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November 16, 2003Where's the progress? The summit is in trouble, as previously noted. Three more days of talks, designed to sort out gaping disagreements, have dribbled to a close.
By now, we shoud have something to really work with in Geneva - but instead, every time the participants get round a table, more tensions come out.
The draft paper optimistically calls for a "people-centered, inclusive"
information society - something which it wants to get from a hopelessly divided bunch.
There seem to be three main problems:
- Firstly, surprise, surprise, - money. The EU, especially Germany and the UK, and Japan are desperately against even a voluntary fund to pay for ICTs.
- Secondly, freedom of expression and human rights. China have successfully ambushed a complete paragraph on the "free flow of information" - not a good decision for the good of the world's media.
- And finally - Internet governance. China again seems to be causing more trouble than anyone else - it looked like governments would agree on just stating the need for further discussion in the declaration (a bit of a cop-out anyway), but China is blocking progress here, because Taiwan is a member of the ICANN government advisory board.
In addition the Civil Society seems to be generally brassed off with the course things are taking. They also said that terrorism legislation is now clamping down on the freedom of speech - an interesting swipe (especially at the US).
These are pretty complex issues, but Daily Summit is going to unravel them as best we can, over the next couple of posts.