RMS on WSIS

Thanks LPI(Linux Professional Institute)‘s Stacy, I read RMS Covers WSIS from Newsforge and translated into (traditional) Chinese. What is sad reading that Taiwan is totally excluded from the summit also, just like the human right group of China.

感謝 LPI(Linux 專業協會)Stacy,我在 Newsforge 上讀到了這篇 Richard StallmanWSIS 評論。令人難過的是,台灣在這次的高峰會中也是正式被排除的黑名單。

The World Summit on the Information Society is supposed to formulate plans to end the “digital divide" and make the internet accessible to everyone on Earth. The negotiations were completed in November, so the big official meeting in Geneva last week was more of a trade show and conference than a real summit meeting.

世界資訊高峰會應該是一場藉由凝聚共識、共同計畫來終結「數位落差」(digital divide),並且讓地球上的所有人都能夠享用網際網路的高峰會。所有的協商與談判在十一月的時候已經結束,所以上星期在日內瓦舉行、盛大的正式會議只不過是一場商展與研討會,而非真正的高峰會議。

The summit procedures were designed so that non-governmental organizations (mainly those that promote human rights and equality, and work to reduce poverty) could attend, see the discussions, and comment. However, the actual declaration paid little attention to the comments and recommendations that these organizations made. In effect, civil society was offered the chance to speak to a dead mike.

高峰會的程序設計是讓非政府組織(大部分是人權與平等團體、搶救貧窮工作的組織)能夠參與、看見討論的進行,並且能夠加以評論。然而,實際的宣言卻對這些組織所作出的評論與建議並不重視。事實上公民社會這次是握著一隻爛掉的麥克風在對大會發言。

The summit’s declaration includes little that is bold or new. When it comes to the question of what people will be free to do with the Internet, it responds to demands made by various governments to impose restrictions on citizens of cyberspace.

高峰會的宣言涵括了幾乎很少重要的意見,或是新的想法。當人們質疑社會大眾可以怎麼自由地使用網際網路時,大會的回應卻是許多政府所加諸在賽博空間(cyberspace)公民身上的諸多限制。

Part of the digital divide comes from artificial obstacles to the sharing of information. This includes the licenses of non-free software, and harmfully restrictive copyright laws. The Brazilian declaration sought measures to promote free software, but the US delegation was firmly against it (remember that the Bush campaign got money from Microsoft). The outcome was a sort of draw, with the final declaration presenting free software, open source, and proprietary software as equally legitimate. The US also insisted on praising so-called “intellectual property rights." (That biased term promotes simplistic over-generalization; for the sake of clear thinking about the issues of copyright law, and about the very different issues of patent law, that term should always be avoided.)

數位落差的一部分源頭來自對於分享資訊的人為阻礙。這包括了非自由軟體的授權條款、以及著作權法案傷害性的諸多限制。巴西政府宣言尋求著推廣自由軟體的方法,但是美國代表卻堅定地反對它(這讓我們想起布希選舉中從微軟所獲得的政治獻金)。結果是一種妥協,最後的宣言將自由軟體、開放源碼與版權私有軟體並陳都視為同樣合法的結果。美國也堅持讚美所謂的「智慧財產權」。(這個偏頗的詞彙試圖傳達對於版權法案相關議題、以及相當不同的專利法案等議題,籠統的一種化約與過分概化的觀點。這個詞彙應該被避免)

The declaration calls on governments to ensure unhindered access to the public domain, but says nothing about whether any additional works should ever enter the public domain.

宣言呼籲政府確保人們不被限制使用公共領域(public domain)。但是卻對於哪些額外的創作是否應該進入公共領域卻不置一言。

Human rights were given lip service, but the proposal for a “right to communicate" (not merely to access information) using the Internet was shot down by many of the countries. The summit has been criticized for situating its 2005 meeting in Tunisia, which is a prime example of what the information society must not do. People have been imprisoned in Tunisia for using the Internet to criticize the government.

人權被拿來嘴巴上說說,但是使用網際網路「傳播與溝通權」的提案(不僅僅是存取資訊)卻被許多國家攔下。高峰會被批判的另外一個焦點,是將 2005 年的會議設在非洲的突尼西亞(Tunisia):這個國家正是一個資訊社會的最壞典範。在網際網路上批判政府的人,目前還被關在監獄裡面。

Suppression of criticism has been evident here at the summit too. A counter-summit, actually a series of talks and discussions, was planned for last Tuesday, but it was shut down by the Geneva police, who clearly were searching for an excuse to do so. First they claimed that the landlord did not approve use of the space, but the tenant who has a long-term lease for the space then arrived and said he had authorized the event. So the police cited a fire code violation which I’m told is applicable to most buildings in Geneva — in effect, an all-purpose excuse to shut down anything. Press coverage of this maneuver eventually forced the city to allow the counter-summit to proceed on Wednesday in a different location.

在這次的高峰會中,打壓批判的聲音也有很具體的事例。一場批判高峰會的平行會議(counter-summit),實際上是一系列的演講與討論,原本預計要在上週二舉行,但是卻被日內瓦警方以各種理由強制關閉。首先警方宣稱房東並不允許該空間的使用,但是承租人已經簽了該空間的長期租賃契約,並且到場表明他允許這場活動的舉行。所以警方又舉出消防條款的不合規定事宜,其中有人告訴我日內瓦絕大多數的房屋都不符合。實際上,這是個用來打壓一切事物的絕佳藉口。媒體的報導最後強迫市政府允許這場會議在週三於另外一個地點舉行。

In a more minor act of suppression, the moderator of the official round table in which I spoke told me “your time is up" well before the three minutes each participant was supposed to have. She later did the same thing to the EPIC representative. I later learned that she works for the International Chamber of Commerce — no wonder she silenced us. And how telling that the summit would put a representative of the ICC at the throttle when we spoke.

關於壓迫的另外一個微小的例子,就是在官方圓桌會議中,主持人在每個主講者三分鐘時間限制之內就提前告訴我說:「你的時間到了」。她接下來也對 EPIC 的代表作了同樣的事情。我稍後才了解,她是在 International Chamber of Commerce 工作 —- 難怪她會想要叫我們閉嘴。這樣的高峰會如何會安排一個 ICC 的代表限制我們的發言,這也說明了一切。

Suppression was also visible in the exclusion of certain NGOs from the summit because their focus on human rights might embarrass the governments that trample them. For instance, the summit refused to accredit Human Rights In China, a group that criticizes the Chinese government for (among other things) censorship of the internet.

壓迫同時還在排除特定非政府組織參加高峰會,因為他們所關注的人權問題會讓大步踐踏這些團體的某些政府感到難堪。舉例來說,高峰會拒絕給予中國的人權組織參與的資格,這個組織批判中國政府對於網際網路的言論監控與管制(還有其他的議題)。

Reporters Without Borders was also excluded from the summit. To raise awareness of their exclusion, and of the censorship of the Internet in various countries, they set up an unauthorized radio station in nearby France and handed out mini-radios so that summit attendees could hear what the organization had been blocked from saying at the summit itself.

無國界記者組織也被高峰會排除在外。為了將他們被排除在外的議題引起更多的重視,以及許多國家中的網際網路言論自由監控管制,他們在法國瑞士邊界設立了未經授權的廣播電台播放節目,讓高峰會與會者能夠收聽到被禁止的他們想要對高峰會說些什麼。

The summit may have a few useful side effects. For instance, several people came together to plan an organization to help organizations in Africa switch to GNU/Linux. But the summit did nothing to support this activity beyond providing an occasion for us to meet. Nor, I believe, was it intended to support any such thing. The overall attitude of the summit can be seen in its having invited Microsoft to speak alongside, and before, most of the various participating governments — as if to accord that criminal corporation the standing of a state.

高峰會也許有一些有用的邊際效益。舉例來說,許多人們聚集在一起規劃成立組織來協助非洲的國家轉換使用 GNU/Linux。但是高峰會對於這些主動的活動,除了提供一個機會讓我們碰面之外,完全沒有作出任何協助。我相信,高峰會也並不想要支持任何這樣的活動。高峰會的整體態度,可以從它邀請微軟跨足許多國家之列一同演講當中可見一班:宛如認同這樣一個犯罪的公司以國家的方式成為世界的一員。

Copyright 2003 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.

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2 thoughts on “RMS on WSIS

  1. hi Van, the action plan is here:
    http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/md/03/wsis/doc/S03-WSIS-DOC-0005!!PDF-E.pdf
    and also the declaration principles:
    http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/md/03/wsis/doc/S03-WSIS-DOC-0004!!PDF-E.pdf

    and forget to mentioned there’d been 62 replies following up RMS’ article. Nice read, at least for me I don’t want to miss anyone with his idea discussing about WSIS. (e.g. http://wsis.ecommons.ca/node/view/156)

    best, ilya

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