(IGP) This is a comment Professor Wolfgang Kleinwachter made regarding the future of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). At the recent Geneva consultations of the IGF, there was a disagreement over whether the UN Secretary-General's recommendations on the continuation of the IGF should be delivered through the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) or the Committee on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) prior to the UN General Assembly receiving it to make a final decision. This seemingly obscure bureaucratic disagreement reflects a larger debate over how open and "multistakeholder" the IGF should be.
(Rebecca McKinnon) On the final day of a four-day meeting, most government representatives expressed support for renewing the Internet Governance Forum's five-year mandate which ends next year. China did not. Chen Yin, the head of the Chinese delegation to the Internet Governance Forum, said that the IGF's mandate should not be continued without reforms.
(RAPID) At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), the European Commission has s welcomed a landmark step towards a truly global (and local) internet: the announcement that "Internationalised Domain Names" will be introduced at the top level. Until now, internet domain names were either fully or partly in the Latin "a to z" alphabet. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which manages the internet's core directory, has announced that a fast track process would be launched today to open up country code top level domains (like ".eu" of europa.eu) to non Latin characters. This means that Europeans, especially in Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, will be able to see domain names in their own alphabets. Viviane Reding, the EU's telecoms and internet Commissioner, heralded this major multilingual development. She also called for the timeframe of the Internet Governance Forum - a unique multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for the global internet community - to be extended. See also Why the Internet must be open, global and multilingual Opening speech by Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media at the Internet Governance Forum Sharm El Sheikh, 15 November 2009.
(BBC) Egypt should not have been picked as the venue for a key net talking shop, say human rights activists. Reporters Without Borders said it was "surprised" that the Internet Governance Forum will take place in Egypt's Sharm-el-Sheikh resort. Set up by the UN, about 1,400 participants are expected to attend the three day meeting which gets under way on 15 November. Delegates will debate security, access and the growth of social networks. In a statement Reporters Without Borders said: ""It is astonishing that a government that is openly hostile to internet users is assigned the organization of an international meeting on the internet's future." See also Open Net Initiative profile for Egypt and UN slated for stifling net debate.
(Europa) The objective of the consultation is to help prepare a new EU strategy for the information society, as the current i2010 strategy is coming to a close this year. All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Period of consultation: from 4 August until 9 October 2009.
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Telecoms and Media. The Ludwig Erhard Lecture 2009. Lisbon Council, Brussels, 9 July 2009. See also EU plans overhaul of Internet download rules (Reuters). The European Union needs new rules for Internet downloads that would make it easier for people to access music and films without resorting to piracy, the bloc's telecoms chief said. Mapping out the priorities for the EU's executive arm over the next five years, EU Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding said it should consider new laws that would reconcile the interests of intellectual property owners and Internet surfers.
"It will therefore be my key priority to work... on a simple, consumer friendly legal framework for accessing digital content in Europe's single market, while ensuring, at the same time, fair remuneration (for) creators," she told a seminar.
(RAPID) The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has called for more transparency and multilateral accountability in the governance of the internet. At present, a private US-based body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN ), is responsible for coordinating key elements of the internet. The Commission agrees that private companies should continue to take the lead in the day-to-day management of the operation of the internet, as long as they are accountable and independent. The Commission also believes that decisions about the internet, especially those about openness and security, should be taken in a transparent and accountable manner because they affect everyone around the globe. ICANN currently operates under a Joint Project Agreement with the US Department of Commerce which expires on 30 September 2009. In the view of the European Commission, future internet governance arrangements should reflect the key role that the global network has come to play for all countries. Commission Communication "Internet governance: the next steps" COM(2009) 2007.
(Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger) Wolfgang Kleinwächter ist Professor am Department for Media and Information Sciences der Universität Aarhus in Dänemark und Direktor des NETCOM Instituts der Medienstadt Leipzig e.V.. Im Interview spricht er über Internetzensur in China und die Gefahr einer Aufsplitterung des World Wide Web.
(Press Release) U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the Online Safety and Technology Working Group - a working group dedicated to keeping children safe on the Internet. More than two dozen private sector and child and family advocacy leaders will help evaluate industry efforts to protect the privacy and safety of children and families online. Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace/Fox Interactive Media, and Ms. Anne Collier, Net Family News/ConnectSafely.org will act as Co-Chairs of the Group.
(IGF) The fourth annual IGF Meeting will be held from 15-18 November in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Consultations open to all stakeholders were held in Geneva on 23-24 February 2009. Open Consultation 23 February 2009 Transcript and Open Consultations 24 February 2009 Transcript. The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) met in Geneva on 25-26 February 2009. The MAG agreed on the broad outline of a meeting schedule. see summary. Stakeholders are invited to submit preliminary workshop proposals based on this template by 15 April 2009. An online form will be made available in due course for the submission of proposals.
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. European Internet Foundation Special Event "A view of the Digital World in 2025", Brussels, 13 November 2008
(Department for Children, Schools and Families) Some of the biggest names from industry and charities have joined forces with the Government, parents and young people to help keep children safe online, Children's Secretary Ed Balls and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced. The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will unite over 100 organisations from the public and private sector working with Government to deliver recommendations from Dr Tanya Byron?s report 'Safer Children in a Digital World'. Reporting directly to the Prime Minister, the Council will help to improve the regulation and education around internet use, tackling problems around online bullying, safer search features, and violent video games. This unprecedented coalition of experts and organisations will ensure that parents and young people have a voice in the development of a Child Internet Safety Strategy, to be delivered early next year. List of membersExecutive Board
The body behind the internet's addressing systems has said that it will settle disputes over who wins the right to new generic top level domains (gTLDs) by auction. ICANN has said that auctions will be used if two organisations vying for the right to a gTLD are tied on other grounds.
(EuroDIG.org) Consultations before the 3rd IGF in Hyderabad with a particular emphasis on : "Fostering security, privacy and openness on the internet". European actors interested in Internet Governance issues will meet in Strasburg on 20-21 October 2008, to discuss openly and freely their ideas, experiences and concerns in a fully multi-stakeholder format. The main themes on the Agenda of the 3rd IGF to be held in Hyderabad in December will be addressed with a particular emphasis on issues surrounding security, privacy, and openness on the Internet (concerns such as cutting Internet access, the privacy and security of popular internet banking and commerce applications, etc). Other themes will include universal access, as well as managing Internet critical resources.
(Heise) Für den 20. und 21. Oktober ist erstmals ein "European Dialog on Internet Governance" (euroDIG) geplant. In den Räumen des Europarats wollen sich dann europäische Regierungen, Unternehmen und Zivilgesellschaft auf das dritte Internet Governance Forum (IGF) im Dezember in Hyderabad vorbereiten. Es gehe weniger darum, eine gemeinsame europäische Position zu formulieren, als europäische Regierungen, Unternehmen und Zivilgesellschaft zu befähigen, mit verschiedenen Positionen und Ideen zum dritten IGF zu fahren, sagte Wolfgang Kleinwächter, einer der Koordinatoren des euroDIG, am Rande des Treffens der Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Paris.
(Europa) The European Commission has launched a public consultation on age verification, cross media rating and classification, and online social networking. The purpose of the public consultation is to gather the knowledge and views of all relevant stakeholders (including public bodies, child safety and consumer organisations, industry). The gathered information will be fed into this year's Safer Internet Forum 2008, which will be dedicated to the above mentioned topics. The consultation will be open until 31 July 2008.
(vnuent.com) Government ministers from across the world have issued a call for greater vigilance against cybercrime at a meeting on the future of the internet economy. The Seoul Declaration came at the end of a two day ministerial conference on the future of the web in the South Korean capital hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). OECD member countries, the European Community and ministers from Chile, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Senegal and Slovenia affirmed the declaration. Participants agreed on the need for governments to work closely with business, civil society and technical experts on policies that promote competition, empower and protect consumers, and expand internet access and use worldwide. See also Chair's Summary, Shaping policies for the future of the Internet economy and Annexes.
(OECD) This is the question OECD is asking the public on YouTube at
www.youtube.com/futureinternet. YouTube users can share their opinion with
the leaders and opinion shapers attending the OECD Ministerial meeting on the
"Future of the Internet" in Seoul, Korea on 17-18 June 2008. The OECD is organising the Ministerial Meeting. Government ministers from more than 40 countries, global business and civil society leaders, academics and technical experts will meet with more than 1000 participants to forge broad principles that can provide an enabling policy environment for the Internet Economy.
(RAPID) Discours de Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsable pour la Société de l'Information et Médias, Assises françaises du numérique "les TIC, levier de croissance et de compétitivité", Paris, le 29 mai 2008.
(ITU) The ITU has released WSIS Stocktaking 2008 Report. This Report is an update on the activities undertaken by governments, business, civil society and other organizations aimed at the achievement of the objectives and targets of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from end 2005 until mid 2008. The Report was prepared through a consultative process with all stakeholders by placing the draft report for comments on the WSIS stocktaking website. The system is publicly accessible and presents information on WSIS-related initiatives and projects. It is possible to search for information within the database by WSIS action line, project, keyword, geographical location and other specifications. Governments submitted 3812 activities, representing 54 per cent of the total number of submissions. International organizations were second, with 29 per cent, followed by businesses, civil society entities and others. Some 44 per cent of activities submitted had been carried out at the national level, while 30 per cent were of an international nature.
(ZDNet France) Les dirigeants de Dailymotion ont accueilli le secrétaire d'État en charge du développement de l'économie numérique, pour sa première sortie officielle depuis sa prise de fonctions. L'occasion pour lui de se frotter aux réalités du web 2.0
(ZDNet.fr) Les principaux organismes français encadrant le développement d'internet - la Cnil, le FDI, l'Afnic et l'Isoc France - militent pour que l'Europe pèse d'avantage dans les réunions du Forum international sur la gouvernance de l'Internet (FGI). Les quatre organismes vont donc pousser l'idée de créer un FGI européen dont l'objectif sera de coordonner les interventions au prochain FGI mondial, qui se tiendra du 3 au 6 décembre prochain à Hyderabad (Inde). La Cnil, le FDI, l'Afnic et l'Isoc France ont déjà défini quelques thèmes fédérateurs : la protection des données personnelles, celle des mineurs (lutte contre les contenus illicites) et l'accessibilité des services internet à toutes les populations (développement de contenus multilingues, éducation en milieu scolaire...).
(EDRI-gram) The 9th meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE) group of specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS) was held in Strasbourg from 31 March to 2 April 2008. At the same time, on 1-2 April, another division of the CoE was holding in a building across the street its 2008 Octopus conference on cooperation against cybercrime. This schedule overlapping is not the only sign that CoE's left hand seems to ignore what its right hand is doing: different divisions are also addressing same issues, though from different points of view and with different results.
(EP) The European Parliament have released a resolution on the recent Internet Governance Forum meeting in Rio de Janeiro. It considers that, although the IGF is not to adopt formal conclusions, the European Union's responsibility is to support this process, as it gives a positive and concrete context to the shaping of the Internet's future on the basis of a multi-stakeholder approach and calls on the Commission and the Council to keep the IGF high on their agendas. It encourages the organisation of a 'European IGF' before mid-2009 to reinforce the European dimension of the whole IGF/WSIS process.
(Net Family News) A quick snapshot from a UK researcher halfway through her cyberbullying study: Well-known psychologist Tanya Byron told the Oxford Media Convention that "children are more worried about being bullied in cyberspace than any threat from paedophiles," the Financial Times reports. On pedophiles, she quoted one girl as telling her, "We kind of know who the creepy people are and what they say, and we kind of ignore them." The research shows that, "although children were adept at exploiting the ignorance of their parents about the internet and gaming, many would prefer to be able to talk to their mother or father about their online lives," the FT added.
(New York Times) Capitalizing on its improved respectability, the video game industry intends to establish a political action committee to donate money to game-friendly politicians and candidates. Michael D. Gallagher, chief executive of the Entertainment Software Association, the industry?s lobbying arm in Washington, said that the group?s board approved the PAC?s creation last fall and that the committee would be up and running by the end of March. The association represents major game publishers including the Walt Disney Company, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony.
(RAPID) The media are changing, and so is citizens' use of such media. New information and communication technologies make it much easier for anybody to retrieve and disseminate information, communicate, publish or even broadcast. The ability of people to critically analyse what they find in the media and to make more informed choices ? called 'media literacy' ? therefore becomes even more essential for active citizenship and democracy. Following an EU-wide survey last year, the European Commission has announced today its plans to encourage the development of media literacy and the exchange of good practice across Europe.
(ZDNet.fr) Alors que la mission Olivennes s'est engagée à responsabiliser les hébergeurs, cinq acteurs du web se regroupent pour protéger leurs activités. Une initiative pour rappeler qu'ils adoptent « une démarche responsable » face au piratage et à la contrefaçon. Il s'agit de la « première organisation française qui regroupe des sociétés de premier plan du web 2.0 et vise à promouvoir le "nouvel" internet ». L'Association des services internet communautaires (Asic) vient de voir le jour sous l'impulsion d'AOL, Dailymotion, Google, PriceMinister et Yahoo.
(BBC) More than 2,000 people who oversee the workings of the net around the world are gathering in Brazil. Policy makers, activists and officials are gathering in Rio de Janeiro for the second Internet Governance Forum. The UN-backed body aims to give those developing policies for the net a place to air problems and hear about others who have succeeded. Sessions at the four-day forum will debate security, international domains and control of core net functions
A new Senate bill would protect not only telephone companies from lawsuits claiming illegal cooperation with the National Security Agency. It would retroactively immunize e-mail providers, search engines, Internet service providers and instant-messaging services too.
Microsoft ended its long battle with European regulators by agreeing to comply with key elements of the European Commission's 2004 antitrust order. Under the agreement, Microsoft will make three "substantial" changes in the way it supplies interoperability information to competitors seeking to have their work-group server software work with Microsoft's operating system. The company will provide open-source software developers access to and use of its interoperability information, according to the Commission.
Web's global nature makes it essential for U.K. and Europe to discuss Net neutrality, says British Computer Society president. Professor Nigel Shadbolt said that, because so much of the Internet's content is derived from the U.S., the U.K. and Europe would be affected by any Net neutrality-related decisions made across the Atlantic. Because Internet users in the U.S. tend to have a smaller range of ISPs to choose from than do users in the U.K., the consensus in the U.K. has been that Net neutrality is a U.S.-centric debate.
The US Justice Department has said that internet service providers should be allowed to charge for priority traffic. The agency said it was opposed to "network neutrality", the idea that all data on the net is treated equally. The comments put the agency at odds with companies such as Microsoft and Google, who have called for legislation to guarantee equal access to the net.
(Italy) The Italian Government, in the framework of the Internet Governance Forum process, and in cooperation with the UN and the IGF Secretariat, will organize a Dialogue Forum on Internet Rights, to be held in Rome on 27 September 2007. The Government of Italy invites all stakeholders - Governments, private sector, civil society, academic and technical communities, and international organizations - to attend the meeting. To facilitate the public debate a dedicated online forum is also available. This initiative aims at facilitating the international multistakeholder debate on the opportunity of defining shared rights, that guarantee the open and multilateral character of the Internet.
(CoE) On 13 and 14 September the Council of Europe will host a pan-European conference on the ethical dimensions of the information society, organised in conjunction with UNESCO and the French Commission for UNESCO. The aims of the conference are:
to identify ethical and human rights issues connected with information and communication technologies and the way ICT are used;
to raise stakeholders' awareness of these issues;
to contribute to the UNESCO code of ethics project and make operational recommendations;
to promote the development of regional and inter-regional networks and co-operation.
(PAID) Viviane Reding, Mitglied der Europäischen Kommission, verantwortlich für Informationsgesellschaft und Medien. Ziele und Perspektiven europäischer Medienpolitik. 19. Medienforum.nrw Köln, 18. June 2007
(The Register) The first UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held in Athens in November last year, was widely hailed as a success. It was an undeniably huge achievement to get the Chinese government in the same room as Amnesty International, and then to get them talking. The IGF is unique in the UN's history, designed to grant governments, NGOs, and commerce an equal seat at the table. But last time round, less than a sixth of attendees came from the private sector. Nominet, the registry for .uk addresses, has cooked up a scheme to get more companies involved with the IGF when it rolls into Rio De Janeiro for its second meeting this November.
(ZDNet UK) Businesses across the UK are being invited to put themselves forward as examples of internet best practice, after Nominet launched a competition. Nominet, which runs the .uk domain registry, is a participant in the worldwide Internet Governance Forum (IGF). It wants to establish a UK-specific version of the forum to show the rest of the world how well the UK manages its internet governance. Both private and public-sector organisations are invited to enter.
(ITU) ITU and UNCTAD announce the publication of the World Information Society Report 2007. The Report seeks to benchmark progress in meeting the WSIS targets, to be achieved by 2015 at the latest, and evaluates the evolution of the digital divide. It presents 200 pages of analysis of the latest trends in ICTs, exploring whether consumers are 'cutting the cord', the death of dial-up and growth in broadband and 3G. It evaluates the digital divide using a variety of techniques and finds that the strong growth of mobile telephony offers the greatest potential to bridge the digital divide.
(ITU) The second edition of the World Information Society Report: Beyond WSIS is going to be launched on the occasion of the World Information Society Day on 16 May 2007. Published by ITU and UNCTAD, this report looks beyond the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS, Geneva 2003 - Tunis 2005) to the creation of an inclusive, people-centered and development-oriented Information Society, open to all. Some of the themes covered in the report are: the evolution of the digital divide, trends in the information society, ICT growth strategies, cybersecurity and WSIS implementation. The report tracks progress in digital opportunity for 181 economies over the past few years since the start of the WSIS process and is accompanied by a series of tables providing the latest statistics on the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) worldwide.
(UNESCO) by Mary Rundle and Chris Conley. The Infoethics Survey of Emerging Technologies prepared by the NGO Geneva Net Dialogue at the request of UNESCO aims at providing an outlook to the ethical implications of future communication and information technologies. The report further aims at alerting UNESCO's Member States and partners to the increasing power and presence of emerging technologies and draws attention to their potential to affect the exercise of basic human rights. Perhaps as its most salient deduction, the study signals that these days all decision makers, developers, the corporate scholar and users are entrusted with a profound responsibility with respect to technological developments and their impact on the future orientation of knowledge societies.
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society) by Mary C. Rundle. Increasingly, governments are regulating the "Net" - that is, the Internet and people's activities over it. Because the Net is global in nature, governments are turning to intergovernmental organizations to iron out common approaches. Taken together, these international Net initiatives foray into all areas of government traditionally dealt with by domestic regimes - addressing foreign commercial relations, jurisdiction, infrastructure, security, monetary authority, property, relations between private parties, and citizenship.