LACIGF: El Salvador on the Internet Governance Road Map

01/07/2014

The regional Internet community will meet in El Salvador to establish a new Internet Governance roadmap. This will be the first meeting of its kind after the NetMundial event held in Brazil.

On 16-18 July, civil society representatives, governments, members of academia and business organizations will gather in San Salvador to discuss the next steps in regards to controversial, complex and urgent issues such as Internet privacy, security and neutrality in Latin America and the Caribbean, said Rafael Ibarra, President of SVNet and member of LACNIC’s Board of Directors.

Ibarra noted that it will be the “first meeting of its kind after the NetMundial event,” which is why the document produced as a result of the said event will be “mandatory reading at El Salvador and will establish some of the major topics on the agenda.”

Are some of the issues to be discussed at LACIGF more pressing than others?

Less emphasis should be given and less time should be devoted to topics having to do with critical Internet infrastructure than to others which, by their very nature, are more controversial, complex and pressing, such as, for example, the “dilemma” between privacy and national security. Revelations regarding the surveillance of certain leaders and officials on the part of other governments have apparently been brought to the table as more pressing topics for discussion, when in fact all topics are important.

Have the axes of discussion changed after NetMundial?

Now that NetMundial has allowed a set of Internet governance principles to reach high levels of consensus, these principles should not be subject to much review as, in my opinion, there is enough consensus (on human rights and other rights). NetMundial also established a series of topics that should be addressed in a following step, as they were postponed on that opportunity. Special emphasis should be placed on these topics which include, for example, net neutrality and cyber-surveillance.

What importance do you attach to this regional space for Internet governance debates?

The great advantage of this regional space is that discussions are conducted in our native languages (Spanish, Portuguese and English).  This allows us to better understand and discuss the situation of our various countries which, in many cases, are still behind in regards to the discussion of these topics.

Is our region sufficiently involved in Internet Governance issues or is greater participation of the various stakeholders still needed?

The region always needs more participants and the engagement of new stakeholders. Part of the population uses the Internet, so they should be interested in these issues. However, it is also true that most of our Latin American and Caribbean fellow countrymen and women are more interested in other issues, such as security, employment, food, energy, etc. Nevertheless, it is always important for the region to discuss these issues. Considering where it will be held, I hope that this LACIGF meeting will encourage greater attendance, particularly from Central America and Caribbean, and that these participants will then be able to disseminate the information and debates in their own countries.

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