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Five More Years! There Was No "Deal" and WSIS Resolved Nothing

Five More Years! There Was No "Deal" and WSIS Resolved Nothing:


The basic problem posed by WSIS was the role of national governments and national sovereignty in global Internet governance. That conflict remains completely unresolved by the WSIS document. The document's thinking is still based on the fiction that there is a clear divide between "public policy" and the "day to day operation" of the Internet, and assumes that governments should be fully in control of the policy-setting function. Moreover, new organizational arrangements are being put into place which will carry on that debate for another 5 years, at least. The new Internet Governance Forum is a real victory for the civil society actors, but also fails to resolve the basic issue regarding the role of governments and sovereignty. Although called for and virtually created by civil society actors, the language authorizing its creation asks to involve all stakeholders "in their respective roles." In other words, we still don't know whether this Forum will be based on true peer-peer based interactions among governments, business and civil society, or whether it will reserve special policy making functions to governments.

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