IGF 2010 Sept 14 – 17th at Vilnius, Lithuania

IGF for 2010 will be held at Vilnius Lithuania and some of the key topics to be discussed will include Net neutrality, Digital inclusion, Online education , Online Child safety on Social media, digital networks leveraging rural empowerment, Intellectual property rights and its impact on software so on… Will try to report more clarity as we proceed. Lithuania is at cultural melange between the East and the West of Europe and is a great place to be . More details available as you go through the videos here.

ISOC Chennai has announced its Chapter elections for the next two years. The chapter is going aggressive on its plans to tie up with similar organizations to do programs at the ground level that will engage on public dialogues and forums to spur innovation, creativity and entrepreneurs. ISOC’s larger mission and vision is dedicated to cultivating a new generation of Internet leaders who will address the critical technology, policy, business, and education challenges that lie ahead.

With this year i will be joining ISOC Chennai board to serve as Director – Corporate to garner industry participation into supporting causes related to Internet. Business participation is an critical component  to improve transparency in the policy making process and thereby governance . Hence it is necessary that we create networking corridors for more corporate brainstorming on the same. I have been associated with ISOC since 2008 as an Internet Governance Fellow and have been actively campaigning for creating awareness on the issue of Safer Internet for Children. (An interesting fact is that ISOC Chennai was the one of the earliest ISOC Chapter in India.)

2009 will be the year of consolidation and experimentation !

As the new year 2009 beckons amidst recession and financial turmoil things get gradually clear that this year will be more about a struggle for sustenance and consolidation unlike 2008.  There will be more surprises and shakedown expected in the market where in it really gets tough going for large organizations carrying a lot of unnecessary baggage and archaic business practices. These are times to be lean and agile to change. Individuals need to multitask and double their roles in business to sustain this shakedown. Inspite of bailout efforts by governments and Fed and several Financial institutions to insulate the recession one thiing is pretty clear…. This slowdown is here to stay and the road to recovery is going to be long and slow. Accepting the economics of that will be the best foot forward. This period is an excellent opportunity for organizations to focus on initiatives like quality, bench marking practices to meet global standards .

I will looking at two emerging areas of technology that is of growing industry concern and needs our attention. Increasing utility of ICT and its related infrastructure has in one way made our lives easier and flat. But at the same time all these additional infrastructure burdens us with more usage of energy as well as indirectly towards global warming. Addressing this concern is a recently formed body called Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change that had its first meeting at the IGF 2008 . Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change ( DCICC ) is proving to be an emerging issue for us at ICT. The issue was first highlighted by Dr Arthur Levin in his paper here. ITU put together an impressive report on the actual issue that can  be accessed here . According to Dr Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU , ICT’s currently contribute to 2-3 % of the Greenhouse gas emissions. To get better understanding of the issue one can view the following youtube videos available here .

The Second issue that is of increasing concern is that in the recent times we are rapidly moving towards ubiquitous internet / mobile computing wherein we are virtually online for all the hours that we are awake either from our desktops or from our mobile. The internet is a key enabler in todays world but at the same  time by itself is uncharted territory for most of the new users and there are so many ways that one can loose direction or be lured into some scam or other . With the advent of Web 2.0 it has made the challenges immense as most of it is user generated content. Hence there is a crying Need for an Internet Interpol. Can we have a common law across the globe ?

Whenever there is a infringement or a crime committed online it is found that perpetrator of the crime is in some corner of the earth and the crime is committed at another part of the world and the victim is somewhere else. Apart from the logistic challege to bring the crime to light there is evenn greater challenge to bring such perpetrators to the book and accountability. It needs governements to work together in unison to bring such criminals to task. Currently there is a need for intervention from the other country and based on reciprocity. We have all understood the grave nature of this issue and brought into place IT acts and IETF’s and CERT’s but still the porous nature exist where cross border cybercrime is concerned. Unless there is a untified task force available like a UN body this kind of crime cannot be curbed. Harmonization of cyber law with mechanism and framework for cross border coordination is needed. We need to codify common principles that can be adopted by participating countries in their legal jurispudence and bring about commonality approach

Both these issue need our participation and attention in this ever increasing world of Internet.

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IGF 2008 : Topic 1 : Commonwealth Connects

Amidst elaborate and obsessive security arrangements at HICC in hyderabad after the mumbai blasts, the third internet governance forum got underway on a full swing and one of the first programmes that i am attending is called the ” Commonwealth Connects ” . The topic was briefed by Tony, Tom Walker,  and establishes

The CHOGM got together at Malta way back in 2005 to form an digital strategy to build ICT in the commonwealth countries. With that focus there has been a lot of digital initiatives that have been initiated by this group that will be a kind of test bed for similar larger implementations on developing countries that are a part of the commonwealth.  Commonwealth connects features a digital library , skills exchange and project market place. There are also initiatives on looking at the mobile spectrum and looking at 2G for bradening its reach to the people. Possibilities to provide narrowband access to people in poor countries in an effort to increase reach.

The topic was concluded with a topic by the Diplo  Foundation of Malta by Vladimir who was one of my mentor at the capacity building programme that we did with Nixi India.

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