Internet Society Frontpage

Events Membership
About the Internet Standards
Publications  Public Policy
About ISOC Education

Public Policy 

Become an ISOC Member

ISOC@WSIS

WSIS Final Prepcom not really Final!

Since we have no agreement on a number of contentious issues, the Prepcom finishes, but negotiations continue in what will probably be a much less multistakeholder process. Not that the Prepcom was truly multistakeholder, but the end-game negotiations will most likely be a government only affair.

This “multigovernmentalism” (phrase coined by Jeanette Hoffman) points the way to whatever final document they will produce. It will be a document produced by a group of governments, not a solution. Solutions to development issues must come from the bottom up, just like Internet Governance. Watching this process (largely fail) for the last 2 weeks, has only reinforced my opinion on this.

One note of hope came from the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, when they produced a very reasonable “status-quo minus” proposal. It allows for the continuation of ICANN, with some minor reforms. These reforms would have allowed ICANN to “hold the root” as a more internationalised, truly multistakeholder, transparent body. Sort of like the original vision many had for ICANN. Alas, in the polarised environment of the Palais, this was just another in the long line of proposals found unaceptable to the US Government.

Stay tuned…more to come in October and November (and beyond)!

2 Responses to “WSIS Final Prepcom not really Final!”

  1. David Mussington Says:

    I find the potential fragmentation of the Internet extremely depressing. The status-quo-minus solution outlined above is sensible, and would keep the technical underpinnings of the Internet DNS and root server systems separate from the “high politics” of multigovernmentalism.

    I do hope that cooler heads prevail once this dreadful meeting is over.

  2. Bob Rohrer Says:

    With the majority of media giving us the story that fits their agenda and not necessarily the truth, we cannot let the Internet fall under an International committee of countries that will regulate its content. Truth will then disappear from our computers as it long ago did from all other media.