About Internet Society

Member News: Internet Society Highlights from 2019

It’s been a busy year for Internet Society Chapters around the world, with members pushing to extend Internet connections to remote areas, involved in public policy, and focusing on cybersecurity. Here are some of the highlights in 2019:

Extending Internet connections

Community awareness: The Madagascar chapter provided awareness training on community-based broadband networks in the rural areas of Ambohimasina, Antambolo, and Morarano-Antongona during February and March. “Our main objective was to ensure that people using the Internet continue to be convinced of its usefulness,” the Chapter wrote. Another goal was for local leaders to have access to the Internet for the “purposes of innovation, creativity and economic opportunities for their municipality.”

Network planning: In Nigeria, the Internet Society Chapter began planning to set up a community network in Zaria, a city in the northern region of the country. The Internet Society provided startup funds of about 10 million naira, or “about the cost of a fairly used Toyota Corolla,” the Chapter noted. “By being very frugal and leveraging on existing infrastructure being contributed by community members, this will cover the cost of the initial wireless hardware required to connect at least 12 locations across Zaria.”

Connecting classrooms: The Kyrgyzstan chapter was very active in 2019, with members setting up the Ilim Box, a digital library, in several schools, including facilities in the Issyk-Kul region. The chapter also launched an Internet Exchange Point in the city of Osh aimed to improving connectivity in the region, and it hosted a roundtable focused on connecting remote areas of the country.

Policy activism

Caution needed: The Dominican Republic Chapter commented on a plan to roll out automated voting systems by calling for a cautious approach. Automated voting systems must prove their capabilities “through tests, audits, certifications and public debates,” the Chapter said.

Copywrong? The Estonia Chapter was involved in a vigorous debate over the European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which requires online platforms to filter or remove copyrighted material. Amid concerns about the effect on content creators, the Chapter urged the Estonian government to refuse to approve the directive.

It’s your privacy: The Chapter in Panama hosted a forum on a new personal data privacy law. The law requires residents give prior consent for their data to be used. Participants said it’s important for the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information to be politically independent, and that residents need to be better informed about the importance of privacy.

Yes to encryption: The German Chapter in June protested the government’s stance in favor of encryption backdoors. “Once again, the Federal Ministry of the Interior believes that security in the country can be increased by compromising the encryption of Internet services,” the Chapter said. The government demand that messenger services tap into their customers’ communications “jeopardize[s] the security of Internet services.”

Focus on security

Always ready: The Chapter in Israel alerted websites that about 5,200 could be affected by a February update of global DNS servers, potentially causing disruption to websites around the world. Most websites in Israel had prepared for the updates, but a few had not, the Chapter noted.

No hijacking! The Portuguese Chapter in March called on its members to contribute to the security of the Internet by advocating against the practice of BGP hijacking.  From Cloudflare: BGP hijacking happens when attackers maliciously reroute Internet traffic. “Attackers accomplish this by falsely announcing ownership of groups of IP addresses, called IP prefixes, that they do not actually own, control, or route to. A BGP hijack is much like if someone were to change out all the signs on a stretch of freeway and reroute automobile traffic onto incorrect exits.”

Safety first: The Nigerian Chapter celebrated Safer Internet Day by training students at the Ajibode grammar school on safe Internet uses. The training focused on bullying on social media, among other topics.

Including everyone

No trolling or doxing: The Asia Pacific and Delhi chapters hosted a webinar on diversity and inclusion on the Internet. Topics covered included the tech gender gap, surveillance, linguistic barriers, censorship, and online harassment. Trolling, doxing and revenge porn were discussed.

The search for balance: In February, the Panama Chapter hosted a webinar on inclusion, with a focus on the search for balance and consensus among public, private, and civil society actors.

The international Internet: Several Chapters focused on domain name internationalization during 2019. The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines chapter, for example, pointed to a paper on universal acceptance from the ICANN Universal Acceptance Steering Group focused on the use of non-Latin characters in email.

Join the global movement! Become a member and champion an Internet that is trusted and open to all.

About Internet Society Community Networks Community Projects Growing the Internet Shaping the Internet's Future

Celebrating a Successful Chapterthon 2019!

We are incredibly inspired by the collaborative projects brought to life by our Chapters for the 2019 Chapterthon, the global contest in which Internet Society Chapters develop a project within a set timeline and budget to achieve a common goal for the development of the Internet. This year’s theme was “Connecting the Unconnected” – because every last person on the planet is part of having an Internet for “everyone”, and we won’t rest until each person has the option of choosing to be connected.

Internet Society Chapters from all corners of the world developed innovative solutions that will continue to serve as inspiration for communities everywhere working to connect the unconnected. At the end of the contest, each project presented a three-minute video about the project specifics and its benefits to the community. Winning projects received a prize.

See how they addressed this global issue through local community initiatives!

Announcing the Winners!

1st Prize (USD 3000)
US New York Chapter
First Annual NYC Mesh Installathon: This project aims to mobilize a large team of volunteers on a single day to expand the NYC Mesh community network to at least six new locations, and connect underserved areas of New York City.

2nd Prize (USD 2000)
South Africa Chapter
Qokolweni Wi-fi Hotspots: This project will provide hotspots for small underprivileged communities that require an Internet connection to communicate and to learn.

3rd Prize (USD 1000)
Ghana Chapter
RADIONET: This project aims to create an information access system for local communities, in their own language, by providing an FM broadcast system where rural communities cannot get access.

Watch the recap of the three winning projects!

A big thank you to our Chapters for your important strides towards connecting the world – one community at a time!

Inspired by the work of our ISOC community? Become a member or get in touch with us directly:

Stay tuned for next year’s Chapterthon under ISOC’s Grants & Awards.

Image ©Chris Gregory

Building Trust Internet of Things (IoT)

Rural Development Special Interest Group Organizes Internet Connectivity Tag 2019

In November, the Internet Society Rural Development Special Interest Group (RD SIG) organized an event called the Internet Connectivity Tag 2019 in Bangalore, India to deliberate on emerging technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) and security, and what this means for rural development in India.

RD SIG invited a number of distinguished speakers to the event, many of whom are Chapter members. Adarsh B.U., for instance, is the president of RD SIG, a member of the Bangalore Chapter, and the program chair of the Hyderabad Chapter, which is currently being established. B.U. has been recognized as one of the top eight IoT thought leaders for his contribution towards the advancement of IoT in India. At the event, he organized an interactive, hands-on session with Contiki OS and Cooja Simulator.

Leading up to the event, RD SIG issued a call for fellowship applications from which over 300 expressions of interest were received. Out of the applicants, seven fellows from different parts of India were selected to participate in the event.

Highlights from the event included a presentation by Abhijan Bhattacharyya on IPv6 in the context of 5G for digital convergence. In his talk, he looked at the promise of 5G in fueling a convergence of applications and the essential role of IPv6 in supporting the core network for this convergence. Towards the latter part of the event, Bhattacharyya demonstrated the use of SimuLte for 5G simulation.

Adding more depth to the conversation on 5G and IPv6 was Nicolas Fiumarelli, who presented remotely from Uruguay. He focused on current and future applications of the technologies and shared some of the activities undertaken by the Internet Governance Forum Youth Ambassadors in his country.

The other remote speaker was Mohit Sethi from Finland. He spoke on the topic of wireless LAN security. He examined two new features: WiFi Enhanced Open for verifying open systems and Simultaneous Authentication of Equals for insurance against word reference assaults in home systems. He clarified the deficiencies and security vulnerabilities of WPA3, and gave a few thoughts on security in an enterprise wireless network with IEEE 802.1x and Extensible Authentication Protocol.

Sanjay Adiwal gave an informative talk on the Domain Name System and its security, while Prasant Misra delivered a fascinating presentation on the real-time analysis of traffic flow and how this has helped traffic authorities make better decisions and policies.

Oh behalf of RD SIG, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all the participants, speakers, and sponsors for making this event a success and allowing us to reach out to multiple communities. The event was supported by IEEE Ramaiah Students Branch, IEEE Bangalore Section, Ramaiah Institute of Technology, and Moradabad Institute of Technology.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the Rural Development Special Interest Group, drop us an email at!

About Internet Society

Member News: Innovative Projects to Help Close the Digital Divide

Vote of Confidence: Voting is open for Chapterthon 2019, the global Internet Society Chapters marathon, where Chapters can develop projects within a timeline and budget to achieve a common goal for the development of the Internet. This year’s theme is Connecting the Unconnected. Twenty-eight Chapters – from Argentina to Zimbabwe – have submitted projects.

Keep the connections: The Venezuela Chapter is among several groups calling for large technology companies to maintain the availability of their services to Venezuelans. While an executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to block support for the government of Nicolás Maduro, the order does not ban the Internet and other technology services from serving the nation, the chapter notes. Access to the Internet and online services is “critical” because it brings access to independent news and allows citizens to express their opinions, the chapter said.

Trading chips: The Washington, D.C., Chapter recently hosted a conference on digital trade, including the impact of some nations’ policies that require data to be stored locally. “Data has become the most traded good and/or service across borders,” the Chapter said. “Meanwhile, many countries have adopted policies that inhibit digital trade, including requirements that data be stored locally or restricting services provided by foreign firms. Such policies not only affect U.S. Internet and technology firms, but the users and small businesses that rely on an open digital environment.”

A big party: The Spain Chapter helped organize the Tech.Party.2019 events, attracting more than 700 participants. Topics included cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, free hardware, renewable energy, and recycling. At one conference, the Internet Society’s Raquel Gatto talked about how encryption is under threat worldwide, with governments asking for backdoor access to encrypted communications.

Indigenous representation: The New York City chapter recently hosted a discussion on how Indigenous people are represented on Wikipedia. Columbia University School of Social Work’s Sophia Leveque talked about ways to make the online encyclopedia more inclusive.

Join the global movement! Become a member and champion an Internet that is trusted and open to all. Already a member? Follow ISOC_Community on Twitter!

About Internet Society Community Projects Growing the Internet

Winners of the 2019 Chapterthon To Be Announced On 11 December – Voting Is Open Now!

We’re thrilled to showcase this year’s creative, innovative and impactful projects aimed at ‘Connecting the Unconnected’. These short-term projects were run by twenty-eight of our Chapters that participated in the 2019 Chapterthon. We highly encourage you to take a few minutes to view the amazing work accomplished by your peers, and vote for your favorite project.

The winners of the 2019 Chapterthon will be announced during the upcoming Community Forum on 11 December, 13:00 UTC. Please join us in celebrating the amazing projects. The winning Chapters will be rewarded with a 1st prize of 3000 USD, 2nd prize of 2000 USD, and 3rd prize of 1000 USD. 

Make your vote count before 6 December: vote now

Find out who the winners are on 11 December: register here.

Image credit: © Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures

About Internet Society

Member News: Helping Schools Get Access to Internet, Educational Materials

News from Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups across the world:

Library in a box: This month, the Kyrgyzstan Chapter installed an electronic library called the Ilim Box in secondary schools in the southern part of Issyk-Kul region. The device allows the schools to access educational resources when they don’t have an Internet connection. All the data is stored in the device itself, with only a power supply needed.

Refresher course: Earlier this year, the Paraguay Chapter helped set up improved Internet access and an electronics lab at Colegio Técnico Nacional, a secondary school in Asunción. The equipment at the 1,500-student technical school had become obsolete, and many classrooms lacked an Internet connection and modern computers.

Student governance: Sticking with our focus on education, the Benin Chapter hosted students from the National Institute of Technical and Industrial Sciences of Lokossa earlier this year to talk about Internet Governance issues. Chapter members talked to the students about ways to take care of the Internet and how to pay attention to its development.

Internet for everyone: The Israel Chapter is focused on ways to bring access to more Arab residents. “The Israeli Internet Association sees a narrowing of the digital divide between Arab society in Israel and Jewish society, and in particular the expansion of the accessibility of individuals in the Arab society to the Internet and their ability to use it, as a powerful lever for the rapid socio-economic advancement of the individual and Arab society in Israel, to contribute to reducing the gaps,” the Chapter says.

Exchange rates: The Chad Chapter recently hosted an event to discuss the possible operation of an Internet Exchange Point in the country. An exchange point would allow the direct interconnection of networks, rather than through one or more third-party networks outside of Chad. Direct interconnection would lower costs and latency, while increasing bandwidth, the Chapter says.

Encryption, please: Members of the U.K. Chapter recently joined the Internet Society to call on world leaders to support a secure and trusted digital economy for everyone by backing strong encryption. The Chapter signed a letter responding to calls from some countries for encryption backdoors for law enforcement agencies. “Digital security is not optional,” the letter said. “It is the foundation of our connected economies and societies. Without digital security, we can neither trust nor shape technological developments.”

Join the global movement! Become a member and champion an Internet that is trusted and open to all.

Internet Governance Shaping the Internet's Future

Islamabad Chapter Brings First Internet Governance Event to Quetta, Pakistan

The 5th Pakistan School on Internet Governance (pkSIG 2019) was successfully held last month in Quetta, Pakistan. This represents a significant achievement for the Internet Society Pakistan Islamabad Chapter as it played an instrumental role in bringing the first-ever Internet Governance event to the provincial capital of Balochistan.

For those who may not know, Balochistan has the largest land area among the four provinces of Pakistan, yet it is the least populated and least developed. Only 27% of its population lives in urban areas and Internet penetration is low. Finding adequate sponsors, and more importantly, diversity among the students to participate was a critical concern. But, pkSIG 2019 in Quetta proved to be one of the best editions of this school.

Over 60 people (one-third of them female) registered for the event, including students, professionals, startup founders, speakers, and some guests who showed keen interest in the program. Following a four-week long process of registration and shortlisting, 35 students were selected for pkSIG 2019 and five were awarded fellowships. Since all the sessions were livestreamed, a sizeable audience participated online as well. (The sessions and presentations are available online.)

“It’s our fifth consecutive year conducting pkSIG – each year in a different city. But the experience this year in Quetta has been remarkable, due to extraordinary participation by university-level students and young professionals – in particular women. Such vibrant participation has not been seen in any other city of Pakistan.” — Parvez Iftikhar, ICT Consultant

pkSIG is an annual professional course that aims to strengthen the capacity of leaders from various sectors in Pakistan to engage in Internet Governance issues at national, regional, and global levels. It has become the premier capacity building event on Internet Governance in Pakistan. In previous years, pkSIG was conducted in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar.

One of the highlights of the school this year was the fact that nearly all the faculty members were from Pakistan – signifying the strength of Pakistan’s Internet Governance community.

pkSIG 2019 was supported by the Internet Society and other partners, including Facebook, National Incubation Center in Quetta, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Stormfiber, Multinet, APASA, and Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan Pvt. Ltd.

Next year, the challenge will be even greater as we aim to conduct the school at one of the highest terrains on the planet in Gilgit, which is home to more than 20 peaks of over 20,000 feet, including K2 – the second highest mountain on Earth. You are cordially invited.

Photo Credit: The Dayspring

Growing the Internet Human Rights

Sri Lanka Chapter Tackles Internet Restrictions and Cybersecurity Threats

Since its establishment nine years ago, the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter has been a key stakeholder in ensuring a free, open, and safe Internet in Sri Lanka.

During the 2018 religious riots and the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, when access to social media networks and messaging services was blocked, the Sri Lanka Chapter worked closely with government, media, academia, the private sector, and the general public to inform them about the impact of such restrictions on the Internet. In the aftermath of the 2018 religious riots, the Sri Lanka Chapter issued an appeal letter to the Presidential Secretariat on behalf of Internet Society members in Sri Lanka to lift the social media ban. Earlier this year, after the Easter bombings, the Sri Lanka Chapter organized an online meeting to engage in dialogue with different groups, including government and media agencies, informing them about the wide-ranging economic and social consequences of Internet restrictions, and raising the awareness that preventing online access is rarely an effective solution to conflicts and unrest.

In the attempt to control the spread of misinformation and hate speech, and cut off communications between organizers of attacks, the Internet restrictions also prevented people from connecting with their families and friends, and from accessing emergency aid in the aftermath of violence. Facebook-based volunteer groups and civil society organizations were not able to reach those in need of assistance and disseminate validated content. Businesses that relied on connectivity for sales and marketing were also negatively affected and suffered huge losses. The estimated economic cost of the partial Internet shutdown in Sri Lanka during 7-15 March 2018 was USD30 million.

Technical measures to restrict Internet access are rarely appropriate tools to fix social and political issues. Instead, dialogue, transparency, due judicial process, and openness should be the first steps to find solutions to complex issues, in a way that is inclusive of all stakeholders.

In May this year, the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology and the Computer Emergency Readiness Team and Co-ordination Centre (CERT|CC) invited the public to comment on a proposed Cybersecurity Bill – the first-ever draft bill released for public comment in Sri Lanka.

The objectives of the proposed Cybersecurity Bill are to:

  • Ensure the effective implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy in Sri Lanka
  • Prevent, mitigate, and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents effectively and efficiently
  • Establish the Cybersecurity Agency of Sri Lanka to strengthen the institutional framework for cybersecurity
  • Protect the critical information infrastructure

The Sri Lanka Chapter was invited by the Minister of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology to review the draft Bill together with other stakeholders, including the Information and Communication Technology Agency and the Computer Society of Sri Lanka.

At the onset of the draft Bill’s release, the Sri Lanka Chapter requested: (1) an extension on the deadline for submission of comments to allow a thorough consultation process with different stakeholders; (2) translation of the draft Bill into local languages; and (3) creation of a multistakeholder community to review the draft Bill.

The Sri Lanka Chapter worked closely with the Ministry and CERT|CC to raise public awareness about the Cybersecurity Bill, and coordinate and collate public comments from individuals, organizations, policymakers, and political parties through a number of online and face-to-face meetings. During this process of consultation and discussion, we recognized a lack of technical policy experts available.

Nevertheless, the comments submitted by the Sri Lanka Chapter were taken positively. The main comments were related to the need to clearly define what constitutes “critical information infrastructure,” and the need to reconsider the establishment of multiple agencies responsible for cybersecurity to avoid function overlaps and inefficiencies in responding to cyberthreats. Minimizing the number of agencies was recommended. A review procedure for the role of the Cybersecurity Agency and civil organization representation in the Cybersecurity Agency were also recommended. 

On behalf of the Sri Lanka Chapter, I would like to express my gratitude to Internet Society members in Sri Lanka and globally for supporting us in these activities. We would also like to thank the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology and the Honourable Minister for making the proposed Cybersecurity Bill available for public comment. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to continue safeguarding the free, open, and inclusive Internet for all.

Read the Internet Society’s policy brief on Internet Shutdowns.

Shaping the Internet's Future

Voices from the Pacific at APrIGF

The Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) was held on 16-19 July 2019 at the recently constructed Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island in Vladivostok, Russia. The theme of this year’s event was “Enabling a Safe, Secure and Universal Internet for All in Asia-Pacific,” with 22 sessions covering six sub-themes: safer Internet, cybersecurity and regulation; access and universality; emerging technologies and society; human rights online; the evolving role of Internet governance (IG) and multistakeholder participation; and digital economy.

The Board of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) was represented by Anju Mangal from Fiji, James Ahwai from Samoa, and myself from the Cook Islands. James Ahwai, a newcomer to the IG scene, participated as a panellist in the opening plenary on The State of Play and Outlook for IG in the Asia-Pacific and contributed a Pacific perspective. Anju Mangal, a former member of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group, moderated the closing plenary on APrIGF Multistakeholder Participation in the Global IGF.

I led a workshop, which was a follow-up to a session on “e-Government for Empowering Pacific Citizens,” introduced at the APrIGF in Vanuatu last year. This year, PICISOC Board member, Cherie Lagakali, a participant in the 2018 event and this time attending remotely, provided an excellent overview of Fiji’s new e-government website that has been developed with support from the Singaporean government. At the workshop, Anju Mangal also reported on the e-Government Roundtable “The Future of Digital Government for Sustainable Development,” which she attended in the Republic of Korea in June with Fellow PICISOC Board member Andrew Molivurae. PICISOC and participants of the workshop discussed and articulated the needs of the Pacific and the many challenges that governments of small island developing states face. They include challenges with connectivity and bandwidth, affordability of broadband, inadequate legal and regulatory frameworks, shortage of requisite human capacity, failure to use local language and content, and lack of entrepreneurship and a business culture that is open to change. With these issues to contend with, small island states in the Pacific have not been able to reap the benefits of digital development.

I also participated as a panelist in the plenary session on Digital Accessibility, moderated by Rajnesh D. Singh. For me, one key takeaway from this session was the role of governments and the budget priority they should give to accessibility issues, including universal acceptance. There needs to be more across-the-board awareness and education about accessibility issues, for building codes, as well as online, and governments have an important facilitating and catalyzing role in implementing accessibility requirements. This is more so in developing countries where national budgets are usually assigned to other priorities. In the Pacific, for example, the cost of technology development is a major inhibiting factor.
PICISOC will produce a report on the sessions, that members participated in, to the Dynamic Coalition on Small Island States in the Internet Economy as input to the global Internet Governance Forum that will be held in November 2019.

One of the unique features of the APrIGF is a Synthesis Document that is produced by a drafting committee of volunteers. Each day at the event, a Town Hall session was held where participants offered important takeaways from sessions they participated in during the day. These contributions were collated into a document under the six sub-themes of the forum, which becomes a summary of the hot topics, views, and perspectives from this event. When participants attend other similar events, they can reference the document as the views of those who attended this year’s APrIGF event.

Contributing to the success of this event were the great communications teams who were on hand in each of the session rooms. The state-of-the-art equipment at the university ensured quality sessions with clear inputs by every participant (both remotely and in the room). Real-time transcription as well as multiple screens were available – the sort of thing we can only wish for in the Pacific. But it certainly raised the benchmark and ensured that we had a great event. Many thanks to Mikhail, Leonid, and the Russian APrIGF Team for a great event and a great gala as well.

Next year’s APrIGF will be held in Nepal.

Image credit: TLD RU

About Internet Society Community Networks Community Projects Growing the Internet

2019 Chapterthon – Our Chapters, Connecting the World One Community at a Time

Each year, the Chapterthon project competition brings enthusiasm and excitement among our global community. We look forward to this time of year, when our communities mobilize and work alongside each other to achieve a common goal for the development of the Internet.

For the 2019 Chapterthon, we are delighted to announce that 34 Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) from across the globe have started implementing their work on local solutions that will bring some of the hardest-to-reach places and community segments online—connecting the unconnected.

Over the next two months, these 34 projects will:

  • connect underprivileged and rural areas in Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Mali, and South Africa;
  • build a community network in Kenya;
  • establish online databases for rural farmers in Burkina Faso and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • create an online audio library for people living with disabilities in northern rural Argentina;
  • revolutionize a mobile network unit in Madagascar for use in the event of a natural disaster;
  • educate and empower over fifty rural women on how to use the Internet during a friendly game of “Tag”;
  • build an FM broadcast system in rural Ghana; preserve Indigenous culture in rural Brazil;
  • sweat it out at a bootcamp in Trinidad and Tobago to improve digital accessibility; and
  • provide Internet access to rural and remote schools and libraries in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Paraguay, and Senegal.

And this is just a segment of the exciting work that our Chapters will be engaging in over the next two months. If you would like to learn more about these projects, please visit 2019 Projects page.

As our Chapters complete their projects, they will each produce a 3-minute video, summarizing their project and its outcomes. They will share these videos with us, and through a combination of community voting (all Internet Society members are able to vote on the project(s) they like most) and a panel of experts that will have a closer look at the details of each project, three winning projects will be chosen to receive a prize!

We invite all Internet Society members and those of our larger community to take part and help us vote on the winning projects. Please stay tuned and mark your calendars! Voting takes place from 25 November to 5 December, and every vote counts!

If you’d like to take a glance at the creative and inspiring projects that participated in last year’s competition to help ‘shape the future of the Internet of Things’, here are those videos.

Thank you to everyone who applied for this year’s Chapterthon! Dedicated to finding innovative solutions to connecting the half of the population who remain unconnected, these projects will go a long way to helping some of the most remote corners of the world get online. Something we’re very excited about! Because the Internet is for everyone, and we won’t rest until everyone has the choice to be connected.

Thank you for helping us connect the world, one community at a time.

Visit Chapterthon 2019 Projects page

Image credit: Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures

About Internet Society Community Networks Growing the Internet

Community Dispatch: New Hawaii Chapter Says the Internet Still a Force for Good

My first exposure to the Internet Society was back in 1995 when they held the 5th Annual INET International Networking Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was a time when accessing the Internet was a new experience, at least for the public. Terms like hyperlinks, HTTP, FTP, Pine, and the World Wide Web were exciting and the innocence of connecting the world was full of potential.

Fast forward 25 years and the Internet is truly a worldwide resource. With the advent of smartphones, high-speed Internet, wireless technologies, and robust web protocols, accessing and communicating has become a rich experience. But within a quarter of a century, the innocence of the Internet has also tarnished. Not a day goes by without a story in the media about security breaches, privacy lost, horrible things broadcast over social media, online bullying, surveillance, hate speech, and the list goes on.

It is in this environment that we’re launching the Internet Society Hawaii Chapter. The mission of the Internet Society still rings true today: to bring the Internet of opportunity to everyone everywhere, an Internet that is open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy. These principles apply whether you live in an urban center or rural community. And despite misconceptions people may form based on access in Hawaii’s popular tourist destinations, many nearby communities still lack fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.

I look forward to working with Hawaii Chapter members and the community to tackle issues like digital inclusion, privacy, and security, with rural access being front and center. Having a direct connection to the Internet Society will be an important part of establishing Hawaii as a communication hub of the Pacific.

One of the upcoming ways the Hawaii Chapter hopes to shed light on both local access issues and Internet success stories is by co-hosting the upcoming 2019 Indigenous Connectivity Summit November 12-13 in Hilo, Hawaii.

The first two Indigenous Connectivity Summits have already proven great things happen when we work together. We look forward to connecting with Native Hawaiian community members, Indigenous leaders, community network operators, Internet service providers, researchers, and policymakers with a common goal of connecting Indigenous communities across North America to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. If you are interested in joining us, you can register now.

Despite the gloomy narrative increasingly portrayed in media, the Internet is still a powerful force for good. The Hawaii Chapter looks forward to participating in the 2019 Indigenous Connectivity Summit and many other opportunities to highlight how connectivity can support health and wellbeing, economic development, education, and innovation.

Want to get involved? Join the new Internet Society Hawaii Chapter today! If you haven’t already done so, you can also become an Internet Society member and join a global community that believes the Internet is for everyone.

For event updates and information about exciting sponsorship opportunities, please visit the 2019 Indigenous Connectivity Summit website.

Learn about the Internet Society’s work with community networks to support Internet access solutions around the world.

About Internet Society

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.