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Fourth Annual inSIG Boosts India’s Capacity to Shape the Internet’s Future

Earlier this month, the fourth India School on Internet Governance (inSIG2019) was held in Kolkata on 15-17 November, expanding its network of leaders and professionals active in shaping the Internet’s future.

With support from sponsors, 50 fellows from various academic, cultural, and regional backgrounds participated in inSIG2019. Through panel discussions, workshops, role plays, and group activities the three-day school covered a myriad of topics related to the Internet, boosting participants’ understanding of the complexity of Internet Governance and its importance in the future of the Internet.

The sessions covered fundamental topics like the history, principles, and status of the Internet. The hurdles around online safety, human rights, online radicalization, and cybersecurity were extensively examined and many perspectives were brought out which were thought-provoking and ingenious. Status and challenges of emerging technologies, content regulation, and the multilingual Internet were also discussed widely, and valuable feedback and inputs were provided by the participants.

The importance of the multistakeholder model of Internet Governance was stressed upon, and the Dutch approach to Internet Governance was presented in which Arnold van Rhijn spoke about how a collaborative consultation with multiple stakeholders reduces future friction in policymaking.

The event had global experts from Internet-related organizations such as APNIC, CISCO, ICANN, IETF, the Internet Society, and SFLC, representing various stakeholders such as academia, law, civil society, government, technical groups, and the private sector. The multiple outlooks from these varied organizations gave this event a holistic view of Internet Governance issues.

This year, inSIG2019 was a part of the India Internet Week, and had two Day 0 events: the Second YouthIGF India and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise Triple-I Workshop. The YouthIGF India brought together about 150 young people from all across India to deliberate on various Internet Governance challenges and plan for enhanced youth engagement in policy discussions. The Triple-I Workshop, facilitated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, brought together top experts in security with participants from industry, civil society, government organizations, and the technical community to examine ways to improve the security of the Internet and the trust of its users.

Overall, inSIG2019 was well structured and rendered a great balance between the technology and policy aspects of Internet Governance. The well-rounded knowledge and insights provided the foundation for establishing a strong alumni network of Internet leaders and practitioners who will leverage the inSIG platform for further contribution and collaboration.

InSIG was established in 2016 and previous schools events were held in Hyderabad (2016), Trivandrum (2017), and New Delhi (2018). inSIG2019 was organized through a partnership of four Internet Society Chapters of New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Trivandrum. The event was supported and sponsored by NIXI, Facebook, the Internet Society, APNIC, ICANN, Neustar, APASA, and MediaNama.

The fifth inSIG, is scheduled to be organized during October-November 2020 in Mumbai.