NETmundial: Is there a new guard of civil society coming to the internet governance fore?

This article is part of a series of posts by Stefania Milan who is attending the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder meeting on the Future of Internet Governance.

NETmundial and the surveillance debate spurred by the Snowden revelations have brought new civil society actors, namely the tech activism community, to the internet governance arena. For the last decade, the civil society segment engaged in internet governance included exclusively non-governmental organizations and academics who have been willing to play by the rules of the game and recognize the legitimacy of the multistakeholder process. At NETmundial, it is now apparent that there is a group of emerging policy-skeptical voices critical of the internet governance status quo and the multistakeholderism model. This new group of actors may contribute to the reshaping of known internal equilibriums within the civil society realm. While it is too early to predict whether these new entries and alliances are there to stay, the tech activism community’s engagement can contribute to increase civil society’s grassrootedness, legitimacy, and accountability. The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, also known as NETmundial, is taking…

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Spotlight on African Contributions to Internet Governance Discussions Part 1: NETmundial

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito explores Africa’s participation and contributions in internet governance, focusing on submissions to the NETmundial conference from African stakeholders. This post was originally published on the Access blog on April 14, 2014 and can be found here.

The internet affects every individual in this world whether directly or indirectly. For example, a medical professional somewhere in Goma, Congo might access the internet to read and post reviews to current medication available and this might have an impact on the kind of medication that he/she recommends to the patient, whether the patient has access to affordable internet or not. Since the internet affects everyone, Africans citizens who are aware of internet governance discussions, expect African stakeholders to engage in these discussions.

Specifically, we are looking at African stakeholder’s actions in taking part in positive reform agenda that: preserves the interoperable/global nature of the internet; secures and facilitates the exercise of human rights for all users without discrimination or regard for where they happen to connect; is inclusive in decision-making so that policies reflect the public interest.

One can note that African participation has been low as seen in the 2013 African IGF Report. African IGF…

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