Future of Internet in danger — experts

Source: Interaksyon |Xinhua

Xinhua file photo. Taken from Interaksyon

June 23, 2016. CANCUN, Mexico — With the goal of securing an open Internet, which can be used with freedom, security, trust and accessibility by all, governments, companies and civil society must come together to craft a new governance model for the Web, global experts have agreed.

During the 2016 Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy, which is taking place this week in the Mexican town of Cancun, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is presenting the final report of its Global Commission on Internet Governance.

The report, crafted by a group of experts from every part of the world, has the mission of finding a way for the Internet to remain inclusive and secure.

“The Internet is at a crossroad. Threats to privacy and other risks that may bring the Internet down are real,” Carl Bildt, president of the commission, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Bildt, who is the former prime minister of Switzerland, believes that the Internet can have a future where it provides economic opportunities, boosts freedom of expression, improves political equality and guarantees social justice.

“For this to happen, governments, civil society and the private sector must actively promote this future, and consequently, take the right steps to reach it,” he added. Read more

Report highlights rising dangers to internet freedom globally

Source: The Times of India

Reuters, 21 June 2016. SAN FRANCISCO/ TORONTO: At least a dozen countries are considering or have enacted laws restricting online speech, a trend that is alarming policymakers and others who see the internet as a valuable medium for debate and expression.

Such curbs are called out as a threat to the open internet in a report on internet governance set to be released today at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

The report, reviewed by Reuters, warns of dangers for the global internet, including intrusive surveillance, rising cybercrime and fragmentation as governments exert control of online content.

It was prepared by the London-based Chatham House think tank and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, founded by former BlackBerry Ltd co-chief Jim Balsillie.

China and Iran long have restricted online speech. Now limitations are under discussion in countries that have had a more open approach to speech, including Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Kenya and Nigeria.

Advocates said some of the proposals would criminalize conversations online that otherwise would be protected under the countries’ constitutions. Some use broad language to outlaw online postings that “disturb the public order” or “convey false statements” — formulations that could enable crackdowns on political speech, critics said. Read more

Net Neutrality: The FCC Won. Did You? — Shelly Palmer

Source: LinkedIn


FCC LogoA federal appeals court upheld the rights of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadband (wired and wireless) under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act (Title II). Or, to put it another way, regulate the Internet in 2016 like it was the phone system in 1934. This is a big win for the FCC. But what does it mean for you?

First, this opinion by the District of Columbia Circuit (DCCoA) gives the FCC the power it needs to impose some serious regulations. The decision will probably be appealed, either to the DCCoA or the Supreme Court of the United States. But, for a whole bunch of legal technicalities and precedents, neither court is likely to overturn it. So, for your regulatory pleasure, here are some of the things this decision empowers the FCC to do.

Opt-In and Privacy

The FCC used to let service providers automatically collect your data – as long as you were given a way to opt out. Now, the Commission has the power to force service providers to ask your permission to collect your data. This sounds good, but all automated data collection is not evil; some of it is used to customise your online experience. Also, if advertisers can’t get your data, you are likely to see astoundingly irrelevant ads and absolutely all unrequested emails will be spam. There are two sides to this issue. We’ll see how it plays out. Read more

Internet governance as seen from the Right to Development – Anita Gurumurthy

Source: Open Democracy


Participatory democracy has been hijacked by business-led multistakeholderism, and ‘presence and power’ are replaced as tokens of people’s political involvement.

13 June 2016 — The mother of all controversies about the Internet is about its global governance; neatly polarized between those who believe that it is time to herald a new international institutional response adequate to our collective predicament as ‘things of the Internet’, and status quoists who believe that the Internet-mediated world order is serving us well, and any change will portend ominous consequences for the Internet’s future.

Status quoists have good reason to stall change. The breakneck and almost sinister speed at which global digital capitalism has risen together with its intimate US foreign policy connection reveal the force majeure that the Internet is. For the US state and US Internet corporations – Google, Facebook, Twitter – protecting the US government’s unilateral control over Internet governance is thus critical. The US state has repeatedly deployed the political discourse of Internet freedom to assert an a priori legitimacy to be the primary manager of the extraterritorial Internet. This has also meant tactics to undermine emerging economic powers that challenge its dominance, discrediting them for a poor human rights record. Read more