Repressive countries gain foothold before World Summit on the Information Society

first_imgNews Organisation November 26, 2004 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Repressive countries gain foothold before World Summit on the Information Society Reported Without Borders today expressed concern that several countries that harshly cracked down on use of the Internet were members of a working group on Internet governance that met in Geneva from 23 to 25 November in the run-up to next year’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. It also noted that another such country, Syria, was at the same time (22-23 November) hosting a summit preparatory meeting to set up a partnership to build an “information society” for the Arab world. “Holding a summit in Tunisia about the free flow of online information is already absurd,” it said, “but holding a preparatory meeting in a country like Syria, where an Internet user is in prison for simply e-mailing a newsletter, is chilling. Does this mean the Internet policies of these regimes are acceptable choices for the rest of the world?”Membership of the working group, WGIG, was decided during the first WSIS summit in Geneva in December 2003. The group is supposed to recommend to the Tunis summit a draft Internet regulation proposal defined as a shared notion of the roles and responsibilities of governments, intergovernmental and international organisations, the private sector and civil society. The group’s work will affect the free flow of material on the Internet.Of the WGIG’s 40 members (half of them civil society representatives) are Cuba, China, Iran, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, which are some of the world’s most repressive countries of freedom of expression. Pakistan, Russia and Egypt, which also crack down on Internet activity, belong to the group as well.For details of their record, see the Reporters Without Borders 2004 survey “The Internet under Surveillance” RSF_en Help by sharing this information Reported Without Borders today expressed concern that several countries that harshly cracked down on use of the Internet were members of a working group on Internet governance that met in Geneva from 23 to 25 November in the run-up to next year’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. last_img read more