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Internet governance


The manner in which the Internet is being shaped today is an important determinant of the directions of social change. It is no longer a simple technical platform about which scientists and technical experts are best placed to take all the important decisions. The question then becomes important: who decides the direction in which the Internet is evolving? A common response is that the Internet is a dynamic platform which responds to user needs. User determination of the trajectory of the Internet's evolution is today largely a myth, though some remarkable oases of alternative practices amongst committed techies or perhaps even involving some ordinary 'power users' do exist. To the extent the user has a role, it is in his capacity as a consumer, which capacity itself is  very differentially distributed between the affluent and the marginalsied groups. Largely, it is the corporatist and statist powers that play an overwhelming driving role in shaping the Internet. Other than in very authoritarian countries, it is the global corporate power, often with strong support from governments, especially those of the North, that is the major determinant of the directions that the Internet is taking. The Internet being a major force in our shifting social configurations, it should not be difficult to see what this means for our future, especially for people and communities that are already marginalised.

It is important to confront both, the global corporatist stranglehold on the Internet, which is increasingly curtailing most of its egalitarian potential, and the statist efforts at resisting the tendency of the Internet to challange existing power heirarchies and controls. Towards these ends, IT for Change (ITfC) has been working both at the global and national levels. Our work seeks better participation and control of ordinary people and communities over shaping of the Internet as a key determinant of our future social structures.

IT for Change made a submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in response to the call for comments on the Pre-Consultation Paper on Cloud Computing. The response at the outset stresses that any discussions on the digital, like cloud computing, must be made in awareness of the fact that the digital is transforming all social systems and institutions and a...

IT for Change made a submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in response to the call for comments on the Consultation Paper on Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Networks. The submission pointed out the need for adopting last mile connectivity approaches that encourage community based networks, including those owned and run by self government...

Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change was a Panelist at the IGF 2016 Main Session, Connecting Human Rights - Emphasising Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for the Internet. In her intervention, she stressed the critical imperative to move beyond the binary of the online and offline, in our imaginary of rights. Human rights violations occur in the very...

Anita Gurumurthy, representing IT for Change, was nominated to speak at the Opening Session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at Guadalajara, Mexico on 6th December, 2016. In her address, Anita highlighted the growing unfreedoms of a datafied world and the urgent need for social movements to come together to develop an internet that...