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The WSIS+10 Outcome Document - Some Initial Thoughts

The final outcome document of the WSIS +10 Review was released late last night. I thought I would give you some initial impressions as we enter the week of the WSIS+10 Review at the United Nations in New York. The text endorses the central tenet of the multistakeholder model of governing ourselves on the Internet and re-commits to the Tunis agreement. It extends the mandate of the IGF for 10 years recognizing the role that this Forum plays in bottom up governance processes. more»

Youth Aren't Just the Internet's Future, Youth Shape the Internet's Future

For the past 27 years, or at least as long as I can remember, I have heard one phrase on an endless loop: "youth are the future." It is a statement that always caused me to feel mild confusion. I thought, "How can I, for instance, be the future if I'm here now?" As I "grew up" and the term "youth" seem to expand in both meaning and breadth of inclusion, I quickly realized that when this statement is used by many it is platitudinous at best and disingenuous rhetoric at worst. What should actually be clarified is that, as no one is immune from the natural progression of the life course (at least not yet anyway), youth will one day constitute the key decision-makers in political, economic and social institutions. more»

The Appeal Against Broadband Reclassification

A British perspective on a very American process... As a new member of the the "Tech Elders", I was invited to join yesterday's hearing in Washington, DC on the reclassification of broadband Internet access services. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decreed that Internet access should switch from being lightly regulated as an 'information service' (Title I) to a more heavily regulated as 'telecommunications service' (Title II). I'd first like to say that the process and content was a credit to the rule of law in the United States. more»

Encryption = good : Backdoor = bad

Every time there is a tragic attack on people or property, there is a cry from various authorities or politicians for law enforcement to get unfettered access to all kinds of communication tools. But that would cause far more harm than good, and is a really bad idea. The argument goes something like this: 'These bad actors hide behind encrypted communications to plan their evil deeds...' more»

WSIS+10 and the Challenge of Securing the Internet

In just one week, representatives of governments from all around the world will gather at the UN headquarters in New York for the 10-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society, a.k.a. "WSIS+10". We are very pleased to see the consensus forming that the principles of multi-stakeholder cooperation and engagement should be at the core of the Information Society. Moreover, consensus has emerged around a "post-2015" vision for how the Internet can be used to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will bring about a better future for us all. more»

A Billion Reasons Why the IGF Matters

I approach the mic. As the adrenalin kicks in, my hands begin to slightly tremble. Eyes dart at me, anticipating my imminent speech. I glance at the scribbled text in my notebook to review the key points I hastily made; breathe in, exhale. I look up; the total silence is punctured by my poised words: "My name is Michael Oghia, and I am an Internet Society Ambassador." more»

The Networked Society and Personal Freedom

Given the current debate around mass surveillance which is undertaken by both governments and (social) media companies, the recurring question is what is happening to our hard-fought personal freedom? In the case of government-based mass surveillance there isn't an opt-out option, and in reality opt-out is also not a valid solution to services provided by Google, Apple, Facebook and the millions of apps that we all use to some extent or another. more»

Supporting Organizations Marginalized in ICANN Accountability Proposal

The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) make a number of helpful recommendations to improve organizational accountability at ICANN, however one aspect of the plan is deeply flawed: changing the role of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) from purely an "advisory" role to a "decision making" role over fundamental matters at ICANN, including its governance. more»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»

Zero Rating: Something Is Better Than Nothing! Or Is It?

One of the primary purposes of global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is to introduce a wide range of topics to newcomers and provide them with the opportunity to take back what they have learned in the hopes of establishing an understanding of the Internet Governance philosophy at the community or national level. As a first time participant at the 10th Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2015) that took place in Joao Pessoa Brazil, in early November of 2015, I felt the burden of being a representative from a developing country, a place where discussion of important issues is limited to a small group of individuals, often in informal settings, over coffee or in my case, green tea. more»