This week Public Knowledge’s Director of Global Policy, Gus Rossi, and Development Manager, Katie Watson, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the 12th Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The IGF brings together people from a variety of stakeholder groups, including public interest organizations, government agencies, industry representatives, academics, and others in order to discuss their work and the challenges they each face in creating good internet governance policies. This annual event serves as an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the important work other groups are carrying out, and to share best practices.
Last week, Public Knowledge and the Organization of American States (OAS) organized a joint roundtable on “Cybersecurity and Civil Society in the Americas,” which took place at the OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the support of Open Society Foundations, the roundtable included civil society organizations from all over the Americans: Derechos Digitales, Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC), ADC Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Karisma, TEDIC, Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3D), CodingRights, InternetLab, Datos Protegidos, Ipandetec, Hiperderecho, Access Now, New America, and more. It also included the active participation of high-ranking members of the Canadian, American, Colombian, and Guatemalan governments, the Brazilian Armed Forces, and private organizations.
Over the past several years, the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency specializing in information and communication technologies, has been discussing new ways to regulate internet services and applications. These apps include favorites like Skype, Signal, Line, Telegram, and Vimeo -- essentially most popular “over-the-top” (OTT) and streaming applications. These discussions will have serious consequences for both how you use the internet and your internet freedom. How we govern streaming services closely affects how we govern the internet itself. Expect this transformative internet governance conversation to escalate in the ITU and other arenas as we approach the ITU’s 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference, or “Plenipot”.
The Ninth South School of Internet Governance (SSIG) took place at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro during the first week of April 2017. Directed by Olga Cavalli and Adrian Carballo, SSIG aims to strengthen the representation of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region where Internet Governance (IG) is discussed and defined; it is also a goal of SSIG to create a space for education of a new generation of professionals that participate actively in the IG.
Today, Public Knowledge (PK) publishes a substantive analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While PK does not take a position on whether trade agreements in general are good or bad as a matter of public policy, we do evaluate whether individual trade agreements affect PK’s ability to promote its mission. If an agreement benefits our policy goals we will support it, and if it undermines our mission we will oppose it. It is true, however, that PK has consistently decried the lack of openness and transparency surrounding the negotiation of trade agreements and has recommended significant reforms to the process of deliberating trade policy to give the public a more meaningful voice in evaluating the elements of trade agreements before they are completed.