Archive for the 'WSIS' Category

Page 2 of 11

Guardian article on IDNs. Wait for the complaints…

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had an article on IDNs in The Guardian: “How engineers tamed the internet’s Tower of Babel“, which was basically an attempt to explain one of the other sides of the Internationalised Domain Names by referring to Patrik Fältström’s comment at the IGF that the technical side of things had now been agreed.

The article actually started out as coverage of the domain “£.com” but rapidly led to covering the issue of symbols on the Net, hence IDNs. I might post up my original article here as I had to cut out a lot of stuff in the rewrite focussing on IDNs. I might as well get that info up. I tried to use £.com to get across to English readers the concept of approving some “symbols” and not approving others. I think I managed it but not as clearly as I had hoped.

Continue reading ‘Guardian article on IDNs. Wait for the complaints…’

How to avoid learning perhaps a little too much about Kieren’s life

I mentioned about a month ago how I was considering setting up a second blog so I could more easily separate my personal and professional life. And yesterday, twice, I was reminded that there is a bit of an unusual overlap when I spoke to two people: one, the spokesman for a company I regularly report on; and the second, the CEO of a company I also follow closely.

Both of them made mention of my paella (I note with sadness that only one was interested in the actual recipe however). Now this was a tremendous paella, there’s no doubt about that, but I suspect that there may be a few people out there that don’t want to know about my lunch and so I am going to highlight here an easy solution to the problem: separate RSS feeds.

Continue reading ‘How to avoid learning perhaps a little too much about Kieren’s life’

UN asks for Net governance forum feedback

The secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum, part of the United Nations, has updated its website to include all the session transcripts, plus Markus Kummer’s “informal summing-up” of them.

More interestingly though it has also stuck up an online form asking for feedback on the meeting, asking the broad questions: What worked well? and What worked less well? Plus asking for comments and suggestions for improvement.

And it has set up a page for the so-called “dynamic coalitions” that were formed during the meeting, which is good news as it provides a connection between the groups and the IGF – to both parties’ benefit.

I note that the webcasts are still not up though (have to be shifted into a non-Microsoft format) – and the site itself is still a mess, no more than tracts of text piled onto HTML pages. But that aside, if you went – or if you accessed the IGF online – here’s your chance to have your say. It will be interesting to see the results.

Guardian article on the IGF

I’ve a piece in The Guardian today which is a broad summary of the IGF last week. It basically says that what could have been a disaster ended up being a success and finishes with Nitin Desai’s arranged marriage analogy – which I think was brilliant.

Continue reading ‘Guardian article on the IGF’

IGF: The *real* story

You’ve seen the show, read the reviews, bought the T-shirt, but now it’s time to reveal the *real* Internet Governance Forum, the kind of IGF that only photographs with pleasingly childish captions can provide…

Continue reading ‘IGF: The *real* story’

The Internet Governance Forum in pictures

I was at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens last week taking pictures, among other things. I have finally been through all the snaps and have posted a few below amid a quick rundown of events.

IGF main room empty

The remainder can be found at my IGF photo gallery/archive at If anyone has any questions or queries, please email me at: kieren [at]

Continue reading ‘The Internet Governance Forum in pictures’

IGF: The good, the bad and the psycho cleaners

The Greeks drove me to it. Last night, under the cover of conference quietness, I sneaked into the Apollon hotel store room and stole a waiter uniform. I’m not proud of it, but I am proudly wearing it today one for simple reason – I want my own coffee and water, and I don’t want to have to wait 10 minutes for it to be served to me.

It’s amazing quite how much animosity a Greek waiter in a posh five-star hotel can portray with his eyes but I was at then end of a full blast when, already late for a workshop, I circumvented the sophisticated system of standing in a three-people-deep scrum waving empty coffee cups, by trying to reach around and fill up the cup myself. I thought that since he was pouring a water at the other end of his domain, he wouldn’t notice or care. Not to be.

Continue reading ‘IGF: The good, the bad and the psycho cleaners’

IGF: Moderation, frustration and making people uncomfortable

You reach a certain level of frustration and then, suddenly, you relax. The struggle becomes impossible and then you realise that, ultimately, it’s not that important. You’re still breathing air, you still have legs, this will come to an end.

What on earth am I talking about? The mild insanity of hosting a global, revolutionary Internet conference and then failing to allow anyone to actually access it – the Internet, that is. The wireless access, despite endless complaints yesterday, is still not working at the Internet Governance Forum. This is a mild irritation for most people, but as the mug who is supposed to be officially reporting on what is being discussed online but who is unable to be in the room and online at the same time, it is mind-meltingly annoying.

It isn’t helped by the fact that the Greek hosts have assured me – and others far more senior than me – that providing me with a wired connection is “impossible”. That is except for the enormous Ethernet junction at the back of the room, monopolised by Greek TV. If it isn’t sorted out very soon, I am going to tear out a router out from the *wired* PCs in another room in the hotel and I am installing a connection myself – and god help anyone that gets in my way.
Continue reading ‘IGF: Moderation, frustration and making people uncomfortable’

IGF – Setting the scene quick review

I don’t know how it happened but Vint Cerf’s on his feet, Paul Twomey is being pulled into the conversation and despite a panel of 16 people, all pretty much determined not talk about ICANN, we are talking about, yes, ICANN.

I’ve not been able to get a feel for how this first session of the IGF has gone as I’ve been in and out of the room trying to find a wireless connection so I can find out what the blogs are discussing. Even when in the room, I’m pre-occupied with hoping that suddenly the network will go up.

But my feeling is this: there are two many people on the stage. It is hard to harrie people if there is safety in numbers. Kenn Cukier is doing a good job in listening and expanding on questions – and also a good journalistic job is not letting platitudes get by. But even so, there are too many people.

Continue reading ‘IGF – Setting the scene quick review’

Greek blog aggregator arrested

The Internet Governance Forum will start on Monday morning but already the debate has started – and it is surrounding freedom of speech online.

There are several reports that the Greek authorities arrested a man for linking – not writing, but linking – to blog posts that had satirised a businessman (possibly a TV evangelist). The businessman complained to the police and the police picked up the adminstrator of blog aggregation site – and charged him.

Update: The man arrested was Antonis Tsipropoulos and the target of the satire was Dimosthenis Liakopoulos – a controversial Greek tele-evangelist. The satire site that mocks Mr Liakopoulos can be found at, but since it is hosted in the US, neither the Greek authorities nor even Mr Liakopoulos can get at it. Continue reading ‘Greek blog aggregator arrested’