Growing the Internet Technology

Lessons from The Nepal Quake: Tech's Role When Disaster Strikes

When disaster strikes many of us, no matter where we are, want to do something. 

The net, with its ability to connect us all, is becoming the tool of choice for digital humanitarians and citizens to lend a hand. 

Is it making a difference? 

Looking at the After Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake, the Internet became a lifeline. 

And while communication is now considered a crucial part of aid and social media is part of the toolset, privacy, power and access are just some of the complex challenges that digital humanitarians must navigate when using these platforms in their work to help communities in need. 

The Internet Society’s Asia-Pacific Bureau and Internet Society Nepal Chapter are organizing INET Kathmandu aimed to bring together International agencies, Rapid response groups and local stakeholders involved in disaster planning, management and relief services to deliberate and inform thoughts on: 

  • Lesson from the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal
  • Regional developments, experiences and best practices
  • Technological paradigms in disaster risk reduction
  • Future mechanisms for disaster management 

We need you to be part of the discussion. 

If you’d like to join the event in person you can register online HERE 

You can also watch the live stream of the conference on 18th March and you can also be part of the discussion by following #INETKTM on twitter.

We look forward to having you take part!

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INET Islamabad helps provide a foundation for Pakistan to start on the path to a digital economy

Our first-ever Regional INET conference in Pakistan, from Nov 16-18 in Islamabad, proved to be a huge success, both in terms of substance and lively participation. INET Islamabad brought into picture concrete opinions and action items to help in Pakistan’s journey towards a Digital Economy; and in building its ICT agenda based on sustainable development.

The event was hosted by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and backed by the telecommunication industry of Pakistan. It featured both international and national subject matter experts from various sectors with broad experience, globally and nationally, in ICT, policymaking and development.

The two plenary days of the conference was attended by over 400 participants and had an online audience of some 600 people from around the world. There were also close to 2,000 tweets using #INETISB and social media reports tell us this had a reach of some 270,000. International speakers from UN ESCAP, ITU, APT, LIRNEasia, ISACA, Red Hat and other premier organisations helped further the dialogue with their thoughts on:

  • Infrastructure and Connectivity for Sustainable Development
  • e-Gov Architecture, Standards and Implementation
  • Building Trust in Cyberspace
  • Growth of ICT Industry
  • Digital Financial Inclusion
  • Shaping the Move towards a Digital Economy for Pakistan

There were several government dignitaries in attendance including the chief guest at the opening, Hon. Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. During his closing keynote, Mr. Miftah Ismail, Chairman of the Board of Investment in Pakistan applauded and acknowledged the efforts of the Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau and PTA in bringing these issues for discussion at the national level and the important role the Internet and ICTs play, highlighting the Internet as one of mankind’s greatest inventions.

The first day of the event featured the opening reception with invited guests from the Pakistan ICT industry, and Prof. Gihan Dias from the ISOC Board of Trustees delivering the opening keynote. Earlier in the day we also hosted Pakistan’s first CxO roundtable for the telecom industry to engage in dialogue with the government on current issues, challenges and future opportunities. This was moderated by ISOC’s Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific, Rajnesh Singh, and also included representatives from ITU and APT.

During the conference we held a media briefing on the ISOC-ADB-UNESCAP regional study on unleashing the potential of the Internet in 10 countries covering Central Asia, the Caucuses and South Asia, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. The briefing focused on Pakistan’s potential in the region.

On the final day of the conference, we took the opportunity to launch the Urdu language version of our interactive tutorials on online identity and privacy, which was also well received by the audience and generated some media commentary.

INET Islamabad achieved significant exposure for the Internet Society in Pakistan – there were over 100 media spots including live TV, print and online. It also laid the foundation for discussions on how the digital economy can benefit Pakistan, and was acknowledged as the largest and most important event of its kind to be held in Pakistan. Discussions are already underway for follow-up action by various stakeholders in the country and ISOC’s Asia-Pacific Bureau remains committed to assist in this process.

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Discussing Internet-related challenges and progress in the Pacific Islands @ PacINET 2015

PacINET 2015, the annual conference of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC), was held on Day 0 of NetHui. This was scheduled in-between the two sessions of InterCommunity 2015 and brought together stakeholders from the region to discuss various issues related to Internet use in the Pacific Islands.

As part of the rich agenda, I provided an update on ISOC’s activities in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as what we have done with the Pacific Islands community thus far this year. I also stressed the need for continued collaboration between organisations working in the region as well the need for avoiding duplication of efforts and activities.

The programme included updates from various organisations working in the region, including an update on the Pacific ICT Ministerial Meeting that was held in June in Tonga where ISOC presented on Collaborative Security and also helped with sponsorship. This Ministerial Meeting was important as it identified the next phase of ICT development strategies and focus areas for the Pacific Islands.

During the Q&A session at PacINET, I also raised the point that the Pacific Islands Chapter should be a part of the CROP ICT Working Group which is charged with developing the ICT agenda for the Pacific Islands. I pointed out that in past incarnations of CROP ICT, PICISOC had been an active participant including contributing to the development of the Pacific Plan. It was encouraging to receive a commitment from USP (University of the South Pacific, who are the lead coordinating agency for CROP ICT) that PICISOC will receive a formal invitation to join the group and PICISOC Board Members will be following up on this.

The Internet Society is a founding partner of the ISIF programme that provides assistance for development related projects. Two of the past awardees from the Pacific Islands provided updates on their projects and there were also country presentations from Fiji and an update from Vanuatu on the recovery efforts after Cyclone Pam devastated the country. ISOC contributed to the relief efforts in Vanuatu by providing power generators that were used to restore communications services.

The Pacific Islands face many challenges. The great distances between countries and the dispersed population is a key issue in the provision of services, as is the relatively small market size in most economies. However, the Internet is also something that helps empower these communities and gives them an opportunity to actively participate in the global economy. This is why continued and open access to the Internet – and all the services and applications it helps enable from education to health to financial systems – is even more critical. Over the years, good progress in improving Internet access has been made in the Pacific Islands but there is still much to do.

The Internet is rapidly evolving and there is some new application or service released just about every day. More people are constantly coming online and participating in the new global Digital Economy. It is critical that the people of the Pacific also have every opportunity to participate. The Internet is for everyone, and belongs to everyone – and it can do much to alleviate the tyranny of distance and time that has for so long impacted the Pacific Islands – and its ability to be a part of this new global economy.

Doing this needs getting a few things right:

·       Development of infrastructure, and having appropriate policy and regulatory measures to effect progress

·       Developing communities, and empowering them in the use of ICTs and the Internet

·       Building human capacity – policy, technical and operational – such that all opportunities available can be maximised

The above forms the core of the Internet Society’s Access and Development strategy, and we will explore this in greater detail in a future post.

Its been a while since I have had the opportunity to attend PacINET; it was good to be able to participate this year and meet friends old and new. There were many discussions and ideas, and we look forward to furthering the dialogue on these with our friends in the Pacific.

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INET Colombo – Celebrating 20 years of the Internet in Sri Lanka

This week we held our regional INET in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was a timely event as it marked the 20th anniversary of the Internet in Sri Lanka. As part of the welcome reception on Monday night, the Sri Lankan community recognised 25 people who contributed to the early development of the Internet in Sri Lanka. The evening was full of stories and experiences from those who helped build the early Internet with many fond memories being narrated by the inductees.

A regional workshop for ISOC chapters from the Asia-Pacific region was held just prior (also in Colombo) with delegates from chapters focusing on topical issues and exploring collaboration opportunities.

The conference proper began on Tuesday morning with a great lineup of speakers including:

  • Hon. Eran Wickramaratne (Deputy Minister for Highways and Trade Promotion, and Founding Chairman of ICT Agency of Sri Lanka) on e-Sri Lanka initiative
  • Prof. Munasinghe (formerly World Bank and Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC) on Sri Lankan ICT and linkages to development and sustainability
  • Harish Pillay from Red Hat on Singapore: Finding the Soul of a Smart Nation
  • Prof. Kilnam Chon on Internet Past, Present and Future
  • Raul Echeberria (ISOC) on Current Challenges in Internet Governance,
  • Prof. Kanchana Kanchanasut on the Thai Internet Experience: 25 years on
  • Satish Babu on Network Neutrality and End-user Perspectives

The event was highly successful with over 1000 participants. Of these, 200 were on-site in Colombo and the other 800 were spread across 7 remote hubs around Sri Lanka. It was appropriate that the Internet Society and its Sri Lanka Chapter used the power of the Internet to deliver this event to a geographically dispersed audience. Full credit to the Sri Lankan chapter for making this happen.

The event was also webcast and the full archive is available here.

We also have the event on Storify which has tweets and the Livestream archives in chronological order.

Photo credit: Eran Wickramaratne on Facebook

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Watch LIVE Today – INET Trinidad and Tobago – IPv6, DNSSEC, More

INET Trinidad and TobagoAs we mentioned earlier this week,  the INET Trinidad and Tobago event starts TODAY bringing great Internet infrastructure information to the Caribbean region. Some of the presentations today covering IPv6 and DNSSEC include:

  • IPv6: What Is It? Why Is It Needed?
  • IPv6 Deployment: Business Cases and Development Options (in the Caribbean)
  • Securing the DNS and Internet Routes

The event continues tomorrow, Thursday, October 9, with a range of sessions related to Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), cybersecurity and trends in the overall industry.

You can watch the event live at:

The agenda can be found at:

Note that Trinidad and Tobago use Atlantic Standard Time (AST) which is UTC-4 and right now the same as US Eastern Daylight Time.

Our colleague Shernon Osepa has more information about the INET Trinidid and Tobago event in a post on our Internet Technology Matters (ITM) blog earlier this week.

Deploy360 Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Events IPv6

INET Trinidad and Tobago To Cover IPv6, DNSSEC, IXPs and more

INET Trinidad and TobagoThis Wednesday and Thursday the INET Trinidad and Tobago event will bring a great amount of technical presentations to the Caribbean region. Starting on October 8, 2014, some of the presentations covering IPv6 and DNSSEC include:

  • IPv6: What Is It? Why Is It Needed?
  • IPv6 Deployment: Business Cases and Development Options (in the Caribbean)
  • Securing the DNS and Internet Routes

The event continues on Thursday, October 9, with a range of sessions related to Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), cybersecurity and trends in the overall industry.  It looks like a great event and the excellent news is that you can watch it all live at:

Note that Trinidad and Tobago use Atlantic Standard Time (AST) which is UTC-4 and right now the same as US Eastern Daylight Time.

Our colleague Shernon Osepa has more information about the INET Trinidid and Tobago event in a post on our Internet Technology Matters (ITM) blog earlier today.

Internet Governance

2014 – A Crucial Year for the Internet

We are quickly approaching the mid-point in a pivotal year for the evolution of the Internet. 

I recently spoke at the INET Istanbul, which offered another important opportunity for multistakeholder dialogue on critical Internet issues. The INET provided a bridge between two important meetings — just one month after NETmundial in São Paulo, Brazil and a few months ahead of the 9th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will also be held in Istanbul in early September. These meetings call upon the international community to reflect on the kind of Internet we want and how we want to answer the many open questions related to its governance and its future.

The core values of the Internet pioneers are deeply rooted in the belief that the human condition can be enhanced through reducing barriers to communication and information. As such, the success of the Internet is based on an open and collaborative approach to policy, standards, and technology development. Without open standards, the Internet would not be the powerful catalyst it is for access to information, freedom of expression, and innovation. 

Unfortunately, there have been, and currently are, many examples of governments using technological measures to restrict access to content deemed undesirable. In fact, the debate on Internet governance is seen by many as another attempt by authoritarian governments to stifle the medium and to gain control over its content.

Internet Governance, the Multistakeholder Process and NETmundial

There are many dimensions to the debate on Internet governance, and the recent NETmundial was a strong signal to the world that the community is seeking to fulfill its commitment towards gaining a better understanding of all those dimensions.

The most important outcome from NETmundial was its endorsement of the multistakeholder model of Internet governance: the conference proved that all stakeholders are able to work together and to move towards convergence and a common understanding on some critical issues. To me, the most encouraging aspect was that governments accepted that other stakeholders had as much to say as they have and that their voice counted as much. This was important, as without a clear signal in this regard, the pressure to move to more traditional, top-down intergovernmental arrangements would have increased and culminated at the Plenipotentiary meeting of the International Telecommunication Union to be held in Busan, Korea, this October.

NETmundial was, however, not able to provide answers to all open questions and concerns. It passed some issues for discussion on to other organizations and platforms, such as the IGF. The IGF is now called upon to produce some tangible outputs.

Next Steps and the IGF

The disclosures last year of pervasive government surveillance programs were akin to a seismic shift in the Internet governance landscape. The large-scale nature of these programs made Internet users realize that the chain of trust ─ which is essential to the good functioning of the Internet ─ had been broken. This realization created a sense of urgency to review current Internet governance arrangements and to rebuild Internet users’ trust in the Internet, its function, and how it fits into society. This was the underlying theme at the 2013 IGF meeting. There was a general agreement that the IGF was the privileged place to pursue these discussions and that the multistakeholder format was the only way forward.

Given the current challenges and given the necessity to restore trust and confidence in the Internet, it is essential to involve all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, in discussions on the future evolution of the Internet. The IGF has proved its worth as a place where the community gathers to share experiences and exchange information. It provides protection, legitimacy, and credibility to the multistakeholder model, since it is the only truly open and inclusive multistakeholder platform under the UN umbrella.

The upcoming IGF in Istanbul should therefore be the starting point for such an evolution. It can take the discussion from NETmundial forward on the long path towards creating a new chain of trust for the Internet and finding a new international consensus on multistakeholder Internet governance.

Internet Governance

Energizing the Global Conversation on the Future of the Internet

The Internet has reached a critical juncture and faces challenges that threaten to compromise the freedom and openness upon which it was built. There is a growing need to restore the world’s trust and confidence in the global network, and every stakeholder should be included in the dialogue about its future…precisely because it impacts so many, in so many important ways.

The Internet Society is a strong advocate for an open and free Internet. We believe the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance is the only way to ensure the stability, security, and availability of the global infrastructure. To that end, ISOC partnered with Bilgi University to engage key stakeholders at the INET Istanbul for a multistakeholder discussion of important issues.

This INET forms an integral part of our strategic regional engagement with a view to further promote the Internet Society’s multistakeholder process to address critical issues related to the Internet. Both the panel and the audience included civil society, government, business, and academia with Turkish and global Internet leaders.

The agenda reflected issues such as privacy and intellectual property rights which constitute key issues in Turkey and within the wider European region. The conversation was marked by a very open and transparent environment that allowed both the keynote speakers and the panel to discuss, address, and deliberate on some fundamental principles regarding Internet governance, human rights, and the openness of the Internet. There was a wide agreement on the value of the multistakeholder process as well as on a balanced approach to reflect the different stakeholders’ vision as regards to the Internet.

Amongst others, discussions focused on the recent ECJ decision on the right to be forgotten as well as what it means in the context of the European region and globally. There was also some very interesting debate on the relationship between IPR and innovation with particular focus on the notion of “permissionless innovation” and its compatibility with copyright.

The INET Istanbul also served as a touchstone in moving forward the conversations on Internet governance recently addressed at the Sao Paulo NETmundial and in advance of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul in September.

Indeed the recent NETmundial in São Paulo provided an open and participatory process with thousands of people from governments, private sector, civil society, technical community, and academia discussing current Internet challenges. The conference addressed some basic questions and concerns on Internet governance issues that many have been asking, in various ways, for over a decade. It was widely agreed that the meeting energized the global conversation about the value of the multistakeholder model and the importance of collaborative, bottom-up processes while examining the dimensions of Internet governance, and the complexities therein.

The IGF has proved its worth over the years as the go-to place where the community gathers to exchange information and discuss the future of the Internet. The IGF is well placed to consider the outputs from NETmundial and to discuss how best to move forward to rebuild online trust, along with many other topics.

Whether challenges are related to ensuring the robustness and resiliency of Internet security and privacy, advancing the deployment and development of core Internet infrastructure—or any number of other challenges—we must continue to find ways to solve these issues without undermining the Internet’s fundamental design principles.

The Internet Society looks forward to continuing its collaboration with all stakeholders to build the Internet of the future. The key to finding solutions is an ongoing, open exchange of information and ideas based on the multistakeholder process.

For more information on the INET Istanbul please visit its website.