Leaders at Bali internet forum concerned over US surveillance
BALI, Indonesia - Leaders from different sectors at the Internet Governance Forum held for the first time in Southeast Asia say they’re concerne about the mass surveillance done by the United States.
Ayee Macaraig files this video blog.
US spies on 70 million phone calls in France.
That’s the headline that coincides with the opening of the Internet Governance Forum here in Bali, setting the tone for the world’s leading forum on Internet policy issues.
About 1,500 delegates from all over the world gather here to talk about the role of the Internet for development
But revelations of mass spying by the US government dominate the speeches of leaders here at the IGF and even the workshops and informal conversations of delegates.
During the opening session leaders from the United Nations, European Parliament, civil society and business all express concern that mass surveillance may threaten efforts to protect a free, open and secure Internet.
They say this endangers basic freedoms like privacy and freedom of expression.
But representatives of the US government say they are taking the concerns seriously and the reports must not be used to justify moves for a centralized control of the Internet by some governments.
All of the leaders push for a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder approach to setting rules on the use of the Internet to reflect the participative nature of the medium.
During the workshops, Internet enthusiasts also discuss efforts in the Philippines and Southeast Asia to use cyberspace for issues like disaster risk reduction and open governance.
AMBAR SARI DEWI
JALIN MERAPI, INDONESIA
As in the Philippines, Internet infrastructure in Indonesia is not good and especially in the mountain, the peak of Merapi, we barely have, so hard to find Internet connection so combination between the Internet and lower technology is very important to distribute information during disasters.
SOUTHEAST ASIA TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE
I think it's quite funny because your government is also part of the Open Government Partnership but you don't have the Freedom of Information Law
Amid the heated debate on surveillance,
Civil society representatives stress what must not be lost in the debate is that the Internet must not just benefit governments and business but also be used to help the illiterate, the indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities by making sure that the Internet is just free and open but accessible to all.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Bali, Indonesia. - Rappler.com