Blockchain IETF Internet Governance Open Internet Standards Technology

ISOC@OECD, Day 3: Walid Al-Saqaf on Blockchain; IETF Chair Jari Arkko on Network Convergence

It’s the final day of the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy here in Cancun, Mexico, and there are just two more sessions blocks followed by the Closing Ceremony. Here below is where our attention will be focused today – and to understand the broader questions around why we are here, please read our OECD Ministerial Background Paper (All times are local to Cancun – UTC-5.)

You can also view the OECD Ministerial Agenda for a full list of sessions and participants.

9:00-10:45 – Improving Networks and Services through Convergence

In the first session on “Improving Networks and Services through Convergence“, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Chair Jari Arkko is one of the speakers in a session about the convergence of telecommunications and Internet services. The panel is moderated by U.S. Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda and includes communications ministers, regulators, the CEO of AT&T Mexico and a VP from Facebook.  It should be an interesting session given this tension between the older world of telecom and the newer world of the Internet.

Simultaneously, the other active session will be “New Markets and New Jobs in the Digital Economy” and it includes another ITAC organization, the IEEE, represented by their Managing Director, Konstantinos Karachalios.

11:15-13:00 – Skills for a Digital World

In the final session block, Internet Society Board of Trustee Member Walid Al-Saqaf will be a “key intervener” in the panel “Skills for a Digital World“. As Walid notes in a blog post published today, he intends to ask the panel about what policy makers are doing to stay up-to-date on blockchain technology. (Process note: a “key intervener” is a participant who is designated before the event to ask a question of the panel.)

At the same time, the session in the room next door will be on “Tomorrow’s Internet of Things” and includes a wide range of ministers, executives and others. (We would naturally hope that people there will have read our Internet of Things Overview document that outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities we see with the IoT.)

After that, there will be lunch, the Closing Ceremony and the final press conference… and we’re done!

For more information about what we have been doing here at the OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy, please visit our event page. We will be adding links there to our articles, videos and more.

Throughout the day you can follow our @InternetSociety Twitter account where we will be providing updates using the #OECDdigitalMX hashtag.

Watch this blog, too, for a wrap-up post coming from Constance Bommelaer tomorrow.

Image credit: a photo I took of the “Official Photo of Ministers and Heads of Delegations”. Our Constance Bommelaer is standing at the front left edge. 

Building Trust Improving Technical Security

If we lose trust, we lose the power of the Internet to change lives for the better (Remarks at OECD Ministerial)

On 22 June 2016, Internet Society President & CEO Kathy Brown spoke at the OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy in the “Armchair Discussion” as a member of the OECD Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC). These are her remarks as prepared.

I am pleased to a speak on behalf of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee this morning.

Our message today is that the aspirations of this OECD Ministerial Meeting – that the Digital Economy will bring Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity – will not be met without an open, trusted Internet.

We are acutely aware of how the Internet impacts and transforms the world. It has the potential to accelerate human progress, bridge the digital divide and develop knowledge-based societies.

Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen the Internet change how people work, socialise, learn, share, and innovate. We’ve seen its impact on economies, on business, on government.

Today we are at a defining moment. We face a situation where we risk undoing all of the progress we have made over the past three decades.

More explicitly, we face a choice between an Internet that is open and that encourages innovation and one that is more tightly controlled which may have the opposite effect of stifling progress.

We are concerned that the growing anxiety of users around security and privacy issues may encourage governments to close and fragment the Internet for more control. We are worried that this could undermine individuals’ ability to use the Internet to improve their lives and the lives of others.

This makes trust the key issue in defining the future value of the Internet.

Each week we seem to hear of more massive data breaches. A recent survey in the US found that 45% of users had changed their behaviour online because of their fears. These concerns were amplified by the One Internet report released yesterday by the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

This must change.

Trust can only be ensured through collaborative solutions, and by making multistakeholder participation the norm in all aspects of the Internet’s governance.

Governments alone cannot create a more trusted Internet. Businesses alone cannot create a more trusted Internet. The technical community alone cannot create a more trusted Internet.

This collaborative approach to security was a great area of focus at yesterday’s ITAC Forum.

The key point is that a trusted Internet is not achieved by a single treaty or piece of legislation; it is not solved by a single technical fix, nor can it come about because one company, government or individual decides security is important.

At the Internet Society, we are trying to make more explicit the different dimensions of a framework for trust. We have identified four building blocks that we believe are the foundation for a trusted Internet:

· User trust

· Trusted networks

· Trustworthy ecosystem

· Technologies for trust

We are posting a paper today on this framework in which we suggest policy initiatives for each of these elements to build best practices across the Internet. We seek input from the community on the viability of this approach.

The framework seeks to capture the attributes of successful models for addressing the challenges of trust. I was recently in Japan and was intrigued by how the Japanese Internet community has organised itself in preparing for the Internet of Things (IoT).  They understand that to be successful with the IoT; they need to do two critical things: deploy IPv6 so there can be enough addresses; and build in security from the start.

How the community is addressing these issues is what, in my view, will ensure its success.

Rather than taking a top-down regulatory approach, they have formed working groups across all stakeholders – government, business, universities, the technical community – to collaborate on addressing areas of concern. This multistakeholder process takes time and requires a commitment to intentional cooperation and win-win outcomes. And, it requires some degree of humility on the part of all to recognise that a joint, cooperative approach is more likely to result in a sustainable plan. I commend the report of their efforts – presented yesterday at the ITAC meeting by our ISOC Trustee Hiroshi Esaki.

We need to build a greater trust in the Internet urgently to open up the growth and prosperity promised by the digital economy. The way to do this is through collaboration. The OECD has led the way on multistakeholder decision-making.  We look forward to further work on this issue at this week’s meeting and urge the member states to adopt this forward thinking in building a better future for the Internet.

Thank you.

Building Trust Improving Technical Security Privacy

ISOC@OECD, Day 2: Kathy Brown’s speech about trust, Hiroshi Esaki speaking about innovation

Today is the first day of the “Ministerial Conference” section of the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy.  Yesterday was for the very successful “Stakeholder Forums” and my colleague Nicolas Seidler wrote about the ITAC Forum that discussed Internet policies, IPv6, IoT, open standards and Collaborative Security.  I also encourage you to read our OECD Ministerial Background Paper to understand why this meeting is so important for Internet Governance.

11:40 am – OECD Stakeholders Armchair Discussion

Our big event today will be the “OECD Stakeholders’ Armchair Discussion”  where our President and CEO Kathy Brown will speak as a member of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) about what was discussed in the ITAC Forum yesterday and also about the view from within the technical community about the need to increase trust in the Internet.

The overall session she is in starts at 11:40 am local time (UTC-5, similar to US Central time) although we are told the armchair discussion should start closer to 12:20 pm.  Each of the four stakeholder advisory committees will provide a statement, and Kathy will be speaking on behalf of ITAC.

16:45 – Stimulating Digital Innovation across the Economy

After Kathy’s session there will be a 1.5 hour lunch break and then the parallel track sessions begin.  The OECD Ministerial Agenda outlines the sessions, including:

  • Economic and Social Benefits of Internet Openness
  • Consumer Trust and Market Growth
  •  Stimulating Digital Innovation across the Economy
  • Managing Digital Security and Privacy Risk for Economic and Social Prosperity

While all of the sessions are of interest, our attention will be on the session about “Stimulating Digital Innovation” at 16:45 as ISOC Board of Trustees member Hiroshi Esaki will be one of the speakers on the panel.

We understand that the sessions should be live streamed, but we are uncertain of the exact URL.  We would advise you to visit the OECD live stream page to see what streams are available.

You can also follow our @InternetSociety Twitter account where we will be providing updates using the #OECDdigitalMX hashtag.

Watch this blog, too, as we will be posting several more articles throughout the day!

Building Trust Improving Technical Security Internet of Things (IoT) IPv6

OECD Ministerial: Technical community highlights key enablers for the future of the Digital Economy

What are some of the key opportunities and challenges for the future of the Internet? What are the technical building blocks to ensure that the Internet remains an open, trusted space for economic and social development? How do we work together to achieve our common objectives for an inclusive, sustainable Digital economy?

These questions were at the core of the Forum organized by the Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD (ITAC) on 21 June, in the context of the OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy (Cancun, Mexico). 

The session identified a set of key foundations for the future of the Digital economy:

  • IPv6 deployment is growing, but creative efforts are needed: There have been major developments in IPv6 deployment in recent years,  but the growth is not fast enough: the (near) future of ubiquitous connected devices and smart cities can only scale in a system where IPv6 becomes the norm. Future growth and value in the digital space will come from global and interoperable large scale ecosystems.
  • The Internet of Things needs to be based on open, interoperable standards: As digitalization touches everything from health, automobile and financial industries, it is essential that trust and security become core features of the IoT. Open and transparent standards are necessary to create efficiencies, reduce silos and increase security through open technical development. Failing that could risk leading to a fragmented ecosystem. 
  • Security of networks depends on collaboration: Security in an interconnected world requires a shift from traditional security thinking. On the Open Internet, security is not the sole domain of IT professional and engineers anymore: the effects of security breaches can have wide ranging impacts on economic and social development, this requiring the contribution and collaboration of a wide range of actors across sectors. Security is not “someone’s else” problem: addressing one’s own security issues can have beneficial effects for the whole system (similar to how washing your own hands can prevent spreading of diseases). 

What transpired across all these sessions is the need for all stakeholders to address these issues together in order to achieve a trusted, sustainable and inclusive digital economy. This is  the spirit that the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, highlighted at multiple occasions during this day, emphasising the significant contributions of the stakeholder communities in informing the work of the OECD. 

VIDEO: The sessions were recorded and are available for viewing on YouTube. Please note that there were some issues with the audio at the very beginning that were sorted out after a short time.  Also, the live stream continued to be active over the 1.5 hour lunch and so you will need to skip over that section of the video. 

Improving Technical Security

Innovations at the edge of the OECD's Ministerial Meeting in Cancun

The week of the OECD’s ministerial meeting has gotten off to a promising start as more than 170 young students from Mexico and the broader region have gathered for the pre-ministerial hackathon, putting into practice the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines the digital society.

Organized by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) and sponsored and supported by organizations and members of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD ( ITAC), the hackathon is focused on app development centered around 4 themes:

  • Cultural Heritage
  • Smart City
  • Social Inclusion
  • Entrepreneurship

Working throughout the night, the teams will present their apps tomorrow afternoon, pitching their accomplishments before a jury with members from government, business and the technical community. Aside from awards to the winning team in each of the 4 themes, there will also be prizes from the co-sponsoring organizations, such as the award sponsored by IEEE for Value Ethical Design, or the best app addressing “Security in the Smart Home”, sponsored by Intel.

As a hands-on creative micro-cosmo within the ministerial week, the event highlights the vast potential that digital solutions can contribute to address challenges and promote opportunities in the digital society – one of the central pillars in the week’s discussions.

It is also a clear and practical illustration to the policy makers that have gathered here this week of the benefits of an open Internet, where permissionless innovation at the edges of this network of networks is the driving force of economic and social prosperity in the 21st century.

This is a message at the heart of ITAC’s contribution to the meeting this week, and a centerpiece of the Internet’s potential to promote a sustainable development of economic growth that is inclusive of all.

Building Trust Improving Technical Security Internet of Things (IoT) IPv6 Privacy

New Background Paper Available About Next Week’s OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy

Next week the Internet Society will be participating in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy from 21-23 June 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.

The meeting is set to define the digital agenda of the 34 OECD member countries for the next few years. It will address key issues under the pillars of trust and security, jobs for the digital age, openness and connectivity.

Many Internet Society members have been engaged in preparations through the different advisory groups to the OECD (ITAC, CSISAC, BIAC and TUAC). For those who’d like to better understand topics that will be discussed in Cancun, we’ve developed a background paper.

As part of the ministerial agenda, our President and CEO Kathy Brown will have the opportunity to speak as a member of the Internet technical community in the Opening Plenary, along with business, civil society and trade unions stakeholders. This will be a good opportunity to emphasize the Internet Society’s Trust Agenda as well as our collaborative approach to Internet governance.

For more information about Internet Society activities, please see our OECD Ministerial event page.  We will be updating that page with additional information and links throughout the week.

Improving Technical Security

OECD’s New Approach For Digital Security Is A Major Milestone For Cybersecurity Policy

Today is the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness month, and to mark that occasion, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is launching its new approach to security –  Recommendation on Digitial Security Risk Management for Economic and Social Prosperity, an approach that resonates with the Internet Society’s own Collaborative Security principles.

The OECD Recommendation represents a major milestone in the evolution of cybersecurity policy. Significantly, the recommendation defines a clear purpose for security: economic and social prosperity. This is basically the “why”. It’s about protecting something we value, rather than simply stopping something that is bad. There is no absolute security: a certain level of risk has to be accepted to achieve social and economic objectives. To take an extreme example, take away the Internet and there would be no cybercrime, but there would also be no global digital economy.

The Recommendation also provide a “how” – digital security risk management, and emphasizes that the security of the digital economy depends on everyone. The Internet, a major driver for the digital economy, creates global interdependency and a clear need for cross-border cross-stakeholder cooperation.

It also reinforces the importance of protecting human rights and fundamental values while implementing security. Moreover, the Recommendation calls for digital security risk management based on ethical conduct which respects and recognises the legitimate interests of others and society as a whole.

Today represents the culmination of a suite of work undertaken by the OECD in recent years to develop better security policies relevant for an open and interconnected digital world. But, it is also the first step on the path to the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy in Cancún, Mexico.

The Internet Society, through the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC), worked as an equal partner with OECD countries, business, civil society and other experts to develop these principles. (Read the ITAC news release about today’s news.) We very pleased to see the work come to fruition and the consensus that it represents. We hope that these principles and our Collaborative Security approach will guide governments around the world as they develop and update their cybersecurity policies.

We will be continuing our work with key policy drivers like the OECD to promote the adoption of better security policies for open Internet that is truly global, trusted and resilient.

Coming up next month =>

At the OECD’s invitation, we will be co-hosting, together with the World Economic Forum, a workshop at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on Managing Security Risks for Sustainable Development on 11 November 2015.

Come and see how security policies for an open Internet contribute to sustainable development goals.

Building Trust Improving Technical Security Internet Governance Open Internet Standards Technology

5th ITAC OECD newsletter: Internet Governance, WSIS+10, IoT, Cybersecurity, Trust, Standards…

Today the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) to the OECD published the fifth edition of its newsletter at:

The ITAC was created in 2009 following the OECD’s Seoul Ministerial with the objective to provide Internet technical and policy expertise to the work of the OECD on Internet-related issues. This informal group is coordinated by the Internet Society and currently counts 28 members active in domains such as open Internet/Web standards development, interconnection, IP addressing, security or privacy.

The goal of the ITAC newsletter is to provide concrete illustrations and practices of the evolving multistakeholder model of Internet policy development, and to create opportunities for new partnerships. The publication of this fifth newsletter was coordinated by my colleagues Constance Bommelaer and Nicolas Siedler and includes these articles:

  • Editorial: On the road to Mexico 2016 (from Internet Society)
  • Interview of Ambassador Dionisio Pérez-Jácome Frisione, Mexico’s Permanent Representative to the OECD
  • New Internet (and IoT) Era and the Protection of Economic and Social Activities  (from IEEE)
  • Consent as a critical component for Trust in the Growth of the Digital Economy (from Kantara Initiative)
  • Investigating Whether Internet Paths Stay Within Borders (from RIPE NCC)
  • United we stand: Protecting against cyber threats with standards for sharing (from OASIS)

ITAC provides an avenue for new technical insights to contribute to the work of the OECD. ITAC is open to any Internet technical and research organization that meets the membership criteria listed in the Committee’s Charter.

ITAC encourages Policymakers, members of Civil Society and Businesses to submit queries regarding any of the ITAC work to

If your organization is interested in joining ITAC and contributing with technically-informed advice to the OECD’s development of Internet-related policies, you can visit the website,, to read the “Criteria for Membership” in ITAC’s Charter (Section III).