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The Man Who Will Save the Internet

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From the register comes the story of the Pakistani who will save the internet and the politics behind it. For those living under a rock, it’s related to the World Summit on the Information Society being held in Tunisia and primarily the controversies behind Internet Governance.

It’s been four years since the issue of how the internet should be run, and by whom, became an official United Nations topic.

And yet despite hundreds of hours of talks, three preparatory meetings and a world summit, there is only one thing that the world’s governments can agree on: Masood Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador.

If a certain US senator and a certain EU commissioner are to be believed, the internet is five days away from total collapse as governments are finally forced into a corner and told to agree on a framework for future Internet governance.

Both are wrong, but there is a very real risk that an enormous political argument resulting in lifelong ill-will centred around the internet could developed unchecked at the WSIS Summit.

The fact that it hasn’t already is effectively down to one man: Mr Khan. He was chosen as chair of Sub-Committee A during the WSIS process, and his remit includes all the most difficult and contentious elements – not just internet governance but also how the world will deal with issues such as spam and cybercrime.

Even though press attention has focussed on the undecided question of control of the internet, at the start of the process there were widely varying views on just about every aspect of the internet.

And yet through a mixture of careful, respectful and open dialogue, occasional prodding and a dry sense of humour, Masood Khan has turned what could easily have become a bar-room brawl into a gradual formation of agreement.

Read the rest of the article here.

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