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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The GovLab Selected Readings on Mapping the Internet Governance Ecosystem

As part of an ongoing effort to build a knowledge base for the field of opening governance by organizing and disseminating its learnings,  the GovLab Selected Readings series provides an annotated and curated collection of recommended works on key opening governance topics. The Governance Lab @NYU (GovLab) cross-posts weekly on CGCS’s Internet Policy ObservatoryThis edition of selected readings explores the literature on Mapping the Internet Governance Ecosystem, the original post can be found here.

Internet governance has the following generally accepted (although by no means uncontroversial) working definition drafted during the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005: “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” Internet governance is often described as occurring within an “ecosystem” of institutions organized inregional, national, and global “layers” of governance. Internet governance issues are also described as “layered” – for example, the technical layer comprises elements like servers, infrastructure and protocols, while the the non-technical layer comprises issues like intellectual property rights and security. Further complicating the Internet space are the many important distinctions and interactions between the roles and responsibilities of the various Internet governance actors, like the UNICANN and the over one hundred local Internet Society chapters, to name a few.

The introduction to this Selected Reading pauses to take note of…

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