What freedom lovers need to know about Internet governance

From IFF Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Session Description

The UN mandated process of Internet governance, culminating once a year in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), but also taking place in many national and regional fora, is widely regarded as irrelevant among many members of the community of security researchers and activists. The IGF itself is seen as a talking shop, either dominated by governments or captured by large US Internet companies - depending on your preference. We argue that there is much more to it, and that it is imperative for people concerned about curbing surveillance and protecting freedom of speech and of information to understand the process and the issues - and to get involved as a result of this. The session will serve as a primer on IG and will offer lots of space to discuss what it has to do with what freedom lovers care about.

What freedom lovers need to know about Internet governance
Presenter/s Matthias Spielkamp
Organization Reporters Without Borders Germany
Bio/s Matthias works is a journalist and entrepreneur based in Berlin. He is co-founder and publisher of the online magazine iRights.info – about legal issues in the digital world, recipient of the Grimme Online Award, Germany’s most prestigious award for online journalism. He is founder and managing partner of the independent Berlin think tank iRights.Lab. As a consultant and trainer Matthias has worked with journalists in Germany, South-Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East on all things digital, ranging from online journalism to operational security for journalists. Matthias is frequently invited to speak at conferences like re:publica or the Global Media Forum and conceived and organised the Young Media Summits 2010 and 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. He testified before three committees of the German Bundestag on future developments of journalism, online journalism and copyright regulation. He is member of the governing board of the German section of Reporters Without Borders and the advisory council of the Whistleblower Network. Matthias has co-authored three books on journalism and copyright regulation and holds master’s degrees in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Philosophy from the Free University of Berlin.
Language English

Session Comments

Session Notes

iRights started out as a discussion of copyright and the Internet

Reporters Without Borders changed its mandate to "freedom of the press to freedom of information"

Idea of Internet Governance summit and process was to further development of the Internet

Mandated yearly internet governance forums (IGFs)

Infographic depicting internet governance forums activity

First side of infographic depicts the following:

Stakeholders (Academia/Industry/Government also Youth) > International/Regional/National IGFs > Open debate


- Supposedly everyone can participate in these, but not everyone can travel to the global IGF. It’s an open assembly. You have to register and meet deadlines. Free to register and attend.

- There is interaction between forums

- No official outcomes produced on purpose. Because everyone has to agree and the result may be very watered down.

Second side of infographic depicts the following:

Results of forums > Principles, statements, resolutions

These can influence > Law and policy, Codes of conduct, Technical standards

Resulting in Internet Governance > Privacy, Net Neutrality, Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, Copyright


- John Perry Barlow’s early manifesto on open and free internet - Declaration of Independence

- Policy change is pressured by technological development

- Attendees vote by humming

Web site for Internet Governance Forum - www.intgovforum.org

Internet Governance in Kenya infographic