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Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)

As a result of the first phase of the WSIS, a United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) has been established by Mr. Kofi Annan with Mr. Markus Kummer as its Executive Coordinator.

This working group was meant to be an inclusive exercise and generally makes claims to be well-representing "all stakeholders." However: Free Software, the base of the internet, was apparently deliberately excluded at the onset of the group. As a result, while Free Software is found on the list of issues, there is no Free Software group (organisation, project or company) represented in the WGIG.

The first exercise of the WGIG was to publish a set of issue papers about various issues on February 1st, 2005 -- allowing for a period of 10 days to submit comments on 20 papers that have been drafted for months.

In close cooperation with its associate organisation La Fundacion Via Libre, the Free Software Foundation Europe managed to at least comment on two of the most important ones -- although the other papers certainly also would have needed commenting.

The others papers were of similar quality. Unrelated to our activities, Mr. Karl Auerbach, Former North American Elected Director, ICANN, for instance made the general comments on all papers that

"Too little attention to general principles to shape the discussion and too much focus on easy descriptions of technology."

"Unquestioning acceptance of the technological status quo as if it were a limitation of what could be in the future. For example, one paper blindly accepts the very unproven assertion that there may be but one DNS root as if that were fact despite years of continuous successful actual operational experience to the contrary."

More comments can be found on theWGIG website.

Together with its friends, associates and cooperation partners, FSFE continued to follow the process in the WGIG and will continue to do so in its followup, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).