APCNews 112 – IGF 2009, Privacy and child protection online

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APCNews – November 30 2009 – Year X Issue 112

The UN World Summit on Information Society 2001-5 could not reach a resolution on how the internet ought to be governed. The internet's historical development meant that the technical and academic community played a large role in how it was developed and the standards and rules which accompanied it. But as the internet became more important in economic, social and political life, States wanted a bigger role in how it should be run. To break the deadlock, the UN Secretary-General was mandated to establish an Internet Governance Forum (a "multilateral, multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent" forum) to run until 2010. Perhaps they thought that five years was enough to resolve this issue of who, what and how.

What happened instead, is that the IGF has emerged a robust place for fairly open debates about existing and emerging facets of critical issues like access, security and development, though it's not free from the problems that plague an unequal world.  APC reported from the the conference centre in Sharm El-Sheikh, a place which «resembles scenes in a Hollywood movie where rich people go for holidays when they run out of imagination» (Jac sm Kee).
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Child Protection, Sexuality and Safety Online: Opposing camps

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Indira Maya Ganesh for GenderIT.org) – Research coming out of the UK shows that British children are blasé about putting sexy images of themselves online. But some adults in governments and industry are intent on seeing children as victims where sexuality and the internet is concerned. Why on earth aren’t the powers-that-be actually listening to kids? asks Maya Ganesh reporting from the IGF. More >>

Privacy: More than the right to delete and forget

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Jac sm Kee for GenderIT.org) – Our worlds are increasingly networked and our personal data collected left, right and centre. Ask anyone who has to use a biometric identity card like Malaysian Jac sm Kee who has to give her ID number even if she's just buying movie tickets online. We can be sure much of the information collected about us online is not that securely warehoused. So what needs to be done to protect our right to privacy online? And what about our own circle? If a boyfriend broadcasts an intimate photo via mobile phone, what then? Jac argues that in the digital age, personal data is no longer just our property, it has become part of *who we are*. What will be key in the future will be for us to have as much control as possible over our personal data -- and that control should be based on “consent” rather than “protection of privacy”. More >>

APC – Our assessment of the fourth Internet Governance Forum  

JOHANNESBURG 26 November 2009 (APC for APCNews) – This year the fourth internet governance forum was playing it safe – perhaps because next year could be its last – but we still saw real progress. Privacy no longer plays second fiddle to security, people’s rights online are recognised as central by all sides. Social networking was the new star centre stage. There are still too few women and people of colour but participants are getting younger which is a good sign. Next year APC hopes for an IGF focusing on development and human rights and looking to the future. Read our assessment (in pdf). More >>

APC - The IGF should continue beyond 2010

SHARM EL-SHEIKH 18 November 2009 (APC for APC) – Willie Currie expressed APC’s support for the world’s only existing global debate space on the future of the internet which could come to an end once its five year mandate is over next year saying “The IGF is an innovation in multi-stakeholder internet governance, it works, it is evolving and should continue” but stressed that it should evolve to be more than a dialoguing space and produce concrete outcomes. Read APC’s statement to the IGF. More >>

The end of IGF? Mulling on its point and pointlessness

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Jac sm Kee for GenderIT.org) – It's not easy to find the funds to get to the remote five-star locations the Internet Governance Forum thrives in. “Protection of children” was high on the agenda but children were not allowed into the plush conference centre. Women, people of colour, people with disabilities, indigenous people, poor people were conspicous in their abscence or low numbers. The IGF has no decision-making authority. However, there are few international policy fora where you can participate without having to slash through a forest of red tape and protocol. And decision-power or not, the IGF does have an impact on how the internet is run through the persuasive power of multistakeholder dialogue. Jac sm Kee sums up the IGF.  More >>

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APCNews is produced by APC - a worldwide network supporting the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990. Sister news services APCNoticias and APCNouvelles offer original coverage in Spanish and French.

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