Friday, 7 March 2008

Whats with the IGF UK?

The challenges that face everyone today includes ‘how to manage the “Governance ” of the internet, this is because some want an international authority, and others fear bureaucracy and mainly as the current US position over the internet draws to its concluding end in two years, questions as “what next?” begs to be answered (and quick!). However, whilst the international arena quibbles over “who controls”, issues such as child online protection are put on hold.

The UK seems to lead the world in creating a national IGF, the government parliament opened dialog with industries, NGO’s and civil societies (although by a show of hands on 6-8 civil society representatives attended yesterday) and have been drawn together to

- Report back from Rio
- Setting the agenda to feed the views into the main IGF in Hyderabad this December.

This is great in my view, as it demonstrates what can be done though this “partnership” approach to other reluctant governments around the world.

So what’s been the story in the UK so far?

In 2005 the UK delegation at the WSIS succeeded in promoting the idea of “dynamic coalitions” and “enhanced cooperation” as a better and more flexible way of making progress. Through the establishment of this process, government, law enforcement agencies, industries, civil society and academia developed a cooperation and partnership approach to online governance within the UK. It has since moved on to focus UK best practice and serve as a potential stereotype model for other national IGF’s (non around yet to the best of my knowledge).

What next from the UK IGF this year?

- Seminar event in May, where all stakeholders will explore UK concerns looking forward to the IGF themes: Security, Diversity, Access, Openness.
- July 9th, Best Practise awards presentations where the winning nominations will be identified in the UK’s best practice agenda for Hyderabad.
- Pre-IGF event in October to consolidate UK messages and prepare for the IGF in Hyderabad.

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