[bestbits] FOR ACTION: survey on programming suggestions for 2017 IGF civil society pre-meeting

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Sep 10 00:24:30 EDT 2017

On Sunday 10 September 2017 08:08 AM, Renata Aquino Ribeiro wrote:
> Hi
> Just answered this and suggested a totally different theme, geared
> more towards Global South participation.

Thanks Renata for this important theme.

But let me undertake a sunday morning  indulgence. Southern
participation is important, but equally if not more is a southern
narrative on Internet/ digital governance. Does it exist today? Just
saying, connect us as well, help us because we are way behind on the
digital path that "you" are taking,, does it constitute a southern
discourse? Or does the south have a view on "well, is the path itself
not the best one?". Does merely getting connected to an arrangement
which is exploitative at its core a worthwhile agenda?Especially for
civil society. Questions like this.... But the unfortunate fact is;
southern participation in global Internet/ digital governance spaces
have contributed more to hailing and legitimising a Northern model of
Internet/ digital governance rather than seeking one which serves its
own interests, and arises from what have in other sectors been
considered as "southern perspectives".

 Partly, it also has to do with how the IG/ digital sector is framed so
solidly by North, including controlling its funding streams, which
unlike in other areas like trade, access to knowledge, climate justice,
etc does not promote a distinctively southern perspective/ alternative,
but largely contributes to legitimising a interests-based Northern
discourse. What is the role, responsibility and accountability of the
incumbent civil society in this. That IMHO is the key "southern
question" for civil society to address. Why has it failed to connect and
make common cause with southern and social justice based groups in other
global civil society sectors? Why have we still to interact on elists
where simple questions on practices of biggest digital corporates get
shot down and contested by status quo-ists, as we witnessed in the
recent case of google's questionable funding practices.

These cracks vis a vis relationship of IG civil society and the global
Southern and social justice oriented civil society (which is rightly the
bulk of the global civil society) are beginning to show up as the
digital enters into areas like global trade, where trade justice
activists look at IG civil society dumbly pushing  proclamations of 
unhindered "free flow of data" and such with astonishment ...

Renata, i am not picking on the subject that you have proposed, which is
very important, but providing what in my view is a very important
context to it....


> It is important to note that, in a long time, this is an IGF where the
> Global South will not be represented as it was before and Civil
> Society can have a role in discussing this and enabling
> representation.
> So I hope more people answer and have this in mind too
> Best,
> Renata
> On Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 2:35 PM, Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Previously I sent around a save-the-date notice (with the wrong date
>> initially!) for our annual pre-IGF civil society meeting.  Just to
>> reconfirm, it will be on Saturday 16 December 2017.
>> The organizing committee is now soliciting suggestions for the meeting
>> agenda and volunteers, using this survey:
>> http://bestbits.net/limesurvey/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=628143&lang=en
>> You are invited to complete that survey between now and 18 September.
>> As you will see, there is a suggestion that the overall meeting theme be
>> "Private regulation of the Internet", because this is broad enough to
>> include many different topics including private speech regulation, trade,
>> the Internet of Things, and Internet standards and human rights.  When
>> suggesting session topics, please try to relate them to this overall theme.
>> But the survey also allows you to suggest a different main theme if you
>> disagree with the one that we have suggested.
>> Thanks, and we look forward to receiving your responses.
>> --
>> Jeremy Malcolm
>> Senior Global Policy Analyst
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation
>> https://eff.org
>> jmalcolm at eff.org
>> Tel: 415.436.9333 ext 161
>> :: Defending Your Rights in the Digital World ::
>> Public key: https://www.eff.org/files/2016/11/27/key_jmalcolm.txt
>> PGP fingerprint: 75D2 4C0D 35EA EA2F 8CA8 8F79 4911 EC4A EDDF 1122
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