Two Takes on Tunis

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Last Friday, reports began to appear on the ending of the WSIS conference in Tunisia. Here's the lede from the Associated Press story...

A crucial summit on expanding Internet access around the world ended Friday with a firm promise to narrow the digital divide — but little in government funding to make it happen.

The World Summit on the Information Society originally was conceived to raise consciousness about the divide between the haves and have-nots, and to raise money for projects to link up the global village, particularly Africa and Asia and South America.

But instead, it was overshadowed by a lingering resentment about who should oversee the domain names and technical issues that allow people from Pakistan to Peru surf Web sites for information, news and consumer goods.

And from another report from the BBC

Amidst exceedingly tight security, world leaders, civic groups, non-governmental groups, representatives from leading global technology companies, journalists and bloggers converged in what was the biggest global event to come to Tunis.

But the summit was most notable for palpable tension during the events organised by civil society groups who called for action to balance the rights of all digital citizens in a global information society to freedom of expression.

In a statement, the US delegation expressed disappointment that the Tunisian government "did not take advantage of this important opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to freedom of expression and assembly in Tunisia".