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Encyclopedia > World Summit on the Information Society

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a pair of United Nations-sponsored conferences about information, communication and, in broad terms, the information society that took place in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis. One of its chief aims was to bridge the so-called global digital divide separating rich countries from poor countries by spreading access to the Internet in the developing world. The conferences established 17 May as World Information Society Day. The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... Communication is a process that allows beings - in particular humans - to exchange information by one of several methods. ... An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity. ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ... The global digital divide is a term used to describe “great disparities in opportunity to access the Internet and the information and educational/business opportunities tied to this access … between developed and developing countries” (Lu 2001 p. ... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... World Information Society Day was put into adoption by the United Nations general assembly as a result of outlines set by the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005 by way of resolution A/RES/60/252. ...

Contents

History

In January 2002, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a proposal for a global summit on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issues. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) took the lead in organizing the event, which included the participation of more than 50 heads of state. WSIS is also related to UNESCO. The United Nations General Assembly (GA) is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations. ... Information and communication technology spending in 2005 Information Technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is: the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. ... The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an international organization established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications. ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...


In November 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a Challenge to Silicon Valley[1] to create nearly up-to-date computers and communications systems that would enable villages to afford Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). Some examples from around the world were: This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Kofi Atta Annan (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2007, serving two five-year terms. ... In November 2002 Kofi Annan issued a Challenge to Silicon Valley to create suitable systems at prices low enough to permit deployment everywhere, whether through international aid programs, NGO charity, or microcredit support. ... Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) is the general term related to the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in development programmes in countries facing problems like poverty, illiteracy and a general lack of development. ...

The Summit's first phase took place in December 2003 in Geneva. The summit process began with the first "Prepcom" in July 2002. The last Prepcom, held from 19-30 September 2005 in Geneva, ended without securing final agreement on Internet governance, with the USA rejecting a European Union proposal to relinquish control of ICANN. The Simputer is a self-contained, handheld computer, designed for use in environments where computing devices such as Personal Computers are deemed inappropriate. ... The Dell Axim x30, a Pocket PC A Pocket PC, abbreviated P/PC or PPC, is a handheld-sized computer that runs a specific version of the Windows CE operating system. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... The building interior near the entrance The MIT Media Lab in the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engages in education and research in the digital technology used for expression and communication. ... The $100 laptop is an education project for creating an inexpensive laptop computer intended to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. ... Linux (IPA pronunciation: ) is a Unix-like computer operating system. ... December 2003: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December - → Events December 31, 2003 In Taiwan, President Chen Shui-bian signs a law that allows referendums to be held. ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... ICANN headquarters ICANN (IPA /aɪkæn/) is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ...


An issue that emerged was Internet governance and the dominant role that the USA in policy making. The most radical ideas about devolving this authority were those supporting a civil society approach to Internet governance. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system) and commercial institutions. ...


At Geneva, 2003

In 2003 at Geneva, delegates from 175 countries took part in the first phase of WSIS where they adopted a Declaration of Principles.[2] This is a road map for achieving an information society accessible to all and based on shared knowledge. A Plan of Action [3] sets out a goal of bringing 50 percent of the world's population online by 2015. It does not spell out any specifics of how this might be achieved. The Geneva summit also left unresolved more controversial issues, including the question of Internet governance and funding. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


When the 2003 summit failed to agree on the future of Internet governance, the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) was formed to come up with ideas on how to progress. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) is a United Nations group set up after the failure of the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to agree on the future of Internet governance. ...


The second phase took place 2005-11-16 to 2005-11-18 in Tunis, Tunisia. It resulted in agreement on the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, and the creation of the Internet Governance Forum. Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tunis is the capital of Tunisia. ... The Tunis Commitment was a consensus statement of the World Summit on the Information Society, adopted on November 18, 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia. ... The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society was a consensus statement of the World Summit on the Information Society, adopted on November 18, 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia. ... The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global venue under the auspices of the United Nations, established to accommodate multi–stakeholder policy dialogue in the field of internet governance. ...


At Tunis, 2005

Just on the eve of the November 2005 Tunis event, the Association for Progressive Communications came out with its stand. (APC is an international network of civil society organizations — whose goal is to empower and support groups and individuals working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), including the internet.) Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network of organizations which provide communication infrastructure, including Internet based applications, for groups, individuals who work for peace, human rights, protection of the environment and substanibility. ...


APC said it had participated extensively in the internet governance process at the World Summit on Information Society. It says: Out of this participation and in collaboration with other partners, including members of the WSIS civil society internet governance caucus, APC has crystallized a set of recommendations with regard to internet governance ahead of the final Summit in Tunis in November 2005.


APC proposed specific actions in each of the following five areas:

  • The transformation of ICANN into a global body with full authority over DNS management, and an appropriate form of accountability to its stakeholders in government, private sector and civil society;
  • The initiation of a multi-stakeholder convention on internet governance and universal human rights that will codify the basic rights applicable to the internet, which will be legally binding in international law with particular emphasis on clauses in the universal declaration of human rights specifically relevant to the internet, such as rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and privacy.
  • Ensuring internet access is universal and affordable. APC argued: "The internet is a global public space that should be open and accessible to all on a non-discriminatory basis. The internet, therefore, must be seen as a global public infrastructure. In this regard we recognize the internet to be a global public good and access to it is in the public interest, and must be provided as a public provision."
  • Measures to promote capacity building in "developing" countries with regard to increasing "developing" country participation in global public policy forums on internet governance.

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global venue under the auspices of the United Nations, established to accommodate multi–stakeholder policy dialogue in the field of internet governance. ... ICANN headquarters ICANN (IPA /aɪkæn/) is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ...

Conference developments

A dispute over control of the Internet threatened to derail the conference. However, a last-minute decision to leave control in the hands of the United States-based ICANN for the time being avoided a major blow-up. As a compromise there was also an agreement to set up an international Internet Governance Forum, with a purely consultative role. ICANN headquarters ICANN (IPA /aɪkæn/) is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ... The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global venue under the auspices of the United Nations, established to accommodate multi–stakeholder policy dialogue in the field of internet governance. ...


French reporter Robert Ménard, the president of Reporters sans frontières, was refused admission to Tunisia for phase two of the Summit because of his participation in the occupation of the Tunisian office of tourism in Paris in 2001. The occupation was organized in protest of the arrest in Tunisia of human-rights activist Sihem Bensedrine. Ménard was told that he was not welcome in Tunisia. He is reportedly under judicial instruction and can enter the country only if called by a magistrate. Reporters Without Borders, or RWB (French: Reporters sans frontières, or RSF) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to freedom of the press. ... Sihem Bensedrine (born October 28, 1950) is a Tunisian journalist and human rights activist. ...


The summit itself was marred by criticism of Tunisia for allowing attacks on journalists and human rights defenders to occur in the days leading up to the event. A French journalist for Libération was stabbed and beaten by unidentified men after he reported on local human rights protesters. A Belgian television crew was harassed and forced to hand over footage of Tunisian dissidents, while local human rights defenders were roughed up and prevented from organizing a meeting with international civil society groups. Human rights defender is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights. ... Libération (affectionately known as Libé) is a French daily newspaper founded in Paris in 1973 by Jean-Paul Sartre, Pierre Victor alias Benny Lévy and Serge July in the wake of the protest movements of May 1968. ...


United States priorities

In a document released on 3 December 2003[4] the United States delegation to the WSIS advocated a strong private sector and rule of law as the critical foundations for development of national information and communication technologies (ICT). Ambassador David Gross, the US coordinator for international communications and information policy, outlined what he called "the three pillars" of the US position in a briefing to reporters 3 December. is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The private sector of a nations economy consists of all that is outside the state. ... The rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure. ... Information and communication technology spending in 2005 Information Technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is: the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. ... Ambassador David A. Gross has served since August 2001 as the US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. ... is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  1. As nations attempt to build a sustainable ICT sector, commitment to the private sector and rule of law must be emphasized, Gross said, "so that countries can attract the necessary private investment to create the infrastructure."
  2. A second important pillar of the US position was the need for content creation and intellectual property rights protection in order to inspire ongoing content development.
  3. Insuring security on the internet, in electronic communications and in electronic commerce was the third major priority for the US. "All of this works and is exciting for people as long as people feel that the networks are secure from cyber attacks, secure in terms of their privacy," Gross said.

As the Geneva phase of the meeting drew closer, one proposal that was gaining attention was to create an international fund to provide increased financial resources to help lesser-developed nations expand their ICT sectors. The "voluntary digital solidarity fund" was a proposal put forth by the president of Senegal, but it was not one that the United States could currently endorse, Gross said. Cyber-warfare (also known as cybernetic war[1], or cyberwar) is the use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace. ... Senegal is a secular republic with a strong presidency, weak legislature, reasonably independent judiciary, and multiple political parties. ...


Gross said the United States was also achieving broad consensus on the principle that a "culture of cybersecurity" must develop in national ICT policies to continue growth and expansion in this area. He said the last few years had been marked by considerable progress as nations update their laws to address the galloping criminal threats in cyberspace. "There's capacity-building for countries to be able to criminalize those activities that occur within their borders...and similarly to work internationally to communicate between administrations of law enforcement to track down people who are acting in ways that are unlawful," Gross said. Computer security is a field of computer science concerned with the control of risks related to computer use. ...


Many governments are very concerned that various groups use U.S.-based servers to spread anti-semitic, nationalist, or regime critical messages. This controversy is a consequence of the American position on free speech which does not consider speech as criminal without direct appeals to violence. The United States argues that giving the control of Internet domain names to international bureaucrats and governments may lead to massive censorship that could destroy the freedom of the Internet as a public space. The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... Freedom of speech is the right to freely say what one pleases, as well as the related right to hear what others have stated. ...


"Civil Society"

A great number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific institutions, community media and others are participating as "civil society" in the preparations for the summit as well as the WSIS itself. They try to establish the broadest possible participation of civil society groups at the summit and to push civil society issues onto the agenda, including human rights, people-centred development, freedom of speech and press freedom. The term non-governmental organization (NGO) is used in a variety of ways all over the world and, depending on the context in which it is used, can refer to many different types of organizations. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. ... Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public speech often through a state constitution for its citizens, and associations of individuals extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ...


At the same time, there is plenty of WSIS-related discussion outside the official conferences. Workshops on the themes of the summit were held e.g. at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, and plans are shaping up for alternative events outside and parallel to the official WSIS summit. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Nickname: Coordinates: Country Brazil Region South State Rio Grande do Sul Government  - Mayor José Fogaça (PPS) Area  - City 496. ...


In Germany, a WSIS working group initiated by the Network New Media and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, has been meeting continuously since mid-2002. This group has gradually developed into a broader Germany-wide civil society coordination for the WSIS. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Heinrich Böll Foundation, affiliated with the German Green Party and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, is a legally independent political foundation. ...


Some civil society groups expressed alarm that the 2005 phase of the WSIS was being held in Tunisia, a country with serious human rights violations. [5] A fact-finding mission to Tunisia in January 2005 by the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of 14 members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, found serious cause for concern about the current state of freedom of expression and of civil liberties in the country, including gross restrictions on freedom of the press, media, publishing and the Internet. The Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) is a coalition of 15 free expression organisations that belong to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network of non-governmental organisations that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. ... International Freedom of Expression eXchange. ...


The coalition published a 60-page report that recommends steps the Tunisian government needs to take to bring the country in line with international human rights standards.[6] At the third WSIS Preparatory Committee meeting in Geneva in September 2005, the TMG launched an update to the report that found no improvements in the human rights situation.


The Digital solidarity fund, an independent body aiming to reduce the digital divide, was established following discussions which took place during the Tunis summit in 2005. The Digital solidarity fund (DSF) was established following talks which took place during the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


The Digital Divide

Main article: Digital divide

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, defined the information society as that through which “human capacity is expanded, built up, nourished and liberated, by giving people access to the tools and technologies they need, with the education and training to use them effectively.” It is this kind of a society that the World Summit on the Information Society set about to create. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, declared that with the emergence of such a society comes the risk of widening the existing digital divide. The Holy See (Vatican) reaffirmed this position in its address to the summit members given by Archbishop John Foley. “This summit,” he said, “is a unique opportunity to connect and assist those living in the poorest and most isolated regions of the world… [I]f this process creates only new opportunities for those who already enjoy a good living standard and excellent communications possibilities, then our work will have been a failure.” Yoshio Utsumi ) (born August 14, 1942) is the secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, 1998-2006. ...


On the issue of narrowing the digital divide, the Holy See and the whole of the United Nations stand hand-in-hand. It was the direct goal of the Summit to create a way to provide information to all people in every nation. A joint-effort needed to be made on behalf of the entire international community to assist in providing access to digital communications to those citizens of less developed regions so that they might also share in the bounty of information available through digital mediums. “For far too many people, the gains remain out of reach,” Annan said. “There is a tremendous yearning, not for technology per se, but for what technology can make possible.” Annan continued by urging the Summit members to respond to that thirst and to make the necessary preparations and take the first steps towards the accomplishment of a society where all people have equal access to information. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, president of the Republic of Tunisia, also called on the international community to aid in the efforts of helping all peoples, “particularly the least developed ones, to gain access to technological progress and to benefit from the scientific and digital revolution witnessed in the world today." The Vatican also reaffirmed the need for help from the international community.


Secretary General Utsumi said that in order to bring about the changes recommended, and new “pact” will need to be achieved between the information “haves” and the “have-nots.” The development of a new arrangement between developed and under-developed nations would not, he said, “obey the normal rules of negotiation of give and take” but would, instead, be based on mutual self-interest. “The value of information,” Utsumi said, “increases when it is shared. If we are able to create a new generation in the developing world, it will be to the benefit of information-producing countries.”


The overall intent of the World Summit on the Information Society was to bring about a feasible way to eliminate the ever-gaping digital divide. Members of the international community have recognized that an end to the divide must be sought in order to bring about equal information opportunities to the citizens of the less developed countries. Archbishop Foley ended his statement by stating, “It is our responsibility to fill these gaps of humanity and solidarity for the benefit of millions of people and for the next generation.” It is the responsibility of the countries of the international community to implement plans they made at the Summit to make information more accessible to all nations.


Digital Divide and Digital Dilemma

Two main concerns seemed to be the issue and talk of the UN World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, which were one the digital divide and two the digital dilemma. Not only did several countries comment on one or both of these issues in light of the Holy See's statement by Archbishop John P. Foley the Church seems to agree and furthermore elaborate on these issues.


First the digital divide, which not only is addressed in Archbishop John P. Foley's address before the WSIS but also in a Vatican document, Ethics in the Interent. According to Archbishop Foley the digital divide is the current disparity in the access to digital communications between developed and developing countries and it requires the joint effort of the entire international community. The digital divide is considered a form of discrimination dividing the rich and the poor, both within and among nations, on the basis of access, or lack of access, to the new information technology. It is an updated version of an older gap that has always existed between the information rich and the information poor. The term digital divide underlines the reality that not only individuals and groups but also nations must have access to the new technology in order to share in the promised benefits of globalization and not fall behind other nations.


In a statement delivered by Senator Burchell Whiteman from Jamaica he stressed that Jamaica realizes the importance of bridging the digital divide which he sees as promoting social and economic development for 80% of the countries that are still struggling with this gap and the impact that it has on them. In a statement given by Mr. Ignacio Gonzalez Planas, who is the minister of Informatics and Communications of the Republic of Cuba, he also talked about the concern of only a few countries enjoying these privileges. Mentioning that over half of the world population does not have telephone access, which was invented more than a century ago. With more than 50% of those using cell phones and internet servers are found in developed countries. In a statement by Vice Premier Huang Ju, the State Council of the People's Republic of China, he stated that the information society should be a people centered society in which all peoples and all countries share the benefit to the fullest in greater common development in the information society.


Second the digital dilemma, which the Holy See emphasized as a disadvantage to the information society, because of this one must approach it with concern and caution to avoid taking the wrong steps. Not only what is being considered as digital opportunities could result in digital dilemmas. It is a real and present danger with technology especially the internet. The Holy See strongly supports freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas but provided that one respects the moral order and common good. One must approach it with sensitivity and respect for other people's values and beliefs and protect the distinctiveness of cultures and the underlying unity of the human family.


Whiteman from Jamaica agreed on the issue of facing digital dilemmas as well. He stated that information resources combined with technology resources are available to the world and they have the power to transform the world for good or ill. In a statement made by Mr. Stjepan Mesic, President of Croatia, it was stated that we are flooded with data and we think that we know and can find everything about everyone but we also must remember that we don't know what so easily accessible is like. He states that although the information society is a blessing one should not ignore the potentiality of it turning into a nightmare.


The Holy See's caution of the information society is being heard and echoed by other countries especially those that were present at the WSIS in Tunis. Echoing the statement made in Ethics in the Internet, "The internet can make an enormously valuable contribution to human life. It can foster prosperity and peace, intellectual and aesthetic growth, mutual understanding among peoples and nations on a global scale."


Selected media responses

A report by Brenda Zulu explained that the (Dakar) resolution "generated a lot of discussion since it was very different from the Accra resolution, which advocated change from the status quo where Zambia participated in the Africa WSIS in Accra. The Dakar resolutions, in the main, advocated the status quo although it did not refer to internationalization of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)."


The Jamaica Observer had a column which saw Cyberspace as backyard for the new 'Monroe Doctrine'.[7] The Monroe Doctrine, expressed in 1823, proclaimed that the Americas should be closed to future European colonization and free from European interference in sovereign countries' affairs. The Doctrine was conceived by its authors, especially John Quincy Adams, as a proclamation by the United States of moral opposition to colonialism, but has subsequently been re-interpreted in a wide variety of ways, including by President Theodore Roosevelt as a license for the U.S. to practice its own form of colonialism. It has been suggested that Virtual world be merged into this article or section. ... U.S. President James Monroe The Monroe Doctrine is a U.S. doctrine which, on December 2, 1823, proclaimed that European powers would no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of the nations of the Americas. ...


From India, The Financial Express interviewed Nitin Desai, who is special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General. Desai is quoted saying, "Our main goal is to find ways for developing countries to gain better access to the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs), helping them improve their life standards right from their knowledge base to their work culture, and spread awareness about diseases and other crucial issues. This will aim to bridge the huge communication technology and infrastructure gap existing currently in the world. This will include connecting villages, community access points, schools and universities, research centres, libraries, health centres and hospitals, and local and central government departments. Besides looking at the first two years of implementation of the Plan of Action after the Geneva summit, the Tunis episode will seek to encourage the development of content meant to empower the nations."


He says: "The way India has made use of IT, fetching the country not only profits, but a huge percentage of employed people, it has been really impressive." My view: it's a shame that we in India have so many IT professionals, but these skills get used so much for the export-dollar, and hardly at all (except in a spillover manner) to tackle the huge issues that a billion seeking a better life have to daily deal with.


The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), had a Reuters report titled 'Rights groups says Tunisia is not right for WSIS' [8], citing the position of the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. It said: SABC logo The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is the state owned broadcaster in South Africa, and was for many years the monopoly, controlled by the white minority National Party government. ... Reuters Group plc (LSE: RTR and NASDAQ: RTRSY); pron. ... International Freedom of Expression eXchange. ... The Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) is a coalition of 15 free expression organisations that belong to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network of non-governmental organisations that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. ...

As thousands of delegates and InfoTech experts gathered in Tunisia this weekend for a UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), human rights and media freedom groups were asking: Is this meeting in the wrong place?" and points to both the positions critical of the Tunisian government on free speech, and the administration's defense of its record. Finally, when it comes to reporting on the unfair global village, and communication rights we have within it, isn't it ironic that the awareness and ability to keep up with the issue -- of information -- is itself so unfair?

One critique

In a press statement released 14 November 2003 [9] the Civil Society group warned about a deadlock, already setting in on the very first article of the declaration, where governments are not able to agree on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common foundation of the summit declaration. It identified two main problems: is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bold text Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ...

  1. On the issue of correcting imbalances in riches, rights and power, governments do not agree on even the principle of a financial effort to overcome the so-called "digital divide", which was precisely the objective when the summit process was started in 2001. But the 'digital divide' concept was also under criticism of the civil society. Groups such as FFII rejected the term.
  2. In its view, not even the basis of human life in dignity and equality, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, finds support as the basis for the Information Society. Governments are not able to agree on a commitment to basic human right standards as the basis for the Information Society, most prominent in this case being the freedom of expression.

This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

See also

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global venue under the auspices of the United Nations, established to accommodate multi–stakeholder policy dialogue in the field of internet governance. ... Development Communication refers to a spectrum of communication processes, strategies and principles within the field of international development, aimed at improving the conditions and quality of life of people struggling with underdevelopment and marginalization. ...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Perspective: Kofi Annan's IT challenge to Silicon Valley November 5, 2002
  2. ^ WSIS Declaration of Principles
  3. ^ WSIS Plan of Action
  4. ^ U.S. Outlines Priorities for World Summit on the Information Society December 3, 2003
  5. ^ Tunisia: Political Prisoners Held in Solitary for Years July 7, 2004
  6. ^ Tunisia Monitoring Group releases report on state of free expression 22 February 2005
  7. ^ Cyberspace as backyard for the new 'Monroe Doctrine' November 13, 2005
  8. ^ Rights groups says Tunisia is not right for WSIS November 13, 2005
  9. ^ Civil Society Statement at the End of the Preparatory Process for the WSISNovember 14, 2003

External links

Image File history File links Information. ...

Official Sites & Organizations

The Millenium Development Goals The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. ... International Freedom of Expression eXchange. ...

WSIS News & Blogs

  • WSISBlogs.org - a multilingual coalition of bloggers attending WSIS; includes text, photos, podcasts and video.
  • WSIS: Internet Governance Forum Endorsed by World Leaders by Dick Kaser, Information Today.
  • WSIS WIRE - latest news on the World Summit - en, fr, de
  • i-Witness | journalists shaping the information society - debate, news and resources for journalists creating a fairer information society
  • The Daily Summit - WSIS (2003 only) and similar World Summit coverage by the British Council Science Team
  • The Association for Progressive Communications published a blog in English, one in French, and one in Spanish
  • The German netzpolitik.org - Blog has a huge coverage on the WSIS in German language
  • David Weekly's Tunis PBwiki - a wikiblog of the Summit & Tunisia
  • Choike - WSIS in depth report has information on the Geneva and Tunis phases of WSIS
  • A transcript of Richard Stallman's WSIS 2005 presentation

Logo of the British Council British Council building in London The British Council is a non-departmental public body and registered charity for cultural relations in the United Kingdom. ... The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network of organizations which provide communication infrastructure, including Internet based applications, for groups, individuals who work for peace, human rights, protection of the environment and substanibility. ...

Articles & Reports

  • Walk first, then surfArticle by Khaled Diab published in Al Ahram Weekly, 8-14 December 2005
  • Information Society for the South: Vision or Hallucination? A book by the WSIS Papers Project (Instituto del Tercer Mundo, ITeM) with Southern perspectives on the Information Society
  • Visions in Process II A brochure collecting female perspectives on WSIS
  • Orientation kit on WSIS A booklet for civil society representatives on WSIS development just before the Tunis Summit
  • "Bush administration annexes internet", The Register, July 1, 2005. 
  • "Power grab could split the net", CNET, October 3, 2005.  (Includes discussion.)
  • "Information Society: The Next Steps" - Development Gateway Special Report
  • Tunisia, host of WSIS and destination of choice for IT Outsourcing - Economist Advertisement Feature
  • Essential test for UN net summit - BBC News

  Results from FactBites:
 
World Summit on the Information Society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4998 words)
Some civil society groups have expressed alarm that the 2005 phase of the WSIS is being held in Tunisia, a country with serious human rights violations [1].
In a press statement released 14 November 2003 [4] the Civil Society group warned about a deadlock, already setting in on the very first article of the declaration, where governments are not able to agree on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common foundation of the summit declaration.
He states that although the information society is a blessing one should not ignore the potentiality of it turning into a nightmare.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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