hacking? the united nations.
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(((no network)))

i have a major problem.

i was inside the plenary session of the UN ICT Task Force meeting, where plenty of illuminated people where debating about ways to govern the Internet and the ICTs in general.

and then, i suddenly decided to make a simple check about how many laptops we had on the huge 60-people table where the official delegations and task force members and advisors were sitting.

and yes, there were some. oh well, some is not the right word: there was one (1) person using a laptop to assist her in the meeting.

i then looked at the back rows, where most of civil society and other sparse participants were sitting. there were a few more there, but i know they wouldnŽt have lasted long - because we had plenty of luxury wood and magnificent lighting, but not a single power outlet available for participants.

needless to say, there was also no network. on the outside, we have ten internet-enabled PCs (that means web and ftp - the ssh port is apparently blocked), with a permanent line of people waiting in front of them.

i do not want to overstate the problem - i am sure that almost all these people ordinarily use laptops, e-mail and other ICT tools in their offices - but i think that, before discussing how to bridge the real digital divide, we might have to discuss how to bridge the digital divide that still separates the united nations and the international diplomatic world - the one that wants to govern the ICTs - with the environment they want to govern.

iŽd say that this will be one of the primary tasks for us, as civil society members of the WGIG.

in the meantime, i promise iŽll do my best to find occasions to blog - the meeting until now has just been an endless series of presentations, mostly read from paper, which iŽve found interesting but not particularly unmissable. i must admit that i still miss the focus and purpose of these broad official panels, if not for letting distinguished people (not joking, most of these people have accomplished things in life i can only dream of) address the audience with figures and projects that could easily be communicated through reports and websites.