The ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2-5 September. Alternative Informatics Association (AIA) submitted four proposals to the IGF, but all of them were rejected. As a result, AIA decided to organise a parallel event, the Internet Ungovernance Forum (IUF). The IUF attracted considerable interest among Internet researchers and activists who wished to address urgent issues, such as censorship and surveillance, in a more inclusive manner.
Ministers and Internet leaders including @NeelieKroesEU will discuss the theme "Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance". The 9th IGF will also address topics raised at the NETmundial conference in Brazil earlier this year, including net neutrality, the role and responsibilities of different stakeholders, jurisdiction issues and the application of Internet governance principles. IGF participants will also respond to the NETmundial statement.
Access to internet is critical for fundamental freedoms and economic development. Continued access to a free and open internet depends on effective governance. In the wake of large-scale internet surveillance and reduced trust in the internet, governance of the internet must become more transparent, accountable and inclusive. 2014 is a critical year for global internet governance.
In preparation of the next Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held in Istanbul on 2-5 September 2014, the European Commission organises an exchange views with civil society and invited us to participate in a webinar on 7 August. The IGF is a platform where activists, industry, academics and policy-makers discuss and develop solutions to Internet governance problems.
NETMundial has established a solid foundation and we now need to follow through in putting the multistakeholder model on much sounder footing. We need to invest and build a governance structure for the Internet that people can trust! Trust, trust, trust is the key.
The UN Internet Governance Forum was the most important product of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It was supposed to serve as a bridge between the private sector-based Internet governance institutions (such as ICANN, IETF, ISOC, and the RIRs) and the world of national governments and the United Nations, a meeting ground where stakeholder silos would dissolve and fruitful dialogue would take place.
The multistakeholder basis of the IGF, however, may be breaking down. The UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) seems to be claiming authority over the IGF as its own project.