Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I was profiled in the local newspaper as a result of getting involved in ICANN. That's good, casue it raises the pro9file and interet level in ICANN and INternet Governance issues in the CAribbean. I hope that we can do more to get local Caribbean participation in the global governance forums. That's important - to be able to have a say in the decisions being made about the Internet, and how it's going to be run. As the Internet is going to be vital to the economies of small island states, it's VITAL that we participate. To date we haven't done much. Lets hope this is starting to change.
If you're interested in the activity, check out www.icann.org
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
First, the digital natives are really children born after 1990 or thereabouts... that's really young. So this major problem will not show its real face until 2010 or 2020. But then that's quite close really.
But then, will it be too late? Or should we even bother? Maybe in the world we are moving to we won't need long focus to survive, and we are adapting to a fit in a world in which multitasking is the vital skill, and those who can't will lose out.
A growing body of literature argues that, in Steven Jones' words, EVERYTHING
BAD IS GOOD FOR US. Television is good for us: makes us smarter. James Paul
Gee studies WHAT VIDEO GAMES HAVE TO TEACH US ABOUT LEARNING AND LITERACY,
and concludes that they have a lot to teach us.
And yet there is the possibility that the ability of college graduates to
read complex materials is declining sharply. Or so says the recent National
Assessment of Adult Literacy.
If the Assessment's findings hold up, the remaining question is, of course:
Is the ability to read complex texts important in the 21st century? And if
it is, are the digital natives well equipped for survival, much less
leadership, in the 21st century?
One popular and increasingly influential retailer of the thesis that the new
generation of cell phone and iPod and computer communicators is a new breed
of human with facilities adapted to work and citizenship in the 21st century
is Mark Prensky
"Multitasking" means to Prensky the ability to IM with friends while
attending to a college lecture or reading a book. Or getting all that a
television documentary has to offer while attending to the captions
College faculty throughout the US, and perhaps elsewhere where the new media
are ubiquitous, will testify to the difficulty the digital natives have with
the printed word. They resist reading even moderately difficult texts, and
often refuse to buy textbooks, sometimes acknowledging that the words on the
pages make little or no sense to them.
The digital natives may be analog immigrants
If this is so, if there are several grains of truth here, what should our
colleges and universities do about the New Illiteracy?
Two possibilities quickly suggest themselves.
The first: acknowledge that print literacy is dissolving and eroding and
morphing into something else, and convert instruction and instructional
media to that something else.
The second: acknowledge that print literacy is the central literacy needed
by those who function in the 21st century, and turn the attention of our
best minds to the problem of how to save and enhance it.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The WGIG-ians have published a book on IG from our perspective. It's quite good, even the bit I wrote.
Check it out.
Friday, December 16, 2005
of BCT Partners and board member of NTEN, last night was voted the
winner on Donald Trump's APPRENTICE program.
Andy Carvin writes "he's bringing
awareness to the role African American entrepreneurs are playing in
technology activism and the digital divide."
William Lester writes "It was an impressive accomplishment - the competition was strong and the tasks daunting. For those who know Randal personally,the win should be no surprise. Randal's skills and talent are matched by his fairness, warmth, and commitment to helping others."
See more on Randal here:
Being in these networks is interesting - I get to interact with such diverse and interesting people.
My profile on DDN is here - I don't blog there, as it is too time-consuming to blog everywhere, and my personal blog contains EVERYTHING I want to write about... much easier to manage.
*INTERVIEW:From Geek to the WSIS Gender Caucus*
Jac sm Kee grabs a conversation with Jacqueline A. Morris during WSIS
PrepComm3 at Geneva, and finds out about how a girl from Trinidad &
Tobago ends up being a gender & ICT advocate, her insights about the two
priority issues in WSIS Phase II � financing and internet governance �
as well as the efficacy of the WSIS Gender Caucus.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
So I skipped the other farewell events (gift exchange etc) to go to my room and try to stretch out my back. Got up early to make the American Eagle flight. The Admiral's club is fabulous - I was in it in Santo Domingo (free wifi) and in San Juan (where I'm posting this) not free but not expensive either.
So - off to glorious T&T. Can' t wait to get back home and sleep in my own bed.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I just got this link kind of as a joke. But... read carefully - it is quite serious with regard to the development and community action suggestions for the Cedros area.
Nice site as well - only problem - who is responsible for this? No names are on the site. That's bad.
One case where different is no way better.
It's being held at the very cool Hilton Costa Caribe Coral All-Inclusive resort in the Dominincan Republic. It's PINK! Very pink. Nice though, and it's very comfortable to not have to carry cash around.
So - I got here last night, got my room, wandered around a bit, had some of the Mexican night buffet, blew off the show, the disco and the casino and collapsed into my very comfy queen-size bed (the room has 2 of them)
And then after an OK breakfast buffet (high protein, low carbs) I am here in the meeting room.
First off is the reporting (in 3 laaguages) of the workshops held yesterday - but there is at least simultaneous interpretation, so I follow at least the language (I missed the workshops yesterday, being stuck in JFK airport)
So - after this, we break up into working groups to discuss other items - but the problem is that we no longer have interpretation - and I don't speak French, so I miss more than half of the discussion. (I'm in a Francophone-run group).
The meeting is to generate ideas to incorporate cultural diversity in ICT4D projects in the Caribbean sub-region. So they are working on a lot of diverse fronts. There's already been a discussion on the different kinds of creole that exist, and if speakers of different kinds of creole can understand each other.
Hmmm... and I find it difficult to understand even the people in the room.
It's definfitely interesting to note that I do understand a lot of the people in Latin America, but not understanding the ppl right here in the Caribbean. So - have I been looking too far away to the South and not noticing those right here - my close neigbours?
Will think more on that in the next 2 days...
Chairman of ALAC on the difficulty of getting any feedback from the ICANN Board (apparently even notice of receipt is difficult to get)
�I HOPE THAT WE DON�T HAVE TO GO TO THE OMBUDSMAN TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT HOW THE BOARD IS CONSIDERING WHAT WE SAY.�
And this is the response from the ICANN chair -
Vint Cerf gave a very enlightening answer: �...AS I HAVE LISTENED TO MANY OF THE EXCHANGES THIS WEEK, I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT WE SOMETIMES DON�T UNDERSTAND THAT A PARTY WHO HAS SAID SOMETHING IS ALSO LOOKING SPECIFICALLY FOR A REPLY�
THIS IS NOT TO EXCUSE ANYTHING, BUT WHEN WE � IF WHEN YOU ARE COMMUNICATING SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY TO THE BOARD AND AN EXPLICIT RESPONSE IS EXPECTED, PROBABLY IT WOULDN�T HURT TO SAY THAT, JUST TO UNDERSCORE THE POINT.�
So - basically, when you send comments to the Board, make sure that the document ends with:
"looking forward to your prompt response"
Otherwise they won't realise that they need to respond!
What a place!!
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Kieren is very cool - you should all read his stuff in the Guardian, the Register etc.
Head claims ITU will be in charge in five years
By Kieren McCarthy in Tunis
Published Monday 21st November 2005 14:30 GMT
Get breaking Internet news straight to your desktop - click here to find out how
The ITU has refused to accept the internet governance consensus reached after torrid negotiations during its own summit process, further damaging its credibility in eyes of the net community.
Speaking at the closing press conference for the World Summit in Tunis, ITU secretary-general Yoshio Utsumi said that while it would continue to discuss issues in the newly created Internet Governance Forum (IGF), an increased "regionalisation" of the internet would mean the ITU will be called upon to take over in five years' time.
"The internet need not be one Net controlled by one centre," he said. "Regionalisation has already started and I suspect in a few years, the simile of the internet will be a quite different one."
As an example of this "regionalisation", Utsumi, a Japanese national, brought up the controversial topic of China's efforts to create a form of intranet within its country in order to more easily control access to information. "In China, they have already started on a Chinese address not provided by the so-called global ICANN system yet."
Claiming that domestic networks were "more efficient and economical", he then tried to draw a parallel to the existing telephone system, saying: "Telephone networks are made up of regional, domestic networks united together in agreement of the ITU framework. A similar situation may start with the internet." And, in that case, "the role that the ITU plays for the international telephone network will be called upon."
The statement is a depressing pointer to the fact that the four-year debate on net governance, which ended in agreement on Tuesday with only hours to go, may have achieved very little. Utsumi effectively said that the international consensus reached was the wrong one.
It is the second time recently that the outgoing head of ITU has made a major blunder with regard to net governance. At the end of September's PrepCom meeting in Geneva, Utsumi told the assembled world governments that the ITU was ready to take over running of the internet.
It was this bold and unthinking statement that lent much of the power behind the subsequent lobbying for the existing infrastructure to be retained - a view that eventually prevailed. There are very strong historic reasons why people do not wish the ITU to be involved with the internet in anything but an advisory role. If it were up to the ITU, the internet as we know it - a vast, cheap, interconnected network - simply would not exist.
In the early days of the net, the ITU saw the network as an extension of the international telephone network that it oversees. It foresaw - and heavily pushed - the image of a network where governments and telephone companies controlled the means of access, something that would have resulted in enormous connection charges and greatly reduced individual freedom on the Net.
In many ways, the ITU is the antithesis of the culture borne up through the dedicated engineers and academics that created the Net and for that reason the organisation will remain public enemy number one in many people's eyes.
Utsumi's comments will not only uphold that view but strengthen it because they come after an exhaustive discussion process that clearly rejected the notion of ITU control.
It will now be up to the new head of the ITU, to be chosen in just under a year's time, to try to repair bridges if the ITU is to have any credibility within the internet community.
You can listen to Utsumi's exact words here.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Here's the full press release of the new appointments to ICANN, including me!
4 November 2005
After a thorough period of outreach, consultation, recruitment, and evaluation, the Nominating Committee (NomCom) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today its final selection of four 'slates' of Nominees for four of ICANN's leadership bodies: the Board of Directors, the Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the Interim At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). The Nominees will join the already seated members of these bodies on 4 December 2005 at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting of the ICANN in Vancouver, Canada.
ICANN is a not-for--profit organization responsible for coordinating the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses that are used to reach all computers on the Internet. ICANN's mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of these unique identifier systems, which are vital to the Internet's operation. In addition, ICANN coordinates policy development related to these technical functions.
"We are pleased that excellent candidates from all five geographic regions participated in this third NomCom process," said Nominating Committee Chair and spokesperson George Sadowsky. "Such participation reflects the Internet community's considerable reserve of talent, experience, and willingness to undertake these volunteer leadership roles essential to ICANN's evolution and continued technical coordination on behalf of the entire global Internet user community."
Njeri Rionge (Kenya, Africa)
Susan Crawford (USA, North America)
Terms: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2008
Slobodan Markovic (Serbia and Montenegro, Europe)
Term: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2008
Avri Doria (USA, North America)
Sophia Bekele (Ethiopia, Africa)
Term: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2007
Interim At Large Advisory Committee
Jacqueline Morris (Trinidad and Tobago, Latin America/Caribbean Islands)
Alice Wanjira (Kenya, Africa)
Siavash Shahshahani (Iran, Asia/Australia/Pacific)
Terms: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2007
Biographical information on the Nominees will soon be posted on the NomCom web page.
In response to its Formal Call of 22 April 2005, the NomCom received 72 Statements of Interest and selected 8 outstanding individuals for staggered terms in these leadership roles in ICANN. The terms range from twenty-four to thirty-six months in length. Two individuals were selected to serve on the Board of Directors; three individuals were selected to fill seats designated for individuals from the Latin America, Asia Pacific and African regions on the Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (which coordinates participation by individual Internet users in ICANN's activities); one individual was selected for the Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (which administers and coordinates the affairs of the ccNSO and manages the policy development process of the ccNSO); and two individuals were selected for the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (which develops policy concerning domain names in generic top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz).
The NomCom was asked to find high-caliber, experienced, open-minded men and women with integrity, sound judgment, and objectivity. "The committee focused on the careful selection of slates of candidates whose skills and perspectives complemented each other and who fulfilled the ICANN criteria and eligibility requirements for each of the four roles to be filled, keeping all the candidates under consideration until the final slates were chosen," Sadowsky explained.
Through these strategies the NomCom pursued its dual charge: to balance the ICANN leadership selection processes which are based on Supporting Organizations and Constituencies and to help ensure that ICANN can benefit from the leadership of the men and women of the highest integrity and capability who place the interest of the global Internet community ahead of any particular interests. These carefully selected slates will help ICANN ensure functional, cultural, and geographic diversity in its policy development and decision-making as the Internet itself evolves.
The Nominating Committee:
An independent Nominating Committee is a key element of the ICANN structure. It is composed of a diverse set of individuals chosen by the groups and entities that make up ICANN. The NomCom is charged to act in the interests of the global Internet community rather than in accord with specific interests. On a long term basis, the committee is presently responsible for selecting 8 of 15 Board Directors, 5 of 15 Interim ALAC Members, 3 of 18 ccNSO Council Members and 3 of 15 GNSO Council Members. In the current process, 8 of these positions needed to be filled.
For more information about the Nominating Committee, its members, the formal call for statements of interest and its procedures, please visit its web page at http://www.icann.org/committees/nom-comm/. Further questions or requests for information can be sent via e-mail to nomcom-coordinator@xxxxxxxxxx
NomCom Selection Statistics:
Total Number of Candidates: 72
Geographic Distribution of Candidates Geographic Distribution of Selected Nominees
Africa 16% 37.5%
Asia/Australia/Pacific 21% 12.5%
Europe 23% 12.5%
Latin America/Caribbean Islands 6% 12.5%
North America 35% 25%
Total: 100% 100%
Citizenship of Candidates:
35 Countries: Argentina, Australia, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Peoples Republic of China, Portugal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, USA.
Citizenship of Selected Nominees:
Gender Distribution of Candidates Gender Distribution of Selected Nominees
Male 84% 25%
Female 16% 75%
Total number of recommendations: 16
Total number of persons recommended: 15
Total number of persons recommended who became candidates: 11
Percentage of candidates coming from recommendations: 15%
This is interesting as the Caribbean is starting to move forward in the digital world following WSIS. Why is the US looking to stop it? They've already killed most of the agriculture. Should we only rely on Tourism? I think not. Let Antigua move ahead and more power to them. I hope though that they will ensure that the benefits are put back into the country to increase the wealth - education, public works,etc.
Dec 2, 05: ST JOHNS, Antigua: Antigua will continue developing its Internet gambling industry despite pressure from the United States to prohibit the practice, the finance minister said Wednesday.
Finance Minister Errol Cort said at least 10 new online gambling companies will open on the Caribbean island next year, joining 14 others that already have been granted operating licenses.
Cort said the new companies will generate some 500 new jobs and more than US$2 million (euro1.7 million) in gambling licenses fees.
The United States contends that Internet gambling should be prohibited because it violates some U.S. state laws. Antigua says the U.S. position is contrary to global trade rules.
Antigua's has taken the dispute to the World Trade Organization, which has yet to rule on the matter.
Addressing Parliament during his annual budget presentation, Cort said the government will tightly regulate Internet gambling to meet "the most stringent international ... practices."
No US federal law prohibits gambling, which is regulated by state law. In many states, gambling is banned or permitted with restrictions.
In 1996, when US lawmakers first sought to control Internet gambling, 30 Web sites received bets totaling US$30 million (euro25 million).
The Internet gambling market is expected to grow to US$18.4 billion (euro15.6 billion).
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Seeing ICANN from the inside is very different. It is such a complex structure - it will take me ages to figure it out - how all the different consituencies and councils interact and who's responsible for what and reports to whom and represents whom.
Politics are present again. Is there any place where politics aren't involved?
The hot button issues now are:
The ICANN/Verisign Agreement - ICANN has been defending itself in lawsuits from Verisign for a while now. This has been distracting ICANN from getting on with business, so that the Board pursued a settlement in order to get these lawsuits off their backs. BUT - there are a lot of problems apparently with the agreement as it exists. I will go more into that in another post, but in the meantime, see the proposed agreement and post comments on the ICANN website.
ICANN Structure - ICANN after the WSIS process needs to undergo some more reform. How do we manage to get a true multistakeholder process going in ICANN? So far it's a private company with a Board of Directors - should Government representatives (especially) and Civil Society representatives be allowed voting positions on the Board?
ALAC Structure - there has been a lot of discussion on the At Large Structure - right now, it's organised as: organisations join as At Large Strutures, then they form Regional At Large Organistions, which send representatives to the At Large Advisory Council, which then has a liaison with the Board. This seems too removed for some ALAC members. BUT I think that we need to adopt the idea of "don't wash dirty linen in public!" If we continue to badtalk our own organisation to other groups, we weaken our position. This is BAD.
That's what I've got to so far.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
A nation of Soca Warriors
Tuesday, November 22nd 2005
Congratulations to Team TnT! Congratulations, Soca Warriors! Thanks to Jack Warner and Coach Beenhakker for their unswerving commitment to bringing us where we are! I join the people of Trinidad and Tobago in saluting your success thus far on the road to Germany! The nation is at your feet, on the road to Germany.
On Thursday morning as I prepared for Morning Prayer and Mass, I was struck by the reading of the day, read that day in Catholic churches throughout the world. It was from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, vv 41-44.
Did we recognise the opportunity that God was offering us at this moment?
Where will the road to Germany and beyond actually lead us as a nation and as individuals?
Already we are talking about honours and rewards. We forget what a crisis early adulation created for Brian Lara.
One temptation of the next six months will be to do everything necessary to get as many people as possible to Germany to support the team. At home, we will seek to give the team everything they need. People will want to meet them whenever possible, to affirm and encourage them in all kinds of ways.
Companies will not miss the advertisement opportunities, the presence (use?) of the team being one of the conditions for sponsorship. Indeed, some are already plotting about how best and easiest to make millions out of this golden opportunity.
What must happen? International football for the player is about skill, discipline and focused hard work. If we are not to become an angry and
disappointed nation, the Soca Warriors must become the hardest working group of skilled and disciplined men in the nation. In other words, for them fete must done, except as an occasional outlet for steam.
Was that the message we sent them on Thursday? Or were we saying to them, "No matter how tired you may be, we want a piece of you and we will have it." How many of those players felt real resentment and anger for what they were being put through on Thursday? Only their families will know how they really felt about that.
Support for Team TnT should mean that we all become a nation of Soca Warriors. For the team, to be a Soca Warrior must mean to be a person of
skill, discipline and hard work, with that capacity to laugh at oneself which is a mark of a true Trini.
Who will devise a programme for the nation over the next six months which will ask every man and woman to become a person of skill (whatever your skill may be), discipline and hard work? Who will think out of the current box of money and fete and seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to
really turn this country around? Who will look beyond political mileage and rise to the non-partisan requirements of the moment? What images will the media offer us? Will we demand certain standards of those who proudly were a jersey proclaiming "I am a Soca Warrior!"? Right now as I type the words, it is the jump-up tune that echoes in my head. Can that be tied to something more and made to work for the upliftment of the country?
Much has been said about this victory affecting crime in the country. What will be the headlines next Thursday? Will we be back to crime again?
Remember Jamaica! Jamaica went to the World Cup.
The Reggae Boys won the hearts of many with the level of their football and their rhythms. Hopefully we will do the same or better. Then what? Jamaica came home. The murder rate went past the 1000 mark and some of those same Reggae Boys are back in Kingston's ghettos. Little changed.
Now is the time to invest the term Soca Warrior with a whole new and deeper meaning, especially for the young men of our nation. It is a wonderfully masculine term. Let us aim to gather 100,000 Soca Warriors in the National Stadium in May 2006-all of them having lived lives of honed skill, discipline and hard work over the previous months. Let every school and firm in the country use these values and virtues to choose its own representative Soca Warrior for a national pre-Germany Festival of Excellence.
We should not be thinking about National Awards now. Whatever happens in Germany, Jack Warner should get a Trinity Cross or its equivalent for his achievement with football and his now legendary personal generosity to worthy causes. But not now! By the time June comes, if we use this
opportunity, we will discover other people worthy of awards who will have helped to win for this country a victory which, win or lose in Germany, can usher in a Day of Peace for Trinidad and Tobago. Will we recognise the opportunity which God offers us?
Fr Clyde Harvey is a Roman Catholic priest.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Here are some links to pics. My pics will post later.
Friday, November 11, 2005
> Reporters sans fronti�res
> Communiqu� de presse
> 10 novembre 2005
> Robert M�nard, interdit d'entr�e au SMSI � Tunis
> Robert M�nard, secr�taire g�n�ral de Reporters sans fronti�res,
> s'est vu notifier, dans un courrier adress� le 10 novembre 2005 par
> la direction ex�cutive du Sommet mondial sur la soci�t� de
> l'information (SMSI), que les autorit�s tunisiennes s'opposaient �
> son entr�e dans le pays � l'occasion de ce sommet.
> "Interdire l'acc�s d'un responsable d'une organisation de d�fense
> de la libert� d'expression � un sommet d�di� � la soci�t� de
> l'information est tout simplement absurde et inacceptable, a
> d�clar� Reporters sans fronti�res. Nous demandons aux Nations unies
> et � l'Union internationale des t�l�communications (UIT), qui
> organise ce sommet, de condamner publiquement cette d�cision des
> autorit�s tunisiennes et de tout faire pour permettre � Robert
> M�nard d'assister � cet �v�nement. Nous vous rappelons que notre
> organisation dispose d'un statut consultatif aupr�s du Conseil
> �conomique et social des Nations unies".
> "Toute cette affaire montre le niveau de tol�rance et l'esprit
> d'ouverture du gouvernement tunisien. Ce sommet est, d'ores et
> d�j�, une mascarade. La libert� d'expression sera la grande absente
> de cette conf�rence", a ajout� l'organisation.
> Dans un courrier re�u au si�ge de Reporters sans fronti�res, �
> Paris, le 10 novembre, Charles Geiger, directeur ex�cutif du SMSI a
> �crit : "Je me dois de vous informer que l'UIT s'est vu notifier le
> 9 novembre 2005 par note verbale de la Mission permanente de
> Tunisie l'information suivante : "L'instruction de la plainte �
> l'encontre de M. Robert M�nard d�pos�e aupr�s du Procureur de la
> R�publique � Tunis, sous le num�ro 7062269/2002, en date du 9
> juillet 2002, est toujours en cours. De ce fait, M. Robert M�nard
> ne peut juridiquement pr�tendre entrer en Tunisie qu'� la
> convocation de l'instance judiciaire en charge de cette affaire."
> En ma qualit� de directeur ex�cutif du SMSI, je crois de mon devoir
> de porter cette information � votre connaissance."
> La Tunisie accueille, du 16 au 18 novembre 2005, la deuxi�me phase
> du SMSI.
So it has started.
TUNIS, October 24, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) � Tunisian high and preliminary school teachers will stage a strike on November 10 to protest a planned visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom to the country to attend the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
"The strike comes to protest normalization of ties with the Zionist entity," the country�s Syndicate of Teachers said in a statement issued Sunday, October 23, reported the London-based Al-Quds Press news agency.
Tunisia has invited some 100 government leaders including, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who accepted the invitation but it is not clear yet whether he would lead the Israeli delegation to the two-day summit, due to start on November 16.
"We condemn the open-arms policy of the Tunisian government with the Zionists," said the statement.
"Our pleas to retract invitations to the Israeli officials have fell on deaf ears."
The Tunisian opposition warned the government of a "public uprising" if it did not retract the Sharon invitation.
And then they raided the mosque/office and found guns, ammunition, grenades and a tunnel that I hear was close to the Stadium! This, one day before the HUGE football match against Bahrain.
According to the Trinidad Express - Police found a sniper rifle with a telescope, 700 rounds of ammunition including 500 rounds of 5.56 mm, a hand grenade and communication devices at the Mucurapo Road complex.
So he's been charged on 4 counts - three for inciting extortion and one for sedition. He was denied bail, and faces penalities as follows:
The sedition charge carries a maximum penality of a $25,000 fine and five years imprisonment; the two inciting to demand property charges carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment each; and inciting the breach of peace by collecting zakaat charge carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
So - finally we might be able to imprison this man who has been running around the country free after leading a coup attempt in 1990, getting off on 2 conspiracy to commit murder charges, and building a private army and alternate government.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Why agitate so about this chimera of UN control of the Internet? Why is it so long-lived in the face of ALL evidence to the contrary?
WHat is the agenda? To get the domestic US opinion so riled up about the possibility (which is not likely at all, and has not been seriously broached) that they back the short-sighted and narrow minded approach of no internationalisation AT ALL?
He's suggesting that laws be passed? to prevent this terrible movement. (BTW - did I say already it doesn't really exist?)
By his actions he is the one politicizing the governance of the Internet. He's the one who is making it into a political football. This is why I want ALL governments to get their grubby hands off my Internet. But if I can't, then lets have them all watching each other so that not a one gets to put their hands on it!
And SHAME to say that the delegates involved in WSIS are not paying attention to the digital divide. It's the focus on US$100 laptops that distracts from technology that can be used by people earning USD100 per YEAR, that runs on solar power because there is no reliable electricity, etc.
Makes me wonder where he was for the past 3 years while so many have discussed and argued and tried to come up with solutions.
By NORM COLEMAN
November 7, 2005; Page A21
It sounds like a Tom Clancy plot. An anonymous group of international technocrats holds secretive meetings in Geneva. Their cover story: devising a blueprint to help the developing world more fully participate in the digital revolution. Their real mission: strategizing to take over management of the Internet from the U.S. and enable the United Nations to dominate and politicize the World Wide Web. Does it sound too bizarre to be true? Regrettably, much of what emanates these days from the U.N. does.
The Internet faces a grave threat. We must defend it. We need to preserve this unprecedented communications and informational medium, which fosters freedom and enterprise. We can not allow the U.N. to control the Internet.
The threat is posed by the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society taking place later this month in Tunisia. At the WSIS preparatory meeting weeks ago, it became apparent that the agenda had been transformed. Instead of discussing how to place $100 laptops in the hands of the world's children, the delegates schemed to transfer Internet control into the hands of intrigue-plagued bureaucracies.
The low point of that planning session was the European Union's shameful endorsement of a plan favored by China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cuba that would terminate the historic U.S. role in Internet government oversight, relegate both private enterprise and non-governmental organizations to the sidelines, and place a U.N.-dominated group in charge of the Internet's operation and future. The EU's declaration was a "political coup," according to London's Guardian newspaper, which predicted that once the world's governments awarded themselves control of the Internet, the U.S. would be able to do little but acquiesce.
I disagree. Such acquiescence would amount to appeasement. We cannot allow Tunis to become a digital Munich.
There is no rational justification for politicizing Internet governance within a U.N. framework. The chairman of the WSIS Internet Governance Subcommittee himself recently affirmed that existing Internet governance arrangements "have worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically diverse medium it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day operations, and with innovation and value creation at the edges."
Nor is there a rational basis for the anti-U.S. resentment driving the proposal. The history of the U.S. government's Internet involvement has been one of relinquishing control. Rooted in a Defense Department project of the 1960s, the Internet was transferred to civilian hands and then opened to commerce by the National Science Foundation in 1995. Three years later, the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers assumed governance responsibility under Department of Commerce oversight. Icann, with its international work force and active Governmental Advisory Committee, is scheduled to be fully privatized next year. Privatization, not politicization, is the right Internet governance regime.
We do not stand alone in our pursuit of that goal. The majority of European telecommunications companies have already dissented from the EU's Geneva announcement, with one executive pronouncing it "a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it was disturbing."
In addition to resentment of U.S. technological leadership, proponents of politicization are driven by fear -- of access to full and accurate information, and of the opportunity for legitimate political discourse and organization, provided by the Internet. Nations like China, which are behind the U.N. plan to take control, censor their citizens' Web sites, and monitor emails and chat rooms to stifle legitimate political dissent. U.N. control would shield this kind of activity from scrutiny and criticism.
The U.S. must do more to advance the values of an open Internet in our broader trade and diplomatic conversations. We cannot expect U.S. high-tech companies seeking business opportunities in growing markets to defy official policy; yet we cannot stand idly by as some governments seek to make the Internet an instrument of censorship and political suppression. To those nations that seek to wall off their populations from information and dialogue we must say, as Ronald Reagan said in Berlin, "Tear down this wall."
Allowing Internet governance to be politicized under U.N. auspices would raise a variety of dangers. First, it is wantonly irresponsible to tolerate any expansion of the U.N.'s portfolio before that abysmally managed and sometimes-corrupt institution undertakes sweeping, overdue reform. It would be equal folly to let Icann be displaced by the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union, a regulatory redoubt for those state telephone monopolies most threatened by the voice over Internet protocol revolution.
Also, as we expand the global digital economy, the stability and reliability of the Internet becomes a matter of security. Technical minutiae have profound implications for competition and trade, democratization, free expression and access to information, privacy and intellectual-property protection.
Responding to the present danger, I have initiated a Sense of the Senate Resolution that supports the four governance principles articulated by the administration on June 30:
* Preservation of the security and stability of the Internet domain name and addressing system (DNS).
* Recognition of the legitimate interest of governments in managing their own country code top-level domains.
* Support for Icann as the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.
* Participation in continuing dialogue on Internet governance, with continued support for market-based approaches toward, and private-sector leadership of, its further evolution.
I also intend to seek hearings in advance of the Tunis Summit to explore the implications of multinational politicization of Internet governance. While Tunis marks the end of the WSIS process, it is just the beginning of a long, multinational debate on the values that the Internet will incorporate and foster. Our responsibility is to safeguard the full potential of the new information society that the Internet has brought into being.
Mr. Coleman is a Republican senator from Minnesota.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
They explain why WSIS must separate discussion of governments' role in setting policy for all Internet issues from discussion of the narrower problem of ICANN's oversight. This is such an important distinction. WGIG tried to do the same, with the division of larger publiuc policy issues in the Forum and Domain name nad numbering in the "Models" but this distinction got lost in the larger controversy.
An analysis of the contractual instruments used by the U.S. to supervise ICANN shows how the problem of U.S. unilateral oversight can be addressed in a way that is both politically feasible and avoids threatening the stability or freedom of the Internet.
The paper can be downloaded here:
Sec Gen Kofi Annan has finally decided to set the record straight about the nefarious UN plans to "take over" the Internet!
As I've been saying for ages - WGIG never suggested that the UN take it over. Most of the proposals now on the table do NOT suggest UN control. All suggest no US UNILATERAL control. Unilateral is the serious issue here. So, the ideas range from no governmental control at all to a totally government-led oversight role (something along the lines of the UN Security Council, maybe)
So, as I have said many a time, my preferred solution (also along the lines of the IGP proposal out of Syracuse U) is for an independent ICANN, with no government oversight at all with regard to domain names and numbers, and an intergovernmental and multistakeholder forum for other public policy issues.
Monday, October 31, 2005
One very neat item is the succint breakdown of the proposals ont eh table re IG so far.
Despite there being eight proposals (from Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, EU, Iran, Japan and Russia), there are essentially three models being proposed.
1. The status quo PLUS: The system continues as is with ICANN in charge and a new forum is created that comes up with solutions to public policy issues i.e. dealing with spam or cybercrime or new top-level domains. (Africa, Argentina, Canada)
2. The hybrid: A new forum is created as well as a new body that is given overall control of ICANN. Essentially the hands-off US government role is replaced with a more hands-on international government consortium. (EU, Japan)
3. The government approach: A new body run by governments which takes over from ICANN. (Brazil, Iran, Russia)
And, as I have written here many times - I totally support Status Quo PLUS, as it si the most likely to succeed, and to get everyone close to what they really want.
October 30, 2005
Worldwide but Homegrown
Some foreign governments are uncomfortable with the United States' controlling the nuts and bolts of the Internet. That is
understandable. So much of the success of the global economy depends on its smooth functioning and the United States has not been a model of receptiveness to other nations' concerns in recent years. There may be a multilateral solution down the road, but right now it is in everyone's best interest to keep control of the Internet where it was founded, in America.
American representatives will have a chance to ease the worries of
America's allies and even its enemies at a digital-world gathering in
Tunisia next month. It will take firmness, but also diplomacy.
Ideally, perhaps, a single nation should not control the essential workings of the Internet - notably the regulation of who gets which
name and what the various "dot" addresses mean. But United States control is working. One suggestion, to switch control to the United Nations, would mean too many cooks in the kitchen, with several of the most interested chefs being of the unsavory sort, like China and Iran.
China's model for the Internet includes filters, censorship and - recently, with the shameful help of Yahoo - surveillance leading to
Since 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - a nonprofit based in California, but with an office in Brussels and an international board - has handled the complexities of domain names,
Internet Protocol numbers and other technicalities. That way, the rest of us can surf and shop in peace, certain to find our favorite online shops or entertainment, whether we log on in Des Moines or Timbuktu.
It has decided, for example, that this newspaper is to have the only
Web site called www.nytimes.com. The nightmare outcome would be a balkanized Internet, where countries or regions set up their own Webs, leading to duplicate sites, confusion and a breakdown in the effectiveness of the global network. Reasonable people do not want to take that path, so it should be easy to avoid.
That also means, however, no meddling by the United States government in Icann's affairs. The recent fuss over the possible addition of a new top-level domain name for pornographic Web sites - .xxx instead of .com at the end of a Web address - played right into the hands of would-be regulators at the United Nations. Opponents of .xxx, including the conservative Family Research Council, sent nearly 6,000 letters to the Commerce Department over the summer, protesting the proposal. The department sent a letter to Icann asking it to delay a decision.
Regardless of the pros and cons of a top-level domain name for
salacious sites (many pornographers, interestingly, are also against
it because it would make it much easier to block their Web sites), the department's behavior looks a lot like political pressure. That sends the wrong message to moderates in Europe on the issue of Internet control. The United States should not give even the appearance of improper lobbying. If Americans cannot trust the system to run itself, they risk losing it.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The greatest press freedom is found in northern Europe (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway), which is a haven of peace for journalists. Of the top 20 countries, only three (New Zealand 9th, Trinidad and Tobago 11th and Canada 18th) are outside Europe.
And it is really interesting that this was not reported on in the local press, but the drop in place on the Transparency index was important news for quite a while!
What does this say about our press? Are they not interested in blowing this trumpet? Of course, it would definitely put a crimp in the current focus on the lack of transparency, fairness, and the total ineffectuality of the current government for the press to report that somethign good is happening here.
Sometimes I wonder if the local mainstream press here in Trinidad and Tobago has an agenda. But that's stupid - of course the media has an agenda. Everyone does. The intelligent question would be - What is the agenda?
Monday, October 24, 2005
Light and Dark
Good and Evil
Violence and non-violence
Matter and Anti-matter
How can the organisers of this march, however well intentioned, not realise that in order to combat dark and negative things, one has to project stronger and more powerful POSITIVE things?
How can they not realise that by promoting a DEATH MARCH that they are releasing even more negative energy, that may very well support and feed into the negativity that surrounds us?
Iin many conversations with people who supported this protest - they repeatedly told me - "it's just words". Words have power. If it was "just words" - why choose THOSE words? It's also not just bad PR. Those words came from a dark place, from somewhere that we don't want to go. It's a mindset. But what does it mean?
What does that phrase mean around the world? What did it mean in Sandakan, Bataan, Darfur, Ethiopia, Cambodia and other places? Death marches mean bodies at the side of the road. It means vultures feasting on children not yet dead. It means people being uprooted from life and family and home. It means starvation. It means state-sanctioned murder.
And people in Trinidad and Tobago turned out massively to participate in this. But they didn't die. They didn't starve to death. They didn't have to dig mass graves at the end of the forced death march, knowing that they were digging their own.
Why not LIFE MARCH? Why not a march to "Take Back Our Country" from the criminals, the drug mafias? Why not call it a Thousand Points of Light? Or fifteen thousand?
Ghandi knew that one cannot combat dark with dark. Martin Luther King knew this. We in Trinidad and Tobago need to learn this. We need to learn to shine light in the dark corners. We need to learn to counter evil with good. We need to understand, and only by doing this can we win. We need to know that it will not be easy. We have all been complicit in this crime wave. We need to understand and accept our own roles before we can make a real change.
And most importantly, we need to be humble. We need to place our still relatively blessed life in context in the world. We need to be unselfish.
But I do not have high hopes of that.
So many people in that march were not marching for the ideal, for the common good, but for themselves. Over and over one hears - I'm marching for my friend who died. I'm marching for my neighbour. So if your neighbour or friend hadn't died, would you care? If you didn't think - me next - would you care?
And I'm afraid that this is the truth. And I hope and pray I'm wrong. Because if I am not, we will never come out the other side of this dark maze of trial, just continue the downward spiral into more and more darkness.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
So far, Caribbean input has been:
The CIVIC mailing list had a quite robust discussion on it, and submitted comments to the WGIG report. CARICOM had a multi-stakeholder forum on IG in September. The Commonwealth ppl and UWI Cave Hill (Roderick Sanatan) had a meeting in Antigua and one in St. Kitts. Currently, the CTU's Spectrum conference ongoing in the Hilton has had some discussions on it.
But in general here, we talk about our regulations and projects and plans in splendid isolation of what's gong on in the rest of the world, and as such miss out on a lot. Best practices, global regulations, etc.
It would be great if IT people in Trinidad took up the mantle to inform, and then we could ourselves participate in the debate over international IG, regional IG and thus down to local/national IG.
However, the article http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/8147 focuses (as does most press recently) on the issue of ICANN, ITU and the "ownership" of the root. This is not the major issue in Governance, but ti is the political hot button, that has derailed all efforts to truly focus discussion towards solutions on the other 40+ IG issues as elaborated in the WGIG background report (www.wgig.org). Most of the other issues are the ones that are vital and relevant to developing world nations, especially small island states such as T&T.
The author also does not put Wolfgang's views on IG into the proper context. He has written a LOT on IG (as we all have in the past 18 months that we've been on the Working group), and simplification is really not doing justice to a lot of his reasoned and thoughtful analysis.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
An rare take - considering the unholy alliances that have sprung up to derail the sandboxing of porn on the Net. To me it's such a natural and brilliant idea. It never occurred to me that the anti-porn people would be the ones to object - I thought it would have been the pornographers - objecting to being shoved away into a xxx ghetto. So now, the pornographers who don't want xxx are hand in hand with the people who don't want pornography! What a joke.
Why would they not want to have porn packed away neatly in a place where they know it is? Guess they prefer to have their children exposed to porn at any random time while surfing rather than having the pornographers safely corralled away where they can block the kids (and any one else's) access to the domain.
To me it's such a no-brainer. Create .xxx, have the hosting services and domain registrars apply pressure to pornographers who refuse to move, and then let the filters loose - if Brazil doesn't want its citizens accessing the domain, they can block it at the country level. Of course what does tht say about free speech and the right of adults to explore their natural sexuality?
Monday, October 17, 2005
The Adelphi Charter - Criteria for copyright, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property in the 21st Century
Gilberto Gil, the Brazilian Minister of Culture and a famous musician in his own right, was recently in London to sign the Charter.
It's interesting. There is a school of thought that the Copyright process of the 20th Century was an aberration, and we need to move away from it. I'm not sure of my position on the Charter yet, but I do know that I am very very strong on artists and creators being able to control their intellectual property. But there are places where it's being abused. Especially in the area of agriculture and natural and community property. There is no way that a large corporation should even be able to THINK about registering IP that isn't developed by themselves and then trying to license it back to the people who did develop it. But this isn't necessarily a problem of the Copyright concept, but rather the implementation of it.
Need to think abotu it some more.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Copyright Resources: "
* Copyright Quiz Part II
* Copyright Quiz Part II & Answers
* Two-Page Copyright Chart in color! From October 2002 Technology & Learning Magazine (HDavidson,October,2002)
* Copyright for Administrators (draft '05) - Word document
* Copyright Table for Administrators (draft '05) - Word document
* Copyright Test Part I - 1st award nominated article - fall 2001
* Copyright Answers Part I - 1st award nominated article - fall 2001
* Copyright Chart - pt. I html version -with citations
* Copyright Chart - pt. 1 html-New! Short Version!
* Copyright Chart - pt. 1 pdf version
* Technology and Learning Feature Article-From October 2002 Technology & Learning Magazine
* Bonus! - Dark Secrets of the Karaoke Masters
* Copyright talk slides .pdf
* Music Resource Handout
* Technology and Learning Feature Article
* SOITA handout"
A huge problem is that this discussion is distracting from a lot of the very important governance issues that could work to creating a fair and equitable Information Society. Development and digital divide issues have been swept aside in the fight over the US control of the DNS. This is stupid and short-sighted, and the governments, especially of the developing countries, are at risk of losing a valuable opportunity to really make a difference.
See some of the stories here:
EU says internet could fall apart
A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to maintain a key role in the
network it helped create and other countries demanding more control.
Where countries stand
Net power struggle nears climax
US administration coming under worldwide pressure over
the net. It is seen as arrogant and determined to
remain the sheriff of the world wide web, regardless
of whatever the rest of the world may think.
House Backs U.S. ICANN Stand
The U.S. House Commerce Committee backed the White
House Thursday and emphatically opposed turning over
governance of the Internet to the U.N..
Moves to give UN net control
PLANS by the UN to take control of the internet have
descended into high farce, with delegates at a meeting
in Geneva tabling nine different proposals but failing
to reach agreement.
Nations squabble over internet management
Delegates at a meeting in Geneva on Monday failed to
reach an agreement on who should control the
internet's addressing system.
U.N. WANTS CONTROL OF THE INTERNET
The UN World Summit on the Information Society met for
the first time in Geneva, Switzerland on Dec. 10-12,
2003 for what would begin a heated international
debate over control of the Internet.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
WSIS Papers Newsletter - August 2005 No. 10
In this issue: E-STRATEGIES: CONSTRUCTING THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
- Global initiatives
- Regional Action Plans - WSIS Tunis Phase
- Regional programs
- Some national experiences
- Analysis and research
- E-strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean
- ICT policy and civil society
Available online at:
The “information society” originally springs up as a conceptual model
that intends to account for the profound alterations experienced by
industrial society in recent decades, mainly prompted by the
technological revolution. Thus, the new informational model is usually
regarded as the desired target being unfailingly approached by
countries. However, the pace of transition to the information society
depends to a large extent on the level of development and wealth of
countries, taking into account the stock of knowledge, capacities and
infrastructure needed to successfully complete such transition.
Therefore, Southern countries fall once again behind the most developed
ones, which have begun this transition from a more favourable starting
Within this context, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
comes into existence as a global process that includes the
participation of key actors in terms of information and communication
issues, such as governments, the private sector and the academy. The
Action Plan approved at the first phase of the Geneva Summit has been
broadly criticized , mainly by civil society organizations. Among the
items criticized there are organization topics (the multistakeholder
approach proposed for the Summit’s organization was not taken into
account to draw up such Plan) as well as political and ideological
aspects. For example, the Geneva Action Plan is criticized for having a
way too technical approach, giving priority to issues of access and
extension of infrastructure rather than to policies for capacity
building; it is also criticized for its lack of applicability when
compared to the high diversity of situations registered worldwide.
Likewise, it has been analysed that the type of public-private
partnerships stipulated in the plan run the risk of minimizing state
intervention and the set of public policies needed, thus exclusively
promoting free-market based solutions which fail to ensure the
achievement of the social development goals desired.
In spite of the above limitations with regards to specific results and
notwithstanding the lack of visibility of the Summit if compared to
other global instances, it has managed to introduce the issue of
information society within national agendas. In this way, national
strategies, cyber-strategies or e-strategies become action frameworks
that support the construction of the information society in the
different regions and countries. At global level, international
institutions such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN ICT Task
Force have set precedents in terms of designing and promoting this type
One of the outstanding factors related to the success of these
strategies is the implementation of multistakeholder work frameworks in
the design and application phases, so as to achieve wholesome
perspectives based on the comparative views of all actors taking part
in the process (including civil society and the private sector). The
participation of the private sector in these processes is considered
useful and necessary, provided it takes place under state supervision.
The “let the private sector do it” policy usually and undesirably
results in the extension of infrastructure and connection only to those
market zones that are profitable. The information society action plans
also have to deal with the liberalization of the telecommunication
sector, imposed by international financial institutions in a large
number of countries and regions, such as Latin America. The direct
consequence of such reforms has been a decrease in regulations
concerning the private sector’s actions, which results in the loss of
connection between ICTs policies and human rights policies and the
promotion of citizen practices.
The fact that the governments of less developed countries usually
allocate very few resources for investment on this type of plans should
be added to this complex situation. In view of reduced budgets, these
plans are placed second with regards to priorities such as health and
education. Likewise, most of these countries lack government technical
teams trained in these issues, which results in fragmentary and
short-rage policies and in the lack of participation in global
decision-making instances, such as the WSIS. So, in terms of the design
of policies, there is urgent need to consult and include those civil
society organizations specialized in information and communication
issues, which from their experience are capable of making valuable
contributions to the process.
Action plans aimed at approaching the information society should be
considered as state policies rather than as peripheral or accessory
programmes. The current paradigm is aimed at wholesome programmes,
coordinated at a multi-sectoral level and actively incorporated into
development agendas, as being the most effective in the transition
towards the information society. Emphasis should also be placed on
joint regional efforts and regional strategies or plans.
* WSIS Geneva Plan of Action
Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
The first phase of WSIS took place in Geneva hosted by the Government of
Switzerland from 10 to 12 December 2003, where 175 countries adopted a
Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. The Geneva Plan of Action
was intended to translate the guiding principles of the Declaration
into concrete action lines to advance the achievement of the
internationally-agreed development goals by promoting the use of ICTs.
* WSIS Stocktaking
The WSIS Stocktaking is intended to fulfill the dual purpose of
providing an inventory of activities undertaken by governments and all
stakeholders in implementing the Geneva decisions and taking stock of
the progress made in building the Information Society. The stocktaking
was launched in October 2004 and continues to be updated as a dynamic
portal to this rich source of information, open to all.
* E-Strategies - Empowering Development
ITU's E-strategies main goal consists in assisting developing countries
in harnessing the potentials of ICT to contribute towards reducing the
social divide, improving the quality life, promoting universal access
and facilitating entry into the information society. In all actions,
take into account the needs of rural, isolated and poorly served areas
and people with special needs.
Regional Action Plans - WSIS Tunis Phase
* Latin America and Caribbean Regional Action Plan - eLAC 2007
Source: ECLAC (UN Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and
Approved in the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Conference, held in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 8-10 June 2005, eLAC 2007 is a regional Plan of
Action for public policy. It aims to provide some middle ground between
the ambitious aims of the global community and the needs associated
with actual conditions in the Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The adoption of concerted measures agreed upon at the regional level is
intended to strengthen national strategies and enable the digital
revolution to make a positive contribution to integration in the region.
* Regional Action Plan towards the Information Society for Asia and the
The High Level Asia-Pacific Conference for the World Summit on the
Information Society was held in Tehran from 31 May to 2 June 2005,
jointly organized by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
UNESCAP, UNDP-APDIP, ITU. The Conference adopted the Tehran Declaration
and the Regional Action Plan towards the Information Society for Asia
and the Pacific and discussed follow up and implementation
strategies/activities. PDF format.
* African Commitments for WSIS Tunis 2005
Source: African Regional Preparatory Conference for the WSIS
The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the WSIS was held from
2-4 February, in Accra, Ghana, with the theme "Access - Africa’s key to
an inclusive Information Society". It aimed at preparing Africa for an
effective participation in the second phase of the WSIS and ensuring a
strategic and interdependent digital partnership that would promote
economic growth and human development of the continent. PDF format.
* Western Asia Regional Plan of Action
Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
(ESCWA) organized the Second Western Asia Preparatory Conference for
the WSIS to follow up on the first phase of WSIS held in Geneva (2003)
and to prepare for its second phase in Tunis (2005). The Conference,
held in Damascus, Siria, from 22-24 November 2004 was held in
collaboration with international and regional organizations and
prominent private sector institutions. It reviewed the latest actions
taken in member countries to reduce the digital divide in light of the
WSIS-Phase 1 outcome and agreed on a regional plan of action with
specific projects, leading to strategic partnerships for their
implementation. PDF format.
* Connectivity Agenda for the Americas
Source: Inter-American Telecommunication Commission
As part of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada on April
20-22, 2001, the Heads of State issued a special document focused on
Connectivity in the Americas. The Connectivity Agenda for the Americas
was created to facilitate the beneficial integration of the hemisphere
into an increasingly knowledge-based society.
* Observatory for the Information Society in Latin America and the
OSILAC stands for the Observatory for the Information Society in Latin
America and the Caribbean. The main objective of OSILAC is to
centralize and harmonize data that serve to monitor the status of what
is known as the "information society" in the Latin American and
Caribbean region. The Observatory provides support for national
statistical institutes in compiling indicators on information and
communication technologies (ICTs) in the region and in employing the
* Africa Information Society Initiative
Source: UN Economic and Social Commission for Africa (UNECA)
As a response to the information society, the Conference of African
Ministers meeting at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(ECA), in May 1995, adopted the Africa Information Society Initiative
(AISI). Driven by critical development imperatives, AISI focuses on
priority strategies, programmes and projects, which can help in building
African information societies. A key component of the AISI is the
development of national e-strategies,or the National Information and
Communication Infrastructure policies.
* Collaboration for international ICT policy / East and Southern Africa
Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa
(CIPESA) is one of two centres established under the Catalysing Access
to Information and Communications Technologies in Africa (CATIA)
initiative. The overall goals for CIPESA are to develop the capacity of
African stakeholders to contribute effectively to international
decision-making on ICT and ICT-related products and services, and on
the role of ICT in development; and to build multi-stakeholder
policy-making capacity in African countries.
* Asia-Pacific Developement Information Programme
APDIP is a UNDP initiative that seeks to promote and establish
information technology (IT) for social and economic development
throughout Asia-Pacific. Launched in 1997 and based in Kuala Lumpur, the
Programme serves 42 countries in a vast region, from Iran in the west,
north to Mongolia and south to the Pacific Islands of Fiji.
* ICT Applications Section / Asia-Pacific
Source: UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)
The ICT Applications Section of ESCAP's Information, Communication and
Space Technology Division (ICSTD) promotes the use of ICT that
contributes to economic and social development. The Section's activities
focus on key applications identified in the Plan of Action of the first
phase of WSIS and the Tokyo Declaration such as e-governance,
e-business, knowledge sharing, rural ICT services, e-health, distance
education, and the section also supports the activities of the Asian and
Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT).
Some national experiences
* Azerbaijan: National Information Communication Technologies Strategy
To help Azerbaijan in harnessing the potential of information
communication technologies (ICT) for meeting the country's development
goals primarily through assistance in preparation and initial
implementation of a national strategy aimed to "Bridge the Digital
Divide" and through facilitating the development of the country's ICT
* Brazil: Green Book
Source: Sociedade da Informação Brasil
The main purpose of the Brazilian Information Society Program is to
establish the foundations of a nationwide strategic project to
integrate and coordinate the development and employment of advanced
computer, communication and information technologies and their
applications in society. This endeavor will allow the government to
further research and education, as well as assure that the Brazilian
economy is capable of competing on the world market. PDF format.
* Ghana: National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee
Source: Ministry of Communications Ghana
The National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee set up by the
Ghana Government is tasked to develop an ICT-led Socio-Economic
Development Policy and the corresponding Plan on the basis of an
extensive national consultative exercise.
* India: National Task Force on IT and Software Development
Source: National Task Force on IT and Software Development
India's National Task Force on IT and Software Development was set up by
the Prime Minister's Office on May 22, 1998, under the Chairmanship of
the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. This taskforce had a mandate
to formulate the draft of a National Informatics Policy. A special
website was designed to make the evolution of the Policy transparent.
The Task Force has submitted its reports, including a IT Action Plan,
which can be found online at this website.
* India: Department of Information Technology
Source: Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
In 1999, the Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) was established in
India to facilitate all initiatives in the IT sector. The Ministry was
then merged with the Communications Ministry to form the Ministry of
Communication and Information Technology (MCIT). Currently the
Department of Information Technology (DIT), under the MCIT, works as the
nodal agency for Information Technology. The Department of
Telecommunications and Department of Posts are the two other key
departments under the MCIT. An "action taken" report and a Ministerial
"Ten Point Agenda", set up in May 2004, can be found here among other
important information about India's ICT policies and priorities.
* Jamaica: A five-year Strategic Information Technology Plan
Source: Government of Jamaica
This document endeavors to provide a scheme for achieving social and
economic progress by utilizing Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) as a developmental vehicle. It strives to include all
sectors of the economy in a skillfully designed plan. PDF format.
* Philippines: Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council
Source: Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council
In 1994, the National Information Technology Council (NITC) was created
and designated as the central policy body on IT matters in the country.
Four years later in 1998, the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council
(ECPC) was created to be the coordinating body of public-private
partnerships for the promotion and development of e-commerce. In July
2000, NITC and the ECPC were merged, coinciding with the approval of
the Government Information Systems Plan (GISP). The merger resulted in
the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council (ITECC).
* Philippines' IT Action Agenda for the 21st Century (IT21)
Source: National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
IT21 documents our common vision and presents our nation’s broad
strategy to spur our country to global competitiveness through
information technology. It sets down specific time frames for achieving
* Rwanda: An Integrated ICT-led Socio-Economic Development Policy and
A policy document for the transformation of Rwanda into an
information-rich based society and economy within twenty years.
* South African Information Technology Industry Strategy (SAITIS)
Source: Department of Trade and Industry South Africa
SAITIS is a bilateral project between the South African government,
represented by the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Canadian
Government represented by the Canadian International Development Agency
(CIDA). The purpose of this project is to further the development of
the ICT Sector in South Africa. The strategy is intended to be
complementary to and supportive of broader socio-economic development
goals of the government of South Africa, particularly with regard to its
emphasis on social upliftment and empowerment.
* South Africa's Department of Communications Strategic Plan 2005-2008
Source: Department of Communications
The outcome of the strategic planning exercise has been to define, in
even greater clarity, the role of the Department of Communications
within the country's agenda to achieve economic and social
transformation through ICT's. The objective being to attain a
non-racial and non-sexist society with justice and equality for all
where all the citizens participate in the national processes that lead
towards total transformation. PDF format.
* Tanzania National ICT Policy
Source: APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor
The Tanzania Development Vision 2025 envisages a nation imbued with five
main attributes: high quality livelihood; peace, stability and unity;
good governance; a well educated and learning society; and a strong and
competitive economy capable of producing sustainable growth and shared
benefits. On the other hand, this Policy has articulated ten main focus
areas in harnessing ICT in Tanzania which include strategic ICT
leadership; ICT infrastructure; ICT Industry; Human Capital; Legal and
Regulatory Framework; Productive Sectors; Service Sectors; Public
Service; Local Content; and Universal Access. PDF format.
* Trinidad and Tobago's fastforward agenda
Source: The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago's fastforward agenda is all about transforming the
country into a knowledge-based society by 2008. Government working with
the public and private sectors, has produced an exciting roadmap that
charts a clear and determined course to an online society and a
knowledge-based economy. fastforward provides farreaching strategies for
the development of a connected country that will adapt, flourish and
prosper in the new global information society.
* Uganda: National Information and Communication Technology Policy
Source: LogosNet - International Labour Office (ILO)
In order for developments in the ICT sector to be addressed
systematically, the Uganda government has formulated an ICT Policy
Framework. The scope of this Policy covers information as a resource for
development, mechanisms for accessing information, and ICT as an
industry, including e-business, software development and manufacturing.
The policy looks at various categories of information from different
sectors, essentially aimed at empowering people to improve their living
Analysis and research
* The centrality of e-strategies in the WSIS Plan of Action
The term ‘e-strategies’ has gained widespread use over the last few
years in the debates on the role of information and communications
technologies (ICTs) for development, following the UN Millennium
Declaration in 2000. This paper explores its meaning in the framework
of the WSIS I outcomes. PDF format.
* National approaches to ICT
Source: Digital Opportunity Initiative (DOI)
This document forms part of the Digital Opportunity Initiative report
"Creating a Development Dynamic". It is focused on the rol that ICTs
must play in national development strategies, and contains descriptions
of national ICT approaches on countries such as Costa Rica, Estonia,
India, Malasia, South Africa and Tanzania. PDF format.
* Why national strategies are needed for ICT-enabled development
Nagy K. Hana
Source: Development Gateway
This paper explores the need for national strategies for ICT-enabled
development. It aims to improve understanding of the challenges and
opportunities of the ICT revolution, and their implications for
development policy and strategies. The paper concludes by outlining the
rationale for designing national strategies for e-development and
options, objectives and major thrust for such strategies in support of
economic growth, poverty reduction and the MDGs. PDF format.
* A global overview of e-strategies
Source: UNICTTF (United Nations ICT Task Force)
A discussion paper for the 5th Session of the United Nations ICT Task
Force in Geneva, September 12 and 13, 2003. This paper is about the
connection between strategies to reduce poverty and strategies to
maximize ICT benefit. It reviews the evolution of ICT strategies region
by region and analyses the connection between e-strategies and poverty
reduction strategies.PDF format.
* Developing National Information and Communications Infrastructure
(NICI) Policies, Plans and Strategies: The 'why' and 'how'
NICI plans and strategies need to reflect overall development
priorities, redefine sectoral policies and support the introduction of
new regulatory framework so as to improve the efficiency and to mobilise
resources for building national information and communication
infrastructure. Attempts are made in this paper to assess the ICT
situation in African countries, to outline the pressing need to
build-up NICI plans and strategies and the various steps to be taken to
enable countries to be part of the information society.
* E-Strategies National, Sectoral and Regional ICT Policies, Plans and
This report assesses the state of national and regional ICT
policies,plans and strategies in Africa. It focuses on the role of ECA
(Economic Comission for Africa) and summarizes major regional and global
initiatives being undertaken in or relevant to Africa. It also
highlights new applications and initiatives in key sectors,and concludes
with lessons learned and the way forward. PDF format.
* An Overview of ICT Policies and e-Strategies of Select Asian Economies
Emmanuel C. Lallana
Source: Asia-Pacific Development Programme
This publication provides a comparative study of ICT policies and
e-strategies of nine Asian countries - India, Japan, Republic of Korea,
Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It
identifies and analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, similarities and
gaps in policy formulation in Asia. PDF format.
* ICT Policies and e-Strategies in the Asia Pacific: A Critical
Assessment of The Way Forward
Source: Asia-Pacific Development Programme
This book has three distinct areas of focus: an analytical overview of
the ICT policies and e-strategies in the region, fundamentals of policy
formulation and the development process, and thematic priority areas to
be addressed in the conceptualization and development of policies. PDF
E-strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean
* ECLAC: Policy formulation for the information society
Set of documents focusing on the routes made by Latin America and the
Caribbean towards the information society. Alternatives are proposed
for the design of national strategies to be adopted by the countries of
the region, in order to ensure the success of this transition.
* Benchmarking the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) in Latin America and the Caribbean
Martin Hilbert, Doris Olaya
This document is the third version of an ongoing exercise to benchmark
the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS). Graphs and tables are indicative and aim at demonstrating the
current situation of Latin America and the Caribbean countries in
relation to achieving the actions proposed during the 2003 Geneva phase
of WSIS. Conslusions are drawn from the presented evidence in every
field, which results in the particular challenges the region faces in
the transition toward a Latin American and Caribbean Information
* Connecting to Public Policy. An exploration of ICTs and Public Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean
Katherine Reilly, Ricardo Gómez
Source: Katherine Reilly Net
This report is the main output of the meeting "Public Policy and
Information and Communications Technologies for Social Transformation
in Latin America and the Caribbean," held in San José, Costa Rica,
organised by the PAN Americas program of the International Development
Research Centre (IDRC). The job of this report is to pull out some of
the main lessons learned from the workshop, and areas that were
identified for further exploration and research. PDF format.
* Final Report ICT Policy and Strategic Plan
Source: Red Sobre el Impacto Social de las TIC (RedISTIC)
This is the final of three reports comprising the output of the
Consulting Services in Information & Communication Technology project.
It presents the results of the regional and national consultations and
lists a set of recommendations for the proposed ICT Policy for the OECS
(Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) region. PDF format.
ICT policy and civil society
* Involving Civil Society in ICT Policy: the World Summit on the
Access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) is
expanding but the majority of people in developing countries are still
excluded, says APC. APC and the CRIS Campaign have been following the
WSIS process and their publication "Involving Civil Society in ICT
Policy: the World Summit on the Information Society" highlights some of
the main issues at stake. PDF format.
* ICT Policy for Civil Society: Training Curriculum
The ICT Policy for Civil Society training course builds the capacity of
civil society organisations to understand policy and regulation related
to information and communication technologies (ICT) so that they can
begin to engage and influence policy processes affecting ICT adoption
and implementation at national, regional and global levels.
* Civil Society and National ICT Programmes: matchmaking
This text was written within the framework of the Project entitled
"Civilian Organisations in the face of National ICT Projects: 4 case
studies" which ITDG carried out with the support of the IDRC. This
project was implemented between December 2002 and June 2004 and
included visits to 4 Latin American countries (Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
and El Salvador), as well as interviews with government representatives
and civilian organizations. Is it possible to refer to the information
society without the participation of the civil society? How can the
'information society' be understood within a poverty context? What
approaches can be used to explain the role to be played by the civil
society with other stakeholders of the information society? Those
questions guided this research. PDF format.
* National ICT policies making in Africa: Implications for CSOs
Source: Social Science Research Council
The gap between expectations and realization in e-strategies suggests
that civil society has a key role in stimulating national ICT polices
in Africa, says the author of this article. PDF format.
* Building the Future: Civil Society's Contribution Towards the
Emergence of the Information Society in Cameroon
Source: APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor
This report describes a partnership building process between the
Cameroonian government, private sector and CSOs in an effort to build
the ICT sector in response to government's perceived failure to do so.
It emphasizes the role of civil society in the formulation of national
ICT policy and strategies and the creation of an enabling environment
for ICT sector growth. PDF format.
* Egypt ICT and Civil Society Country Report
Source: APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor
Egypt's CSO sector is active and far reaching, however despite the
increase in the number of users, and the fact that Internet policy and
regulation is becoming an issue, although only a tiny minority of
activists work in this area. Recent lobbying on the newest
communication bill is an encouraging sign that representatives of civil
society are waking up to the fact that civil society much stake a claim
in ICT policy formulation processes. PDF format.
* Fostering the Capacities of the Ethiopia Civil Society to Influence
Source: APC Africa ICT Policy Monitor
This paper presents the case of civil society organizations in Ethiopia
and discusses how their involvement in ICT policy process can be
improved. Although recent initiatives by the Federal Government in
modernizing its ICT policies and the opening up the telecommunication
sector present windows of opportunities for the civil society to
participate in the policy process, the inherent weakness of the civil
society due to the spread of its efforts along dozens priorities aimed
at responding to the on-going social and economic crisis in the country
makes the participation in ICT policy process rather difficult. PDF
Related Choike's in-depth reports
* World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
* ICTD within the framework of the MDGs
* Telecentres: a model for social appropriation of ICTs
- "WSIS Papers" and "Choike" are projects of the
Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM) - Third World Institute
- "WSIS Papers" is supported by the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) / PanAmericas