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LACIGF5 - Bogota, Colombia - 24 to 26 September 2012

LACIGF5: recurrent themes and emerging issues

Following the previous post about the multistakeholder and bottom up processes in Latin America and Caribbean preparatory meeting for Internet Governance Forum – LACIGF5 [ http://www.diplointernetgovernance.org/profiles/blogs/lacigf5-bogot... ], this post will share my views on the content discussed.

First, it is important to highlight the plurality of views that took place in this meeting between actors and sectors were participating for the first time, with new and refreshing ideas on many of the recurring themes, and opinions and ideas of actors with many years of participation in these spaces. This aspect remarkably reflects diversity of ideas and actors involved.

The thematic sessions were: (i) Access and Diversity; (ii) Security, Privacy and Openness; (iii) Internet Governance for Development; (iv) Administration and Management of Critical Internet Resources; (v) Emerging Issues; and (vi) Taking Stock and the way forward. Each of them was divided into sub-themes following the community feedback in a previous consultation.

Many of the sub-themes that were included in the LACIGF's agenda of this year are recurring themes that have already been discussed in previous years in our region. However it had new topics that are seen as regional emerging issues.

The participants had a common understanding that repeated themes for discussions could be an indicator that those cases are still pending in our region and need immediate solution. On the other hand, this point was also perceived as a weakness for the LACIGF5 process as the participants do not move on new discussions, keeping the same arguments over and over each year.

A hot topic has been related to the session about Internet Governance for Development. Some participants have argued that it is a transversal issue and should not be in a single session. Others have advocated that having a separate and independent session to address the subject will reinforce and focus the discussions, as development is a central issue for our region.

In the session about critical Internet resources, all participants have been invited to rethink what resources should be really considered "critical," according to the state of evolution presented by the Internet in these days.

Among the sub-themes within the thematic sessions, we can mention some highlighted discussions:

net neutrality was a recurrent topic addressed in several sessions and groups of discuss;

• the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to be held in December this year in Dubai, in which will be discussed the modification of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) with the possibility to include Internet into the field of telecommunications. If it succeeds, Internet will remain under the umbrella of an international treaty within the ITU, and therefore of the governments, with the consequence of leaving out other actors involved in this underlying multistakeholder model to Internet Governance;

freedom of expression and other human rights on the Internet were key transversal and recurrent debates;

• the censorship and surveillance have divided participants as some are keen on security and safety aspects and others believe that freedom must prevail over control, and specifically it has been discussed the regulatory framework on cybercrime and cyber security in our region, as well as the need to harmonize and balance legislation or not in the region on privacy and personal data protection;

• the measure to avoid exposure of privacy in social networks and how have moved the line between public from the private as well as increased awareness of citizens who are users of social networks and online services and they are claiming that they protect their privacy and their data when they are sharing online;

• the mobile Internet has been also addressed as an imminent challenge to our region to keep the growth to Internet access;

• the "black market" of IPv4 address, a possible scenario to be faced due to IP version 4 exhaustion in our region, has been touched as a key challenge in IP resources policies;

• the importance of regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and its relationship to the creation of local content was raised, based on a recent report from Internet Society;

• the development of open standards that allow we continue enjoying an open, global and interoperable Internet;

• the mechanisms to protect intellectual property rights online and the use of free and open technologies as a means to preserve an open Internet;

• the costs and quality of access in the countries of our region;

• the multilingualism as a means of ensuring that all communities have an Internet presence; and

• the importance of remote participation with effective interaction as a mechanism to encourage a greater number of people and make their voices heard as if they were physically present in these spaces for discussion.

Many of these sub-topics will be discussed next month at the meeting in Baku, so it is important to have started a regional level discussion to highlight our main concerns into each topic.

And if you want to know how these discussions have been collaboratively build among multiple stakeholders, follow the next post!

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