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Internet Governance and Cybersecurity Hot Topics At GCIG/SIPA Event May 14-15 (Watch Live)

How do we restore trust and confidence in the Internet so that it can deliver on its full potential for communication, creativity, innovation and opportunity? In an era when the Edward Snowden revelations have made us aware of the pervasive surveillance that is possible, and when large-scale data breaches have exposed our most personal information, how do we feel safe when we go online? And as the next billion people look to the Internet for their future opportunities, how do we help address their fears and concerns? What are the roles we all have in bringing about an open, trusted Internet?  And what are the most pressing challenges in how we collectively govern the Internet?

These are all questions that will be addressed this week on May 14 and 15 by a great collection of thought leaders at the “Conference on Internet Governance & Cyber-security” taking place in New York at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The event is a joint production of SIPA and the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG).

You can watch the event LIVE at:

Main “Theater” room:

“Library” room:

A full, detailed agenda is available and the event is structured broadly into two topic areas:

  • Thursday, May 14: Internet Governance
  • Friday, May 15: Cybersecurity

Looking down the agenda, here are some of the sessions I’m most interested in (all times are US EDT, which is UTC-4).  On Thursday, May 14:

  • 9:00 – Internet Society co-founder and now Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf will be in a conversation that also includes Larry Strickling of the US NTIA (responsible for the IANA transition).
  • 10:00 – A panel on “Examining the Future of the Open and Universal Internet” will include former Internet Society CITO Leslie Daigle, who recently wrote an outstanding paper for the GCIG titled “On the Nature of the Internet” that lays out some of the fundamental principles that underlie the Internet.
  • 11:30 – Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown will participate in a panel on “The Future of Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance” along with ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé and others.
  • 3:45 – Internet Society Policy Advisor Konstantinos Komaitis will be part of a panel on “Innovation and the Internet“.

On Friday, May 15, given that I have a strong focus on security I’ll be watching the entire day.  Of particular interest to me personally will be the session at 11:15 on “Cyber-security and the Internet of Things” as the whole “IoT” area is a topic I’m watching with growing concern.

Throughout the event I’ll really be listening to hear how the discussions align with the “Collaborative Security” approach to tackling Internet issues that we outlined last month.

To that end, I would strongly encourage you to read the excellent GCIG paper prepared last month on the topic: “Toward a Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security“.  In the document, the GCIG:

calls on the global community to build a new social compact between citizens and their elected representatives, the judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, business, civil society and the Internet technical community, with the goal of restoring trust and enhancing confidence in the Internet.

and says later:

All interests must recognize and act on their responsibility for security and privacy on the Internet in collaboration with all others, or no one is successful.


In the end, it is in the interest of all stakeholders that the Internet remains trusted as a common global resource: open, affordable, unfettered and available to all as a safe medium for further innovation. Government, business and civil society must work together toward that aim.

With this we wholeheartedly agree – and look forward to working with all stakeholders to make this happen!

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to listening to the sessions happening at the GCIG/SIPA event over the next two days – I hope you will join with me!