Greetings from lovely Rio de Janeiro!
At least I assume it's lovely. No matter where you go in the world, all hotel conference facilities look alike. I could be sitting in Arlington for all I know (I realize your hearts bleed for me).
I'm down here with 463's Jim Hock and 2,000 of our closest friends for the second annual Internet Governance Forum where the issue du jour -- if the media reports are to be believed -- is "U.S. control of the Internet." Never mind that the UN bickered about this very topic for two years when they were supposed to be discussing ways to increase technology resources in developing nations (an important topic that still hasn't received enough attention) we apparently need to bicker about it some more.
Now if the IGF stays true to its original vision -- an open forum where government, industry and public interest voices from around the word can speak and be heard on issues critical to Internet development -- there's absolutely nothing wrong with these discussions (though they do get a trifle repetitive). The problem is that some governments are simply not content with the Internet Governance Forum being a "forum." They want it to be a decision-making body and are engaged in all sorts of behind the scenes shenanigans aimed at pushing the IGF in that direction.
The flashpoint is likely to be Thursday, during the "Taking Stock and Way Forward" session meant to wrap up the themes of the conference. That's where we're most likely to see advocates of greater government control push for some sort of negotiated document meant to spin some sort of "findings" or "conclusions" from this whirlpool of opinions. That would be bad news from Brazil.
More to come...