Human Rights Internet Governance

Internet for the development: People from all sides is needed.

The Internet, since its inception, has had an enormous impact on society and more recently in the countries economy. In this era, governments are faced with public issues such as combating illegal or inappropriate content and take appropriate measures to protect the consumer, but such things become secondary when citizens can not fully benefit from all the possibilities the internet provides. 

Some people might think that the internet is not a priority when there are other situations to resolve in a country, for example, seek progress in economic or educational sectors, but the internet has become an incredible tool to support the development, some would say is a critical resource and any serious disruption in service can have terrible effects on society and economy. Many business systems, financial services and public administration depends entirely on the assumption that Internet connectivity is available, to the point that any major disruption could seriously diminish the citizens’ access to key services.

The growing importance of this resource to society increasingly demands that governments actively participate in taking key decisions in defense of the public interest, but this does not mean that governments should fully control the ordinary operation of the Internet, although they feel obliged to intervene to a greater or lesser extent, and should do it with effective public policies.Then there is also the private sector and its undisputed leadership in building the Internet as we know it, so it is necessary to maintain and encourage this initiative, considering that more investment and market competitiveness,  will allow best offers for civil society which (unknowingly) trust their governments to ensure that governance mechanisms reflects the public interest of society and can not be sidetracked by other interests, though it is curious that this group, in some countries, does not participate or is represented in any way in the Internet governance forums.

Agreements on Internet governance must be fully inclusive of all sectors and respond to the urgent need to improve the participation of developing countries in key decision-making forums. Perhaps the lack of interest of civil society in the governance of the Internet, especially in these countries, is given by the fact that there is much misinformation on the subject, what Internet governance is really about? Am I interested? If you’re a user of the internet (and who does not in this globalized world?) Of course you’re interested, and there are several issues to be analyzed. A sector is also very important in these matters is the academy, and what better than the university sector to inform the society since bases of its formation? from the engineer with technical knowledge of the procedures and protocols that are used in this area until the lawyer who argues for the fundamental rights of users online.

A strong and clear framework can encourage investment in defining the objectives to be supported and limits must not be crossed. This includes the need for governments to establish that these principles are respected, but if these mechanisms fail, or worse, the same government restricts people’s access to quality internet, keep in mind that the real power is in hands of civil society that is able to defend and enforce their rights, because we must not forget that the Internet was declared as a highly protected human right.

Internet Governance

Power of Internet for Disaster and Environmental Control

The internet Governance Forum 2013 that was currently held in Bali, Indonesia from 21 – 25 October has recently ended. It brought many stakeholders to discuss in open forums about many super interesting topics related to Internet. As one of the IGF Ambassador this year, I`d like to share the first session I attended on how Internet functions as the disaster and environmental control.

This session was moderated by Izumi Aizu the Senior Research Fellow & Professor at Institute for InfoSocinomics, Tama University and presented several speakers;  Fumi Yamazaki, a Developer Advocate in Developer Relations team at Google, Ambar Sari Dewi from Jalin Merapi Indonesia and Tomas Lamanauskas, the head of the Corporate Strategy Division at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Ambar Sari Dewi from Jalin Merapi (Merapi Circle Information Network) began the session by sharing how Jalin Merapi utilizes technology to monitor the Merapi volcano activities through the community radios and internet. As has been known, mount Merapi that is located between Yogyakarta and Central Java Province, is among the most active volcano on earth. Merapi’s character is hard to predict. The melting lava that came with deadly hot clouds could kill thousands of lives at Merapi’s slop. It only took less than 10 minutes for the flaming lava and hot clouds to reach villagers residential said Ambar. Jalin Merapi has taken a role in bridging information from many sources in Merapi Mountain, this information then being uploaded to the website for wider access. Aside from field-update, Jalin Merapi website has many interactive features such as online messenger, discussion forum, maps and databases. Field-update are regularly delivered by handy talky and tag-message from cell-phone. Each tag-message sent to Jalin Merapi will automatically be displayed on website’s front page. Some villagers in Merapi slope who live in the city and abroad were able to monitor the villages’ situation through online messenger. Others were posting complaints and request of help by using tag-message. That information was also useful for others who are willing to provide help for the Merapi victims.

The next speaker in the session was Fumi Yamazaki from Google. She was sharing her experience on her several personal projects related to Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami 2011. She also elaborated about how to help people recover from earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku area using technology. Some of her interesting projects were Tohoku Tech Dojo; a project to help youngsters in Tohoku to learn programming, The Great East Japan Earthquake Big Data Workshop: Project 311; a project to collect data from various entities, provide them to researchers and developers to analyze, in order to prepare for future disaster, and Recovery Hangout; a project to use live streaming service for the victims of Tohoku disaster to voice their opinion via the Internet. She also discussed about Google Person Finder app and how it provides great support during the 2011 Japan Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster.

Having two earlier topics presented on disaster response with internet, Tomas Lamanauskas as the last speaker brought up a little different topic on how internet contributed in environmental control. He discussed important role of ITU as the advisor for environmental climate change. He also brought up many significant involvement of ITU in responding the global climate change. ITU sees Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as satellites, mobile phones or the Internet, play a key role to address the major challenges related with climate change and sustainable development. Therefore, ITU is promoting transformative solutions by raising awareness on how to ICTs can be used.  For disaster response, Tomas also said that ITU provides satellite equipment for countries  requesting assistance during the disasters and ITU also created special call number for disaster relief in the format of (country code)-888.

Author: Teuku  A. Geumpana
The IGF Ambassador 2013
School of Computer Science Binus International University
Fulbright Scholar 2007 – University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Human Rights Internet Governance

A sustainable Internet for sustainable development

I recently had the opportunity to make an oral intervention on behalf of the Internet Society at the Economic and Social Council, the U.N.’s main policy forum on economic and social issues.

The main event, held in Geneva, discussed the contribution of science, technology and innovation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and what will happen to the development agenda post-2015, the deadline for achieving these goals.

As part of my intervention, I emphasized the necessity for all stakeholders, including those of us who use and are impacted by the Internet, to continue to make it open and sustainable. That is the essential pre-condition that will ensure the global network’s contribution to sustainable development for years to come.

Here is the full statement:

“In the late 1960s, engineers and researchers laid down the foundations of a decentralized network with the goal of reducing communication and information barriers among individuals.

About 40 years since then, the Internet has evolved to become one of the main drivers of economic and social development, reaching now more than 2 billion individuals worldwide and growing.

The Internet, by its very design, empowers the edges rather than the center of the network; beyond a technical feature, this also means that it enables people to share, receive and impart information and ideas across frontiers in unprecedented ways. The network holds the potential to empower people to virtually access an unlimited source of knowledge and educational material. It also empowers them to innovate without having to ask for permission to a central authority; the global and open network provides a space to reward creativity and new ideas.

But if the Internet is to further contribute to innovation and sustainable development, it also means that we need a sustainable Internet, based on an open and collaborative approach to policy, standards and technology development.

For example, open Internet standards development processes, such as carried out by the Internet Engineering Task Force, provide the foundation to ensure that the Internet remains interoperable and functional across frontiers. This model provides a backbone for the Internet’s ability to connect individuals to exchange information, share cultural content and undertake economic transactions on a global scale. Indeed, the Internet would loose much of its value if it was limited to a set of fragmented, isolated networks.

This multistakeholder model, which recognizes the equally essential respective roles of governments, civil society, the private sector and the technical community in shaping the evolution of the Internet, was validated at the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005 in Tunis. This process will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in 2015,  at the same time as discussions will take place to shape the post-2015 development agenda.

Mr. President, as demand for connectivity and content is growing at an exponential rate in developing countries, the Internet Society is committed to work with all stakeholders at the global and regional levels to ensure that the network holds true to its potential for development, human rights and innovation.”


Statement in pdf format:


The Internet Society was granted Consultative Status by ECOSOC at the organization’s Substantive Session in July 2010, entitling ISOC to accreditation and allowing it to participate in relevant UN conferences and preparatory meetings.
ECOSOC is the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the UN system.  It is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Past Internet Society contributions to ECOSOC: