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WPFC TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON INTERNET FREE EXPRESSION

Press freedom on the Internet is under threat and could be further weakened by proposals being considered for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December, says the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC).

"Ideas advanced by states, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organisations for consideration at the Summit [include proposals that] would restrict Internet content to 'ensure pluralism,' support 'development' and limit 'owners and exploiters? rights.' Such steps could threaten the free flow of Internet news and information," WPFC says.

In response, WPFC is organising a conference in June in New York aimed at rallying support against such proposals. WPFC is inviting journalists, media executives, lawyers, information service providers and public policy makers to the conference where a joint statement opposing any restrictions on Internet press freedom will be issued.

For more information, see
www.wpfc.org.

To register, contact the World Press Freedom Committee: Tel: +703 715-9811; E-mail:
freepress@wpfc.org


Organisers of the WSIS say the summit will bring together government leaders, business groups and civil society representatives in Geneva in December to issue a declaration and action plan aimed at sharing the benefits of information technologies worldwide.

However, several IFEX members, including the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), have raised concerns that the preparatory meetings in the lead-up to the summit have excluded civil society representatives from sessions where the declaration and action plan were being drafted. [See
"IFEX Communiqué" #12-9].

Visit these links:

- WSIS:
www.itu.int/wsis


- African Perspectives on the WSIS:
www.misa.org/wsis


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