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WikiLeaks, Tunisia, Egypt… time to reflect, discuss and learn

Published on 03 February 2011
Updated on 05 April 2024

The illustration of an IG building ‘under construction’ is one of the many illustrations that Diplo uses to visually map out the complex IG issues. More here.

Whether we’re into Internet governance or not, the incidents that took over the virtual world by storm offered more than one opportunity for reflecting on certain issues that are part of the bigger Internet governance debate.

The CableGate scandal, for instance, triggered an avalanche of blogs on freedom of speech on the Internet, and concerns about security and anonymity, and whether DNS servers had the right to stop hosting WikiLeaks.

The recent turmoil in Egypt is generating uproar about whether a government has the right to pull the plug in a matter of minutes, and whether citizens worldwide should have the right to an uninterrupted provision of service.

These events demonstrate how volatile situations can suddenly exert pressure on networks and service providers alike, how end-users’ rights can be easily curtailed, and how fragile the Internet can be. They also make us realise that discussion among stakeholders is a must, and needs to be sustained as an ongoing process. Whether we’re end-users, government officials, academics and lecturers, professionals working in the technical industry, or members of the Press, discussion is incumbent on us all.

A healthy way of pursuing this is by joining forums, or online groups of like-minded people who are willing to share and discuss. If you feel you need to learn more about particular issues, you may opt to enrol for a course which can give you enough background information and impetus to engage in discussions that really matter.

Capacity Development Programme in ICT Policy and IG

The Capacity Development Programme in ICT Policy and Internet Governance, offered by DiploFoundation, does both: it combines the advantages of an online course on IG aspects offering a good foundation on issues, actors and processes, with the benefits of collaborative learning and discussion. It has been doing so for the several years, each year successfully training hundreds of stakeholders, ranging from IG-beginners to hands-on experts.

The Foundation Phase of the Programme delves into IG subjects, dividing them into ‘baskets’: Infrastructure and Standardisation, Legal, Economical, Socio-Cultural and Development baskets. It also describes the policy-making process, and how anyone can actively contribute to the process. The Advanced Phase takes the discussion a step further by providing the opportunity to write academic research papers under continuous expert guidance, as well as offering sponsorships to attend some of the most important IG meetings worldwide, including the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings, and the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDig) meetings.

DiploFoundation offers two parallel streams: one for professionals for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and a parallel one for professionals from all other countries. The deadline for the Foundation Phase is 12 February 2011.

More information on the programme is available here.

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