From COTELCO, the DC hub for IGF 2010 in Lithuania, I watched as members of civil society spoke out on issues of internet governance that were of importance to them. One of the workshops entitled "Internet Governance viewed through different lenses, with emphasis upon the lens of economic and social development," presented by George Sadowsky, member of the ICANN board of directors among many other organizations, was especially interesting.
He notes that when the first IGF was held in 2005, development was decided upon as one of two important principles to be discussed, yet this is now the first year that the issue has actually been made a key theme of the forum. For this particular workshop Sadowsky has a panel of speakers, each discussing their view of what development means in the context of Internet Governance.
Everton Sara spoke on the subject from the viewpoint of intergovernmental organizations focusing on security and infrastructures without which "there is no possibility of using the internet for whatever means the government wants to and also to promote the security transactions that happened on the internet." Speaker number two had a few disagreements with Everton and spoke from the view of freedom of expression and civil liberty. On the issue of securitization of the internet he notes that the biggest problem with national security is that when there is any threat, it trumps all rights. He sees a strong correlation between freedom and development, and thinks that "institutionalized liberties and rights will in fact help economic and social development and the countries that succeed even if they don't take the pure, purest form of individual rights and liberties." Other speakers focused on development from a business view and in the context of professional technical management issues.
It is interesting that there are so many ways to look at one subject; but as George Sadowski says, "We all look at the world through different lenses and multiple lenses by the way. And that lense affects what our view of the world is and what we think is important." This workshop really reflects this years IGF theme: Developing the Future Together by incorporating different specialists to speak on what development and internet governance means to them.
Workshop transcript: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/transcripts/697-174