DiploFoundation Internet Governance Capacity Building (IGCBP): Please introduce yourself and your work with the technical community.
Fahd A. Batayneh: I hail from Jordan. I am affiliated with Jordan’s National IT Center; the registry of Jordan’s ccTLD under (.jo) and Jordan’s IDN ccTLD under (.الاردن / .alordon), amongst others.
I work as a Sun Solaris and Linux Systems Engineer, and I am also a Names and Numberings Specialist. I am a key member of Jordan’s Names and Numberings initiatives that aim at deploying latest names and numberings trends such as IPv6, ENUM, DNS, and IDNs. I am also Jordan’s member to ICANN’s Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
Diplo IGCBP: That seems very impressive - since when did you work with these topics?
Fahd: I have been involved with the Internet community since June 2008. Back then, I attended my first ICANN meeting in Paris, France. From there on, I became a regular figure in subsequent meetings. In December 2008, I joined 2 working groups of ICANN. These working groups required that I be affiliated with one of the constituencies of ICANN, thus choosing the ccNSO since it is very much related to my field of affection and expertise
Diplo IGCBP: Please tell us more about the Internet community and how you got into the Internet governance field.
Fahd: The Internet community is extremely diverse both knowledge wise and cultural representation wise. In terms of knowledge, one deals with technical professionals, lawyers, management staff... amongst others, thus being able to learn many new aspects of the Internet. In terms of cultural representation, the Internet community has representatives from all over the world each echoing concerns and needs related to ones country or region. A reasonable part of the discussions in ICANN meetings revolves around Internet Governance. In fact, in the past few meetings I have attended, a dedicated session entitled “Internet Governance” was moderated, and a substantial number of attendees were present discussing their needs and concerns
Hearing much about Internet Governance, I decided to enroll in the IGCBP2010 program. I was extremely excited when I was given the opportunity to attend the Foundation Phase, and I invested this generous opportunity wisely
Diplo IGCBP: And how was that?
Fahd: The IGCBP was my first real exposure to Internet Governance. Ironically, it was my first online course as well, but I must admit that it was – by far - an overwhelming experience. It was extremely exciting to learn so many new topics that are being discussed in various Internet Governance Forums – whether regional IGFs or the international IGF. It also gave me the opportunity to meet new friends from a diverse range of countries and cultures, and get an insight on Internet Governance issues in their countries or regions
The amount of knowledge gained solely depends on the student. The course material aims at guiding a student, but if one wants to learn more, additional research must be conducted. And then comes the topic of hyperlinks which is an excellent way to interact online and post elaborations and thoughts. The class forum is an excellent place to write short articles related to IG issues. The chat sessions were good means to interact in a livelier manner. Our tutor Charity Gamboa-Embley was fascinating and extremely professional in her approach towards the classroom; she shared much of her knowledge, and she guided the class in the best of its interest
One of the things that drew my attention was the final 3 chat sessions. In the first of the three sessions, we were requested to choose a topic from a list provided by our tutor and write about it. In the second and third sessions, we were requested to work in groups. I believe the first session (the individual report writing) aimed at preparing us for the final exam. The subsequent two sessions aimed at preparing us for the “Research Phase” of the course
Diplo IGCBP: What are you doing now and what are the next steps?
Fahd: I am currently enrolled in the “Advanced Phase”. Despite the fact that I am an IT professional, I decided to enroll in the “Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)” track. As part of my work in the field of names and numberings, I come across IPR related issues such as “Power of Attorneys” and disputes related to domain names. In addition, Jordan does not have any functional cyber laws. Thus, in learning more on IG and IPR, I aim at submitting a proposal to Jordan’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MoICT) in order to push this critical and important issue forward
At an international level, I am an active participant within the Internet community. By enrolling in the IGCBP, I aim at broadening my participation to include Internet Governance issues. Currently, there have been proposals within the Arab community to hold regular Arab IGF meetings, and I look forward to be part of that
Diplo IGCBP: From all the issues discussed, which ones meant more to you?
Fahd: I believe all Internet Governance issues are of high importance, and they are all interrelated in the form of a closed loop. The Internet – as we all know - has a wealth of resources to learn from. It is the Internet that connects all communities around the world, it is the Internet that makes this world look like a small village, it is the Internet that has made our lives easier, but it is also the Internet that has forced us – as communities – to devise new legislations and practices to coexist with
Issues such as e-commerce have gained huge attention worldwide. Many countries depend on e-commerce in their day-to-day activities. However, without the Internet, this commodity is of no use. In order to encourage e-commerce, special regulations must be devised in the form of IPR. In addition, secure e-commerce transaction is a necessity to push this commodity forward; non-secure e-commerce systems and transactions would lose the trust of communities, thus sending some of them back to the Stone Age
Diplo IGCBP: Fadh, would you like to share any final message?
Fahd: In order to push Internet Governance debates forward, everyone involved must voice his/her concerns and needs - whether as individuals or as communities. Most of this will depend on voluntary work and passionate devotion. The initiation must start from our local communities, yet benefiting from the experiences of others. Since we do not live in a perfect world, perfection can never be gained. However, we must thrive and excel to try to reach there.
The full text of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance (6th edition) is available here. The translated versions in Serbian/BCS, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese are also available for download.