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<title>World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)</title>
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<h1>Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)</h1>
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<p>As a result of the first phase of the WSIS, a <a target="_blank"
href="http://www.wgig.org">United Nations Working Group on Internet
Governance</a> (WGIG) has been established by Mr. Kofi Annan with
Mr. Markus Kummer as its Executive Coordinator.</p>
<p>This working group was meant to be an inclusive exercise and
generally makes claims to be well-representing "all stakeholders."
However: Free Software, the base of the internet, was apparently
deliberately excluded at the onset of the group. As a result, while
Free Software is found on the <a
href="http://www.wgig.org/docs/inventory-issues.pdf"
target="_blank">list of issues</a>, there is no Free Software group
(organisation, project or company) represented in the WGIG.</p>
<p>The first exercise of the WGIG was to publish a set of <a
href="http://www.wgig.org/working-papers.html" target="_blank">issue
papers</a> about various issues on February 1st, 2005 -- allowing for
a period of 10 days to submit comments on 20 papers that have been
drafted for months.</p>
<p>In close cooperation with its <a href="/associates/">associate</a>
organisation <a href="http://www.vialibre.org.ar/">La Fundacion
Via Libre</a>, the Free Software Foundation Europe managed to at least
comment on two of the most important ones -- although the other papers
certainly also would have needed commenting.</p>
<ul>
<li>Comments on <b>Cyber security, cybercrime</b> working paper<br />
This paper could be considered a cybercrime itself. It asks to outlaw,
among other things, hacking, the art of finding elegant solutions to
non-obvious problems -- in other words: innovation. It also promotes
censorship and asks to take steps against anything that could be
considered pornographic material.<br />
<a href="WGIG-WP-Cybercrime-Comments.pdf">Read more (PDF)</a>
</li>
<li>Comments on <b>Intellectual Property Rights</b> working paper<br />
In this paper, the WGIG blindly promotes the ideology of
monopolisation of knowledge to an extent where it asks to "balance
human rights with these interests." In other words, it asks for the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to become negotiable
material; also putting the WGIG in direct confrontation with the WSIS
Declaration of Principles, which reaffirmed the UDHR and also served
as the basis for the establishment of the WGIG.<br />
<a href="WGIG-WP-IPR-Comments.pdf">Read more (PDF)</a>
</li>
</ul>
<p>The others papers were of similar quality. Unrelated to our
activities, Mr. Karl Auerbach, Former North American Elected Director,
ICANN, for instance made the <a
href="http://www.wgig.org/docs/Comment-Auerbach.pdf"
target="_blank">general comments</a> on all papers that
</p>
<p class="indent"><em>
"Too little attention to general principles to shape the discussion and
too much focus on easy descriptions of technology."
</em></p>
<p class="indent"><em>
"Unquestioning acceptance of the technological status quo as if it
were a limitation of what could be in the future. For example, one
paper blindly accepts the very unproven assertion that there may be
but one DNS root as if that were fact despite years of continuous
successful actual operational experience to the contrary."
</em></p>
<p>
More comments can be found on the<a
href="http://www.wgig.org/Comments-Papers.html"
target="_blank">WGIG website</a>.</p>
<p>Together with its friends, associates and cooperation partners,
FSFE continued to follow the process in the WGIG and will continue to
do so in its followup, the <a href="/activities/igf/">Internet
Governance Forum (IGF)</a>.</p>
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