Entries with tag global internet access.

Brazil Takes Leading Role in Internet Governance

Brazil is among the first countries to pass a digital bill of rights. Legislators in the nation’s senate unanimously passed the Marco Civil, which protects companies including Google and Facebook from liability for content on their sites as well as ensures net neutrality and freedom of expression for users, this week. The move comes as the United States ends its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit responsible for the assignment of Internet domain names or addresses, within the next 18 months. It also coincides with the two-day Net Mundial conference in Sao Paulo, which started 23 April 2014, and includes discussions on cybersecurity, privacy, and Internet freedoms. Although representatives of many governments are attending, the Brazilian organizers insist each will have an equal footing with other participants, which include Internet companies, academics, technical experts, and other groups. No binding policy decisions will be made during the event, but it will launch discussions regarding Internet governance. It is reportedly the first international meeting on the Internet since the US National Security Agency was accused of illegally surveilling world leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. (Reuters – 1)(Reuters – 2)(Businessweek)

Berlin Is the First City with Its own Internet Domain

Berlin is the first city to have its own Internet domain name, allowing those based in Germany’s capital to register an address ending in .berlin. Those wishing to obtain Berlin Web addresses—which will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis—will pay €50 (about $70) each per year. ICANN expanded the number of available generic top-level domains—including those for cities—in 2011 to accommodate the Web’s expansion. The German cities of Hamburg and Cologne are reportedly planning to have their own domains, as are other large cities worldwide, including London, New York City, Paris, and Rome. (PhysOrg)(BBC)

 

EU Commissioner: Internet Governance Should Be Global

The European Union is seeking an expanded role in Internet governance. The management and operations of the Internet must be reformed, said EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes upon proposing a new Internet governance policy. One of the keys is globalizing the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which assigns top-level Internet domains. In light of the recent release of information about widespread Internet surveillance by US government agencies, various world leaders have questioned whether the US is a worthy Internet steward. Instead, said Kroes, Internet governance must become more global, transparent, and inclusive. The EU says governance should not be ceded to the United Nations but instead should be handled by all stakeholders, including governments, companies, civil society, and others. (SlashDot)(Network World)(The Wall Street Journal)(EUROPA)
 

Zuckerberg Promotes Universal Internet Access

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, says Internet connectivity is a human right and announced the launch of an initiative designed to insure access. Internet.org wants inexpensive wireless services for mobile phone users worldwide. In many areas of the world, mobile phones provide the only access. Zuckerberg says the current Internet adoption rate of 9 percent/year is too slow. He also contends Internet access is an essential human right as the globe moves toward a knowledge-based economy. Internet.org purportedly has only a “rough plan,” which critics say “leaves a few major questions unanswered.” (National Geographic)(Businessweek)(“Is Connectivity a Human Right,” Zuckerberg @ Facebook)
 

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