這次會議的主題講者之一的維基基金會創辦人 Jimmy Wales，算是互聯網協會的好朋友，他的演說也一向生動有趣， 2006年香港主辦中文維基年會時筆者已經有幸與他認識；這次他發言的題目是估計互聯網的未來，他只總結了兩點，第一點是海量連繫（ Mass Connectivity），其實絕不會令任何人意外，但第二點預測就有趣多了。
Wales說：「荷里活死咗都冇人知。（ No one will notice when Hollywood dies）」當然， Wales把維基的經驗，套於電影、電視、音樂等傳統內容行業上，估計大型的協作式群體，將在數年內出現於電影製作和「講故事」的創作活動上，令荷里活終於明白，他們的敵人和問題原來真的不是盜版者，是他們自己的墨守成規，一成不變，終於自取滅亡，死也無人覺得可惜。
Wales的預言大概有點「煽情」，不過相信這是有意的，就像他自己說，其實他對電影、音樂行業面對的困難非常同情，所以才「講得咁白」。大家今天也許仍然認為，電影產業與被 Wales打敗了的大英百科全書並不一樣， Wales的預言屬嘩眾取寵，就讓未來歷史作見證吧。
的確，在互聯網進入四十不惑之年，有什麼不可能發生，我們對版權的概念，最好把眼光放遠一些。世界知識產權組織總監 Francis Gurry在演講中指出，版權行業首要把內容更易在網上向用戶傳送，更應學習如何以民主程序處理知識產權和互聯網之間的拉力。注意是民主程序，香港政府最近處理版權條例修訂的手法，就不民主更不尊重程序（例如竟然敢建議先立法、後諮詢），是自招麻煩。
Jimmy Wales keynote: http://livestre.am/1FB0Y
Francis Curry keynote: http://livestre.am/1IaD2
政府及本地專業機構已積極推動香港的互聯網邁進新時代，為促進IPv6於香港各階層的全面普及，香港互聯網協會於2011年10月 ，在政府資訊科技總監辦公室的贊助，及多個合作伙伴機構和支持機構的支持下，正式推出「啟動IPv6 計畫」，並於2012年3月15日正式啟用主題網站www.ipv6now.hk。這計劃旨在協助公眾及中小企更加了解IPv4地址耗盡的情況，並提升他們對IPv6之認識。各方全面配合，勢將香港帶到全新的互聯網時代。
刊於 Capital Weekly 四月號
Game-changers and the Internet of 2032
If we look 20 years forward, what do we
see? What are the game-changers?
These are the questions posed for this
panel. They are not easy to answer, but
they are easy in the sense that you wouldn't know it if I were totally wrong,
because it will take 20 years to prove that I am wrong and by then I hope you
will not remember what I have said.
But really, when I look at these questions,
the first thing I ask myself was, is the development of the Internet so
predictable? I tend to think not. But maybe the game-changers or the key trends
are easier to spot, although sometimes we may not know in advance where they
may lead us.
To begin, I see conflicts. Conflicts between the governments and those
in society with power, from political powers to economical or social or
cultural power, with those common, average people who uses the Internet and
especially the younger generation who are not only growing up with the Internet
but literally born with the Internet.
The struggle for control of the Internet between them – as a set of
technological tools, as an environment, as a lifestyle -- will intensify
It is obvious that governments around the
world, and increasingly we are not only talking about the authoritative
totalitarian regimes in the world, but more and more western democracies,
trying to legalize the control they want to impose for the Internet, starting
with surveillance in the greatest measures.
Privacy and security is one of the key
battlegrounds, but copyright is another.
As we speak now here in Geneva, back home in Hong Kong where I came
from, netizens especially youngsters and artists are organizing themselves in
unprecedented ways to oppose government legislative attempt to strengthen
copyright enforcement in the digital world, all dressed in the goodness of
'protecting the creative environment' but without providing exemption for
re-creation or parody or satirical treatment on copyrighted works. Such opposition was unexpected in scale and
scope by our government, to say the least.
And I'll use Hong Kong as an example for
this coming conflict between the wish for more control by the authorities and
powerful businesses on the one hand, and the urge for more freedom by Internet
users all over the world on the other. Hong Kong is in a particularly unique
crossroad situation because even as a part of the People's Republic of China,
we have an advanced, affordable, almost ubiquitous environment for the Internet
and telecommunications usage, where our access to content is as free as
anywhere else on earth, without any filtering.
Yet right across our border the situation would be totally different,
with the most widespread, technologically and operationally advanced and
functional Great Firewall in the world for content filtering. Other governments do have so much to learn
from China, and many have openly said so.
So for us in Hong Kong, not one moment
passed that we don't look over our shoulders to watch what may be coming, when
and where the next clampdown may arrive.
We know the free flow of information is our biggest current asset, and
now almost suddenly our young Internet users have learned to use the net as a
tool to defend their rights, much in the same ways as the young people have been
doing in Egypt and other places.
But if we look once again at the situation
across the border from Hong Kong into the Mainland China, here's where the real
contradiction lies. You may think that
is a land still isolated with this powerful, efficient and effective Great
Firewall. Yes and no. The reality is that people there – the
biggest population of Internet users in the world in any country – have more
freedom and access to more information than they ever had before. Most do not get arrested for speaking out
their minds, and I am not saying that of course to defend the rulers. If anything, the Chinese Internet users still
have a choice to circumvent the firewall if they want to, and they are making
changes to their society using the Internet in ways unseen before.
Just as people are more alike one another than
they're not all across the world, governments are alike too when it comes to
the will to control, especially on things that they worry to be out of their
So, in Hong Kong and in the Mainland China,
I think we are having a front row seat to witness these game-changers in the
next twenty years – the greatest technologies to control the Internet and the
people on it, and the greatest will from the people to stop these interference,
using yet many of the same technologies to circumvent and counter.
These will be where the greatest innovation
may take place, and I am not talking just about security software or
circumvention tools. They can also be
the next generation of social media platforms that will allow people to share
and get organized more easily or on a different level.
So with these game-changers, where will we
be in 2032? My greatest hope will be
that the Internet of tomorrow will withstand governmental interference and
continue to be governed, as well as function and operate relatively free from
governmental and inter- and intra-governmental control, and that the Internet
users – those who are very young today who will be the leaders in twenty years'
time – will develop into truly responsible next-generation leaders of the
Internet. But that’s only my hope, and I
am not sure if I can call that a prediction yet, because I still harbor an
opposite worry, that the governments of the world may become more successful in
exerting their influence.
And I will close with one example. While we all marvel at the convenience and
benefits of Twitter as a micro-blogging, the Twitter copycats in China, called
Weibo, have "innovated" way beyond Twitter has in terms of functionalities,
user-friendliness and integration with mobile, cameras and other
equipment. Yes, the government has also
established a very closely monitored control mechanism on its user-generated
content. Yet, users and dissidents share
information relatively freely – I guess using that same 11 minute rule that our
copyright friends talk about the time it takes for a TV program to be pirated
onto the net, for that same 11 or so minutes before the content will be removed
by the censors – to create social changes.
If that is possible behind the Great
Firewall, I think we have reasons to be more optimistic about 2032 than we have
to be pessimistic.
at Closing Roundtable of Global INET 2012: “Game-changers: Where will they take
us by 2032?”
修訂版權法例本為理順版權在數碼世界新環境的處理，追上世界版權法律演進，包括為互聯網供應商提供安全港，本早該推行，但港府始終不肯為二次創作包括政治諷 刺等提供法定豁免，如明確列作公平處理的豁免範圍；雖然這在歐美很多國家都很普遍，港府仍然「企硬」，只招人懷疑其意圖，是否如網民所慮，讓政府可跳過版 權人主動檢控二次創作人甚至網上分享者。
One person, one e-vote
On March 23 and 24, over 220,000 Hong Kong citizens shone a ray of hope on the darkness of an ugly Chief Executive election—a “small-circle election” mired in mud-slinging locally, and accusations of interference from Beijing.
The unofficial poll was made possible by a scheme called the “3.23 Civil Referendum,” organized by the Public Opinion Program (POP) of the University of Hong Kong and open to all adult Hong Kong permanent residents. The implementation was imperfect—Internet problems and long lines at polling stations extended polling until the 24th. But many persistedand cast their “ballot” on the Chief Executive candidates.
(now TV News picture)
The unexpectedly high turnout, and a result of 54.6% of those polled casting a blank ballot (one woman on Hong Kong’s English-language television news said she did so as she felt Hong Kong people had no say in the choice of candidates) sent a clear message. The people of Hong Kong want a one-person, one-vote direct election for the HKSAR’s Chief Executive, and they are unsatisfied with the present “small-circle election.”
The 2012 Chief Executive election season also saw advancement in e-voting experimentation by our civil society, with the Pan-Democrats’ CE Election Primary on January 8, then the 3.23 Civil Referendum. Conducting actual e-voting helped us accumulate valuable experience in terms of technology, operations and emergency response.
The most important aspect in any voting exercise is the is- sue of ensuring a voter’s unique identity and preventing anyone from voting more than once. In the Pan-Democrats’ primary, a voter needed to physically visit a street polling booth and show his or her permanent resident Hong Kong ID card for registration. Identities were kept in a database to check against any duplicate entries. E-voting in this case allowed the organizers to eliminate paper ballots, reducing the time for vote-counting to literally zero.
Robert Chung, director of POP, wanted to take it one step farther—participants could physically visit a polling station but could also vote online or via smartphone apps (both iOS and Android). Each participant’s identity was verified by requiring him or her to send an SMS message from a unique phone number, a factor designed to dissuade duplicate voters.
When I visited Chung several months ago and shared the technical and operational experience we gained from the Pan-Democrats’ primary, we both acknowledged that this method of identification and authentication was imperfect. But no one could have predicted the strong turnout from the community—85,154 voted on the Web site, 71,183 via the smartphone apps and 66,005 at the polling stations. With such a large turnout, any at- tempt to manipulate the result would have been greatly reduced.
Glitches in the process
Unfortunately, technical problems made the Web site unusable in the early morning of the voting period, turning away many online and smartphone voters. Two factors combined on the technical problems. First, as more and more people voted, the system had to check against a growing database of ID card/ phone numbers, slowing down the database servers. System loading overwhelmed the available resources. Secondly, as reported in Apple Daily, Chung’s system was target of organized attacks.
I got in contact with Chung and his office on the morning of March 23, when the hacking attempts were reported in the media, and went to his office to volunteer technical assistance with experts from our IT Voice team. Five of us stayed in their office until past midnight on the 23rd. Our main tasks: tuning the database and Web servers, re-adjusting the key parameters of the firewall, checking the system log since the e-voting started, searching for and preserving evidence of attacks.
After Chung reported the attacks to the police on the 24th, two local youngsters were swiftly arrested, but we hope that the police’s investigations will continue, as there might be others who initiated more serious attacks from outside of Hong Kong.
The efforts of Chung and his team to create this innovative platform should be commended for their contribution to e-voting technology development, political expression and civil participation. Most of all, the referendum allowed the people to voice their opinions where our constitutional system now fails to do so. We look forward to working with Chung’s team and other local developers to take it one step further.
候任特首梁振英將會重置資訊科技局和新設文化局，未來三司十四局的人選成為城中熱話，雖然梁「當選」只有不足兩周時間，離開 7月 1日上任還有差不多三個月，不過媒體行家似已經等得有點不耐煩。