Internet Governance Forum 2015: issues and themes

20 October 2015 Author: Ajit Jaokar, EIF Advisor

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder, democratic and transparent forum which facilitates discussions on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance.

IGF provides enabling platform for discussions among all stakeholders in the Internet governance ecosystem, including all entities accredited by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), as well as other institutions and individuals with proven expertise and experience in all matters related to Internet governance. IGF 2015 will take place in João Pessoa, Brazil on 10-13 November under the title “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development”.

As in previous years, EIF is working closely with the European Parliament and the European Commission delegations to facilitate bilateral meetings.

This blog by Ajit Jaokar, EIF Advisor, aims to highlight the key issues at IGF.

IGF agenda includes main sessions and also suggested workshops. The issues discussed at IGF form the main themes affecting the evolution of the Internet. The workshops are grass roots proposals from the community. Hence, these themes are valuable for Policy makers.

Main Sessions

The main sessions are listed HERE and are summarized below.

1. WSIS+10 (world summit on information society)

A discussion on WSIS+10

2. Dynamic Coalitions
A discussion on bringing the work of the Dynamic sessions into the mainstream. The following DCs will be part of the main session:

• Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD)
• Dynamic Coalition on Core Internet Values (DCCIV)
• Dynamic Coalition on Gender and Internet Governance (DCGIG)
• Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights & Principles (IRPC)
• Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality (DCNN)
• Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility (DCPR)
• Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries (DCPAL)
• Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things (DCIoT)

3. Best Practices Forum Wrap-up
The Best Practices Wrap-up Main Session intends to conclude the cycle leading to the six Best Practices Forums held at IGF Brazil. These are: I. Developing meaningful multistakeholder participation mechanisms, II. Regulation and mitigation of unwanted communications (e.g. "spam"), III. Establishing and supporting Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) for Internet security, IV reating an enabling environment for IPv6 adoption, V. Enabling environments to establish successful IXPs, and VI. Practices to countering abuse against women online.

4. Internet Economy and Sustainable Development
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aimed at guiding policy in achieving dignity, well being, and equality for all the world’s people - especially the poor and undeserved. (Ref paper "The Internet and Sustainable Development" by Constance Bommelaer, ISOC). The issues are: Economic Development, Gender equality, Access to information, Right to health and education, Availability of local content online. 

5. A dialogue on “Zero rating” and Network Neutrality
The goal of this session is to provide the global Internet community and policymakers in particular, with an informed and balanced dialogue on the complex Internet policy issue of “zero-rating.”

6. The NETmundial Multistakeholder Declaration and the Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem
The NETmundial Multi-stakeholder Statement covers a wide range of Internet Governance issues that are of great interest to IGF. In particular, the Statement highlighted the need for a strengthened IGF in its mandate of serving as the focal point for the discussion of many issues that are not being adequately addressed by existing organizations and fora.

7. Human rights on the Internet
Thus sessions builds on two recent trends - the increasing prominence of human rights issues at the IGF and the growing capacity of the IGF to inform discussions at other policy bodies, the main session on human rights intends to:

a) Surface key issues related to human rights and IGF;
b) Facilitate discourse between the IGF and other institutions dealing with human rights-related international public policies regarding the internet;
c) Surface linkage between access and human rights.

8. Addressing Cybersecurity and Building Resilience through Stakeholder Collaborations
This session aims to discuss themes that relating to cybersecurity and resilience that aim to:

• Boost global trust, promote international stability of the internet and enhance cooperation in global internet governance
• Develop safer ways to do business and transact online
• Protect people from threats to the exercise of their online freedoms
• Identify, isolate and protect people from crime related activities
• Augment and complement existing G2G multilateral, intergovernmental and multistakeholder initiatives to address global and national issues

Accepted Workshops

Workshops proposals come from the community and are listed HERE. I have classified the listing below by the following categories: Society, Technology, Safety, Governance and multi-stakeholder, Regional, Participation and Debate. Because the workshops are suggested by the community, they represent issues of future importance for policy makers


• Hatred & Dangerous Speech Online in South Asia
• How Can Internet Policy-Making Support LGBT Rights?
• Documentary heritage in the digital age
• “Governing Darknet with regards to drug policy”
• When Governments Hit ‘Like’ on the ‘War on Terror’
• Mitigate Online Hate Speech and Youth Radicalisation
• Organising an Internet Social Forum - Occupy the Internet
• Cuts Right Across: Consent in the Digital Age
• Hate and discriminatory speech and FoE online
• freedom of Expression online: Gaps in policy and practice
• Blasphemy policies: Consequences for digital world
• The Right to Protest Online
• Hancel: a mobile tool for safety of journalists
• Tech-related gender violence x Freedom of Expression
• Digibak Bootcamp: Play. Collaborate. Change the World
• Empowering the next billion by improving accessibility
• Community Networks: a Revolutionary Paradigm
• Civil Society and Information Controls in the Global South


• FOSS & a Free, Open Internet: Synergies for Development
• Keeping Your Credentials Secure Online: A Roundtable
• Cybersecurity Awareness though Multistakeholder outreach
• The “Right to be Forgotten” Rulings and their Implications
• Mobile and IoT Expand Inclusion for Persons w/ Disabilities
• Local Infrastructure Equals Local Development
• Internet of Things. Ethics for the Digital Age
• Big Data for Development: Privacy Risks and Opportunities
• Bitcoin, Blockchain and Beyond: FLASH HELP!
• Net Neutrality: Yes, No or Maybe?
• IPv6 Transition up to date
• Spectrum allocations: challenges & opportunities at the edge
• Evolving Cyber Assurance for the Internet
• Encryption and Anonymity: Rights and Risks
• Connected vehicles: net governance and autonomous transport
• Commonwealth approach on National Cybersecurity Strategies
• Understanding Effective Cyber Security Capacity Building
• Zero Rating, Open Internet and Freedom of Expression
• IANA functions transition:A New Era in Internet Governance?
• Mobile Payment Boosts Internet Economy and Challenges
• The Politics of Encryption


• Child Online Protection through Multistakeholder Engagement
• Multistakeholder Solutions for Youth-Produced Sexual Content
• No Grey Areas – Against Sexual Exploitation of Children
• Managing security risks for sustainable development
• Cybersecurity, human rights and Internet business triangle
• Terms of Service as Cyber-Regulation

Governance and Multistakeholder

• How Trade Agreements Shape the Future of Internet Governance
• Digital economy, jobs and multistakeholder practices
• Multistakeholder practices enabling sustainable development
• Internet Governance 2015: Promoting Trade, Inclusion & Trust
• Can civil society impact Global Internet Governance?
• Bottom-up Meets Top-down: When Governance Systems Intersect
• IGF beyond 2015: Extend mandate, strengthen institution
• The Destabilization of Internet Governance
• Democracy 3.0: Representation & the Multistakeholder Model
• Indicators to promote evidence-based policymaking
• Equity and the developing world in internet governance
• Role of Women in IGF in the Past, the Present and the Future
• Internet governance and Open Government Data initiatives
• The woman's role in the Internet Governance over the years
• Engaging youth in a multistakeholderism practicum
• A multistakeholder and human rights approach to cybersecurity
• Building Internet Observatories: approaches and challenges
• Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance-IANA Stewardship
• A network of virtual working spaces for Internet Governance?
• National and Transnational Internet Governance: Jurisdiction
• WGIG +10
• The Global “Public Interest” in Critical Internet Resources
• OERs and empowerment through quality online content
• Benchmarking ICT companies on digital rights
• The Benefits and Challenges of the “Free Flow” of Data
• Death and the Internet - Managing Digital Legacies
• How to Bridge the Global Internet Economy Divide?
• “Internet Plus” to Fuel Industry Evolution
• Implementing Core Principles in the Digital Age
• How communities restore trust in the digital environment
• Enabling the Next Billion Users through Universal Acceptance
• Law enforcement in a world pervasive encryption
• Cases on the right to be forgotten, what have we learned?
• Connect 2020 Agenda Implementation: Challenges/Opportunities
• Balancing privacy and transparency to promote freedom online
• Can Internet rights and access goals be reconciled?
• Zero-rating and neutrality policies in developing countries
• Unlocking internet economy through copyright reform
• DoubleIrish, DutchSandwich, a Caipirinha: Internet Taxation Tale
• Ensuring sustainability for IXPs in the developing world
• Economics of Global Internet Deployment
• Internet interconnection under regulatory pressure
• The Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability
• Results from Pilot Deliberative Poll @ IGF2015


• An Observatory of Web Accessibility - the case of Portugal
• Mexico: The National Digital Strategy and the MSH model
• Political dissent & online anonymity in developing countries
• #AfricanInternetRights: whose rights are these anyway?
• SIDS Roundtable: the "Free Internet" - Bane or Boon?
• Digital economy in LATAM and its sustainable development

Participation and debate

• Viable application & debate: online participation principles
• Transnational Due Process: A Case Study in MS Cooperation
• Through the Looking Glass: enhanced cooperation in LAC
• Beyond the tipping point: SID in the global South
• Promoting local actions to secure internet rights
• Enhancing Gender Participation within IGFs
• Role of Local & Regional Prvt. Sector in Global Internet Gov
• IXPs: Driving connectivity and local economies
• Revenue Streams that Grow & Sustain Internet Economies

More info about IGF 2015:

• Internet Governance Forum

• Internet Governance Forum 2015

See event

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