Report of WSIS prepcom 3

By EDRi · October 22, 2003

From 15 to 26 September 2003 governments and civil society assembled in
Geneva for the third preparatory conference for the World Summit on the
Information Society. The two weeks ended with many key issues still
unresolved, and with a last-minute proposal to reconvene for an extra
session from 10 to 14 November.

EDRI members IRIS (FR) and Digital Rights (DK) participated as
co-ordinators of the Human Rights caucus, currently made up of 32
organisations. EDRI-member EFFI also participated, as part of the Finish
delegation. The HR caucus presented oral statements to the plenary
government meetings, to the EU-group, and to the two governmental working
groups on communication rights and privacy/security, respectively.
Furthermore, drafting proposals were made both for the Declaration of
Principles and Plan of Action.

Some of the key messages of the HR Caucus were:

The WSIS documents need to build on the human rights framework and
standards and general HR principles on equal rights and non-discrimination
must be ensured on all levels of IT policy and action plans. Secondly, the
right to privacy should be acknowledged in a new Article 34a and thirdly,
the concept of “information security” should not be used, as it may be
used to legitimise censorship. Instead the term ‘network security’ is

The HR caucus also issued a petition against the nomination of General
Habib Ammar as President of the preparatory committee of the second phase
of the Summit to be held in Tunisia in 2005. Furthermore, the HR Caucus
wrote a protest letter on the exclusion of Reporters sans Frontiers and
Human Rights China from the WSIS process (see EDRI-gram 18).

Statements, input and Tunisia petition HR caucus

(Contribution by Rikke Frank Joergensen, Digital Rights)