GenderIT.org @ Internet Governance Forum 2010, Vilnius

Is Pakistan putting the UN Millennium Goals at risk?

"The discussions I witnessed at IGF 2010 really brought home to me the scale of the challenges we still face, if we are to make meaningful progress towards the goals of the IGF in general, and MDG3 in particular." Nighat Dad from the Pakistan MDG3: Take Back the Tech! project assesses the outcomes of IGF and the Millenium Development Goals in the context of national debates and women’s rights.

I was recently fortunate enough to attend the Internet Governance Forum Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on how the internet is run. It was set up at the end of 2005 by the United Nations Secretary-General following a resolution made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

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Source: APC">i(IGF) 2010 meetings in Vilnius, Lithuania. The IGF is an international body, set up by the United Nations (UN) to address global issues of governance in the online world. It has been running for five years now, and is linked to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, of which Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3i) is specifically concerned with the evolution of women’s rights.

The IGF as an inclusive forum

Lebanon: Queering the internet

Lebanon EroTICs team report-back to the local Meem group (www.meemgroup.org) about the IGF. She reflects on strategy and queer history on the Internet: "Last week, I went to Vilnius, Lithuania to represent the Lebanon team of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)’s Exploratory Research Project into Sexuality and the Internet (EroTICs) at the UN Internet Governance Forum. Yes, it’s a bit weird to see “erotics” and the UN in the same sentence. Brandishing a red badge that said “http://erotics” as we navigated the conference’s corridors of power was indeed a strange and awkward experience that many of us ErOtics-izers, I think, have not yet grasped..."

Last week, I went to Vilnius, Lithuania to represent the Lebanon team of the Association for Progressive CommunicationsAssociation for Progressive Communications.

Style information: Capital letters for Association, Progressive and Communications. "Communications" with an "s" at the end. We tend not to use the definite article with the acronym eg "APC is a worldwide network", and only occasionally "The APC is a worldwide network".

Source: APC website">i (APC)’s Exploratory Research Project into Sexuality and the Interneti (EroTICsi) at the UN Internet GovernanceSource: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society">i Forum. Yes, it’s a bit weird to see “erotics” and the UN in the same sentence. Brandishing a red badge that said “http://erotics” as we navigated the conference’s corridors of power was indeed a strange and awkward experience that many of us ErOtics-izers, I think, have not yet grasped.

Africa and internet governance: going global or stay local?

The impact of internet governance on Africa was discussed on September 16th 2010, in Vilnius, Lithuania. There was fair representation of all stakeholders. Officials from South Africa, Kenya and Tunisia were there; a representative from an internet service provider; and various Africa bodies that follow the process, such as AFRINIC, ISOC Africa and CICEWA. And there were representatives from civil society - those dealing with ICT and internet, delegates from consumer’s organizations, academics from African universities, gender activists and ICT consultants as well as community based organizations.

The impact of internet governance on Africa was discussed on September 16th 2010, in Vilnius, Lithuania. There was fair representation of all stakeholders. Officials from South Africa, Kenya and Tunisia were there; a representative from an internet service provider; and various Africa bodies that follow the process, such as AFRINIC, ISOC Africa and CICEWA.

dot gay: what are the implications?

It was in a dynamic coalition session on freedom of expression and freedom of the media on the internet that Schubert announced that the domain name, “dot gay” was in the pipeline. The domain name hopes to incorporate all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer sites under one domain. Nyx looks at who is excluded, and the potential impact of a 'dot gay' domain on queer communities.

It was in a dynamic coalition session on freedom of expressioni and freedom of the media on the interneti that Schubert announced that the domain nameICANN - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - who also evolve the policy for resolving domain name disputes. In these cases of alleged name infringement an appeal to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, if upheld, can result in the removal of the name from their registered owners. The control of the domain name system has become an increasingly important issue in the governance of the internet and is being increasingly recognised as political, for example, during the attempt to register a .xxx domain specifically for pornographic sites. Style Information: n/a">i, “dot gay” was in the pipeline. The domain name hopes to incorporate all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queerStyle Information:n/a Source: Wikipedia ">i sites under one domain.

Before the serious implication of content regulationEroTICs - Literature Review. THE WORLD WIDE WEB OF DESIRE: Content Regulation on the Internet">i hit me, my “problematic-term-mentioned” monitor blipped. I must admit though, it is a finely tuned machine, and jumps at any potential word/term that may be used in a way that seems remotely problematic.

First-time impressions of IGF10

"As one door closes, another opens", they say sometimes. This is the first IGF I have attended... and yet if the initial plan is to be kept, it may be the last occurrence of this international gathering. Nighat explores why she thinks that if that's how it turns out, it will be a shame.

"As one door closes, another opens", they say sometimes. This is the first IGF I have attended... and yet if the initial plan is to be kept, it may be the last occurrence of this international gathering. I have to say, if that's how it turns out, it will be a shame.

Why I took a long flight to Vilnius

Francoise examines the role that mass media play as the fourth estate or power in the world, and looks at how convergence and large media companies are threatening the positive achievements of the internet in helping to create diversity, freedom of expression and greater focus on human rights reporting.

We all know that mass media play an important role as the fourth estate"government" in this glossary). As a general rule, "state" should not be capitalised.

Source: Governance for sustainable human development: A UNDP policy document (Glossary of key terms) and Wikipedia">i or power in the world. Who among us has not heard about a scanStyle information: N/a

Source: TechSoup and Wikipedia">idal brought to light by a newspaper which has cost his position to a civil servant, a minister, or sometimes a president? Some journalists have become our “mind masters” through their ability to make us hear something other than what private companies want us to keep in mind. The realities of small towns have become almost familiar worldwide because of the activism of some reporters.

Why we should get over facebook

Social networking sites and privacy formed the main topics in two sessions Maya attended - but she found that the discussions were not grounded in research, that users were absent from the debates and tired assumptions dominated the rooms. What's needed, she argues, are more workable proposals that take into account a variety of research and based on how people actually use social networking sites - not how it's assumed they use them.

A young woman activist went to a big, fancy conference where people talked about many important things. During that conference, she noticed that the young night-shift receptionist at the hotel she was staying at was very sweet, friendly and helpful. He had great recommendations for local food, bars and most important of all, he knew how to set up the Karaoke machine downstairs. She and her conference-buddies wanted to have a small party, to chill out after the hectic pace of conferencing.

“The youth are good for nothing”: session on social exclusion

Nyx attended a session on social exclusion, where the portrayal of youth by a Kenyan MP, and his ignorance of what was going on even in the conference around him, caused her to reflect on youth and their engagement in governance processes.

I attended a session on social exclusion and the interneti, this focused on groups that had little or no access to the internet. Primarily the following groups were discussed: older people, persons with disabilities, language/cultural groups…and the youth.

The youth were not discussed by the panellists in terms of their access to the net, the Kenyan MP (didn’t get his name) declared that “the youth were good for nothing”, and that he was trying to engage with them, and that all they want to do is party, drink, have sex…usual youth-hate-speech-misrepresentation-rah-rah.

Reflecting on language and power

Looks at how power is played out in the language and terminology used in the IGF discussions, even when the theme of the discussion is "Internet governance and human rights: strategies and collaboration for empowerment".

I sat in on a pre-IGF session: internet governanceSource: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society">i and human rightsi: strategies and collaboration for empowerment
Source: Wieringa, 1994

">i. 14h00 in Room 5 at the IGF venue.

What I noticed was the importance given to certain areas, and the language employed in speaking to certain issues:

1. Issues of access

a. Who has access or who do we focus on when speaking of access

Close Encounters

This is the third time Maya is attending the Internet Governance Forum and she has never really expected anything too extraordinary to happen here. She finds her expectations challenged when she meets with two representatives of the ICM Registry and IFFOR (the International Foundation for Online Responsibility) at a session on Sexual Rightsi, Openness and Regulatory Systems - who are interested in the work of the EroTICS team.

This is the third time I’m attending the Internet Governance Forum Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on how the internet is run. It was set up at the end of 2005 by the United Nations Secretary-General following a resolution made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

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Source: APC">iand I’ve never really expected anything too extraordinary to happen here. I’ve felt like part of a feisty band of women with a small but real network of allies and supporters in a nebulous space of government"state" in this glossary). As a general rule, "government" should not be capitalised.

Source: Wikipedia">i representatives, corporations, assorted NGOs and policyi wonks. I mean, making a case for women’s rights and sexuality rights in an environment where ‘content regulationi’ tends to be too easily equated with ‘child protection’ is a complicated endeavour.

The future of privacy: an internet governance issue

Will 'privacy' in ten years be different from what we know today? Many laws need to be reviewed in light of what we know about the internet. But also, two new rights emerged that were completely new to Francoise Mukuku. They incorporate the new dimensions that the internet adds to our lives: the right to accountability and the right to privacy from design. Users should be able to say: I may make these data available on the net today, but tomorrow, I do not want them to be visible, I shared with my consent then, but now, I do not want it visible anymore.

The future of privacyepic.org/privacy/gender/default.html">i is a theme that strikes me directly. Will 'privacy' in ten years be different from what we know today?

I’m a lawyer by training and I know that the law evolves but I cannot get used to it in this context. Because in me lives a victim of violence on the interneti, an experience I strongly wish that no girl, no woman would have to face.

So, when the discussion was starting, I went into the room with an empty head, ready to listen, give my opinion and challenge those who say that the future does not belong to us.

GenderIT.org's team @ Internet Governance Forum 2010, Vilnius

What is the role of the internet in defending and realising women's rights and sexual rights? What are our positions as women's rights and sexual rights advocates on how the internet should be governed? From 14-17 September, the GenderIT.org team had been assisting at the Fifth Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania. The GenderIT Feminist Talk contributors and tweeters at the fifth IGF are Jac sm Kee (Malaysia), Jan Moolman (South Africa), Katerina Fialova (Czech Republic) and Analía Lavin (Uruguay) - from GenderIT.org and APC communications teams - and Maya Ganesh (India), Francoise Mukuku (DRC, Si Jeunesse Savait), Marina Maria (Brazil, Sexuality Policy Watch), “Nyx” (South Africa), "T. Q." (Lebanon) and Nighat Dad (Bytes For All, Pakistan) - from APC WNSP's partners on the EroTICS Research Project and MDG3:Take back the tech! project. Join the debate!

What is the role of the interneti in defending and realising women's rightsi and sexual rightsEroTICs- Literature Review ">i? What are our positions as women's rightsi and sexual rights advocates on how the internet should be governed? From 14-17 September GenderIT.orgSource: APC Annual Report 2006 ">i team had been assisting at the Fifth Internet Governance Forum Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on how the internet is run. It was set up at the end of 2005 by the United Nations Secretary-General following a resolution made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

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Source: APC">iin Vilnius, Lithuania.

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