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04 November 2006
Global Internet Policy Initiative Highlighted at IGF (Internews news release)
In presentations and workshops at the Internet Governance Forum this week, the Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI), a joint project of Internews Network and the Center for Democracy and Technology, was highlighted as a proven model for working locally to reform national laws and policies in order to foster expanded Internet access in developing countries.
03 November 2006
As we enter a more connected world, where devices talk to each other and make sense of the masses of data we create, the issue of how much control we have over this process becomes more important.
A Cuba government official told the IGF that the U.S. government was to blame for the poor Internet access that its citizens endure, arguing that, as a result, poorer countries are "financing" the Internet. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Fernandez to a high-level working group two years ago.
United Nations lauds internet's 'arranged marriage' (The Register)
The closing day of the IGF has ended on a high note with attendees from across the world (from business, government, international organisations and civil society) all expressing their delight at the experimental forum.
The first IGF ended with promise of breakthrough technologies to accelerate online access in developing countries and concerns of growing government interference globally. Key participants said Thursday that the four-day meeting had at least helped clarify differences between governments, industry and online groups ahead of the next Internet Governance Forum next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Berners-Lee to head web research project (The Guardian)
The influence the internet has on the way we socialise and live our lives is to become the focus of a new field of study under the leadership of the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee.
The future of the net is under discussion at the first-ever Internet Governance Forum in Athens on Monday. The four-day forum has been set up by the United Nations to give companies, governments, organisations and individuals the space to debate what should happen to the net in the coming years. BBC News website Technology editor Darren Waters is reporting from the conference as it happens. The blog is continually updated.
ICANN 1 November announced a clear roadmap for the introduction of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) based on progress so far and future work.
Knee-jerk UN haters in the US are fond of pointing horrified fingers at the presence of China, Syria and other authoritarian states whenever global governance is mentioned. See for example Declan McCullough's slanted piece in CNET [see below]. They might be surprised to learn that the UN Internet Governance Forum has opened the opportunity for a major assault on Internet blocking and filtering, and put repressive governments on the defensive by heightening awareness of the practice and pressuring them to justify it or change it.
Call it the Iran and Syria problem. In theory, the Bush administration could order that the domain names of allegedly hostile or terrorist-friendly nations be deleted from the Internet--a unique authority that troubles many developing nations and became a source of contention at the IGF.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British developer of the world wide web, says he is worried about the way it could be used to spread "misinformation and "undemocratic forces".
United Nations Internet forum goes titsup (The Register)
The website of the IGF has been suspended (or had been at the time of writing of this article) and replaced with a cartoon dog pulling wires out of a PC. The site at igf2006.info was taken down with 20 minutes left of the main speaking session after the hosts complained that demand from a collaborative website set up to elicit views from the wider Internet was overwhelming its server. It also brought down the main information site at intgovforum.org which was held on the same server.
Internet milestone: 100 million websites (Sydney Morning Herald)
The first website went online in August 1991 and, now 15 years later, the 100-million website mark has been cracked.
02 November 2006
The End User: Content vs. control (International Herald Tribune)
Never mind who controls the Internet and whether the U.S. government has undue influence over domain names and root servers. If the question of control is about content, then the United States has a lock on the World Wide Web that looks unshakable. Of the top 30 most-visited Web sites, Asia is home to four and Europe has one, according to September statistics from comScore Networks, a U.S.-based market researcher. (And even the single European name, Lycos, has mixed U.S. parentage.)
A bill of rights for the internet age has been proposed at the IGF. The bill would update and restate rights that have been enshrined for centuries, said Robin Gross of civil liberties group IP Justice.
More than 90% of the world's 6,000 languages are not represented on the internet. So what must be done to make the internet a truly global place?
Kazaa settles 3rd suit on file-sharing (International Herald Tribune)
Kazaa, the file-sharing network, has reached a tentative settlement in the last of three major lawsuits brought against it by the music and motion picture industries.
'Next step' in science studies: The Web (International Herald Tribune)
In little more than a decade, the Internet has grown to become such a pervasive force in commerce and culture that a group of leading university researchers is trying to make the Web a field of study on its own.
ICANN warned that a mistake in a creating more Web addresses using non-Latin letters could "permanently break the Internet."
IGF produces anti-spam plan (The Register)
Six of the world's largest anti-spam organisations have set up a new website aimed at killing the online menace. Timed to coincide with an anti-spam workshop at the IGF, the OECD has started StopSpamAlliance.org, along with Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), the EU Contact Network for Spam enforcement Authorities (CNSA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the London Action Plan for Spam Enforcement (LAP), and the Seoul-Melbourne MoU.
Becky Burr and Marilyn Cade have issued an updated proposal aimed at defusing the biggest policy tensions by moving governance to the private sector and increasing international involvement. The proposal calls on the US government to initiate several steps to respond to international concern about its unique authority over the authoritative root. The steps include clarifying that the appropriate role of government is limited to serving as the "backstop" for threats to the stability and security of the Internet, identification of changes to the underlying Internet structure that do not threaten the Internet's security or stability, development of a new intergovernmental working group with regional representation to review changes to the Internet structure that create serious stability concerns, and calling upon ICANN to become more transparent and accountable.
In 2006 most people in the developed world would find it hard to imagine life without the internet; never before has a single technology become so central to our lives so quickly. Email, search, e-commerce, social networking sites -- hundreds of millions of people use them every day. But the original internet was a very different world. Designed in 1973, the idea was to enable the US Defence Department to integrate computers into its command and control system. Of course, it was also immediately adopted by its academic developers for their own uses!
Microsoft files a slew of counterfeiting suits (International Herald Tribune)
Microsoft said it had filed more than 50 lawsuits against individuals and companies worldwide, claiming that they had sold counterfeit copies of its programs using online auction sites, including eBay.
Regulation for gaming on the Web (International Herald Tribune)
British officials called for international coordination to regulate online gambling as policy makers and investors scramble to salvage high-stakes bets on the industry in the wake of an effective U.S. ban on the business.
Six leading international anti-spam initiatives have launched, at the first meeting of the IGF in Athens, a new online information resource (www.StopSpamAlliance.org) to assist in fighting spam.