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August 2009

OneWebDay 2009: One Web. For All.

OneWebDay is Your Day. On September 22, 2009, people all over the world, who care about the future of the Web are joining together to organize events and activities in their towns, growing OneWebDay network from the grassroots up. To learn about 2009 OneWebDay projects, participating organizations, and local OneWebDay Teams, join my.OneWebDay.Org community space.

Top Ten Myths About Civil Society Participation in ICANN

The Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) at ICANN released the following campaign:

Top Ten Myths About Civil Society Participation in ICANN

Myth 1
“Civil Society won’t participate in ICANN under NCUC’s charter proposal.”
False. ICANN staffers and others claim that civil society is discouraged from engaging at ICANN because NCUC’s charter proposal does not guarantee GNSO Council seats to constituencies. The facts could not be further from the truth. NCUC’s membership includes 143 noncommercial organizations and individuals. Since 2008 NCUC’s membership has increased by more 215% - largely in direct response to civil society’s support for the NCUC charter. Not a single noncommercial organization commented in the public comment forum that hard-wiring council seats to constituencies will induce their participation in ICANN. None of the noncommercial organizations that commented on the NCSG Charter said they would participate to ICANN only if NCSG's Charter secured the constituencies a guaranteed seat on the GNSO.

Internet Rights & Principles Workshop

The Internet Governance & Human Rights Coalition is organizing the workshop "Internet Governance & Human Rights: Progress & Next Steps". The workshop will be held in Geneva, on September 13, 2009, one day before the European Dialogue on Internet Governance. "The workshop is a mid-term meeting of the Dynamic Coalition and will consolidate the work that the coalition have been doing since the last Internet Governance Forum in December 2008".

Civil Society Letter regarding non commercial involvement in ICANN policy process

The Non Commercial Constituency at ICANN called for the ICANN Board to correct problems regarding the restructuring of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the involvement of non commercial organizations in ICANN.

Latin America: Memorandum on Protection of personal data and privacy in online social networks

On July 27 - 28, 2009, the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture, Agencia para el Desarrollo del Gobierno de Gestión Electrónica y la Sociedad de la Información y del Conocimiento (AGESIC), and Instituto para la Justicia organized the conference: "Rights, Teens and Social Networks on the Internet" in Montevideo, Uruguay.

At the Seminar, the Memorandum on Protection of personal data and privacy in online social networks (Memorandum sobre la protección de datos personales y la vida privada en las redes sociales en Internet, en particular de niños, niñas y adolescentes) was adopted. The document set several recommendations to the various stakeholders in Latin America requesting the protection of personal data and privacy in online social networks, particularly the privacy of children and adolescents.

Social Network Privacy Study Reports Serious Concerns

A Cambridge University study covering 45 social networks has reported serious concerns about the extent such sites fail to keep users' personal information private. While inaccurate privacy policies and inaccessible guidelines have been reported before, the Cambridge report provides numerical statistics to confirm their scope. The researchers found faults with the amount of personal information required to be handed over, the standards of encryption protocols, default privacy settings, and confusing user-interfaces. Testing each site against 260 criteria, the researchers examined features such as log-in procedures and configuration controls. The study concluded that "the naive application of utility maximization theory fails to capture all the intricacies of the market for privacy in social networking." The report also stated that "a major problem was the lack of accessible information for users, encouraged by the sites' strong incentives to limit privacy salience as part of the privacy communication game: the data suggests that sites may have evolved specifically to communicate differently to users with different levels of privacy concern."

Recently, the Canadian Privacy Commissioner held that although Facebook had taken some steps to address privacy, more safeguards were necessary. Also, Article 29 Working Party released an Opinion of Social Networking Sites

Working Groups for eLAC2010

eLAC is a regionally concerted strategy that conceives of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as instruments for economic development and social inclusion. eLAC is a strategy with a long-term vision (until 2015) in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and those of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). There are 13 Working Groups under eLAC2010, which group regional experts from various sectors to research and develop joint initiatives related to specific eLAC goals. Each group is led by one country, which appoints the group's coordinator.

The list of all the working groups are available at E-LAC's website. Working Groups use a virtual platform to centralize information, upload documents and hold chats or meetings in cyberspace. To participate in a working group, you have to contact your National Focal Point, or the Information Society Programme at UN-ECLAC (

UNGIS: United Nations Group on the Information Society

On 8-9 October 2009, the United Nations Group on the Information Society is pleased to announced an Open consultations on Financial Mechanisms for Meeting the Challenges of ICT for Development in Geneva, Switzerland.

"The financing of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for development is an important area to address in the context promoting a more inclusive global information society. The WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005) recognizes the scale of the challenge in bridging the digital divide, which will require adequate and sustainable investments in ICT infrastructure and services, and capacity building, and transfer of technology over many years to come. There is a continuous need to evaluate how existing as well as new financial mechanisms can support greater access and use of ICTs in developing countries." Read more

International Action Day “Freedom not Fear 2009"

A broad movement of civil rights defenders is calling upon everyone to participate in actions directed against the ongoing spread of excessive surveillance measures on the part of businesses, administrations and governments. On Saturday, 12th September 2009, concerned citizens in numerous countries around the world will gather to show protest under the motto “Freedom not Fear 2009 - Stop Surveillance Mania!” You can find more information on actions in different countries at Freedom not Fear wiki.

Consumer Privacy and Online Marketing: Market Trends and Policy Developments

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, is organising this first multi-stakeholder forum that aims to bring together all stakeholders with an interest in online marketing and consumer privacy. This event will offer a unique opportunity to debate and reflect with all interested parties on future policies on online marketing and privacy and to feed into the European policy approach in these fields. The full program is available online.

Canada: Camera Surveillance: A Research Workshop

The Camera Surveillance Awareness Network (SCAN) invites paper proposals for a workshop on camera surveillance in Canada. This research workshop will explore developments and policy implications of camera surveillance in the Canadian context. The event will be organized in January 2010, at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Read more about the workshop here.

SCAN is a group of Canadian Researchers led by David Lyon under the aegis of The Surveillance Project and with links to The New Transparency Project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

APEC Privacy Framework

The 21 APEC economies (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) commenced development in 2003 of Asia-Pacific privacy standard, and in 2004 APEC Ministers endorsed an APEC Privacy Framework, adding an implementation section in 2005. The principles in the framework are weaker than those in the OECD Guidelines. It does not require any specific method of national enforcement, such as legislation, nor any means of collective assessment of adherence to its standards. It neither prohibits nor requires data export restrictions.


Take Action


European Commission: Consultation on Personal Data Protection

Consultation due on December 31, 2009




This is a listing of events which may be useful for civil society to participate, connect and network on issues relating to information and communication technologies and policies.


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Past Events

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OECD 2008 Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy

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Civil Society Privacy Conference
Sept. 25, 2007

OECD Participative Web Forum
Oct. 3, 2007

Past Public Events

Cape Town Conference »

Wroclaw Conference »

Buenos Aires Conference »

Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society Internet Governance Caucus »

Civil Society Background Paper

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