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This has been a very busy week for public policy groups in Honolulu. The Global Internet Project Spam Workshop was a follow on to the June 18 meeting on the same subject. The GIP is an international group of senior executives committed to fostering continued growth of the Internet. It dates back to 1995 when Jim Clark of Netscape, John Gerdelman of MCI, Michio Naruto of Fujitsu, Paul Gudonis of Genuity, myself, and several others began a focus on critical issues affecting the future of the Internet. In those early days the major concern was government regulation of encryption. Today the major focus is spam. GIP board members participating on the roundtable included Vinton Cerf, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Technology at WorldCom, Inc., Raimund Trierscheid – Executive Director, Technology Strategy of T-Mobil Deutsche Telekom AG, Dr. Murano of Fujitsu, and myself. Invited guest participants included Karl Jacob, CEO of Cloudmark, Orson Swindle, Commissioner at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and David Lassner, CIO of the University of Hawaii. I was the moderator for the panel. After four enlightening speeches byVint Cerf and the three guests, there was a lively discussion on the key issues. The consensus of the panel was that, while there is no single solution to overcoming spam, there are reasons to be optimistic about progress because of increased focus by Internet service providers, technology start-ups, employers and government. There was also a strong consensus that additional regulation or legislation is not needed. All three Hawaiian TV stations were there along with other reporters. The press release summarizes the key points of view.

There were a number of other meetings that took place this week in Honolulu. The first day began with a visit across town to the JAIMS facility. JAIMS was established to contribute to the human and economic development of the Asia-Pacific region by educating and training managers to be effective leaders. They do an excellent job of facilitating collaboration between companies and non-profits in Asia and the United States. Dr. Glenn Miyataki, President of JAIMS and his staff were very kind to offer lunch and meeting facilities for the afternoon meeting of the GIP. After a tour of the facility the GIP held its board meeting. Lee Rainie director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a research center that examines the social impact of the Internet — or how people’s Internet use is affecting familities, communities, health care, education, civic/political life, and work places, gave a presentation showing many surprising statistics about how people use the Internet. More details here. Dimitri Ypsilanti, of the OECD, gave a presentation (“Measuring the Information Economy”) on how the economies of the world are benefiting from Information Technology.

A decision was made to merge the GIP into the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), a consortium of 49 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. WITSA members represent over 90 percent of the world IT market. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry’s growth and development, and since the GIP believes that the Internet is a key element of that growth, it is very logical for the GIP to leverage its abilities by becoming part of WITSA. I am looking forward to the continued active participation of the GIP members in this new relationship.

On the second morning a joint breakfast was held between BIAC, GIP, and OECD. Since all three organizations were having meetings this week, it made sense to get the key people from each together to discuss common interests. The breakfast discussion was far reaching and benefited each organization’s members with new insights. The BIAC was conducting their "Business Forum on ICTs: Untapped Resources and Opportunities for Continued Growth" and the OECD held the OECD-APEC Global Forum: Policy Frameworks for the Digital Economy.