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DiploNews – Issue 61 – 3 June 2004

DiploNews – Issue 61 – June 3, 2004

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Call for Papers – International Conference on Multistakeholder Diplomacy

Modern international relations has shown that traditional diplomatic processes are not sufficient for addressing complex new issues such as health, environmental protection and trade. Increasingly, other actors are becoming involved, beyond the traditional national states and international organisations. One of the most complex issues on the international agenda today is ICT and the Information Society, as demonstrated by the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and related events. This issue is both multi-disciplinary (encompassing various fields including technology, economy, impact on society, regulatory and legal issues and governance) and multistakeholder (involving various actors including states, international organisations, civil society and the private sector). This conference will examine the multistakeholder approach to diplomacy in general, with particular focus on the role and impact of various stakeholders in the WSIS process.

We invite the submission of proposals for paper on topics within the conference themes. Prospective authors should submit a short abstract (400 words) and a biography (150 words) by July 31, 2004. Proposals can be submitted via the conference website, or by e-mail to conference@diplomacy.edu.

Please see the conference website for further details.


CircleID is an online resource offering a variety of views in the field of Internet governance, of value to researchers and practitioners. CircleID describes itself as “a Collaborative Intelligence Hub for the Internet's Core Infrastructure and Policies.”

From About CircleID: CircleID is a connected intellectual medium for the awareness and improvement of policies, regulations, and technological developments that concern the Domain Name System, Internet Protocol Addresses, Domain Names and all other Internet naming and addressing issues essential to the fundamental functionality of the Internet. The net result achieved through the collective participation of CircleID community is an up-to-date resource, rich with insights, comments, articles, and interviews that have an immediate and direct benefit for all participants as well as the overall progress of the Internet. It is this collective participation that gives the Internet its magnificent power; this phenomenon must be understood and respected in order to truly benefit from the full potential of the Internet.

E-mail Control in Zimbabwe?

A recent proposal by the government of Zimbabwe would require Internet Service Providers (ISP) to divulge details of e-mails considered dangerous or offensive by the government, raising questions about the role of the ISP in monitoring Internet traffic.

A May 31 BBC online article brings up some of the concerns voiced by Zimbabwe’s ISPs: primarily that they provide a service, and are not responsible for “policing” or monitoring the use of that service. The ISPs are also concerned about the vagueness of the proposal: ISPs would be required, during an investigation, to provide “details relating to material featuring anything from obscenity to ‘anti-national activities’.” Providing this information would also be difficult in terms of practice as ISPs would need huge storage capacity to keep records of all e-mail.

At this time, the Internet is one of the few media in Zimbabwe where opposition groups can spread their message: television, radio and newspapers are subject to government control. According to the BBC, Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s most Internet-friendly countries, with 100 000 registered users in 2002. However, President Mugabe has suggested that the Internet is a colonialist tool, used by “a few countries… in quest of global dominance and hegemony.”

Read this article on BBC News.

Thank you to Diplo postgraduate diploma student Exavier Daudi for bringing this article to our attention.

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