Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Repression Precedes UN-Sponsored Info Summit in Tunisia

Tunisia is hosting this week's World Summit on the Information Society whose agenda includes issues such as privacy, Internet governance, the global digital divide and freedom of expression.

But before things even got off the ground, human rights watchdogs reported that Tunisian and foreign reporters had been harassed and beaten. Tunisia is considered by activists to be one of the world's worst Internet censors.

More on the Summit:
  • Net Dust Storm Blows Into Tunis, Wired News: "Conceived as a vehicle to bring technology to developing nations, the WSIS has been overtaken by the contentious issue of 'internet governance' -- in particular, the question of who runs the highest levels of the domain name system, the technology that maps name like 'wired.com' into the numeric IP addresses the internet uses under the hood. As the conference opens, the United States is battling back efforts by most of the rest of the world to internationalize control of the DNS, which is currently administered by the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned names and Numbers, or ICANN, an organization established by the Clinton administration in 1998, which is loosely supervised by the U.S. Commerce Department".
  • Tunisia: Internet Repression Casts Pall on Web Summit, Human Rights Watch: "As the World Summit on the Information Society opens today in Tunis, Tunisia continues to jail individuals for expressing their opinions on the Internet and suppress Web sites critical of the government..."
  • Seven Questions: Battling for Control of the Internet, Foreign Policy: "Should the United Nations control the Internet? That’s the subject of a heated debate slated to take place at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis later this month. The European Union is pressing for a U.N. role in governing the Internet, which is currently in the hands of a U.S. nonprofit."
  • IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group, International Freedom of Expression eXchange network: "The IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) has launched a protest against Tunisia's hosting of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the wake of attacks on journalists and human rights activists in Tunis in the past few days. The coalition has cancelled plans to hold a WSIS side event today, saying a series of incidents, including the stabbing of a French reporter, show how unfit Tunisia is to host a conference on freedom of expression and the Internet."
  • IFLA World Summit on the Information Society portal, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions: statements and background documents on Internet governance and the international digital divide.
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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:21 pm

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