Human Rights 25 November 2013

Internet for the development: People from all sides is needed.

Cecilia Bermudez
By Cecilia BermudezGuest Author

The Internet, since its inception, has had an enormous impact on society and more recently in the countries economy. In this era, governments are faced with public issues such as combating illegal or inappropriate content and take appropriate measures to protect the consumer, but such things become secondary when citizens can not fully benefit from all the possibilities the internet provides. 

Some people might think that the internet is not a priority when there are other situations to resolve in a country, for example, seek progress in economic or educational sectors, but the internet has become an incredible tool to support the development, some would say is a critical resource and any serious disruption in service can have terrible effects on society and economy. Many business systems, financial services and public administration depends entirely on the assumption that Internet connectivity is available, to the point that any major disruption could seriously diminish the citizens’ access to key services.

The growing importance of this resource to society increasingly demands that governments actively participate in taking key decisions in defense of the public interest, but this does not mean that governments should fully control the ordinary operation of the Internet, although they feel obliged to intervene to a greater or lesser extent, and should do it with effective public policies.Then there is also the private sector and its undisputed leadership in building the Internet as we know it, so it is necessary to maintain and encourage this initiative, considering that more investment and market competitiveness,  will allow best offers for civil society which (unknowingly) trust their governments to ensure that governance mechanisms reflects the public interest of society and can not be sidetracked by other interests, though it is curious that this group, in some countries, does not participate or is represented in any way in the Internet governance forums.

Agreements on Internet governance must be fully inclusive of all sectors and respond to the urgent need to improve the participation of developing countries in key decision-making forums. Perhaps the lack of interest of civil society in the governance of the Internet, especially in these countries, is given by the fact that there is much misinformation on the subject, what Internet governance is really about? Am I interested? If you’re a user of the internet (and who does not in this globalized world?) Of course you’re interested, and there are several issues to be analyzed. A sector is also very important in these matters is the academy, and what better than the university sector to inform the society since bases of its formation? from the engineer with technical knowledge of the procedures and protocols that are used in this area until the lawyer who argues for the fundamental rights of users online.

A strong and clear framework can encourage investment in defining the objectives to be supported and limits must not be crossed. This includes the need for governments to establish that these principles are respected, but if these mechanisms fail, or worse, the same government restricts people’s access to quality internet, keep in mind that the real power is in hands of civil society that is able to defend and enforce their rights, because we must not forget that the Internet was declared as a highly protected human right.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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