September 7, 2012

Barack Obama on Internet Freedom – Reddit AMA on Wed, Aug 29, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama broke all well-trodden paths and presidential campaign rules Wednesday afternoon, when he became the first candidate of either party to do an AMA (‚Äúask me anything‚ÄĚ) on Reddit. The appearance was a complete surprise, even for veteran Redditors.

One of the ten questions answered (out of over a hundred questions asked) was about his position on Internet Freedom:


We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you’d push to add to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform?


Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody – from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won’t stray from that principle – and it will be reflected in the platform.

via I am Barack Obama, President of the United States — AMA : IAmA.

August 16, 2012

Iran threatens to disconnect from the Internet

Iran to switch to a Intranet, dubbed the “Halal Internet”.¬†Can a nation simply flip a switch and disconnect itself from the web?¬†Some commentaries suggest that this is not feasible, that a lot of content would need to be re-created in Iran. However, is it not much the same like a corporate Intranet, allowing some traffic through while disallowing some other? What do you think?

via Iran threatens to disconnect from the Internet – Outside the Box – MarketWatch.

August 2, 2012

IGF 2012 Online Registration has started

 The Seventh Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Meeting will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 6-9 November 2012. The proposed main theme for the meeting is:

‚ÄėInternet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development‚Äô.

Online registration for the IGF 2012 meeting is now open. It will close on October 15 and the onsite registration will open on Friday 2nd November at the Baku Expo Centre.

To register for the Internet Governance Forum 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, please use the Online Registration Form at:

via Baku registration form.

Also see the IGF Website for the preparatory process:

And check out the host country Website:


July 7, 2012

UN Human Rights Council – The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet

The following is the text of the landmark decision by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, adopted without a vote on 5 July 2012. The press release of 6 July 2012 summarizes the resolution as follows:

“In a resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet the Council affirmed that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression.”

United Nations РDocument A/HRC/20/L.13

General Assembly

Distr.: Limited

29 June 2012

Original: English

Human Rights Council

Twentieth session
Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

Algeria*, Argentina*, Australia*, Austria, Azerbaijan*, Belgium, Bolivia (Plurinational
State of)*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brazil*, Bulgaria*, Canada*, Chile, Costa Rica,
C√īte d‚ÄôIvoire*, Croatia*, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark*, Djibouti, Egypt*,
Estonia*, Finland*, France*, Georgia*, Germany*, Greece*, Guatemala, Honduras*,
Hungary, Iceland*, India, Indonesia, Ireland*, Italy, Latvia*, Libya, Liechtenstein*,
Lithuania*, Luxembourg*, Maldives, Malta*, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco*,
Montenegro*, Morocco*, Netherlands*, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine*, Peru, Poland,
Portugal*, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Korea*, Romania, Serbia*,
Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Somalia*, Spain, Sweden*, the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia*, Timor-Leste*, Tunisia*, Turkey*, Ukraine*, United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland*, United States of America, Uruguay: draft resolution
(* Non-Member State of the Human Rights Council)

20/…The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

Recalling all relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the
Human Rights Council on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in particular Council resolution 12/16 of 2 October 2009, and also recalling General Assembly resolution 66/184 of 22 December 2011,

Noting that the exercise of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of
expression, on the Internet is an issue of increasing interest and importance as the rapid pace of technological development enables individuals all over the world to use new information and communications technologies,

Taking note of the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, submitted to the Human Rights Council at its seventeenth session,¬Ļ and to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session,¬≤ on freedom of expression on the Internet,

  1. Affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice, in accordance with articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  2. Recognizes the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms;
  3. Calls upon all States to promote and facilitate access to the Internet and international cooperation aimed at the development of media and information and communications facilities in all countries;
  4. Encourages special procedures to take these issues into account within their existing mandates, as applicable;
  5. Decides to continue its consideration of the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, on the Internet and in other technologies, as well as of how the Internet can be an important tool for development and for exercising human rights, in accordance with its programme of work.


² A/66/290


UN Human Rights – Internet (Word Doc)


July 6, 2012

A Victory for the Internet –


Source: A Victory for the Internet Р

In a ground-breaking vote on an issue that affects all of us, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday endorsed a resolution upholding the principle of freedom of expression and information on the Internet.

The broad support for the resolution demonstrated that maintaining the free flow of information on the Internet is a global call and not something pushed only by a few Western states.

In recent years I have frequently spoken about Internet freedom, an issue which is a priority to the Swedish government. I have condemned the harassment of bloggers and online activists and called for a strong global coalition of states to support the simple but salient fact that freedom of expression also is applicable to the Internet.

The group of countries that presented this resolution ‚ÄĒ Brazil, Nigeria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States ‚ÄĒ truly represent a global coalition. And the support by other states (India, Egypt and Indonesia, to name a few of the more than 80 co-sponsors) and global civil society was overwhelming. Together, we are building a global alliance for the freedom of the Internet.

As technology and the Internet evolve, so should the work in the United Nations. From a limited group of countries rallying behind a short statement on freedom of expression on the Internet two years ago, we have seen the interest and support soar.

The vote in Geneva on Thursday was a breakthrough of fundamental importance. Beyond affirming that freedom of expression applies also to the Internet, the resolution also recognized the immense value the Internet has for global development and called on all states to facilitate and improve global access to it.

We are rapidly entering into a new world of hyperconnectivity. Mobile data traffic alone is set to increase 15-fold in the next five years. It reaches everywhere, and we see the new networks challenging the old hierarchies everywhere.

Just one example: In past decades, massive crimes could be committed in Syria and other countries without us even knowing. But we can now follow what is happening minute by minute, megabyte by megabyte.

Today, with nearly the entire globe covered by mobile networks, the problem of physical access to the Internet is almost a forgotten issue. What is increasingly worrying is what kind of access people are being offered.

We cannot accept that the Internet’s content should be limited or manipulated depending on the flavor-of-the-month of political leaders. Only by securing access to the open and global Internet will true development take place.

The governments of the Human Rights Council now for the first time have confirmed that freedom of expression applies fully to the Internet. A global coalition for a global and open Internet has been formed.

This is truly important, but we must not stop here. The challenge now is to put these words into action to make sure that people all over the world can use and utilize the power of connectivity without having to fear for their safety. This work is far from over.

Carl Bildt is foreign minister of Sweden.


July 5, 2012

WCIT Prep Dénoument?

An excellent article by Bill Smith, Sr. Policy Advisor, Technology Evangelist at PayPal, on the upcoming WCIT in Dubai and why proposals that made their way into the Council Working Group preparatory working group for the WCIT are flawed. (Jun 27, 2012 3:44 PM PDT)

Bill Smith

WCIT Prep Dénoument?. via CircleID

His conclusion:

“The Internet and Internet Governance will almost certainly be topics of discussion at WCIT 2012 in Dubai. Perusing the ITU documents developed in preparation for the Conference should make that clear. If that is unconvincing, read the¬†Secretary General’s Draft Report¬†for the May 2013 World Telecommunications Policy Forum (WTPF) to know that the ITU, and Member States plan on a perhaps decisive discussion on the Internet and Internet Governance.

It would appear we have a choice, and in fact we do as the President of Estonia has expressed, “We must choose between two paths ‚ÄĒ either we can change the nature of the Internet by placing a Westphalian regulatory structure on Internet governance, or we can change the world.” Our choice is to return to 19th century principles and policies or to recognize that we have entered the 21st century, have¬†established principles, and now have a responsibility to align our policies and processes with them.

We can learn from history but we should not repeat it when better options are available to us as they now are.”

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