News, views and what I choose to dos

Tag : WSIS

Who should control the Internet?

It is going to be a particularly crazy year in terms of Internet policy and governance, maybe even more than…

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So, I took this job at ICANN…

Starting 5 February, I will be the “general manager, public participation” for ICANN – an organisation I have closely followed…

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The Internet Governance Forum in pictures

I was at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens last week taking pictures, among other things. I have finally…

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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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Experience the Net how you never want to again!

At the IGF meeting this week, developing countries will try yet again to make their point about problems with Net…

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Nominet IGF meeting audio recordings

Nominet held a meeting over the IGF on Monday which has attracted a fair amount of attention, most of it revolving around Nitin Desai’s remarks at the end, picked up by the BBC.

I have grabbed the audio from the meeting and produced a series of MP3 files which you can download and listen to here. I will also post them on the blog. All files below:

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IGF London meeting: rushes, worries and lessons

So Nominet held a big meeting in London on Monday covering the new Internet Governance Forum that will meet for the first time at the end of this month in Athens.

Nominet IGF meeting

In some ways, it was a sort-of mini IGF in that it took the same free-ranging panel approach and that it explictly held two panels on two of the four main themes of the IGF – “security” and “openness” (Nitin Desai pointed out that had the meeting been in a developing country, the panels and debate would have been on the other two themes – diversity and access).

It was also similar to the real meeting in the role that I have been asked to play: “chief blogger” – meaning scouring the Internet for interesting comments and reading them out to the room. Actually, this term “chief blogger” has led some to ask whether I’m some of kind of official IGF blogger, which I certainly am not, so I will refer to my role as “blog watcher” from now on.

The general feeling is that the meeting was a success.

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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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More on ICANN and Nominet

I’ve written two pieces for The Register over the new ICANN contract with the US government, and the Board election…

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Who controls the Internet? A book review

Who controls the Internet?With my book out the way, I now have lots more time to, er, read books. And one of those near the top of the pile was Who controls the Internet? by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu. The book has frequently cropped up in conversations with various Net people since it was published in March, and so I have been itching to read it.

I finished it this morning. And my gut feeling is that this is a very important book. Not only does it cover a big hole in knowledge and understanding of the Internet, but it is also well written, easy to understand, concise, coherent and thoughtful. I strongly suspect it will be ones of those books that informs opinion and so has a lasting, global influence far beyond what you could expect from 226 pages of text.

Being a journalist and knowing a thing or two about the subject though, I also have a number of criticisms. It has a dangerous US bias despite its avowed international outlook, it completely misses a fundamental plank of Internet governance, namely ICANN, and it has missed recent changes that will come back to haunt it.

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