Centre for Internet & Society

This report by Pranesh Prakash reflects on the question of how useful the IGF is in the light of meetings on the themes of intellectual property, freedom of speech and privacy.

The first Internet Governance Forum was held in Athens in 2006, as a follow on to the 2005 Tunis World Summit on the Information Society, and to fulfil the principles drawn up at there. Its explicit objective is to “promote and assess, on an ongoing basis the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes”. Those principles still form the basis of the talks that happen at the IGF, and are frequently referred to by the various groups that attend the IGF as the basis for their positions and claims. Sometimes, some of the values promoted by the principles are claimed by opposing groups (child safety vs. freedom of expression). Thus, in a way the negotiation of those principles were what really set the tone for the IGF, which in and of itself is a process by which those principles could be furthered. The one question that formed part of people’s conversations through the fourth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at Sharm el Sheik, as it had in third IGF at Hyderabad, and no doubt ever since the first edition, was “How
useful is the IGF?” This report shall reflect on that question, particularly based on the workshops and meetings that happened around the themes of intellectual property, freedom of speech, and privacy.

There are not many meetings of the nature of the IGF. It is not a governmental meeting, though it is sponsored by the United Nations. It is not a meeting of civil society groups, nor of academics nor industry. It is a bit like the Internet: large and unwieldy, allowing for participation of all while privileging those with certain advantages (rich, English-speaking), and a place where a variety of interests (government, civil society, academia and industry) clash, and where no one really has the final word. While the transformational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web have been felt by a great many, the potential of the Internet Governance Forum is still to be felt. This report, in part, seeks to present an apology of the IGF process, though it is the belief of this reporter that it could do with a few modifications.

DAY 0 (Saturday, November 14, 2009)

This reporter arrived with his colleagues at Sharm el Sheik late in the afternoon on Saturday, November 14, 2009, with the IGF set to begin the next day. Though we had been advised to register that evening itself, the fatigue of travel (in the case of my colleagues) and the requirement of purchasing new clothes to replace those in the suitcase that had been lost (in my case) kept us from doing so.

DAY 0 (Sunday, November 15, 2009)

The IGF began on Sunday, November 15, 2009, with a large delay. The registration desks seemed to have a bit of difficulty handling the number of people who were pouring in for registration that morning. By the time this reporter was done with registration, the first set of workshops were already under way, and nearing completion, leaving not much time before the commencement of Workshop 361 (Open Standards: A Rights-Based Framework), which was being organized by this reporter.

That workshop had as speakers Sir Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web Consortium), Renu Budhiraja (Department of IT, Government of India), Steve Mutkoski (Microsoft), Rishab Ghosh (UNU-MERIT), and Sunil Abraham (Centre for Internet and Society), with Aslam Raffee (Sun Microsystems, formerly with the Government of South Africa) chairing the session thus representing government, industry, civil society, and academia. The theme of the workshop (rights-based framework for open standards) was explored in greatest depth by Tim Berners-Lee, Sunil Abraham, and Rishab Ghosh, while Renu Budhiraja and Steve Mutkoski decided to explore the fault-lines, and the practicalities of ensuring open standards (as well as the interoperability, e-governance, and other promises of open standards). Rishab Ghosh pointed out that while a government could not make it a requirement that your car be a Ford to be granted access to the parking lot of the municipality, it often made such arbitrary requirements when it came to software and electronic access to the government.

Open standards, most of the panellists agreed, had to be royalty-free, and built openly with free participation by anyone who wished to. This model, Sir Tim pointed out, was what made the World Wide Web the success that it is today. This would ensure that different software manufacturers could ensure interoperability which would encourage competition amongst them; that all governments -- even the less developed ones -- would have equal access to digital infrastructure; that citizen-government and intragovernment interaction would be made much more equitable and efficient; and that present-day electronic information would be future-proofed and safeguard against software obsolescence.

Renu Budhiraja in a very useful and practically-grounded presentation pointed out some of the difficulties that governments faced when deciding upon definitions of “open standards”, as well as the limited conditions under which governments may justify using proprietary standards. She spoke of the importance of governments not following the path laid out by market forces, but rather working to lead the market in the direction of openness. Governments, she reminded the audience, are amongst the foremost consumers of software and standards, and have to safeguard the interests of their citizens while making such decisions. Steve Mutkoski challenged the audience to not only think about the importance of open standards, but also think of the role it plays in ensuring efficient e-governance. Standards, he contended, are but one part of e-governance, and that often the reason that e-governance models fail are not because of standards but because of other organizational practices and policies. Pointing to academic studies, he showed that open standards by themselves were not sufficient to ensure

Sunil Abraham pointed out examples of citizens’ rights being affected by lack of open standards, and pointed out the concerns made public by ‘right to information’ activists in India on the need they perceived for open standards. He also pointed out an example from South Africa where citizens wishing to make full use of the Election Commission’s website were required to use a particular browser, since it was made with non-standard proprietary elements that only company’s browser could understand. Since that browser was not a cross-platform browser like Firefox, users also had to use a particular operating system to interact with the government. The session ended with a healthy interaction with the audience.

The importance of having this discussion at the IGF was underscored by Rishab Ghosh who noted that issues of defining and choosing technical standards are often left to technical experts, while they have ramifications much further than that field. That, he opined, is the reason that discussing open standards at a forum like the IGF is important. A more complete report of this workshop may be found at <http://cis-india.org/advocacy/openness/blog/dcos-workshop-09>.

Post the workshop was the opening ceremony which had Mr. Sha Zukang, U.N. Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, Tarek Kamel, the Egyptian Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Ahmed Nazif, the Prime Minister of Egypt, Tim Berners-Lee, and Jerry Yang. The theme of this year’s IGF was the rather unwieldy “access, diversity, openness, security, and critical Internet resources”. The spread of the Internet, as noted by Sha Zukang, is also quite revealing: In 2005, more than 50% of the people in developed regions were using the Internet, compared to 9% in developing regions, and only 1% in least developed countries. By the year 2009, the number of people connecting in developing countries had expanded by an impressive 475 million to 17.5%, and by 4 million in LDCs to 1.5%, while Internet penetration in developed regions increased to 64%. All in all (Jerry Yang pointed out), around 1.6 billion people, or about 25 per cent of the world, is online. Mr. Kamel noted that “the IGF has
proved only over four years that it is not just another isolated parallel process but it has rather managed to bring on board all the relevant stakeholders and key players”.

Of importance in many of the speeches were the accountability structures of the Internet due to the Affirmation of Commitment that the U.S. Department of Commerce signed with ICANN, and the growing internationalisation of the World Wide Web due to ICANN’s decision to allow for domain names in multiple languages. Tim Berners-Lee again pointed out the need to keep the Web universal, and in particular highlighted the role that royalty-free open standards play in building the foundations of the World Wide Web. Other than small remarks, privacy and freedom of expression did not really figure greatly in the opening ceremony. Jerry Yang, through his talk of the Global Net Initiative, was the one who most forcefully pointed out the need for both online. The Prime Minister of Egypt, in passing, pointed out the need to safeguard intellectual property rights online, but that note was (in a sense) countered by Sir Tim’s warning about the limiting effect of strong intellectual property would have on the very foundations of the World Wide Web and the Internet.

DAY 2 (Monday, November 16, 2009)

On the second day was begun by attending the Commonwealth IGF Open Forum. This open forum was most enlightening as in it one truly got to see Southern perspectives on display. Speakers (both on the dais as well as from the audience) were truly representative of the diversity of the Commonwealth, which presently includes 54 states and around 2.1 billion people (including 1.1 billion from India). Issues of concern included things such as the lack of voice of whole regions like East and West Africa in the international IG policy-making arena. Some of the participants noted that issues such as music piracy, which is a favourite topic of conversation in the West, is of no relevance to most in Africa where the pressing copyright- related issues those of education, translation rights, etc. One participant noted that “Intellectual property issues need developing countries to speak in one voice at international fora; the Commonwealth IGF might allow that.”

A number of people also brought up the issue of youth, and pointing towards children as both the present and the future of the Internet. This attitude also showed up in the session that was held later that day at Workshop 277 (IGF: Activating and Listening to the Voice of Tweens) in which not only were youth and IG issues discussed, but the discussion was also by youth. The formation of the new Dynamic Coalition on Youth and Internet Governance with Rafik Dammak as the coordinator also underlines the importance of this issue which came up at the CIGF open forum.

Other concerns were that of sharing ICT best practices and examples, and the need to urgently bridge the rural-urban divide that information and communication technologies often highlight, and sometimes end up precipitating. This divide is, in many ways, similar to the divide between developing and developed nations, and this point was also highlighted by many of the participants. One strength that the CIGF has as a platform, which the IGF possibly lacks, is the commonality of the legal systems of most of the Commonwealth countries, and hence the possibility that arises of joint policy-making. It was heartening to see that British Parliamentarians, apart from bureaucrats from many countries, were in attendance. This strong focus on developing countries and Southern perspective is, this reporter believes, one of the strengths of the CIGF, which needs to be pushed into the global IGF.

The next workshop attended was Workshop 92: A Legal Survey of Internet Censorship and Filtering, which was organized by UNESCO. A large number of very interesting people presented here, and panellists included IFLA/Bibliotheca Alexandrina (whose Sohair Washtawi was surprisingly critical of the Egyptian government), UNESCO (Mogens Schmidt), Freedom House (Robert Guerra), and Frank La Rue, U.N. Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression. What came of this workshop was the need to engage with to study the online state of freedom of expression as fully as “offline” state of press freedoms are studied, as an interesting fact that came out of this workshop was that there are currently more online journalists behind bars around the world than traditional journalists. A critique of the Freedom House’s online freedom report, which was not sufficiently voiced at the workshop itself, is that it represents a very Western, state-centric idea of freedom of speech and expression, and often looks at the more direct forms of censorship (state censorship) rather than private censorship (via advertising revenue, copyright law, and “manufactured consent”) and self-censorship. This reporter also intervened from the audience to point out that copyright is often a way of curbing freedom of speech (as was the case with the newspaper scholarly reprints of Nazi-era newspapers in Germany recently, or with the Church of Scientology wishing
to silence its critics). The panellists, including Mogens Schmidt and Frank La Rue agreed, and responded by noting that this dimension of copyright requires greater reflection by those groups involved in promoting and safeguarding freedom of speech and expression both online and offline.

The time before the meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards was spent listening to Bruce Schneier, Marc Rotenberg, Frank La Rue, Namita Malhotra, and others at the Openness, Security and Privacy Session. Bruce Schneier, one of the most astute and insightful thinkers on issues of security and privacy, focussed on a topic that anyone who reads his blog/newsletters would be familiar with: that openness, security and privacy are not really, contrary to popular perception, values that are inimical to each other. Mr. Schneier instead sees them as values that complement each other, and argued that one cannot ensure security by invading privacy of citizens and users. He noted that “privacy, security, liberty, these aren’t salient. And usually whenever you have these sort of non-salient features, the way you get them in society is through legislation.” On the same note, he held the view that privacy should not be a saleable commodity, but an inalienable fundamental right of all human beings (a position that Frank La Rue agreed with).

Apart from the traditional focus area of states, there was also a lot of focus on corporations and their accountability to their users. On the issue of corporations versus states, Frank La Rue made it clear that he believed the model that some corporations were advocating of first introducing technologies into particular markets, expanding, and then using that to push for human rights, was not a viable model. Human rights, he reiterated, were not alienable, and stated: “You [internet companies] strengthen democracy and democratic principles and then you bring up the technology. Otherwise, it will never work, and it is a self defeating point.”

The meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards was next. This meeting served as a ground to build a formal declaration from Sharm el Sheik for DCOS. The meeting was held in the room Luxor, the seating in which was rectangular, promoting a vibrant discussion rather than making some people “presenters” and the rest “audience”. Many of the members of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability were in attendance, seeing common purpose with the work carried out by DCOS. There was spirited discussion on how best to move from a formulation of open standards as “principles” to more citizen- centric “rights”. This shift, pointed out as an important one because they allow for claims to be made in a way that principles and concessions do not. One of the participants helped re-draft the entire statement, based on suggestions that came from him and the rest of the participants. This was, in a sense, the IGF’s multi-stakeholderism (to coin a phrase) at its best.

Because of the late ending to the DCOS meeting, this reporter arrived late for the Commonwealth IGF follow-up meeting. It seemed that the meeting took its time in finding its raison d’être. It was, for a long while, unclear what direction the meeting was headed in because the suggestions from the audience members were of different types: programmatic actionable items, general thematic focus area suggestions, as well as general wishlists. However, in the end, this came together and became productive thanks to the focus that the chairperson and the rapporteur brought to the discussion. Furthermore, it was a great opportunity to connect with the various young people who had been brought together from various backgrounds to attend the IGF by the CIGF travel bursary. It will be interesting to see the shape that CIGF’s future work takes.

Day 3 (Tuesday, November 17, 2009)

The first session attended on the third day was the meeting on “Balancing the Need of Security with the Concerns for Civil Liberties”. The speakers included Alejandro Pisanty (Workshop Chair), Wolfgang Benedek, Steve Purser, Simon Davies, and Bruce Schneier. Once again, the one point that everyone agreed on is that those pitting security against privacy are creating a false dichotomy, and that for security to exist, privacy must be safeguarded. Steve Purser pointed out that common sense takes a long while to develop and that we, as a human collective, have not yet developed “electronic common sense”. Simon Davies’ main point was that accountability must necessarily be appended to all breaches of privacy in the name of security. Indeed, he lamented that oftentimes the situation is such that people have to justify their invocation of privacy, though the state’s invocation of security to trample privacy does not require any such justification. Security, he pointed out, is not something that is justified by the government, judged by the people, and to which the government is held accountable for its breaches of civil liberties.

Bruce Schneier, as usual, was quite brunt about things. He noted that only identity-based security have anything to do with privacy, and that there are a great many ways of ensuring security (metal detectors in a building, locks in a hotel room) that do not affect privacy. At the meeting, this reporter made a comment noting that a lot of debate is happening at a theoretical level, and that while a lot of good ideas are coming out of that discussion, those ideas have to be translated into good systems of governance in countries like India. Some organizations internationally are trying to make human readable privacy signs such as the human readable copyright licences used by Creative Commons. Concerning citizens’ privacy, a lot of systems (such as key escrow) that have been discredited by knowledgeable people (such as Bruce Schneier) are still being considered or adopted by many countries such as India (where this blew up because of a perceived security threat due to RIM BlackBerry’s encryption). National ID schemes are also being considered in many countries, without their privacy implications being explored. In the name of combatting terrorism, unregistered open wireless networks are being made illegal in India. While there have been informed debates on these issues at places like the IGF, these debates need to find actual recognition in the governance systems. That translation is very important.

The next session this reporter attended was the meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Freedom of Expression of the Media on the Internet. Amongst the other items of discussion during the session, the site Global Voices Online was showcased, and many of the speakers gave their opinions on whether freedom of speech online required a new formulation of the rights, or just new applications of existing rights. The consensus seemed to be that tying up with the Internet Rights and Principles DC would be useful, but that the project need not be one of reformulation of existing rights, since the existing formulations (as found in a variety of international treaties, including the UDHR) were sufficient. One of the participants stressed though that it was important to extend freedom of press guarantees to online journalists (in matters such as defamation, or copyright violation, where news organizations might be granted protection over and above that which an ordinary citizen would receive). Citizen-led initiatives for circumventing censorship were also discussed.

Two very important points were raised during the Openness main session on Day 2 when someone noted that the freedom of expression was not only an individual right but it also a collective right: the right of peoples to express not only ideas but to express their cultures, their traditions, their language and to reproduce those cultures and languages and traditions without any limitation or censorship. This aspect of the freedom of expression finds much resonance in many Southern countries where collective and cultural rights are regarded as being as important as individual and civil-political rights. Secondly, Frank La Rue pointed out that freedom of speech and expression went beyond just giving out information and opinion: it extended to the right to receive information and opinion. Excessively harsh copyright regimes harm this delicate balance, and impinge on the free speech.

One of the issues that was not explored sufficiently was that of the changes wrought by the Internet on the issues raised by the participants. For instance, while there was much talk about defamation laws in many countries and their grave faults (criminal penalties, defamation of ideas and not just persons), there was no talk of issues such as forum-shopping that arises due to online defamation being viewable around the world with equal ease. Thankfully, the coordinators of the Dynamic Coalition urged people to register on the DC’s Ning site (http://dcexpression.ning.com) and keep the conversation alive there and on the DC’s mailing list.

The session held on Research on Access to Knowledge and Development, organized by the A2K Global Academy was most informative. It brought together many recent surveys of copyright law systems from around the world and their provisions for access to knowledge, including the Africa Copyright and Access to Knowledge project with which this reporter is very familiar. The three main focus areas of discussion were Access to Education (A2E), Open Source Software (OSS) and Access to Medicines (A2M). The best presentation of the day was that made by Carlos Affonso of FGV (Brazil) who made an impassioned case for access to knowledge in the developing world, showcasing many practical examples from Brazil. He noted that many of the examples he was showing were plainly illegal under Brazilian laws, which had very limiting limitations and exceptions. He showcased the usage of Creative Commons licensing, Technobrega music, usage of common ICT infrastructure (such as cybercafes), which are often only semi-legal, and the general acceptance of commons-based peer production. The conclusion of the Egyptian study was that more work is needed to expand access to educational materials, including expansion of the limitations and
exceptions to copyright law for educational purposes. The overall consensus of all the various studies was that open source software was playing a very useful and crucial role in promotion of access to knowledge, but pointed out that the main barrier that open source software was facing was that of anti-competitive practices and not something related to copyright law.

Day 4 (Wednesday, November 18, 2009)

On the last day, this reporter was a presenter in a workshop on the “Global State of Copyright and Access to Knowledge”. This session had the following panellists: Tobias Schonwetter, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town; Bassem Awad, Chief Judge at the Egyptian Ministry of Justice and IP Expert; Perihan Abou Zeid, Faculty of Legal Studies and International Relations, Pharos University; Pranesh Prakash, Programme Manager, Centre for Internet and Society; Jeremy Malcolm, Project Coordinator, Consumers International; and Lea Shaver, Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.

This workshop was the result of the merger of workshops proposed by the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge project, and by Consumers International (to showcase their IP Watch List). Lea Shaver noted that the purpose of copyright law is to encourage creativity and the diffusion of creative works, and not as an industrial subsidy. If copyright law gets in the way of creativity and access to knowledge, then it is in fact going against its purpose. She asserted that copyright law should be assessed by touchstones of access, affordability and participation. “Copyright shapes affordability and access because as the scope of rights expands, the more control is centralised and the less competition. It also shapes participation, because under current law the amateur who wants to build upon existing works is at a disadvantage, and risks running afoul of others’ rights.” Rent-seeking behaviour is what is driving the expansion that we see globally in the coverage of copyright law, and not the costs of production and distribution (which are ever becoming cheaper).

Dr. Abou Zeid noted that technology grants copyright holders (and even non-holders) great control over knowledge, and that strong safeguards are required against this control in the form of limitations to technological protection methods (TPMs). Further, copyright law must take advantage of the benefits offered by technology, such as distance education, granting access to the disabled, and must extend present day E&L to cover these as well. Tobias Schonwetter presented the findings of the ACA2K project, and noted that most countries granted greater protection to rights holders than international law required. Amongst the survey countries, none dealt with distance and e-learning, and only one (Uganda) dealt with the needs of the disabled. He hoped that the extended dissemination phase would assist other projects to build on ACA2K’s work. Thus, “legal systems worldwide are not meeting consumers’ needs for access to knowledge. A better legal system, the research suggests, would support non-commercial sharing and reuse of material, which in turn would drive down costs and increase sales of licensed material, and could also increase consumers’ respect for the law overall.”

The present reporter started by asking why this abstract phrase “access to knowledge” is so important. A2K actually effects almost all areas of concern to citizens and consumers: education, industry, food security, health, amongst many more areas. Mark Getty notes that “IP is the oil of the 21st century”. By creating barriers through IP, there is less scope for expansion and utilization of knowledge, and this most affect “IP poor” nations of the South. In India, there is a new copyright amendment that will introduce DRMs, even though India is not bound by international law to do so. There is also a very worrisome movement to pass state-level criminal statutes that class video pirates in the same category as “slum lords, drug peddlers and goonda”, which includes measures for preventative detention without warrant.

One tool to help change the mindsets of the public is the Consumers International IP Watch List, which can help policy makers and academics and advocates compare the best and worst practices of various countries. At an earlier session, Carlos Affonso of FGV had used the Watch List to demonstrate the weakness of Brazil’s copyright law on the educational front. Copyright is often characterised as a striking of balance between the interests of creators and consumers, but this rhetoric might be misplaced. In fact creators often benefit from freer sharing by users. Knowledge is an input into creation of works, not just an output from it. Given this, it is important to counter IP expansionism by using laws promoting freedom of speech, competition law, consumer law, privacy law, while framing them within the context of development (as appropriate in various countries), to eventually produce a change in mindsets of people.


As Jeremy Malcolm of Consumers International notes in his response to the formal stock-taking process, “the IGF is yet to develop from a simple discussion forum into a body that helps to develop public policy in tangible ways.” This reporter, writing for the Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards, also voted for the continuation of the IGF, “in order to ensure that the WSIS Declaration of Principles, specifically in the important area of open standards, be realised through a multi-stakeholder process.” The IGF is, in a sense, the least bureaucratic of the UN’s endeavours. But certain rules, evolved in inter-governmental settings, might require careful reconsiderations to suit the multi-stakeholder approach that the IGF embodies. The IGF also needs to reach out from being a conference for a few to becoming a place/process for the many.

General Reflections

While this year there were more remote participation hubs (13) than last (11), and the Remote Participation Working Group seems to have done much work and some serious reflection on that work, individual experiences sometimes did not match up with what was perceived as the collective experience (via RPWG’s feedback survey). As a workshop organizer, this reporter was not provided any information about the remote participation tools, nor was there any screening of remote participants’ comments. With the shift from a single (open-source) product DimDim, to two products, WebEx (sponsored by Cisco) and Elluminate, much confusion was created even amongst those in the know since there were two separate tools being used. It is this reporter’s perception that live captioning from the main sessions has been a great success, and will have to be used much more extensively, especially if places where the bandwidth to download streaming video does not exist. Further, they help create very useful quasi-official records of the various workshops and open fora that are held at the IGF. That apart, the suggestions offered by the
RPWG (live video feedback from the remote hubs, dedicated remote participation chair in each workshop,
etc.) should be worked upon this year to enable those who cannot travel to Vilnius to participate more effectively.

All the sessions that happened around intellectual property rights were highly critical of the present state of IP laws around the world, and were calling for a reversal of the IP expansionism we see from various perspectives (access to knowledge, competition law, etc.) However, it was often felt by this reporter that these workshops were cases of the choir being preached to. Of course, many new people were being introduced to these ideas, but generally there was appreciation but not as much opposition as one is used to hearing outside the IGF. An exception (in the IP arena) was the workshop on open standards, in which there was much heat as well as illumination. Perhaps, a greater effort could be made to engage with people who are critical of the Access to Knowledge movement, those who are critical of privacy being regarded as a fundamental right, and those who believe that cultural relativism (for instance) must find a central place while talking about the right to free speech. After all, when one leaves the IGF, these voices
are heard. Those voices must be engaged with at the IGF itself, and a way forward (in terms of concrete policy recommendations, whether at the local level or the international level) must be found. Of course, the problem with the above suggestion is that many of these values are embedded in the WSIS principles, and are taken as a granted. But, still, if such debate is not had at the IGF, it might become something much worse than a ‘talking shop’: a forum where not much meaningful talk happens.

Appendix I: Tweets and Dents During the IGF

This is list of some posts made by the reporter on the microblogging sites Twitter
(http://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash) and Identi.ca (http://identi.ca/pranesh) during the IGF.
# @leashaver: Recording of yesterday’s session by the Access to Knowledge ♺ Global Academy:
http://trunc.it/3dldl #a2kga #IGF09 #yaleisp 8:55 PM Nov 18th, 2009
# “Great possibilities of #foss, but a disabling, anti-competitive environment has stunted growth of
open source software in #Egypt.” #igf09 6:47 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Excellent set of resources on Access to Knowledge, from @YaleISP: http://tr.im/F8At #igf09 6:37 PM
Nov 17th, 2009
# “Tecno brega in Brazil can only be bought from street vendors: good relationship between artists
and street vendors.” #igf09 6:30 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# “There is not even a private copying exception in Brazil”, but is still part of “axis of IP evil” for
rightsholders #igf09 6:26 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Tobias: “Even though s/w patents are not allowed by SA law, some large MNC s/w comps found
ways of bypassing that & getting patents” #igf09 6:19 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Case studies from SA: CommonSense project, Freedom to Innovate SA, OOXML v. ODF struggle #igf09
6:18 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# 2 new studies on #a2k from Brazil (http://tr.im/F8tI)and SA (http://tr.im/F8uJ). Also see ACA2K’s
outputs: http://tr.im/F8uQ #igf09 6:13 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# ♺ @sunil_abraham: RT @mathieuweill: #igf09 Dardailler : Internet standards are open standards
and that makes a difference! 3:57 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Oops. Wrong URL. It should be: http://threatened.globalvoicesonline.org/ #igf09 3:46 PM Nov 17th,
# Mogens Schmidt of UNESCO praises Global Voices Online. Says defamation & libel laws should not
be *criminal* offences. #igf09 3:40 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# http://threatened.globalvoices.org/ helps report on FoE issues with bloggers through crowdsourcing.
#igf09 3:24 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# “Along with the right to give out information and opinion is the right to receive information and
opinion”: Frank La Reu #a2k #igf09 3:13 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Schneier: “Before we die, we will have a US President who’ll send a lolcat to the Russian PM” #igf09
2:06 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# Privacy vs. security is a false dichotomy. But any privacy that is taken away in name of security
must be turned into accountability. #igf09 1:50 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# All wireless networks now have to be registered in India, and we talk of privacy? @schneier #igf09
1:47 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# RT @rmack Free Expression Online dynamic coalition meeting at 11:30am Egypt time in Siwa Room.
http://dcexpression.ning.com #igf09 1:36 PM Nov 17th, 2009
# @OWD: E Daniel, (http://bit.ly/3oFYqu), takes on the myth of the Digital Native, ♺ reveals the shallowness
of their native knowledge. #igf09 12:05 AM Nov 17th, 2009
# Commonwealth IGF’s follow-up meeting took time to find out its raison d’etre, but ended on a productive
note. #igf09 11:34 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# #schneierfact : Bruce Schneier actually exists! I can see him! 6:53 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# @timdavies: You might then be interested at a report by @cis_india on a different take at DNs:
http://tr.im/F3tk 3:29 PM Nov 16th, 2009 from Gwibber in reply to timdavies
# Estonia & Georgia DDoS are famous, but individual NGOs are also being targetted by DoSes. #igf09
3:08 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# Now more online journalists are behind bars than offline ones. #freespeech #igf09 3:07 PM Nov 16th,
# ♺ @aslam: if you get an email from nigeria people will block it because they think that it is spam -
reputation #fail #igf09 2:14 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# Many are saying: listen to children; document and share best ICT practices and examples; bridge
rural-urban divide as also devel’d-devel’g. 1:57 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# Several British Parliamentarians in the room at the Commonwealth IGF event #igf09 1:56 PM Nov
16th, 2009
# CIGF should look at gaps at IGF and speak to them. Our common legal systems allow for focus on legislations
(ie, on data protection) #igf09 1:36 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# “We need to get to a point where access to the Internet is seen as a human right” #igf09 1:27 PM
Nov 16th, 2009
# “Intellectual property issues need developing countries to speak in one voice at intl fora. Commonwealth
IGF might allow that.” #igf09 1:24 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# “Music aspects of the Internet debates, which gets so much focus, doesn’t have as much relevance
in W. Africa as education & health.” #igf09 1:21 PM Nov 16th, 2009
# Commonwealth covers more than 2 billion people. Some whole regions, like E. & W. Africa “have no
voice in Geneva & global IGF” #igf09 1:18 PM Nov 16th, 2009


The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of their individual authors. Unless the opposite is explicitly stated, or unless the opposite may be reasonably inferred, CIS does not subscribe to these views and opinions which belong to their individual authors. CIS does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the views and opinions of these individual authors. For an official statement from CIS on a particular issue, please contact us directly.