New WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Information Networks Governance

Received by mail:

From: “Dr. Francis MUGUET“,
To: Edu Mailinglist.
Date: 12/09/2007

For contact – links concerning this subjects: UNMSP project;

World Summit On the Information Society (WSIS), Civil Society Working Groups:

Director, Scientific Information Developement Laboratory, Knowledge Networks and Information Society ENSTA, 32 Blvd Victor, 75739 PARIS, cedex FRANCE, Phone: +33 1 45 52 60 19, Fax: +33 1 45 52 52 82, mail, web.

MDPI Foundation Open Access Journals Associate Publisher: web org, web net, mail org, mail net.

WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Information Networks Governance.

Within the overall framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society, it appears that political and ethical standards demand the formation of a Civil Society working group. The “Civil Society” must be clarified as a group of people sharing such core values as openness, transparency, public interest, diversity, inclusion and a sincere concern for sustainable development, in bridging the digital divide. “Civil Society” shall not be defined “subtractively” as a group of people who neither belong to the government nor business sectors.

In this view, “Civil Society” must be differentiated from the “Internet Community”, which is increasingly dominated by the technico-industrial complex that manages critical internet resources.

The working group is going to deal with all governance issues related to all information networks, which include not only Internet Governance, but also governance of Telecommunication networks and especially Next Generation Networks. This site is now the site of the WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Information Networks Governance.

Linguistic Diversity, either with the help of different page versions, or with embedded automatic translation is fully acknowledged, with linkage with the Dynamic Coalition on Linguistic Diversity.

Monday 03 September 2007. The formal announcement ( speech ) of the group formation was made by its founding president : Louis Pouzin, during the IGF Open Consultations on Monday 3 September 2007, at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva:

Thank you Mr Chairman,

I wish to use this opportunity to announce the creation of a new working group in the Civil Society. This group is called Civil Society Working Group on Information Networks Governance.

Why create another working group on Internet governance? Indeed, there is already a group called Internet Governance Caucus. From our observations there is in this group a strong presence of the Internet community, “Internity” for short. They have ties with some governments, with the business sector, with NGO’s, and with the domain name milk cow.

Quite a few people in the Civil Society do not share these interests. As a result there is no majority for a consensus on significant reforms of internet governance. It appears that it would be better to draw clearer lines, let the internet community lobby for its own turf, and have a Civil Society Working Group with a distinct agenda.

What agenda ? To identify, and promote enablers of societal development, taking full account of existing diversities, e.g. culture, language, geography, political system, etc. To adjust governance structures to people’s needs, rather than the opposite. In short, implement the Tunis Agenda.

What structures do we propose ? This working group is now created, as of 3rd September 2007. It is international. A chairman, or coordinator, whatever term the group prefers, is rotated every 6th month. The 1st one is myself. The group is multilingual, starting with English, French, Spanish, and other languages when it becomes practicable. There shall be an ethics committee, in charge of evaluating potential conflicts of interests. Additional mechanisms are needed, e.g. for nominations, votes, events, etc. They will be defined by the group. Participation is open to everyone abiding by the group rules, and not involved with the internet community.

A discussion list is open. Anyone may subscribe. People interested may join in now. Thank you.

Wednesday 12 September 2007,

Opening of discussions on the Mailing List, On the agenda of next discussions on the list:

  • Urgent: proposal of panelists for the main sessions;
  • Comments on the Advisory Group Report;
  • Opacity and rule of silence?
  • Betrayal of the mandate , No recommendations in the emerging issues session?
  • Coalition reports and outcomes under control?
  • Silence, no rotation here?
  • Shall the human rights commission be contacted?
  • Is an audit of the secretariat needed?

The May 2007 C5 Cybersecurity action line meeting:

  • a setback for the ITU?
  • Financial support for LDC IGF participants, a still born coalition? Search for a long term solution
  • Coalitions that do not seek to get IGF outcomes and recommendations? phony groups or tools of diversion?
  • The choice between lobbies’ anarchy and a new multi-stakeholder legal regime?
  • Identification of obstacles to the implementation of the Tunis Agenda mandate.
  • Means to empower local Civil Society groups.

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