Day 3: Friday 9 March 2018

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 Gender & Diversity: Anna Loup

Anna presented a framework based on intersectional reflection points to examine Gender and Diversity in the context of Internet Governance. She started off by stating that while there is a dominant history, there are also several alternative histories for the Internet that have substantive local contexts. Women have often been overlooked while recording history or have been 'written out of' these histories of the Internet. For instance, Joyce Reynolds has played an important role in developing the concept of RFCs, but her work has not been given adequate attention.

Anna proposes and intersectional approach to policy development (based on the work of Beatrice Martini)--where different forms of oppression and privileges interact in the lives of people--using multiple reflection points such as labor, LGBT, culture, language, age, access to knowledge. For instance, Labour has been historically gendered, whereby women's work in computing has been underplayed, often as unwaged labor (volunteer time). Anna goes on to point out that ICANN Staff, who are predominantly women (53% in 2017), contribute as 'labor' through a number of under-reported work that are non-technical. The #MeToo movement, where women voluntarily came forward to report harassment, has recently gathered a lot of attention (MeToo was originally promoted by Ms. Tarana Burke).

In a similar manner, the Internet has provided spaces for LGBTQI (IGF2017 had a session on LGBTQI). From a linguistic & culture perspective, English is generally the dominant language in IG. This has implications on who can be active participants in policy space. Translation and transcription services, while necessary, is not often sufficient to capture nuances in real-time. There are semantic and cultural loadings on words used in IG that are often gender-dependent. Groups and spaces (eg., civil society in ICANN) also have their own linguistic & cultural loadings that are distinct from the cultural specifics of individual participants of the group; language and jargon can thus be an instrument to exclude as well.

Age can also be an factor, as there is a tendency to lose voices of specific age groups (such as below 18 young people) from the discourse. Age can also be a barrier in the sharing of history between groups and thus can impede the transfer of institutional memory. Knowledge and Access issues contributes to the 'double digital divide' (based on the work of Heinz Bonfadelli) when considering Internet as media.

Gender mainstreaming is necessary. However, when seen through the lens of intersectionality, it appears possible that only of a section of women can afford to participate in such mainstreamed processes. Thus, a more nuanced and holistic approach is required that considers intersectional reflection points as well.

Rapporteur: Satish Babu


Inequality and the Darker Side of the Internet - Professor Tim Unwin

Prof. Tim Unwin’s session on "Inequality and the Darker Side of the Internet" gave the students an alternative perspective on the Internet and its profound effect on society. Prof. Unwin asked the students to consider whether the Internet really is creating a better world or whether it is simply a tool for the rich and powerful to increase profits. He proposed that the Internet is inherently unfair and its core role is to generate profit.

Reinforcing Inequality
While the Internet can undoubtedly transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalized in the world, it is not actually doing this sufficiently. Prof. Unwin argued that even Broadband Commission Targets and the SDGs reinforce inequality by setting lower thresholds in developing regions. Next, Prof. Unwin talked about the the surface web, the deep web and the dark web, which raise interesting questions about what is acceptable and what is not and who gets to decide this. He then touched on transhumanism and H+ and warned that the human race is marching towards transhumasim at an alarming pace.

A Global Common Good
Throughout his session, Prof. Unwin asked what impact Internet development and technological advances were having on Internet governance. He concluded that the Internet should be refocused as a global common good and not as a business proposition: the Internet needs to serve all in society, not just the rich and privileged. He argued that there is a key role for the state and that the private sector deliberately seeks to undermine this. Governments, he argues, theoretically have an interest in helping the poor.

Unsurprisingly, Prof. Unwin’s ideas generated a lot of discussion with the students asking for his opinion the politics of hacking and quantum computing, which he believes has serious implications for surveilled societies. Unfortunately, this summary cannot capture all of the thought-provoking concepts raised in this session!

Rapporteur: Susannah Gray


Multistakeholder model in the ICANN World: Göran Marby

ICANN President Göran Marby took time out of his busy schedule to address the students on Friday morning, many of whom were also ICANN 61 Fellows. Göran, who was celebrating two years since his introduction as ICANN’s new leader, gave an overview of the ICANN multistakeholder model.

User Interface
He described how ICANN is not the Internet, but the ‘user interface’ of the DNS and just one of the many organizations that ensure the smooth functioning of the Internet. Key to this is that no one entity controls things: all stakeholders - business, governments, end users  and civil society - have an equal seat at the table.

Göran noted that in many parts of the world, Internet access is still an expensive luxury: people need to see the benefits of being online to actually want to get online. He talked about Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) which enable domain names to be displayed in local scripts, such as Arabic or Chinese. Many of the unconnected do not read left to right so the introduction of domain names that work in local languages is imperative to help improve access.  

Many of the students took the opportunity to press Göran on topical issues, including net neutrality, the .amazon debate, GDPR, whether ICANN should improve its relationship with the academic community and Narrowband Internet.

Rapporteur: Susannah Gray

Pep talk: It feels good to contribute to a better Internet: Rodrigo de la Parra

Mr. Rodrigo de la Parra, talks about the beginning of the internet and their history. Also, the non-regulation issues when the internet begins. He brings information about the Efforts of Mexico regarding the improvement of Internet. Also, he talks about the development several working groups. Also, the concept of “Internet for Everyone” was discussed. Rodrigo mentioned the main definition of Internet as a collection of networks. Every user is very important to the contribution of internet, because they create new content. Any body can contribute to the better improvement of the internet, as a blogger, seller, social network user, etc. Involvement in several groups like ISOC, ICANN, among others were a good way also of participate and contribute to the improvement of internet.

Thanks Rodrigo for your presentation!

Rapporteur: Prof. Gerardo Ortega


Internet Governance: How can you participate? - Panel Session 

  • Rodrigo de la Parra - Moderator
  • Anja Gengo - IGF
  • Olga Cavalli - South School
  • Satish Babu - India School
  • Olivier Crepin-Leblond- Euro School

Anja Gengo (IGF): Anja focused on what is the current situation of the IGF today and how one can participate in the IGF. She presented information about the IGF currently in 2017. Looking at the demographics of who attended. She then moved on to discuss the origin and background of the NRIs. Had almost 70 events in 2017. NRIs have a broad geographic coverage. Aside form the NRIs there are other ways for people to engage, these are dynamic coalitions, of which the IGF officially recognizes 17. This means if you are interested in a specific topic you can engage with a community about this specific topic (ex. climate change and the Internet).

Dr. Olga Cavalli (SSIG): Dr. Cavalli, believes that it is a good idea to use internet governance schools as a way for newcomers to understand how ICANN works and as a way for them to be able to enter the space and understand how ICANN works and avoid the overwhelmed feeling many newcomers experience. SSIG is an outreach event where everyone is a fellow (funded) and most have their hotel and meals paid for as well. Gender balance is met for SSIG participants but finding a gender balance for those who are presenting has proven more difficult. Experts from around the region come as experts, but they bring in experts from around the world. The focus, however, remains on Latin American issues. From Day 0 they have translation in English and Spanish and sometimes in Portuguese. They have also had remote participation since 2012. At the school in DC they had 25000 remote participants from 89 countries.

Olivier Crepin-Leblond (Euro School): Euro SSIG takes place in Meissen and was the first school that started in 2007. It is multidisciplinary program over the whole week (40 hours). They cover political, legal, economic, and technical aspects of IG. Overall they have had 288 fellows from 80 countries, ages range from 20-55.

Satish Babu (India School): There are many challenges related to promoting IG participation because language, access, etc. How can we propel people into participating effectively. He participated in 2012 in Euro SSIG and worked with a no-ICANN board member to get a variety of speakers.  Their ‘big break’ was when the ICANN meeting went to Hyderabad and were able to include ICANN fellows and speakers already coming to Hyderabad. The second school took place in 2017. During this event, they had a discussions about diplomacy and IG, the dark web, ToR, IETF, etc. All the lectures are currently on Youtube and in one language, English, because it is the link language. In all, this is a community driven school by the ISOC chapters. The first meeting was developed by 2 chapters, the second was developed by 3, and the next will have 4 coming together to organize the meeting. The original personal who pushed for this school was Chan, who saw room for Asia Pacific school as well as a space to train people to get involved in the IGF.

Anja: The good presence at regional IGFs are a powerful sign of how important the IGF is.

For Olga,  it is a complicated process of selecting fellows and they have to be very multistakeholder. Try and have as many people as possible that a represented from a variety of countries. For her, this diversity is the essence of the school. There is broad representation of where SSIG alums go after the school. When changing from a country to country every year is a BIG project, but it creates a big impact in the region/ community.

For Satish, there has recently been a move to develop a Youth IGF in India. As a result of this process, there is going to be a Youth IGF. This is an example of how many alums go on to take major steps and influence the community.

Question: The Euro SSIG was the first school on IG, and now there are many Americans there- is there a platform for communicating amongst the different initiatives?

For Olivier, each school is very different in how they work and how they are formed. As far as the future of Euro SSIG, the size will not increase. The organizers have found a good balance to have nearly as many faculty members as fellows. When it comes down to the fellows after they leave, there is a high component of networking in how they continue to communicate with each other. It might be even more interesting to have mailing lists in the future. Some people have even chosen to attend one school and attend another to learn the approach that each region has and the cultural aspects influencing Internet Governance schools. As the issues become more complex, more people need to get involved, and pass on the knowledge to the people get into the network, but it is you who has to be the self-starter in this environment.

Rapporteur: Anna Loup


Engaging with experts - Kathy Brown and Adam Peake

"Making an Impact": Cathy Brown, CEO, Internet Society

Internet Society is over 25 years old now, and has been using technology as an enabler. At its 25th anniversary last year, ISOC has been celebrating its past as well as its future.

The rationale and mission of ISOC is "The Internet is for Everyone, Everywhere". The penetration of the Internet is still only about 50%, and much more needs to be done to bring the others inside. The Internet has brought much good to the world, and also a few not-so-good things. There are still anxieties about security and safety, be it that of persons, families, or businesses.

ISOC has 138 chapters globally. No other organization in this space has this reach. The potential for doing good is therefore real, reflecting the hashtag "#ShapeTomorrow". The ISOC community has done valuable, collaborative work in the last 5 years. ISOC also has SIGs on different thematic areas, for example in disaster relief. Chapters around the world has been involved in this kind of humanitarian work after natural disasters.

The world wants a resilient Internet. The ISOC Chapter and member communities, supported by resources from sources such as PIR, are working towards this objective.

"Getting Involved with ICANN": Adam Peake, ICANN GSE

ICANN ensures the stable and secure operations of the Internet's unique identifier systems, particularly the policy development on DNS, IP addresses, and protocol parameters. ICANN works with RIRs such as APNIC, ARIN, and RIPE-NCC as well as with other organizations including Internet Society. The ICANN system consists of the Community (global multistakeholder community), the Board of Directors and the ICANN Org (Staff). The ICANN model brings together Governments, Business, Academia, Researchers and the Civil Society. ICANN has three supporting organizations that create policy, GNSO, ccNSO and ASO, and four Advisory Committes that respond to policy proposals from SOs: ALAC (end-user community), GAC (Governments), SSAC (Security & Stability) and RSSAC (Root Servers). The GNSO has a complex structure consisting of two houses: Contract Parties and the Non-Contracted Parties. The former consists of Registries and Registrars who are directly involved in the business of domain names.

Several programmes are available to induct new members of the ICANN community; these include Fellowship, NextGen and Newcomer programmes. ICANN meetings are open to all. Fellowship and NextGen meetings have a well-publicized schedule. ICANN Learn is a curated set of resources that is available for online self-study. The ICANN website has several other resources to help and support newcomers.

Rapporteur: Satish Babu



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