Internet Governance Research a Decade After WSIS

New Directions and Persisting Challenges

GigaNet 11th Annual Symposium

5 December 2016

Zapopan/Guadalajara, Mexico




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


Since its early days as Arpanet and also after the development of HTML and the ongoing dissemination of the commercial Internet, participation was and still is a key factor driving the success of networks. The airiness of the first generation of users in the 1990s however is over. The virtual space for free expression by some once even hoped to be independent from state control is struggling today with surveillance from different directions. Several stakeholders, among them governments and private companies, have a keen interest today in observing and evaluating user behavior on the net. As a consequence critical users try to find more secure technical means to communicate or look for institutional ways to protect user privacy and improve online participation of different stakeholder groups. We will start our day diving into this debate on participation, transparency and responsibility with the following presentations:


11:00-13:00 – LEGAL CHALLENGES

 User participation, data storage and data (in)security in cyberspace, approached in the first panel, are also subjects of intense intense debate for legal scholars, who are often confronted with the conflict between territoriality and cyberspace. Legal regulations concerning privacy, the growing awareness of hate speech, the right to be forgotten and the challenges of legal compliance in cyberspace are among the topics that will be discussed at a round table with the following experts:

13:00-14:30 lunch break


 The third panel picks up the topic of participation in a different way. It focuses on questions related to end users and young people involved in, or affected by policies and practices of big IG actors like ICANN and the IGF. ICANN`s New gTLD Program is another form of increasing participation in the Internet. So far, the evaluation of this program is in its early stages and the complexity of the whole process has let to the organization postponing its second round of the program. Also the IGF is a key actor that promotes participation and especially tries to open doors to the next (or rather, the current) generation of Internet users. In this session we want to discuss these aspects of big IG actors:



The ups and downs of participation in the Internet and in Internet Governance can also be observed very well over the past few years in countries with increasing economic growth and also in relation to the Internet. Depending on the context they are labeled as emerging economies, newly industrialized economies, tiger states, BRICS, or developing countries. While some countries benefited from historically and often violently gained economic advantages building basic infrastructure and later telecommunication networks that are today offering stable and strong Internet connections other are still struggling with their colonial past followed by more or less stable ups and downs and unsteady developments. In this last session we want to explore some of these questions and cases and discuss the relation between power and access.

17:15-18:00 – FINAL SESSION

  •  Summing up
  • Updates and Announcements
  • Stocktaking and Looking Forward
  • Moderator: Marianne Franklin

The symposium will be followed up by the GigaNet Reception at the restaurant MI LOLA, Avenida Providencia 2925, Guadalajara.