Hartmut Glaser “I dream of an Internet that is free, affordable and for all”

30/08/2017

He’s been part of LACNIC since its inception. Four years before the formal recognition of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, professor Hartmut Glaser was already part of the ad hoc committee working towards the creation of LACNIC and has been the organization’s treasurer since its official creation.

In his opinion, LACNIC is a benchmark in Latin America and the Caribbean and proof that the region stands together. “The South-South connection has been extremely positive,” Glaser observes.

More than reminiscing over the past 15 years, LACNIC’s treasurer and executive secretary of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee prefers to project the future. His dream is that in 10 years 90% of Latin America and the Caribbean will be connected.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

I obtained my degree in Physics from the University of Sao Paulo in 1967; three years later I began teaching at the School of Engineering. My work was always in the field of microelectronics. I was a teacher and researcher for 20 years.

In 1989, I was appointed advisor to the director of the School of Engineering, who in 1996 was elected director-president of a foundation devoted to supporting research and development in the state of Sao Paulo (FAPESP, Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo).

This director then assigned me two projects, one of which was the Sao Paulo State Academic Network, through which we managed to connect more than 120 research and development institutions. The seed for a domain name registry – the seed for NIC.br – was planted in this academic network.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

In 1998, during the first ICANN meeting to be held in Latin America and the Caribbean, we created a temporary ad hoc committee to establish LACNIC as an organization. Among others, Oscar Messano, Raúl Echeberría and I were part of this committee. After three years of intense meetings and discussions, LACNIC was officially created in 2002 during the ICANN meeting held in Shanghai.

Raúl was elected as the organization’s first executive director, Messano took on the position of chairman of the board, and I became its treasurer. I have now been LACNIC’s treasurer for 15 years.

It gives me great satisfaction to see how something that started out as nothing has become what LACNIC is today.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

I feel that today we are a benchmark in Latin America, and this showcases the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean are united. LACNIC brought about a change, placed us on the map.

Over these 15 years, both Raúl Echeberría and Oscar Robles have worked to achieve a position of leadership within the region.

One thing I would like to highlight is the support LACNIC provided for the creation of AFRINIC. A year before AFRINIC was created, the ad hoc Committee working towards its creation was invited to spend a week in Montevideo. The goal was to show them how LACNIC had taken its first steps and the things that had worked for the organization. I feel this is one of LACNIC’s most notable contributions – the South-South connection has been extremely positive.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

Today, LACNIC is a benchmark. As I already mentioned, from the very beginning we were able to bring together the different groups that are part of the Internet ecosystem, including academic networks, LACTLD, LAC-IX and LACNOG. Casa de Internet was the result of this integration.

LACNIC events have never focused exclusively on IP addresses, as is the case in other regions. Instead, they have always incorporated many other topics such as cybersecurity, IXPs, ccTLDs and many others.

The mission we at LACNIC have managed to achieve is to keep Latin America and the Caribbean together. The community clearly recognizes LACNIC as a focal point and benchmark for the regional Internet.

We think of ourselves as collaborators, integrators, and we are very happy to stay together. I really hope this spirit will continue.

Since its inception, LACNIC has been permeated by a multistakeholder spirit which remains to this day.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

The answer is clear: today, half of LAC is included, in 15 years, the region will be included in its entirety.

I dream of an Internet that is free, affordable and for all. Perhaps in 10 years or less, all of Latin America and the Caribbean will be included. If not 100%, at least 90% included as in certain Northern countries.

The Internet is the most efficient tool for education. Children learn thanks to the Internet. The Internet has the power to change people.

I would like to see a digitally inclusive Latin America and the Caribbean. That would be the best outcome of our work.

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