The first meeting of the World Summit of the Information (WSIS
) was held in 2003 in order to mobilize the world against the digital divide – the fact that the Internet at that time only reached 20% of the worlds people. Over the last 10 years, the reach of the Internet has grown to reach approximately 40% of the world’s people. This is definitely progress, although there is still a long way to go.
Currently there is an effort underway to review the process of WSIS in a WSIS+10 event. Part of that review process includes reviewing goals. The original outcome documents of the WSIS, in this case the Geneva Plan of Action,
included 11 Action Lines, i.e. list of tasks meant to improve the digital environment. Action Line 10 Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society
includes the following:
All actors in the Information society should promote the common good, protect privacy and personal data and take appropriate actions and preventative measure, as determined by law, against abusive uses of ICTs such as illegal and other acts motivate by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, hared, violence, and all forms of child abuse, including paedophillia and child pornography, and trafficking in and exploitation of, human beings.
Unexpectedly, due to a proposal by UN Women
on Women in ICT, it became apparent that it might be possible to add language to the action lines. Unfortunately a first attempt to insert language that would also prohibit acts motivated by homophobia and transphobia did not succeed during the February meeting. Fortunately there will be another chance in April to try and add this language. In this age of increasing violence against the gay community, this becomes more important all the time.
dotgay LLC has made it clear that is is committed to supporting work to see this language amended if at all possible, before the documents go for approval by the world’s leaders.