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Make It Equal: Celebrating Women Who Are Making a Difference

Gio, 20/09/2018 - 15:09

On 22nd September, 22 women will join a growing community of people who believe in a world of equal opportunity for women and girls.

The Equals in Tech Award is an annual event that gives awards to those who are helping girls and women get equal access, skills, and opportunities online and in the tech industry.

It’s our second year at the event and every year the finalists never fall short of inspiration.

This year, 22 finalists were chosen from among 357 nominations from 80 countries. They’re creating AI Accelerators, exploring new ways to train entrepreneurs, and empowering female healthcare professionals. Out of the 22 finalists, 5 winners will be chosen, each representing a specific category.

EQUALS is a global network delivered by a committed partnership of corporate leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, communities, and individuals around the world working together to bridge the digital gender divide – by bringing women to tech, and tech to women – and in so doing, bettering the lives of millions worldwide.  To find out more, visit their website.

If you’re thinking about submitting an entry for next year’s Equals in Tech Award – here’s what you need to know.

Be a part of it! Follow the #EQUALSinTech hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.




The post Make It Equal: Celebrating Women Who Are Making a Difference appeared first on Internet Society.

Learning by Doing: Have You Heard of the Suusamyr Community Network in Kyrgyzstan?

Mer, 19/09/2018 - 15:48

Last week, the Internet Society together with our Kyrgyz chapter and the wider local community held discussions about Internet connectivity in remote areas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Approximately 35% of the Kyrgyz population use the Internet (ITU data, 2017) and most users are located in cities and urban areas.

In cooperation with its Kyrgyz chapter, the Internet Society is piloting the community networks approach in the village of Suusamyr, located some 150 kilometers south of the capital city Bishkek. We had an opportunity to visit this village of about 4000 people, tucked away in a wide valley surrounded by high mountains. The economic activity revolves around farming, horse and cattle keeping, and tourism.

While the final phase of the Suusamyr community network is still under implementation, we can already draw some lessons learnt from the preparatory and testing phases.


As a starting point, the Internet Society Kyrgyz chapter consolidated a partnership with the government, Internet Service Providers (ISP), and the local community in Suusamyr. The Kyrgyz government saw the opportunity for local economic development. Two ISPs agreed to lease their existing backbone infrastructure to connect the last mile. And most importantly, the local community embraced this initiative with a hope that it will provide new opportunities for the people in the community. It is important to have the backing of the key stakeholders.

Licensing and permissions

As in most countries, building Internet infrastructure requires licenses and permissions. While it was relatively simple to get the network operator license, the rules for spectrum licenses in Kyrgyzstan involve costs and time-consuming application processes. Our project team partnered with a regional ISP to share their existing spectrum license. Permissions for land use and power supply for masts can also be complicated. Following discussions with landowners and the national electricity company, the permissions for the Suusamyr project were agreed on by a case-by-case basis. An enabling policy framework is necessary to make progress with connectivity in remote areas.

Demand generation

During our visit to Suusamyr, it was clear that there was enthusiasm and demand for the Internet within the local community. The largest school in Suusamyr had a computer lab, but no Internet connection. The municipality headquarters, the local hospital and small businesses would surely benefit, too. However, the municipality does not yet have concrete plans on how to use the Internet to boost local economic development. There is a need for a local “action group,” which could raise awareness and provide skills training amongst the village population.

The President of the Kyrgyz Republic has named 2018 a year of rural development. This ambition is perfectly aligned with the Internet Society’s goal to connect everyone to the Internet, with a focus on the communities in the hardest to reach places. We aim to have a fully operational community network in Suusamyr in a few months’ time.

Read Spectrum Approaches for Community Networks and Unleashing Community Networks: Innovative Licensing Approaches and help #SwitchItOn!

Photo: The village of Suusamyr, Kyrgyzstan ©Internet Society/Nyani Quarmyne/Panos Pictures

The post Learning by Doing: Have You Heard of the Suusamyr Community Network in Kyrgyzstan? appeared first on Internet Society.

Third Summit on Community Networks in Africa a Success

Mar, 18/09/2018 - 15:00

Last week was an exceptionally exciting week for the African Regional Bureau as we successfully held, in partnership with the Association for Progressive Community (APC), the 3rd Summit on Community Networks in Africa from 2-7 September 2018, at Wild Lubanzi Trail Lodge, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

The objective of the Summit was to promote the creation and growth of community networks, increase collaboration between community network operators in Africa and to provide an opportunity for them to engage with other stakeholders.

The event was attended by more than 100 participants from at least 18 countries worldwide, 13 from Africa (Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, DRC, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia) and 5 from Spain, Germany, Argentina, India, and the U.S. The formal opening of the Summit was addressed by representatives from the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services of South Africa.

This year’s Summit turned out to be very special as 12 established community networks in Africa and 18 other communities (particularly from rural South Africa interested to replicate initiatives) attended and contributed to the discussions held throughout the 6 days.

The week started with 2 days of training, which provided community network operators with clear understandings of the technical elements which are required from accessing the Internet/broadband all the way to the end user as well as the technical elements which are required in order to access it on their own.

Day 3 and 4 were all about sharing real experiences, showcasing innovative technological approaches being used by community networks and in-depth discussions on how community networks are uniquely positioned in building wireless bridges to connect the unconnected in Africa. The community networks and participants also benefited from the discussions held around:

  • The strategies on how to bring more women into the community networks space
  • The current community networks financial and business models and opportunities that can support their sustainability
  • The creation of a conducive policy and regulation environment that encourage and support growth of community networks
  • The opportunities for community networks to collaborate with each other and build partnerships locally and internationally to promote collaboration

The last 2 days of the Summit were very special in terms of proving that community networks are all about the people. Everyone attending the Summit had the unforgettable opportunity of engaging with the Zenzeleni Network teams in the villages of Zithulele and Mankosihomes of the Zenzeleni Community. The site visits gave hands-on training experience for community networkers about the technical and practical set-up of community networks.

Last but not least, the commitment and excitement of the participants was rewarding. It is clear that we have a vibrant community in the making.

I can fully say that the Summit has been a great success in building a group of community networkers who will work together to connect the unconnected across Africa. I would like to thank all my colleagues who worked hard for the success: Michuki Mwangi, Marsema Tariku, Betel Hailu, and Jane Coffin, who were there but also those who worked remotely for the success of the Summit.

Our story, our community: It’s all here for you to see.

Help build a digital future that puts people first. #SwitchItOn

Photo ©Internet Society/Nyani Quarmyne/Panos Pictures

The post Third Summit on Community Networks in Africa a Success appeared first on Internet Society.

The Week in Internet News: Facebook to Fact-Check Videos and Photos

Lun, 17/09/2018 - 14:45

Fight against fakes: Facebook plans to fact-check videos and photos posted on the social media platform in an effort to combat misinformation, reports the Associated Press on Fact-checkers will use several methods, including analyzing image metadata, to determine accuracy, and Facebook will label photos and videos that are fakes, the company said.

Regulating IoT: A controversial Internet of Things security bill has passed the California legislature, ZDNet reports. The bill requires IoT device makers to build in “reasonable security,” but the legislation is vague about what that might entail, critics say. Still, it’s the first bill passed in the U.S. that addresses IoT security.

Fake reports of fake news law’s demise: Malaysia’s opposition party has blocked efforts to repeal a controversial law that penalizes the spread of fake news, reports. Critics say the law, which includes penalties of up to six years in prison for spreading misleading information, is an attack on free speech, but the Senate blocked the repeal in a challenge to the new government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Angry Birds tackles blockchain: We’ve talked about a lot of potential uses of blockchain technology here, but this is a new one. The founders of Cocos2d-x, the open-source game development platform that has created Angry Birds and other mobile games, has raised $40 million for a blockchain-based gaming platform, Forbes says. Blockchain can help validate transactions within games, backers said.

Are you my wife or an AI? There’s a lot of people worried about the potential for Artificial Intelligence, with some now concerned about AI’s potential ability to fake human voices, Newsweek reports. Think about the implications of an AI faking your spouse’s voice, or an army general’s.

Cryptomining your TV: Users of the Kodi media player, which is designed for TVs and other streaming uses, have been targeted by crytomining malware, ZDNet reports. At least three repositories of Kodi add-ons have been infected with the malware. Kodi can be used to stream Hulu and other legal services but is often deployed to stream pirated content.

Wouldn’t it be nice…if you could trust your device? Read the discussion paper IoT Security for Policymakers to learn the key issues and challenges of IoT security, along with guiding principles and recommendations.

The post The Week in Internet News: Facebook to Fact-Check Videos and Photos appeared first on Internet Society.

Celebrating One Year With Our New Website

Ven, 14/09/2018 - 23:44

It is hard for me to believe, but it was one year ago today that we launched this new website!  On September 14, 2017, James Wood began our flow of news with a welcoming blog post – and just a few days later the site was heavily used as part of our massive 25th Anniversary celebration. It was the culmination of a rather insane several months in which a whole crew of people within the Internet Society, as well as at our partners Moving Brands and ATTCK, all burned countless hours to make this site a reality.

One year later, we’ve published over 500 news articles and blog posts; published over 120 new resources and tutorials; promoted many events, and maintained a consistent flow of content on the critical issues affecting the Internet.

We’ve built campaign pages, integrated video and graphics (ex. our GIR page), showcased the amazing work our Chapters are doing, integrated social components (ex. our IoT page and Instagram), and pushed the limits of how many links any sane person should have on a page. I continue to be impressed by the beauty of pages like our Issues page (just move your cursor over the boxes) – or pages like our 2018 Action Plan with all its different rows and backgrounds.

And… it all works great on mobile devices – and we did it all in three languages!

Now, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, of course. As I wrote in some of the posts about our website redesign, we had our share of challenges. We went through three different search solutions until we found a system that worked. We initially had hundreds of thousands of 404 errors while we got redirects in place. We had some serious speed issues that made working on the site … sooooooooo…. incredibly… sssssssssssllllllllllooooooooowwwwwwwww… until we moved to a new hosting provider in June 2018.

But at this point I can say that overall we are definitely pleased with both the front end you see as visitors – and the back end we use to administer the site.

We are NOT done yet!

Launching a site is a long journey. There are still many changes and new features we want to introduce. We have a “timeline” feature we hope to be rolling out soon. We are working on a way to add interactive maps. There are some accessibility issues we still need to address. And we’re always working on increasing speed and providing a better user experience. Plus, we want to see how we can better integrate this main site with a few of our other affiliated sites.

There is a great team of people who have helped make this happen over the past year, and I look forward to working with them and many others to see what we can do with this site over the next year.

Our goal is to deliver on that mission for the site I outlined back in June 2017:

Our website is a driving force in realizing our mission of an open Internet for everyone. It empowers all who care about a free and safe Internet and inspires action to make a positive difference.

It demonstrates our global impact, promotes our point of view, and provides definitive resources on the news, technologies, and policies that shape the Internet – today and tomorrow.

It delivers a focused and engaging experience that connects with a breadth of individuals, organizations and influencers. It extends our reach, supports our community, and grows our membership, creating a foundation for building a stronger Internet.

We want to help you all who are reading this to work with us to help shape the future of an Internet that is open, globally connected and secure.

I welcome any comments and feedback on this site – you can email me at or leave them on our issue tracker on Github.

Thank you for visiting this site, sharing our information, taking action – and helping us all to #ShapeTomorrow!

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From Idea to Action: Beyond the Net Selects 15 Amazing Chapter Projects!

Ven, 14/09/2018 - 16:48

The Beyond the Net Funding Programme is pleased to announce the results of our 2018 Grant Cycle. A total of 49 applications were received, and after a thorough reviewing process, 15 amazing projects were selected.

These projects are at the core of our mission, and will use the Internet to develop Community Networks in underserved areas, to empower women through ICT, as well as bringing awareness on  Internet policies around the world.

This is the result of months of effort from our Chapter Community. Many discussions, numerous clarifications and proposals, updates, and revisions form the Beyond the Net Selection Committee. We are proud of you all.

Please join us in celebrating the following projects!

Developing community networks in the Northern region of Brazil – Brazil Chapter

Supporting and promoting the development of the Internet to enrich people’s lives, the project aim is to contribute to the growth and improvement of community networks policies and practices in Brazilian rural areas, in order to strengthen those who are marginalized. Instituto Nupef will work to develop a new network in the state of Maranhão as well as a developing a communications plan for the Babassu coconut breakers organizations and movements. Objectives include expanding the reach of community networks with broadband Internet, monitoring of legislative and regulatory issues, and consequently documenting the work by disseminating the experiences by way of videos, photos, and texts.

Migrant Community Networks – Mexico Chapter

Aiming to understand how a particular community of migrants lives and communicates beyond societal spaces. We plan to analyze the re-appropriation of space and communication, digital connectivity and social discourse, through observation, data collection in forms of digital communication and social interaction, and by means of audiovisual recording of refugees’ everyday lives. This project doubles as an exploratory and social intervention that will help open a dialogue on connectivity among the migrant community. Objectives include implementation of a community network with trans-border communication in the Tijuana area and the creation of a digital archive of migrant communities’ experiences.

Creation of an Internet Traffic Exchange Point (IXP) – Dominican Republic Chapter

The project aims to create an IXP in a neutral, reliable, safe,  and efficient place, achieving the interconnection and exchange of traffic between those involved. Objectives are to raise awareness among local stakeholders regarding both the need and the advantages of an IXP, reducing costs of international interconnection and maintaining local internet traffic at national borders. Improvement of stability and resilience of the Internet service can optimize response times to security incidents and technical problems and the creation of a “community” of operators will give continuity to the project, promoting its expansion and operation according the best local and international practices.

Improving Livelihood of Women Through ICT Empowerment – Malaysia Chapter

The project target is to train 400 women to use the MyHelper crowdsourcing application to encourage earning extra income. This three-pronged project provides opportunities for women to develop essential entrepreneurial skills through ICT, empowering them to start their own businesses and use the Internet to improve their livelihood. Training modules will be developed in English as well as local languages such as Malay and Tagalog during a 3-month period, benefitting a large pool of women and ensuring the sustainability of the project. The creation and improvement of profiles will increase crowdsource worker visibility and the application of jobs.

Creating Networks – Youth Special Interest Group (SIG)

Firstly, the project aims to map organizations “of young people” in Latin America to identify how many work with issues related to the Internet and ICT, and leveraging its importance.  A website will be created displaying this information, followed by a capacity building phase and introduction, plus chartered topics and sessions related to individual work modules. Objectives will include, after analysis, face-to-face capacity-building sessions on Internet Governance to encourage proactiveness and general connection. Survey results will be published as well as a general guide on the development and experience of the project and the materials used, for use by the general public and in both the Spanish and Portuguese language.

“Multistakeholder Internet Governance Training”- Guinea Chapter

For the first time, a training project aims to set up a multilateral, inclusive, multistakeholder and discussion platform related to general Internet issues in Guinea and particularly on Internet Governance. Discussions will contribute to the development of the Internet at local, regional, and International level. Specific objectives are the training of approximately 70 people from different areas of life, including government, business, and civil society as well as engineers and standards development professionals. A committee will be created to ensure that Guinea’s concerned are addressed as well as addressing the need to increase Internet Governance capacity for Internet users as well as ensuring that stakeholders are well prepared for improved contributions/interactions.

Zaria Community Network and Culture Hub – Nigeria Chapter

The project seeks to use the Internet to improve the quality of education for the formally enrolled, as well as those outside the formal schooling system, as a resource for basic education, vocational development, and self-employment opportunities. A campaign will be run to enlighten communities on the opportunities available. Goals will include the implementation of free-to-use ISM band to reach research and educational institutions, community WiFi hotspots and solar-powered back-up solutions, culture hub web portals, a shared learning management system and a network monitoring infrastructure. A community engagement session for 500 teachers, students, and individuals will be conducted as well as continuous enlightenment campaigns and surveys to estimate effectiveness of strategies.

Women in Cyber Security – Kazakhstan Chapter

The implementation of the project will increase potential, and ensure that young women have the necessary skills and knowledge to understand, participate in, and benefit fully from cybersecurity and their applications as well as creating future role models thus increasing the percentage of women in the field. The aim of the training is to bridge the digital gender divide in cybersecurity in Kazakhstan by conducting 8 training sessions of approximately 50 students over a period of two years. Experienced female trainers will use up-to-date cybersecurity educational programs with the objective of increasing to up to 50% the number of women in this field over the next decade.

LibreRouter Phase 2 – Community Networks Special Interest Group (SIG)

The LibreRouter is the first multi-radio mesh router that is designed for community networks. It enables simple mesh deployment with little to no manual configuration and provides easy to follow documentation on technical aspects but also for planning and coordination. This Phase 2 project intends to cover an important missing piece: organized remote support for LibreRouter based networks. Main objectives are the design and implementation of a support system dashboard with a support request and follow-up mechanism, as well as extending LibreRouzer software tools to improve on problems identified. Other aims include the completion of documentation materials, hardware improvements and exploration of designs with the objective of lowering costs.

Spring of Knowledge – Kyrgyzstan Chapter

Schools in Kyrgyzstan have a great need for teachers with over 2500 teaching positions unfilled every year. The project aims are to improve the quality of education in Kyrgyzstan and increase the number of personnel to allow teachers to spend more time with students as well as providing additional materials to improve their own training. Objectives are to expand opportunities for studies in pilot locations, stimulating independence and responsibility and reducing the divide between school children in developed countries and those living in Kyrgyzstan in both rural and urban areas. Our aim is to increase the digital literacy of schoolchildren in Kyrgyzstan in pilot locations within 1 academic year.

Better Internet for Everyone in Lebanon – Lebanon Chapter

In Lebanon, the daily challenge is the peak time when the Internet user’s consumption outgrows the total bandwidth capacity and the quality of service is degraded for shared bandwidth offerings constituting more than 90% of the residential Internet market. Our project is a new business model for shared bandwidth offerings, consisting of a different pricing model based on the time of use as well as a subscriber panel to monitor service quality and accountability. The proof of concept will be tested first with up to 10 local community WISPs and later with other developing countries and ranging from 50 to 1000 subscribers. Comparisons will be made of aggregated graphs effects, consumption behavior, old vs new ISP revenues, and finally community polls to evaluate the new model and prepare to scale once proven.

DigiGen– Serbia Belgrade Chapter

The project aim is to explore how ICT technologies and the Internet can play a role in decreasing the existing gender digital gap and how to take into consideration gender awareness in developing new and evolving technologies. Our objective is to determine how new technologies can meet societal challenges across gender lines to promote and accelerate access to quality education, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Research topics include understanding the factors for acceptance of new technologies across genders and using the learning acquired for maximum impact and developing a leadership platform in rural areas. Our aim is also to leverage free access to the Internet through “Internet Light” as well as creating digital literacy recommendations in documented form for further program implementation in the region.

Contributing towards better ICT Policy Environment in Nepal – Nepal Chapter

The project goal is to build ICT and Internet related laws and policies in Nepal compatible with both international standards and best practices and ensuring the fundamental human rights of individuals. It will, after analysis, organize consultations with stakeholders and prepare policy recommendations aiming to ensure an open and sustainable Internet and ICT for the benefit of all. Objectives will incorporate the review of draft bills from international standards perspectives, inform major stakeholders of loopholes by sharing policy recommendations, and publishing a policy brief for the enhancement of knowledge. Our aim is to ensure the best adoption of Internet-related laws that will uphold Internet rights.

Empowering Village Development Committee Leaders – Botswana Chapter

In Botswana, Village Development Committees (VDCs), are “the main institutions charged with the responsibility for community development activities.” This project will provide training to VDCs committee leaders on use of the Internet as well as introducing the opportunities on offer. The project aims to target VDCs leaders in 2 remote regions with the aim of empowering these village leaders by showcasing to the best of its ability the benefits of using the Internet. By donating a laptop for use by the VDCs of the 4 most rural areas, we can empower these leaders to access information and facilitate communication. No local program has yet targeted these leaders and yet they are influential in community development. The full objective is to target 40 leaders in 4 regions to become Internet champions in their respective areas and contribute to village development issues in a productive way. 

KASBUY: Promoting Moroccan Women’s Participation in the Digital Economy – Morocco Chapter

Our proposition is the project KASBUY, a web platform to help cooperatives overcome marketing difficulties in advertising their products and reaching out to clients. KASBUY is an e-commerce platform and will allow any registered cooperative to have its own online space from which it will sell its products and manage its business and inventory management activities. The project will encourage the best use of the Internet for sustainable development of local communities and includes opportunities from which women and their families will benefit.  With the promotion and preservation of Moroccan artisanal heritage and the use of a universal and accessible web showroom, we aim to improve the maximum employment for women and families, particularly in rural areas.

Do you have a great idea to make your community better via the Internet? Find out if you’re eligible for a Beyond the Net grant!

Image: Nyirarukobwa Primary School in the Eastern Provice of Rwanda, which was connected to the Internet via a Beyond the Net project, ©Nyani Quarmyne

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Indigenous Access: “We Haven’t Reached Our Full Potential”

Gio, 13/09/2018 - 17:08

In November 2017, the Internet Society hosted the inaugural Indigenous Connectivity Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The event brought together community network operators, Internet service providers, community members, researchers, policy makers, and Indigenous leadership to work together to bridge the connectivity gap in indigenous communities in North America. One of the participants shared his story.

“We haven’t reached our full potential,” says Gilbert Martinez, of the Pueblo of Laguna’s Kawaika Hanu Internet. “Community Internet access is good, but it can get better.”

The Laguna Utility Authority was awarded a $3.3M grant through USDA Community Connect, which will enable a number of projects provided the community is an Internet Service Provider, among other stipulations. The benefits of Internet access – and the grant’s impact – are already evident, which Martinez shared in a presentation at the Indigenous Connectivity Summit: one community member was able to apply for an internship with the Laguna Tribal Courts and is now working to complete her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice; one family uses the Internet for school work, to pay bills, and to do online research; an unemployed computer center volunteer obtained a job at a media company; and silversmiths are able to promote, sell, and get paid online.

Martinez sees a clear connection between community networks and the future of the tribe: “Community networks get our foot in the door…for a revenue-generating component of the tribe. The grant allowed us to build infrastructure and to scale for future growth.”

Register for the Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2018, which takes place this October in Edmonton and Inuvik, CanadaYou can also find ever-growing resources on topics including community networks, cultural preservation, and Indigenous-driven access at the Indigenous Connectivity page.

Photo ©Minesh Bacrania

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The Week in Internet News: ‘Five Eyes’ Demand Access to Encrypted Information

Lun, 10/09/2018 - 15:00

Prying eyes: The so-called Five Eyes – the surveillance alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. – pledged not to weaken encryption, at the same time as the countries are pushing tech companies to give them access to encrypted evidence, notes SearchSecurity. Representatives of the five countries released a new “Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption,” after a recent meeting in Australia. Encryption can help “child sex offenders, terrorists and organized crime groups … frustrate investigations and avoid detection and prosecution,” the statement suggests. More at ZDNet.

AI as public enemy No. 1? Artificial Intelligence is a bigger concern than climate change or terrorism, says the incoming president of the British Science Association, The Telegraph says. Really? AI progress is “happening too fast” without enough scrutiny or regulation, according to physics professor Jim Al-Khalili. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time technology has outpaced regulation.

AI vs. democracy: Meanwhile, AI is transforming social media, with major implications for democracy, worries Clint Watts, a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in an opinion piece at the Washington Post. “Over the long term, AI-driven campaigns may well be the undoing of the social media platforms they haunt and the democracies they seek to dominate,” he writes.

AI vs. obesity: Well, AI isn’t all bad. Researchers from the University of Washington have found a way to estimate a city’s obesity level by analyzing its buildings and green spaces, Quartz reports. The two trained an AI system to figure out the relationship between a city’s infrastructure and its obesity levels using satellite and Street View images from Google. With this information, cities can design health campaigns and focus new construction on ways to improve its residents’ health.

Fake news maps: Bot-designed maps may be the next fake news threat, Fast Company reports. Faked infographic maps designed to misrepresent information like voting trends have already gone viral and could soon be generated by the same kind of bots already posting on social media, worries one researcher. Maps are a good way to spread misinformation because of people’s tendency to trust them, says Anthony Robinson, a geography professor.

Investing in community: Neighborly, an online investment service, plans to launch a community broadband program to help cities and other organizations establish community-owned networks, Route Fifty reports.

Learn how you can stand up for encryption!

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Even Better MANRS During August

Sab, 08/09/2018 - 12:18

We already discussed the MANRS activities during SANOG 32 where we organised a Network Security Workshop and signed an MoU with the ISP Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), but the Internet Society was also involved with three other events during the month of August. This included the Symposium on Internet Routing Security and RPKI, VNIX-NOG 2018 and the inaugural INNOG 1.

Symposium on Internet Routing Security and RPKI

ZDNS along with CNCERT organised a symposium on 17th August at Crowne Plaza Beijing to discuss routing security issues and how RPKI can help address this problem. There were many prominent participants representing local, regional and international entities including Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, Huawei, ZTE, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, APNIC, ICANN, along with the Internet Society.

Dr Stephen Kent (BBN) was the keynote speaker, having played an important role in the SIDR (Secure Internet Domain Routing) Working Group at the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) and also co-authored many RFCs (Request for Comments) on RPKI. He discussed the ideas behind RPKI and Route Origin Authorization/Validation.

George Michaelson (APNIC) who along with his colleague Geoff Huston co-authored RFC 6483 – Validation of Route Origination Using the Resource Certificate Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Route Origin Authorizations (ROAs) – followed this with a presentation on the status of RPKI deployment in the region with specific focus on China. CNNIC, the National Internet Registry (NIR) of China, only started offering ROA services in November 2017, so there is currently limited uptake, which is why the symposium is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of implementing RPKI.

I then outlined some of practical issues that network operators need to consider when deploying Route Origin Validation, as well as highlighting how the issues related to unallocated IPv4/v6 address space (aka Bogons) can be addressed.


The VNIX Network Operators Group Conference (VNIX-NOG) was held on 24 August 2018 in Danang City, Vietnam. This annual event is organised by the Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC), a National Internet Registry, and has become an important focus for local community to improve understanding and knowledge, and offers a platform to discuss information security issues relevant to Vietnam.

The theme of this year’s event was Routing Security, and Srinivas Chendi (APNIC) provided some background on RPKI, whilst Hiroki Kawabata (JPNIC) shared JPNIC’s experience of deploying RPKI for.

I then presented the ‘Routing Security landscape‘ that highlights the issues of BGP hijacks and leaks and how it would be beneficial for ISPs to join MANRS initiative. Very interestingly, not a single service provider in Vietnam advertises any IPv4/v6 Bogon.


The ISP Association of India (ISPAI) organised the inaugural Indian NOG (INNOG) in the capital city of New Delhi. The event comprised three days of workshops (27-29 August 2018) and a one-day conference (30 August).

The Internet Society supported the Network Security workshop with our community trainers Moinur Rehman and Anirban Data, and turned to be fully booked. Our colleague Subhashish Panigrahi presented the MANRS initiative and highlighted the routing issues impacting Indian ISPs and enterprises, as well as the simple steps can be taken to address the problems.

Following this on 3 September 2018, the Internet Society signed a MoU with the ISP Association of India (ISPAI) in order to promote the MANRS principles and encourage member ISPs to sign-up as MANRS participants. The MoU was signed by Rajnesh Singh (ISOC Regional Bureau Director for the Asia-Pacific region) and Rajesh Chhariya (President ISPAI) and will give a great boost to improving the routing security situation in India.

AusNOG 2018

I also participated in AusNOG 2018, the Australian Network Operators’ Group, on 30-31 August 2018 in Sydney, Australia. A number of interesting announcements were made here, which will be the subject of a separate forthcoming blog.

Further Information

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We Need a Common Language for the Internet of Things

Ven, 07/09/2018 - 15:33

When someone tells me they have bought smart light bulbs, an Internet-connected pet cam, or any other Internet of Things (IoT) device, I always get an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. They’re so excited about the affordances or their new IoT devices and apps, but I am skeptical about the privacy and security vulnerabilities. How do I have a conversation about these concerns without coming across as hyper paranoid? Perhaps the answer is that we aren’t quite ready to discuss these issues on a societal level.

Privacy and security advocates all over the world have been talking about the threats that IoT may pose to society – unless standards and regulations are put in place to help mitigate some of these risks. They champion that privacy and security should be built into design and should not come as an afterthought.

While I praise the work that advocates are doing, IoT devices are on the shelves right now and we need to be able to have conversations with everyday folk about what privacy and security risks look like in the digital economy. However, how can we have these conversations when we haven’t yet established understandable and common terms to discuss the nuances of privacy and security? Even the acronym of “IoT” in and of itself is not a commonly used term amongst most of my “less-techy” friends and family, which means I have to explain what it stands for and how it underpins other phrases such as “smart homes.”

Personal security, national security, and social privacy are already well understood, albeit the cultural contexts for each may be different across the globe. They are often defined by notions of harm posed to individuals and society, whether that is physical harm, psychological harm, or financial harm. In my current research I have identified a clear gap in people’s knowledge and vocabulary for talking about institutional privacy. (From “Privacy Concerns and Online Behaviour,” institutional privacy is “people’s uneasiness and fear that their data is used for unwanted purposes. Examples are unwanted, targeted ads on Facebook or political spying by the state. Compared with social privacy concerns, institutional privacy concerns are more abstract and less present in people’s daily lives.”) The potential consequences of data sharing, collection, and use are difficult to understand, for the feedback loop between the creation of data and an unintended consequence is often obfuscated.

Examples of unintended consequences:

I like to call these instances unknown unknowns. We never expected these to happen, nor do we have the tools to be able to mitigate these risks. The line between cause and effect is not a direct path that we are allowed to see.

I recently listened to an interview with Cory Doctorow, a science fiction author and co-editor of Boing Boing, on the podcast Yale Privacy Lab, in which he spoke of exactly this. He referenced how we talk about the nuances of climate change from using language such as “global warming” to talking about CO2 and “all climate-related gases including methane.” He continues by saying that having this level of detail lends itself to better quality discussions of the issues across “a very broad section of the population which is necessarily for it to both have democratic legitimacy and chance of building a mass movement that we need to do something about it.”

So while we might not have the technical know-how to personally reduce the risks of privacy and security vulnerabilities, collective voices talking about these issues through commonly understood vocabulary is a start and it needs to happen now.

Get IoT smart!

The post We Need a Common Language for the Internet of Things appeared first on Internet Society.

Our Right to Protect Our Autonomy and Human Dignity

Mer, 05/09/2018 - 15:00

We are entering a new world in which data may be more important than software.”
– Tim O’Reilly

In this digital era where modern technology has become as ubiquitous as air, a seismic shift in innovation, revenue generation, and lifestyle has transpired, whereby data has become the most valuable commodity. In Australia, many youths struggle to “disconnect” completely from digital devices, with the proliferation of wearable technologies and broadband access facilitating the unavoidable integration of technology into our everyday lives. As a 21st century youth, and part of the demographic who consumes the most Internet and digital media, there exists a stark disparity between the amount of time we spend engaging with digital devices and our actual understanding of Internet governance and/or legislation.

We have become so reliant on the Internet and technology, we rarely question the personal risks we take and potential breaches of law that occur. Our dependence on digital devices and instant gratification prompts us to accept “Terms and Conditions” without ever reading a word and allows cookies to be saved despite having no idea what they are. Alarmingly, in the event our data is exploited or shared without our consent, we are oblivious to the repercussions or are completely unaware of the privacy breach. Richard Adler eloquently encapsulates this sentiment, “The cost of [data] breaches will be viewed like the toll taken by car crashes, which have not persuaded very many people not to drive.”

When conversing with my peers about data protection and privacy so often I hear, “I have nothing to hide.” However, the right to privacy is not about hiding secrets, but about the right to protect our autonomy and human dignity to not be scrutinised and exploited. Privacy is a fundamental human right as dictated in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one must be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.” Nonetheless, when discussing privacy vs cybersecurity, many have a skewed perspective of how important maintaining digital privacy is and confuse privacy with secrecy. For example, when you go to the bathroom, there is no secret to what you are doing, but you still close the door because you want to maintain privacy.

You purport that you have nothing to hide so do not mind external surveillance, and yet you keep a lock on your phone and you do not share your passwords. Your digital footprint often reflects your identity as openly as a personal diary – and no matter who you are, your personal data is valuable. Your data fuels the business model behind Facebook, a global juggernaut many users trust with their personal information and yet the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal exposed the unethical application of user data in political campaigns.

Take a minute to process that again…our personal data was sold for profit to election campaigns or political referendums (e.g., Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential campaign and the U.K.’s Brexit vote) that dictated the laws and leaders of G7 countries. When we vote for legislation or our members of Parliament, we exercise our right to make informed choices based on personal opinion, but are we really voting autonomously if our data is being used against us to influence public opinion?

So how can we adequately protect the immense volume of data that is transmitted daily? Encryption is the leading mechanism to ensure data security.

Encryption is a powerful defensive weapon for free people. It offers a technical guarantee of privacy, regardless of who is running the government…it’s hard to think of a more powerful, less dangerous tool for liberty.”
– Esther Dyson

The 2015 UN Human Rights Council Report by David Kaye states that “Encryption…protects the confidentiality and integrity of content against third-party access or manipulation.” However, in Australia, the government has drafted legislation that will compel manufacturers and industry to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted information – essentially creating a backdoor. This will weaken the encryption framework and undermines the right to privacy and structural integrity of encryption software. Ironically, whilst this legislation has been proposed to reduce crime through infiltration of criminal communication networks, it might inadvertently increase cybercrime due to the generation of vulnerabilities within the encryption software and hence, potential access to protected networks that were previously impervious to interference. As Nathan White, Senior Legislative Manager at Access Now said, “Australia is facing a choice on cybersecurity and encryption: real security or false…the country can either be the testing ground for policies that undermine privacy and security in the digital era, or it can be a champion for human rights, leveraging its relationship to raise cybersecurity standards for the next generation.”

To get involved, you can submit comments on the exposure draft.

Ultimately, I hope that as individuals in an increasingly-interconnected society, you actively strive to stay informed, not just for personal assurance and understanding, but to be able to engage in the global movement towards shaping our digital future.

Count my voice! Join Helena and other young people as they stand up for encryption.

The post Our Right to Protect Our Autonomy and Human Dignity appeared first on Internet Society.

My Experience As an APrIGF18 Fellow

Mar, 04/09/2018 - 15:55

The 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) took place last month in Vanuatu. Tripti Jain, who attended as an APrIGF Fellow, shared her experiences.

This was my first experience at AprIGF, my first fellowship and also my first time as a speaker on a panel. Believe me, I was anxious and scared but thanks to the APrIGF community: organizers, members, participants and fellows, everyone made me feel at home a thousand miles away from my abode. I had one of the best learning weeks and couldn’t have asked for a better venue to learn with little to no distractions around and beautiful sunsets to watch while walking back to our rooms everyday. Fellows were facilitated with everything that we could have needed: cozy rooms, good food, articulate speakers and joyful socials every night.

One of the perks of being a fellow at APrIGF 2018 was that my learning experience began weeks before even getting to Vanuatu. All the fellows were required to participate and go through a basic course on Internet Governance by the Internet Society. This course was one of my personal favorite bits of the fellowship. I learnt a lot through this exercise. There are various terms that we use in common parlance while discussing the issues related to Internet Governance. The course helped me understand such words better, for example, the course highlighted the difference between multistakeholder and multilateral approaches. Similarly, I also understood the demarcation between the Internet and the World Wide Web, terms that we often use interchangeably.

Over a period of four days, we had opportunities to participate in multiple interactive learning sessions. My personal favorites were: How the Internet Works. In this session, we played a game where we were supposed to build a network through routers, devices and cables and learned how the Internet actually works in real time; the other session which I participated in and loved were debates on online privacy. We were divided into teams and were given topics such as, “privacy is a rich man’s problem.” Lastly I participated and thoroughly enjoyed the session on the DNS routing system. By profession I am a technology lawyer and attending four days of APrIGF’s intensive sessions not only widened my knowledge of the extent of Internet Governance but also strengthened my grasp on the fundamentals of the topic.

I was a panelist on two panels and I was representing (where I am a counsel). The panels were: “Responsibilities of Internet Platforms for Tackling Online Abuse Against Women & Other Marginalized Groups” and “Internet Restrictions/Shutdowns and How to Mitigate.” Since I was speaking for the first time as a panelist, I was nervous, but my panelists were very supportive and well-informed. We had some really interesting conversations (read our blog post from the panel: “Internet Restrictions in Asia Pacific Region and How to Mitigate“). This conference will always be very special to me, as it gave me the opportunity to overcome my fear of public speaking.

If there are any major takeaways from the conference, one of them was the promotion of a well-informed discourse so that resulting policies would be effective. There were various panels where there were discussions about serious implications of the network and why it is so important to get this right. There was also a strong push towards imparting digital literacy. In this era of misinformation, when it’s hard to decipher what is true and untrue, Vint Cerf, the father of the Internet himself stated, “the best fetter for misinformation lies within us. It’s called critical thinking”.

A few final notes…

I can think of no better words to sum up my experience as a fellow at APrIGF 2018 than Penelope Douglas’ wise wordings, “Experience is the best teacher.” This fellowship taught me a lot, gave me a lot of friends and a lifelong interest in Internet Governance. The fellowship is very well structured but at the same time is very fluid. The organizing committee assigns every fellow to a buddy group who in turn reports on a particular sub-theme, but at the same time, there are enough number of people in a group which gives fellows the flexibility to attend sessions from various sub-themes.

Lastly, the best thing about being an APrIGF fellow is everyone gets to participate meaningfully. Often we attend conferences where we find ourselves just observing and not being able to contribute enough. However, as an APrIGF fellow, you have to report sessions, there are lightning sessions for fellows and town hall sessions where you can participate. Thus, the design of the platform ensures that every fellow can participate meaningfully from day one.

On the afternoon of 17th August, 2018, I boarded a ferry to the cab with a week packed in a bag. Monsoon seemed to know its place arriving to punctuate the goodbyes. Though, it was my first AprIGF and I have nothing to compare it to, but I loved every bit of it. I wish I get a chance to participate every year.

Learn more about Internet Governance and why everyone should have a voice in shaping tomorrow!

Photo ©Frederic Courbet/Panos
This post first appeared here.

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The Week in Internet News: More Communities Building Their Own Broadband Networks

Lun, 03/09/2018 - 14:00

Build-your-own broadband: Small towns in the United States and the United Kingdom are increasingly bypassing large ISPs and building their own broadband networks, according to two recent stories. Reuters notes that rural communities in the U.K. are building networks to improve speeds and expand coverage, while reports that independent broadband networks are proliferating across the United States in small towns, with speeds often exceeding a gigabit per second.

Where the IT jobs are: If you understand blockchain or Artificial Intelligence, job recruiters are looking for you., the website for the Society of Human Resource Management, notes there’s been a 500 percent increase in blockchain-related job postings on Stack Overflow in the past year. Meanwhile, the Economic Times of India reports that AI experts are getting job offers that include major salary increases.

Power grid and IoT security don’t mix: Princeton researchers have suggested that insecure IoT devices could be used against the power grid, potentially leading to local power outages or even widescale blackouts, reports. During a recent conference, the researchers demonstrated how an IoT botnet of Internet-connected high wattage devices could give attackers the ability to launch large-scale attacks on the power grid.

Spotting fakes: WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app accused of helping users spread fake news in parts of the world, will begin training its users on the dangers of spreading false information, the Gulf News of India reports. The training will focus on the importance of verifying information, the company says.

Weaponized social bots: Sweden, facing an election in September, is seeing a proliferation of social media bots posting in support of a nationalist, anti-immigration party on Twitter, Bloomberg reports. Seems like we’ve seen this play out before.

Regulations vs. blockchain: Regulatory uncertainty is one of the main problems hindering blockchain adoption, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey referenced on There are a lot of questions about whether and how countries will regulate the emerging technology.

Do you know the risks of what you’re buying? Get IoT smart!

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From Imagination to Action: In Latin America, Building the Internet That Women Want

Ven, 31/08/2018 - 17:49

In 1843, Ada Lovelace published “Sketch of the analytical engine invented by Charles Babbage” in the book Scientific Memoirs. But because of her “condition” as a woman she, like many women who were pioneers in their time, was forgotten by history. Women could not access education or the sciences and, for that reason, history forgot them, just as we forgot that many women were mothers of the Internet.

“History drove us out of the digital industry, we stopped being important and a male industry was created.”
– Kemly Camacho, Sula Batsú

Every day many people ask us, where are the women? Why don’t they participate? I tell them to look at the immense number of initiatives that women are doing in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With the cold of Buenos Aires, between its tall buildings and its warm people, our friends at the Tierra Violeta Cultural Center received us after four months of planning the FemHackParty LAC. In December 2016, at the Internet Governance Forum that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, we organized with a group of women the first FemHackParty, within the framework of 16 days of activism against violence against women. We had the chance to learn about different regional initiatives that fight to reduce violence against women on the Internet.

Years later, inspired by women’s movements in Latin America – with its epicenter in Argentina – and in the framework of the 11th Preparatory Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACIGF) in Buenos Aires, we organized the 2nd FemHackPartyLAC. The event was planned with the Association for the Progress of Communications (APC) and the Argentine Chapter of the Internet Society.

August 1st was the most feminist day in the LACIGF. In the morning we started with the LACIGFem Meeting, a space that aimed to bring together organizations and institutions that are carrying out actions to empower women in the tech ecosystem. This was the second year in a row of this event, as every year we ask the Organizing Committee of LACIGF to give us a space in the agenda to discuss gender issues.

What are we doing?

In numbers, women’s participation during the LACIGF11: 48% female panelists, 76% of Committee scholarships to women, and equal participation (174 women and 174 men).

“This year, the gender focus has not been so marked in the speeches, there was a lack of gender perspective in the sessions, but I do believe that there has been quite a balance in the face-to-face and virtual participation. It’s encouraging to see that there are activities that are being done in parallel to the meeting by groups of women and that they have a framework around the Internet.”
– Dafne Sabanes Plou, APC

Eight in the morning and coffee in hand, the question was posed: What actions are we implementing to reduce the gender gap and increase the participation of women?

In the LACIGFem meeting we had a very diverse group of participants: Olga Cavalli from ISOC Argentina, Daphne Plou from APC, Kemly Camacho from Sula Batsú, Carolina Caeiro from LACNIC, Alexandra Dans from ICANN, Yacine Khelladi from Alliance for an Affordable Internet (A4AI), Paula Ferrari of GSMA and topic chair of the W20 digital inclusion group, and Angeles Ayala of Women in STEM, Future Leaders.

We explored how women are not well integrated into the digital economy and how to involve them so that they become producers and not just consumers.

“We do not just want to be workers in the digital industry, we want to be creators.”
– Kemly Camacho, Sula Batsú

As it was highlighted in the session, we must move to a real gender perspective that involves women not only in speeches but also in decision-making processes, promoting the creation of public policies, and involving new generations. It is necessary to create resources, goals, and objectives, but we also need to know where, when, and how to do it and for that we need to know what is happening in our regions.

“We need to move from declaration to action: To Latin American women I’d like to tell them to apply to all the positions that there are. Don’t be afraid because if we do not show ourselves nobody chooses us.”
– Olga Cavalli

We hacked the LACIGF.

The FemHackPartyLAC program had an hour and a half of activities. We had 19 initiatives and more participation from women. We started by reading a letter from our colleague Rosalia Viñas, an activist who lives in Cuba and was not allowed to leave the country to participate in the LACIGF. The party lasted for 3 hours, while we shared sweets and beers.

“At the beginning we started by imaging a feminist Internet and now we are making a feminist Internet.”
– Dafne Sabanes Plou

Marianne Diaz, Maricarmen Sequera, Daniela Pardo, Estefania, Amalia Toledo, Maritza Sanchez, Juliana Soto, Nancy Reyes, Sara Fratti, Fabiana Pineda, Marieliv Flores, Marina Benitez, Kemly Camacho, Mariela Reiman, Daphne Plou, Jeannette Torres, Linda Garcia – and all the women who were not present but are taking actions to achieve a feminist Internet in Latin America – where there with us.

Global and multistakeholder efforts were also mentioned and the EQUALS Global Partnership, a multistakeholder initiative that seeks to reduce the gender gap in technology, gave us a framework for the discussion. (The Internet Society recently joined EQUALS as a partner.)

Learn about all the initiatives presented.

For years we’ve made visible the concerns and inequities in the construction of Internet and technology: how we must take firm steps, take actions for ourselves, and start thinking about building and creating the Internet that women want.

“The patriarchal system itself must begin to give in and understand that this is a real struggle for our rights. It seems that to speak of a gender perspective on the Internet is to put women to talk and that is not a real gender perspective”
– Marina Benítez Demtschenko.

As we can’t do this work alone, we, as the Internet Society Women’s Special Interest Group (SIG Women) organized these activities to join efforts. We are committed to building a network with women from all over the Internet ecosystem because we must work together if we want to achieve an Internet for all.

Want to help close the digital gender gap? Join SIG Women!

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Indigenous Communities: “Stuck…Between Technology and Tradition”

Ven, 31/08/2018 - 16:59

In November 2017, the Internet Society hosted the inaugural Indigenous Connectivity Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The event brought together community network operators, Internet service providers, community members, researchers, policy makers, and Indigenous leadership to work together to bridge the connectivity gap in indigenous communities in North America. One of the participants shared her story.

Christel White, geographic information system (GIS) specialist for the Pueblo of Cochiti, is no stranger to intertribal dynamics. White is an enrolled member of the Onondaga people and grew up on the Seneca Nation reservation in New York State. In her current role, she ponders how the specific culture and needs of the people of Cochiti impacts the role of connectivity. “I want to bring in GIS online, but we don’t want cultural sites out in circulation,” explains White. “Do we want new land on there?”

The lack of Internet speed in tribal offices means White currently works from home, but says that it impacts her ability to interact with the public. If someone comes into the office with a question, White is not always physically there, but she can’t otherwise complete her work without a better connection.  “Indigenous communities are often stuck on that fence between technology and tradition,” White observes. “How do we build that bridge?”

Register for the Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2018, which takes place this October in Edmonton and Inuvik, CanadaYou can also find ever-growing resources on topics including community networks, cultural preservation, and Indigenous-driven access at the Indigenous Connectivity page.

Photo ©Minesh Bacrania

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Call for Participation – ICANN DNSSEC Workshop at ICANN63 Barcelona

Gio, 30/08/2018 - 18:46

Do you have a great idea about DNSSEC or DANE that you’d like to share with the wider community? If so, and you’re planning to be in Barcelona, Spain for ICANN63 in October 2018, submit a proposal to present your idea at the DNSSEC Workshop!

Send a brief (1-2 sentence) description of your proposed presentation to by Friday, 07 September 2018.

For more information, read the full Call for Participation below.

The DNSSEC Deployment Initiative and the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme, in cooperation with the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), are planning a DNSSEC Workshop during the ICANN63 meeting held from 20-25 October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The DNSSEC Workshop has been a part of ICANN meetings for several years and has provided a forum for both experienced and new people to meet, present and discuss current and future DNSSEC deployments.

For reference, the most recent session was held at the ICANN Policy Forum in Panama City, Panama on 25 June 2018. The presentations and transcripts are available at:, and At ICANN63 we are particularly interested in live demonstrations of uses of DNSSEC, DS automation or DANE. Examples might include: * DNSSEC automation and deployment using CDS, CDNSKEY, and CSYNC * DNSSEC/DANE validation in browsers and in applications * Secure email / email encryption using DNSSEC, OPENPGPKEY, or S/MIME * DNSSEC signing solutions and innovation (monitoring, managing, validation) * Tools for automating the generation of DNSSEC/DANE records * Extending DNSSEC/DANE with authentication, SSH, XMPP, SMTP, S/MIME or PGP/GPG and other protocols Our interest is to provide current examples of the state of development and to show real-world examples of how DNSSEC and DANE related innovation can be used to increase the overall security of the Internet. We are open to presentations and demonstrations related to any topic associated with DNSSEC and DANE. Examples of the types of topics we are seeking include: 1. DNSSEC Panel (Regional and Global) For this panel we are seeking participation from those who have been involved in DNSSEC deployment in the region and also from those who have not deployed DNSSEC but who have a keen interest in the challenges and benefits of deployment. In particular, we will consider the following questions: Are you interested in reporting on DNSSEC validation of your ISPs? What can DNSSEC do for you? What doesn’t it do? What are the internal tradeoffs to implementing DNSSEC? What did you learn in your deployment of DNSSEC? We are interested in presentations from both people involved with the signing of domains and people involved with the deployment of DNSSEC-validating DNS resolvers. 2. Post KSK Rollover Following the Root Key Rollover, we would like to bring together a panel of people who can talk about lessons learned from this KSK Rollover and lessons learned for the next time 3. DS Automation We are looking at innovative ways to automate the parent child synchronization CDS / CDNSKEY and methods to bootstrap new or existing domains.  We are also interested in development or plans related to CSYNC, which are aimed at keeping the glue up to date. We would like to hear from DNS Operators what their current thoughts on CDS/CDNSKEY automation are. 3 DNSSEC/DANE Support in the browsers  We would be interested in hearing from browser develop what their plans are in terms of supporting DNSSEC/DANE validation. 4. DANE Automation For DNSSEC to reach massive deployment levels it is clear that a higher level of automation is required than is currently available. There also is strong interest for DANE usage within web transactions as well as for securing email and Voice-over-IP (VoIP). We are seeking presentations on topics such as: * How can the industry use DANE and other DNSSEC applications as a mechanism for creating a more secure Internet? * What tools, systems and services are available to help automate DNSSEC key management? * Can you provide an analysis of current tools/services and identify gaps? * What are some of the new and innovative uses of DANE and other DNSSEC applications in new areas or industries? * What tools and services are now available that can support DANE usage? We would be particularly interested in any live demonstrations of DNSSEC / DANE application automation and services. Demonstrations of new tools that make the setup of DNSSEC or DANE more automated would also be welcome. If you are interested in participating, please send a brief (1-2 sentence) description of your proposed presentation to by **07 September 2018 ** We hope that you can join us. Thank you, Kathy Schnitt On behalf of the DNSSEC Workshop Program Committee: Jean Robert Hountomey, AfricaCERT Jacques Latour, .CA Russ Mundy, Parsons Ondřej Filip, CZ.NIC Yoshiro Yoneya, JPRS Dan York, Internet Society Mark Elkins, DNS/ZACR

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First APrIGF in the Pacific a Resounding Success

Gio, 30/08/2018 - 15:12

The 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) which was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu from August 13-16 came to an exciting close after a week of valuable dialogue on Internet Governance issues in the region.  This was the first time the APrIGF was held in the Pacific and the local hosts, Vanuatu’s Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), Vanuatu Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR), and the local people of Vanuatu showed the APrIGF community what Pacific Island hospitality is all about.

The community had the privilege of having APrIGF 2018 opened by none other than the Vanuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai. Also present at APrIGF 2018 and delivering his keynote address was the godfather of the Internet himself, Vint Cerf who took time to contribute in various discussions and engage with participants. With the theme of Empowering Communities in Asia Pacific to Build an Affordable, Inclusive, Open and Secure Internet, the calibre of delegates speaks volumes for the importance of such a dialogue.

Participants from all over Asia-Pacific, representing various stakeholder groups, were present to contribute to discussion and engage in the proceedings. This was the culmination of months of planning and execution by the APrIGF Multistakeholder Steering Group (MSG) and the local host.

Attending the APrIGF from the Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau were Bureau Director and Chair of APrIGF 2018 MSG, Rajnesh Singh; Regional Development Manager, Naveed Haq; as well as the Internet Society’s Vice President of Global Engagement, Raul Echeberria. The Internet Society team took their time to engage and contribute in activities as well as engage with groups and individual participants at the forum. Among the participants the team was able to engage with were the 2018 APrIGF fellows, for whom the Internet Society is a proud sponsor of their program.

The fellows undertook pre-forum coaching and specialised engagement activities apart from participating in general sessions during the week as part of their program. Fellows – for many it was their first time in the Pacific – were able to share some of their thoughts about the fellowship with the APAC Bureau. Many fellows shared that this was their first Internet Governance event, and they all claimed to have gained a lot from the experience. Experience which will undoubtedly make its way back and influence others in their home countries, which was a common goal among the fellows.

Topics that received attention during the dialogue included those of cybersecurity, privacy, and of course, long-standing challenges of connectivity and affordability. Disaster resilience and recovery as well as education in Internet Governance were also among topics discussed. The establishment of cybersecurity emergency response teams (CERTS), stakeholder cooperation, and community networks were some of the potential avenues put forward to address the challenges faced. Ideas, experience, and questions about challenges were raised, making for a meaningful and productive dialogue. What transpired over the course of the week will be captured and published on the APrIGF 2018 synthesis document.

At the close of APrIGF 2018, MSG Chair Raj Singh thanked the local hosts for the gracious hospitality and support in hosting the event. Sentiments shared by Vanuatu regulator Dalsie Baniala who returned the gratitude to the MSG for choosing Vanuatu and working with the host for bringing APrIGF to the Pacific Islands.

The close of APrIGF also signalled attention toward APrIGF 2019 which is to be held in the Russian port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. General manager of APTLD, Leonid Todorov, who presented on behalf of the 2019 host, was glad to announce that plans were already underway and that Russia was looking forward to welcoming the community in July 2019.

Learn more about Internet Governance and why everyone should have a voice in shaping tomorrow!

Photo ©Frederic Courbet/Panos

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It Is a Challenging Time for the Internet: We Must Not Let It Be Undermined

Mer, 29/08/2018 - 14:00

On 1 September I start work as CEO of the Internet Society. I have a lot to do to live up to the example set by Kathy Brown with all that she achieved during her leadership. It is a great honour, and I appreciate the trust the Board of Trustees has placed in me. I will work daily to earn the same trust from the rest of the Internet community, in part by being transparent about what drives me to do this.

It is a challenging time for the Internet Society, because it is a challenging time for the Internet. For most of the Internet Society’s history, the expansion and development of the Internet could be regarded as an obvious good. There were always those who simply opposed technological development. There were always those who wanted their own interests protected from the Internet. But Internet users historically benefited so much, so obviously, that skepticism about the value of the Internet itself was rare.

Things have changed. Every technology can be used for negative ends. The Internet still, plainly, brings gains in efficiency, convenience, and communications. Yet in the recent past, some of the negative uses have become apparent, which leads some people to ask whether the Internet is just too dangerous. This environment has produced a golden opportunity for those who always preferred a sanitized, tightly-controlled utility to the generative, empowering Internet. These forces claim that only national governments, treaties, laws, regulations, and monopolies can protect us from the problems we face. They do not want the extraordinary collaboration of the Internet. They think there is some mere political choice to be made between the Internet we have known on the one hand, and a tidy, regulated network on the other. If these forces are successful, we will all lose.

The Internet connects people because of its basic design. Each network that joins the Internet does its own thing, but together they are all richer and more reliable. A network of networks cannot be centrally controlled because it has no centre. This is not some accidental design choice we could alter: without this essential feature, we do not have the Internet at all.

For that very reason, we – all humanity – must not let this technology be undermined. We must face, realistically, the challenges that the Internet produces for us all; but we must face them collaboratively and together. The Internet is for everyone, because only everyone can make the global network of networks.

I am inspired by the real Internet – the network of networks that is open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy. This is why I am so happy to become the CEO of the Internet Society at this challenging time. We are strong. Our chapters and members demonstrate the enormous value of the Internet. We wish, in every language and corner of the world, to welcome today those who were not connected yesterday and to reach out to those who will connect tomorrow. We collaborate with others throughout the world who embrace the value of the Internet.

Our potential lies not only in our diversity, but in the power of our community to act as one in service of our mission. Together, our stories of an Internet with people at its heart offer a unifying message for all the world. We can sing as a massed choir, all in harmony, to project the beauty and value of our shared, global heritage. We can take that harmony and common purpose to other communities, to governments, and to boardrooms, and enlist them all in our cause. Our history, linked to the early Internet, teaches us to work with a single mind toward that open, globally-connected, trusted, and secure future.

We will turn away from fear and narrow interests. We will not allow this tool of endless potential to be ruined, whether by vandal or greed. We will support and foster new technologies for all humans. We will promote the security and safety of all who connect.

The Internet Society is for the Internet, and the Internet is for everyone.

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Strengthening Foundations for Creating Open Internet Standards

Mar, 28/08/2018 - 17:59

The Internet Engineering Task Force has reached a significant milestone in the process of evolving its own administrative structure to best suit the current requirements of its work. After nearly two years of discussion about various options, the IETF community has created the IETF Administrative LLC (IETF LLC), a new legal entity. Both the Internet Society’s CEO & President Kathy Brown and the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees Chair Gonzalo Camarillo have expressed strong support for the process that has led to this point, and for the direction the IETF has decided to take. Continuing its long-standing positions, the Internet Society also made financial commitments to support the process, and to the IETF going forward.

All of us at the Internet Society who work closely with the IETF believe this new administrative structure strengthens the the foundation for an Internet built on open standards. The new structure will not change any aspect of the IETF’s technical work or the Internet standards process, and clarifies the relationship between ISOC and the IETF. Importantly, the IETF and ISOC continue to be strongly aligned on key principles. ISOC initiatives related to the IETF, such as the Technical Fellows to the IETF and the Deploy360 Programme, will continue to support participation in the IETF and deployment of the standards created by the IETF.

In the more than three decades since it began, the IETF has evolved its administrative structure several times. The process that drove this latest evolution reflects a few important core operating principles of the IETF: open, consensus-based processes, improvement based on lessons learned from experience (“running code”), and always seeking ways to make the Internet work better – including the operational and administrative practices on which itself runs from day-to-day. We at the Internet Society look forward to the IETF’s continued success.

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Future Thinking: Mozilla Director of Public Policy Chris Riley on the Internet Economy

Mar, 28/08/2018 - 15:41

Last year, the Internet Society unveiled the 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future. The interactive report identifies the drivers affecting tomorrow’s Internet and their impact on Media & Society, Digital Divides, and Personal Rights & Freedoms. We interviewed Chris Riley to hear his perspective on the forces shaping the Internet’s future.

Chris Riley is Director, Public Policy at Mozilla, working to advance the open Internet through public policy analysis and advocacy, strategic planning, coalition building, and community engagement. Chris manages the global Mozilla public policy team and works on all things Internet policy, motivated by the belief that an open, disruptive Internet delivers tremendous socioeconomic benefits, and that if we as a global society don’t work to protect and preserve the Internet’s core features, those benefits will go away. Prior to joining Mozilla, Chris worked as a program manager at the U.S. Department of State on Internet freedom, a policy counsel with the nonprofit public interest organization Free Press, and an attorney-advisor at the Federal Communications Commission.  

The Internet Society: Why is there a need for promoting a better understanding of technology amongst policy wonks, and of policy among technologists?

Chris Riley: While I started out as a mathematics and computer science student, I decided to shift into law and ultimately policy because I was concerned that the evolution of law and regulation around the tech industry wasn’t being driven from a point of technical clarity and understanding. I was worried  that this could have consequences, both intended and unintended, for the terrific socioeconomic benefits that we can and should derive from the Internet.

Today I say to every new cohort of employees at Mozilla that, as Lawrence Lessig once quipped, “code is law,” but “law is law,” too. Mozilla is at its strongest when we think about these things together, and the Internet is the same – when both the people building code and the people building legal systems have enough of a mutual understanding of what’s important and how the other works. The technologists need a broad policy understanding so that they can build that into their systems and their system policies; while the law and policy designers must have enough of an understanding of the technical side that they design law and policy that reflect and amplify the good parts of technology while leaving plenty of room for future flexibility, agility and innovation. I think it’s really those two things coming together that’s vital to the ecosystem as a whole.

How does Mozilla position itself in the Internet economy? Are you a platform?

Although there are some services that we have that are platform-ish (e.g. our acquisition of Pocket in 2017), the core of what we do is related to the fact that we’re a software company. Being a software company is really at the core of Mozilla’s ethos. We write open-source software and we distribute it to the world both as code and packages (downloads and applications).

I don’t expect Mozilla will, in the future, want to emerge as more of a platform company than a software company. We don’t have the scale or the style or the structure to do that. We’re small; we’re non-profit. We’re not ever going to be the model that’s geared towards the platform and social network economy of growing network effects at great debt in order to recuperate the economic benefits. We’re a mature and established business, and really focus on our strength as open-source software developers. That said, we have the right kind of expertise, mission and charter to speak for the Internet in a positive way. We’re therefore a hard-to-define duality of non-profit, mission-driven and software company. This is why it so hard to categorize us.

This year we’re focusing our annual Internet Futures report on consolidation in the Internet economy. We’re specifically investigating consolidation trends in the access, services and application layers of the Internet respectively, as well as consolidation trends acting vertically across layers (e.g. companies gaining dominance in more than one of the Internet’s layers).

Have you noticed a trend in this regard?

We’ve definitely noticed that the Internet is headed towards a more and more centralized future, defined in that sense by both horizontal and vertical centralization trends. We have fewer effective competitors who are presenting the same kinds of substitutable services to users, as well as fewer meaningful choices for users among servers within a single layer. In addition to horizontal consolidation, we’re also seeing many vertical mergers within the tech sector.

I think the world we live in now is too often one in which investment in start-up companies is geared towards reaching the point where they can be sold to one of the existing big players rather than grow into a big and independent enterprise itself. This is a challenge for me and for others because we grew up with an Internet where today’s big company is going to be tomorrow’s second tier. It’s not that I want to penalise any individual companies, but I want to believe in a market where we have the capacity to grow new companies that can become the giants of the next generation of the Internet. I’m not sure we’re there anymore. I think partly the reason why we’re not there is that some of the big companies today are aggressively staying ahead of the trend through massive investments in research and development and, to that extent, kudos to them, and may they continue to have the opportunity to outcompete others and continue to grow from that perspective.

But we’re reaching a point now where it’s going to be far too easy to bolster a weak product in one of these markets by effectively tying it to a dominant product in another market. And that’s the point where competition might have failed. That’s the point where we see good ideas get squelched not because of any technical or systematic problems with their design, implementation or approach, but simply because they weren’t being offered by or interested in being acquired by one of the existing dominant ecosystems.

How does this the trend impact Mozilla?

Concentration and consolidation is an issue that goes back to Mozilla’s history in a very deep way. We were effectively founded to respond to the duopoly of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer. We decided users should have a choice in web browsing and so we created something that became effective and even better than what Microsoft was offering. The window of opportunity we had to create this product was aided in no small part by competition inquiries into Microsoft that were ongoing then. Today, we want to ensure that future Mozillas will have the space to see places where some things are underperforming and to then innovate. We’re looking for the same opportunities ourselves as we’re seeking to diversify our product portfolio beyond Firefox.

How has technology’s role in societies changed in the time since you’ve been working in this field? Have you perceived a backlash against the tech industry?

In the US, overwhelmingly so. In Europe, less so, because I feel that Europe was pretty much already there. I frequently categorize 2017 in the U.S. as the year that everyone starts to attack tech.  For many, many years, the tech industry had experienced a honeymoon period with the public and policymakers thanks to the scale of investment and growth, and the pace at which shiny new things that users like were produced by our industry.

We were forgiven the occasional (or so it seemed) negative social or economic  consequences that came with that. But that window of time has now closed. I think that time frame was shorter outside the US because many of the economic benefits that came from this industry were imbued here; it benefited the U.S. and the American economy. So those not quite so flushed with the economic benefits of the industry were quicker to see the unintended consequences and other social and economic harms that came from this model.

Certainly in the U.S., at least, we’ve seen growing awareness of problems associated with centralization. We’ve seen problems like the discrimination that can be reintroduced with machine learning systems that are trained by discriminatory data getting well-deserved public attention. We’ve seen incredible concerns with contentious and unpleasant, harmful, and sometimes illegal speech that appears on platforms and how platforms respond to that.

The world is therefore dramatically different now than to what it was two years ago in terms of how the public view the tech industry. I think it’s important for Mozilla and my colleagues in the tech industry to understand this dynamic and to really strive to make the Internet better. To try to turn that tide around. To acknowledge that there are problems and not everything is perfect. That we have to make some changes both internally and externally in the laws and regulations around us. We need to be serious, open, honest and collaborative in how we approach these problems so that we can get them solved.

What are your other fears for the future of the Internet?

I’m worried about a future of the Internet where users are choosing among four or five vertically integrated stacks of applications and services where they can’t pick and choose a heterogenous Internet experience from amongst them and where nobody with a brilliant idea can come up and create a new business because that space is already effectively occupied and there’s no room for them to grow, and no investment in their ideas because the economic model doesn’t make sense for a new business. If we reach a world where we have vertically integrated silos, competition would have failed. But I still very much believe that we can salvage it.

How should we prevent this from happening? Is competition law the best solution to these consolidation problems?

I’m worried that our understanding of competition law doesn’t deal with consolidation on the Internet properly, because traditional models of market concentration say that if you have four or five businesses that are relatively balanced, then you have a competitive market. But even if we had a competitive market in a traditional sense, it wouldn’t be the Internet.

I think there’s more that can be done with competition law and policy. The idea of U.S. antitrust law was to support consumer welfare, and it’s a powerful idea, one that hasn’t really been explored in the past thirty years or so. There’s a lot more room to interpret the existing legal precedents and statutes we already have. This is something the agencies could choose to pursue on their own, and we would welcome legislative interventions to make this a smoother process.

I think that the solution we should be pursuing in the near term as response to the consolidation trend is through competition law, rather than a reinterpretation or calling for a different kind of regulatory approach. It takes too long to do this: the last time that we tried to overhaul communications law in the United States (the Telecommunications Act of 1996), it was a twenty-year process.  If we take twenty years to address the challenge of centralization, the Internet will have been forever transformed and probably not for the better.

What are your hopes for the future of the Internet?

My hope is that we will see an industry-wide recognition of the impact and entanglement that our work has throughout our economy and our society and a humble and thoughtful approach to how best to approach and manage the responsibility that come with that. More and more open engagement with policymakers and with the public and a restoring of the public’s face that technology and the Internet are here to make our lives and our world better and not world. And I do actually believe that we can get there.

We’re getting ready to launch the 2018 Global Internet Report! Read the concept note and learn how the Internet Economy might shape our future.

Photo ©Karen de Jager

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