25 April 2014

IFLA engages in NETmundial discussions on behalf of libraries and their users

NETmundial outcomes: set of principles for Internet governance and a roadmap for their implementation

The NETmundial meeting closed on April 24th with an outcome document adopted by acclaim by participants from 97 countries.

The Multistakeholder Statement of Sao Paulo outlines a set of principles for Internet governance and a supplies a roadmap for their implementation.

The second day of the conference focused on additional suggestions for the outcome document, before a drafting committee moved to finalise the text. The document presented at 8pm local time contained references to many of the most controversial issues in Internet governance today, including net neutrality, intermediary liability, and unlawful surveillance. However, many civil society groups felt that these topics were not properly addressed and that an opportunity to take a stronger position on the Snowden revelations was missed at NETmundial.

From a library perspective, language on these issues that ensured improved protections for users would have been a better outcome. Yet it was possible to feel positive about other parts of the document, and elements of the consultation process that produced. In particular, libraries should note the strong clause on the importance of public access to the Internet, a positive result for libraries who provide Internet access in the community.

See: IFLA's Intervention at NETmundial [PDF]

It is expected that the NETmundial findings and outcomes will feed into other processes and forums, such as the post 2015 development agenda process, WSIS+10, IGF, and all Internet governance discussions held in different organizations and bodies at all levels.

IFLA will continue to engage in these discussions on behalf of libraries and their users.

Access to information, Access to knowledge, Development, Digital divide, Brazil, NETmundial

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