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Asia-Pacific Chapters Advocacy Meeting: Local Actions, Global Goals

Earlier this month, 19 representatives from 14 local Chapters in Asia-Pacific gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a two-day workshop to boost their capability in implementing the Internet Society 2019 Action Plan collaboratively and in a coordinated manner, and to maximize impact across the vast and fast-developing region.

Chapter leaders from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands, among other places, spent a weekend together. They learned from each other and planned the collective implementation of the Action Plan that has four focus areas: connecting the worldimproving technical securitybuilding trust, and shaping the future of the Internet.

Run by members across the world who support the Internet Society’s mission, Chapters are central to our work. They give us unique local perspectives on emerging Internet issues. The Regional Chapters Workshop, which is held yearly, is an important event that lets us strategize with Chapters on a wave of impactful local actions to amplify our regional voice and promote the organization’s mission – the Internet is for Everyone.

To help the Chapters carry out their work, the workshop focused on training and leadership in the focus areas, including IoT security, routing security, community networks, and Internet Governance. Participants discussed the eventful policy, regulatory, technical, and sociopolitical landscape in the region and explored local opportunities for Chapters.

In a special session on encryption, Paul Brooks, Chair of the Australian Chapter, provided a detailed overview of their experiences around Australia’s encryption legislation, which was passed into law late last year. The session triggered a lively discussion on the wider implications of such legislation and got the participants reflecting on what they could do if similar legislation was passed in their home countries.

The workshop sessions were moderated by staff including: Rajnesh D. Singh, Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific; Naveed Haq, Regional Development Manager for Asia-Pacific; Nancy Quiros, Regional Community Engagement Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region; and Joyce Dogniez, Vice President Community Engagement and Development.

The workshop concluded with sessions on the Internet Society’s action plans, the planning process underway to come up with a longer-term strategy, and what local chapters could do to take part in the process.

Join the thousands of Internet Society members working to build an Internet for everyone, everywhere.

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European Chapters Meeting: Consolidation, Trust, and More on the Agenda

The 2019 European Chapters Meeting took place from 9-10 May in Bucharest, Romania. (Watch the livestream here.)

The two-day event gathered 31 participants consisting of 22 fellows coming from 20 Internet Society Chapters in the European region. The meeting agenda focused on discussions around Consolidation on the Internet Economy, Encryption, Consumer IoT Privacy & Security, and the Internet of Food.

This meeting was part of a series of events the Internet Society is organizing in 2019 across regions. It was particularly important because of the valuable feedback the Chapters provided on the key questions of the 2019 Global Internet Report and the direction of the long-term objectives for Strategy 2025.

  • Carl Gahnberg, Policy Advisor at Internet Society gave a presentation on consolidation and the 2019 Global Internet Report (GIR). The importance of connecting with different audiences makes the 2019 GIR relevant not only for the Internet Society community, but also policymakers and the broader public. The report shows that trends in Internet Applications, the Access Provision, and Service Infrastructure and looks at trends of consolidation in the Internet economy. Unlike in past years, the report doesn’t provide recommendations but outcome questions. Participants discussed these outcome questions and the main takeaways were the need for open standards and sustaining the developments of public IXPs as well as raising awareness and educating the masses. But work on consolidation doesn’t stop with the report. What to expect In 2019? More in-depth research through engagement with external researchers and stakeholders.
  • Karen Yerznkanyan from the Internet of Things SIG talked about the opportunities and the importance of training young people on developing basic IoT solutions in the areas of hardware design, software development, communication, and security. The IoT community in Armenia has led several successful projects in this direction and can serve as a positive example for other Chapters.
  • Encryption couldn’t miss the agenda and Hans Peter Dittler, member of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, covered technical aspects of encryption, applications to real-life scenarios, and threats we’re facing. The need for encryption is based on trust, which takes a long time to build but can be destroyed in seconds.  We need trust in the Internet ecosystem to ensure that data can be transferred and thus strong encryption is key for a trustworthy Internet.
  • Ceren Unal, Regional Policy Manager for Europe at Internet Society, covered the IoT Trust by Design campaign and advised Chapters on how to work with local stakeholders to develop better IoT policy: identify your local allies, amplify your impact through partnerships, and create an action plan relevant for your community. One way to do this is to use events or policy engagement opportunities to leverage advocacy efforts and create new events. Some countries are already holding multistakeholder working groups but these working groups should be tailored to the needs of a specific community depending on whether that community mainly contains consumers or producers of IoT devices.
  • Internet Society exists to build, promote, and defend the global infrastructure that connects independent networks into a single Internet beyond borders and communities. Joyce Dogniez, the Internet Society’s Vice President, Community Engagement and Development, explained that the 2020 Action Plan will focus on these three objectives. Chapters argued that first we need to ask ourselves the type of the Internet we want to promote: go beyond Internet access and build “the Internet we want” and then expand it.
  • Johan Jörgensen, Chair of the Internet of Food SIG thinks that the Internet can help solve some of our major food problems through connected data and network infrastructure. Johan explained that by extracting, storing, and processing more data about the food that we produce and consume, we will be able to make smarter decisions on what food we eat. One of the concerns, however, is that the current Internet infrastructure will allow some major Internet players to control our food. The big question is “how do we build an Internet which will help feed the planet in a sustainable way?”
  • The work that Chapters do on a local level help advance the Internet Society’s mission and Neville Hobson, Internet Society Director of Digital Marketing, talked about the importance of social media marketing in advancing their work. Aligning all social networks with consistent messaging and connecting with influential voices were two of Internet Society’s goals. When it comes to Chapters, it’s important for them to maintain a strong brand presence by having clear and measurable goals, sharing their blog posts on social media, reaching out for help to others in their network, and learning from analytics.

At the end of the meeting, the Chapters shared their future projects, which ranged from the creation of Youth IGFs, Internet accessibility for vulnerable groups, investigational projects on Internet blocking, task forces on IPv6, online courses on digital rights, community networks, cybersecurity training, and many more exciting activities.

You can learn more about the development of these projects by visiting the European Bureau page. The full meeting report can be found here.

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Middle East Chapters Advocacy Meeting

Last month, the Chapters Advocacy Workshop for the Middle East, took place in Beirut Lebanon. The two-day event hosted Chapter leaders and representatives from  Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. While the focus was on MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security), it also included representatives from the Blockchain SIG (Special Interest Group).

During the two days, we discussed many issues related to the Middle East Chapters and their concerns, the 2019 plan of the Middle East Bureau, the strategic vision for the Internet Society, and the 2020 planning process. We acquired feedback from the delegates on our plans and community facing processes. We had ample staff representation that contributed immensely to the workshop, including, Sally Wentworth, Salam Yamout, Konstantinos Komaitis, Sally Harvey, Nermine El Saadany, and Aftab Siddiqui.

Aftab initiated the workshop with an introductory session on MANRS. He gave a technical breakdown on what MANRS is about before moving onto a hands-on workshop. The second day opened with an introduction to the 2020 Strategic Plan, followed by a PEST analysis led by Sally. Participants gave feedback on what’s important to their Chapters and to themselves as members of the community. We then discussed the policy aspect of the work of the Internet Society, and the Middle East Bureau in particular. Finally, we discussed the Internet Society’s funding opportunities and the Internet Society Foundation resources available to Chapters and members.

The workshop concluded in the afternoon of April 6. A follow up to the plans produced by the delegates is on route. We look forward to next year welcoming new faces into our workshop!

Learn more about the fellows and the workshop!

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About Internet Society Internet of Things (IoT) Privacy Security Shaping the Internet's Future

The Internet Society’s African Chapters Join the African Union and Other Partners to Discuss IoT Security, Privacy, and Digital ID in Africa

In collaboration with the Africa Union Commission (AUC), the Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU), and Omidyar Network, from 8-11 April 2019 the Africa Regional Bureau successfully gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 103 participants comprising Internet Society Chapter leaders, African Regional economic bodies, privacy experts, regulators, and data protection agencies to a two-day workshop on IoT Security, Privacy, and Digital ID followed by the 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting.

The first day of the workshop focused on IoT opportunities and security considerations. It explored the IoT landscape in Africa and shared active deployments and chapter-led projects. The day also discussed IoT security and privacy considerations with emphasis on frameworks that could be implemented to ensure the security and safety of IoT devices. A dedicated session on aligning policy and IoT security needs shared the experience of the Senegal multistakeholder IoT security process and motivated member states to initiate a similar process in their countries.

The second day focused on localizing the AUC and Internet Society Personal Data Protection Guidelines. Our partners AUC, Omidyar Network, Mozilla Foundation, and UNECA unpacked issues related to digital identity, personal data protection and privacy in the region. The meeting explored the nature of policies in place to ensure Internet users in Africa are secure and discussed legal and institutional frameworks to promote online privacy of people in African countries, including data hosted in other jurisdictions. Among some of the outcomes of the workshop was a resolution to conduct a regional IoT situational analysis to help policymakers understand the state of IoT in the region. With regards privacy, AUC will continue to work with partners to motivate member states to sign the Malabo convention. The Personal Data Protection Guidelines will be used as the basis for privacy policymaking within countries. Our Internet Society Chapters will also rally and act as advocates to their countries to prioritize privacy and personal data protection issues.

The third and fourth days were dedicated to the 2019 African Chapters advocacy meeting, which brought together 30 fellows from 26 African Chapters and one global SIG. During the two days the Chapters’ representatives discussed the Internet Society’s 2019 initiatives, campaigns and projects (with dedicated sessions on Internet shutdowns, consolidation, and encryption), the 2025 strategy, 2020 action plan development, and how they can get involved and implement concrete, relevant activities at the local level. The meeting was also a great opportunity for capacity building, advocacy, and mobilization of Chapters in building and promoting trust in the Internet in Africa with a special focus on IoT security, privacy, and personal data protection.

 Read more about the 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting.

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About Internet Society Building Trust Internet of Things (IoT) Privacy

2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting and Internet of Things Security Engagement Workshop

When and where

The 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting will take place from 8-11 April 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia alongside an Internet of Things (IoT) Security and Privacy Engagement Workshop with the Africa Union Commission (AUC), the Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU), the Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), and other partners.

Why we are doing this

In 2019, the Chapter workshops/Advocacy meetings are our main vehicle to mobilize, strengthen, and engage our Chapters and SIGs around our 2019/2020 focus areas and initiatives. We believe that these meetings represent a unique opportunity to define concrete roles for our Chapters/SIGs to work with us on our global initiatives, and create local impact: “Think global, act local.” It is an opportunity to collect inputs from our regional community for future planning and priorities: “From Local to Global.”

How we are doing it

The Chapters meeting, which will mobilize, empower, and engage 30 fellows from 26 Internet Society African chapters and one global SIG to advance the Internet Society 2019 work in the Africa region with a special focus on “Building Trust” (IoT Security Campaign, Privacy & Personal Data Protection, Encryption, User Trust, and Internet Restrictions).

This meeting is also an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships and connections with our Chapters and among Chapters themselves.

Read more about the 2019 African Chapters Advocacy Meeting

Not able to join the meeting in person? Watch the livestream!

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About Internet Society Community Networks Growing the Internet Improving Technical Security Internet Governance Internet of Things (IoT) Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) Privacy

Update on Latin America and Caribbean Workshop for Chapter Leaders

In July 2018, the Internet Society’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau held another edition of the Workshop for Chapter Leaders. Besides discussing the challenges and opportunities of participation in their respective chapters, the 34 attendees began the implementation of several projects related to our 4 key issues of 2018. Starting 2019, I am glad to share with you the main results of these projects.

Participation showed a strong preference for Internet access issues. As a result, 10 of the 23 projects implemented were focused on Community Networks. Following our vocation in favor of the multistakeholder approach and the participation of the community, 8 of the projects took Internet Governance as a central theme. The remaining 5 projects focused on trust and security by focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet routing security through MANRS.

The results are inspiring, since they reflect the diversity of the Latin American and Caribbean region. In Community Networks, projects include a broad spectrum of related topics, ranging from the deployment and implementation of networks to the analysis and mapping of regulatory conditions to ensure such deployment. In addition, some of the projects focused on capacity building through webinars.

In terms of Internet Governance, awareness and capacity building were the most preferred ways of implementation. This is the same course taken by the projects related to IoT security. The participants who implemented these projects identified the need to carry out campaigns using the information resources offered by Internet Society.

Facing 2019, we are sure that we’ll maintain and increase the level of participation of the Chapters in the region. The year will be full of exciting challenges that we will face as a community. Our main goal will be to work together in favor of an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone.

Help build a digital future that puts people first. #SwitchItOn

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About Internet Society Events Internet Governance

LACIGF Workshop for Chapter Leaders: The Internet Should Reach Everyone

Inside the framework of the 11th meeting of LACIGF, the Internet Society’s Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean successfully carried out the 2018 edition of the Workshop for Chapter Leaders. In addition to addressing the key issues of the organization, the event included a session focused on personal development. The 34 participants, from 22 Chapters, also had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Sullivan, future Executive Director of the Internet Society.

Volunteering: A Shared Challenge

The Internet Society Chapters are a fundamental component of the Internet Society. Made up of people with diverse backgrounds and interests, the Chapters pursue a common and ambitious goal: the Internet should reach everyone. To achieve this, each member spends a significant part of their time working with their peers on diverse projects.

This is why, the first part of the Chapter Workshop focused on human development components related to leadership. Although the content was shared with the representatives of each Chapter that attended the workshop, the idea was to reinforce the message within the boards of the chapters of the given region, in order to facilitate the promotion of these ideas locally.

A Conversation with Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan will assume the role of the CEO of the Internet Society on September 1st. To strengthen the link of the Chapters with the Internet Society, each participant was given the chance to talk with the future CEO. Andrew Sullivan, who participated remotely, shared his vision about the organization, in addition to answering specific questions from workshop participants.

Four Key Issues

The final part of the workshop focused on the Internet Society’s four key issues: Community Networks, the Internet of Things (IoT),  Internet Governance, and MANRS. The participants had completed a 3-month training, which offered them the necessary preparation to get the most of the workshop.

The Chapter leaders addressed the challenges and opportunities of these issues in a collaborative manner and with an accessible language, with the help of questionnaires designed by the team at the Internet Society’s Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean. To make the workshop more dynamic, the discussion concerning the key issues took place in groups. After the productive exchanges, each group produced videos and articles on the topics that they discussed. The materials will be used to enrich the ground with the perspective of the regional Chapters.

When the workshop participants return to their homes, they will be excited to share their acquired knowledge and experiences. They have the opportunity now to successfully develop the projects for which they received the grant, so keep following the news from our 24 LAC Chapters as we update you with their progress.

We are thousands of members who work to build an Internet for everyone, everywhere.

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2018 Internet Society Asia-Pacific & Middle East Chapters Meeting

The APAC & Middle East Chapters joined hands to organize their combined Regional Chapters Meeting from 11 to 12 May in Kathmandu, Nepal. 23 Fellows representing 18 regional Chapters and Women SIG were nominated by their respective Chapters/SIGs to participate in this meeting. Half of the meeting focused on collaboratively developing action plans that are aligned with the Internet Society’s 2018 campaigns, while the other half was to discuss and address regional and governance-related issues.

At the end of the workshop, 18 concrete plans were ready for implementation:

  • 3 Community Networks plans (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines)
  • 5 Internet of Things plans (Bangladesh, India Mumbai, Sri Lanka, UAE, Yemen)
  • 9 Collaborative Governance plans (India Trivandrum, India Delhi, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, PICISOC, Women SIG)
  • 1 Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security plan (India Kolkata)

During the regional breakout sessions, Fellows from the APAC region voted for and discussed three major regional issues: 1) Cybersecurity, 2) Transition [of the Internet] to the younger generation, 3) Digital Literacy. They engaged in an open discussion and highlighted some of the specific issues under these topics, what is needed in the context of their region, and shared their plans to address them.

The regional breakout session for the Middle East was a small group and informally discussed:

  • The challenge of mobilizing volunteers in the Middle East regions and potential other approaches to building a community within the region
  • Topics of relevance to the Chapters for the creation of content in Arabic (mentioned: the OTA framework, cybersecurity focus on IoT Security courses to mobilize universities)

The meeting was rounded off with a demonstration of the Chapter Portal and few Chapter-related administrative updates. Towards the end of 2018 a report about the overall progress will be shared across the Chapter community for knowledge exchange.

Learn more about Chapters and Special Interest Groups!