Sunday, November 11, 2007

Latin American issues on IGF

I am in the Imperial Room where the Latin American and Caribbean Meeting for the IGF is taking place. I just finished my presentation dealing with the issue of openness in Internet. The presentation, in Spanish, dealt briefly with the taxonomy of openness and the difficulty of translating the concept properly into Latin languages. It was my argument that openness refers to technological openness, regulatory openness and decision-making process openness. There, the what, why and how of each of the topics was briefly explained making emphasis on the need of having complete openness in the decision-making process, since it is that process the one that can, through regulation or lack of, impose the aforementioned openness. There are several examples that show how openness does exist and creates unique opportunities and competitive advantages: Linux exemplifies the use of openness in the code of software, resulting in more stable and problem-free environment; the Macintosh-PC saga shows how a better technology can loose in the competition for market-share due to the lack of openness; a closed IP system shows daily the perils of closeness and the impact is still to be properly assessed; last week Google's announcement about OpenSocial also shows how openness could be the answer to a new competitive challenge; and finally, just within this limited set of an almost infinite list of examples, we can see that ICANN and this IGF prove that openness in decision-making process is not only possible, but also efficient and desirable.
For Latin America, it seems obvious that openness in all those issues, technology, regulation and decision-making process, can lead to a better Internet governance and a proper use of ICT for development...

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