May has traditionally been a busy month for Internet governance discussions in Geneva. This year is no different, but the stakes are higher for those who care about the Internet and its future.
2015 is the year where we celebrate the 10 years of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For the past 10 years, governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and the Internet technical community have worked together at the local and the global levels to make the Internet a useful tool for development. We now have more than 3 billion people online, with growth mostly in developing countries. We have more work to do to reach the vision of an “Internet for Everyone”; but much has been achieved and we should celebrate success.May will be populated with a series of WSIS-related meetings taking place in Geneva. Here is some background information to help you navigate and engage in these discussions :
- CSTD (4-8 May): This is the last phase of the WSIS review process before the UN General Assembly process begins in June. A report on ” Implementing WSIS outcomes: A ten-year review ” will be discussed, and a Resolution on WSIS will be negotiated, which will provide important guidance for the events to happen in New York in December. Raul Echeberria, VP Global Engagement (ISOC), has been invited to deliver a high-level statement at this occasion.
- IGF MAG and Open Consultations (20-22 May): The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) will continue preparations for the 2015 Internet Governance Forum, to be held 10-13 November 2015 in Brazil. Much efforts are spent on intersessional work and ongoing progress with Best Practice Forums, a format that focuses on sharing lessons learned from dealing with tangible issues such as spam. A new track on developing ” Policy menus for Connecting the Next Billion” has also been launched. We will be sending a separate note on how to concretely engage in this work next week.
- ITU Council 2015 (12-22 May): ITU Council meetings are open to all ITU Member States as well as ITU sector members and are available as webcasts to Member States and sector members. It is expected that the Council will discuss the role of the ITU in the WSIS process.
- ITU WSIS Forum (25-29 May): WSIS Forums provide an annual avenue to take stock of progress on WSIS Action Lines. The Internet Society is organizing a set of sessions (collaborative security, local content) and will have high-level representatives delivering policy statements. The theme of this year’s forum is ” Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development “. More to follow as we get closer to the event.
The original WSIS process took place soon after international agreement on the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Similarly, this year’s final WSIS+10 review takes place shortly after the follow-up to the MDGs, the so called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted in New York, 25 – 27 September 2015. It is already quite apparent that the SDG process is going to influence the direction of the WSIS beyond 2015 towards the contribution of ICTs for development.
As you can see, 2015 is a busy year for Internet Governance and the Internet Society will continue to be on the front and facilitate the participation of the Internet community. For an outlook and key global and local IG tracks this year, visit our Internet governance timeline : http://www.internetsociety.
Additional information will be circulated w.r. to each of these events. In the meantime, if you plan to participate or have any questions, please let us know!Constance Bommelaer
Senior Director, Global Internet Policy
The Internet Society
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An update on forthcoming Internet Governance events from the Internet Society’s Senior Director of Global Internet Policy Constance Bommelaer.
On Monday 26 January 2015 the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) and the Institute of International Economic Policy (IIEP) presented Governments and Internet Governance . Despite their long experience in global and domestic governance, policymakers from many nations struggle to find their way in Internet governance. On one hand, only governments can join international organizations such as the UN or WTO. However, the same governments do not have a privileged role in Internet governance institutions such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF); the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); or the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), where governments are just one among many actors. Meanwhile, many other stakeholders are increasingly concerned about increased participation by governments in the technical infrastructure and governance bodies that underpin the Internet. This event will examine several different perspectives on participation by governments in Internet governance. Panel: Amr Aljowaily, Embassy of Egypt, NYC; Sally Wentworth, Vice President of Global Policy Development, Internet Society; Veni Markowski, Bulgaria, VP for UN Engagement, ICANN; Dr. Andrea Gloriosio, EU Commission; Carolina de Cresce El Debs, Embassy of Brazil; David Satola, The World Bank. Moderator: Nancy Scola, The Washington Post.
REPORTS: 1) The Value of #NetworkNeutrality for the Internet of Tomorrow + 2) The Ongoing Regulatory Debate @intgovforum
In 2013 the Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality has issued a report The Value of Network Neutrality for the Internet of Tomorrow that explores some of the most crucial facets of Network Neutrality, underscoring its close relationship with the full enjoyment of end-users fundamental rights. The report also includes a proposal for a Model Framework on Network Neutrality that has been elaborated by the Dynamic Coalition through an open, inclusive and multi-stakeholder effort, in order to promote an efficient safeguard of the Net Neutrality principle in accordance with international human rights standards.
Download the report: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2468534
In 2014 the Dynamic Coalition followed up with its second report Network Neutrality: an Ongoing Regulatory Debate. The report, which includes a preface by Vint Cerf, offers a collection of independent analyses exploring existing and proposed regulatory approaches to net neutrality and scrutinising the economic justifications that support the network neutrality principle.
Download the report: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4CMvT0NORh9YlRxWjI1ZHhRRlk/edit?pli=1
Today Wednesday 3 December 2014 the Internet Society’s Uganda Chapter along with CIPESA will host the 2014 Uganda Internet Governance Forum (UIGF 2014) with the theme – Strengthening Uganda’s Critical Internet Resources. The forum, founded in 2006, brings together a wide variety of stakeholders including representatives from UCC, NITA-U, Ministry of ICT, I-Network, LUG, Members of Parliament, Uganda Police, Internet Service Providers, Academia, Civil Society Organizations and Internet users to discuss issues related to Internet governance issues in Uganda. This year’s forum follows a consultative process that involved soliciting comments from the Uganda internet community on key areas for IG discussion in Uganda. Discussions were run on the Internet Society Uganda Chapter and the I-Network mailing lists. Key areas to be addressed include:- Status of implementation of the Universal Service Fund; Internet cost/bundling; Updates on IPv6 implementation road map; Whether Uganda complies with regional legislative and regulatory frameworks; Cyber security including violence against women online; Data protection and privacy in the new era of internet of things; Child Online Protection; .ug ccTLD management; Status on the operations of the Uganda Internet Exchange Point, among others. Remote participation is available via webex.
Where: Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala, Uganda
When: Wednesday December 3 2014 8:00am-2:00pm EAT | 05:00-11:00 UTC | 00:00-6:00 EST
Webex: https://isoc.webex.com/isoc/j.php?MTID=me2a12060a76c2d996406eb45d6964779 Meeting:928 659 899 Pass:UGIGF
USA Phone bridge: 1-650-479-3208 (USA) Meeting: 928 659 899
Global call-in: https://isoc.webex.com/isoc/globalcallin.php?serviceType=MC&ED=310451912&tollFree=0 Meeting: 928 659 899
WEBCAST WED: Venezuela Encuentro de Gobernanza de Internet (Internet #Governance Meeting) #EGI2014 #ig #igf @InternetSociety
On Wednesday 24 September 2014 the Internet Society’s Venezuela Chapter will present the Encuentro de Gobernanza de Internet (Internet Governance Meeting), a full day forum intended to serve as a link between those who have interest and responsibilities related to the evolution of Internet, its development and impact. Participation of all sectors are involved so that all perspectives are included. The program will be in Spanish and webcast live via YouTube. Caracas is UTC-4.5, thus 30 mins behind NYC.
What: Encuentro de Gobernanza de Internet (Internet Governance Meeting)
Where: Faculty of Science UCV, Caracas, Venezuela
When: Wednesday 24 September 2014 8.30am-5.30pm VET | 1300-2200 UTC | 0900-1800 EDT
Today, Monday 15 September 2014 at 4pm EDT the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC DC) will present a discussion ‘After Istanbul – An Internet Governance Forum 2014 Debrief‘. From September 2 – 5. More than 3,000 delegates attended the 2014 Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, Turkey to debate critical issues affecting the future of the Internet, including online privacy, censorship, cybersecurity, the NetMundial initiative, and the evolution of ICANN. This audience participation event will run over what was learned and achieved. Discussion Leaders: Ambassador David Gross (Wiley Rein); Andrew Mack (AMGlobal); Steve DelBianco (NetChoice}; Natalie Green (Public Knowledge). Moderator: Michael Nelson (CCT Program, Georgetown University).
What: After Istanbul – An Internet Governance Forum 2014 Debrief
Where: Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center, Washington, DC
When: Monday 15 September 2014 4pm-6pm EDT | 2000-2200 UTC
Twitter: @isocdc | #igf2014
Tuesday September 2 2014 the Internet Society(ISOC) held a Chapters & Members meeting at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul. Bob Hinden (Chair of the Board), Walda Roseman (Chief Strategic Communications Officer), Izumi Okutani (Advisory Council Co-Chair), Raul Echeberria (Vice President, Global Engagement), and Désirée Miloshevic (Board Member). Moderator is Constance Bommelaer (Senior Director, Global Policy Partnerships). Topics include: Why ISOC views the IGF as an indispensable element of the Internet governance ecosystem; The relationship between ISOC members and the IGF community; The importance of funding the IGF (the IGF SA); Strengthening the IGF towards tangible outcomes (e.g. IGF Best Practices). A webcast is available via the IGF. The IGF webcast failed early but remote participation was available via webex. Video is below.
VIDEO: Internet Governance Forum Support Association inaugural assembly in Istanbul #igfsa @internetSociety #igf2014
The Internet Governance Forum Support Association (IGFSA) has the purpose to provide stable and sustainable support for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat and to fund related activities. The IGFSA was launched on 1st September 2014 at the IGF Meeting in Istanbul. Video is below.
View on YouTube: http://youtu.be/J29H6UzFEcs
Transcribe on AMARA: http://www.amara.org/en/videos/rfypN2sa5blh/
Press Release: http://www.internetsociety.org/news/new-association-launched-support-internet-governance-forum-and-its-essential-role-addressing
The 9th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is taking place in Istanbul, Turkey on 2-5 September 2014. The overarching theme for the meeting is: “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance“. There are webex sessions, live webcasts from the plenary and 10 workshop rooms, with backups via YouTube, plus live transcripts. Istanbul is ITC+3 – 7 hours ahead of NYC.
What: Internet Governance Forum 2014
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
When: 1-5 September 2014
ISOC Schedule: http://www.internetsociety.org/events/internet-society-internet-governance-forum-2014%20
YouTube archive: https://www.youtube.com/user/igf/videos
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.