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Internet Politics: Developed vs Developing

It is not so convincing how the developed world looks at the rest of the hemisphere with the same attitude of equality and control. On one hand there are voices of equality where as in the other there is greed of power and control that lures them with an unending fight of power vs power in safeguarding their own survival.

From the participation and development of policies to running the concept of any kind of technology platform, the sense of control and collaboration that catalyzes and leads the overall process. It pushes the developing world aside in saying we have second rights to technology and other aspect of internet development process.

May be an abrupt thought but most of us coming down from the third world scenario or developing country feels different about what technology is all about.

I think it does not matter in its use and operation but when it comes to internet development process, then and there we feel reserved as there seems to be a big discrimination of understanding technology and its policy from unilateral side.

If you look at the whole internet evolution process, there seems to be a certain role and possibilities of investment done and catered by few of the developed nations. Moving down the line the growth and popularity of internet succeeded because of its freedom of choice and adaptation ability that focused more towards the issue of cooperation and coordination by the entire community and people.

The dynamics of internet created its own opportunity which doesn't needed any explanation but why the developed nations are trying to control and create a mechanism of containing it, is simply a question of amazement?

From mass surveillance to the issues of cyber terrorism and warfare and censorship things are not only getting out of control but it has adopted and characterized the new development as its part of its development process. Why are
we scared and of what?

With such insecurities, the development of internet is moving toward the faster age of Information and communication where its externalities are further coming up with prominent features and capacity. Similarly, the WikiLeaks is yet another example that showcases the weakness of not the evolution of the internet process but highlights the weakness of the developed nation in procrastinating the superiority complex.

Likewise, today the Internet is moving towards creating a history where it will be connecting the next billion of 4 billion by the end of this year. But when it comes down to digital equity, still today there are various aspect of differences that discriminate people at regional and national level for their basic rights and privacy.

Where are we and what are we doing about it?

Though there are basic standards that defines internet as the basic right of every individual but when it comes down to practice even at surface level there no existence of cooperation.

My Question is why this discrimination and what are we doing to ensure my digital rights coming down at an individual level from Asia or Africa.

Just by saying and putting policies things won't work, so what are the roles of organization like International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICAAN, Internet Governance forum (IGF), United Nation etc. We need grassroots level interventions of creating the possibilities and bridging the gaps.

Is the scope and role of such organizations just limited to reports and big fancy meetings where action challenges the reality?

Or is it the numbers of participation that is catered in the name of Multistakeholderism that satisfies the whole responsibility?

Still today internet has not been able to standardize in terms of access, cost, quality and rights. There is a huge gap of understanding.

Why and how this gap can be shortened and further internet can be developed a as tool of development and humanity?

Who is responsible?

The long practice of favoritism and nepotism are still seen in big Internet conferences like IGF and ICANN meeting where still today the nominations are based on recommendations and power. The big platform have reservation of Big developed nation in terms of decision making roles and leadership where developing and least developed nations have been shadowed.

Though the concept of Multistakeholderism has been adopted, it radically differentiates in terms of finding its own meaning and interpretation. Multistakeholderism in absence of practice apprehends like a bait that lures us to be part of the whole digital ecosystem but gives us no voice in shouting out the real issues. We are limited within a cocoon where the developed nation leads and governs in majority in view of the technical community's recommendation.

The so called practice may give voices to very few nations but what about the rest?

Who is going to represent them?

For example Asia is one of the most booming economies where there are many smaller economies. At minute level, they operate and they have their own status. Just by giving opportunity to one nation the whole continent cannot be represented, so what are we doing about it?

We have to initiate and change one nation at time and it's a must. It is not impossible but we need to think beyond the box.

Whether you take about cyber security or latest technology or individual rights, there is so much of discrimination in understanding the whole process of adaptation and cooperation. Even the process of standardization would have variants of possibilities while in action at regional and nation level.

Conflict of interest plays a huge role while, cooperation and coordination is not a full proper solution for the internet politics that goes on in selecting the one with the voice and neglecting the one who is silent is certainly discouraging the interest.

Internet as a community of development is only possible when we secure the right of every individual and create a uniform level of cooperation and understanding.

Though various aspect of Multistakeholderism and collaborative leadership has been pushed, when it comes to giving recognition and leadership, the developed world fails to acknowledge reality limiting us to an option of adjustment. We have the voice and we have the energy but do we have the choice?

Please do not give us the limited opportunities in fighting for the options as we are aware of how the internet politics work. The politics that goes behind the scene are not just limited in terms of appointment and funding options, but it goes on even in the rights to voice and communicate where the developed countries have been given the role of leadership and we have been suppressed of listening and following the rest.

Digital equality is a must, not just in terms of words but in practice, to ensure all individuals from a developing, to a least developed country, voice their part of the story. You cannot show a blind man the road but you can give him the choice to follow the direction. Just like that we need great leadership with better attitude who can entertain better politics with better scope and role to develop internet as a tool of humanity for betterment.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi, ICT4D Consultant

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