By Justin Caso, J.D., Technology Policy and International Affairs Advisor, IEEE Standards Association
On 5-6 June 2015, the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) held its annual meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event was preceded by the inaugural South Eastern Europe Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) on 4 June 2015. The event consisted of high level keynote speeches, panel sessions and various other sessions of varying formats to discuss topics related to Internet Governance. Multiple stakeholder groups, including a significant youth representation, participated in the event.
EuroDIG is designed to serve two main purposes. First, the event provided a venue to discuss and exchange views and best practices in preparation for the global Internet Governance Forum, which will be held from 10-13 November 2015 in João Pessoa, Brazil. The second purpose is to raise awareness among European stakeholders about the importance of Internet Governance issues.
The EuroDIG 2015 program was developed from a bottom up, multistakeholder approach in order to ensure that all stakeholders were afforded the opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns on a wide range of topics related to Internet Governance. Some of the major topics of discussion included data protection and cybersecurity.
IEEE participated in this event by leading the development of the second Plenary session, Privacy and data protection in the emerging world of big data and new services. The organizing team, including the panel participants, developed the session in collaborative manner. The session discussed the intersection of Internet Governance in the context of big data and the Internet of Things with a focus on privacy and human rights. In addition, IEEE worked with the organizers for Workshop 1. Additionally, there were several Internet Governance sessions that discussed the modalities of how to engage those who are not currently active in the Internet Governance discussion.
A particularly entertaining and interactive session titled Data protection and privacy in an era of outstanding digitization took place on 6 June as a follow up to the morning session on the same topic. This session was led by Maarten Botterman and featured extensive audience participation on this topic. The session epitomized the EuroDIG vision of allowing a voice for all in these discussions.
The SEEDIG event on 4 June 2015 facilitated an open and inclusive discussion in an informal setting to discuss Internet Governance issues that are relevant to the South Eastern Europe region. The sessions focused on the multistakeholder Internet Governance models on a national level, the confluence of human rights in regards to theoretical approaches and realities in the South Eastern Europe region, and the domain name space in the region.
EuroDIG 2016 will be held in Brussels, Belgium on 9-10 June 2016.
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