[governance] Internet Shutdown: An IGC Statement to the ISOC Cameroon Chapter?

Arsène Tungali arsenebaguma at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 01:13:01 EST 2017

Dear Norbert, Mawaki,

Thank you for the draft as suggested. It is very short, i wonder if anyone who was not part of these discussions or who will see it for the first time on our website will be able to understand the background. Just thinking outloud :) 

I leave it open to the community for comments, etc if applicable. I suggest we close it by 11:pm UTC this Feb 1st.

We will then post it on our website and send it to the appropriate persons, to follow the process as agreed here.

Meanwhile, i see Mr Janvier already responded (which is a good sign imo) and i suggest we discuss his response once we have formally sent this letter.

Hope this is fine with you'all.

Arsène Tungali,
+243 993810967
GPG: 523644A0
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Sent from my iPhone (excuse typos)

> On Jan 31, 2017, at 9:32 PM, Norbert Bollow <nb at bollow.ch> wrote:
> Dear Arsène and all
> Please find our proposal at
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pQjEQ5UtR4D7f0HYeJsK0upPKnJTEyWULk-fUSajTd8/edit
> I'm also including the text below.
> Greetings,
> Norbert
> -- draft starts --
> To the ISOC Cameroon Chapter
> Dear Colleagues
> The Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (IGC, http://igcaucus.org)
> is a global network of civil society actors who originally came
> together in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society
> (WSIS) to promote global public interest objectives in Internet
> governance policy making.
> We are firmly convinced that Internet shutdowns are not acceptable in
> regard to any region and not justifiable in any way, and that such
> shutdowns must be opposed vigorously.
> We would have expected everyone who associates themselves with ISOC to
> be committed to ISOC's principle stating that “The Internet is for
> Everyone”.
> For further elaboration of the important principle of /Internet access
> and affordability/ along with related rights and freedoms, we refer to
> the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms,
> http://africaninternetrights.org/articles/ .
> In light of these principles and rights, we would like to respectfully
> urge the ISOC Cameroon Chapter to adopt a corresponding strong stance
> in regard to Internet shutdowns in some regions of the country, and to
> denounce and oppose such dreadful measures with all earnestness.
> The reason why we write to you in this matter is a posting to our
> mailing list on January 26, 2017, which was signed “ISOC Cameroon,
> President” and which expressed views that were not at all consistent
> with the above.
> Best regards
> Internet Governance Caucus (IGC)
> Cc: ISOC’s regional contact for Africa, bekele at isoc.org
> -- draft ends --
> On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 17:54:30 +0200
> Arsène Tungali <arsenebaguma at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Norbert,
>> Thanks for Mawaki and yourself for willing to take on this task. I am
>> happy with the process as you suggest it (with the hope that everyone
>> is happy as well): writing to ISOC Cameroon with cc to ISOC Global.
>> Please do send us the draft once finalized and we will allow at least
>> 24 hours for the IGC to comment before this can be sent. Please do
>> share it in a Google Drive (do not allow edit by anyone but just
>> allow people to make contributions in form of comments in the margins
>> of the doc).
>> Regards,
>> A
>> ------------------------
>> **Arsène Tungali**
>> Co-Founder & Executive Director, *Rudi international
>> <http://www.rudiinternational.org>*,
>> CEO,* Smart Services Sarl <http://www.smart-serv.info>*, *Mabingwa
>> Forum <http://www.mabingwa-forum.com>*
>> Tel: +243 993810967
>> GPG: 523644A0
>> *Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo*
>> 2015 Mandela Washington Felllow
>> <http://tungali.blogspot.com/2015/06/selected-for-2015-mandela-washington.html>
>> (YALI) - ISOC Ambassador (IGF Brazil
>> <http://www.internetsociety.org/what-we-do/education-and-leadership-programmes/next-generation-leaders/igf-ambassadors-programme/Past-Ambassadors>
>> & Mexico
>> <http://www.internetsociety.org/what-we-do/education-and-leadership-programmes/next-generation-leaders/Current-Ambassadors>)
>> - AFRISIG 2016 <http://afrisig.org/afrisig-2016/class-of-2016/> -
>> Blogger <http://tungali.blogspot.com> - ICANN Fellow (Los Angeles
>> <https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2014-07-18-en> & Marrakech
>> <https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/marrakech55-attendees-2016-03-14-en>
>> ). AFRINIC Fellow (Mauritius
>> <http://www.afrinic.net/en/library/news/1907-afrinic-25-fellowship-winners>)*
>> - *IGFSA Member <http://www.igfsa.org/> - The HuffingtonPost UK
>> <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/liza-bel/drc_b_8958150.html>
>> 2017-01-30 16:36 GMT+02:00 Norbert Bollow <nb at bollow.ch>:
>>> Dear Arsène and all
>>> After a quick exchange with Mawaki, I'm happy to report that Mawaki
>>> and I are willing to work out a joint proposal.
>>> In regard to who the letter should be addressed to, Mawaki and I
>>> think that the statement should be addressed to ISOC Cameroon. At
>>> the most, we can cc ISOC Global for the record. As made clear in
>>> the communication excerpts forwarded by Arsène, ISOC Global is
>>> already taking action and Chapter office holders are volunteers who
>>> are not bound to the organization by a required line of conduct as
>>> would be expected from staff of ISOC Global. Therefore we cannot
>>> reasonably hold the global organization accountable for any Chapter
>>> official's position and put them in the position to be answerable
>>> about it -- which will appear as being the case if we address a
>>> letter to ISOC Global, -- especially when their response is already
>>> known.
>>> We think that the statement should be short and narrowly focused,
>>> and articulated on the basis of some basic principles which should
>>> be sufficiently self-evident to not need any in-depth debate in IGC.
>>> You may expect us to post proposed text shortly.
>>> Greetings,
>>> Norbert
>>> On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:02:56 +0200
>>> Arsène Tungali <arsenebaguma at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Dear colleagues,
>>>> Starting a new thread.
>>>> I would like to thank everyone for raising your concern about
>>>> what's going on in Cameroon which is just another country added
>>>> to the list of African countries that have experienced Internet
>>>> shutdown. I am from the DRC and we have experienced this more
>>>> than 3 times and I am in the best position to highly condem this
>>>> new form of oppression.
>>>> I would also like to thank everyone who have expressed their
>>>> concern over what Mr. Janvier had to say about the shutdown in
>>>> his country, where he volunteerly serve as ISOC Cameroon
>>>> President. I join you all and condemn his position on this, which
>>>> I can assure you, is his own position, not shared by his other
>>>> colleagues at theISOC Chapter. Proof is he reacted to his other
>>>> colleague who had a different view and who was making an appeal,
>>>> asking for more coverage and action regarding what's going on in
>>>> his country.
>>>> For your information, ISOC has issued a statement
>>>> <http://www.internetsociety.org/lets-keep-internet-everyone?utm_content=
>>> bufferc442c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer>
>>>> condemning the shutdown in Cameroon as well as in other countries.
>>>> This show that ISOC, as an organization, does not support
>>>> shutdowns but rather condem it firmly (as we all know).
>>>> And, on a different mailing list, Mr. Nicolas Seidler
>>>> <https://www.internetsociety.org/who-we-are/people/mr-nicolas-seidler>,
>>>> who is Senior Policy Advisor for ISOC said the following:
>>>> We felt it was time to formally express our long-standing
>>>> concerns on such measures, in the context of the Cameroon
>>>> situation and in view of others to come up in the future. We are
>>>> also supporting and giving visibility to efforts from Access and
>>>> members of the Keep it on campaign on our social media channels.
>>>> And he reacted on Mr. Janvier's stance and ONLY had this to say:
>>>> Finally, we have an ISOC Chapter in Cameroon, as in many other
>>>> parts of the worlds. While not all members of Chapters share the
>>>> same view (a Chapter is made of local volunteers, not staff),
>>>> there are some who want to act and we’ll make sure to direct them
>>>> to Deji, Julie and others involved in the advocacy effort.
>>>>> From the above, we understand that it was a personal point of
>>>>> view from Mr.
>>>> Janvier which, as most of our colleagues said here, is completely
>>>> wrong. I do personally believe that when a single person is
>>>> restricted access, this should be raised and condemned. In
>>>> Cameroon, we have 2 regions affected and this is terrible.
>>>> *Now, coming back to the discussion on this list regarding a
>>>> statement, I would like to suggest the following:*
>>>> 1. We can issue a statement adressed to ISOC Global (to ISOC
>>>> Executive Director for example) condemning the public stance
>>>> taken by ISOC Cameroon President. May I suggest *Norbert and
>>>> Mawaki* to make an initial draft statement and share with us
>>>> within the next 48 hours (if at all possible)?
>>>> 2. We then issue a more general statement condemning Internet
>>>> shutdown across the world as a civil society coalition because I
>>>> am sure this is the new form of opression that Gov are taking (as
>>>> said by Snowden). It will be very useful we use the expertise we
>>>> have here to draft this and circulate it widely in all networks
>>>> as a way to condemn the act but also to raise awareness about the
>>>> issue (which is still unfamiliar with those who are not actively
>>>> involved in these discussions or who have never experienced any
>>>> shutdown). *For this, I would like to ask request few volunteers
>>>> to make an initial draft statement as well?*
>>>> Please do let me know what you think or if there is another
>>>> approach that we can all agree on and take action without
>>>> wassting more time. If you want to be part of the team of 3 to
>>>> draft the second statement, please do let us know on this list
>>>> within the next 48 hours.
>>>> Very best,
>>>> Arsene, IGC Co-cooordinator
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