The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is the latest in a long series of world summits organized by the United Nations that deal with central questions of humanity like the environment, women‚s rights, development, climate change, etc. At the WSIS, information and communication are on the agenda for the first time. The world summit is supposed to develop a common understanding of the information society. In Germany, a WSIS working group initiated by the Network New Media has been meeting continuously since summer 2002. The group has debated the themes of the WSIS, developed civil society positions and planned own interventions. Since January 2003, three open meetings of this working group with members of other non-governmental organizations, alternative media and scientific institutions have been held in Berlin. The working group was expanded and officially established as the "German Civil Society Coordinating Group for WSIS". Delegates of the group have attended important European and world-wide preparatory conferences. They monitor the developments and try to influence the agenda in favor of civil society demands. Single members of the working group are engaged in the sub-committees and caucuses of the international Civil Society Plenary Coordination Group. For the worldwide preparatory meeting in Paris in July, the group sent Georg Greve, President of the Free Software Foundation, Europe, as a civil society delegate into the German governmental delegation. Other members of the group are involved in the counter and alternative summit activities that are currently being planned by media and computer activists, such as the Polymedia lab or the World Forum on Communication Rights. In this panel at the ccc-camp we want to talk about and discuss the topics of the WSIS. What is going on globally and which positions do the different Players like governments, civil society and business have? What are the positions, campains and activities of the global civil society? What is happening especially in Germany? How can civil society use the attention while the WSIS is going on to transport alternative topics like freedoms of information, free software and human rights in the information society?
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