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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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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