Dr Catherine Easton (@EastonCatherine) reflects on the Internet Governance Forum 2013, an event which occurred in the shadow of the Snowden leaks, saw China lecturing the United States about its surveillance policies, but which also demonstrated the passion and commitment of many delegates and groups in the face of increasing corporate and State control of the Internet.
The 8th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) (http://igf2013.or.id/about-igf-2013/ ) was held in Bali, Indonesia in October. The IGF is an annual event established by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2006 following a mandate initiated at the World Summit on the Information Society (http://www.itu.int/wsis/index.html) OK, so what does this mean? It is a multi-stakeholder forum bringing together representatives from government, businesses, academia and civil society to engage in open dialogue on the rules and principles governing the Internet. As a novice IGF attendee I was keen to learn how this initiative worked in practice and to try to gauge its relevance in shaping the Internet’s development.