August 29, 2014
To my ISOC Colleagues,
I am writing as I fly to Istanbul with much anticipation for a week of important work. I understand that more than 3000 people have registered for the IGF. This past year, as a diverse Internet community, we have given much thought and energy on how to best “govern” ourselves. In Istanbul, we will have an opportunity, with our colleagues from around the world, to, once again, demonstrate the power of collective collaboration and action. As we know, collaboration is essential to ensure the future of the Internet. If decisions related to the Internet and its future are not in the hands of the many, they will only be in the hands of the few. I will post some further thoughts this weekend on IGF before the panels, workshops, lunches and dinners begin.
I wanted, however, to take a few moments before we land to report back on my observations of the WEF event yesterday.
I applaud the leadership of the World Economic Forum for highlighting and recognizing the enormity of the effect of the Internet on the global economy and the benefits and challenges inherent in its adoption in much of the world. It is, of course, entirely legitimate that it seeks to understand and participate in the debate on internet governance. When given the opportunity to comment during the morning session, I urged that its thinking about governance include as its central tenet the continuing investment, innovation and access to the Internet to and for everyone, particularly for those who do not yet have access and for the “unborn innovator”.
Many of us in and around the Internet Society–on Staff, on the Board, in our organizational members and Chapters, in the IETF and the IAB have been deeply committed and involved in working with our extended communities to address the threats to the Internet as well as to develop, manage and deploy the ever-evolving technology of the Internet throughout the world. We revel in inventing the future. Together, we have adopted a bottom up culture and method of decision making around numerous, local and global, technical, social and legal issues that arise in the decentralized, distributed ecosystem which is the Internet.
We were delighted with the cooperative spirit in Brazil at Net Mundial as well as our collective ability to reach rough consensus on the principles that should govern our governing. Olaf Kolkman, ISOC’s new CITO, enthusiastically said, lets tack these principles on the door and, for all who are ready to embrace them, come on in.
Many of us are busy implementing features of the NetMundial roadmap. ISOC has developed toolkits for spam and IXPs; our regional offices hold INETs throughout the world to demonstrate and teach technical skills; our Leadership program creates and administers online courses and sponsors leadership seminars, ambassadorships and internships; we take active leadership in policy development for governance issues; and our staff has worked tirelessly to introduce best practices workshops to the IGF, while our Chapters have actively supported Regional and National IGFs around the Globe. The Internet Society is a party to the NTIA Transition Coordinating Committee. Our representatives and Chapters are intimately involved in the ICANN accountability dialogue. We believe that we are well along the Internet Governance journey.
We welcome any and all people and groups of good will to work with us and the broader Internet Community in a multi-stakeholder effort to deepen and broaden this effort. We certainly invite WEF to get acquainted with our collective work that is serious and ongoing. I heard some intention to do that.
I was disturbed, however, as others have expressed, with the opaque way the meeting came about; about what seemed to be established agendas; talk of some new single entity and top down models that purport to represent organic community processes that could be hobbled by definitions and artificial role expectations.
I frankly do not know enough to know whether my concerns are justified. I look forward to hearing more from WEF, and perhaps, from the ICANN leadership, this week, about the initiative. I hope, too, that the folks at WEF who are coming to the IGF soak up the energy, creativity, work and sweat of the community that will gather this week. A constructive dialogue and the collaborative spirit of NetMundial may just cause us to join forces for the good of the Internet and the good of the world.
So, on to Istanbul. We have work to do.
August 18, 2014
Internet Society New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) member Avri Doria is the recipient of the inaugural
ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos Award, which she received in June 2014 at ICANN50 in London. Video of the award ceremony is below.
View on YouTube: http://youtu.be/c0Mf0GIqg84
Transcribe on AMARA: http://www.amara.org/en/videos/1jJEQWSXLhlB/
May 21, 2014
On Wednesday May 21 2014 at 3pm the Internet Society’s New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) and RECLAIM.CC, as part of Internet Week NY, will present Libtech NYC 2014 – a half-day conference to “envision, learn, share and build robust, decentralized networks through participatory systems.” There is a voluntary fee of $12+ to attend in person, and a free webcast via the Internet Society Chapters YouTube channel.
What: Libtech NYC 2014
Where: Courant Institute, Warren Weaver Hall, 251 Mercer St, NYC
When: Wednesday May 21 2014 3pm-9pm EDT | 1900-0100 UTC
• Save the internet: net neutrality protestors camp out against FCC ruling
• Create the people’s intelligence agency with Robert David Steele, author of Open Source Everything manifesto
• Learn from veteran attorney Stanley Cohen on criminalization of dissent
• Explore how a new Internet Bill Of Rights might function
• Reclaim: where communities of practice connect around projects
• Build and transform social capital, diy liberation technology + you
Groucho Fractal and Scott Beibin; Beyond The Grid with video artist Paul Garrin with Nicole Brydson of Misfit Media; Veteran attorney activist Stanley Cohen; Cyber-reformer and intelligence professional Robert David Steele on intelligence in the public interest; Nate Heasley with goodnik; Sandra Ordonez with Open Internet Tools Projects (openitp); Nick Farr – hackers on planet earth; Reactor (Josephine Dorado and Jeremy Pesner); David Solomonoff with the Internet Society of New York; Bruce Lincoln & Clayton Banks envisioning the technological future with Silicon Harlem; Thomas Lowenhaupt of connectingnyc.org; Ted Schulman and the open source imperative; Ted Hall and seedball; culture change campaigns with Fred Sullivan and the man-up campaign and communities of practice including arc 38 and Brooklyn the Borough.
April 22, 2014
[From Internet Society CEO/President Kathy Brown]
This week, the world’s eyes will turn to Brazil, host of the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. This meeting is an important opportunity to continue discussions on key Internet governance principles and a roadmap for future action.
We are in the midst of a very busy global policy dialogue on Internet governance and, as the discussion grows, it is more important than ever to be clear about what is meant by the phrase “Internet governance.” This is a discussion that has its origins in the 2003-2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and that has, in the years since, evolved as dynamically as the Internet itself. This year is a particularly busy one for those of us who are focused on these issues – an inflection point that could shape the future of the Internet and its governance.
As we look forward to NETmundial, it is important that we consider the broader context: Internet governance is not about the role of any one stakeholder group (governments, technical organizations, private enterprise, civil society, etc.) but is rather about how we all work together to tackle the challenges that emerge in the context of the Internet. Whether the issues are related to ensuring the robustness and resiliency of Internet security and privacy, advancing the deployment and development of core Internet infrastructure, or any number of other concrete challenges, we need to come together to address issues in ways that do not undermine the fundamental design principles of the Internet. Too much focus on static definitions of the roles and responsibilities of any one stakeholder group could distract our attention from achieving the overall balance that is needed for any successful governance system.
April 2, 2014
Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown issued the following statement on March 31 2014.:
We are deeply concerned with recent reports that the Turkish government is mandating curtailed access to key social media sites for millions of users across Turkey. Recent actions to implement the Turkish government’s requirement include the redirection of network routes so that Turkish citizens are not getting the correct information from the Domain Name System (DNS). They are instead being redirected to other web sites controlled by Turkish service providers. In addition to undermining core technical functions of the Internet’s architecture, such actions also threaten users’ fundamental human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas across frontiers.
Interfering with a country’s routing of Internet traffic not only harms citizens’ ability to communicate and innovate as part of the global Internet platform; it can also lead to a fragmentation of the network at the regional and global levels. Ultimately, the Turkish people and nation are the ones that will suffer, as their voices will be lost across the net.
The Internet Society believes that the Internet is a global medium that fuels economic and social development, empowers users with limitless access to knowledge, and supports aspirations for freedom. Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, added, “We strongly urge the Turkish Government to stop requiring the blocking of access to social media sites and to allow full Internet access to all Turkish citizens immediately. We believe that the opportunity to participate in the global information society should never be taken away from individuals.”The Internet Society hopes that nations around the world will come to understand that blocking citizens’ access to the tools of online communication only serves to fuel discord and is not the way to address the underlying concerns of their citizens. Such measures can only undermine citizens’ trust in their government’s ability to provide an enabling Internet environment for economic and social progress.
March 15, 2014
On Friday March 14 2014 the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it had invited ICANN to make a multistakeholder-derived proposal to take over responsibility for the “IANA functions“, i.e. management of the Internet’s root zone, when the current contract ends in 2015. In response Internet technical organizations, including the Internet Society, issued the following statement:
Internet Technical Leaders Welcome IANA Globalization Progress
The leaders of the Internet technical organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet infrastructure (IETF, IAB, RIRs, ccTLD ROs, ICANN, ISOC, and W3C), welcome the US Government’s announcement of the suggested changes related to the IANA functions contract.
The roles on policy development processes of the Internet technical organizations and ICANN’s role as administrator of the IANA functions, remain unchanged
The transition of the US Government stewardship has been envisaged since the early days of IANA functions contract. This transition is now feasible due to the maturity of the Internet technical organizations involved in performing their respective roles related to the IANA functions, and ICANN will facilitate a global, multi-stakeholder process to plan for the transition.
The strength and stability of the IANA functions within the above organizations (which make up the Internet technical community) are critical to the operation of the Internet. The processes around the IANA functions have always been carefully specified in the communities that our organizations represent. The IANA functions are faithfully administered by ICANN. We are committed to continuing our proven, community-driven processes as we engage in this transition. Our communities are already considering proposals to progress the transition.
Our organizations are committed to open and transparent multi-stakeholder processes. We are also committed to further strengthening our processes and agreements related to the IANA functions, and to building on the existing organizations and their roles. The Internet technical community is strong enough to continue its role, while assuming the stewardship function as it transitions from the US Government.
January 15, 2014
Warns that Internet fragmentation is ‘very real risk’
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland - 15 January 2014] – U.S. President Obama is expected to make a speech on 17 January 2014 regarding the recommendations in the report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies: Liberty and Security in a Changing World. The world will be watching for substantive action from the President to effect immediate and meaningful changes to U.S. government surveillance practices that have shaken the confidence and trust of Internet users worldwide. The President has a unique opportunity to open a global dialogue to find ways to protect, as the Advisory Board’s report puts it, two different forms of security: national security and personal privacy.
January 14, 2014
The Internet Society released the following statement from Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees:
“Today, the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals in the United States issued a major decision with regards to the Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet rules.
The Internet Society has consistently argued that the core principles of transparency, freedom of choice, and unimpeded access to content and applications should be at the heart of any policy action with respect to network neutrality.
Notwithstanding the Court’s ruling today, these principles that have allowed the Internet to grow, scale, and connect people and ideas around the world remain valid. Anything less would jeopardize the continued success and availability of the Internet as a tool for open communication and economic growth.
The Internet Society urges parties in the United States to keep a sharp focus on the need to create an environment that allows users to remain in control of their Internet experience, thus empowering them to participate in the open Internet.”
September 10, 2013
The Internet Society has issued a statement in response to recent continuing reports alleging systematic United States government efforts to circumvent Internet security mechanisms. In it Internet Society President and CEO, Lynn St. Amour is quoted as saying “If true, these reports describe government programmes that undermine the technical foundations of the Internet and are a fundamental threat to the Internet’s economic, innovative, and social potential. Any systematic, state-level attack on Internet security and privacy is a rejection of the global, collaborative fabric that has enabled the Internet’s growth to extend beyond the interests of any one country.”
The statement concludes with a general call for action by the Internet community.
The Internet has tremendous potential for economic and social good, but unless all stakeholders trust the Internet as a safe place for business, social interaction, academic enquiry, and self-expression, those economic and social benefits are put at risk. To fulfill its potential, the Internet must be underpinned by the right combination of technology, operational processes, legislation, policy, and governance. The recent reports suggest that U.S. Government programmes have systematically undermined some or all of those measures, and that is why we view the revelations with such grave concern.
With this mind, we issue these calls to action for the global community:
To every citizen of the Internet: let your government representatives know that, even in matters of national security, you expect privacy, rule of law, and due process in any handling of your data.
Security is a collective responsibility that involves multiple stakeholders. In this regard, we call on:
Those involved in technology research and development: use the openness of standards processes like the IETF to challenge assumptions about security specifications.
Those who implement the technology and standards for Internet security: uphold that responsibility in your work, and be mindful of the damage caused by loss of trust.
Those who develop products and services that depend on a trusted Internet: secure your own services, and be intolerant of insecurity in the infrastructure on which you depend.
To every Internet user: ensure you are well informed about good practice in online security, and act on that information. Take responsibility for your own security.
At the Internet Society, we remain committed to advancing work in areas such as browser security, privacy settings, and digital footprint awareness in order to help users understand and manage their privacy and security. The citizens of the Internet deserve a global and open platform for communication built on solid foundations of security and privacy.
August 5, 2013
Internet Society Press Release
Internet Society Board of Trustees Calls on the Global Internet Community to Stand Together to Support Open Internet Access, Freedom, and Privacy
Fundamental ideals of the Internet are under threat
[Berlin, Germany, 4 August 2013] – The Internet Society Board of Trustees during its meeting in Berlin, Germany today called on the global Internet community to stand together in support of open Internet access, freedom, and privacy. Recently exposed information about government Internet surveillance programs is a wake-up call for Internet users everywhere – the fundamental ideals of the Internet are under threat.
The Internet Society Board of Trustees believes that government Internet surveillance programs create unacceptable risks for the future of a global, interoperable, and open Internet. Robert Hinden, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated, “Berlin is a city where freedom triumphed over tyranny. Human and technological progress are not based on building walls, and we are confident that the human ideals of communication and creativity will always route around these kinds of attempts to constrain them. We are especially disappointed that the very governments that have traditionally supported a more balanced role in Internet governance are consciously and deliberately hosting massive Internet surveillance programs.”
August 2, 2013
On Saturday August 3 2013, Richard M. Stallman, author of the EMACS text editor, inventor of the GNU operating system on which Linux is based, and founder of the Free Software Foundation, will be inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. Two days later, on Monday August 5 2013 he will be here in NYC to speak at an Internet Society New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) and hackNY sponsored event at the Courant Institute at NYU. Richard Stallman will address the NYC technological community, including hackNY’s summer fellows, on the importance of utilizing and creating free and open software solutions, and opposing restrictive intellectual property regimes.
The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to register via the ISOC-NY meetup link. It will be recorded for later webcast.
What: Richard Stallman address to hackNY and NYC Technological Community
Where: Rm. 109, Courant Institute, Warren Weaver Hall, NYU, 251 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012
When: Monday August 5 2013 7pm- 9pm EDT
Webcast: Will be recorded.
Twitter: #hackny, #stallman
June 11, 2013
The Internet Society is pleased to invite applications for the 2013 Internet Society Ambassadors to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
As part of the Internet Society’s Next Generation Leaders (NGL) programme, the Ambassadorships to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) are available to Internet Society members between the ages of 20 and 40.
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder forum for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance. It brings together government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders, including the technical and academic community, on an equal basis and through an open and inclusive process. The IGF facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise.
June 6, 2013
The Internet Society today announced funding for 11 community-based Internet projects that will enhance the Internet ecosystem in underserved communities around the world. The Community Grants are awarded twice each year to Internet Society Chapters and Members. Recipients receive up to US$10,000 to implement their projects.
The 11 projects funded in this round of grants will:
•Enable teachers and students in the Sultanate of Oman to produce and share video presentations that meet Omani curriculum standards and students’ needs
•Facilitate access to the Internet via a wireless mesh network for students, parents, and others in rural Panama, enabling them to use their own equipment at home
•Provide research for an evidence-based ICT policy to help bridge the Internet divide in Ethiopia
•Develop online resources to help Internet Society chapters effectively create and implement cost-effective video streaming to its membership and the wider community
•Create a digital community of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Kenya to serve as a virtual mentorship program
•Support the Koh Sirae School in Thailand by enhancing their wireless network, updating the learning center and classrooms with laptops and workstations, and providing furniture for 1,000 children and 53 teachers
•Empower and connect the women of Chuuk State in the Pacific Islands by establishing an Internet-connected computer lab at the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) building and offering classes in ICT usage
•Promote child online safety in Uganda by educating children, teachers and parents at three urban schools; developing a user guide; and advocating for sound policies that ensure Internet safety
•Build a collaborative, independent, and transparent observatory that quantitatively assesses the Internet quality in Lebanon to help providers enhance their services and the Lebanese government accelerate the transition to broadband Internet
•Jump start the establishment of an Internet of Things (IoT) community-operated space in the University of the Philippines, where people with shared interests in computers, technology, science, digital art, or electronic art can meet and collaborate
•Initiate a movement that will encourage and facilitate university students majoring in ICT subjects to contribute their knowledge, skills, and time to teach ICT courses at Indonesia’s rural high schools
May 16, 2013
Please add your input in the comments. I’ll compile and forward – David Solomonoff, President, ISOC-NY
At its 13 April meeting in Beijing, the Internet Society Board of Trustees finalized a framework of strategic guidance to help steer the direction and …
April 30, 2013
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The Internet Society is soliciting nominations of qualified candidates for the 2013 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award by 31 May. This annual award is presented to an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award, which includes a presentation crystal and a USD 20,000 prize, is scheduled to be presented during the 87th Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Berlin, Germany, 28 July – 2 August.
Deadline for nominations is 31 May, 2013.
Award Nomination Procedures