Feeds

World Summit is wholesale triumph

If you listen to the organisers...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Geneva They’re packing up the RFID detectors at Geneva’s Palexpo conference centre as the first meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society grinds to an end. Everyone will be back again in 2005 for the second stage in Tunisia, but for now the delegates, diplomats, hacks, liggers and hacktivists (even the ones who are here using fake ID to show how insecure the place is) are off to the airport, the nightclubs or the streets.

All ended peacefully, despite initial worries that the Summit’s declaration of principles and the associated action plan for government would be abandoned because of disagreement over some of the more controversial ideas – like support for free software, a robust defence of freedom of expression, a suggestion that the governance of the Internet should be taken away from ICANN, and a request for the rich countries of the world to put some money into a special fund to help poorer ones cross the digital divide. The Declaration was unanimously endorsed, the Plan was adopted, and all is set for another triumph in Tunisia.

Except that the final versions of the two key documents had been effectively gutted by the rich and powerful countries, none of which wanted to see their own interests threatened by proposals which involved them giving up power or influence, or having to reach into their coffers. So the governance of the Net is to be looked at by a special working group, which has two years in which to decide to do nothing. And a task force – we’re not quite sure if this is more or less important than a working group – will spend the same time reviewing existing ICT funding mechanisms and deciding if a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund is a good idea.

Apparently this is OK, because everyone agrees on the need to get every village in the world connected to the Internet by 2015. They may be paying over the odds to some grasping Western telco for the privilege, and using Microsoft software which comes with a restrictive licence, but they will all have joined the information society.

Those who expected little were not disappointed. It will only be the naïve idealists who believe that the governments and people of the rich world really care about the interests of the poor except as a source of raw materials, low-paid labour, and cheap back office services who leave Geneva feeling let down and saddened. The rest of us arrived cynical and leave feeling vindicated.

But not even the hardened hacks could suppress a small smile at the final press conference when the ITU’s Yoshio Utsumi, the summit’s Secretary-General of the whole event, said that “there had been no demonstrations against the summit, meaning all stakeholders could express their views”.

Because we all knew that there were no demonstrators or protests outside because what the politicians and diplomats have been up to here for the past three days really doesn’t matter at all. ®

Related stories

World+dog fight over World Summit of The Information Society
Will December make or break the Internet?
Internet showdown side-stepped in Geneva
Mugabe rails against colonialist Internet
Cyber Oscar honour for Cambodian data-entry charity

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.