[P2P-F] Fwd: [Networkedlabour] Fwd: Other News - Global Civil Society launches the Internet Social Forum

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From: peter waterman <peterwaterman1936 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:17 PM
Subject: [Networkedlabour] Fwd: Other News - Global Civil Society launches
the Internet Social Forum
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*Global Civil Society launches the Internet Social Forum *

-      *With a call to occupy the Internet*

*PRESS RELEASE. Geneva, Switzerland, 22st January, 2015. *

A group of civil society organisations from around the world has announced
the Internet Social Forum, to bring together and articulate bottom-up
perspectives on the 'Internet we want'. Taking inspiration from the World
Social Forum, and its clarion call, 'Another World is possible', the group
seeks to draw urgent attention to the increasing centralization of the
Internet for extraction of monopoly rents and for socio-political control,
asserting that 'Another Internet is possible'!

The Internet Social Forum will *inter alia* offer an alternative to the
recently-launched World Economic Forum's 'Net Mundial Initiative' on global
Internet governance. While the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the  'Net
Mundial Initiative' convene global elites, the Internet Social Forum will
be a participatory and bottom-up space for all those who believe that the
global Internet must evolve in the public interest; a direct parallel to
the launch of the World Social Forum in 2001 as a counter initiative to the

The Internet Social Forum will reach out to grassroots groups and social
movements across the world, catalysing a groundswell that challenges the
entrenched elite interests that currently control how the Internet is
managed. The Internet Social Forum's preparatory process will kick off
during the World Social Forum to take place in Tunis, March 24th to 28th,
2015.  The Internet Social Forum itself is planned to be held either late
2015 or early 2016.

“While the world's biggest companies have every right to debate the future
of the Internet, we are concerned that their perspectives should not drown
out those of ordinary people who have no access to the privileged terrain
WEF occupies – in the end it is this wider public interest that must be
paramount in governing the Internet. We are organising the Internet Social
Forum to make sure their voices can't be ignored in the corridors of
power,” said Norbert Bollow, Co-Coordinator of the Just Net Coalition,
which is one of the groups involved in the initiative.

The Internet Social Forum, and its preparatory process, is intended as a
space to vision and build the 'Internet we want'. It will be underpinned by
values of democracy, human rights and social justice. It will stand for
participatory policy making and promote community media. It will seek an
Internet that is truly decentralized in its architecture and based on
people's full rights to data, information, knowledge and other 'commons'
that the Internet has enabled the world community to generate and share.

Somewhat similar to Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s call for a ‘Magna Carta
for the Internet', the Internet Social Forum proposes to develop a People's
Internet Manifesto, through a bottom-up process involving all concerned
social groups and movements, in different areas, from techies and
ICT-for-development actors to media reform groups, democracy movements and
social justice activists.

This year will also see the 10 year high-level review of the World Summit
on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in New York in December. As a
full-scale review of a major UN summit, this will be a critical global
political event. Since the WSIS, held in 2003 and 2005, the Internet, and
what it means socially, has undergone a paradigm shift. The WSIS witnessed
active engagement of civil society and technical groups as well as of
business. However, currently, there seems to be an deliberate attempt to
sideline this UN-led initiative on governance issues of the information
society and Internet in favour of private, big-business-dominated
initiatives like the WEF's Net Mundial Initiative. The Internet Social
Forum, while remaining primarily a people's forum, will also seek to
channel global civil society's engagement towards the WSIS +10 review.

The following organisations form the initial group that is proposing the
Internet Social Forum, and many more are expected to join in the immediate
future. This is an open call to progressive groups from all over the world
to join this initiative, and participate in developing a People's Internet

Just Net Coalition, Global

P2P Foundation, Global

Transnational Institute, Global

Forum on Communication for Integration of our America, Regional (Latin

Arab NGO Network for Development, Regional

Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, Regional

Alternative Informatics Association, Turkey

Knowledge Commons, India

Open-Root/EUROLINC, France

SLFC.in, India

CODE-IP Trust, Kenya

GodlyGlobal.org, Switzerland

Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training, Canada

IT for Change, India

Association for Proper Internet Governance, Switzerland

Computer Professionals Union, Philippines

Free Press, USA

Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Philippines

Other News, Italy

Free Software Movement of India

Global_Geneva, Switzerland

Solidarius (Solidarity Economy Network), Italy

All India Peoples Science Network, India

Institute for Local Self-Reliance - Community Broadband Networks, USA

 *Please contact us at *secretariat at InternetSocialForum.net* for further
information or clarification. *

*Or the following regional contacts:*

Europe                 Norbert Bollow          Email:
NorbertB at InternetSocialForum.net

Asia                     Rishab Bailey             Email:
RishabB at InternetSocialForum.net

Africa                  Alex Gakaru               Email:
AlexG at InternetSocialForum.net

North America     Micheal Gurstein       Email:
MichealG at InternetSocialForum.net

South America     Sally Burch                Email:
SallyB at InternetSocialForum.net

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