News, views and what I choose to dos

Tag : athens

The Internet Governance Forum – third time lucky

I was at the United Nations in Geneva last week to watch what was happening to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as it prepares for its third outing, this December in Hyderabad, India.

Actually I was there for a different reason – an ICANN consultative meeting on the future of the organization the morning before the UN meeting – but it seemed daft to fly all that way and not check out the day of open discussions about the IGF. Plus I have a real soft spot for the IGF and the people that have worked extremely hard to make it a success.

I was a witness to the IGF’s creation, on paper, at the World Summit on the Information Society back in 2005, and then followed it all the way through various preparatory sessions as a reporter.

At the inaugural IGF in Athens, I was asked to be the conference’s “blogger-in-chief” – a position that, ironically enough, my current employer tried to veto. As a semi-official part of the IGF, I also got to see behind the scenes, and was impressed with the hard work, dedication and calm handling of what was an enormous and risky experiment. A lot of people at the time confessed to turning up just to see what would happen – spectators to what could have been the biggest diplomatic car crash for a decade. In the end, despite the odds, it shone through.

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IGF: Moderation, frustration and making people uncomfortable

The second day of the inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) brings with it plenty of frustration and uncertainty and the numerous, wide and varied attendees try to comes to terms with one another.

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IGF: Setting the Scene – quick review

The inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) opens in Athens. And, despite everyone’s best intentions, it begins with a conversation about ICANN.

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Greek blog aggregator arrested

The Internet Governance Forum will start on Monday morning but already the debate has started – and it is surrounding freedom of speech online.

There are several reports that the Greek authorities arrested a man for linking – not writing, but linking – to blog posts that had satirised a businessman (possibly a TV evangelist). The businessman complained to the police and the police picked up the adminstrator of blog aggregation site – and charged him.

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The new Seven Wonders of the World

I caught a bit of the news at lunch today and they were at Stonehenge talking about the *new* Seven Wonders of the World.

This rang a very vague bell, I remember someone going on about this ages ago – the idea of coming with a new list of seven amazing things in the world. I think this is a brilliant idea – especially since only one of the original Seven Wonders still exists.

Anyone can register and vote and they claim to have already gathered 20 million votes – which is all very possible. The shortlist has been cut down to 21 by UNESCO and now its ex-head Professor Dr Federico Mayor is going on a world tour of each location drumming up press coverage. He was in the UK, hence Stonehenge, hence the news report.

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We need you! Here is how you can help the Net

We need you!There is a big meeting on the future of the Internet in London tomorrow, run by Nominet, where I will be acting as the “chief blogger”. As such, I need your help.

In fact, I am the official chief blogger for the Internet Governance Forum itself in Athens at the end of this month. That basically means that I will spend a good chunk of the conference reading what others have to say about the meeting online and I will occasionally be asked to summarise to the room what is being said by the rest of the world. At which point I will read out the most interesting and incisive blog posts to the assembled masses.

I actually see this as a vitally important role as it gives a voice to the people that haven’t flown to Athens and who have nothing more than a Net connection and a good point to make. That’s why I accepted the role and now I need your help to make the most of it.

Update: You can now see exactly what is happening at the IGF meeting, and simply and easily interact with events there through a website at

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IGF: success, great success or useful sideshow?

When asked a month prior to the meeting in Geneva this week how it was likely to go, one diplomat…

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