Speakers on a public dialogue demanded not to control the Internet
Speakers on a public dialogue demanded not to control the Internet as proposed in the International Telecommunications Revisions to be presented in World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai from 3-14 December. They also urged to the government and International Telecommunication Union to act in favor of Internet’s openness and uphold freedom of expression online.
The dialogue was held at the ERC auditorium of Institute of Engineers Bangladesh at Dhaka on Wednesday 28 November 2012. The event was jointly organized by a rights group VOICE and Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter.
The dialogue was attended by former BTRC chairman Sayed Margub Morshed, Vice president of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh Sumon Ahmed Sabir, president of Bangladesh Computer Society, Professor Dr. Mahfuj Islam, Dr. Syed Faisal Hasan president of Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka chapter, executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Research Fellow, Rezaur Rahman Lenin, Head of Alliance Somewherein net ltd. Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana, moderator Somewhreinblog, Sharat Chowdhury.
Sayed Margub Morshed said,” WCIT 2012 is not the end and people shall overcome every challenge and create a new future through Internet.” The internet infrastructure development in Bangladesh is crucial need to facilitate access of the people to assert their right to information. He also urged to create open environment rather than controlling mass voices.
Sumon Ahmed Sabir said,” ITU is somehow threatened by the openness and multi stake holder approach but this is the best way to deal with Internet Governance”. The governance of internet must be through exercising multistakeholder approach engaging civil society, private sector, media, academia and users at large. He also demanded to unite against any steps taking for controlling internet.
Dr. Mahfuj Islam said, “ITU is changing their mandate from pro-people to green room approach” while the global users are demanding free internet to establish human rights to know and access to information.
Dr. Syed Faisal Hasan said, “ ITU will discourage local entrepreneurship and will block the emerging field of outsourcing and e-commerce.” He also mentioned that internet economy is one of the revenue contributors while we also need to keep in mind to uphold economic benefit engaging multistakeholders in the field of internet arena.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud said, “internet is aglobal common while we all have the equal right to exercise. The International Telecommunication Revisions will greatly put negative impacts on the users and undermine their right to freedom of expression online. He demanded to oppose the revisionary measures and urged to the government to take step to uphold human rights of citizens.
Rezaur Rahman Lenin said,” WCIT conference 2012 had not properly addressed the public participation mechanism which is already an international norm under the international laws. There is a growing tendency respective of democratic or un-democratic regimes to criminalize freedom of expression through arbitrary blocking, filtering and surveillance that we oppose.
Sharat Chowdhury said, “It’s an organized coup by the beneficiaries group towards humanity and towards freedom of expression. People made this media to its current discourse and this media can emancipate only through people.
Participants also expressed concerns and demanded free and open internet among all. The discussion was moderated by Mohammad Robiul Alam of Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka Chapeter.
The meeting come up with a set of recommendations including that ITU and member states Internet governance should be transparent and multi-stakeholder process, global south in find a place to address their legitimate concerns and collectively move against internet control, local civil society must play an important consultative role in this process, capacity building on knowledge & skills, including research and training activities must be taken forward, establishing a rapid response fund to engage in short-term advocacy efforts, promoting wider public engagement through awareness raising and capacity building is essential, strengthening collaboration between internet rights and human rights groups, IT developers, academia, media, business and the users.
For further contact:
Rezaur Rahman, Research fellow, VOICE 01919843758
Syed Faisal Hasan, President, ISOC, Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter 01714175718