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Diverse Topics Discussed at Internet Governance Forum_Press_Release_4 Sept_final




Ongoing and emerging topics impacting Internet users attract different views and ideas to the Internet Governance Forum


Istanbul, Turkey, 4 September 2014—With more than 3,300 participants choosing amongst more than 100 events, the Internet Governance Forum has gathered a diverse range of ideas and opinions on the issues that impact Internet users.


“The depth and breadth of what people are discussing at the Internet Governance Forum has been amazing,” Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager at the IGF Secretariat, said. “Virtually everything that is a hot topic in Internet governance is being debated, and discussions are held on how to move us forward as the Internet evolves.”


The various IGF sessions have hit upon a variety of subjects, including inequalities, youth, fragmentation of Internet through national policies, mobile technologies, broadband access, and privacy and surveillance.


Private lives protected and exposed

Protection of privacy remains a key concern for most Internet users, and the IGF held several events considering privacy and the many issues that may impact Internet users if privacy rights are invaded or removed, such as freedoms of expression, identity theft, digital surveillance and much more.


As more people use mobile phones to access information and services, privacy and security has become increasingly challenging. A key ingredient for strengthening trust in a mobile-connected world is to ensure secure and trusted identities online whether in retail, healthcare, government, banking or other sectors.


At another workshop entitled, “Privacy, Surveillance and the Cloud: One year later,” participants examined how policy makers, regulators, businesses and users have responded to potential government access to user data in the cloud. Contemplating policy implications, private sector efforts to address concerns and what has worked and what hasn’t, participants tried to address how measures have affected cloud adoption and explored potential solutions.


Adding more Internet users

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, but many efforts are deployed to provide access to more people. Participants at a workshop entitled, “Technologies and Policies to the Connect the next Five Billion,” covered some promising ways to increase Internet access, such as installing wireless platforms in rural markets and creating demand for broadband.


Participants took up regional issues on how the Internet can have a positive impact on the development of societies at a session entitled, “Internet as an engine of growth and development.” For more than a decade, information and communication technologies (ICT) have been called a key driver to socio-economic transformation and play a catalytic role in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.


Workshop participants recommended that governments adopt and implement policies enabling affordable Internet access and services. The panel also emphasized that information sharing is important and greater access to information should be encouraged. Another point supported by participants was that governments and the private sector should increase investment in ICT infrastructure.


The workshop, “Clouds and mobile internet: benefiting developing countries,” highlighted the various opportunities that Internet and specifically mobile Internet and cloud computing may present developing countries. Panellists noted that more than 50 per cent of people in developing countries have access to mobile phones, and thus potentially to the Internet through their mobiles. Among other ways the development of Internet infrastructure and the promotion of the mobile Internet could improve people’s lives by providing high bit rate services such as high resolution TV, promoting the emergence of start-up companies and digital libraries, developing microfinance systems and creating personalized health care.


Youth and digital citizenship

In another workshop, the meaning of digital citizenship for young people was discussed. Several youth ambassadors and young participants coming from all around the world actively participated at the workshop entitled “Empowering Global Youth Through Digital Citizenship.”


The young participants noted that the Internet makes inclusion, connection and sharing possible. A youth ambassador from Hong Kong defined digital citizenship as “caring about other Internet users’ rights” while another young participant defined the term as “being part of a community online who are doing good things rather than bad things.”


Digital citizenship has been a common topic at previous IGFs. More young people are attending the IGF every year and voicing their opinions about the Internet and what it means to be a digital citizen. Workshop moderator Anne Collier from ConnectSafely.org said “you cannot really dictate what digital citizenship is. We are all co-creating it together.”


About the Internet Governance Forum

The IGF is an open, inclusive and transparent forum for dialogue on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance. It is intended to foster a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address the challenges that arise. The theme for the Istanbul meeting is ‘Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance,’ and an emphasis has been placed on strengthening the evolving multistakeholder model for Internet governance.


For more information on the IGF, visit: http://www.intgovforum.org 

And checkout archived and live webcasts at http://webcast.igf2014.org.tr/     


For more information, please contact the UN Department of Public Information team for IGF:

Mr. Ahmet Parla                                           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                          +90 533 500 1497

Ms. Tuba Coskun                                          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                      +90 533 392 0639

Mr. Emile Kaboré                                         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                   +90 535 748 1235

Mr. Wynne Boelt                                          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                          +90 535 746 5481


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