[bestbits] Draft workshop proposal for the APrIGF

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Wed Apr 24 03:12:48 EDT 2013

As you all know, work on Best Bits is going on behind the scenes
including the new website, calendar, fundraising and the two IGF
workshops that will follow on from our main Best Bits meeting in Bali in
October.  For the first workshop on enhanced cooperation, we propose
inviting the members of the CSTD Working Group to lead discussions. 
Andrew will be writing more about that soon.

Meanwhile as I mentioned earlier on the ec at lists.bestbits.net list
<http://lists.bestbits.net/wws/info/ec>, in the leadup to Bali we also
have the opportunity for a workshop at the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF
<http://aprigf.asia/> (APrIGF) in Korea.  Here is my proposed text for
that workshop, which is open for your comment.  In line with the purpose
of the regional IGFs, it intended to feed in to the later global IGF
workshops, so the content is basically similar to those:

    *Title:* Internet governance for human rights and democracy
    *Thematic area of interest:* Enhanced cooperation, Internet
    principles and multi-stakeholder Internet governance
    *Description:* The Internet is governed through a patchwork of
    rules, norms and standards, which its stakeholders have developed
    largely independently and without reference to an overarching
    framework of principles.  This has allowed the Internet to flourish
    through the adaptive and innovative development of new services,
    particularly in the technical sphere.  But the absence of guiding
    principles has also allowed powerful stakeholders to drive changes
    to Internet governance that conflict with human rights and other
    emerging global norms of Internet user communities, though
    undemocratic processes such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership
    Agreement, member-only discussions at the International
    Telecommunications Union (ITU), and North-heavy regional groupings
    such as the G8 and OECD.  Is this status quo sustainable?  Would it
    help to democratise global Internet governance if all stakeholders
    had a better way of developing guiding principles for policy makers
    in areas that are not already covered by multi-stakeholder
    democratic processes?  How will the discussions at the CSTD Working
    Group on Enhanced Cooperation be able to address this?  What
    progress (if any) was made at the ITU's World
    Telecommunication/Information and Communication Technology Policy
    Forum (WTPF)?  What principles initiatives already exist, and what
    role could the IGF play in legitimising these at the global level? 
    What other mechanisms are available to advocate for the Internet we
    want, that is globally democratic and respects human rights?  This
    workshop will attempt to address these questions, including through
    the presentation of concrete proposals for practical reforms.
    *Expected format:* A roundtable discussion that will feed into the
    two-day Best Bits civil society meeting in Bali in October, and into
    two subsequent multi-stakeholder  workshops at the global IGF.
    *Target panel members:** Parminder Jeet Singh (IT for Change), Ian
    Peter (consultant), Anja Kovacs (Internet Democracy Project), David
    Allen (Harvard University), Michael Gurstein (Centre for Community
    Informatics), Iarla Flynn (Google), Keith Davidson (Internet NZ)
    *Workshop organiser:* Best Bits

* The panelists list is not really satisfactory because of the lack of
gender balance.  Suggestions for improving that appreciated... note the
Best Bits members are those who volunteered already, mostly subject to
funding; likely not all of them will end up coming.

PS. Separately, Deborah from Access will be writing here soon about a
possible Best Bits statement to the WTPF, which I think is a great idea.

For those who haven't seen it already, I think today's blog from Milton
Mueller, "WTF? WTPF! The continuing battle over Internet governance
principles" at
does a nice job of linking the WTPF to the failure of the IGF to live up
to its potential.

The proposal with which I kicked of discussion on the
ec at lists.bestbits.net list, and which is also online at the top of
http://igfwatch.org/, was about turning that around, by developing a
mandate for further reform of the IGF in the CSTD enhanced cooperation
discussions.  We had some comments on the ec list, but more are welcome
here.  The ec working group will be reporting back here also once
discussions are further advanced.


*Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers*
Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +60 3 7726 1599

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