Bulgarian NGO asks the worldwide Internet community to bring their top priorities during the coming IGF meeting

This is a press-release from ISOC-Bulgaria; as ISOC.bg website is going through changes, I prefer to publish it here, and at the ISOC’s site there is a link to this article.

Internet Society Bulgaria being an active participant at the WSIS and IGF , expresses their views for the coming IGF in Hyderabad, India.

Need for new participants
The IGF has a tendency of slowly shifting from a place of a discussion about the way the world accesses information resources, into a place where only topics that make the headlines are being highlighted, with many of the same players being among the loudest speakers. We believe that due to cross-cultural reasons, these people are mainly coming from North America and western Europe. We urge the IGF to allocate equal time for people from regions outside of those two. Having that in mind, we urge the participating organizations to send new people to the IGF in Hyderabad, and also to try to send as many young people as possible. The IGF needs new people, carrying the young spirit of the new Information Society.

Contents of the discussions at the IGF
We believe that some of the topics like security and critical internet resources and diversity seem to be explored extensively already (also at other forums), and the biggest challenge continues to be how to connect the rest 5 billion people on the planet. We see no real attention paid to the under-connected nations; we see no real attention paid to the digital divide in the developed countries themselves – between the big cities and the small towns. We see that some of the proponents of the agenda of the workshops and plenaries, coming from the developed countries, do not take any steps to ensure competition among the Internet Service Providers in their own countries (one such an example is the USA and the behavior of some of the American Internet Governance Civil Society Professionals). In the era of the climate change threat, we see not serious attention paid to the Environmental Sustainability theme in the discussion, as it is inextricably bound up with development of the Information and communications technologies.

Suggestions
We would like to propose an open poll – for all participants at the IGF, to name what are the three or five most important issues for them. Based on this poll, we suggest focusing the discussions at the remaining IGF meetings. For us, in Bulgaria these are, in random order:
– assaults on freedom of the Internet and freedom of access to the Internet – by the Interior Ministry, and by the Business Software Alliance (here and here)
corruption deals of Microsoft with the Ministry of State Administration
– the monopoly of the .bg domain name registry

    The world-wide poll (survey) is here:
    What are the five most important Internet-related issues in your country?

About
Internet Society – Bulgaria is a non-governmental organization (NGO), founded on December 4, 1995 in Sofia by a group of Bulgarian Internet professionals. It became known world-wide in 1999, when it sued the government of Ivan Kostov against the proposed licensing of the Internet Service Providers in Bulgaria. In 2001, through ISOC-Bulgaria’s influence, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) remained outside of the monopoly of the national telecom, which allowed a great variety of new Internet services to start in Bulgaria. ISOC-Bulgaria is a non-governmental organization for public profit, and represents users. More information can be found at ISOC.bg site.

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