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The Internet Governance Forum concluded today in Vilnius, Lithuania after
four days of meetings and discussions involving a broad range of
stakeholders.  More than 1,900 participants from 107 countries attended,
the largest participation of all the five IGFs.  Delegations from 79
governments were represented along with participants from the private
sector, civil society, the Internet community and the media. More than 600
people participated remotely from more than 30 registered hubs as well as
individuals.  There were 35 remote panelists.

.The emerging issue of cloud computing and the way forward for Internet
governance were discussed in the main sessions. Other events on the
closing day included 17 workshops, as well as regional meetings, and
'dynamic coalitions'.

Emerging issues: cloud computing

Cloud computing was designated as the theme for the 'emerging issues'
session in Vilnius. This session looked at the issue from both the policy
and the technical perspectives and explored the possible Internet
governance considerations of cloud computing.

The chair of the session Professor Algimantas Juozapavicius asked people
to imagine a world with technology on tap where we can access computing
services on demand from any location without worrying about how these
services are delivered and where they are hosted.  This vision he said was
becoming a reality and could be revolutionary, enabling small and medium
sized business in particular to enter the market without upfront costs and
to operate entirely without a large IT department.   As an emerging issue
he said cloud computing present lots of challenges to be resolved.

In the first part of the session participants acknowledged that there
were different opinions about what was the cloud and how it could be used.
One definition suggested it meant programming the whole infrastructure of
the Internet and providing that as a service, others said it included
web-based email services as well as data storage and processing.  The
cloud could be seen as a shared resource or as something that might lead
to computing power becoming a utility like electricity which could be
plugged into on demand.

Concerns were expressed about market dominance by the most powerful IT
companies, how cloud computing might worsen the digital divide, the use of
open standards, the hidden costs of cloud computing and standards for
cloud service providers. There was a warning that cloud computing was a
disruptive technology that would change how we process information and
challenge existing regulatory paradigms.

The discussion looked at the benefits of cloud computing such as the
savings from economies of scale offered by the cloud, and the drawback
including concerns about data security and privacy and interoperability
were discussed. It was argued that the cloud could offer governments the
opportunity to use information technology resources more efficiently.

Another issue discussed in the session was the environmental impact of
cloud computing.  It was reported that data centre energy use globally is
now one per cent of global electricity consumption and could rise to two
per cent this year.

Taking stock of Internet governance and the way forward

The final session in the afternoon took stock of the evolution in the
overall Internet governance landscape since the first IGF meeting in
Athens in 2006. Participants were also looking ahead at Internet
governance over the next five years leading up to the ten-year review of
implementation of and follow-up to the outcome of the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) in 2015.

There was a call form more youth engagement at the IGF.  One young person
described how youth issues were often discussed solely from an adult point
of view, instead of youth discussing the future of the Internet as equal
stakeholders with all other participants.

Speakers commented on how discussions had changed in the five years of
the IGF meetings.  It was now seen as more balanced and more cooperative
between the different stakeholder groups. More stakeholders were engaging
with the IGF and the number of participants from government, private
sector, civil society as well as the academic and technical community had

.The multi-stakeholder nature of the IGF was praised by several
participants from different stakeholder groups and the usefulness of the
open exchange of ideas was widely supported.  Human rights too had become
a more important issue in the IGF process over the five years.  Several
speakers mentioned the important role of the national and regional IGFs.

.One participant from civil society saw the IGF as an international space
for open exchanges on matters of public policy affecting the Internet
alongside the regional and national process but if it were to continue
there was a need to make the outcomes more visible and tangible without
compromising its non-binding and non-decision-making nature.

Other events

Workshops held today examined the following issues among others: Internet
for youth; protecting women's rights on the Internet; civil registry
cross-border data exchange in Europe; use of Latin and Native American
languages on the Internet; child online protection in Latin America; why
we need an Open Web and local language content and digital inclusion.

One 'Dynamic Coalition' meetings was held on gender equality which aims
to ensure the gender perspective is included in the key debates around
Internet governance issues, such as content regulation, privacy, access,
freedom of expression among others.  Several regional meetings were also

Closing session

In the closing session the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for
Internet Governance Nitin Desai said it was not clear when the IGF was set
up, how it would evolve.  He pointed out that cloud computing and social
media, discussed as emerging issues this year and last, were not even on
the horizon when the IGF first met in Athens.

One of the most important successes he thought was how the
multi-stakeholder approach had worked with different groups learning to
talk with one another and adjust to the new environment.

The IGF had had a concrete impact he said on the issue of people with
disabilities, also on child protection issues.  Another important change
was in the development of national and regional IGFs.  He hoped some of
theses changes had helped to make the Internet a more friendly, safer,
more accessible medium for people in the world.

Chairing the closing session on behalf of Eligijus Masiulis, Lithuanian
Minister of Transport and Communications, was Rimvydas Vastakas,
Lithuanian Vice Minister of Transport and Communications.  Speaking on the
Minister's behalf, he said the last four days had seen very fruitful
discussions and he hoped that by building on the experience of the
previous four meetings that this year's IGF could be described as the best
so far.

Other speakers at the closing session were from the all the different
stakeholder groups that are part of the Internet Governance Forum process.

A report on the future of the Internet Governance Forum will be
considered by the General Assembly during its 65th session.  In his report
the Secretary-General recommends the extension of the mandate of the IGF
for a further five years. The report also calls for additional funding to
increase participation in the IGF from developing countries, and to
increase support for capacity building for Internet Governance in
developing countries.

.The Government of Kenya has offered to host the 2011 meeting, should the
IGF mandate be extended.

From Bangladesh 5 members delegation has joined 5th IGF. Bangladesh
delegation members Head of Delegation Mr. Hasanul haq Inu, MP and Chairman
Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Post and
Telecommunication and  Deputy Head of Delegation Dr. Akram H. Chowdhury,
MP Chairperson, Centre for e-parliament Research and Member, Parliamentary
Standing Committee for Ministry Food and Disaster.

Delegation Members: M.A Haque Anu, Secretary General - Bangladesh Internet
Governance Forum and Dr. Faheem Hossain, Assistant Professor, Asian
University for Women and Member - Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum,
and AHM Bazlur Rahman-S21BR, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs
Network for Radio and Communication  and member of Bangladesh Internet
Governance Forum.

M. A. Haque Anu
Secretary General
Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum (BIGF)
Assistant Editor
The Monthly Computer Jagat

House: 29, Road: 6, F-MA, Bashati Legacy
Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Cell: 01911341654
E-Mail: anu@comjagat.com

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Venue: Press Institute of Bangladesh
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Organized by: Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum (BIGF)
In collaboration with: ISPAB & BNNRC
Knowledge Partner: Computer Jagat

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