Internet Governance

Day 1 – Sunday, 15 November

The first session I attended on this day was, Cyber Security R&D: Developing a vision & Road map. On the panel was Tulika Pandey from the Department of Information Technology, Government of India. Tracy Hackshaw from Trinidad and Tobago and an ISOC Ambassador, Mr. Sheriff assistant resident representative poverty reduction, MDG and private sector team leader, UNDP Egypt.

The objective of the workshop was to identify the research needs and opportunities associated with cyber security and was looking together to develop a vision and roadmap for cyber security.

The workshop tried to find certain missing capabilities in today’s cyber security approach such as provable methods for quantifying trustworthiness and risk within a component or system of components.

Mr. Hackshaw from the perspective of Trinidad and Tobago looked at 4 dynamics in Cyber Security research in the areas of Social Behaviour, Psychological and Cultural, Economic and Technological.

According to Mr. Sheriff, the full potential of the internet has not been realized. Due to security concerns there is a level of refrain from respondents this he said is from an ITU research.

3 areas of cyber security threats were identified, namely; individuals, business and critical internet resources. To ensure security in cyber space there is also the need for multidisciplinary research and development in cyber security. From the floor it was made known that for instance in Mauritius users of credit cards have a limit after which the customer will be called for further transactions. This model proves to be efficient in small countries compared to bigger countries. Some best practices from the commonwealth models and approach to cyber security were also shared.

One interesting question at the workshop was: What is cyber crime and what makes it different from other crimes? It was noted that most countries find it difficult to prosecute because of the definition of new crimes.

Some recommendations were: the Egyptian model of safe internet for families, jurisdiction for cyber crime, CERTS, country and professional readiness, policy and implementation issues, the need for a bottom up approach and securing networks and authentication.

Due to lack of time the workshop had to end to make way for another session. The workshop broke new grounds and dimensions in further research work in cyber security.

My second session for the day was Understanding Internet Infrastructure: an Overview of Technology and Terminology. This workshop served as an introduction to the topology of the internet, providing definitions and explanations for key terms like transit, peering, hot-potato, exchange point, root and top-level domain name server, routing and forwarding. This was a good workshop that answered the questions of many lay people who participated in the workshop. It was interesting to see the questions about how the internet runs and certain key concepts being explained to participants. I think more of such workshops will demystify the internet as a place for only techies. This workshop achieved its purpose I must say.

The official opening ceremony took the second half of the day. The high level participation of the Egyptian Government with the presence of the Prime Minister affirmed the level of importance the Government of Egypt attached to the 4th Internet Governance Forum and the IG process as a host. According to Sha Zukang we share a common understanding as we progress in bridging the digital gap and building the foundation for our emerging formation and knowledgeable society. The way we deal with the Internet will become increasingly important.

Since the inception of the internet it has continued to lead the world in innovations and ICT and Internet Applications. Speaking on the desirability of the continuation of the forum he encouraged all to participate fully in the stocktaking meetings and share views on how valuable the forum has been, suggest improvements if necessary and check the IGF against its mandate as set out in the Tunis agenda for the Information Society.

There were two other sessions I could not attend due to the parallel nature of the sessions, namely: Issues Regarding the Mobile Internet and Internet Governance – Setting the Scene. I am glad I will be able to refer to the archive of webcasts and transcripts.