Who gets the credit, and who controls?

Goa, India

Here's an articulate post by a journalist colleague from India -- one of the few that makes sense of the issues at Tunis. It was written by Anand Parthasarathy of The Hindu, a prominent Indian newspaper, and reproduced via the One World South Asia network. BytesForAll mailing list, an APC member, reproduced it... and it raised a (brief but interesting) discussion.

Here's an articulate post by a journalist colleague from India -- one of the few that makes sense of the issues at Tunis. It was written by Anand Parthasarathy of The Hindu, a prominent Indian newspaper, and reproduced via the One World South Asia network. BytesForAll mailing list, an APC member, reproduced it... and it raised a (brief but interesting) discussion.

Basically, the article looks at the early history of the Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internet

, US involved with it, DARPANet, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), ICANN, India's (peripheral, one might add... as with most of the countries) involvement with the Net, what countries from the global South can learn and gain, and the like.

It ends with an interesting para, saying: "Meanwhile they will continue to ask, 'who owns (the) internet' and recall that old school rhyme, "Finders keepers, losers weepers" -- except that in the case of the World Wide Web, it's the founders rather than finders, who are hanging on to control of the modern day wonder they call the internet."

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Vickram Crishna, a Mumbai (Bombay)-based techie and journalist has contested the view that the US alone set up the Net.

He says: "Sometimes history could do with a bit of editing. In this case, correcting as well. While DARPANet was an early user of the first Internet protocols, to implement them, they drew on help from Britain. Even today, the Net would be quite useless as a common person's resource if it wasn't for the Web, whose development was unmistakably European. I don't have time to give you all the references right now, but they are worth googling for. I don't think anyone wants to see the Net degenerate into a set of disconnected networks, but on the one hand let us remember there are already quite a few global networks out there that aren't part of the Net, and on the other remember that sharing control with persons from around the world need not necessarily mean degeneration."

Of course, Source: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society">internet governance

-- and who controls -- is a huge issue. But could we be distracting ourselves from more important, and pressing, concerns while turning the bulk of our attention there?

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