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UNESCO resists JNC's attempt to turn "democracy" against ordinary Internet users
By terminus - 5/3/2015 Today in Paris UNESCO (the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) finalised the outcome document from its conference, “CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action”. The document is wide-ranging, and although it doesn't push the envelope as far as civil society would like on issues such as privacy and intermediary liability, it nonetheless contains some welcome and hard-fought provisions on freedom of expression (for example, recognising social media producers as worthy of similar protections as journalists), on access to information and knowledge (referencing the importance of open access, open data and FOSS), and affirming the relevance of work on network neutrality, amongst other areas. It also manages to avoid the few negative provisions that marred the NETmundial statement, and as such was welcomed by major civil society groups on the ground in Paris as a worthy outcome of one of the most consultative, multi-stakeholder processes that one could expect from a United Nations body. Since it is a non-binding document it was not put to the vote, but was accepted as a consensus outcome by acclaim, as signaled by a round of applause.

Who are the Just Net Coalition and what can we expect from the Internet Social Forum?
By terminus - 23/1/2015 Today, the Just Net Coalition (JNC) has broadcast (on seven mailing lists alone that I subscribe to) its plans for an Internet Social Forum, modeled on the World Social Forum, the well-known anti-globalisation summit. Just as the World Social Forum is held in opposition to the annual Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), so the Internet Social Forum is framed as an alternative to the NETmundial Initiative, which JNC describes (inaccurately) as a project of the WEF.

Civil society talks tough to the NETmundial Initiative, but holds back on a boycott
By terminus - 27/11/2014 The following letter was sent to the organisers of the NETmundial Initiative today by the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG), an umbrella organisation of which I'm a member on behalf of the Best Bits network.

Strengthening the Internet Governance Forum: A Perspective from Civil Society
By terminus - 31/8/2014 I am the author of a chapter on strengthening the IGF from a civil society perspective, published in the book Beyond NETmundial: The Roadmap for Institutional Improvements to the Global Internet Governance Ecosystem, edited by William Drake and Monroe Price that has been released at this year's IGF.

NETmundial Initiative takes a top-down approach to implementing the NETmundial Principles
By terminus - 29/8/2014 Earlier this year, a global meeting called NETmundial was held in Saõ Paulo, Brazil, at which participants collaborated upon a set of norms, or non-binding (sometimes called “soft law”) principles. The NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement that encapsulated these principles was ultimately disappointing. Even so, in some areas it does make some important points (such as that “Rights that people have offline must also be protected online”), and it has been cited as a rough consensus statement of these principles by other influential governance institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council.

The NETmundial Initiative exposed
By terminus - 21/8/2014 The NETmundial Initiative finally came out of the closet this week with ICANN head Fadi Chehadé's blog, An Initiative for Action. I am fortunate, if confused, to be one of eleven civil society representatives (really more like eight, if you look more closely at the list) invited to attend the first meeting of the Initiative in Geneva ahead of the 2014 IGF.

The most important outcome of NETmundial 2014 wasn't in the text
By terminus - 25/4/2014 Perhaps a more important outcome of NETmundial than the multistakeholder statement of São Paulo is what its participants have learned in experimenting to jointly create a multi-stakeholder conference, inclusive of online and offline participants from all sectors, that produces shared outcomes.

NETmundial 2014 intervention on a deliberative plenary process for the IGF
By terminus - 24/4/2014 My name is Jeremy Malcolm and I'm now speaking only on my own behalf, though some of these points do enjoy broader support. The document that we produce I believe should be a declaration of its participants, rather than a mere Chairman's summary.

NETmundial 2014 submission on evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem
By terminus - 7/3/2014 This submission takes as its starting point the submission from participants of the Best Bits network on “Roadmap for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem – institutional mechanisms”, which I participated in drafting and generally agree with (“the Best Bits submission”).

The love-hate relationship between the Internet technical community and civil society
By terminus - 27/2/2014 I'm Australian, but I've been living in Malaysia for almost six years. One thing that you may not know about Malaysia is that they have an active stand-up comedy scene here. One of the staples of the scene is that the Chinese, Indian and Malay comedians will all make fun not only of their own race – which is something they could do in Australia too – but also of the other races, using some pretty offensive stereotypes, that I'm not going to repeat here!

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Discover the book that Internet governance experts are calling a "masterly" and "rich introduction to Internet governance" (Pranesh Prakash) that "ought to be read by every participant in the UN Internet Governance Forum" (Milton Mueller).

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