[LINK] Government Submission
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Aug 10 01:05:47 EST 2004
Dear Minister, Tom and all ..
> From: "Tom Dale" <tdal7105 at bigpond.net.au>
> Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 9:15 PM
> Subject: [Link] Internet Governance: Request for comment
> The Department of Communications, IT and the Arts is calling
> for public comment on the establishment of a Working Group
> on Internet Governance by the UN Secretary General ... Tom
Thanks for this heads-up regarding our Government's RFC, Tom.
Of course, at this stage it's based on how to go forward from the:
> Report of the Geneva phase of the World
> Summit on the Information Society ...
This document certainly commences in a lofty & creditable manner:
> (Page Two) A. Our Common Vision of the Information Society
> 1. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled
> in Geneva from 10-12 December 2003 for the first phase of the
> World Summit on the Information Society, declare our common
> desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and
> development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can
> create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge,
> enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their
> full potential in promoting their sustainable development and
> improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and
> principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting
> fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Creditable goals all, without a doubt. And, in current world terms
of IT costs , one might expect that Open Source IT will be crucial.
However on Page 40, the US obviously feels the need to get things
clear right from the beginning with their, "Interpretative Statement"
> Interpretative Statement by the United States of America: (P. 40)
> 7. The United States notes the several references in both the
> Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action on the importance
> of good governance to the Information Society. The United States
> interprets the references to "good governance" in the Declaration of
> Principles and Plan of Action to mean sound economic policies
> (including pro-competitive policies) ...
Hmm, "pro-competitive policies"? Does this mean normal M/S pricing?
That is, is America expecting this World Summit to recommend that all
Summit outcomes hinge upon the utilization of 'commercial' software?
If US support for this World Summit does depend upon the adoption of
'pro-competitive policies' it would appear it won't be getting very far :-(
However, hopefully the world importance of Open Source etc resources
in terms of the digital divide will be recognized and safe-guarded, whilst
also retaining US participation and active support for Summit outcomes.
Aparently this difficulty has been recognized, as the following very mild
and imho rather 'pussy-footing' Chairperson's Summary points allude to:
> Chairperson's summary of Round 1: Creating Digital Opportunities
> (Page 55)
> Access to information was seen as a human right and should be treated
> as such. The role of open software was identified as one possible means
> to expand access.
And again on the final page (Page 62) of this first World Summit report:
> Recommendations made by different speakers: <snip>
> * Establishing an open source foundation, which would allow developing
> countries to make progress in access to ICT at a lower cost and could also
> open up many new opportunities for distance learning and the delivery of a
> wide range of services to rural and remote areas.
In conclusion, may I request that our Government, whenever possible, make
clear that we the Australian people are concerned regards the digital divide
and see that Open Source etc IT resources have an important role to play.
And secondly, given the predatory pricing policies that some US companies
engage in worldwide, that while we believe in free-enterprise, we will never
support a 'beggar-thy-neighbour' policy regarding the world's ICT resources.
stephen at melbpc.org.au
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