9th IGF: Feminist talks scale over the walls of internet governance

On 2-5 September 2014, over 2,400 activists, academics, businesspeople and government representatives from 144 countries actively participated in policy dialogue on issues of internet governance at the ninth annual Internet Governance Forum, held in Istanbul, Turkey. This edition of our newsletter offers snapshots of these debates and features observations and reflections from feminist and queer activists who participated in this forum to discuss issues of sexual and women’s rights, such as the responsibilities of social networking platforms to address violence against women, and the importance of anonymous communication for sexual rights activism around the world.



This edition also contains an interview with a local activist from Turkey on the pathbreaking LGBTI activism in the country, the internet as a basic means for LGBTI refugees to access information, and the impact of the blocking of websites on local activists.



These feminist talks on internet governance help scale over the still relatively thick walls that tend to divide gender issues and internet governance as separate arenas.

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Feminist Principles of the Internet

Over three days, the participants discussed and debated intersections of gender, sexuality, and the internet – not only as a tool – but as a new public space. In thinking through these issues, the participants at the meeting developed a set of *15 feminist principles of the internet*. These are designed to be an evolving document that informs our work on gender and technology, as well as influences our policy-making discussions when it comes to internet governance.
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IGF 2014: From Istanbul with love or “honey trap”?

Looking for love online can be exhilirating and fun. But for LGBTIQ relationships, there is a need for safe, unpoliced spaces to allow for personal and political growth. Kamel Manaf explores how sex and internet activism link and overlap.
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“In our work, the internet is a main stakeholder”: A feminist talk with Hayriye Avatar at the IGF

The Turkish LGBTI rights organization Kaos GL turns 20 on September 20. At the Internet Governance Forum just held in Istanbul, Bishakha Datta interviewed Kaos activist Hayriye Avatar on their pathbreaking LGBTI activism, both online and offline.
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How crucial is anonymity for sexual exploration and promoting sexual rights activism

While the debate around anonymity rarely gets seen from a feminist angle, women go through this feeling of being watched online and offline every day of their lives. It happens so often and so persistently that it has increasingly become synonymous to the experience of being a woman. It is no wonder then that the Feminists Principles of the Internet vocally advocate that “It is our inalienable right to choose, express, and experiment with our diverse sexualities on the internet. Anonymity enables this.” With the right to anonymity and a relevant right to be forgotten comes the tragic part of security and harassment under the wrap of anonymity. This complexity of creating an anonymous digital world while not enabling the harassers, hackers, or blackmailers is what makes the debate around anonymity important for internet governance. And this was part of the debate that took place during the panel titled "Anonymity by design: Protecting while connecting" at the Internet Governance Forum in Turkey.
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(Re)govern and (Re)imagine a feminist internet: Sex, rights and internet governance at the IGF 2014

This year has seen major debates and developments in the internet sphere. The Snowden revelations have brought to the attention of the public problematic issues regarding surveillance and privacy online. In addition, the presence of the IGF this year in Turkey also directed the attention of internet stakeholders to the internet censorship practice in this country and in other nations.
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Never mind the nipples: Sex, gender and social media

This article is based on the speech given by Bishakha Datta at the Disco-Tech event organised by APC that took place at the 2014 Internet Governance Forum in Turkey.
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#WhatAreYouDoingAboutVAW campaign: Social media accountability

On 21 July, Take Back the Tech! began a campaign demanding to know what Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are doing about violence against women on their sites. Our primary goal is to get them to take a clear stand on violence against women in their terms of service and engage with diverse civil society to find solutions for safer platforms
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Women's rights at the 2014 IGF

All sorts of members of the internet community got together for the 2014 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul from September 2-5. There were hundreds of workshops and meetings and side events, and even an entirely parallel Internet Ungovernance Forum, challenging the dominance of governments and corporations at the IGF.
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9th Internet Governance Forum: Gender and sexuality online

There were several sessions and side meetings at the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Out of those, there were only a few on gender and sexuality, and this post is about the ones I had the privilege to attend. On September 1st, before the IGF officially started, the Association For Progresssive Communications (APC), organized a day-long pre-event meeting on Sex, Rights, and Internet Governance. The meeting brought together women's rights, sex rights, and internet rights activists together to discuss those intersecting issues.
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Why internet rights matter for Africa(ns)

When I found myself suddenly having to care for and look after my new born child alone, I panicked. I panicked because I had never done this before and the ten minute tutorial on washing and feeding my infant that the nurse gave me at the hospital was lacking in many ways. I had questions, so many questions-but she didn’t have time. I was a woman, as far as she was concerned and therefore I should be able to instinctively know how to care for and love my child. But I didn’t. I went home with my child petrified that I would do something wrong. I’ve never believed that our ability as women to have children then automatically makes us able and active mothers.
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Impacting global advocacy on tech-related violence against women through regional IGFs

Partners of the “End Violence: Women’s rights and safety online” project have participated in three regional internet governance forums (Africa IGF, Asia Pacific IGF, LAC IGF). We interviewed our members who attended and the impact their participation had on tech-related violence against women.
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Asia Pacific stakeholders assert ‘Human rights should be the heart of internet governance discussion’

Annually since 2010, stakeholders coming from different countries in the Asia Pacific (AP) meet to discuss pertinent issues on internet governance. This forum where different stakeholders converge to ‘discuss, exchange, and collaborate’ is called the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), a regional Internet Governance Forum (IGF) initiative that hopes to build awareness and participation around the AP region on Internet governance issues, as well as ‘to foster multi-lateral, multi-stakeholder discussion on the future of the internet in Asia.’
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Moderate progress in gender parity and inclusion at the IGF between 2012-2013

APC summarised the contents of the Gender Report Card sections of the workshop reports from the Internet Governance Forum of 2012 in Azerbaijan, and the 2013 IGF in Indonesia.
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World Pulse brings the power of its international network to IGF to advance women’s digital inclusion worlwide

When the ninth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) commenced in Istanbul, Turkey, Portland-based World Pulse, a network of tens of thousands of women and allies in more than 190 countries, has an opportunity to accelerate digital inclusion for women worldwide.