[bestbits] Is the Civil Society doing enough to bring about a balance in Internet Governance Policy positions?

sivasubramanian muthusamy 6.internet at gmail.com
Sun Apr 14 15:22:03 EDT 2019


With a few hours remaining for submission of the 2019 workshops, I intend
to propose a workshop.  Looking for support from IGC, Besbits and APC, some
quick suggestions to improve the text, and more importantly, for
suggestions of speakers who have a good understanding of the history of
Civil Society in IG.

Kindly respond ASAP.

"Is the Civil Society doing enough?"
policy question
"Is the Civil Society doing enough to bring about a balance in Internet
Governance Policy positions?"
relevance to the theme:
Though proposed under "Digital Inclusion", it is a workshop across the
three themes, and of relevance to the overall design of the
multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance.
relevance to Internet Governance:
When broadly classified, Civil Society is one of the three stakeholders in
Internet Governance. Since WSIS 2005, Civil Society has played a
constructive role to bring about a balance in Internet Governance debates.
However, a certain degree of imbalance persists as the other stakeholder
groups tend to steer policy a little more than proportionately towards
their own respective positions. Governments around the world draft
legislative directives some of which the Civil Society find undesirable. In
some instances, Civil Society positions remarkably differed from that of
Government, the proposed Acts such as SOPA or PIPA or Directives were
withdrawn, only to be reintroduced and confirmed by some other title or
form. Business responds to Civil Society positions, for instance, on
Privacy issues, but many of the concerns of Civil Society are not
adequately addressed. It could be stated that the other stakeholder groups
prevail more than proportionately over Civil Society, in matters related to
Internet Governance. This prompts the question, "Is the Civil Society
participating enough? Is the Civil Society doing enough?"

If not enough, what needs to be done? In Internet Governance, the formal
title as "Civil Society" is shared by a somewhat loose collaboration
between Internet Governance participants who took up the Civil Society role
since WSIS 2005, other early CS participants in the IGF, organizations that
pursue issues in public interest including Privacy organizations, Freedom
foundations etc, and also organizations such as some Internet Society
Chapters, ICANN AtLarge, ICANN Non Commercial Stakeholder Group etc, who
partake in Civil Society positions in their own way.

If the Civil society is not doing enough, is it because it requires greater
interaction among those who pursue Civil Society positions in the IGF? How
would Civil Society strengthen itself? Would it also look for Civil Society
participation from beyond the IGF arena to bring in newer Civil Society
participants to the IGF?

These are some, and not all, questions that follow the questions in the

Workshop session description:
The session would revolve around the Title Questions, "Is the Civil Society
doing enough to bring about a balance in Internet Governance Policy
positions?" to bring up supplementary questions, and in the process
identify its strengths and weaknesses to identify solutions towards
strengthening itself for a balance.

Sivasubramanian M <https://www.facebook.com/sivasubramanian.muthusamy>
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