[discuss] FW: [governance] FW: Towards an Internet Social Forum

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 15:41:31 UTC 2015

Hi Wolfgang,

I think that Parminder gave you a quite extensive answer which I won't even
attempt to repeat...

My own (and personal take) is that the ISF will give prominence to issues
related to the Internet and social justice, something which has been more or
less completely ignored in the context of the IGF and other Internet
Governance processes.

For me, my work in the context of community informatics and my activities in
linking the Community Informatics network to the JNC (and in future (I
expect) to the ISF) is about how the Internet (and ICTs overall) can be used
to promote social justice and how various kinds of interventions may be
needed to overcome the massive amounts of economic (and thus social)
inequalities which are emerging (one can assume causatively) as a more or
less direct result of the interventions of the Internet.

That civil society in Internet Governance has ignored these issues of social
justice and has allowed the various processes concerning Internet Governance
equally to ignore (including dare I say, allowing for and enabling the high
degree of selectivity in the choices of which Human Rights to promote and
which to avoid), is to my mind scandalous and a serious dereliction of their
responsibilities to the point where it is laughable and a fairly serious
category mistake to refer to most of the individuals and groups involved as
civil society at all.

So, to answer your question my own activities in relation to the ISF will be
to ensure that questions of social justice and economic and social
inequality in the context of the Internet, of Internet governance, and of
governance of and with the Internet are front and centre in our discussions.



-----Original Message-----
From: "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang"
[mailto:wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de]
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:59 AM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; michael gurstein;
governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Subject: AW: [governance] FW: Towards an Internet Social Forum

Hi Michael,

I asked already Parminder how the ISF is linked to the IGF and I did not get
an answer. Can you reply? 


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org im Auftrag von michael gurstein
Gesendet: So 25.01.2015 13:19
An: governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Betreff: [governance] FW: Towards an Internet Social Forum
Coverage of the ISF in an Indian daily



Towards democratic Internet governance

*	1 min read 

Shruthi H M, Bengaluru, Jan 24, 2015, DHNS:

The Internet might have pervaded the common man's life but its governance
still remains in the hands of a few corporate giants. To counter this, civil
society organisations propose democratic Internet governance. 

Though Google's Eric Schmidt predicts the "disappearance of Internet into
the background", a group of organisations have set out to bring to fore
voices that have remained in the background in spite of the Internet's all
pervasive nature.As the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2015 is in progress in
Davos (Jan 21-24), civil society organisations have come together to create
a global 'Internet Social Forum' countering the WEF's NETmundial initiative
for Internet governance. The organisations aim to create an Internet space
governed in public interest. 

Bengaluru-based organisation IT for Change will be an active part of this
global forum, along with five other Indian organisations: Society For
Knowledge Commons, All India Peoples Science Network, Free Software Movement
of India, SLFC.in and Digital Empowrment Foundation. 

The Internet Social Forum will consist of civil society organisations from
across the globe who believe that Internet governance should not be limited
to the vested interests of corporate giants. Their endeavour is to put in
place a "bottom's up" approach, where grassroots groups can have their say
in regulating Internet space.

Civil organisations feel that the WEF's global internet policy making and
governance initiative the 'NETmundial', restricts itself to the voices of
the global elite. The concept of WEF itself has been countered by the "World
Social Forum" and the Internet Social Forum draws inspiration from it. In
fact, the "preparatory process" of the forum is likely to be held in March
2015 in Tunis, during the World Social Forum meet.

When one searches for something on the Internet, the most popular links
related to the subject appear at the top of the list. 

However, more often links that appear first are not guided by popularity but
by the money invested by interested parties to ensure they are displayed on
top. In this regard, the Internet Social Forum will fight for "Net

IT For Change Executive Director Parminder Jeet Singh said, "In its current
form, internet governance has not yet become a people's movement. The
Internet is increasingly controlled by corporates." 

Community owned broadband, data ownership, limits to copyright and including
rural communities in the dialogue process are some of the issues that the
forum seeks to address.

Rishab Bailey, Director (legal), Society For Knowledge Commons, added that
such an initiative was significant as, at present, a lot of thought is going
into setting up institutions for Internet governance. "We have to ensure a
representative and democratic Internet governance. Internet is a global
construct and it touches all our lives. As of now there are no concrete
mechanisms to deal with issues pertaining to Internet governance. We have to
make sure that Internet governance is a true bottoms up approach." 


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