Written by Ahnaf Sadat Zakaria, Kawai Satria L, Ratu Bintang, Martina Andrene Michael, Mohd Ali Jouhar, Muhammad Ariff Azam, Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh, Sapni G Krishna, Taimur Shahzad, Unzila Faheem
(Edited by Guntur Ramadhan, Jenna Fung)
A pandemic-wrecked world held on to the Internet as a solution to the challenges to multiple facets of an individual’s life – personal, professional, recreational, and even unforeseen emergencies. In this context understanding, the governance of the Internet are critical. Netmission Academy stands as an exceptional opportunity for the youth, primarily from the Asia Pacific region that contributes to the greatest number of Internet users, to understand the intricacies of Internet governance.
NetMission’s endeavor to bring the voice of the youth to the fore, in this article, we are going to bring valuable insights to you on the basics of the multiple organizations and initiatives in the Internet governance ecosystem that facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement and rally for the cause of a better Internet.
Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia Organisation, once said that “The time and space on the Internet have changed from the real world” at the opening of the NetMission Academy 2021. Hence, the concept and policy about copyright on the Internet has to be different to respect the copywriter and give them in return. The same thing goes for “space” on the Internet. How space on the Internet inevitably shapes human behavior these days. Therefore, when behavior changes, so must the policy. However, besides all issues about Internet governance such as privacy, justice, security, freedom, etc. The most important thing is how to make it “Balance”. To maintain such balance, participation from multi-stakeholders is very much needed. But how?
We believe youth empowerment is the first step for youth participation in Internet governance. Without knowing the functions and structure of different organizations in the IG ecosystem, including the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the National and Regional IGF initiatives (NRIs) and different youth Initiatives, it might be challenging for us to choose the “right” platform to advocate for your community.
In our the first training session (on , we had Pablo Hinojosa from the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), Anja Gengo and Chengetai Mansago from the IGF Secretariat of the United Nations, and John Levine from CAUCE North America. As stalwarts, they shared insights that were educative and refreshing to the participants who have witnessed the evils of and on the Internet.
Issues like fake news, media literacy, community standards in social media, cybersecurity, etc. are serious challenges to Internet governance and policymaking. Fake news and cybersecurity have especially caught every civil institution on their back-foot and are a major concern in today’s society. Although some policies have been set up, such as the GDPR by the EU, a lot is still left to do, especially in other countries. An awareness and training program is required from the grassroots level. To summarize, the relevance of IGFs, NRIs, and Youth Initiatives has never been so much as it’s today. We all need to come forward and work together and do our bit for society.To further study the topics we have gone through in our academy, you may check out the training modules we have used in the following link: http://nma.asia/nma2021-training-modules.