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  • joly 5:13 am on 05/02/2016 Permalink | Reply
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    #WSISForum2016 underway in Geneva – remote participation details #wsis #netgov 

    WSISThis week May 2–6 2016 ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP host the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The WSIS Forum serves the UN as a mechanism for coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation activities, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices and continues to provide assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships to advance development goals, building on the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes which recognized the necessity of holding this Forum on an annual basis, and called for a close alignment between WSIS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) processes. Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda (USA) will serve as Chairman Designate of the WSIS Forum 2016 High-Level Track. The Policy Sessions will be moderated by High-Level Track Facilitators (HLTF) nominated and identified by Civil Society, Private Sector, Technical Community and Academia stakeholders. Remote participation is available through both Adobe Connect and live webcast. Geneva time is CEST, 6 hours ahead of NYC.

    What: WSIS Forum 2016
    Where: ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
    When: May 2–6 2016
    Program: https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2016/Agenda/
    Webcast: https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2016/Media/RP/Webcast/Live/
    Adobe Connect: https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2016/Media/RP/AdobeConnect
    Twitter: #wsis https://twitter.com/hashtag/WSIS | #wsis2016 https://twitter.com/hashtag/wsis2016
    Facebook: https://facebook.com/hashtag/WSIS | #wsis2016 https://facebook.com/hashtag/wsis2016

  • joly 5:17 am on 06/30/2015 Permalink | Reply
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    WEBCAST @UN #UNGAWSISReview Meetings in NYC Wednesday / Thursday #WSIS #IGF 

    WSIS+10 In August 2014 the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 68/302 on the modalities for the overall review by the Assembly of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society – aka WSIS+10 – decided that that the overall review will be concluded by a two-day high-level meeting of the Assembly, to be preceded by an intergovernmental preparatory process that also takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders. Under the roadmap that preparatory process takes place this week in NYC and, while registration to attend in person is closed, remote participation is available via webcast & twitter.

    1st Preparatory Meeting – Wed 1 July 2015, 10am-6pm EDT | 14:00:22:00 UTC
    Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation – Thu 2 July 2015, 10am-6pm EDT | 14:00:22:00 UTC
    Webcast: http://webtv.un.org/
    Twitter questions: #AskUNGAWSIS (Thursday)
    Twitter comments: #UNGAWSISReview
    Twitter: #WSIS

  • joly 3:58 am on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    @UN Members Strengthen Their Position on #Surveillance – – @InternetSociety comments: need better definitions 

    [By Christine Runnegar – via Internet Society Blog – http://www.internetsociety.org//blog/public-policy/2014/12/un-members-strengthen-their-position-surveillance ]

    On 18 December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 68/167 on the right to privacy in the digital age [1], sending a clear message to the international community that the right to privacy applies online as well as offline.

    Recently, the Third Committee adopted a second resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age [2] brought to the UN by Brazil and Germany and sponsored by the countries illustrated in the map.

    Map produced using http://www.amcharts.com

    The resolution emphasizes that unlawful or arbitrary surveillance or interception of communications violates the right to privacy. Significantly, the resolution also formally recognises that metadata can have a privacy impact, and that even the mere collection of data can violate the right to privacy.

    There is a call to member states to take measures to stop and prevent surveillance-related privacy violations, echoing the call in the 2013 resolution. The 2014 resolution also goes a step further and calls for member states to offer individuals whose privacy rights have been violated by unlawful or arbitrary surveillance with access to an effective remedy, consistent with international human rights obligations.

    Now that the position of the supporting member states has been made clear in these resolutions, it is important to consider what those principles mean in practice. In this regard, the Internet Society strongly supports the significant progress that has been made in the UN on the issue of pervasive surveillance, but calls upon member states, in partnership with all stakeholders, to articulate what is (or is not) unlawful or arbitrary surveillance – to consider the practical meaning of conditions such as “necessary”, “proportionate” and “not arbitrary” in that context

    For the Internet Society, the key criterion here is legitimacy. To be legitimate, a surveillance policy must not only be legal: it must also be demonstrably necessary, proportionate and fair. Since “fairness” is a subjective quality, demonstrating fairness relies on other factors which the Internet Society has consistently championed: transparency, accountability, and appropriate representation of the rights and interests of all stakeholders.

    We also believe there should be open debate on how to protect Internet users from unlawful or arbitrary surveillance.

    [1] United Nations General Assembly: Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2013
    [2] United Nations General Assembly: The right to privacy in the digital age

  • joly 1:23 pm on 02/22/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , un, WITC-12   

    @FCC Commissioner McDowell to @UN – Hands off the Internet! #netfreedom 

    Robert M. McDowellOn Feb 21 2012 the Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed from FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell – “The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom“. Commissioner McDowell says that at an World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) next week “Russia, China and their allies” will be pushing hard to renegotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) set at the World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference held in Melboune in 1988 (WATTC-88). Key provisions in those ITRs facilitated the private expansion of IP-based networks opening the gates to the building of the Internet.

    Commissioner McDowell lists several proposals that would emasculate the open successful multistakeholder process that has engineered the growth of the Internet and suggests that they will lead to an eventual balkanization of the network.

    He concludes with a call to action to defeat the proposals.

    A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time. Productivity, rising living standards and the spread of freedom everywhere, but especially in the developing world, would grind to a halt as engineering and business decisions become politically paralyzed within a global regulatory body.

    Any attempts to expand intergovernmental powers over the Internet—no matter how incremental or seemingly innocuous—should be turned back. Modernization and reform can be constructive, but not if the end result is a new global bureaucracy that departs from the multi-stakeholder model. Enlightened nations should draw a line in the sand against new regulations while welcoming reform that could include a nonregulatory role for the ITU.

    Pro-regulation forces are, thus far, much more energized and organized than those who favor the multi-stakeholder approach. Regulation proponents only need to secure a simple majority of the 193 member states to codify their radical and counterproductive agenda. Unlike the U.N. Security Council, no country can wield a veto in ITU proceedings. With this in mind, some estimate that approximately 90 countries could be supporting intergovernmental Net regulation—a mere seven short of a majority.

    While precious time ticks away, the U.S. has not named a leader for the treaty negotiation. We must awake from our slumber and engage before it is too late. Not only do these developments have the potential to affect the daily lives of all Americans, they also threaten freedom and prosperity across the globe.

    • joly 2:43 pm on 02/22/2012 Permalink | Reply

      Internet Society Senior Manager for Public Policy Sally A. Wentworth has directly filed comments to the WCIT-12, including detailed recommendations (pdf).

      She adds:

      Further, any expanded regulation at the infrastructure level is likely to have an impact on growth and innovation and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. In the rare case where a regulatory framework is needed, Member States should commit to ensuring that these are justified, and consist of high-level principles. Regulation should not interfere in commercial decisions, be based on specific technologies or business-models, or seek to substitute government (public-funded) action for the private sector.

      The ITRs should enshrine a commitment to the use of open and voluntary international standards. Interoperability, mutual agreement, and collaboration are invariable requirements for the Internet’s survival. Many standards development organizations contribute to the smooth functioning of the Internet, and new standards development organizations have emerged over time, so it is potentially damaging to impose a preference for some standards development organizations (SDOs) over others.

      The ITRs should reflect what has been learned about what works best for telecommunication regulation in the 24 years since the WATTC. In particular, its text should seek Member States’ commitment that their regulatory regimes be non-discriminatory, technology neutral, and encourage competition.

      Finally, to continue to benefit from what we know about the Internet, the ITRs should strive to be permissive, not restrictive. The text could be improved by committing to develop “soft” regulatory practices such as “codes of practice” and “guidelines” wherever possible, and always in an open and transparent manner, consistent with current practices and with the outcomes of the WSIS.

      Ms. Wentworth refers readers to the Internet Society document: Internet Invariants: What Really Matters

  • joly 5:10 pm on 12/09/2011 Permalink | Reply
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    @InternetSociety Supports UN Human Rights Day Focus on Social Media #netfreedom 

    [Geneva, Switzerland – 09 December 2011] – The Internet Society welcomed the focus of today’s United Nations Human Rights Day event highlighting the transformational role of the Internet and social media applications in giving voice to people around the world. The Internet Society is a strong advocate of an open and accessible Internet, and sees the Internet as an enabler of human rights.

    The influence of the Internet and social media on the ability of citizens to connect, share ideas, and join communities is undeniable. In 2011, popular movements in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrated the Internet’s power to enable individuals to exercise their fundamental rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression as well as the right to peaceful assembly and association. In this context, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also points to the role of social media in peaceful protest movements in many other cities across the globe.

    These events illustrate the powerful impact of social media by generating awareness of and support for efforts of people from all walks of life seeking to bring about change, unconstrained by borders, time, and distance.
    (More …)

  • joly 3:56 am on 05/26/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , un, United Nations   

    UN Human Rights Council report on freedom of expression condemns Internet controls #netfreedom @UN_HRC 

    UN Human RightsThe 17th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council takes place in Geneva from 30 May – 17 June 2011. In preparation a number of reports have been filed, including one from Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Frank de la Rue.

    The report [pdf] “explores key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet”. It covers both content and access, and also examines what “exceptional circumstances under which the dissemination of certain types of information may be restricted”.

    The report states:

    States restrict, control, manipulate and censor content disseminated via the Internet without any legal basis, or on the basis of broad and ambiguous laws, without justifying the purpose of such actions; and/or in a manner that is clearly unnecessary and/or disproportionate to achieving the intended aim


    The Special Rapporteur is of the view that the arbitrary use of criminal law to sanction legitimate expression constitutes one of the gravest forms of restriction to the right, as it not only creates a “chilling effect”, but also leads to other human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention and torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Noting recent cases of imprisonment of bloggers, the report suggests that defamation be decriminalized globally and that only incitements to violence can be legitimately blocked. Additionally

    the Special Rapporteur reiterates that the right to freedom of expression includes expression of views and opinions that offend, shock or disturb.

    The report criticizes heavy-handed copyright protection schemes while noting that the most recent drafts of the ACTA agreement have dropped the ‘3 strike’ disconnection provisions.

    It calls for universal access noting that a BBC global poll in March 2010 “79% of those interviewed
    in 26 countries believe that Internet access is a fundamental human right”

    The conclusions of the report are below:
    (More …)

  • joly 3:04 pm on 12/14/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    The Future of the Internet Governance Forum – sign the petition to keep it multi-stakeholder! #igf 

    ISOC logoIn an extraordinary meeting on 6 December the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) decided to create a Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) (http://www.intgovforum.org/) with a membership made up only of governments.

    The Internet Society believes this decision sets back the model of multistakeholder cooperation under which the IGF was established, and contradicts the instructions given to the CSTD for the establishment of the Working Group

    The Internet Society has joined the International Chamber of Commerce – Business Action to Support the Information Society, the Internet Governance Caucus, and many other Internet, business, and civil society organizations in sending a letter to the CSTD, asking them to retract their previous decision and to establish an appropriately constituted Working Group that ensures the full and active participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and international organizations and forums.

    Like the Internet, a multistakeholder approach has been at the core of the Internet Governance Forum’s formation and success. We hope that Internet Society Chapters and Members, as well as other organizations, will join us in signing the letter.

    You may read the full letter, and see the growing list of signatories, and indicate your own support here:


  • joly 5:55 pm on 03/29/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    World Summit Award: Call for National Experts! 

    DEADLINE: April 15th, 2010

    Nominations accepted at: wsa@icnm.net

    The World Summit Award (WSA), a unique global activity to select and promote the world’s best e-Content and most innovative ICT applications (http://www.wsis-award.org), is now accepting nominations for it’s Expert Panel 2010-11 in 192 UN Member states.

    National Experts represent their country in the framework of the WSA and undertake the responsibility for selecting the 8 best and most innovative e-Content examples from their country (conducting the WSA national pre-selection), and nominating them to the Global WSA by February 2011.

    Members are selected every two years from distinguished international experts in the field of ICTs, e-Content and multimedia and bring a wealth of experience and insight to the WSA.


    • High expertise and several years of working experience in the fields of multimedia, content industries, and ICTs.
    • Proficiency in English.
    • A high motivation and a clear reason for their intention to join the WSA.

    Both self-nominations and nominations third parties are accepted. Please send your nomination, incl. a short CV in English to wsa@icnm.net. The final decision will be taken by the WSA Board of Directors before the end of April.

  • joly 3:52 pm on 03/29/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: desa, , un,   

    Briefing on future of IGF at United Nations NYC 3/30 

    The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has sent out an invite to a briefing on the Internet Government Forum (IGF) on March 30. In 2009 the General Assembly called on DESA to gather reports from various Internet -related organizations (including ISOC) and to consider the results, and also the future of the IGF. It is presumed at this meeting Sha Zukang, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will report the conclusions, or at least give a status update. The invite notes that it is open to “not only to accredited entities to the World Summit on the Information Society, but also to “institutions and persons with demonstrated knowledge and experience in issues related to the Internet Governance Forum”

    What: DESA IGF briefing
    When: Tuesday Mar 30 2010 ; 15:00-18:00 EST
    Where: Conference Room 2 – Temporary North Lawn Building (TNLB) United Nations 1st Ave & 44th ST NYC
    Contact: 212 963 1234

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