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The internet is five days away from total collapse!

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A tense dispute over US control of the Internet in the run-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) could eventually lead to the break-up of the global network and hamper seamless browsing, officials warned Monday.

The warning came as the United States told EU participants at negotiations on Internet governance that it was determined to maintain its oversight over the technical and administrative infrastructure at the root of the network.

In a letter seen by AFP, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez called on the British presidency of the European Union to drop its proposal for an international alternative.

"We ask the EU to reconsider its new position on Internet governance and work together with us to bring the benefits of the information society to all," the United States wrote.

A European diplomat, who declined to be named, said the letter was tantamount to "an attempt at intimidation".

Robert Shaw of the UN's International Telecommunication Union, said: "Since the positions are so polarised we may end up with a fractured Internet."

Either the search for a "democratic" international solution prevails, or the Internet could fragment into a multitude of networks before an eventual international coordination mechanism sticks them back together, he added.

Late Monday, the chairman of the negotiations, Janis Karklins of Finland, asked government negotiators to examine a new draft compromise to try to resolve their three-year deadlock before the summit, which begins on Wednesday.

The outcome could determine who eventually controls the Internet's technical and administrative infrastructure, which allows the computer network to function worldwide...

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.physorg.com/news8159.html

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i doubt the lace pabties in the eu and the lace panties in heir member states will risk disrupting web traffic. if they do, it will hurt their economies, and that means they would all of a sudden become very unpopular. they're gonna bitch and moan, but they won't actually do anything unless the us lets em.

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Asking the questions, giving the answers

By Kieren McCarthy in Tunis

Published Monday 14th November 2005 11:06 GMT

WSIS Tunis The most controversial aspect of this whole world summit hasn't been the ensuing fight of who should run the internet but where it is being hosted: Tunisia.

Stories about the clampdown on freedom of speech by the government in Tunisia have been the main focus of most stories up to now. It is nowhere near as bad as, say, China but many countries have questioned why a summit about the Information Society (essentially, the Internet) should be based somewhere that denies the most inspiring and revolutionary aspect of this new medium - ready access to enormous, global amounts of information.

The criticism has been heavy and sustained. It even led to a formal question at the end of the Geneva PrepCom3 conference by Western countries over whether Tunisia would guarantee freedom of speech during the conference.

The Tunisian ambassador was embarassed and incensed. He testily told the gathered governments, organisations and media that Tunisia had stated time and again that usual UN rules would apply at the conference - which meant complete freedom of representation.

But despite these words, no heads of governments from Western "liberal" countries are attending. And the UN has had problems getting big names to take part because they don't want to provide the Tunisian government with legitimacy.

If this wasn't indication enough, the United Nations has actually produced an FAQ document covering "the privileges and immunities granted to participants" of the Summit.

There are 13 questions and the first is: "Is there any category of Summit participants who do not enjoy privileges and immunities?" I have to confess that the very fact that the UN felt the need to produce such a document caused me to print out the French version which I keep close to hand in case I end up on the wrong side of one of the thousands of security services men or policeman patrolling night and day.

The Tunisian government does not like the idea of a free press. There were three young women keeping an eye out for journalists at the airport when I arrived. I decided to avoid the Media desk and get through the police/passport check. But I had asked and noted down the address of where I needed to pick up my official badge, and one of them spotted my reporter's notepad.

I was immediately pulled aside, and while she was charming and helpful, she also managed to take down my name, passport number and even my NUJ number.

There is also a bizarre tendency for my hotel to try to keep hold of my passport whenever possible. First, it was just to make a copy of it. But that copy would for some reason take five hours. I went back and got it. But today, another reason was found to take it off me. What about the copy, I asked. "Oh, the copy didn't work, we need another one."

Continued here > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/14/wsis_blog_two/page2.html

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how are the g8 summits a bad thing? that is the only thing in which the worlds important governments try to get their act together.

For years thousands of people have campaigned to draw the public's attention to the harm globalisation has done to the developing world and to expose the unjust policies of the unholy trinity

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