About Internet Society

Building a diverse and strong Internet Society Board of Trustees

[Published on behalf of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.]

The Internet Society’s 2020 AGM (Annual General Meeting) is going to be held on the first weekend of August. While the meeting had originally been planned as a face-to-face meeting, the Board decided to turn it into an online meeting instead given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGM is the meeting where we say goodbye to the outgoing trustees. We want to thank them for all their efforts during their terms and wish them good luck in their future endeavours. We are confident they will continue supporting the Internet Society down the road.

The AGM is also the meeting where we welcome the incoming trustees. This year is special because we will be welcoming five new trustees. This represents a significant Board turnover for a Board of twelve voting trustees. Therefore, we are currently running a comprehensive onboarding process to get our new trustees up to speed as efficiently as possible.

As you know, the Board is selected and elected by our community, with the IETF, Organizational Members, and Chapters each independently choosing a third of the Trustees. Next year, at the 2021 AGM, three trustees will be reaching their term limit and, thus, will be leaving the Board. Having recently concluded this year’s election, now is an optimum moment to think about how to make sure our community has a great set of candidates to choose from next year.

The Internet Society needs to be seen as valuable and relevant in order to attract and build up a broad and diverse talent pool that can produce candidate Trustees. Part of this comes down to our reputation. Our staff are working hard to set the world’s understanding of who we are, what we do, and why it matters. In addition, we also count on you, our member community, to do the same. To talk about the importance of our work (i.e., your work) and highlight our accomplishments. We can show the world how, by being united, we are a strong voice and an effective global champion for the Internet we believe in. By positioning the Internet Society as an organization that makes a tangible difference, we will inevitably entice more people who wish to be a part of that. So, please, reach out and tell our story.

On the elections web page, you can find material about the role of the Board and of trustees, and about the procedures used by the community to select and elect them.

Having a good set of diverse strong candidates is the best way to enable our community to elect and select a set of diverse strong trustees using their respective election and selection processes.

At the Internet Society, we believe that the Internet is for everyone. Inclusion and diversity sit at the heart of our beliefs and values, and are core to our mission. At this time, we believe it is more important than ever to ensure that all voices have a chance to be heard in shaping the future path of the Internet Society. Having a strong and diverse Board definitely is a great first step on this path.


The Week in Internet News: U.S. DOJ Wants to Hold Website Liable for User Comments

Legal landmines: The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed ending a 24-year-old provision that protections websites and social media outlets from lawsuits for comments and other content posted by users, the Washington Post reports. While some Republicans have complained about social media sites allegedly burying conservative voices, the proposal would actually force sites into heavy moderation as a way to avoid lawsuits. The DOJ proposal would also end legal protections for tech companies that fail to allow law enforcement access to encrypted communications.

Taxing the Internet: The European Union is considering a digital goods tax, but it may have to do so without an agreement from the U.S. government, Al Jazeera reports. The U.S. government has announced it is withdrawing from negotiations with European countries over new international tax rules on digital goods. Nearly 140 countries have been involved in the negotiations.

Internet in space: SpaceX is opening up its Starlink low-earth orbit Internet service to beta testers, ZDNet says. SpaceX now has 540 satellites deployed, allowing for “minor” coverage. The company plans to eventually launch as many as 30,000 Starlink satellites.

The café society: Operators of Internet cafés and gaming centers in Thailand are pushing for the government there to allow them to reopen after a three-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Xinhuanet says. The restrictions now in place are depriving customers of the ability to study, sell products online, and contact friends and relatives, the operators say.

Don’t talk about it: The Russian government has cracked down on what it calls fake news about COVID-19 in recent months, the Irish Times reports.  Russia “has sought to keep information about the pandemic under equally tight control.” The government coronavirus task force has a special “fake news” division, and the Investigative Committee, a law enforcement agency, tracks coronavirus information on messaging apps.

Your spying browser: Extensions for Google’s Chrome browser have been delivering spyware to users’ computers, Reuters reports. The spying extensions were downloaded 32 million times before Google removed more than 70 of the malicious add-ons from the Chrome Web Store after being alerted by researchers.

Read “Making Intermediaries Liable for Encrypted Content Breaks Trust and Security

Beyond the Net Community Networks Growing the Internet

Community Networks: In Tanzania, Helping to Close the Connectivity Gap

Community established networks, also referred to as “community networks” (CNs), have existed for many years and provide a sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps that exist in urban, remote, and rural areas around the world. While the global statistics estimate that about half of the world population has access to the Internet, the connectivity gap is wide between the developed and developing countries.

In Tanzania, there are 41.8 million voice telephone subscriptions and only 23 million Internet users. A study by Research ICT Africa reported that when Internet access is compared between rural and urban areas, 86% of rural dwellers remain unconnected to the Internet compared to 44.6% in urban areas. Similarly, in Tanzania, fewer women have access to and use of the Internet than men.

In order to address the connectivity challenges in Tanzania, the Internet Society Tanzania Chapter in partnership with the University of Dodoma, supported by Beyond the Net Funding Programme, has built a pilot project using TV white space as a community network solution. The deployed network has connected four educational institutions in rural Tanzania and at the same time provided Internet access to community members around the schools.

In order to achieve both technical and financial sustainability, members of Kondoa Community Network played a critical role in the deployment of the required infrastructure that finally made this project successful.

Prior to scale-up phase, the Internet Society Tanzania Chapter, in collaboration with the University of Dodoma, organized a two-day technical workshop that brought together participants interested in community networks and those already working with community radio in Tanzania. The workshop was held at the University of Dodoma 5-7 December 2018 and was attended by 45 participants in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam, Loliondo, Kahama, Kondoa, Uvinza, Bukombe, Karagwe, Arusha, Kyela, Nkasi, Ileje, Makete, and Nyasa). This was the first community network and community radio workshop of its kind held in Tanzania. The workshop included facilitators from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Argentina. The official opening of the workshop was attended by Peter Msoffe, Acting Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Research and Consultancy of the University of Dodoma. “Community networks are the networks which are deployed and managed by the community themselves to address the connectivity challenges, and are used to receive and exchange information that could solve community challenges,” said Msoffe. A participant from Unyanja FM Community Radio, Patrick Kossima, said, “community network[s] and community radio supplement each other. For instance, hard to reach areas that were not possible to be covered by community radio could be covered by [a] community network and in so doing both feed each other the relevant local contents around the community.”

The workshop covered topics ranging from the technical to policy matters that favor Internet access in Tanzania. “Internet Society Tanzania Chapter is committed to making the Internet to be available even in the very remote and underserved areas in Tanzania because we believe the Internet is for everyone,” said Abibu Ntahigiye, Chairperson, Tanzania Chapter. Ntahigiye presented the topic “Domain the Undomain using .tz Domain.” The workshop on the first community network and community radio in Tanzania was concluded with a visit to Kondoa Community Network, the first community network to pilot the use of television white space technology in Tanzania. While in Kondoa District, workshop participants also visited Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings which are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

We are looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how to make their community better using the Internet. The Internet Society Beyond the Net Funding Programme funds projects up to $30,000.00 USD. 

Photo Credit: Nico Pace from

About Internet Society

Another Step Closer to Our Mission

The Internet now reaches more than half the world.

A recent estimate indicates that nearly 4 billion people – more than half the world’s population – now use the Internet. More people are now online than existed in the world the year I was born. Everyone, it seems, values the Internet. We all still know the Internet is for everyone.

The Internet Society, including all our chapters and members, was part of Internet growth in this period. 2018 was a year of many changes at the Internet Society. We changed the staff and ways of organizing work to make things clearer. We changed our CEO. But at the same time, we brought infrastructure to some of the most remote parts of the world. We pushed for better security for many of the new devices that are connecting to the Internet. And we worked to include the whole range of voices when it comes to who’s making decisions about the Internet’s future.

These are just a few of the things we, the whole Internet Society, did together. We work together because that’s what internetworking is: working together, each of us making a greater whole of our individual parts.

So, as the year draws to a close, I would like to thank everyone who makes this possible. We are all ages, all backgrounds, and all experiences. Most of you give time, voluntarily, to make sure the Internet becomes more open, globally-connected, trustworthy, and secure: the Internet for everyone. Some of you are staff who work tirelessly on these issues because you believe in the Internet. Whoever you are, our work together must not stop.

We have some important work to do in 2019 and a new focus for how we do it. Our vision of the Internet for everyone remains as clear as ever. But the clarity of our vision offers us no easy road.

We must face the fact: the Internet was once a great human hope, but has lately become a locus of human fear.

The Internet created new means for human expression and communication, and new opportunities for markets for every vendor, from tiny niche to mainstream. But the open human expression sometimes looks like an opportunity for the expression of the worst human impulses. The open communication sometimes looks like a great way for malignant forces to attack the social order. And the open markets sometimes look like a desperate race to the price bottom, with no other factor even under consideration. No wonder people fear the Internet as an instrument of social erosion.

Yet, the Internet is still a global network of voluntarily-connected networks. There is nothing else it could be: anything else would just be an “internet” in name only. At the Internet Society, we believe in the real Internet. A network of networks puts the end point – the humans, really – in charge. Anything else is not in the hands of end points, so it’s not really the Internet.

This is not to long for an earlier, “innocent” Internet that did not face the current challenges. It is instead to remind ourselves that, if we want the enormous benefits of the Internet, we must not discard the essential property that brings those benefits. All people have an interest in how we face the current issues, but we can only face them one way: together. We must connect people across borders, environments, and cultures to build new partnerships and engage individuals, communities, NGOs, corporations, and governments. Nobody gets a free pass; but nobody who cares for the Internet is excluded, either.

That is the challenge that faces us in 2019. We must build our existing partnerships to be a more effective advocate for the neutral, open network of networks. We must work to ensure that people have the tools they need to make good choices on the Internet, whether that be with the Internet of Things or with routing security. We must continue to work effectively in communities to ensure that the other half of the world – the part that is the hardest to connect – can enjoy the benefits we connected people take for granted. We must do this collaboratively, so that the alternative vision of the controlled, sanitized “internet” does not win. For community is much more than just belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.

If you are just hearing about us for the first time but have a passion to protect the open Internet, please join us in 2019. We cherish our diversity and together we will be able to take on the challenges in the year ahead.

So, again, thank you for so much. I am humbled to be able to work with all of you, and I look forward to 2019 as we continue our journey to bring an open, globally-connected Internet to the world.

Visit our 2018 Year in Numbers page.

Beyond the Net Internet Governance

Creating Networks – Youth and Internet Governance

The “Youth Observatory” is a project created by the members of the Youth SIG of the Internet Society, which seeks to build a participative platform which uses different tools in order to bring the knowledge of the governance and the Internet’s principles to the youth, no matter the language, sex, race, religion, building new capacities among them. Participants: Juliana Novaes, Carlos Rubí, Ángel David Santiago, Eduardo Tome, Giovanna Michelato, Guilherme Alves, Isabela Inês, Jhon Caballero, Paula Côrte Real, Juan Pablo González, Augusto Luciano Mathurin, Renata Ribeiro.

The Youth Observatory is a non-profit organization, made up of members of the Internet Society’s Special Interest Group (Youth – SIG), which seeks to build a participatory space where, through different platforms, tools and communication channels, young people can exchange knowledge about Governance and Internet principles.

This organization was born in the context of the Youth@IGF 2015 initiative, a program led by Internet Society and the Internet Management Committee in Brazil ( that tried to increase the participation of young people in areas of discussion on Internet Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the time, the forum was attended by 120 young people from the region.

Since its creation, the Youth Observatory has been working on the promotion of various events, projects and initiatives that involve and bring young people closer to issues related to Internet Governance, some of these have been: YouthLACIGF, held since 2016 as an event preparatory for the LACIGF, the book “Analysis of a Connected Youth” (2017) and workshops in national and international forums on Governance, among other initiatives.

Creating Networks
The Creating Networks project is an initiative funded by the Internet Society Beyond the Net Funding Programme. Its objective is to map the current initiatives and organizations that involve young people and information and communication technologies. In addition to the mapping, the project aims to organize capacity building webinars and workshops.

The importance of training and networking for organizations and youth
The Youth Observatory believes in the enormous potential of young people to exchange and disseminate knowledge in the information society. Currently, new technologies generate various social, regulatory and technical challenges for society. Therefore, it is important for youth to be involved in these issues so that we are prepared to become future leaders and policy makers. In the same way, we recognize the importance of skills to be developed in order to ensure the well-being and job stability of young people in the new digital age.

Beyond the Net Grant
The Beyond the Net Funding Programme is an opportunity offered to the Internet Society’s members, so that they can contribute at a local and regional level through their chapters and Special Interest Groups. Beyond the Net supports original initiatives that have an impact on Internet Governance issues, as well as the development of policies within the framework of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The project has two main objectives:

The first is to identify initiatives that involve young people and work with issues related to the Internet and ICTs. In order to do this, a survey is being conducted with questions about the relationship of organizations with topics such as technology and other issues about Internet Governance. As a result of the initial part, a map will be developed and published on the Youth Observatory website, which can serve other local and international communities in a connected network.

The second objective consists in the organization of workshops and face-to-face sessions on Internet Governance topics.The results of both stages will be published in the form of a general guide, where the development and experiences of the project will be known, and the materials that were used will be shared to the general public.

How to participate?
If you are part of an organization that has projects involving the training or commitment of young people in issues related to information and communication technologies, be part of our network! To participate, complete the following form with some basic information and we will get in touch soon.

Do you have a great idea to make your community better via the Internet? Apply for a Beyond the Net grant, which funds projects up to $30,000 USD, and follow Beyond the Net on Twitter!

Portuguese version

Criando Redes – Juventude e Governança da Internet

O Observatório da Juventude é uma organização sem fins lucrativos composta por membros do Grupo de Interesse Especial para a Juventude (Youth – SIG) da Internet Society, que busca construir um espaço participativo, com diferentes plataformas, ferramentas e canais de comunicação para que jovens possam trocar conhecimentos sobre Governança e princípios da Internet.

A organização foi criada no contexto do Youth@IGF 2017, um programa liderado pela Internet Society e pelo Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil (, que tentou aumentar a participação dos jovens em tópicos de discussão sobre Governança da Internet na América Latina e Caribe. Em sua primeira edição, contou com 120 jovens da região.

Desde a sua criação, o Observatório da Juventude trabalha na promoção de diversos eventos, projetos e iniciativas que envolvem aproximam jovens das questões relacionadas à governança da Internet. Alguns deles foram YouthLACIGF, realizado desde 2016 como um evento preparatório para o LACIGF, o livro “Análise de uma Juventude Conectada” (2017) e oficinas em fóruns nacionais e internacionais de Governança, entre outros espaços.

O que é o Projeto Criando Redes?
O Projeto Criando Redes é uma iniciativa do Youth Observatory, criada em 2018, que consiste na elaboração de um mapa de iniciativas que envolvam jovens e tecnologias da informação e comunicação (TICs). Além do mapeamento, o projeto se propõe a realizar sessões de capacitação, como webinars e oficinas em parceria com as organizações citadas.

Importância da capacitação e criação de redes para organizações e jovens
O Observatório da Juventude acredita no enorme potencial dos jovens para gerar e trocar conhecimento no contexto da sociedade da informação. Atualmente, as novas tecnologias geram vários desafios sociais, regulatórios e técnicos para a sociedade, portanto, é importante que os jovens se envolvam nessas questões, de modo a se tornarem futuros líderes e formuladores de políticas. Da mesma forma, a modernização da sociedade torna necessário o desenvolvimento de habilidades para garantir o bem-estar e a estabilidade da juventude no mercado de trabalho e na nova era digital.

Beyond the Net Grant
O Beyond the Net Funding Programme é uma oportunidade para os membros da Internet Society contribuírem em um nível local ou regional, através de um Capítulo. Beyond the Net oferece financiamento a projetos originais e que causem impacto na pauta da Governança da Internet e para desenvolvimento de políticas relacionadas com as TICs.

O projeto tem dois objetivos principais:

A primeira é identificar iniciativas que envolvam jovens e trabalhem com questões relacionadas à Internet e às TICs. Para isso, uma pesquisa será conduzida com perguntas sobre o relacionamento das organizações com a Internet, tecnologia e outras questões sobre a Governança da Internet. Como resultado da conclusão da parte inicial, um mapa será desenvolvido e publicado no site do Observatório da Juventude, que pode servir outras comunidades locais e internacionais (rede conectada).
O segundo objetivo consiste na criação e realização de workshops e sessões virtuais e  presenciais sobre tópicos de Governança da Internet e temas específicos relacionados ao objeto das organizações para que sua participação nos espaços de Governança da Internet seja mais forte e mais produtiva.

Os resultados de ambas as etapas serão publicados na forma de um guia geral, que conterá o desenvolvimento, as experiências do projeto e os materiais usados para que possam ser usados ​​pelo público em geral.

Como participar?
Se você faz parte de uma organização que possui projetos envolvendo a capacitação e o compromisso de jovens em pautas de tecnologia da informação e comunicação, venha se juntar à nossa rede! Para participar, complete o seguinte formulário com algumas informações básicas e nós poderemos entrar em contato.

Beyond the Net Economy Women in Tech

Empowering Moroccan Cooperatives to Participate in the Digital Economy

KASBUY is a web platform to help Moroccan cooperatives, especially ones from women, to promote their handicrafts on international online markets. It will allow any registered cooperative, after following a well-defined and transparent process, to have its own online space to sell its products and manage its business and inventory management activities.

The project is supported by the Internet Society Beyond the Net Funding Programme and developed by the Internet Society Morocco Chapter in partnership with the public organization ODCO (Office du Développement de Coopération) and the private IT company Maghreb-SI.

Through the KASBUY platform, we aim to build an international community around Moroccan crafts and local products. The platform targets small women’s cooperatives that produce handicrafts and wish to reach a large audience through the Internet. In general, these cooperatives find it very difficult to sell their products either because of lack of visibility of their products, or because of the lack of competence in the digital payment process. The platform will provide more opportunities to sell their products.

The project aims to:

  • Help cooperatives to overcome the difficulties of selling their local products
  • Ensure stable salaries for cooperative members
  • Develop the cooperatives in a sustainable way, and support women and their families
  • Use the Internet to promote Moroccan heritage and preserve culture and diversity
  • Allow women to participate in the digital economy and highlight their creativity

KASBUY will also address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 (Gender Equality) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

Project manager: Cherkaoui LEGHRIS, Financial Responsible: Radouane MRABET, Web application developer: Reda JAALI, Reports Responsible: Aicha ABBAD, Social media account manager: Marouane ABBOUD, Monitoring: Abdelouahed LAABID and Mohammed HILALI

We’re looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how you can empower your community using the Internet. The Beyond the Net Funding Programme funds projects up to $30,000.

Beyond the Net

Helping Rural Libraries in Armenia to Embrace the Digital Age

Although there are a large number of rural libraries in Armenia, the majority of them do not have computers or Internet access. Librarians are forced to deal with manual book circulation and lack of management programs. Residents are mostly unaware of the resources housed in the libraries. It became evident that libraries needed a technological shift to break from their current working routines and embrace change.

In 2015, The Internet Society Armenia Chapter started a pilot project to provide rural libraries with computers, software and training. The project team installed 20 computers with library management programs and estimated that, in order to cover all libraries, they needed to reach the number of about 1,000 computers.

In 2017, the Chapter started Computers, services and Wi-Fi Internet for rural libraries, a project supported by the Internet Society Beyond the Net Funding Programme, that aimed to install more computers to improve the librarians operation and provide lightweight library management programs as well as WiFi access for visitors. The project was presented at the national IGF on October 10, 2018.

Igor Mkrtumyan, President of the Armenia Chapter, explains how their project is helping to address the needs of rural communities within the global context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 (Quality Education) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

“During the first stage of the project we installed 50 computers and trained 50 librarians.” says Igor. “The computers are equipped with lightweight library management programs that allow to subscribe members, register books, organize the book circulation, search requested books, track the movement of books and control the books check-in and check-out as well as quickly receive any required information. Each computer donation is certified by a contract signed by library authorities. By the end of the project we had 16 Wi-Fi routers installed, 120 computers equipped with library management programs, 200 hours spent on software installations and 70 librarians trained.”

What kind of training did you provide?
“The library management program we developed is very easy to install and has a simple interface, as well as an inviting setting for the users. We provided training sessions and workshops. We repaired 33 computers and spent 190 hours for software installation and training. We also provided IT services, as many rural libraries need not only to learn the library management software, but also the basics of operating systems and computer hardware to be able to solve minor problems.”

What was the mayor problem and how did you solve it?

“The major problem in rural areas is the absence of computer service skills. Very often libraries, even having computers, stop using them when problems arise.  It was clear that they also needed help in troubleshooting and repair, operating system and applications installation. Providing the installed systems with support services is a matter of primary importance. We developed a method using Teamviewer, a remote support desktop tool.  We have constant phone contact with librarians and try to respond to their needs as soon as possible. Each day we are receiving 3-4 phone calls and assisting rural libraries with Teamviewer sessions.”

How the community responded and how will you continue the project in the future?
“The rural community is excited about the project and there is an ever-growing demand. Thanks to the grant received from the Internet Society and the notable achieved results, we are now able to continue the project with the support of the “Armenian Internet Registry” that is now funding us to further work with libraries on their development.”

We’re looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how you can empower your community using the Internet. The Beyond the Net Funding Programme funds projects up to $30,000.

Building Trust Internet of Things (IoT) Privacy

Senegal Kicks Off Enhancing IoT Security Project

On April 4, 2018, the Canadian Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) Security held its first convening in partnership with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)CANARIEInnovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada; and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPIC). Over 80 participants from government, academia, public interest, industry, and other organizations attended the first meeting and many have continued to engage at in-person and virtual meetings ever since. Over the past eight months, this group has experienced significant success in the areas of consumer education, labeling, and network resiliency. And these achievements have been well-noted on a global scale.

A delegation from Senegal came to Canada in July to meet with members of the Enhancing IoT Security oversight committee. The group was comprised of government officials, Senegal Chapter members, and staff from the Internet Society’s African Bureau. The delegation met with Canadian government officials, technologists, public interest groups, and North American Bureau staff to learn more about how and why the IoT security project was initiated, and what the group had accomplished to date. The group discussed the significant successes the Canadian multistakeholder group had already achieved, the challenges it faced, and goals for the project.

These conversations ultimately aided the delegation in its decision to replicate the Canadian process to enhance IoT security in Senegal.

On November 28-29, the Internet Society and its Senegal Chapter, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications, Postal Services, and Digital Economy (MCTPEN) and the Telecommunications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARTP) hosted the inaugural Senegalese Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) Security. The Internet Society’s President and CEO, Andrew Sullivan, and I were grateful for the chance to attend and share some of the lessons learned from the Canadian process and the Internet Society’s involvement in IoT security globally. We were both highly impressed by the participation and engagement of this group, and encouraged by the motivation by all involved to work together to make a secure network of IoT devices a reality in Senegal.

On the first day of the meeting, Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director of the Internet Society’s African Bureau, introduced participants to IoT, its potential positive impacts, and the security risks it poses to both consumers and networks. The group then heard from Hu Xianhong, the UNESCO representative on the Internet Universality Index project in Senegal, and Professor Ahmath Bamba Mbacke, from Cheikh Anta Diop University (ESP), about the state of IoT in Senegal.

Participants were also introduced to the idea of the multistakeholder process, its key characteristics, and some best practices the Canadian multistakeholder group has learned. These included utilizing the members of the multistakeholder group to continuously identify and reach out to new stakeholders, maintaining momentum through continuous engagement between full-group meetings, and ensuring that meetings are facilitated by an invested moderator – preferably someone who is both a subject-matter expert and familiar with the multistakeholder process.

The Senegalese participants were also interested to hear about the work that the Canadian multistakeholder group has already accomplished through its working groups on consumer education, labeling, and network resiliency. They plan to utilize the groups’ outputs, and the experts involved in their creation, as they move forward in this process.

On the second day of meetings, Andrew Sullivan; M. Abdoulaye Blade, Ministre de la Communication et de l’Économie Numérique; Ndeye Maimouna Diop, Chair of the Senegal Chapter; Alpha Abdoulaye Thiam, Director of Information Systems at ARTP (Regulator); and Souleymane Diallo, Chief of Staff of the Minister of ICTs (MCTPEN), kicked off the sessions with a conversation on the risks and opportunities IoT poses. The participants then split themselves into three groups for further discussion regarding what they consider to be the most important factors impacting the following in Senegal:

  • Security impacts on critical infrastructure
  • Security by design
  • Consumer protection

Each of the self-selected groups reported their priorities for these issue areas back to the full group, which will use the conversations as the foundation for future workshops.

Importantly, throughout the second day participants reiterated many times the importance of collaboration – both on a national and global scale – to improve IoT security, prevent consumer harm, and encourage technological innovation. This is a theme that we have consistently heard during the Canadian IoT security meetings, showing that the multistakeholder model is an important and valued approach to solving complex Internet issues around the world.

We hope that these meetings will lead to future, fruitful discussion between Canadian, Senegalese, and other global states dedicated to securing the Internet of Things.

For more information and to watch a livestream of the event, please visit our website.

Read Why the Multistakeholder Approach Works and demand that your voice is counted for a secure IoT!

About Internet Society

A New Voice Joins the Chorus: Welcome to the Colombia Chapter!

A new Internet Society Chapter has been founded within the Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean. The creation of the Colombia Chapter is today officially announced at Universidad del Rosario, in Bogotá.

Our desire is to extend a gracious and inclusive welcome to all the 67 founding members that have been active members of the Internet Society for several years, and to the ones that have recently joined the community to be part of the Chapter.

The Chapter invites you to join the live broadcasting starting at 8:00 AM (UTC-5) with eminent guests speakers such as Juanita Rodriguez Kattah, Former Vice Minister of Digital Economy, Hugo Sin Triana, Director of Innovation in Info Projects, Valérie Gauthier, Director of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (MACC) at the University of Rosario, Nancy Quiros, the Internet Society’s Chapter Development Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region, and Javier Pinzon, Member of the Colombian Internet Governance Forum.

The large attendance (approximately 120 participants) at the launching event, speaks to the need for a Chapter to join the Colombian community’s efforts to ensure an open, globally connected, trustworthy and secure Internet for everyone.

The Chapter will encourage the need to generate programs, projects, and initiatives for social development in Colombia supported in the massive access and use of the Internet. The team has a great multistakeholder set-up, including the public and private sector, the technical community, academics, students, civil society, and Internet users.

A community of like-minded individuals and entities will collaborate on the development of different projects in several key interest areas: Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), IPv6, cybersecurity, youth, the gender divide, connecting the unconnected, public policy, and especially the implementation of Community Networks and Internet of Things (IoT), currently fostered by the Internet Society through comprehensive campaigns offering a wide range of activities.

“Currently the Colombia Chapter has more than 450 members nationally and internationally,” says Martha Liliana Sanchez Lozano, president of the new Colombia Chapter. “Our Chapter will be always made up of individuals and multiple stakeholders, who share an interest and belief in the principles and values of the Internet Society for the benefit of all citizens and residents of Colombia.”

What are the main objectives?
Our objectives are guided by the “Drivers of Change” and critical areas of impact for the Internet of the future that have been identified in the Internet Society’s 2017 Global Internet Report  and the Internet Society 2019 Action Plan adapted to the Colombian context.

  • Generate and promote spaces for dialogue, meeting, participation, and collaboration on issues that affect the evolution of the Internet
  • Join efforts, complement, and work collaboratively with the Colombian Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and other actors to encourage the development, evolution, and use of the Internet.
  • Promote the development and strengthening of the Internet infrastructure in Colombia.
  • Promote the adoption of all types of measures aimed at increasing the confidence and security of people in accessing and using the Internet for the healthy development of the digital economy in Colombia.
  • Support the identification and search of solutions and cyber security measures that improve the protection of individuals and enterprises that access and use the Internet in Colombia.
  • Encourage the development of expertise, know-how, and skill to face the Internet of the future.

During the next few months, you will be also learning about our initiatives to help Colombian women and youngsters on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

What are your plans in terms of membership and self sustainability?
Initially we will use a management model where no annual fees will be charged to the Chapter members and we will focus on consolidating a model of self-financing and financial autonomy in which donations that can be obtained from allies and organizations associated with the Chapter will be an important income, but not the only one of its kind. The General Assembly that will be conformed with participation of all Chapter members, may determine the future financing schemes aimed at strengthening the Chapter financially for the development of its corporate purpose and the execution of the planned activities. These schemes can be of two types: annual membership dues and donations.

We encourage people to be part of the Internet Society and the Colombia Chapter, as well as to mobilize volunteers who wish to participate in the development of the different activities of the new Chapter. All Internet Society members in Colombia and beyond are invited to join the Colombia Chapter via the Internet Society’s Member Portal  > My Account > My Chapters > Join a Chapter.

The future of the Internet depends upon people!

Our mandate is to sing for everyone. This is everybody’s chorus.

Wishing the new Colombia Chapter all the very best!

Read more about this event and watch the livestream

About Internet Society Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS)

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Is Proud to Join the Internet Society

The Internet has become the world’s most powerful tool for commerce, communication, and innovation because of a commitment from its stakeholders to work collaboratively to make it highly performant and more secure.

At Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we take that commitment to a better Internet seriously and want to align ourselves with other organizations that share a similar vision. That is why I am so proud to announce our partnership with the Internet Society, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the open development, evolution and use of the Internet.

I have spoken previously about how highly I regard the Internet Society’s new CEO, Andrew Sullivan, but my admiration for the work being done extends throughout the organization. This is why it is important to me that our relationship with the Internet Society is more than ceremonial. We want to roll up our sleeves and get to work because there is much work to be done.

One area we feel we can help is in security. The Internet is a trust-based network of networks and it’s consistently under attack by bad actors. We believe there is simply greater strength in the collaboration of the good guys and gals. Security is a key pillar of everything we do at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Companies of all sizes are struggling to deal with a growing number of security threats and they should demand and expect their cloud platform partners to protect their business online in this digital age.

Our Internet Intelligence team, which has more than 15 years of measuring, collecting, and analyzing Internet infrastructure and security data, is working to assist the MANRS initiative (also known as: The Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security). The primary objective of MANRS is to reduce the most common threats to the Internet’s routing system, because routing security is vital to the future and stability of the Internet. Especially, as the Internet becomes the most important “corporate” network. We have studied the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for decades and feel like we have important data and valuable perspective to offer.

At Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we are developing routing security tools that can be used by the MANRS community to further their mission. The tools are still in the early stages of development, but it is an example of how we are going to continue to play an active role within the Internet infrastructure community. We don’t want to sit by idly. We want to help lead from far out front. That’s the Oracle way.

Image credit: Oracle

Interested in becoming an Internet Society Organization Member? Read more about our Organization Membership Levels.

Internet Governance

Internet Society submits comments for the revision of the Ethiopian Cybercrime law

Imagine how much the Internet has changed our lives in the last few decades. Today, thanks to the Internet, we can communicate with anyone around the world, instantaneously, reliably and cheaply. This enables us not only to be close to our friends and family that may be far away but also to bridge the knowledge gap that we have with the developed world. It also opens many work opportunities that we wouldn’t even imagine just a few years back and democratize media, allowing anyone to reach instantaneously millions of people at almost no cost, forcing transparency in governance more than ever before.

At national level, our economies are benefiting from the economic opportunities, directly and indirectly related to the Internet. Experts say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more opportunities that are yet to be discovered.

However, we cannot deny that the Internet also comes with increasing challenges. Cybercrime is endangering Internet users, organizations and even countries. Our privacies are threatened every day. And more …  It is therefore appropriate that governments act to protect its citizens from the negatives impacts of the Internet by enacting laws and regulations. It was therefore appropriate for the Ethiopian government to enact a cybercrime law. However, it was clear from the beginning that the Computer Crime Law that was adopted in in 2016 infringes on the rights that every citizen is given by the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). In particular, the law infringes on the rights of free expression of citizens by adding provisions that have chilling effect on online expression. The law also has vague provisions that opens the opportunity for the government to accuse almost anyone who use the Internet. Last but not least, the law allows the court to shift the burden of proof to the accused, which is against the long accept judicial practice.

The Internet Society was therefore glad to hear that the government of the FDRE has decided to review the law and that the Internet Society is invited to comment on it. We have happily submitted our comments and we are looking forward to participate to the open discussions that we hope will allow to improve the law and contribute to the democratization of Ethiopia.

The future of the Internet is in the hands of all who use it. Help us at #CountMyVoice.

Editor’s note: We will link to the comments we submitted to the Ethiopian government from this post once the comments are published by the government.

Community Networks Growing the Internet

Prioritizing Indigenous Connectivity in North America

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly technology evolves. In 2007, the iPhone was released and dramatically transformed the way we communicate. Then, less than three years later, the first iPad hit consumer shelves and revolutionized personal computing. Now, Internet service providers around the world are racing to deploy the infrastructure needed to fuel our transition into smart cities of increasingly connected homes and driverless cars.

While some major U.S. cities are set to get home access to 5G broadband speeds as soon as this month, there are still many people living in rural and remote Indigenous communities across North America that struggle to open an email.

It’s time to get our priorities straight. The Internet is a powerful tool transforming virtually every aspect of our lives. But we can’t move forward if anyone is left behind. Indigenous voices must count in our digital future.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recently made an important step in the right direction when it released details of its $750 million Broadband Fund to improve connectivity in underserved and remote regions of Canada.

The fund makes an important commitment to ensure applicants consult with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis and respect treaty and land claim rights. The great news is that CRTC will also give special consideration to projects that provide service to Indigenous communities living in remote and underserved areas throughout Canada.

Since anyone from a band council to a big three telecom corporation is eligible to apply for the fund, it’s a prime opportunity for Indigenous communities to connect themselves to the Internet on their own terms through community networks.

Community networks are communications infrastructure built, managed and used by local communities. They provide a sustainable solution to address the connectivity gaps that exist in underserved urban, remote, and rural areas around the world.

The Internet Society will highlight some of these at the 2018 Indigenous Connectivity Summit (#Indigenet2018) this week in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. In partnership with University of Alberta, First Mile Connectivity Consortium, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and the Town of Inuvik, the event will inspire solutions to connect the last 1,000 miles by showcasing success stories of community networks from North America and abroad.

While the CRTC Broadband Fund could be a huge step towards instigating fast, affordable and sustainable Internet solutions in Indigenous communities, collaboration will be key to get the most bang for their buck. That means we need the CRTC and broadband fund applicants to join governments, policy makers, businesses, and community leaders at the Indigenous Connectivity Summit to honour their commitment and support them.

Thankfully, we already have some important allies in our corner. Here’s how our sponsors are helping to make #Indigenet2018 possible:

Our Gold Level sponsors:

  • CANARIE manages and develops components of digital research infrastructure for Canada’s research, education and innovation communities.
  • Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is a member-based not-for-profit organization, best known for managing the .CA internet domain on behalf of all Canadians, developing and implementing policies that support Canada’s Internet community and representing the .CA registry internationally.
  • Cybera is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the operation of Alberta’s Optical Regional Advanced Network.
  • Iristel, is a Canadian provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and its subsidiary, Ice Wireless, is a regional mobile operator and telecommunications company based in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.

Our Silver Sponsors:

  • Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. Google has supported the Summit since 2017.
  • OneWeb is a proposed satellite Internet constellation of approximately 882 satellites expected to provide global Internet broadband service to individual consumers as early as 2019.

Our Bronze Sponsors:

  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation. ICANN has also been a supporter of the Summit since 2017.
  • Telesat is a Canadian satellite communications company providing service for broadcast, telecom and corporate entities in North America and abroad.

As digital citizens, we all have a responsibility to create an Internet that is truly open and accessible to everyone.

Making sure the CRTC honours its commitment to include Indigenous voices in the decisions and solutions that shape our future is a critical part of closing Canada’s digital divide. It’s also an important step on the path towards reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.

Let’s come together at #Indigenet2018 and ensure the CRTC follows through to #CountMyVoice and #SwitchItOn!

Read more of our coverage of the Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2018.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons