IGFWatch news

IGFWatch news


Where did the mysterious CIRP come from – A short alternative (almost sub-altern) account of its history
By parminder - 27/10/2012 The famous multistakeholder (MS) Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) identified 'unilateral control by the United States Government ' of root zone files and system as one of the highest priority issues that needed attention.  Incidentally, US, the shining beacon of MSism today, refused to join this MS initiative on global IG, I mean, the WGIG. WGIG also identified a set of global Internet related public policy issues that needed to be addresses. It gave four possible alternative institutional structures to deal with global IG imperatives for the consideration of the Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Of these, three alternatives sought a new inter-governmental global Internet policy body, with non government participants in advisory or observer roles. The fourth alternative was more or less staying with the status quo, except for creating an IGF (a common feature of all the four alternatives), which, significantly, was supposed to inter alia issues analysis and recommendations on key global IG issues.WSIS mandated the creation of an IGF, and, due to inconclusive negotiations, gave somewhat unclear recommendations on the needed mechanism for global Internet related policies. Basically, the unmistakable mandate was to discuss this issue further, with specific assertions that something that addresses the imperative of global Internet policies is certainly needed. The Tunis agenda is clear to this extent.

Hell freezes over, and in other news from the IGF Secretariat...
By terminus - 11/10/2012 The IGF's Secretariat has always been one of the most regressive influences on its development. In a previous post I criticised Markus Kummer's part in this, but Nitin Desai was just as bad. Even before the IGF's first meeting, Desai had sounded the death knell for its capacity to conclude recommendations, claiming that "there's no way it can ever become a decision-making body".

Who are those who have never rotated off the MAG?
By terminus - 5/8/2012 Whenever the IGF's Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) is renewed, one third of each stakeholder group is requested to step down. Since the first MAG was appointed in 2006, that means that everyone from that original group should have rotated off the MAG by now. Right?

Picking up where the IGF left off: our role in the future of Internet governance
By terminus - 4/7/2012 Internet governance is reaching a crisis point. Internet-related public policies are being shaped by governments behind closed doors, sparking global street and online protests over agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Other governments, excluded from these fora, are taking recourse to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), or threatening to create their own Internet ghettos governed in a more closed, government-led process. States are using malware to wage cyber warfare, at the same time as the use of such malware by criminals is taken as justification for new incursions on personal freedoms. They are also putting forward new laws and regulations, such as SOPA and PIPA in the US and the Indian Internet Intermediary Guidelines, that seem to contradict their own public statements on Internet freedom, and could seriously impede global information flows.

Recommendations on improvement of the IGF a missed opportunity
By terminus - 24/5/2012 - 1 Replies The Report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum has been presented at this week's 15th meeting of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), which also considered a more hastily-written report of last Friday's (18 May) open consultation meeting on enhanced cooperation.

India's proposal for a UN Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP)
By terminus - 29/10/2011 India's proposal to the UN General Assembly for the formation of a UN Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP) - reproduced in full below, in lieu of an official version - has predictably sparked the same knee-jerk responses about a "UN takeover of the Internet" that prevailed at WSIS, thereby maintaining the US government's sole oversight of Internet naming and numbering functions.

Drama, intrigue, promise and danger at the Nairobi IGF
By terminus - 1/10/2011 The last couple of IGF meetings have begun to feel a little stale. Nairobi changed all that.  The sixth IGF meeting brought with it drama, intrigue, promise, and even a little danger.  We will remember the IGF in Kenya for:

My closing session statement at the Nairobi IGF
By terminus - 30/9/2011 Madam Chair, your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I address you as co-coordinator of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, which is an open and diverse group of civil society stakeholders who believe in an inclusive, people centered and development oriented approach to Internet governance. As such our members were amongst the earliest and strongest proponents of the IGF, which together we have all shaped into a forum which embodies those values.

Secret civil society business
By terminus - 29/9/2011 - 1 Replies As the last post illustrated well, not everything that happens at the IGF happens out in the open. Even civil society, sometimes, meets behind closed doors - though the doors in question are generally those policymakers, rarely our own. So over the last three days, civil society representatives have had private audiences with the EU, the US and the UN on issues of mutual concern.

Stratifying the IGF
By terminus - 27/9/2011 A delegate arriving at the IGF expects that no matter what stakeholder group they come from, and no matter their wealth, power or prestige, they will be treated as an equal. They expect to be able to attend any session, and sit next to diplomats or tycoons if they wish. Until this year, that is. This year, the IGF delegate will notice some delegates with an extra badge around their necks, and overhear snatches of conversation about a "high level ministerial meeting". They will be presented with a wall of photos of smiling national delegations shaking hands with the heads of telecommunications and media companies. During the opening ceremony they will hear how useful and productive had been the meeting to which they were not invited. Profuse thanks will be given to the ITU for co-hosting it. Welcome to IGF 2011, humble delegate. You are now a second class IGF citizen.

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