internet Governance, 30 April 2012).

    NGOs Call for Transparency in ITR Review

    The call of more openness in the WCIT process culminated at the end of the WSIS Forum week in an open letter signed by 31 civil society organisations from around the globe who asked the ITU secretary general, the responsible ITU Council Working Group and the member states of ITU to allow access to preparatory materials for the WCIT in order to enable civil society to contribute to the ITR review (open letter is here [pdf], Spanish version is here [pdf]).

    In the ITU, proposals from member states, but also compilations of proposals covering scope, basic provisions on international communication, accounting principles, but also more fine-grained things on traffic routing, illicit use and cybersecurity are only available for ITU member states and paying sector members.

    Even if internet governance issues were out of scope as ITU officials did not get tired of underlining, the ITR certainly would touch Internet communication, observers agree. Therefore they could not be addressed in traditional negotiation style, according to ISOC Vice President Markus Kummer. Like in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations, Kummer warned, the internet community will not accept exclusion. An EU official, speaking in his personal capacity, acknowledged that without openness a lot of time and energy would be lost in arguing about what was in fact in the documents.

    Kummer tried in vain to get an answer as to whether sector members like the ISOC, as well as member states, could share the documents they have paid for. In their open letter, the civil society organisations also took their governments to task, urging them to “open public processes at the national level to solicit input on proposed amendments” to the ITRs from all stakeholders. So far there are no reports about such public processes, despite open government being another prominent topic at the WSIS Forum.

    Yet between all the WCIT, enhanced cooperation and IGF procedural issues, some of the rather interesting issues internet policy experts are agonizing about, risk to get lost. Marilia Maciel from the Center For Technology and Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil spoke about the danger of privatisation of internet regulation with large platforms unilaterally deciding on what users have to accept.

    In addition, regional or plurilateral negotiations deciding on IP enforcement or privacy standards for people inside and outside of the respective territories and the continued politicization of internet governance were huge concerns to internet users.

    Therefore, according to Maciel, there was a need for some mechanism for enhanced cooperation and stakeholders had to accept that it was high time “to face the question about what the roles of the different stakeholder groups” should be in the future.

    Monika Ermert may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Monika Ermert says:

      Jeremy,
      thank you very much for the feedback. I understand from the discussions that there are variants about what kind of new mechanism is needed, to what existing body it should be attached to and what the scope of the work should be. Please keep me posted!

    2. Netizen Report: Eurovision Edition - Global Voices Advocacy says:

      [...] of the Internet's future, was held in Geneva last week. The future of Internet governance was reportedly a hot and divisive [...]

    3. Netizen Report: Eurovision Edition – The Netizen Project says:

      [...] the Internet’s future, was held in Geneva last week. The future of Internet governance was reportedly a hot and divisive [...]

    4. Global Voices | 网民报导:欧洲歌唱大赛专刊 - 中国数字时代 says:

      [...] • 翻墙必读• 科学上网• 防火长城• 墙外导航(整理中)• 禁书禁片• 禁片大全• 禁书下载(整理中)• 有关部门• 中宣部• 国新办• 网络监控• 国保警察• 真理部• 敏感词库• 河蟹档案• 五毛大观• 网络审查• 真理部指令• 马勒戈壁• 网络民议• 时政漫画• 网络段子• 热传视频• 歌曲精选• 草泥马语• 民主宪政• 人权记录• 天安门母亲• 良心犯• 异议人士• 国家安全罪• 强制堕胎• 结石宝宝• 黑监狱• 维权律师• 政治改革• 新闻自由• 司法独立• 宗教自由• 更多专题• 食品安全• 强制拆迁• 新疆• 西藏• 南海• 香港• 台湾• 朝鲜• 中美关系• 中俄关系• 中日关系• 中法关系• 中德关系• 中印关系 Global Voices | 网民报导:欧洲歌唱大赛专刊 原文2012年欧洲歌唱大赛预演的舞台,照片由Zeljko Joksimovic提供本篇报导多由 Weiping Li, James Losey, Tom Risen, and Sarah Myers研究、编辑与撰写身为2012年欧洲歌唱大赛主办国的亚赛拜然,在本周准备这场年度赛事之时,遭遇了好几次网路风波。首先是歌唱大赛的网站www.eurovision.az 及www.eurovision.tv 遭莫名团体攻击,一天之後,一家大型手机通讯商的网路又中断,影响一百多万个用户。同时,该国政府宣布,将会逐步扩张网路宽频建设,以帮助更多民众上网。不 过,让亚国政府难堪的是,其人权及网路政策近来备受抨击。在上周网民报导中,我们提及亚国政府采吓阻策略,要民众远离社交网站。上个月,一个瑞典新闻节目 Uppdrag Granskning则揭露,亚国政府使用瑞典通讯巨人Teliasonera的设备监视民众,进而衍生许多不堪的丑闻,包括政府讯问好几位亚国公民,原 因仅是因为这些人在2009年的欧洲歌唱大赛中,投票给亚美尼亚歌曲。若想了解更多亚赛拜然的言论自由状况,可见「媒体权利机构」去年发布的报告。世界各地的审查制度及监控新闻依旧不绝,续见本周报导:审查制度上 周日下午,巴基斯坦的社交媒体使用者发现,推特网站遭到封锁,持续数个小时,接下来的一整天,陆续有网友回报各种消息。虽然封锁的实际原因仍然不明,但 《快讯时报》记者宣称,事件缘起於推特上关於先知穆罕默德讽刺漫画的「亵渎」竞赛讯息。虽然巴国政府要求推特删文,推特拒绝不从。也有人认为,可能是巴国 政府在测试其网址审筛系统。虽然巴基斯坦总理後来出面,下令解除封锁,但这起事件再度为巴基斯坦的网路自由投下阴影。南美的委内瑞拉网站La Patilla也被国营网路服务商封锁,原因可能是该网站上一则影片及即时视讯,揭露了委内瑞拉最近一起囚犯及警卫之间的冲突。过去一个星期,几个国家的立法者不约而同,打算采取立法行动,规范网路:俄国下议院副议长要求俄国总检察长,起诉利用社交媒体传散极端主义的民众。玻利维亚参议院也提案,限制社交网路上的种族歧视言论。印度资讯部长卡庇·赛博(Kapil Sibal)表示,为了回应反对党议员的抗议,他会邀请国会议员及利害关系人举行会议,讨论《2011资讯科技规范》。批评该规范的人认为,该法赋予政府过多的审查及监控权力。巴林政府打算起诉将暴动影片上传至网路的民众。迫害巴林政府也加剧迫害社会运动人士:该政府宣布,将对张贴有误或有辱政权讯息者,采取行动。此外,人权运动者纳柏·拉加(Nabeel Rajab)本周现身法院。面对检方指控其利用网路发起非法集会,他回应道:「这些逮捕丶审判我的决定,都是出於政治因素」。在其他中东地区:科威特部落客劳伦斯·艾拉西迪(Lawrence al-Rashidi)因为在网上侮辱王储,被判处十年徒刑,并罚款1,000元科威特币。伊朗一名不知名的部落客由於「干扰公共意见」而被捕。叙利亚政府释放八名在大马士革言论自由媒体中心突袭行动中被捕的记者及部落客,但仍有三十一名运动人士及记者仍被羁押。监控美国最高法院同意审理一件政府监控案。在该案中,美国政府使用电子监控设备,监视与恐怖团体有关人士的国际通讯,其中包括古巴关达纳摩海湾囚犯的律师与记者。伦敦大都会警察的十六个辖区装置了新科技,从此警局可以在短短几分钟内取得在押嫌犯的电话记录,无论这些嫌犯事後有无被控犯罪。网路君主根据《华尔街日报》报导,中国网路门户「新浪」2012年第一季经营亏损,部分原因可能是添雇人手审查内容,导致经营成本增加。伊朗威胁控告Google,因为该公司未在Google地图上标明「波斯湾」。Facebook — 该公司在星期五的上市之举,被视为「失败」之作 — 又被使用者以侵犯隐私为由,告上法庭,求偿一千五百万美元。原告宣称脸书继续追踪使用者的网路活动,即便使用者都已登出服务。由於例如Facebook之 类的企业明目张胆剥削使用者资料,以换取公司收益,因此位於巴黎的网路权利团体「网路无疆界」号召「组成电子联盟,提升公众对於个人资料的重视,并且发起 公众辩论」。国家政策伊朗通讯部长命令该国银行丶保险公司以及电信业者,不可使用外国业者的电邮服务,例如雅虎及Google,与顾客通讯。捍卫网路,抵抗《停止网路盗版法案》(SOPA)的美国众议员德罗·以萨(Darell Issa)在其众包(crowdsourcing)网站「麦迪逊平台」(Madison platform)公布一份外泄的草稿,内容是美国在《泛太平洋夥伴经济关系协议》(TPP)中的美国协商立场。至目前为止,TPP仍在秘密的情况下协议,以萨众议员呼吁政府公布更多关於协商的程序及内容。五十位法学界意见领袖写了一封公开信,致书参议院财政委员会,主张唯一合法批准《反假冒贸易协定》(ACTA)的程序是由国会通过。荷兰成为第一个建立网路中立法律架构的国家。网路治理三十多个来自全球各地的公民社会组织呈递一封给国际电信联盟(ITU)秘书总长杜霭博士(Dr. Hamadoun Touré)的公开信,希望公民社会的利害关系人也能全程丶公平且实质地参与国际电信全球会议。国际电信联盟将在十二月举行会议,辩论是否将网路自由治理的条文,加入这项已有二十四年历史的条约。在会议召开之前,美国参议院的两党也逐渐倾向将支持网路自由列为首要顺序。一个由多方利害关系人组成,讨论网路未来的论坛「资讯社会高峰会」上星期於日内瓦举行。据报导,网路治理的未来是热门议题,但意见分歧。版权芬兰一法院判决,开放无线网路的所有人无需为他人使用该网路而侵犯着作权的行为负责。在此同时,印度一法院也以侵犯着作权为由,要求网路业者封锁数家网站,包括 Vimeo, DailyMotion,The Pirate Bay, and Pastebin。网路安全海盗湾网站遭受大规模的阻断式服务攻击(DDoS),以致该网站断线24小时。遭受攻击的原因有可能是因其批评一项由匿名组织发动,目标对象为维京媒体网站(Virgin Media)的攻击行动。维京媒体是第一个根据英国法院判决,封锁海盗湾网站的网路服务业者。据报导,尚比亚的公民新闻网站「尚比亚看门狗」遭骇客入侵,罪魁祸首可能是当权的「爱国前线」政府。骇客利用国际特赦组织网站Java软体的漏洞,使该网站成了恶意软体的发散源头。另外,一些使用者还见到维基百科网站上出现广告,身为非营利组织的维基百科说,这其实是使用者的电脑本身感染了病毒。杰 瑞米·汉莫德(Jeremy Hammond)是匿名组织外围团体鲁兹赛克(LulzSec)的一员。他在由纽约联邦法院审理的几个案件中,主张「无罪」。汉莫德是去年安全智库 Strafor被骇案的主嫌,除此之外,其被控参与的案件还包括从索尼影业丶InfraGard Atlanta等数个网站下载信用卡资料。研究人员指出,骇客可以从远端控制许多与网路相连的安全摄影机。许多银行丶零售商及公司,都使用此种摄影机。中国的行动通讯及网路制造商中兴公司承认,该公司生产的某个手机型号植有後门,可以让他人取得系统管理权限(root access)。中兴已经承诺公布修补安全漏洞的方法。酷玩意儿Google执行董事长艾力克·施密特(Eric Schmidt)在波士顿大学毕业典礼致词中,要这些毕业生们「把你的眼从电脑萤幕上别开,看着你所爱的人的眼睛。与他说话,好好地说说话」。网路之父之一的范·瑟夫(Vint Cerf),在F2C的演讲影片请见此处。出版与研究    Sara Kehaulani Goo: Facebook: a profile of its ‘friends’    The Internet Society, OECD, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: The Relationship Between Local Content, Internet Development, and Access Prices    Mobile Internet Censorship: What’s happening and what we can do about it, Open Rights Group and the LSE Media Project    How Should the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) be Improved? by Christopher Steck, Telefonica.郵件訂閱網民報導與數位時代公民權益之未來相關的活動,請參閱全球之聲行事曆。校對:Sue Wong 作者 Rebecca MacKinnon · 译者 Weiping Li · 阅读原文 en · 则留言 (0) 分享: HEMiDEMi · MyShare · Shouker · facebook · twitter · reddit · StumbleUpon · delicious · Instapaper本文由自动聚合程序取自网络,内容和观点不代表数字时代立场 定期获得翻墙信息?请电邮订阅数字时代 [...]

    5. Global Voices | 网民报导:欧洲歌唱大赛专刊 - 中国数字时代 says:

      [...] 一个由多方利害关系人组成,讨论网路未来的论坛「资讯社会高峰会」上星期於日内瓦举行。据报导,网路治理的未来是热门议题,但意见分歧。 [...]

    6. Monika cobus | Greatstatescho says:

      [...] At WSIS Forum, Divisions Arise Over Future Of Internet Governance … [...]

    7. Netizen Report: Eurovision Edition · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά says:

      [...] εβδομάδα. Το μέλλον της διαδικτυακής διακυβέρνησης ήταν κατά τα λεγόμενα ένα από τα σημαντικά θέματα που προκάλεσε και [...]


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