For the past decade, since its adoption at the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the UN has organized the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder initiative that, inter alia, addresses topics of access, safety, privacy and freedom of the Internet. The Ninth and most recent Annual Meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey from 2-5 September 2014.
Just before its 10th year of existence, however, the IGF seems to have lost some of its momentum: Host countries for the annual meetings are increasingly difficult to find and include states that are known for more restrictive approaches to media freedom. Already, some civil society organizations decided to boycott the meeting because of these implicit contradictions. At the same time, with the 2012 ITU WCIT, the 2014 NETmundial and the 2011 Internet Freedom Coalition, parallel and competing global conferences and groups are being founded and organized.
What did the IGF process achieve for freedom of expression on the Internet over the last decade? Has the IGF come to a standstill? What are possible perspectives for a meaningful multi-stakeholder process in Internet governance? These and other questions need to be addressed in order to revitalize the IGF process – if a revitalization is wanted. This lunchtime talk will look at past developments and try to show future perspectives for the IGF.
This seminar is part of the CGCS’ Internet Policy Observatory lunchtime series.