Who rules the internet and how? These were the topics of this day with this agenda.
- Governance vs Government seems to be the issue!
- That means Public Interest and Public Policy vs Vested Interests…!
The first person I spoke with introduced me to the Individual Users Association and I mentioned my recent experiences:
- suffering from what used to be a ‘sexy’ domain name but has become unnecessarily expensive;
- not suffering from HOSTING or CLOUD companies when they go bust;
- for we’re ‘governed’ by what’s dishonest with our money system – not the myth of governments… But who understands that? And who wants to know?
- The introduction was given by Baroness Fritchie, Chair, Nominet. She started by pointing out one of the cultural UK-US differences: how people begin to occupy chairs in an empty room…
- The US version of Internet Governance was explained by Lawrence Strickling who stressed democratic and ‘multi-stakeholder’ governance which requires CONSENSUS based on SHARED DECISIONS.
- Here’s the NetMundial Stakeholder Statement.
- It appears that e-democracy is more likely to happen than the fake political democracy we’re experiencing, for economic democracy is what we’re truly lacking. However, mind the gap between the quality not just the geography of stakeholders:
- individuals and organisations
- NGOs and SMEs
- local, regional, national and multi-national corporations
- governments of large and small economies…
- Prosperity, innovation and free expression are the noble ideals with which Lawrence Strickling ended his talk!
- Ed Vaizey MP, Former Minister for Culture,Communications and Creative Industries was next.
The second session had a panel with Charlotte Holloway as chair, the Brexit Policy Coordinator from techUK: Brexit, what next for UK internet policy?
- Jamie Bartlett from the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media @JamieJBartlett
- Malcolm Harbour CBE, former Conservative MEP
- Chris Francis from SAP, the German software company @chrisfrancis1
I got so excited that I proposed as solution to follow every face-to-face meeting with an online forum. I wonder who’ll make it happen? After all, everybody knows best… and few listen… Online consultations have a ‘top-down approach’ built in!
The third session was chaired by Seb Payne (FT Comment Editor) @SebastianEPayne: What is the impact of the internet on political debate?
- are we replacing people with algorithms?
- Toni Cowan-Brown (UK/EU leader for NationBuilder [software for leaders]) @ToniCowanBrown
- yes, the internet is ‘good’, as it gives people the Power to Organise;
- it’s about being SMART about the data you’ve got;
- we would be STUPID, if we didn’t use the tools at our disposal!
- Carl Miller (Research Director for Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos @Demos
- algorithms are the rising towers of our times!
- ultimate decision making is here!
- the professional journalist is on his way out!
- ‘digital literacy’ is becoming urgent for democracy!
- Dan Hodges (Mail on Sunday) @DPJHodges
- clicking or voting – is that the question?
- if you believe that Hillary was into satan, you wouldn’t have voted for her!
- regulating campaigns is one thing – influencing social media another!
- we don’t know what should be permissible!
- even if implement laws, how do we enforce them?
- is there are a need for governance?
- it is an invention by humanity for humanity!
Subsequent discussions were on privacy and security which I just happen not to get excited about, as they are fear-based.
And now the real thing: An internet for children and young people
Baroness Shields, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety & Security.
- WeProtect is one of her initiatives…
After a MOST FASCINATING Youth Panel, this wrap up with
- David Souter (ICT and Development Expert) @DSouter_ictDA
- Andrew Puddephatt (Chairman of Global Partners Digital) @AndrewPuddephat
For me, there is now an obvious TO DO list for those who listened to the young people and who can make it happen:
- create STANDARDS for ‘reporting’ and closing accounts on social media;
- I have suffered myself from Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, Change.org, YouTube and Wix.com;
Who will come to our rescue?