Growing the Internet Human Rights

Radio MENQ, Voices of Armenia’s Blind, Selected as WSIS Prizes 2017 Champion

Radio MENQ, an Internet radio station created by Armenian blind and visually impaired individuals, has been selected as a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2017 Champion. The project was one of 345 initiatives nominated. Only 90 nominees were selected as Champions, and of the 1.1 million ballots cast, Radio MENQ was among the top five most voted-for media projects. Radio MENQ will be awarded with a Champion certificate from the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General during a special ceremony on Tuesday, 13 June. During that ceremony, WSIS Prizes, which honor outstanding projects that leverage the power of information and communication technology (ICT) to accelerate socio-economic development, will be awarded to 18 Champions.

Radio MENQ was founded from the idea that an Internet radio station would be the greatest opportunity to help the blind and visually impaired. Its first recording took place in March 2016 and was national news in Armenia. It is supported by the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net funding program, which gives everyone the chance to make a positive difference and to join the Internet Society in its mission to provide open, secure internet access for all.

Listen to Radio MENQ and read more about their work.

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Will Artificial Intelligence Change The World For the Better? Or Worse? Read our new policy paper

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a concept that has a long standing tradition in the realm of science-fiction, popularized by Hollywood movies and iconic writers such as Isaac Asimov. However, AI has also received increased attention in recent years following news of progress in the field and the prospect of new, tangible, innovation such as self-driving cars. The Internet has played an important role in these developments, particularly as the platform for AI enabled services  – some with significant implications for the continued development of a trusted Internet. 

The Internet Society is pleased to release a policy paper on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help navigate some of the opportunities and challenges the technology presents, and to support an informed debate by de-mystifying some of its fundamental concepts. A key aspect is understanding machine learning, a specific AI technique that has been driving the development of new algorithms to substitute or support human decision-making – some of which are already deployed online. Smart assistants, such as “Siri” or “Alexa”, use machine learning to interpret voice commands, email servers use the technique to better filter out junk mail, and some e-commerce websites use it to personalize the web experience of their users.

AI is taking on an increasingly important role in international discussions on the Internet. Recently in Dusseldorf, as part of the German G20 presidency, ministers responsible for their countries’ digitalization agendas met with other stakeholders to discuss policies for the digital future. The impact of AI driven applications, alongside strategies for how to capitalize on the Internet’s vast opportunities for productivity and economic growth, were centre stage.

The ability of machines to exhibit advanced cognitive skills to process natural language, to learn, to plan or to perceive, makes it possible for new tasks to be performed by intelligent systems, sometimes with more success than humans. By using AI-driven automation in existing industries, alongside using AI technologies in new emerging areas, artificial intelligence could vastly boost productivity and economic growth.

AI is a technology that could change the world for the better. It can make medical procedures safer, increase productivity and boost the economy, or be used in applications to improve the quality of life for the disabled. But, AI is also a technology that comes with challenges, such as accountability, security, technological mistrust, and the displacement of human workers.

The private sector has acknowledged these opportunities, and investments in AI have grown over the past several years. Major corporations have invested in developing AI technologies. Forrester predicts that investments in AI are set to grow by 300% in 2017 alone. At the same time, workers fear that their livelihood could be replaced by machines. There are serious questions as to who will benefit and who may lose.

However, beyond the economic impact that AI may have, AI will also affect how people perceive and use the Internet. It has the potential to intensify users’ concerns surrounding the Internet, such as questions of accountability, openness, safety, security, and its socio-economic impacts.

With the potential to dramatically impact the economy and society in the near future, AI has moved to the forefront of many policy debates around the world. These debates range from the governance of AI, such as ensuring accountability of algorithmic decisions, to mitigating the impact of AI on employment. There are clear challenges for AI that must be addressed now to support the technology’s positive future.

It is important to note that the anticipated impact of AI is largely based on predictions and estimates. But regardless of the level of impact, AI will affect the world’s economies, citizens, and the Internet.

It is up to all stakeholders today, be they policymakers, businesses, technical, or civil society, to ensure that AI’s impact is a positive one by proactively tackling the challenges, while ensuring the opportunities remain available.

Please read and share our new policy paper: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Beyond the Net Community Projects Development Growing the Internet Internet of Things (IoT)

A drone project to change humanitarian disaster response in Philippines.

Philippines is the 4th most disaster-prone country in the world. When a natural disasters hits we are completely wiped out. In remote and rural parts of the Philippines, telecommunications networks can be spotty most of the times. This scenario is willing to change thanks to the Internet Society’s Philippines Chapter new project supported by Beyond the Net Funding Programme.

The aim of the project is to send UAVs — or what most of us call drones — in disaster zones to act as wireless relays and data aggregators. The drones would set up a local MESH network to help people to get in touch with the loved ones. It would also help emergency workers to work safely and talk to one another. The project will also make possible that the drones will be able to work with Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to find information about the situation on the ground.

In the recent years, interest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been evidenced by innovations in this emerging field. Hobbyists and scientists alike have leveled up the use of UAVs in many ways such as forestry surveys, remote sensing and disaster management. While much of the focus of drones to date has been on military applications and as toys, the future of drones as humanitarian tools is getting more promising by the day. Commercial industries view drones as the new logistics support mechanism for parcel delivery, they are also used by environmental bureaus for tracking river flow changes.

In a country prone to disasters like the Philippines, researchers saw the opportunity to implement drones in the field of disaster management. Over the years, the Ateneo de Manila University Innovation Center has been developing use cases for drone technology, mostly for mission-critical scenarios as decision-support platform. Dr. Nathaniel Joseph Libatique, a professor at Manila University said: “We can all do optimization on battery life, rotor design, and frame aerodynamics, but at the core of engineering for humanity is the UAV’s payload – this niche is a breeding space for innovation. Say for example, we can do a fly-by and detect victims in a collapsed building, or do cooperative flights with ground teams – we can cover the breadth of a situation while scaling up value-added systems such as location detection, risk profiling, and even internet connectivity!”

Using hybrid communications technologies and devices – Push-To-Talk (PTT) Radio, Android-based protocols, Raspberry Pi hubs, 915 MHz and 760 MHz transceivers and delay tolerant communications standards (RFC 5050) – the project team continues to demonstrate how critical information such as victim or survivor identities and needs can be robustly transmitted to command and control using bump communications, aggregation and store and forward techniques. Information analysis such as facial recognition and pre-stored information of survivor social networks, especially for the elderly and PWDs, enable an efficient and targeted response.

Flying over the municipality of San Juan, Batangas, a province 140 kilometers south of Metro Manila, the team did a series of experiments that demonstrated the role of UAVs integrating connectivity, highlighting cooperation and underscoring collaboration. In a disaster situation, responders use various radio communication media and this presents an opportunity to interface drones with these devices. Systems incorporating ground vehicles and UAVs provide the breadth and scale necessary to respond to disasters and undertake victim rescue apart from purely imagery missions. In this series of tests, the team did propagation measurements between “victims” and drones functioning as rescuer/alert vehicle. The UAV was flown above the antenna setup subject to the applicable civil aviation rules, utilizing the frequency (760 MHz) as approved for experimental use by the telecommunications regulator. Initial results reveal the potential of UAVs to complement ground teams in the performance of victim rescue support.

Stay tuned for the upcoming blog and follow our stories on Twitter

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.

How to apply Beyond the Net

Find out more about the programme 

IETF Improving Technical Security Open Internet Standards Technology

Applied Networking Research Workshop – Paper Submission Deadline: 3 April

We’re excited to share news of the second Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW2017), which will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, on July 15. This one-day workshop will be co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Internet Society and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). The Call for Papers is open now, with a deadline of 3 April.

This academic workshop will provide a forum for researchers, vendors, network operators and the Internet standards community to present and discuss emerging results in applied networking research. Accepted papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

ANRW2017 particularly encourages the submission of results that could form the basis for future engineering work in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), that could change operational Internet practices, that can help better specify Internet protocols, or that could influence further research and experimentation in the IRTF.

If you have some relevant work and would like to join us in Prague for the workshop and potentially stay for the IETF 99 meeting that takes place in the following week, please see the full Call for Papers, which includes detailed paper submission and formatting instructions.

I hope to see you in Prague for what promises to be a very interesting workshop and a good warm-up for the IETF and IRTF meetings to follow.

Beyond the Net Community Projects Development Growing the Internet Human Rights IETF Internet Governance Open Internet Standards Technology

How the IETF community is shaping technology to build a better society

The continued advancement in technological landscape enabling more people having Internet access in the global arena has meant that IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) remains at the forefront of integrating technology with humanity. In fact, IETF has made significant use of social dimension to articulate its area of work and research. It is beautifully reflected in section 4.1 of the RFC 3935 wherein it states that “We want the Internet to be useful for communities that share our commitment to openness and fairness.  We embrace technical concepts such as decentralized control, edge-user empowerment and sharing of resources, because those concepts resonate with the core values of the IETF community”. This focus of inclusion remains at forefront of integration of IETF with human dimension of technology. The standards created in IETF are testimony to technical developments and enables innovation by providing a platform for the innovation and interoperability.

Indian IETF Capacity Building (IICB) Program Phase II has received Beyond the Net Support from Internet Society and focuses on creating technical capacity development for increased participation and contribution of technical standards on Internet from India. The program aligns itself with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such of economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

The IICB program was conceived as a traditional program which is hierarchical in nature, meaning it has fixed KPIs rolling up-to objectives and further upward roll up to mission and vision. However, in reality, the program has taken a shift and has focused on creating communities as well which decides their own course of action. This was a marked shift as it required adjustments in the delivery of the program and larger emphasis on adoption. As individuals are important in IETF process, it asked from the program implementers to develop a greater understanding of the role of individual who is going to contribute in the IETF process, the collective beliefs one possesses, the world views on standards and standardization, the priorities of making a contribution as well as loyalties as time has to be taken out from different parts of day, personal and professional space for inching into this community.

Hence, the awareness sessions being carried out in the program focused on human concerns in the technical standard development process in IETF like. The workshops focused on societal benefits of collaborative work happening in IETF and remote participation was not hearing the speakers over Internet, but was a presence across the seas and directly learning from the activities therein.

A significant milestone for IICB program was in late 2016 when a community of technical researchers and academicians based out of 150 KMs from main city of Kolkata, at a place called Mallabhum wherein we had done our awareness sessions and workshops, proposed us their own plans of execution and the task at hand was now just to enable them. Since then they are moving out to do IETF awareness sessions, remotely logging on to IETF sessions, have created smaller sub groups to focus on specific areas of technology and following the debate in IETF mailing lists. Emboldened, one of the key movers is working to get his visa for his first physical participation in IETF in Chicago.

Stay tuned for the upcoming blog and follow our stories on Twitter.

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.

Applications are open until 23th March
Find out more about the programme 

Beyond the Net Community Projects Development Growing the Internet Human Rights

Barev dzez! You are listening to Radio MENQ. The voice of the visually impaired of Armenia.

Beyond the Net Journal: Armenia Chapter #3 Episode

When Armenia declared independence in 1991, the Internet access finally became available, allowing people to be part of the world again. The creation of an Internet Availability Center in 2012 (funded by Internet Society’s grant) at the Culture House for the Blind in Yerevan, triggered creative ideas among active members of the center.

They came to conclusion that an Internet radio station would be the greatest opportunity for helping the blind and visually impaired. The project started in January 2016 supported by the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Funding Programme”. Today, it is a dream come true.

Radio MENQ (“We” in Armenian language) has become a platform empowering people with disabilities. The programming covers practical and psychological matters. Many artists and scientists with disabilities have been invited as guests to share their lived experiences. This radio station is opening up new horizons for the visually impaired and their families.

The project team is comprised of people with disabilities of various specialties. All of them are proficient in their areas and highly motivated in bringing change to people’s lives. Radio MENQ is contributing to the cultural and spiritual development of its audience through psychological advice, reading of prose and fairy tales for children, gaming competitions, and hours of music.

Just taking a look at some of the programs currently on air illustrates the important role this station plays:

  • “You can” – 13 episodes about people who are blind, from ancient to modern times, who demonstrated notable achievements, like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Gurtskaya, Louis Braille
  • “Internet and the blind” – Opportunities and how to use them
  • “Psychology in life” – How to use internal resources to achieve goals
  • “Toward Independence” – Ways to improve self-dependence
  • “Problem and solution” – What role can visually-impaired people play in the society. The role of family and education in the process of socialization. How to overcome psychological barriers when searching for a job.
  • “Rights and privileges” – About legislative solutions for blind people
  •  “Loving a person” – How to destroy barriers in relationships
  •  “My Universities” – How to get a higher education and find a job
  • “Sports and We” –  Brilliant victories in Paralympics sports
  • “Learn to play Chess” – Lessons from the blind master Yura Awetisyan

Radio MENQ has been promoted through mass media, social networks and public events with the involvement of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia Republic. We are proud to say that the blog is getting up to 2,800 visits monthly, and a mobile application to reach a wider audience is in the pipeline.

In Armenia, the estimated number of blind and visually impaired people is 25,000 and in Diaspora 50,000. While the team was discussing ways to expand the project to Diaspora communities, they received this message from United States: “Barev dzez! My name is Laurel and I am a blind student studying at the University of Oklahoma. My instructor is Armenian, and I got inspired to learn Armenian as well. I found your radio station online. I love listening to your programs, and I use it to help teach myself Armenian. When I discovered how hard it was to read with a screen reader in Armenian, I thought why not do something. I am actually working on creating a project that could help blind people in Armenia, Georgia and Russia through technology and educational opportunities. I would really like to connect with the blind community in Armenia, and I plan to visit Yerevan in September.”

The famous blind pianist Levon Karapetyan, who used to move around with helpers, is another inspiring story. While he was in France for a study period he listened to Radio MENQ’s “Toward Independence” and he got very interested in self-development tools mentioned in the program. When he came back to Armenia he visited the station and asked the team to teach him how to use the white cane and other tips to move independently. The mobility training changed his life for the better. A special episode devoted to his experience will be broadcast in the future.

In addition to being a public health concern, blindness also has a great impact on the social and economic wellbeing of an individual. First efforts to educate the blind were attempted at the beginning of the 19th century thanks to the Louis Braille system. Until that time, blind people were considered mostly uneducable and untrainable. One of the worst stereotypes about blindness is the belief of that it limits to the kind of jobs you can do. Blind children acquire this sad way of thinking from society.

The radio station aims to raise awareness about how an appropriate environment can increase the ability of a person with disabilities to work independently and add value to society. After Radio MENQ went on air, many young people have started to learning how to be program presenters and sound technicians. The Armenian blind community is starting to break the stereotypes and prove they are able to work on equal footing.

This project is illustrating the power of the Internet in creating innovation and local solutions with global impact. Radio MENQ is becoming a reference for visually impaired people, also facilitating the collaboration and partnerships needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Watch the video and see the amazing job they are doing

Listen to Radio MENQ

This project is relevant to achieving the following SDGs goals:

More projects for the visually impaired:

Stay tuned for the upcoming blog and follow our stories on Twitter.

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.

Applications are open until 23th March
Find out more about the programme 

Building Trust Improving Technical Security Open Internet Standards Privacy Technology

NDSS 2017 is Coming into Focus

The Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2017) is just around the corner (26 February – 1 March), and details of the program are quickly coming into focus. The full slate of activities includes two keynotes, two workshops, and a full program of excellent peer-reviewed academic research papers.

The Monday keynote speaker, J. Alex Halderman, is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan and Director of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society. In his keynote, “Recount 2016: A Security Audit of the Presidential Election”, he will be talking about electronic voting and his recent experience with recounts from the 2016 presidential election. He will explain how the recounts took place, what was learned, and what needs to change in the future. He will highlight the risks and opportunities associated with computerized voting.

The Wednesday keynote will feature Trent Adams, the Director of Information Security for PayPal, leading the Ecosystem Security team. In his keynote, “Securing the Ecosystem – Collaborating Inside and Out”, he will be talking about all the various approaches that PayPal takes to ensure the security of their systems and the information that those systems contain. He will highlight external collaborations with various organizations to help define standards and best operating procedures for security. This keynote will highlight PayPal’s Ecosystem Security approach including some success stories and next steps.

The main program of NDSS 2017 contains 68 high quality peer-reviewed research papers organized into 15 sessions spread over three days. A poster session will feature roughly 20 posters highlighting new and emerging work in its early stages.

Finally, NDSS 2017 will feature two workshops on the Sunday before the main symposium begins. The first workshop, Useable Security (USEC), is another in a series of Usable Security workshops held in conjunction with NDSS. This year’s USEC Mini-Conference will feature two keynotes, 11 peer-reviewed papers, and a panel discussion.

The second workshop, DNS Privacy, will bring together a mixture of research from a number of sources for a focused working session on the topic. The final programme is still under development, but this workshop promises to be an interactive working session involving a number of key researches, developers, and implementers in this space.

All in all, I am excited by the development of the program, and I hope to see many of you in San Diego in a few weeks! You can also follow along via our social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or search/post using #NDSS17.

25th Anniversary Economy

Nominations Open for the Next Class of Internet Hall of Fame Inductees

Do you know someone who has played a significant role in the development and advancement of the open, global Internet?  Organizations and individuals from around the world are invited to submit nominations to the Internet Hall of Fame.

2017 marks a significant milestone for the Internet Society as we celebrate 25 years of dedication to an open, secure Internet that benefits all people throughout the world.  The Internet has come a long way since its earliest days, and the Internet Hall of Fame honors a select group of visionaries and innovators who were instrumental in the Internet’s development and advancement along the way.

When the Internet Hall of Fame was launched, PC Magazine called that very first inductee class—which included Internet luminaries such as Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee—“Internet rock stars” who were, according to MSNBC, operating on a “whole different level of cool.”

This was a fitting description.  The Internet Hall of Fame celebrates people who made the Internet possible, with innovations that enabled people all over the world to connect to this life-changing global network of networks.  Now in its fourth year, the Internet Hall of Fame is led by an Advisory Board of past inductees who provide leadership in refining the program’s direction and selection process.

As we open nominations, do you know someone deserving of recognition for the technological innovations they conceived, communities they networked, or work that has impacted our lives…and the lives of others in places near and far?

Nominees are considered for induction into one of three categories:

  • Pioneers: Individuals who were instrumental in the design and development of the Internet with exceptional achievements that impacted the Internet’s advancement and evolution.
  • Innovators: Individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, regulatory or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s positive impact on the lives of others.
  • Global Connectors: Individuals who have made major contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet, either on a global scale or within a specific region that resulted in global impact.

The Internet’s very DNA originates from the fabric of a collaborative, global community that fought hard at the Internet’s inception to make it open and inclusive. We all benefit today from the contributions of individuals who helped shape the global Internet with their innovative ideas, groundbreaking technologies, and collaborative work to connect more people and countries.

It’s time to honor these inspiring leaders for their foresight, creativity, dedication, and achievements. We look forward to welcoming the next class of inductees in September as a cornerstone to the Internet Society’s 25th anniversary celebration.

The deadline for nominations for the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2017 inductee class closes March 15.

Please visit to find out more about how to make a nomination.

Building Trust Growing the Internet Improving Technical Security Internet Governance

4 Critical Internet Questions The G20 Leaders Will Debate in 2017

Last week was the “Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20” event, a joint conference between the OECD and the German government setting the stage for the G20 meeting later this year in Hamburg, Germany. As an international forum gathering the world’s twenty major economies this is as much a political event as a thermometer on the major concerns that will drive international ICT policy in the near future.

Resisting a reflex of fear and isolation

The 2017 G20 on “Shaping an Interconnected world” is taking place in a context where the Internet has an ever growing influence on geopolitical affairs. All major international fora, whether the UN Security Council, NATO or G7, are all deliberating the challenges and opportunities that have emerged as technology and connectivity are redefining the world.

However, it is also taking place in a context of political strides towards a “deglobalization” of the Internet, despite the world’s increasing dependency on a global network. Never has the Internet’s contribution to economic growth been so important: nearly 40% of G20 economic growth is driven by the digital economy, and the Internet economy in developing markets is steadily growing by 15%-25% per year – all enabled by the Internet’s global character. Yet, what we are observing today is a reflex of fear, and attempts to address global issues through inward-looking national solutions.

In a context where nationalist and de-globalization movements makes progress in all parts of the world, and where concerns of cyber security is growing, we see a new focus on borders and government control that threatens to splinter the Internet into separate networks based on technology and regulations. At their 2016 summit, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) called for cyber-borders and the respect of their cyber-sovereignty. Other countries like the US have sent signs they could revert to cyber-protectionisms by pulling out of the global trade agreements in the Pacific region (TTIP). More worrying, the exercise of government control such as Internet shutdowns have also increased in a growing number of countries as shown the last Freedom House Report.

It is important to recognize that the opportunities of information technology are also coupled with challenges. The issues we see today are in many cases legitimate concerns for governments with the responsibility to protect the welfare of their citizens and the stability of their economies. For example, cyber attacks are a growing concern for individual users and businesses alike. As highlighted in the Internet Society’s 2016 Global Internet Report, a recent survey from the U.S. NTIA found that 45% of US people had changed their online behaviour because of their fears. With cyberattacks estimated to cost the global economy $445 billion annually it is not surprising that calls for action are at the top of many agendas.

But there are also other concerns beyond the issues of security. The sharing economy, i.e. the “uberization” of traditional services, is creating challenges to the social compact of many democracies. Many countries are approaching an era of higher automation with concerns for employment and the impact on society. A study performed by Oxford university estimates that 50% of current jobs could be replaced by artificial intelligence in the medium term, revealing the Internet’s full potential of disrupting industries and societies.

From the view of the Internet Society all of these issues amount to one greater concern – trust. It is the key ingredient for a sustainable, evolving, global Internet. Without it, the global network of networks crumbles, leaving behind a fragmented Internet with lost opportunities.

As outlined in ISOC’s policy framework for an open and trusted Internet, one of the key dimensions of sustaining a trusted Internet is to promote a Trustworthy ecosystem for its governance, which is ultimately dependent on a collaborative approach among all stakeholders. Only then can issues such as the impacts of security and privacy incidents on the market place be addressed through effective security and privacy risk management strategies and policies. Without it, there is a risk that unilateral solutions instead create residual damage through blunt and inefficient solutions – possibly creating larger damage than the problem to be solved.

An open and global Internet is the way forward

With the German presidency of the G20 we see that Internet issues rise to the highest level on the agenda. Heads of State of the 20 most powerful countries in the world will be tackling multiple questions – all of which will require the collaboration of all stakeholders:

  • Access: What are the policy frameworks that need to be put in place to accelerate Access development and ensure that the remaining half of the global population gets online? How do we improve networks and services through convergence? How do we promote competition while fostering innovation and investment? Addressing these questions is critical to global commitments such as the 2030 Development Agenda.
  • Openness and Innovation: What does Openness mean and why it is important? What policy priorities are driving different approaches to Internet openness in different countries, and whole-of-government approaches to digital innovation? As highlighted in the Cancun declaration adopted at the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy, openness is key to realise the Internet’s full potential – that must be the guiding light in what seems like a dark time.
  • Trust: How do we develop and implement digital security and privacy risk management strategies? What are the impacts of digital security and privacy incidents on the market place? What is the link between consumer trust and market growth/e-commerce? To solve these issues governments must recognise the importance of a collaborative approach, built on multistakeholder collaboration. This was one of the key outcomes at the G7 meeting in Japan last year, and we hope that it can inspire a similar approach among this greater group of countries.
  • Jobs and skills: How do we foster employment creation in new economic activities while mitigating the social costs of job displacement in mature industries? How do we develop new approaches to education, training and re-skilling to meet the fast-changing demand for new skills in the digital economy? These issues are key to ensure that the Internet’s full potential is harnessed, while recognising its mission to serve humanity.

The G20 will take place at a crossroad in time, where the future development of the Internet can take on several scenarios. We know this through The Internet Society’s project on the Future of the Internet, where many of the topics to be discussed at the G20 has been identified by our community of experts as key drivers that will shape the Internet in the coming years. Governments’ responses to cyber attacks, the issue of market consolidation and artificial intelligence are some of those dominant drivers.

How they play out, and how we as an Internet community respond, will determine what version of the Internet we will see in five years.


Note: this post was originally published on the Huffington Post.

Building Trust Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Human Rights Improving Technical Security Open Internet Standards Technology

NDSS 2017 Deadlines Approaching

NDSS 2017 is almost here! The Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) symposium fosters information exchange among researchers and practitioners of network and distributed system security. The target audience includes those interested in practical aspects of network and distributed system security, with a focus on actual system design and implementation. NDSS 2017 takes place February 26 through March 1, 2017, at Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa in San Diego, California.

Here are some upcoming deadlines you should know about:

The List of Accepted Papers is online now, with a full schedule coming soon. There are also two workshops happening, one on DNS Privacy and the other on Useable Security. 

NDSS brings together leaders in cybersecurity — university researchers and educators, chief technology and privacy officers, security analysts and system administrators, and operations and security managers – to encourage and enable the Internet community to apply, deploy, and advance the state of available network and distributed system security technology. In order to have the greatest impact, peer reviewed papers are freely available and reproducible (for noncommercial purposes).

I hope you will be able to join us in San Diego next month for what promises to be an exciting and educational event!


Growing the Internet

Conectando Lo Desconectando: La Historia de la Visita A Una Escuela Agua Azul, México

¿Cómo llevas el internet a un pueblo remoto en México donde ni siquiera hay servicio telefónico? En junio de 2016, salimos en viaje a fin de responder esta pregunta. Fue el día antes del inicio del OECD Ministerial Meeting en el Digital Economy en Cancun y nuestro ISOC Mexico Chapter arregló la visita.

Nuestro grupo era pequeño: Internet Society President & CEO Kathy Brown, Regional Bureau Director para América Latina Sebastián Bellagamba, Alejandro Pisanty del ISOC Mexico Chapter y yo.

En un estacionamiento a las afueras de Cancún conocimos a Camilo Olea (en la fotografía arriba a la derecha) y Pedro González. Ellos son los fundadores de Kaanbal, una organización sin fines de lucro que busca levar internet a regiones remotas de México. También son los beneficiarios de una  concesión para una Sociedad de Internet “Más allá de la Red”.

Desde ahí condujimos unos 60 kilómetros al oeste de Cancún para llegar a la pequeña comunidad de Agua Azul, en el municipio de Lázaro Cárdenas, Quintana Roo. Una zona con unas 450 o 500 personas  en el área selvática de la Península de Yucatán.

Después de estacionarnos y visitar el centro comunitario, anduvimos abajo por el camino, rumbo a la escuela. Dos de los tres salones se encontraban en plena clase, y visitamos ambos. Hay unos 120 estudiantes entre la secundaria y la preparatoria. No todos los estudiantes vienen de Agua Azul, sino de al menos otras 5 comunidades cercanas.

A pesar de la antena que se puede ver en el techo de la escuela, ésta no tiene ningún tipo de acceso a internet. De hecho, los residentes deben manejar un largo trecho en carretera si es que quieren lograr enviar un mensaje de texto.

El primer paso fue para Pedro González, instalando un servidor Raspberry Pi configurado con el software de distribución RACHEL. El Pi conectado a una red WiFi. De inmediato fue posible buscar localmente usando la computadora portátil del profesor y las tablets que traíamos con nosotros.

Entonces, aquí tenemos la respuesta a la primera pregunta — ¿cómo llevas el internet a un lugar donde no hay servicio telefónico?

La verdad era que nosotros llevamos “recursos de internet” a la comunidad. El contenido de Wikipedia, un paquete de cursos de Khan Academy, libros, guías médicas y de salud, videos de cómo tocar instrumentos, y mucho más. RACHEL (acrónimo de Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) es un Proyecto de World Possible para llevar educación y contenidos a comunidades aisladas como Agua Azul.

En un nivel técnico, un servidor RACHEL es esencialmente una copia en cache de una variedad de sitios web. Con el espacio de  almacenamiento a costos bajos, una cantidad significativa de contenido web puede ser compartido. Evidentemente no se tendrán actualizaciones en tiempo real, pero para materiales educativos funciona bien.

El sitio web de RACHEL enlista el contenido disponible. Pedro y Camilo lo exploran e identifican los recursos que piensan serán de mayor ayuda para la comunidad. Todo está disponible en español. Es cuando se ocupan en cargar todos los módulos en el servidor Pi, y así, llevarlos a la comunidad.

Fue algo muy impactante mirar a los estudiantes mientras interactuaban con sitios como la Wikipedia, cosa que para muchos de nosotros es de lo más normal.

Por ejemplo, Kathy pidió a algunos estudiantes que buscaran contenido en Wikipedia respecto a Virginia —lugar donde ella nació y vive—, y que hablaran sobre ello. Después les pidió que encontraran y compartieran con el resto de la clase acerca del lugar donde ellos viven en México. Observar su interés y entusiasmo hizo para mí que todo el viaje valiera la pena.

No nos quedamos mucho tiempo. Después de todo ¡llegamos en medio de las clases! Pero lo que sí conseguimos fue una buena visión sobre poder llevar recursos desde internet a comunidades como esta.

Más allá de los recursos, vi que esto está preparando a la gente para un acceso total a internet. En tanto estos estudiantes exploraban los enlaces y buscaban entre el contenido disponible, estaban aprendiendo las habilidades que todos nosotros usamos todo el tiempo en el mundo digital.

Hubo buenas noticias en ese tema, también. Parece ser que otro grupo de personas, en un proyecto previo para llevar internet algunos años antes, había dejado instalada una torre de radio en la escuela. Nuestro equipo de Kaanbal e ISOC Mexico registraron la información necesaria acera de la ubicación de esta torre, así como su altura.

Ahora el objetivo es encontrar a alguien que pueda conectar Agua Azul a internet usando esta torre. Cuando eso se logre, ¡los estudiantes estarán completamente listos!

Caminando de vuelta a los coches, Pedro explicó más sobre sus esfuerzos en México.  Ya habían tenido interés en trabajar en otras comunidades. También están trabajando para adaptar el software a las necesidades específicas de cada comunidad. Por ejemplo, Pedro y Camilo pueden recopilar la retroalimentación de los profesores en relación a qué tipo de recursos van a necesitar para futuras clases —y así, llevarles contenido actualizado en su próxima visita.

Mientras conducimos de vuelta a Cancún para el inicio del OECD Ministerial Meeting, solo puedo pensar en el subtítulo del evento: “Innovación, Crecimiento y Prosperidad Social”.

Esfuerzos como este son ejemplos de cómo podemos lograr ese crecimiento y prosperidad social. Material y contenido desarrollado con la colaboración de mucha gente alrededor de todo el internet.  Software (RACHEL) y hardware (Raspberry Pi), creado y desarrollado por comunidades en internet. Y luego, grupos de gente sobre el terreno llevando toda esa información global hasta el ámbito  local, a las comunidades. Innovación y crecimiento impulsados por la notable creatividad de la colaboración.

¡ESTA es la forma de llevar el “Internet de las oportunidades” a todos!

Más información:

ACTUALIZACION: Pedro Gonzalez elaboró este video que provee otra perspectiva de la visita:

Growing the Internet

Connecting The Unconnected: The Story of a Visit to a School in Agua Azul, Mexico

How do you bring the “Internet” to a remote village in Mexico that doesn’t even have phone service? On June 20, 2016, we set out to understand that question. It was the day before the start of the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy in Cancun,and our ISOC Mexico Chapter arranged for this visit.

Our group was small: Internet Society President & CEO Kathy Brown, Regional Bureau Director for Latin America Sebastián Bellagamba, Alejandro Pisanty of the ISOC Mexico Chapter and myself.

In a parking lot on the outskirt of Cancun we met Camilo Olea (pictured above on the right) and Pedro González. They are the founders of Kaanbal, a nonprofit organisation seeking to bring the Internet to remote regions of Mexico. They are also the recipients of an Internet Society “Beyond The Net” grant.

From there we drove about 60 kilometres west of Cancun to reach the small community of Agua Azul in the municipality of Lázaro Cardenas, Quintana Roo. It is about 450-500 people out in the jungle area of the Yucatan Peninsula.

After parking and visiting a local community centre, we walked down the road to the school. Two of the three classrooms were in session, and we visited both. There are about 120 students between the middle school and high school. The students come not only from Agua Azul but also at least five other nearby communities.

Despite the satellite dish shown on the roof of the school, there was no Internet access available. In fact, residents have to drive a good distance to a highway just to be able to send a text message.

The first step was for Pedro González to install a Raspberry Pi server configured with the RACHEL software distribution. The Pi connected to a WiFi access point. Instantly we were able to browse locally using the teacher’s laptop computer and the iPads we had brought with us.

This, then, was the answer to that first question – how do you bring the “Internet” to a place where there is no phone service?

In truth, we were bringing “Internet resources” to the community. The content of Wikipedia, a set of Khan Academy courses, books, medical and health guides, videos about how to play instruments, and so much more. RACHEL, short for Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning, is a project of World Possible to bring educational content out to communities such as Agua Azul.

On a technical level, a RACHEL server is essentially a cached copy of a variety of websites. With storage space now being so cheap, a significant amount of web content can be shared. Obviously, you don’t have the real-time updates, but for educational material, this can be fine.

The RACHEL website lists the range of available content. Pedro and Camilo went through and identified the resources that they thought would be most helpful to the community. All of it is available in Spanish. They loaded those modules on the Pi server and brought it to the village.

It was powerful to watch the students as they interacted with sites such as Wikipedia that many of us simply take for granted.

As an example, Kathy asked a few students to find information in Wikipedia about Virginia, where she lives and talked about where she was from. Next, she asked them to find and share with the rest of the class information about where they live in Mexico. Seeing their interest and enthusiasm made the trip worthwhile to me.

We didn’t stay too long. After all,  school was in session! But we did get a good glimpse into the power of bringing resources from the Internet out to communities such as this.

Beyond the resources, I saw that this is preparing people for full Internet access. As these students tapped on the links and searched the available content, they were learning the skills that we use every day in the online world.

There was good news on that topic, too. It seems that a previous project to bring Internet access a few years earlier by a different group had left behind an installed radio tower at the school. Our team members from Kaanbal and ISOC Mexico recorded the necessary information about the tower location and height.

Their goal now is to find someone who can connect Agua Azul to the Internet using this tower. When they do, the students in the school will be ready!

Walking back to the cars, Pedro explained more about their efforts in Mexico. Already they’ve had interest from other communities. They are also working to tailor the software to the specific interests of the communities. For instance, Pedro and Camilo can collect feedback from teachers about what resources they need for upcoming lessons – and then bring updated software when they next visit.

As we drove back to Cancun for the start of the OECD Ministerial Meeting, I could only think of the subtitle of the event: “Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity”.

Efforts like this are how we can bring about that growth and social prosperity. Material and content developed through the collaboration of many people across the open Internet. Software (RACHEL) and hardware (Raspberry Pi) created and developed by communities on the Internet. And then groups on the ground bringing that global information into local communities. Innovation and growth fueled by the remarkable creativity of collaboration.

THIS is how we bring the “Internet of Opportunity” to everyone!

More information:

UPDATE: Camilo Olea provided a Spanish translation of this blog post.

UPDATE: Pedro González provided this video that gives another view into the visit: