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The Shadow of the Web

I believe in the Internet As an ideal. As a web of human minds. As a wonder of the world, not built through totalitarian control but rather through fierce coopetition. As a technological pillar held up by a newer, better, governance structure. As the facilitator of knowledge sharing and communication on a level so advanced that it would appear supernatural to folks living just a century ago, or less. I worry for the Internet While it has been a major disruptive force, it is also susceptible to the existing paradigm. more»

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»

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»

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»

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»

Regulation and Reason

Imagine living in a country where it was necessary to register with your community government by providing a copy of one of the following... This may be necessary in perhaps a large number of nations. However, as a United States citizen and resident, I was quite surprised when my local community issued the request. I investigated and found much to my dismay, that my community in fact was required by regulation to survey its residents on a biennial basis. more»

Help CrypTech (and Me) Make the Internet More Secure

Are you ready to help me make the Internet more secure? Here's your chance to join me in a project to create an open-source hardware device to protect email, files and other data from hackers and government spies. The CrypTech Project was founded in late 2013 after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US and other governments were exploiting weak cryptography and loose standards to gain access to citizens' email, documents, and other files. more»

Internet Society's New Policy Brief Series Provides Concise Information On Critical Internet Issues

Have you ever wanted to quickly find out information on key Internet policy issues from an Internet Society perspective? Have you wished you could more easily understand topics such as net neutrality or Internet privacy? This year, the Internet Society has taken on a number of initiatives to help fill a need identified by our community to make Internet Governance easier to understand and to have more information available that can be used to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about key Internet issues. more»

Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more»

Freedom on the Internet: Where Does Your Country Stand?

Out of the 3 billion users on the Internet, how many can trust that their online communications will not be monitored or censored? How many feel safe that they can express their opinions online and will not be arrested for their ideas? How many feel confident in communicating anonymously online? For us at the Internet Society this is a key element of an Internet of opportunity: Internet access is only meaningful if people can trust that their fundamental rights will be respected and protected online as well as offline. more»