For those who haven’t been following the party, the United Nations has had an effort for the last decade called the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This ongoing activity was up for renewal this year. While the Internet technology provides us so much, many we face many challenges. They include access to the technology, security, and human rights. WSIS addresses itself to these challenges. The UNGA decided to continue this effort for another 10 years. As part of this renewal process, the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was extended for another 10 years as well. At the same time, the UNGA is taking a conservative approach toward government involvement by not trying to supplant the enormous efforts of those who do the work today.
As a community, we could have done a lot worse. ISOC president Kathy Brown and her team, Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, Marian Gordon, Chip Sharp, Chris Fair, Dominique Lazanski, Avri Doria, Bill Drake, Chris Buckridge, George Sadowsky Veni Markovski, Vint Cerf, Robert Pepper, and many others who were in the room are to be congratulated for their hard work, not only in the room, but beyond. I personally am very impressed with ISOC’s outreach effort in region, and how that has impacted these sorts of discussions.
Within the industry we need to recognize that women are the exception to the rule at the edge of the technology development cycle. I want much better for my daughter. Also, as we head toward over 50 billion devices being connected, the Internet of Things must be secured. The architecture needs lots more work to do that. Today many endpoint devices do not have well bound names, even. At the same time, the quality of code needs to improve, which is a particular challenge in many places. Human rights is another area on which we are only just scratching the surface. And yes, we must continue to struggle engage all stakeholders, including governments. The IGF itself really needs work. It needs funding, and we need to find a way to meet the challenge set by the UNGA in terms of identifying positive outcomes.
Yes, we all truly have a lot to do, and yet these challenges present many opportunities for innovation at many levels. I’m excited to be working in this space now.