Categories
About Internet Society

Announcing the Slates of Candidates for the 2020 Board of Trustees Elections

As Chair of the Internet Society Nominations Committee, I am pleased to announce the slates of candidates for the 2020 Board of Trustees elections. The candidates for each slate are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

Chapters Election (two seats available)

  • Satish Babu
  • Maymouna Diop
  • Luis Miguel Martinez
  • Glenn McKnight
  • Amir Qayyum
  • Roberto Zambrana

Organization Members Election (one seat available)

  • Olivier Alais
  • Ted Hardie

Additional nominations for election to the Board of Trustees may be made by petition by the candidate, and filed with the Chair of the Nominations Committee using the online form available at the Petitions page: https://dev.internetsociety.org/board-of-trustees/elections/2020/petitions/

The deadline for receipt of petition requests is Friday, 21 February at 15:00 UTC. The deadline for petition signatures is Friday, 28 February at 15:00 UTC. The names of any successful petitioners will be placed on the ballot. The final candidate slate will be announced on Monday, 2 March and voting will open on Thursday, 19 March.

Learn more about the candidates and the elections, including the petition process at: https://dev.internetsociety.org/board-of-trustees/elections/

The Committee thanks all of the nominees who expressed interest and willingness to serve on the Internet Society Board of Trustees.

Categories
About Internet Society

Nominations Now Open for 2020 Internet Society Board of Trustees Elections

The Internet Society Nominations Committee is now inviting nominations for candidates to serve on the Board of Trustees.

The Board provides strategic direction, inspiration, and oversight to advance the Internet Society’s mission of preserving the open, globally-connected, trustworthy and secure Internet for everyone.

In 2020 Chapters will elect two (2) Trustees; Organization Members will elect one (1) Trustee; and the IETF will appoint one (1) Trustee. The term of office is 3 years, beginning in August 2020 and ending mid-year 2023.

The Internet Society is a global non-profit organization that champions the open Internet for everyone. With offices in Washington, DC, USA and Geneva, Switzerland, as well as regional bureaus throughout the world, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people globally. ISOC is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other Internet-related bodies who together play a critical role in ensuring that the Internet develops in a stable and open manner. ISOC has more than 100 Organization Members, over 130 Chapters and Special Interest Groups, and more than 60,000 individual members that play a role in driving the mission and work of the organization. ISOC currently has an operational budget of over USD 35 million.

Internet Society Trustees also serve as members of the board of the Internet Society Foundation. The Foundation funds initiatives that strengthen the Internet in function and reach so that it can effectively serve all people.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the Internet Society Board of Trustees, please see the official Call for Nominations and additional information at: https://dev.internetsociety.org/board-of-trustees/elections/

The deadline for nominations is 15:00 UTC on Friday, 6 December 2019.

Categories
Internet Governance

Brazil needs to involve all stakeholders in Internet governance

Last week the Brazilian government, through the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, launched an open consultation as part of a process for reviewing the current structure and mission of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, the CGI.Br.

[Note: Portuguese version of this post included below.]

An evaluation and review of a Governance mechanism is natural and something that should not call the attention of anybody. The particularity here is that the announcement was unexpected, showing that the criteria to be used, the objectives of the review, and the process itself were not done in a multistakeholder manner.

It is not a good start when a multistakeholder mechanism is evaluated without the participation of all stakeholders. Indeed, as described in the Internet Society’s Framework “Why the Multistakeholder Approach Works” to be effective, Internet governance processes must be fully inclusive and transparent.

Why is this consultation a matter of concern for people around the world, if it’s only a “national” governance mechanism?

The CGI.Br is a long standing Internet Governance mechanism that has been used as a model for national multistakeholder arrangements around the world. CGI.Br was one of the organizers of the Netmundial meeting in 2014, where the multistakeholder principle was reinforced. This model has a significant value for the international Internet community.

But this is not the only reason: the Brazilian community has become very influential in international Internet Governance fora, so what happens with CGI.Br impacts the global debate.

Last, but not least, the multistakeholder model at the national level is critical for producing real impact in policy making.

We are convinced that only with the participation of all stakeholders can we develop policies society needs for keeping Internet as a tool for human, social and economic development. To successfully face the multiple challenges that come with technological evolution and the acceleration of innovation we should contribute to strengthening the multistakeholder model, not weakening it.

We expect the Brazilian government to take the measures needed to ensure the participation of all stakeholders in the different stages of the review process, including the possibility of putting this on hold until all actors are duly involved.

We hope that the Brazilian Internet community as a whole finds the way forward and continues to improve the collaborative and multistakeholder characteristics of their national Internet Governance mechanism.

The Internet Society Brazil Chapter, a key actor in the Internet community in Brazil, is voicing its concern (statement: English, Portuguese) and we will be following this issue closely with them.

The government should not move ahead alone. Working in an open and transparent manner with input from local stakeholders would be consistent with the precedent that Brazil set in this area.

This is important not only for Brazil, but for the evolution of Internet Governance around the world.


[PORTUGUESE VERSION]

Na última semana, o Ministério de Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovação e Communicação do governo brasileiro lançou uma consulta pública para rever a estrutura atual do Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil (CGI.br).

Análises e revisões dos mecanismos de Governança da Internet são naturais, e algo que normalmente não deveria chamar a atenção da comunidade.

A peculiariedade neste momento é que o anúncio foi inesperado, demonstrando que os critérios a serem utilizados, os objetivos da revisão e o processo em si mesmo não fora discutido de maneira ampla e multisetorial.

Um bom processo torna-se prejudicado quando logo de início um mecanismo multisetorial é avaliado sem a participação de todos os atores envolvidos. Com efeito, conforme mencionado no artigo da Internet Society intitulado “Porque a abordagem multisetorial funciona”, Governança da Internet é efeitva quando os processos são completamente inclusivos e transparentes.

E por que esta consulta pública é uma preocupação de todos ao redor do mundo? Não seria apenas um mecanismo nacional de governança?

O CGI.br é um mecanismo multisetorial de Governança da Internet já consolidado há muitos anos e um dos modelos de referência mais influentes no mundo. Além disso, CGI.br foi um dos organizadores da reunião NETmundial em 2014, na qual o princípio multisetorial foi reforçado. Neste sentido, o modelo tem um valor significante para a comunidade internacional da Internet.

Outrossim, esta não é a única razão: a comunidade brasileira tornou-se grande influenciadora nos espaços internacionais de Governança da Internet, portanto, as carateristicas deste mecanismo nacional tem um impacto no debate global.

Por fim, mas não menos importante, insistimos na importância da construção dos mecanismos multisetoriais nacionais para gerar um impacto real nas decisões de políticas públicas.

Acreditamos fortemente que apenas com a participação de todos os atores será possível elaborar políticas que a sociedade necessita para manter a Internet como uma ferramenta para o desenvolvimento humano, social e econômico, e para enfrentar de maneira bem sucedida os múltiplos desafios que surgem como consequência da evolução tecnológica e da crescente inovação. Portanto, quaisquer evoluções nesta área devem contribuir para fortalecer o modelo multisetorial e não enfraquecê-lo.

Esperamos que o governo brasileiro adote todas as medidas para assegurar a participação de todos os atores nas diferentes fases deste processo de revisão, includindo a possibilidade de suspendê-lo até que todos os atores estejam devidamente envolvidos.

Esperamos, ainda, que a comunidade brasileira como um todo encontre uma maneira de avançar e aproveitar a oportunidade deste espaço de discussão para continuar a melhorar as características multisetoriais e de colaboração nos mecanismos de Governança da Internet.

O capítulo brasileiro da ISOC, como um destes atores relevantes na comunidade Internet, busca que sua voz seja ouvida. Acompanharemos como esta situação se desenvolve e como poderemos apoiar neste caminho.

O governo não deveria seguir isolado. Trabalhando de uma maneira aberta com todos os atores locais será consistente com o prestigío e antecedentes do Brasil nesta área.

Isto é importante não só para o Brasil, mas para a evolução da Governança da Internet em geral e ao redor do mundo.


Image credit: Agustín Diaz on Unsplash

Categories
Beyond the Net Community Projects Internet Governance

They are young and passionate. They will rule the future Internet.

Beyond the Net Journal: Youth Observatory #1 Episode

 “The voices of young people are not heard when it comes to Internet policy” said Carlos Guerrero, project manager of the Youth Observatory. “We are the generation that has been using the Internet since we were children, and we are the ones who will be using it for the next 50 years. Our voice matters.”

The Youth Observatory is a nonprofit organization founded in September 2015, and supported as a Special Interest Group (SIG) by the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Funding Programme since 2016. It is formed mostly of young people between 18 and 25 years from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The main objective of the Observatory is to generate interest among the young people about core issues related to Internet governance.

Currently the project team is working to create an Open Call for Papers, written by young people, about knowledge dissemination and research in cyber security and digital rights management. We are grateful to Carlos Guerrero for answering few questions to gain a deeper understanding of this interesting project.

How many people have been trained so far?
We have trained more than 100 young people about Internet governance and related topics during YouthLACIGF, an event held in San José, Costa Rica (26 July 2016) and during our guided courses.

What is the impact of the project on the community?
We are empowering young people by providing them the tools to engage with different local operations. Moreover, our members are working in different Internet governance initiatives in their own countries and other related projects. The main focus of the project is to enrich the current Internet ecosystem with new participants and ideas, and to act as a kickstarter for young people who want to get engaged.

What has changed for the community since the project started?

  • The increase of active participation of young people in Internet governance spaces, not just as “youth talking about youth issues” but addressing serious subjects such as policy, digital economy, cybersecurity, and regulation.
  • The creation of a global community inside the Internet ecosystem, where young people can share experiences, knowledge and support in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Give us one reason why others should apply to “Beyond the Net”
Our generation is more connected than any previous generation in the world. This means that now there are fewer barriers to communication and travel, and in sharing our ideas with others. This means we can make big changes just by doing small things. “Beyond The Net” gave us the tools to turn our ideas into action.

How has the funding contributed to your project so far
The funding has allowed us to achieve these objectives:

  • Creation of a youth organization inside the Internet ecosystem.
  • Creation of IG spaces of dialogue and exchange of knowledge between young people around the world (YouthLACIGF).
  • Improvement in the ability to run capacity building programmes on IG.

Which are the activities planned for 2017.

We are working to make an Open Call for Papers, written by young people, on Internet-related issues (analysis, essays, etc). This initiative will culminate in a book of articles promoting our work on different topics. We are working to make our organization global, which will also translate to deploying capacity-building programmes in other regions, like Africa or Asia, in partnership with other organizations.

Share this story

If you like this story, please share it with your friends. That would tremendously help in spreading the word and raising the visibility of this project. Help more people understand how the Internet can change lives.

We are interested in your project

We are looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how to make your community better using the Internet. Internet Society “Beyond the Net Funding Programme” funds projects up to $ 30.000 USD.

Call for Application
Find our more about the programme 

Categories
Beyond the Net Community Projects Growing the Internet

Tiflolibros digital library for visually impaired in Latin America awarded by UNESCO

Last November in Buenos Aires during the first LAC Regional Internet and Development Dialogue, we had the opportunity to listen to Pablo Lecuona talking about his organisation Tiflonexos.

Tiflonexos is a non-profit that works for the integration of visually impaired people through the creation of an online collaborative free-access library called Tiflolibros. We got to know the organisation in 2014 when they applied for a Community grant through Internet Society. So Nancy Quiros and myself decided to visit their converted apartment in Avenida Corrientes.

Tiflolibros  was created in 1999 by a group of blind friends who wanted to use the power of the Internet to exchange their digital books and widen their access to culture and education. Today it is run by a team of 15 and the library has grown to 52.200 digital books in Spanish available for more than 8.000 members with severe disabilities all over the world.

The Organization contributed to a favourable reform of Argentina’s copyright law in 2007, which was followed by other Latin American countries. On December 2016, they received the UNESCO Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Pablo Lecuona, founder and director, summarizes his vision of the future in the following points:

  • Increase the use of the library for educational purposes by converting the school books into digital version and training the teachers
  • Reach underserved areas of Latin America where there is less Internet access. And maybe spread to other languages as well
  • Be financially sustainable. At the moment Tiflolibros is depending on donations and grants to get to the end of the month

Braille menu printing for local restaurants is an extra source of revenue for the organisation.

So how can we all make a difference? In my view it all starts with being more aware of the issues and the challenges. 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired globally. That is more than the whole of Brazil! For example, the Marrakech VIP Treaty made a big difference for the visually impaired in relation to copyright. The Treaty basically requires “Contracting Parties to introduce a standard set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to visually impaired people, and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve those beneficiaries.

When asking Pablo what he would like to change, he said: “80 parties or countries have signed the Treaty but currently only 25 countries or parties have ratified or accessed the Treaty. To facilitate the exchange of knowledge and to enable the creation of equal opportunities we need more countries to sign on.”

For sighted people, it is sometimes difficult to understand the challenges you face as a visually impaired. Personally I was faced with this issue last year when my husband suffered a temporary but severe diplopia (double sight). This lasted for about two months and it was enough to realise that good sight is taken for granted.

Thanks to the Internet a lot of things have been made easier for visually impaired. They can listen to incoming messages and dictate the reply to their phone. They can feel much more independent reading books and working on a computer, but they constantly need to learn new skills.

Tiflolibros offers also technical support and a discussion group where users can join to share their experience and ideas.  We express our appreciation to the project team for their outstanding efforts in giving a better chance to education and social inclusion to impaired people.

It’s not only about the access to the Internet and the library, it is what people can really do and how they can change their lives. It’s all about creating equal opportunities!

The story in their own voices

Share this story

If you like this story please share it with your friends. That would tremendously help in spreading the word and raising the visibility of this project. Help more people understand how the Internet can change lives.

We are interested in your project.

We are looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how to make your community better using the Internet. Internet Society “Beyond the Net Funding Programme” funds projects up to $30,000 USD.

Find out more

Beyond the Net Funding Programme

Categories
Development Internet Governance

Several voices and one goal: how to foster Internet development in Latin America and Caribbean?

On 08-09 November 2016, the first Regional Internet and Development Dialog for Latin America and Caribbean (LAC-RIDD) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the historical building of Palacio San Martin. The event has been hosted by the Ministry of Communications in Argentina, the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Internet Society.

Following the successful experience from the Asia Pacific version of this event held earlier in October this year, we have brought together key stakeholders from the region who are working in different pieces for digital development.

The main takeaway of this first event is that everyone agrees and is eager to work in collaboration for drawing the Internet development plans.

More than 200 people have attended the event, which had a high level attendance from government officials from Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and United States of America, as well as intergovernmental agencies, CEOs and Executive level of companies in different sectors (telcos, providers, internet industry) and representatives of the civil society, academia and technical community.

LACRIDD had 6 sessions covering topics as Access – demand and offer; Internet, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education; Digital Economy and the launch of the Broadband toolkit (OECD-IDB). Each session had a moderator and a keynote speech, followed by a diverse panel of discussants.

First day was focused on Access challenges and opportunities, which can be summarized into 5 pillars to be tackled: connectivity, building capacities, regulatory frameworks, investment/resources, and social impact. The second day has been divided into 2 main axes: Internet and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Digital Economy.

Stay tuned! A full outcome report will be made available at: http://internetsociety.org/lac/ridd/

We want heartily to thank our partners, the government of Argentina and the IDB, for the team work and hard efforts that led to this successful event. We also want to thank our local Argentina Chapter for the support with the rapporteurs.

Do you want catch up with the LAC RIDD discussions? You can watch the video recordings at: https://livestream.com/internetsociety/lacridd 

Send any comments to: <lac@isoc.org>

Categories
Beyond the Net Growing the Internet

Beyond Access: Partnering for a Win-Win

Los Nevados, one of the most remote areas in Venezuela, at 2700 meters above sea level right in the Sierra Nevada National Park. Beautiful and remote.

Agriculture is its main export, and while it’s a passage for tourists looking to climb Pico Bolivar, this is a land of tradition and history.

Earlier this year Paola Pérez decided that it was time to expand the opportunities for the people of Los Nevados, and she decided that something that could build economic growth, more efficient agriculture, better access to education.

As she put it, she wanted to put her town on the world’s map.

So She partnered with Fundación Ymago and, through the Internet Society’s Venezuela Chapter, applied for a grant through our Beyond The Net community grants programme. She wanted to connect Los Nevados to the Internet so its people could use it to build their dreams.

From one day to another (ok, it took a little longer than just one day) things started to change.

  • Farmers gained access to the weather forecast and could ensure better crop harvest.
  • Children in the school could look up information online and could even participate in online courses that they would never have had access to before.
  • Families could communicate through things like Skype or Facetime.
  • Guides could put up websites for tourists showing the tourists
  • The local woodcarver could sell his handicraft online

The opportunities for the people in Los Nevados were, and are, endless.

At the Internet Society, we would like these opportunities to be available to everyone, everywhere.

But for that to happen people around the world need access to an open, secure Internet that we all trust.

Why Am I Saying This?

The Internet has transformed our lives.

It reflects who we are as humans.

It helps us build businesses from the spark of an idea, to innovate without having to ask anyone.

We use it to drive social and human development.

It brings hope. It drives discovery, creation, education, exploration, and celebration.

It opens a world of opportunity.

But there are many of us who still aren’t online.

  • Some of us can’t afford the Internet.
  • Some of us live where some technology just can’t go.
  • Some of us live in the places the world has forgotten about.
  • Some of us choose not to go online because there’s nothing online in the language we speak or there’s nothing that answers to our needs.

This is just about 4 billion of us.

That’s just about half of the global population.

Now 4 billion is a number that can feel overwhelming.

Four billion of us not only need access to the Internet but need to know how to make the most of it.

Can we do this? I think we can.

As long as we all can commit to one thing: To connect 4 billion people, we need to build partnerships.

Let’s Start At The Regional Internet Development Dialogues.

The Internet community is founded in collaboration, coordination, and cooperation. These concepts are deeply rooted in who we are.

And we need more of it. That’s why we are launching the Regional Internet & Development Dialogues around the world. These meetings will be to bring together International Development and Aid agencies, governments, businesses, and people. Together, come up with concrete plans on what we can do to help connect the next billion and how we can work together to help those plans succeed. You can join one in Latin America now.

Because it is not just about the technology anymore, it is about what we do with it.

The Internet community will need to form new and different partnerships that will bring us outside of our traditional expertise. Likewise, the International Development and Aid agencies can benefit from the deep expertise we hold in Internet policy, development, and technology.

All of us will need to work with governments and policy makers to make sure we create an environment where access can happen, meaningful access. Easily and effectively.

Partnerships that will help answer the question of what happens next.

Because it’s not just about a connection. It’s about how all of us can use it to make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of our friends, families, and communities.

We see this kind of change every day.

  • Young people were able to speak to world leaders on global Internet policy at the 2016 UN’s World Summit on the Information Society Forum. This is thanks to the coordination and action taken by the Internet Society Youth Observatory – a project funded by Beyond the Net and started here in Latin America.

This can only happen if all stakeholders, all parties cooperate, collaborate and coordinate.

Everyone can play a part in connecting someone, but we also need to think about what happens next.

But it’s going to take all of us.

Join us at the Regional Internet Development Dialogues in Latin America and throughout the world in the coming year.

Categories
Building Trust Improving Technical Security Internet Governance Technology

CLT starts today! Telecommunications regulatory challenges for the Digital Ecosystem is a key theme

Today in Cancun starts the 4th edition of the Latin American Telecommunications Conference, also known by its acronym in Spanish CLT – Congreso Latinoamericano de Telecomunicaciones, which is an annual event organized by ASIET.

The Internet Society has been supporting the event since its inception and continues to participate in this important event, as it brings together the key policymakers and business representatives on telecommunications industry to discuss and collaborate on overcoming the regional challenges to create public policies that promote more access and development.

This year the focus is on future regulation of the digital ecosystem as one of the key themes. The event is also held in parallel with the OECD Ministerial on Digital Economy, which will bring intertwined discussions with a high level attendance.

Our CEO Kathy Brown will deliver a speech about the Future of the Internet in 5 years, on Monday, 20th June at 5:00 pm (local time, UTC-5).

Don’t forget you can also contribute on the construction of the Internet Future Scenarios by filling out our survey

Join us onsite as the LAC Bureau will be represented at the event.  You can follow along remotely on Twitter using the #CLT2016 hashtag

NOTE: We are told there will be a live video stream, but the link is not yet available. As soon as it is, we wil update this post with that information.

Categories
Growing the Internet Technology

The Second Caribbean Peering & Interconnection Forum (CarPIF2) to be held in Curaçao June 8-9

After the inaugural Caribbean Peering & Interconnection Forum (CarPIF) event conducted in Barbados in June 2015, Curaçao will be the location for the second CarPIF. CarPIF2 officially begins tomorrow, Wednesday, June 8, at 9:00 AST (UTC-4) and continues through Thursday, June 9. The event will be streamed live for remote viewing.  The agenda is online listing all of the sessions.

CarPIF is an initiative of the Packet Clearing House(PCH) and the Internet Society(ISOC). Regional organizations such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union(CTU) and the Caribbean Network Operators’ Group(CaribNOG) support this initiative.

This second CarPIF is hosted by the Amsterdam Internet Exchange Point(AMS-IX) and the Regulatory agency in Curaçao, Bureau Telecommunicatie en Post(BTP). Key regional and global organizations have already confirmed their participations. A line up of very interesting speakers are scheduled to present as well.

The main objectives of CarPIF are:

  • Acquire knowledge on the latest global peering and interconnection trends, techniques and strategies;
  • Opportunity to initiate and seal local and international interconnection agreements;
  • Advance the Caribbean and global Internet competitiveness.

Target Audience

CarPIF is a special opportunity to connect with peers and industry colleagues to advance local and regional initiatives and build interconnections in the Caribbean. This is the second event of its kind where stakeholders from the regional private and public sectors will be sharing with the counterparts from across the world on the issues surrounding Internet connectivity, peering and interconnection in the Caribbean.

  • Internet Exchange Point (IXP) Operators;
  • Carriers and Transit providers;
  • Internet service providers and operators;
  • Telecommunications regulators;
  • Content providers;
  • Data center managers;
  • National research and education networks.

The event will take place 8-9 June 2016, with a pre-event social event in the evening of June 7th at the Renaissance Hotel in Curaçao.

More information can be found at: www.connectedcaribbean.com

The event will be live-streamed at: http://www.carpif.net/webcast

Categories
Beyond the Net Community Projects Growing the Internet Human Rights

Shaping the future of children in rural Guatemala

Beyond the Net Journal:

Guatemala Chapter #1 Episode
The funding from “Beyond the Net” provides free Internet and computing services to Mayan students who would otherwise have to pay to complete their homework.

San Marcos la Laguna, on the western shore of Lago Atitlán in the Sololá Department of Guatemala, is a rural village of approximately 3.500 indigenous Mayans, most subsisting on agriculture and tourism. There are too few textbooks in elementary and secondary schools for students. Teachers subsidize classroom resources by assigning homework to students requiring internet research and printing.  The Internet Cafes in the village center are unattainable as 40% of the local population lives on $1.25 per day. Very few students own computers, have internet access, or can pay enough to complete the assignments.

Building on a program already established by the All Together Foundation Konojel.org, the Beyond the Net funding program provides the means to implement a community computer center with substantial Internet access, more computers, and laser printing and scanning. Mayan students are taught computer skills and are allowed to use computers to complete their school assignments, without placing the financial burden on their households.

New students must sign an agreement to abide by CCC rules. To date there are 162 signees. Students who are computer-literate are allowed immediate access to the equipment. Students without computer skills are taught basic skills in a course given once weekly and then allowed to use the equipment. About 25 students come by daily to do assignments, with more students arriving all the time.  Students are encouraged to ask questions of the onsite staff.

A small number of pupils are taught more in-depth computer skills, with an eye towards employment. A 120 hour curriculum covering web browsing, social networking, duolingo, search engines, YouTube, advanced Word & Excel, image creation and manipulation, file systems, utilities and PII security was created by Helder Chiyal Mejia. Helder is trilingual, speaking the local Mayan dialect of Kaq’chikel, Spanish, and English.

Our student Angelina shared her story about selling more baked goods to tourists after some lessons with duolingo. Cecilia and Morelia want to become Doctors and are using the computer center to look for scholarships.

Recently, thanks to the donation of Carlos Funk of Blind Lemon’s, The Community Computer Center has outgrown its original site and moved to a larger space, and can now accommodate more students for extended hours.

We will continue to expand this program. Teaming up with the Guatemala Chapter will pave the road for the next big step, the design of an IXP to modernize the Internet for all Chapin.

This project is benefiting the community through:

  • Free Internet access in a supervised setting with computers, tablets and printers
    • Tech assistance to introduce brand new users to computers and the Internet
    • A clean space to do homework assignments (otherwise indigenous Mayan children would have to pay for access – or not do the assignment, the more common practice)

Watch Helder teaching to Konojel children

Share this story

If you like this story please share it with your friends. That would tremendously help in spreading the word and raising the visibility of this project. Help more people understand how the Internet can change lives.

Do you have a great idea?

We are interested in your project.We are looking for new ideas from people all over the world on how to make your community better using the Internet. Internet Society “Beyond the Net Funding Programme” funds projects up to $ 30.000 USD.

Find out more

Beyond the Net Funding Programme
Register for the Information Sessions

Categories
Community Projects Growing the Internet Human Rights Internet Governance Privacy

Youth aren’t the future. We’re the present.

It’s weird when you think about it. More than any other demographic, people under the age of 25 spend all our time online. We’re the first generation to grow up with the Internet, and we use it for everything; communication, recreation, work, art. And yet, when it comes to Internet governance, we’re almost entirely absent from the conversation.

That’s why myself and a few like-minded folks from across Latin America started the Youth Observatory. The Youth Observatory is a special interest group within ISOC meant to both make sure youth voices are heard in governance discussions and explain the importance of Internet governance to other young people.

When I was younger, I got this feeling that everything about privacy and security was aimed at other people’s problems. Everybody was talking to me as if I was 50 years-old, and I should care about my credit card. But my problems were much more like, who’s seen my pictures on Facebook. That’s where we’re trying to start the privacy conversation, not only for our 20-something peers but for the teens who are navigating adolescence in a continuously connected world.

We want to start the conversation with 15 year-olds by saying ‘Hey buddy, you know, you’re there on the Internet the whole day. Imagine yourself without WhatsApp. Imagine somebody from Facebook reading your messages to your girlfriend or your friends. And you cannot stop it; you don’t understand how the policy works.’ When you’re 15, you feel like having some independence and being alone. So it’s important to make them understand that you know, this privacy can be violated. Especially if we don’t get our opinions heard, and speak our minds on how this should be protected.

As my colleague Carlos Guerrero points out, it’s not just that young people need to know more about Internet governance. Internet Governance organizations also need to hear more from young people. 

“Youth voices are really important in this discussion because we have a different point of view of the things,” he says. “This point of view is new and is free of the past. That’s why we think that it’s really important to bring more youth voices to the discussion because we are bringing the new point of view of the things in the conversation.”

The Youth Observatory isn’t just about governance, though. It’s also about making sure people have the skills to deal with the problems they face in online in their day-to-day lives. In the case of young women, that means being able to fight back against harassment.

That’s why my colleague Angie Contreras also wants to make sure we focus on getting young women the informational skills to push back against digital violence.

“It’s the age of information on the Internet,” she says. “And specifically in social networks, and so it’s really important to increase informatic skills, not only for women but for all marginalized people that use the Internet and social networks, to make the Internet a place with no discrimination. To make it a place where people won’t be bullied.”

Right now, the Youth Observatory is only focused on Latin America. Language is a barrier, and just trying to get established in two languages, Spanish and Portuguese, is a challenge. Once we’re more established in the region, though, we’ll just jump and go global.

As Carlos so wisely put it, youth isn’t just the future. We’re the present. And we’re not just trying to make a better online tomorrow for young people; we’re trying to make a better today.

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IETF Open Internet Standards Technology

El IETF habla en español

Rumbo al encuentro IETF 95, que se concretará del 3 al 8 de abril en Buenos Aires y será el primero en la historia en realizarse en Latinoamérica, apareció el IETF Journal en español.

El boletín resume las alternativas del IETF 93, realizado en Praga y profundiza sobre los principales temas en los que está trabajando el IETF actualmente.

El Journal publicado en español incluye un informe especial sobre la sesión de preguntas y respuestas en vivo con Edward Snowden que tuvo lugar a través de video antes de la reunión Nº 93.

Otros artículos de la publicación tratan sobre: el trabajo para simplificar tecnologías de seguridad en Internet, el mundo de NETCONF y YANG, el IETF Hackathon, el modelado de redes basado en Internet y las ideas de la comunidad para mejorar los programas educativos y de mentores, entre otros.

Para completar el documento, se pueden leer interesantes columnas de los presidentes del IETF, el IAB y el IRTF.

Para aquellas personas que asistirán al IETF 95 en Buenos Aires en el mes de abril, este documento es de lectura obligada. Otras fuentes en español que los interesados podrán consultar son:

Link de descarga IETF Journal en español: https://goo.gl/RwMsxM