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Internet Governance 5 November 2018

The Youth Internet Governance Forum India: Our Experience

On 12 October, the Internet Society’s India Delhi Chapter (ISOC-Delhi) hosted the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) in New Delhi, India. Adarsh Umesh and Praneet Kaur share their thoughts on the event.

Hello everyone! A special “Hi!” from our side to the youth because this blog is specially dedicated to the youth of India.

We’re very much inspired to write this blog due to the wonderful experience with the India Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF 2018). It was amazing to be a part of the multistakeholder advisory group and the event overall was a grand success. This would not have been possible without the consistent support from inSIG, ICANN, APNIC and the Internet Society.

The YIGF 2018 was organized as day 0 event on the 12th October 2018, a day before the India School on Internet Governance 2018 (inSIG-2018) at Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW). The event was well-designed and planned with a lot of technical exposure as well as fun. It extended support to youth from all over the country to attend the event. We provided fellowships to 15 delegates from different parts across India. The fellowship covered both travel and accommodation expenses for five delegates and accommodation expenses for the other ten delegates, and we received more than 200 overwhelming expressions of interest.

The event was inaugurated by the chief guests: Samiran Gupta, ICANN GSE; Amrita Choudhury, ISOC-Delhi; Sunny (Srinivas) Chendi, APNIC; Glenn McKnight, the Internet Society Board of Trustees; Dilpreet Kaur, ICANN APAC; and Anand Raje, ISOC-Kolkata. Thanks to IGDTU also for all of their support to make the event a great success.

Samiran Gupta gave a wonderful speech on Internet Governance. It covered the basics of Internet Governance and also provided pertinent details which enabled better understanding of the Internet by the audience. This was followed by multistakeholder role play by the organizing team, titled “Connecting the Next Billion.” It was an interactive session which allowed conversation and bonding between the participants. All the stakeholder teams came up with ideas for connecting the next billion through Internet Governance.

The Internet has been identified as a key enabler of development by helping facilitate positive results in education, healthcare, agriculture, employment, commerce, and many other areas. Despite the progress achieved since the emergence of Internet, more effort is necessary in order to connect the next billions, the last billion, and to address the digital divide. Connecting these people requires not just addressing the challenges of the supply side: building the infrastructure needed to provide universal and affordable access; but also addressing the considerable challenges of the demand side: local capacity-building to enable not just adoption, but also production and consumption of localized content and services through training for all people, especially youth and disadvantaged populations, along with support for local small and medium sized enterprises.

As part of the second half of the day, the sessions started with a game called as “How the Internet Works – IPGo Game” by Sunny Chendi and Dilpreet Kaur. All the delegates enjoyed the exciting learning experience and Sunny gave a wonderful presentation which included a hands-on section involving all participants for a better experience of the Internet working process. It was a memorable activity and multiple delegates approached Sunny to carry out the game in their respective universities. The main highlights are documented below.

  • Focus was laid on how the Internet works starting from the ISPs obtaining IP addresses to real-time network deployments.
  • The concept of IP address classification, port number assignment and range issues was explained in a very understandable manner by making use of custom playing cards.
  • NAT- and URL-based naming conventions were put together and presented to the participants.
  • Lastly, the function of various bodies involved in the functioning of the modern day Internet such as IANA, ICANN, IGF, W3C was highlighted.

Later, we had a panel discussion on “Privacy & Safeguards on the Internet,” moderated by Amrita Choudhury. It was a very informative discussion and covered a lot of areas related to privacy on the Internet.

  • Internet and digital privacy are viewed differently from traditional expectations of privacy. Internet privacy is primarily concerned with protecting user information. Given the dynamic nature of the online sphere, privacy concerns and issues are rapidly changing.
  • Existing practices such as secure connections, firewalls, and antivirus services in order to overcome or better prevent mishaps due to breach in privacy.
  • The Information Technology Act (ITA) 2000, which includes India’s most comprehensive legal provisions that speak to privacy on the Internet was also discussed briefly.

The event received a lot of appreciation from multiple communities. The organizing team provided a remarkable direction with this event, to getting started with Internet Governance for all the young minds of India. Heartfelt thanks to everyone for the extended support. We look forward to making this journey a greater success by reaching out to more people and enlightening them with more events like this.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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