GigaNet 10th Annual Symposium

09 November 2015

João Pessoa, Brazil

The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) is presenting its 10th Annual Symposium on 09 November 2015 in the city of João Pessoa, Brazil. The symposium will take place in the Convention Center Poeta Ronaldo Cunha Lima and will once more bring together a large number of Internet governance researchers from several parts of the world discussing some of the most current topics of the field like privacy, human rights, critical infrastructure, multistakeholder systems, regional approaches and more.

GigaNet is inviting all interested individuals to participate in this event which will initiate its first panel at 9h in the morning followed by a truely diversified set of subsequent sessions. Although GigaNet was established as an academic organization it is important to emphasize that people from all sectors of society and independently of their fields of activities are welcome to contribute to the discussions.

The final session in the late afternoon is followed by an easygoing additional event to celebrate the 10th birthday of GigaNet’s Annual Symposium. We hope to see you there!


  • Marianne Franklin, Chair of Steering Committee
  • Daniel Oppermann, Chair of Program Committee


The multistakeholder governance approach is one of if not the most important theoretical approach to Internet governance. For many years it has been handled as the basis for setting up inclusive structures on a local, regional and global scale. Over the past years a growing number of researchers has started to analyze and also to question this approach. Some of these researchers will present their ideas and conclusions during this session which will provide us with the necessary theoretical framework for the subsequent debates of the day. The paper presented are:

10:45-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:30 WSIS+10 & REGIONAL FOCUS

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is considered to be a starting point for many Internet governance debates and also for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) itself. The results of the WSIS meetings in 2003 and 2005 comprise among other documents the first comprehensive definition of Internet governance developed by the then active Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). The WSIS process was of great importance for the global dissemination of Internet governance debates. What happened to the WSIS process over the past 10 years? Which path did the actors involved back then took over the last years and how does this affect today’s Internet policy development processes on a global and a regional level? These and other related questions we want to discuss at a round table based on the following papers:

12:30-14:00 LUNCH BREAK

14:00-15:30 TRUST & ETHICS

While the fast and dynamic character of global Internet development does often not allow us to identify and follow all changes and processes happening in the plurality of locations in this world there are always certain key moments which call global attention and might as a consequence change perceptions and influence decision-making processes of several global, regional and local actors. One of these key moments in the history of the Internet are the so called Snowden revelations which since 2013 function as a game-changer for many actors involved in and also beyond the Internet governance environment. Today’s discussions surrounding these developments lead us to a series of much broader questions related also to a general set of fundamental values like freedom, responsibility and sustainability. Together with Jeanette Hofmann and Rolf H. Weber we want to discuss in this session the role of values and the importance of trust and distrust in the global Internet governance environment. The papers presented are:

15:30-15:45 BREAK

Naturally, Internet governance is also to an extensive degree focused on questions of technical infrastructure and critical Internet resources. One crucial question is the ambivalent relation between actors representing traditional approaches like national souvereignty and the nonambiguous transboundery character of computer networks like the Internet. The conflicts that arise in this context embrace different aspects like top level domains (TLDs) or financial transactions and are often related to questions of technical, financial or even national security. These and other questions including critical infrastructure and the actors involved in its development and maintenance we want to elaborate together with the authors of the following papers:

17:15-18:00 FINAL SESSION

– Summing up
– Updates and Announcements
– Stocktaking and Looking Forward

  • Moderator: Marianne Franklin 
  • Rapporteur: Julia Pohle

The symposium will be followed up by GigaNet Anniversary Reception in Tambaú.