Categories
About Internet Society

The Internet Society Welcomes the Comoros Chapter

We are excited to announce the new Internet Society Comoros Chapter! ISOC Comoros officially launched in July in front of an in-person and online audience at the Retaj Hotel.

Journalists joined several distinguished guests, including:

  • Dawit Bekele, Internet Society’s Regional Vice-President for Africa
  • Mohamed Said Abdallah Mchangama, President of the Federation of Comorian Consumers (FCC)
  • Amina Abdallah, Coordinator of the World Bank’s Phase 4 of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Program for Africa (RCIP-4)
  • Hamidou Mhoma, President of the Comorian ICT Association
  • Chamsoudine Soudjay, Secretary General of the Comorian ICT Association
  • Amroine Mouzaoui, Executive Secretary of the Comorian Movement for Entrepreneurs
  • Raymane Ali Matoir, Director of Human Resources of Telma Comores
  • Youssouf Abdoulmadjid, Chief Operating Officer of Comor’Lab
  • Moussa Abdallah Moumine, Coordinator of the General Inspectorate of National Education

Since the country’s very first connection to the Internet in July 1998, the Internet industry has continued to evolve, along with telecommunications. The country is beginning to benefit from the rise in competition in the ICT sector, and as such the establishment of ISOC Comoros brings an added dimension to the development, promotion, and use of the Internet for the greater good of the entire country.

The Internet is for everyone and it is shaped by the cooperation and the active participation of everyone. The idea of creating a Chapter in the Comoros came to us after we attended various international meetings. These raised the awareness of young Comorians, who see progress in various fields and share the same values regarding the use and importance of the Internet.

We are convinced that by partnering with all of the stakeholders in the development of the Internet locally, we will connect the unconnected and make the Internet a trusted and secure tool to boost the economic and social development of our country.

There were speeches throughout the ceremony, including an opening speech by the president of the new Chapter, Ali Hadji Mmadi, introductions of the members of the executive board, and an outline of the 2020 action plan. The president of the FCC defined the role and place of ISOC Comoros in the national ecosystem as well as the value of national expertise. Finally, Dawit Bekele gave the official launch speech to mark the beginning of the Chapter’s activities. Watch the ceremony!

ISOC Comoros is a nonprofit organization governed by Comorian law. It supports and promotes the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people in the Comoros. It endorses the mission of the Internet Society, and it supports its initiatives for the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society.

The Chapter seeks to collaborate with all Internet development stakeholders in the country by helping to identify and resolve critical Internet issues. It is committed to a multistakeholder approach to ensure the participation of everyone in the development and governance of the Internet in the Comoros.

The new Chapter is ready to work with individuals and corporations in the Union of the Comoros to ensure that the Internet is open, secure, trustworthy, and affordable for everyone.

Follow ISOC Comoros on Facebook, Twitter or visit the website. Together, we can promote the development of the Internet and support the advancement of policies, standards, and the future growth of the Internet – in the Comoros and around the world.

Watch the official launch!

Categories
About Internet Society

Reflecting on Three Years of Board Service and a Commitment to Quality Improvement

Departing Trustee Glenn McKnight looks back at his three years of service as a member of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.

During the past three years we have seen a tremendous amount of productive work by a functional and focused Internet Society Board of Trustees. This included not only the normal board and committee work, but also the extra efforts associated with the selection of a new CEO, creation of the Internet Society Foundation, and meeting the challenges of the proposed PIR/Ethos transaction.

It’s important to learn from these experiences, but it’s also important to focus on achievements and to reassert the core values of the Internet Society as a force of good in the Internet ecosystem. We see the Internet Society focusing its efforts with purposeful strategic direction lead by CEO Andrew Sullivan and his team. As a departing Trustee, I would like to see the Internet Society explore more opportunities for members to learn from one other, including “Meet the Board” to foster improved communication and a means to help teach the community about the role of the Board of Trustees.

During these three years, my work beyond the normal board work has also involved committee work, including volunteering on the Governance and Nominations committees. I was the Nomcom Chair for one of these years. During these years, I witnessed Board Chair Gonzalo Camarillo run Board meetings effectively and on schedule, encouraging a diversity of opinions on the issues we considered. Gonzalo, along with Sean Turner and Richard Barnes as Treasurers and John Levine as Secretary, were key individuals who did a lot of heavy lifting.

Moving forward from the Internet Society, I will be focused on ongoing work in the Internet Governance space, with the launch in September of the Virtual School of Internet Governance. It’s a Massive Open Online Courseware (MOOC) initiative for 400 students in the first year, with the first cohort of 100 students already registered. This free course is a major educational opportunity for Internet Society members, since it’s based upon the extensive taxonomy of the DC Coalition of Schools of Internet Governance and more.

I wish the entire Board (especially the incoming members) a smooth transition and productive years to come. If there is one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that we need an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet now more than ever.

Categories
About Internet Society

Chapterthon 2020: A Time for Internet Society Chapters and SIGs to Shine

The Internet Society 2020 Chapterthon is live and moving fast! We’re so excited to see the applications that have already ticked in.

What is Chapterthon?

Chapterthon is an opportunity for Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to engage their members in a worldwide Internet Society competition. Out of dozens of applicants, one Chapterthon winner is selected and awarded prize money. But the real winner is the global community, who benefit from projects that help people connect to the Internet and help them do it securely.

This year is different – one that’s been full of difficulties, but also tenacity, creativity, and uplift. So we’re doing Chapterthon a little differently, too. We’re dedicating it to the people and the medium helping us through.


I Heart the Internet

Internet Society Chapters and SIGs have developed innovative solutions to help their communities through COVID-19. We want to shine a light on their work and make sure it becomes a resource for all. So we’re asking Chapterthon participants to submit tutorials and manuals for their creative and impactful projects. These blueprints will become part of the “I Heart the Internet Knowledge Hub,” a resource for peers and partners around the world to broaden the impact of their innovations and solutions.

Members: This is your time to shine! 

All Chapter members are encouraged to pitch their project ideas to their Chapters. Send your idea and an estimated budget to the Chapter Board. To help prepare your application, download the questionnaire.

The Chapter Board is responsible for selecting and submitting the project that will represent the Chapter in the Chapterthon. Only one project can be presented per Chapter. Only applications submitted via MemberNova within the deadline will be accepted. Projects must be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

Good luck with your 2020 Chapterthon submissions!

We can’t wait to see how you are helping to ensure the Internet continues to be a lifeline, enriching people’s lives during this crisis and in the years to come.

Learn more about Chapterthon 2020!


Image by Jakob Owens via Unsplash

Categories
About Internet Society

Member News: Teaching Computer Science in Rural Nigeria

Computing for the people: The San Francisco Chapter has an article by a software developer using open source software and open standards hardware to teach computer science skills to students in rural Nigeria. Chioma Ezedi Chukwu, founder of the STEMTeers mentorship program, writes that open source is more than free tools, software, or hardware. “It was a great opportunity to learn, learn by building and create with innovation.”

Coding for kids: Meanwhile, the Pacific Islands Chapter highlights a hackathon for kids event at a childcare center in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The goal of the event, focused on design thinking, was to equip the students with lifelong skills in the digital age.

Supporting e-learning: In other education-related news, the Uganda Chapter is focused on helping teachers and students improve their digital skills as the country embraces e-learning following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Educators need to adjust their teaching methods to cope with the new changes,” an article says. “Educators should be able to cause change or affect the learner beyond the chalk and blackboard while learners need to be taken through an adaptability process as they transition to digital education.”

Tracking the virus: The Chapter in the Dominican Republican has offered its support for the government there to roll out a COVID-19 tracking app. The Chapter also offered to “analyze and validate the compliance of this application with the best international practices regarding privacy and protection of personal data, our laws, and the principles of the Internet of the Dominican Republic.”

Community in the U.K.: The U.K. Chapter recently published a short history of community-based broadband in the country, characterizing it as a David-vs.-Goliath struggle. But there are still possibilities for community-based networks. There is “potentially a much brighter outlook for community broadband in the future if it can combine core strengths of good, locally-based customer service with the ‘heavy lifting’ of communication service provision … being performed increasingly by cloud-based platforms…”

Fighting fake news: The Netherlands and several other Chapters have partnered with Make Media Great Again, an organization focused on correcting disinformation at news sites. A new working group works with the media and scientists to identify disinformation in news articles.

How are you using the Internet to make a difference? Let us know! #IHeartTheInternet

Categories
About Internet Society

Building a diverse and strong Internet Society Board of Trustees

[Published on behalf of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.]

The Internet Society’s 2020 AGM (Annual General Meeting) is going to be held on the first weekend of August. While the meeting had originally been planned as a face-to-face meeting, the Board decided to turn it into an online meeting instead given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGM is the meeting where we say goodbye to the outgoing trustees. We want to thank them for all their efforts during their terms and wish them good luck in their future endeavours. We are confident they will continue supporting the Internet Society down the road.

The AGM is also the meeting where we welcome the incoming trustees. This year is special because we will be welcoming five new trustees. This represents a significant Board turnover for a Board of twelve voting trustees. Therefore, we are currently running a comprehensive onboarding process to get our new trustees up to speed as efficiently as possible.

As you know, the Board is selected and elected by our community, with the IETF, Organizational Members, and Chapters each independently choosing a third of the Trustees. Next year, at the 2021 AGM, three trustees will be reaching their term limit and, thus, will be leaving the Board. Having recently concluded this year’s election, now is an optimum moment to think about how to make sure our community has a great set of candidates to choose from next year.

The Internet Society needs to be seen as valuable and relevant in order to attract and build up a broad and diverse talent pool that can produce candidate Trustees. Part of this comes down to our reputation. Our staff are working hard to set the world’s understanding of who we are, what we do, and why it matters. In addition, we also count on you, our member community, to do the same. To talk about the importance of our work (i.e., your work) and highlight our accomplishments. We can show the world how, by being united, we are a strong voice and an effective global champion for the Internet we believe in. By positioning the Internet Society as an organization that makes a tangible difference, we will inevitably entice more people who wish to be a part of that. So, please, reach out and tell our story.

On the elections web page, you can find material about the role of the Board and of trustees, and about the procedures used by the community to select and elect them.

https://dev.internetsociety.org/board-of-trustees/elections/

Having a good set of diverse strong candidates is the best way to enable our community to elect and select a set of diverse strong trustees using their respective election and selection processes.

At the Internet Society, we believe that the Internet is for everyone. Inclusion and diversity sit at the heart of our beliefs and values, and are core to our mission. At this time, we believe it is more important than ever to ensure that all voices have a chance to be heard in shaping the future path of the Internet Society. Having a strong and diverse Board definitely is a great first step on this path.

Categories
About Internet Society

Chapters Training Program 2020: The Power of Us!

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
—Brené Brown

Three months ago, the Internet Society decided to face a new challenge. We took ourselves out of our comfort zone to move our community to the next level: empowerment through education. We began the Chapters Training Program, born to satisfy the increasing need of our Chapter Leaders to engage their members in an impactful and informed way. The purpose was to identify and help form new leaders to work together to create local awareness, as part of our 2020 Action Plan .

This journey was not easy. However, our community embraced vulnerability and we overcame many obstacles, like change and uncertainty. In the end, we succeeded – because together our strength is bigger than our challenges. It’s part of our community’s DNA: having the conviction to build an Internet that enriches people’s lives and enables opportunities to all.We demonstrated that when we work together, we accomplish great things. Challenge becomes just a word… To be brave, first we need to be vulnerable and once we are brave, the sky is the limit!

I want to share the results of our work – and I hope we can all feel proud of ourselves! In less than 3 months we:

  • Delivered 25 different courses to the community in 3 different languages (English, Spanish, and French) across 5 different time zones – covering 94 Chapters around the world
  • Engaged 473 Chapter members
  • Executed 322 Chapter initiatives

Thank you and applause to all the instructors, Chapter trainees, Chapter coordinators, and staff who joined us on this journey. You challenged yourselves to be brave and move from words to action. The Internet is not built alone, it is built day by day with the power of Us!

We are Internet Society and together we are strong.

Inspire others to join our community and be brave to make a change!


Image from the 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting ©Victor Ndonnang/Internet Society

Categories
About Internet Society

Member News: Chapters Focus on Encryption

Lock it down: Several Internet Society chapters across the globe have written about the importance of encryption in recent weeks. The Namibia Chapter wrote about the way encryption can improve privacy and fight against the big business of criminal hacking. “Cybercrime is a global business, often run by multinational outfits,” the Chapter wrote. The Hong Kong Chapter, meanwhile, wrote that “encryption matters to all of us.” Internet users need to work together to protect encryption, the Chapter added. “No party can stand alone to persuade governments to stop creating laws or policies that harm encryption and digital security.”

Freedom for all: The Hong Kong Chapter also called for Internet freedoms to continue in the region as the Chinese government pushes for new security laws there. “We are convinced that the freedoms of speech, press and publication guaranteed by the Basic Law are also applicable to the media industry on the Internet,” the chapter wrote. “Internet users have the freedom and right to obtain, share information and express their expressions, and are protected from being censored, blocked or criminalized.”

Expanding the community: The Nepal Chapter recently wrote about community networks in the country, by highlighting the Rural Communities Access to Information Society (RUCCESS) project. The project aims to provide Internet access and digital literacy programs in rural areas. The project connected community learning hubs with 1 Mbps dedicated bandwidth.

The exchange rate: The Uganda Chapter recently looked at the state of the Uganda Internet Exchange Point, only known Internet exchange point in the country. The IXP is operated by a nonprofit group, but the government there has made several attempts to take over its operation. There are several reasons the government wants to take control, including censorship and taking control of the Internet, the Chapter wrote.

Being a good citizen: The Madagascar Chapter recently highlighted a training program on digital citizenship. “The digital citizen is one who exercises his civic duties and undertakes to become active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies essentially through the digital,” the Chapter wrote. A good citizen has a responsibility to act ethically and avoid fueling hatred and inequality, the Chapter added. “In the digital ecosystem in Madagascar where the Internet is more and more limited to social networks … these dangerous discourses have proliferated widely in recent months, fueled by controversy (generated by fear?) in the context of a health crisis.”

How are you using the Internet to make a difference? Let us know! #IHeartTheInternet

Categories
About Internet Society

Internet Society Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in COVID-19 Response Grants

The Internet plays a more important role than ever, serving as a lifeline so that children can continue learning, families and friends can stay connected, and vital public health information can keep circulating. At the Internet Society Foundation, we believe access to the Internet and its solutions can create healthier and safer communities, reduce vulnerabilities, and help build the resilience communities need to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge better prepared in the future.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve completed the selection process for our Emergency Response: COVID-19 grants, awarding USD$1.5 million in funding to four innovative projects that are using the Internet to help communities respond and adapt to the challenges created by the current pandemic.

The funding will support the following efforts around the globe: 

  • Expanding an online platform which connects and trains caregivers across Asia
  • Extending the reach of a COVID-19 training program to support 10,000 health workers in five African countries
  • Enabling a disaster response team to expand Internet connectivity for 24 critical primary health and coordination facilities across eight countries
  • Expanding the scope of an innovative technology platform that supports fact-checkers in Latin America

Read about each project!

Established in 2019 to support the positive difference the Internet can make to people everywhere, the Internet Society Foundation awards grants to Internet Society Chapters/Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as well as nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to providing meaningful access to an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone. The Internet Society Foundation will launch its next call for grant applications in late September 2020 for our Research Programme area.

Learn more about future calls for grants!

Categories
About Internet Society Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) Strengthening the Internet

MANRS Fellowship Program Now Open

The first-ever MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security) Fellowship Program is now accepting applications. If you are an emerging leader eager to improve the well-being of the Internet’s global routing system, apply now.

The program gives highly motivated individuals the chance to work alongside MANRS ambassadors, who are industry leaders participating in the Ambassador Program. Together, they will train diverse communities on good routing practices, analyze routing incidents, research into ways to secure routing, and survey the global policy landscape.

Fellows will improve their skills and bring new perspectives and ideas to MANRS. They will also gain valuable insights and networking opportunities from well-respected professionals called MANRS Ambassadors under the MANRS Ambassadors Program. The selection process for this program is currently underway.

The Internet Society supports this program as part of its work to reduce common routing threats and establish norms for network operations.

You can apply for a fellowship in three different areas: training, research, and policy. Each fellow will receive a stipend of $750 a month. There is no age requirement and you can apply for more than one category but will only be selected for one of them.

Online training

Responsible for: Conducting MANRS online tutorial and virtual hands-on workshops, helping improve existing training and workshop content, and working with regional and national operator groups to understand their training requirements.

Requirements: At least two years’ experience, a good understanding of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and experience in training Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) or community-based organizations.

Commitment: 3-6 months, up to six hours’ work per week.

Research

Responsible for: Maintaining a list of and writing in detail about the latest BGP hijacks, leaks, and bogon announcements; reviewing, testing, and reporting on Network Operating Systems’ implementation of BGP Prefix filtering, SAV, and RPKI.

Requirements: A minimum of four years’ experience, strong English writing skills, and a good understanding of BGP dumps and routing incidents.

Commitment: 3-6 months, up to four hours’ work per week.

Policy analysis

Responsible for: Reviewing and improving all the existing policy documents targeting Internet security, routing security, DDoS, and other issues that MANRS can act on.

Requirements: An understanding of routing and routing security, experience in writing policy documents and working with policy makers or in policy forums.

Commitment: 4 months, up to four hours’ work per week.

The deadline for fellowship applications is Thursday 25 June.

Find out more and apply online.

If you have any questions about this program or the application process, email manrs-fellows@isoc.org.

Categories
About Internet Society

Strengthening Communities, Improving Lives and Livelihoods: The Internet Society Foundation Launches SCILLS

When people connect to the Internet, they can change the world for the better. And so many people have done just that, using this transformative technology to make strides in education, economic opportunity, and health outcomes. But Internet access is only part of the equation. There’s now a different kind of divide: the gap between those who have the knowledge and skills to use the Internet to empower themselves and their communities – and those who don’t.

To address this gap, the Internet Society Foundation is launching SCILLS: Strengthening Communities, Improving Lives and Livelihoods. The program aims to expand economic growth, improve health outcomes, and increase educational opportunities – by supporting communities to more knowledgeably and skillfully use the Internet.


Are you working to close this gap? The Internet Society Foundation wants to hear from you!

In its pilot year, the program is open to eligible organizations in Bangladesh, Colombia, and Senegal, with expansion to additional countries planned in coming years. It provides grants of up to $150,000 USD for projects lasting up to 24 months. Applications are open between 9 June and 3 July, and grantees will be announced in early September.

The Internet is for everyone – a critical lifeline that can uplift communities. But only if we bridge the knowledge gap and equip more people to make the most of this powerful tool.


Learn more and apply!



Image ©Paula Bronstein/Getty Images via Images of Empowerment

Categories
About Internet Society

Member News: Internet Society Chapters Assist Communities with Telework, Remote Education

Keep working: In recent months, several Internet Society Chapters have focused on helping people to keep working during COVID-19 lockdowns. The Benin Chapter recently published a guide to remote work, with recommendations for videoconferencing apps, project management software, and file storage services. “We are facing a real health crisis, COVID-19, which is shaking up our habits and pushing companies to adapt to new working methods,” the Chapter’s post says. “Authorizing employees to telecommute is the ideal solution for the continuity of your activity and avoiding contagion within your teams.”

Building your brand: Meanwhile, the Israel Chapter hosted a webinar on employment and careers in the digital industry. Speaker Shani Haddad, CEO and founder of Brainnu, talked about the importance of people marketing themselves and telling their own stories.

Learning at a distance: It’s not just workers dealing with new situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pacific Islands Chapter has posted about distance learning, noting that the Samoa Information Technology Association has developed an e-learning platform for students attending school from home. Education is “one of the key areas that is being heavily affected by the lockdown,” the post notes.

No censorship: The Chapter in Spain has raised concerns about a potential clampdown on free speech as the government there responds to information circulating about the coronavirus pandemic. “It is an essential task of the Internet Society to ensure an open Internet, based on the fullest freedom of expression and information, which therefore contributed to free communication between all its users, who in Spain are already today the vast majority of the population,” the Chapter writes. “Except for aberrant content that is openly contrary to public health, such measures are equivalent to prior censorship of information and opinion, and unlike other restrictions on freedoms, they are as unnecessary as they are ineffective in combating this disease.”

A partnership for the Internet: The Pacific Islands Chapter has recently signed a partnership agreement with the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association (APTLD), with the goal of building capacity in the TLD space in the region. The partnership will share expertise for training and seminars and will exchange information while “championing the Internet and Internet resources in the local community,” says Leonid Todorov, APTLD’s general manager.

Let us know how you’re using the Internet to make a difference! #IHeartTheInternet

Categories
About Internet Society

Nominations Open! Jonathan B. Postel Service Award 2020

Do you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Internet development?

Nominate them for this year’s Jonathan B. Postel Service Award!

Each year, the Internet Society presents the prestigious award to an individual or organization that, like Jon Postel, has made significant contributions to the technological development of the Internet.

The award commemorates Jon Postel’s extraordinary stewardship in the course of his 30-year career in networking.

The chosen candidate will be presented with a USD20,000 honorarium and the signature crystal engraved globe at a global conference with Internet technical leaders later this year.

Previous award winners include Steven Huter for fostering local Internet communities globally, Kimberly Claffy for her contribution to Internet measurement, Kanchana Kanchanasut for accelerating Internet development in Thailand, and Nii Quaynor for driving the spread of the Internet across Africa.

Special emphasis is placed on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own contributions.

Help us recognize the extraordinary people who have committed themselves to the technological development, growth, and strength of the Internet!

Submit a nomination!

Nomination period ends on 12 June 2020. For questions, email postel@isoc.org.


Image of Community Network Champions ©Atul Loke/Panos Pictures for the Internet Society.