Whither a Just Internet – An assessment of the NETMundial conference in Brazil

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By Urvashi Sarkar

In 2013, the world was shaken by the Snowden revelations-           information that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States had been spying on its own citizens and of other countries. The revelations also showed that the NSA was monitoring personal communication including emails, phone calls and text messages of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico.

Following the revelations, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff issued a sharp condemnation of NSA‟s spying activities during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Rousseff called for the United Nations to play a leading role in regulating conduct of states in relation to internet technologies. She reiterated the need for multilateral mechanisms for the worldwide network that could ensure principles such as freedom of expression, privacy of the individual, respect for human rights, democratic governance, participation of society, government and the private sector, universality, cultural diversity and neutrality. Her speech articulated people‟s outrage to the “grave violation of human rights and civil liberties,” the threat of cyberspace use as a weapon of war, and violation of sovereign rights of countries.

This formed the backdrop of the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance which was held at Sao Paulo, in Brazil on April 23-24, 2014. The meeting, it was hoped would emerge with a progressive roadmap for internet governance. Read the article.

Photo Credit: www.occupycorporatism.com

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