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Three false assumptions: Internet freedom in a world of states, part 1
By terminus - 18/2/2013 In the wake of last year's defeat of the controversial ACTA treaty in Europe and of the SOPA and PIPA bills in the United States, both of which called on intermediaries to police consumers' use of the Internet, digital rights activists in the West have naturally gained a heightened sensitivity to their governments intruding on Internet freedoms.

The "UN takeover of the Internet" meme
By terminus - 28/12/2012 Excerpted from Digital News Asia...

After this week's UN resolution, what next for the future of Internet governance?
By terminus - 16/12/2012 This week an important resolution for the future of online communications came before a United Nations body. Hotly contested and politicised, the fate of the resolution remained on a knife-edge until the last minute. Now that it's all over, the reverberations from this diplomatic battle may affect the future of the Internet for many years to come.

Back from the grave, the CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation
By terminus - 9/11/2012 So the big news from the Baku IGF is that the United States will, after all, be supporting the creation of a CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, as the quid pro quo for India and Brazil dropping their wacky proposals to the ITU's WCIT for the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs). (Well OK, that last part is just scuttlebutt rather than news, but it is doubtless true - it explains, for one thing, how puzzlingly bad India's proposal to WCIT was: it was all just a gambit after all.) Politics, eh?

Smooth talk at the civil society bilaterals
By terminus - 7/11/2012 I feel uneasy when governments start sounding reasonable. The thing is, I want to believe them - and sometimes I do - only to be proved wrong, when their actions don't live up to their words.

Freedom of expression at the IGF dies a little more with censorship of anti-censorship postcards
By terminus - 6/11/2012 Freedom of expression at the IGF dies a little more with censorship of anti-censorship postcards Today was another dark day for freedom of expression at the IGF, with the heavy-handed intervention of a UN officer to remove postcards with an anti-censorship message. Indonesian civil society organisation ICT Watch was asked to cease distributing the postcards them on the basis that they might upset certain governments, and that any materials distributed at the IGF must be approved by the UN or the IGF committee.

A pick of the litter of workshops for IGF 2012
By terminus - 30/10/2012 Without any attempt at being exhaustive, here is a chronological listing of some interesting (for me) IGF sessions that you may have missed, mostly around intellectual property, freedom of expression and multi-stakeholderism:

Where did the mysterious CIRP come from – A short alternative (almost sub-altern) account of its history
By parminder - 28/10/2012 The famous multistakeholder (MS) Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) identified 'unilateral control by the United States Government ' of root zone files and system as one of the highest priority issues that needed attention.  Incidentally, US, the shining beacon of MSism today, refused to join this MS initiative on global IG, I mean, the WGIG. WGIG also identified a set of global Internet related public policy issues that needed to be addresses. It gave four possible alternative institutional structures to deal with global IG imperatives for the consideration of the Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Of these, three alternatives sought a new inter-governmental global Internet policy body, with non government participants in advisory or observer roles. The fourth alternative was more or less staying with the status quo, except for creating an IGF (a common feature of all the four alternatives), which, significantly, was supposed to inter alia issues analysis and recommendations on key global IG issues.WSIS mandated the creation of an IGF, and, due to inconclusive negotiations, gave somewhat unclear recommendations on the needed mechanism for global Internet related policies. Basically, the unmistakable mandate was to discuss this issue further, with specific assertions that something that addresses the imperative of global Internet policies is certainly needed. The Tunis agenda is clear to this extent.

Hell freezes over, and in other news from the IGF Secretariat...
By terminus - 11/10/2012 The IGF's Secretariat has always been one of the most regressive influences on its development. In a previous post I criticised Markus Kummer's part in this, but Nitin Desai was just as bad. Even before the IGF's first meeting, Desai had sounded the death knell for its capacity to conclude recommendations, claiming that "there's no way it can ever become a decision-making body".

Who are those who have never rotated off the MAG?
By terminus - 6/8/2012 Whenever the IGF's Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) is renewed, one third of each stakeholder group is requested to step down. Since the first MAG was appointed in 2006, that means that everyone from that original group should have rotated off the MAG by now. Right?

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