ccTLDs: Partners in Developing Local Internet Governance Literacy

3 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions

Summary of the discussion
As one of the Internet industry leader in their respective countries, most of the
country code top-level domain operators have been proactively engaging in
the Internet governance process. They have become one of the main
avenues to reach out their local community on this matter in the past three
decades.
The workshop showed best practice cases of ccTLDs that have facilitated the
development of “IG-literacy” through initiatives that have contributed to feed
the IG process with local input on the IG ecosystem and the need that it
remains anchored to the principles of multi-stakeholderism, openness,
transparency and accountability.
Registry managers presented their very diverse models: from those registries
that are government regulated and engage in government IG strategies to
those who have implemented structures and spin-offs to better contribute to
the Internet growth in their country. Among the best practices, the funding of
University research programmes on Internet governance, initiatives to
educate the young generations to Internet matters and proactive support to
the local Internet governance forums. More than 50% of the workshop
participants have participated in at least one of these local events.
All the panelists believe that registrars are currently underrepresented in the
IG debate and should become more involved. As a matter of fact, there are
some areas – like all the discussions around security and stability – that would
strongly benefit from a broader participation.
As for the NetMundial meeting, there was a consensus among the attendees
that the process was set at the very last minute and consequently, it would
have been tougher to have a broader support basis. However, the panelists
are convinced that ccTLDs can play a leading role in bringing the NetMundial
conclusions up to the next level and ensure that the final declaration is
adequately distributed.

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

To sum up, Internet governance literacy is largely based on Internet literacy.
But it is also worth asking ourselves who is an Internet literate and if we can
be fully Internet and/or IG-literate. The Internet environment is full of
documents that are barely readable and therefore, the path to IG-literacy is
extremely long. The ccTLD managers and the ccTLD regional organisations
will continue to be key communication channels to promote local IG-literacy
and make the IG more accessible to all.
All the ccTLD managers agreed that the most of their stakeholders and the
local communities are not so much interested in Internet governance as a
whole, but are rather more concerned about specific themes such as privacy,
content, surveillance, access, security, development, net-neutrality, digital
divide, IANA accountability. Privacy, net-neutrality and accessibility are
important topics for most local Internet communities and that is why several
registry managers got more involved in making sure they are addressed
properly at international level.

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop

45

Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was not seen as related to the workshop’s theme and was not raised

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

No information provided

Reported by

Peter Van Roste