31 October: Covering the Openness @ IGF

A long table with panelists, a long but very good session, taste of diversity of opinions and standpoints, that is the very shortest i can say about Openness session which took place in main hall Aristotelis Divanis from 10 util 13, on Tuesday, 31st of October.

And while presenting themselves (list of panelists and session info), the feeling of unease could be felt on Fred Tipson, Director for International Development Policy of Microsft. He was rather quiet and unsecure while unswering first question that excellent moderator, Nick Gowing (BBC) aksed him.  And then something interesting happend: Joichi Ito of Creative Commons came into his rescue saying that there is no need to 'attack' Microsoft because inside big coorporations there are people with different opinions, and with strategical aproach good allies inside those 'negative' companies could be found and very good cooperation can be established. Then he stressed out how Microsoft made a plug in for CC, and made steps towards open access waters.

That move from Ito was even more felt at the end of the session when he gave his opinion that good blogging and good internet news and initiatives/voices can be louder than negative ones. He got applause for that. (only 2,5 happened in 3 hour session).

Ito's optimism was a bit problem for Hanne Sophie Greve (former judge at the European Court of Human Rights) and Senator Paschal Mooney, Government spokesman on Forreign Affairs of Ireland. Greve stressed thate hate speech is not permitted, and Mooney that threats couldn't be so easily forgotten by naive thinking that they will be outloued. And that there are laws, and Internet is not above the law. That's where the half of applause happened.

I find this very interesting and indicative as a difference between Internet generation and a bit older/mature generation. It didn't crossed my mind that Ito meant it that way at all. As I understood, he just stressed out that focusing on positive is better and faster way for development (and definitly more creative one) than focusing and talking about the negative and thinking that the world without hate speech is possible and 'must be'. There will always be good ones and bad ones. But with black chronicles and sensationalistic news and media the world looks pretty (ugly) black. And the truth is: Your World is as you make it around yourself (And Your World is THE World). So why not make 'unofficial' network of experts (bloggers) who will share news and opinions and why hesitate to call it 'proper news'?  And isn't that the way women do it? And isn't Feminist Talk blog an example of that? And isn't the essence of the internet to make possible for the likeminded people to find each other and together make a difference?

Focusing that things get better in your surrounding, and then comunicating with peer partnes, and sharing your visions and thus motivating people, will surely get to dialogue and some kind of collaboration.

Internet is huge. But it's all about small communities on it that are changing things bottom up.

There is no need to be afraid of the lies and hate speach on internet. That's like not crossing the road because car might hit you.

Few more thing were interesting:

- Google guy. A true knight.
- French former minister of culture. Catherine Trautmann, Member of the European Parliament. (She got first applause)
- French people in general (they held the mike quite often)
- French person acusing Cisco (and their panelist representative) of selling their equipment to chinese police.
- The Chinese person standing out and claiming there is no censorship in China :) (Reuters on 'china bashing session')

Will update article when transcripts of the session emerge on the official igf site.

ps. Truth is linked much more than lies on the Net.

Gabrijela Ivanov, ZaMirNET, Croatia

Responses to this post

thank you :)<br />Gabrijela
Posted on 11/06/2006 - 14:53 | Reply
that was my impression. visual impression and the sense of the way he was communicating. honorable, noble if you like, with a sense of order and right. it might be fake and wrong, of course, but i didn't get that vibe.
Posted on 11/06/2006 - 14:52 | Reply
out of curiosity, how was the google guy a true knight?
Posted on 11/06/2006 - 05:29 | Reply
What a great blog entry - thank you for this. It really made the session come alive and the issues far more real than if it had been explaining concepts. I am now feeling more positive about the future of the internet - if one looks at it as forming our own communities and making small changes and creating our own realities while still challenging any hate speech. I suppose internet governance will always be a challenge - or until the rich countries (and companies) learn to stop controlling and taking away. But it is a strategic battle and while we fight the domination, we create our own spaces (as much as we can) and link to truth. Thanks again.<br />Jenny
Posted on 11/02/2006 - 09:30 | Reply

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