Tag Archives: internet governance

Footage from the workshop on core Internet values

With a slight delay, I would like to share video footage of the workshop I organized at the last IGF in Vilnius.  This is the same workshop for which I was seeking your input about a month and a half ago.

The full title of the workshop is “Core Internet values and the principles of Internet Governance across generations” and the idea is exactly that – to have a dialogue between Internet pioneers and young Internet activists on the core of what the Internet stands for.

We had a great group of people.  On the one hand, there were young people from different parts of the world.  On the other hand, there were more senior Internet thinkers and practitioners.  Here is the full list of participants (in alphabetical order):

  • Bill Graham, Global Strategic Engagement, the Internet Society (ISOC)
  • ‘Gbenga Sesan, Paradigm New Nigeria
  • Drew Smith, Student at Elon Univeristy and participant in Imagining the Internet project
  • Grace Bomu, Young Kenyan lawyer, secretary of the ICT Consumers Association of Kenya, and cultural activist
  • Laura DeNardis, Yale Information Society Project
  • Marie Casey, Elected female representative at the ITU Youth Forum of future leaders, Geneva, 2009
  • Nii Narku Quaynor, Ghana.com
  • Rafik Dammak, Tokyo University
  • Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google
  • Vladimir Radunovic, Diplo Foundation

Ian Peter, who chaired the last year workshop on Internet Governance, was also supposed to take part in the workshop, but unfortunately he was not able to make it to Vilnius.

I hoped to be able to share a report from the workshop here, but other tasks take priority at the moment and I will be posting the report later.  I do think we had a very interesting and lively discussion, so I thought at this point I will just share the video footage of the event.  If you have a couple of hours to spare, I think you will find this engaging.


As always, your thoughts and comments are most welcome!

The 5th GigaNet Symposium

Over the past few months I had the pleasure of working with a great group of people on planning the next symposium of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network.  The final program is now available online and I am also posting it below.   I think it will be a very interesting day and if you are interested in internet governance, you should definitely try to participate (there should be options for remote participation announced soon).

I have more Internet Governance Forum related updates, which I will post soon.  In the meantime, here is the program of the symposium, which will take place on September 13th:

9:00-9:15 Opening

9:15-10:30 PANEL 1: Internet governance theory and issue

Moderador: William Drake, Centre for International Governance of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva

  • Peng Hwa Ang and Natalie Pang. Going Beyond Talk: Can International Internet Governance Work?
  • Everton Lucero. Global Governance of Critical Internet Resources: A Perspective from the South
  • Jean-marie Chenou. Multistakeholderism or elitism ? The creation of a transnational field of Internet governance

10:30-11:00 Poster session and coffee break

11:00-12:15 PANEL 2: State power and Internet governance

Moderator: Rolf Webber , European Law Institute and the Center for Information and Communication Law at the University of Zurich

  • Joanna Kulesza. State responsibility for acts of cyber-terrorism
  • Jeremy Shtern. Models of Global Internet Governance and the Projection of State Power: The Case of Facebook and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Lorena Jaume-Palasi and Ben Wagner. Nosy preferences of Google and China: Modelling an internet governance conflict using Amartya Sen’s liberal paradox

12:15-12:30 Sponsorship slot

12:30-13:30 Lunch – Sponsored by MIT Press. Welcome speech given by William Drake, editor of the MIT Press series on “The information revolution and global politics” and Milton Mueller, author of the newly released book, “Networks and States: the Global Politics of Internet Governance.”

13:30-14:45         PANEL 3: Interaction of technology, operations and governance

Moderator: Meryem Marzouki, LIP6/PolyTIC – CNRS

  • Brenden Kuerbis. Securing Internet routing: Influence and control of critical Internet resources through social networks and delegation
  • Dmitry Epstein, Qiu-Hong Wang, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Milton Mueller. What’s in the name? A behavioral study of the use of the URLs in China and the US
  • Laura DeNardis. The Privatization Of Internet Governance

14:45-15:45         PANEL 4: IGF practice, multistakeholderism and emerging issues

  • Nanette Levinson. Evaluating and Analyzing Collaboration In Cross-cultural and Cross-sectoral Perspective: Indicators from The Internet Governance Forum
  • Ivar Alberto Hartmann. Universal Access policies and Internet Access as a Fundamental Right: The Constitutional Law Perspective informed by the Brazilian Case.

15:45-16:00         Closing

16:00-16:30         Poster session and coffee break

16:30                    GigaNet Business meeting


  • Charlotte Bogusz. Openness and Privacy v/ Security : The example of filtering measures.2
  • Charlotte Bogusz. The promotion of the general interest through ICTs : The French and Senegalese examples
  • Daniel Oppermann. Analysing cybercrime from a multistakeholder perspective
  • Luiz Costa. The Internet and the Constitutional restrictions on foreign participation in Brazilian Media
  • Luiz Costa. A case study on the Brazilian E-Commerce Forum
  • Mona Badran. Is internet changing the social life of Egyptian college students and affecting their privacy?
  • Rolf H. Weber. Policies for Governing Critical Internet Resources
  • Shawn Gunnarson. Securing ICANN’s Accountability
  • Sofiane Bouhdiba. Internet governance and Education: the Tunisian Virtual University in the context of the Tunis agenda

Digest #26

It has been really long time since I have posted any updates. Yes, I was busy, but the number of open tabs with interesting articles kept on growing. So, today I have a moment to breathe and I decided to close some of them (before my Firefox crashes). Although some of the link are not as timely as they were when I first opened them, I think they are still relevant and interesting.


  • Recent news related
  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations
  • Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions
  • Digital Divide
  • MICT regulation
  • “New” media
  • Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff
  • Continue reading

    CFP: Third International Workshop on Internet Governance

    If you are interested in Internet Governance research, you may find the following call for contributions, issues by GigaNet, relevant.

    Third International Workshop on Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction

    Montreal (QC), Canada – 30-31 May 2010

    Organized by GigaNet, in cooperation with The Canadian Communication Association and Media@McGill

    Co-sponsored by GigaNet, ACC-CCA, Media@McGill, LIP6/CNRS and UPMC

    Preliminary Announcement and Call for Contributions

    The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) invites you to participate in its third scholarly workshop to be held in Montreal (QC), Canada, on 30-31 May 2010. This workshop is organized in cooperation with the Canadian Communication Association and Media@McGill, during the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) 2010 Congress week in Montreal.

    Building on the success of its first two editions, respectively in Paris, France in June 2008 and in Brussels, Belgium in May 2009, the purpose of this third GigaNet workshop is twofold:

    The first day will be dedicated to outreach sessions aimed at increasing the interest in the Global Internet Governance field among both various academic disciplines and the civil society at large, including but not limited to NGOs and civil society groups active in related fields. These outreach sessions will include academic tutorials on Global Internet Governance as well as information and discussion led by experts in the field on current Global Internet Governance debates and their relevance to public policy making.   Detailed information on the outreach sessions’ program will be distributed closer to the event itself.

    The second day will feature thematic presentations selected upon submissions made in response to this call for contributions. We invite scholars to present and discuss their work- in-progress in Internet Governance-related research, with the aim to identify emerging research themes and design a research agenda. Rather than featuring academic paper presentations, the workshop aims at providing a survey of current academic activities in the field, in order to share ideas and forge possible collaborations.

    Submissions are expected to focus on presenting problematics, research designs, preliminary empirical results and conclusions in the aim of stimulating reflection and discussion amongst the audience. Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

    involved actors and their interactions; Internet governance institutions and regimes; legal, socio-economical, behavioral and technical regulation means; Internet governance policy issues.

    Submissions in view of thematic presentations should be sent by 20 March 2010 to Meryem Marzouki (Meryem.Marzouki@lip6.fr). They should be written in English and include the name, affiliation, e-mail address and short bio of author(s), along with no more than 500 words of research work description. The program committee will notify applicants by 20 April 2010. To encourage knowledge dissemination, relevant submissions will be published on the workshop website. Authors of selected submissions will be invited to present their work in the workshop thematic sessions.

    Program Committee:

    Laura DeNardis, Yale U., USA; Meryem Marzouki, CNRS & U. Pierre et Marie Curie, France; Milton Mueller, Syracuse U., USA & Delft Technical U., The Netherlands; Claudia Padovani, Padova U., Italy & McGill U., Canada; Jeremy Shtern, Ryerson U., Canada.

    Local Organizing Committee:

    Juliana Dalley, McGill U., Canada; Becky Lentz, McGill U., Canada; Daniel Paré, U. of Ottawa, Canada; Claire Roberge, McGill U., Canada.

    There is no registration fee for this event. A registration form will be circulated with the program.

    Workshop website: http://giga-net.org/page/2010-international-workshop

    GigaNet: giga-net.org – ACC-CCA: www.acc-cca.ca – Media@McGill: media.mcgill.ca

    To receive further workshop updates, and other GigaNet news, please subscribe to the information dissemination mailing list: info-giganet (http://www-rp.lip6.fr/wws/info/info-giganet)

    Digest #24

    There is a lot going on, so here is another digest.  It starts with some feedback from the recent open consultations for the upcoming IGF.  Then it includes links to some studies, including the recently released Berkman report on broadband policy and then to some interesting opinions about the role of content piracy in technology adoption and about the link between net neutrality and job creation.  And of course, as usual, some fun stuff :)

  • Recent news related
  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations
  • Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions
  • Digital Divide
  • MICT regulation
  • MICT business
  • “New” media
  • Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff
  • Continue reading

    Digest #23

    This time the digest is rather dense and lengthily. You will find links to writings about the recent Googlle-China clash, some responses to the launch of the iPad, some stats about broadband and young people online, discussions about ICT4D, information about some interesting initiatives, and more…

  • Recent news related
  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations
  • Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions
  • Digital Divide
  • MICT regulation
  • MICT business
  • “New” media
  • MICT in politics
  • Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff
  • Enjoy!

    Continue reading

    Reading blogs #20

    Wow!  I can’t believe it I made to the 20th digest.  Any feedback on those?

  • Recent news related
  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations
  • Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions
  • Digital Divide
  • MICT regulation
  • MICT business
  • MICT in politics
  • Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff
  • So, should I continue with these?

    Continue reading

    October 1, 2009

    Originally, I planned to post about this before the actual date, but as it often happens, priorities got in the way and here I am now, reflecting on things post factum.  So, what happened on October 1, 2009 to deserve a blog post?

    September 30th was the expiration date of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce.  This special arrangement between the US Government and the pivotal organization in the Internet Governance came under a lot of criticism over the years and has generated calls for greater transparency, oversight, and internationalization of ICANN, with an overarching  theme of increasing participation of various stakeholders being those governments or the civil society.

    Initially, the MOU was supposed to last for three years, but it ended up being used for eleven.  Nominally, under the MOU, the only body that could review ICANN’s activity was the US Government.  At least in theory, this oversight gave the US Government direct control over ICANN, despite the rhetoric of bottom-up decision making and multistakeholderism.  In practice, I am not sure how much direct control was actually exercised; it seems that most influence came through soft power and ICANN made numerous efforts to increase transparency and international participation in its activities.

    The big change offered by the Affirmation of Commitments (AOC), which was signed yesterday, is that it replaces the earlier agreement and exposes ICANN to public oversight.  As Rod Beckstrom, the CEO and the President of ICANN, wrote in an op-ed in the Guardian: “We are entering a new era of coordination, not control – where the internet is governed by you, the users.”  Well, at least nominally.  According to the AOC, the different aspects of ICANN’s activities will have to be reviewed, at least every three years, by a various committees where the US Government will have only one sit, together with other representatives of the ICANN community.

    Overall, the announcement of the AOC and the first round of responses was surrounded by rhetoric of independence and further internationalization of ICANN.  BBC News wrote that “US relaxes grip on the internet,”  Guardian titled their item: “US relinquishes control of the internet,” and  “Internet News” announced that “U.S. Cedes ICANN Control to the World” (other outlets had similar titles).  On the ICANN’s website, there is an entire collection of responses from industry leaders and politicians from all over the world, who solute the AOC.  Some of the US newspapers were a bit more critical.  The PC World published an article titled: “U.S. Loosens Grip On ICANN, Domain Chaos To Follow?” where they discuss ICANN’s intentions to introduce new top level domains and domains in non-Latin characters.  However, the overwhelming majority of responses are applauding the supposed independence.

    More specifically, the independence stems from the fact that the review of ICANN’s activity will be no longer conducted by the DOC, but by a committee of supposedly independent experts and will be also put out online for public comments.  That is again, nominally.  In fact, there are reasons to question the independent character of this committee.  As Ian Douglas of the Telegraph notes, members of these committees will still come from the ICANN circles, thus implying little change in the character of the oversight.  Milton Muller adds to it by highlighting that people who are going to be reviewed by the committee, i.e. the ICANN management, are those who are responsible for nomination of committee members.  According to AOC, the CEO of ICANN and the Chair of the Government Advisory Group (GAC) are those who appoint the review committee members.

    The other aspect highlighted in the AOC and in the responses to it is the private sector leadership.  Even though there is literature suggesting otherwise, the commonly held perception, especially in the diplomatic circles, was that the US Government is leading ICANN.  In practice, again, there were much more shades of gray and the industry played an important role in steering ICANN in particular directions (Milton refers to this as well in his review of AOC).  In the current arrangement, the governments are getting a heavier say in the process.  Even if they are not formally in a decision-making position, they are now in a position where they directly involved in setting the parameters of the discourse and who is getting the stage.

    Personally, I still find it difficult to see beyond the rhetoric of independence and internationalization at the moment.  While this is presented as an important step, it remains to be seen how significant the actual change is going to be, particularly in terms of public participation in ICANN’s activity.  One of the points that struck me in the interview Rod Beckstrom gave to the NPR, was him equating public participation to the participation of the governments.  Indeed, this is the view held by many States that were eager to have a more significant say on issues of Internet Governance; the rhetoric there is that governments are representatives of their people and they know the best how to take care of their people’s interests.  While this may be acceptable in some cases and in some cultures, it is definitely not a homogeneous take.  I doubt that many people affiliated with the civil society or civil rights activists, particularly in places that do not excel on that front, will agree with that equation.

    I think the affirmation, even though it represents a somewhat expected compromise, is a positive step and the rhetoric surrounding it is encouraging.  However we still have to wait and see if the actions will align with the rhetoric and whether October 1, 2009 will be remembered as a pivotal date in the history of Internet Governance.  Moreover, this step makes the upcoming Internet Governance Forum particularly interesting and I wonder what kind of effect this announcement will have on its agenda.  I guess we will see the first signs tomorrow at IGF-USA that will take place in Washington DC.