IGF 2008, 3-6 December 2008, Hyderabad, IndiaIGF 2008, 3-6 December 2008, Hyderabad, India

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‘Internet for All’ was the key theme of the third Internet Governance Forum, held in Hyderabad, India between 3rd December – 6th December, 2008. The four-day conference was organised by United Nations Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum in alliance with the Department of Information Technology, Government of India and National Internet Exchange of India (NiXi) and supported by Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) and other major corporates, including Sify, BSNL, Tata Communications and STPI.

More than 1400 participants from 94 countries, including representatives from various Governments, International Organisations, Private Sector, Civil Society, Policy-makers, global Internet, and academic community participated in the four-day conference to share their knowledge and discuss how to make Internet accessible for all.

With an eye on the outcome of the Second Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Meeting, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 12-15 November 2007, the third IGF Meeting was based around five themes, namely, Reaching the Next Billion, Promoting Cyber-Security and Trust, Managing Critical Internet Resources, Emerging Issues – the Internet of Tomorrow and Taking Stock and the Way Forward.

Apart from the main themes, 94 workshops, best practice forums, dynamic coalition meetings and open forums were organised  as part of the conference.

The IGF programme was designed through a series of open, multistakeholder consultations to make the forum more interesting, interactive and informative for all stakeholders coming from diverse backgrounds.

Opening Ceremony and Opening Session

Thiru A Raja launches i4d’s special issue
on Internet Governance at IGF 2008

At IGF 2008, Hyderabad, India, i4d’s special issue on Internet Governance (December 2008) was released by Thiru A Raja, Honourable Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.
i4d acted as a dossier of information about Internet Governance with exclusive interviews and opinion pieces from various stakeholders, research articles about the different issues that were to be deliberated upon by the participants of the Internet Governance Forum. The special issue was much appreciated by all delegates of the forum.
To read the special issue for IGF 2008 visit:

The IGF 2008 was inaugurated by Union Cabinet Minister for Communications and Information Technology of the Government of India, A Raja on 3 December 2009. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of IGF, Geneva; Damodar Reddy, Minister for IT of the Government of Andhra Pradesh were the other panelists in the opening ceremony. During a opening ceremony, Jomo announced that the 2010 IGF Meeting will be convened  in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Jainder Singh, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of India; Subramaniam Ramadorai; CEO and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Chairman, ICC/BASIS; Lynn St. Amour, CEO, Internet Society (ISOC); Alice Munyua, Coordinator, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) and Director, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director General, United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); Meredith Attwell Baker, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator, United States of America; Paul Twomey, CEO and President, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); Graciela Selaimen, Executive Coordinator, NUPEF and Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) were the nine panelists who addressed the opening session. During the opening session, speakers remarked that the Internet has a great potential for economic and social benefit to the world.

Relating the freedom of Internet access with human rights, Abdul Waheed Khan pointed out the need of clear and globally applicable principles based on human rights and legal, ethical and technical standards and legal provisions to organise these channels and promote freedom of expression.

Day 1: December 3, 2008

The conference was organised in such a way that each day of the IGF delved into a specific theme among the multiple issues under Internet Governance. Each day started with the main sessions (which were more formal panel discussions) and was followed by an afternoon session which were open dialogue sessions aimed at  giving an opportunity for all participants (including remote participants) to join  the discussion and raise their issues. After the opening ceremony and opening session, Day 1 of the IGF started with the first main session, called ‘Reaching the Next Billion’. This session was divided into two panel discussions:

Realizing a Multilingual Internet

This panel discussion was chaired by Ajit Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer at Rediff.com, India and moderated by Myriam Nisbet, Director of the Information Society Division, UNESCO.

S Ramakrishnan, CEO of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), India; Alex Corenthin, President of the Internet Society for Senegal; Viola Krebs, Dynamic Coalition for Linguistic Diversity (MAAYA); Hiroshi Kawamura, President of Daisy Consortium; Tulika Pandey, who heads the Indian Government’s IDN development efforts and Manal Ismail, ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), Egypt were the other panelists in this session.

Panelists in the first panel discussed issues related to multilingualism and the promotion of diversity on the Internet, including accessibility and the importance of Internet access by disabled people. The main focus of this session were the following five issues:

  • The importance of having content in local languages
  • The importance of localisation and availability of tools, both software and hardware that enable this localisation
  • Efforts to internationalise domain names
  • Need of multilingualism in mobile and multiple media
  • Need of common framework and language to address these issues

Access: Reaching the Next Billions

The second panel was chaired by Kiran Karnik, Member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India and Founder-Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Development and Educational Communicational Unit, and moderated by Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). The theme of the second panel was divided into three sub-themes; Demand, Supply and Development. There were two panelists in each sub-theme. Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Manager for South and Southeast Asia, Internet Society (ISOC) and S K Gupta, Advisor (CN) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) were panelists in the Demand sub-theme. Jacquelynn Ruff, Vice President, International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Verizon and Peter H Hellmonds, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Affairs Division, Nokia Siemens Networks were panelists in the Supply sub-theme. Alison Gillwald, Director of Research, ICT Africa and Brian Longwe, Chief Executive Officer, InHand Limited, Director, African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA), board member of African Network Information Centre (AfriNIC) were panelists in Development sub-theme. The session concluded with a discussion on three main areas of Internet accessibility, roles of the different stakeholders; role of the state, of the private sector, civil society and technical experts and how they can collaborate and ensure complementarity.

On the same day, workshops and best practice forums were also held on issues like building partnerships to bridge the digital divide, child online protection, public-private partnerships, information security, spam, electronic governance and data protection, preventing and fighting child pornography in developing countries, effective digital education and Internet accessibility for disabled people.

Day 2: December 4, 2008

Day 2  of the IGF saw all participants deliberating on the theme of ‘Promoting Cyber-Security and Trust’. The theme was again divided into two panel discussions; ‘Dimensions of Cyber-security and Cybercrime’ and ‘Fostering Security, Privacy and Openness’.

These panel discussions were followed by an Open Dialogue.

The Dimensions of Cyber-security and Cybercrime: A Mapping of Issues and our Current Capabilities

The first panel discussion was chaired by Rentala Chandershekhar, Special Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India and moderated by Bertrand de la Chapelle, Government of France. Patrik Fältström, Cisco; Marc Goodman, International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Terrorism; Alexander Ntoko, ITU;  Michael Lewis, Deputy Director, Q-CERT, USA and Gulshan Rai, Director, CERT-IN, Government of India were the other panelists in this session.

The first panel was mainly focused on issues related to security threats like spam, viruses, malware and DDOS attacks, etc., illegitimate behaviours and attacks on the Internet. Panelists reviewed activities, resources, tools and instruments to tackle these problems. The session concluded with the following recommendations:

  • Need for proactive measures to prevent disruptions caused by these threats
  • Need for more resilient architecture
  • Need to establish a feedback loop between prevention, analysis of incidents and remediation
  • Need for coordination between actors involved in prevention, remediation and other related issues.
  • Need for cross-sectoral multistake-holder cooperation

Fostering security, privacy and openness

Shyamal Ghosh, Chairman of the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) chaired this panel and Ambassador David A Gross, Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the United States Department of State moderated the session. The other panelists were Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO; Stefano Rodotà, University of Rome; John Carr, Secretary, Children’s Charities’Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), UK; Jac SM Kee, member of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Malaysia and Joseph Alhadeff, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, Oracle.

The session started with a conflict in the sense of national security versus security for privacy. The session also deliberated on the issue of sexual rights defined in the Cairo Program of Action, as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality. Speakers in the panel considered the different issues raised by privacy and openness, and drew attention to issues like child protection, privacy and freedom of expression. In terms of protection of children on the Internet, five risks were content, contact, addiction, commerce and privacy.

During the Day 2, parallel workshops on issues related to cybercrime and cybersecurity, multilingualism on the Internet, access to local culture and language, the future of IP standard (IPv6), Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), and bringing Internet capacity and autonomy to developing nations. The parallel workshop was chaired by Pavan Duggal, President, Cyberlaws.net and Gulshan Rai, Director, CERT-In. The session was moderated by Jonathan Charles, BBC Foreign Correspondent and News Presenter and co-moderated by Natasha Primo, National ICT Policy Advocacy Coordinator for the Association for Progressive Communications and Everton Lucero, Counselor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of Brazil to the Unites States and Vice-Chairman of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Dynamic Coalition meetings on Open Standards and Internet and Climate Change were also held on the same day.

Day 3 – December 5 2008

Day 3 was focused on the theme of ‘Managing Critical Internet Resources’. Like Day 1 and Day 2, the theme for the day was also divided into two sub-themes; ‘Transition from IPv4 to IPv6′ and ‘Global, Regional and National Arrangements’. These panel discussions were followed by an open dialogue.

Transition from IPv4 to IPv6

The first panel discussion was chaired by Gulsham Rai, Director of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, India and moderated by Bernadette Lewis, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU), Trinidad and Tobago. Adiel Akplogan, AFRINIC/NRO, Mauritius; Kurtis Lindqvist, Netnod; Milton Mueller, Internet Governance Project, USA; Satoru Yanagishima, Director of Internet Policy, Ministry of Communications, Government of Japan; Jonne Soininen, Nokia, Finland and Tulika Pandey, Government of India were the other panelists in the session. Speakers in the discussion described the process through which the allocation and management of numbers with the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) can be controlled. The panel also discussed that there is a need of addressing the hardware and software issues according to needs of customer. In this regard, the panel also noted, this is a shared responsibility of private, public sectors and civil society, so they should also be involved in this process. There is also a need of promotion of and enabling a smooth transition from IPv4 dominance to IPv6 dominant environment.

Global, Regional and National Arrangements

The second session of the day was chaired by Ramlinga Raju, Founder and Chairman of Satyam Computer Services Limited moderated by Emily Taylor, Oxford – Nominet (UK), Director of Legal and Policy. The other panelists were Haiyan Qian, Acting Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Everton Lucero, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil; Richard Beaird, Department of State, USA; Parminder Singh, IT for Change; Byron Holland, President and CEO, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) and Raul Echeberria, LACNIC. The panel discussion began with a review of ‘Critical Internet Resources’ and enhanced co-operation. Speakers in the panel also discussed issues related to policy, community understanding in driving the Internet, difference between high-end users of Internet bandwidth and low-end users, impact of the global financial crisis on the development of the Internet, ethical, privacy and security issues of Internet accessibility. The session concluded with following recommendations:

  • The meaning of ‘enhanced cooperation’ is to facilitate and contribute to multistakeholder dialogue.
  • The purpose of such cooperation is sharing of information, experience-sharing, consensus-building, fund-raising, technical knowledge transferring and capacity training.
  • Thematic focuses of those arrangements covered by those organisations are very much in line with those being discussed at IGF.
  • Cooperative arrangements have already taken place among those organisations, and more are being developed with other partners and with these nine organisations.

Day 4 – December 6, 2008

The fourth day focused on two themes; ‘The Internet of Tomorrow: Innovation and the evolution of the Internet’ and ‘Taking Stock and the Way Forward’.

The Internet of Tomorrow: Innovation and the evolution of the Internet

The first session was moderated by two moderators; Jonathan Charles, BBC and Stephen Lau, CEO EDS Hong Kong. Herbert Heitmann, Head of Global Communications, SAP AG; S V Raghavan, Professor and Chairman, Computer Science Department, IIT-Madras; Ian Peter, Internet Governance Caucus
Co-coordinator, Ian Peter and Associates and Heather Creech, Director, Global Connectivity Programme, International Institute for Sustainable Development were the other panelists in this session.

The discussion was focused around five themes; the opportunities and challenges associated with the growing popularity of social networks and user-generated content; the impact of policy frameworks on creativity and innovation from an entrepreneurial perspective; the policy changes and frameworks needed to ensure an ‘Internet for all'; the impact of the global nature of the Internet on jurisdiction and legislation; and policy changes needed to ensure an environmentally sustainable Internet.

Taking Stock and the Way Forward Nitin Desai, the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General for Internet Governance moderated this session along with Markus Kummer. Speakers in the second session discussed about:

Access and Diversity, Security/Privacy and Openness, Managing Internet resources and Vision from the host country. Jeff Brueggeman, VP Public Policy, AT&T; Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Privacy Information Center & DiploFoundation Associate, Peru; Georges Papadatos, Government of Greece and N Ravi Shanker, Joint Secretary, Department of  Information Technology, Government of India were the other panelists in the session.


The Internet Governance Forum 2008 raised many issues related to multilingualism on Internet, accessibility, cybercrime, Internet security, existence of IPv4 and IPv6, managing critical Internet resources, protection of children online, etc. The four-day IGF 2008 concluded with an announcement about the fourth annual IGF Meeting which will be held between 15-18 November 2009 in Egypt.

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