IGF-USA 2015 – Keynote remarks by Kathryn Brown – President and CEO, The Internet Society

IGF-USA 2015 – Keynote remarks by Kathryn Brown – President and CEO, The Internet Society


>>KATHRYN BROWN: Thank you, Susan. You all
know, right, that Julie is probably one of the smartest spectrum management engineers
in the government. At least, she always has been that to me. So, it’s a pleasure here to be
sharing the stage with her. And Steve, there are three of us up here now. One, two, three.
So, maybe we can get something done. Hello, everyone. It’s nice to see you. Thank you
so much to our IGF USA Co Chairs David and Shane, the panel organizers, our host GW University,
and Susan in particular, and all of the volunteers for having me here today.
And I have to say, it’s especially nice to see so many of the ISOC DC chapter members
here, as well. So, I want to echo Vint’s sentiment that it’s inspiring to see the growth of the
local and regional IGFs across the globe. This year, we have watched as a bottom up
movement has spread to create locally designed and run forums like this to share ideas, concerns,
and to recommend action to ensure that the internet we all love remains open, secure,
and resilient. At the Internet Society, we are a global community,
90 staff, 110 volunteer led chapters, and 145 organizational members, all united by
that same shared vision. As you know, the Internet Society is the home of the IETF, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the premier Internet standards body of the internet, receiving support and
proceeds from the not for profit public interest registry, steward of .org, and now .ngo domains.
Over the past 25 years, we have been active in technology, policy development, and development
of the internet across the globe. Our mission is to ensure that the internet
is for everyone. Last week in Auckland I’m about to tell you about this thing called
Intercommunity, those who are not on, are going to have to hear about it from me now.
We had our first Intercommunity meeting which took place on the Internet. We used this to
facilitate a remarkable global meeting of our board, our staff, and our members. Our
first ever hybrid meeting took place on the Internet showcasing how we can use the Internet to connect, to communicate, and to collaborate. From the furthest corner of the Earth, Auckland,
New Zealand, we successfully harnessed the Internet’s power to connect a total of 15 nodes in cities around the world. So I am going to tell you where they were. Accra, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Geneva, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Manila, Montevideo, Nairobi, New York, Ottawa, San Salvador, Santo Domingo, Tunis, and Washington, D.C., as well as individuals in their homes. People had registered from 141 countries. Now, just a few years ago, it would’ve been virtually unthinkable and quite frankly unaffordable to use the Internet technology
in this way, but with the help of a robust network in a New Zealand hotel ballroom, and
using widely available, affordable applications, we were able to provide numerous ways for people
to connect and communicate between the nodes and from anywhere to Auckland, and to each
other with a browser. Indeed, we highlighted the agility of the
Internet in supporting this kind of interactivity and the extent of global engagement. I considered
this a grand experiment. It was a proof of concept. We successfully demonstrated that
the technology that started out with its roots in the world’s first packet networks, which
we heard all about this morning, can now successfully connect people on every continent on the Earth.
It worked. And now the possibilities seem boundless. The Internet itself is its own
greatest champion. And by the way, the stories were remarkable. The people of Ghana talked
about how their lives would be fundamentally different without the Internet. The people
in Latin America relayed their stories about how they are working to make the Internet
more secure. Our chapter in Manila weathered a typhoon, honest to goodness, having to move
their remote node from one place to another because of the flooding and the winds that
were going on there. And they did it. Our chapters in Tunis and Turkey demonstrated
fortitude and commitment in the face of difficulties that confront their very ability to communicate.
They did it. The U.S. chapters were great, today. Folks here in New York did a fine,
fine job. This kind of bottom up organization is critical to our joint responsibility to
ensure that the fundamentals of the Internet, its distributed global, open, interconnectedness,
is preserved and strengthened even as the Internet itself evolves and changes. Last
week, we also saw the release of our 2015 Global Internet Report, highlighting the impact
of the mobile platform on Internet connectivity. More than 3 billion people globally are online,
and the mobile Internet offers hundreds of millions their primary, if not only means
of accessing the Internet. It seems certain that this mobile platform
holds the promise of interconnectivity for the next billion people. Jane Coffin is here, by the way, and in a session later on, we’ll talk a lot about that. As the rise of the mobile platform will unleash
creativity in innovation, we know a whole new generation of Internet citizens will come
online. If the next billion are coming online as a result of mobile, it is incumbent upon
us to make sure that the technology and the policy does not limit them in any way. In
particular, the mobile Internet should remain open to enable access, innovation, and end
to end global connectivity that has driven the continuous growth and evolution of the
Internet to date, including the emergence of the mobile Internet itself.
There is no doubt that there are challenges, both with preserving what we call at ISOC
the invariance of the Internet, what makes the Internet what it is, distributed, globally
connected, capable of change, and allowing us to do what we call permissionless innovation.
I know my friends from the content community will call me immediately, but, what we mean
by that is we do not need to go get a government license to innovate on the next thing, the
next new thing. And this brings me to the current interest
that has been called Internet Governance. Over the years, as the Internet has evolved
to this amazing and now critical means of connection, communication, and commerce, new
institutions have emerged to provide so called government governance mechanisms. While many
older institutions have struggled to understand how their role and their rules still apply
to a network of networks that is not dependent on borders and which challenges the role of
government in a rapidly changing, technological, social and political world, ISOC has stood
steady in our insistence that the bottom up ethic that we understand to be the internet
way remains central to any discussion of governance. Within the formal policy world, we talk a
great bit about multistakeholder mechanisms. By this we mean that government alone cannot
make decisions about the future of the Internet, nor do we think that commercial interests
should decide for users issues that rightly belong to them. Rather, we see an urgent need
for collaborative governance, cooperation and collaboration between and among the interested
stakeholders is what we believe is required. Now, let me list quickly the three urgent,
important policy areas where this idea of collaborative governance is being stress tested.
First, the IANA stewardship. You heard a lot about this this morning. It is an example
of the kind of collaborative dialogue that we talk about. Each of the communities working
with each other to design a proposal that will, indeed, take the U.S. out of its oversight
role. This is a model of multistakeholder consensus driven decision making that sure
may look messy from the outside, but is proving to be effective for the communities involved.
I am convinced that somebody needs to do a Ph.D. dissertation on this whole thing.
It’s going to be enormously interesting to see how it rolls out, and to see how these
committed communities are able to reach consensus and are able to present that in a way that
gets them to where they need to go. Second, the Internet Governance Forum. The
mandate must be renewed by the United Nations this year. We hope the United States is standing
firm on this, as well. The IGF has emerged as the prime way for all stakeholders to gather
and connect about Internet governance issues. There is one more IGF planned in the cycle coming
up this fall in Brazil, and we need the U.N. to renew that mandate for another five years.
We can imagine, I think, when using the technologies I described at the top of this talk, that
these local, regional IGFs could start to collaborate with each other, distilling issues,
discussing solutions, and sharing these perspectives at the global level.
This is how norms get set. This is how best practices get shared, and how self governance
is possible. The idea of all voices being heard brings me to the third issue, that is
testing collaborative governance. This year marks, as Julie said, the 10th anniversary
of the World Summit on the Information Society, and the U.N. is in the midst of what they call WSIS+10 review, where they are evaluating the progress that has been made toward their own lines of inquiry established ten years ago, with a view towards setting their direction for the next
ten years. But here’s the thing. Right now, that review process is only involving governments,
or intergovernmental organizations. All the other stakeholders get to watch on
the outside, or talk to their own governments in order to be heard. This is not how collaborative
governance needs to work. Legitimate outcomes require that all stakeholders be involved
in the preparation and in the consensus building. ISOC and a number of you here in this room
have joined now with over 125 other organizations and individuals to call upon the President
of the U.N. General Assembly to open up the WSIS+10 review process and to have it be inclusive
of all stakeholders. I would ask all of you to join with us in calling for an open, inclusive
process. Now, there has been some progress. The U.N.
added a day of consultation with nongovernmental stakeholders in Geneva, and consultation is
good. Not enough, in my view, but good. But, as this WSIS+10 review continues on through
December, we need to continue to call for open, inclusive, collaborative processes that
includes all the interested parties. Someone Someone asked this morning, “What about the Internet
attracts the world? And what would we want to preserve, even as the technology changes?”
Our strong view at ISOC is that it is the distributed, open, global interconnectedness,
and the people who use it to connect, communicate, Internet the defining phenomenon of our time. I’m impressed by this local IGF. It’s a fabulous
agenda. You are having the conversations that are needed, and I know that many of you already
have a bias for action. We all have a collective responsibility at this crucial moment for
and on the internet. We, indeed, are the stakeholders of whom we speak. Multi means many. We at
the Internet Society are committed to work with you to have our voices be heard. Thank
you for this fabulous opportunity to speak with you, to interrupt your lunch. And I don’t
know if there’s any time for any questions for Julie and I? Thank you.
(Applause.)>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you so much. Yep. We have about eight minutes. About eight minutes, if anybody would like to ask a question. Please, we have a
microphone in the middle of the floor. Has anyone? Yes? Please, Michael.
>>>>KATHRYN BROWN: Michael always asks the first question.>>MICHAEL NELSON: I don’t always ask the
first question. Sometimes somebody gets here first. Mike Nelson, CloudFlare, and also, Georgetown. This question is for both of you. If there was one country that you could convince to change their mind
on these issues, which country would it be, and why?>>KATHRYN BROWN: As usual, that’s an unfair question.(Laughter.)>>We’re trying to bring a lot of people along, as you know, into the notion that the Internet
is vital for the people of everyone’s country. And that is incumbent upon government to reach
out to those who know a lot about their technical expertise, those who know and want to use
the Internet for things like medicine and education, and all kinds of commercial interests,
for there to be a dialogue at all times. And so I think this is not a, pick one country,
but, please, all, let’s figure out why this is good for not only individual nations, but
for the world as a whole. So I’m going to duck your question. I don’t
think it helps to say, only you, but actually, all of you.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: (Off mic.)>>KATHRYN BROWN: That’s a different question altogether. So I’ll let you answer that. (Laughter.)>>JULIE ZOLLER: Well, I can agree with Kathy. Unfair question. We need all countries on board with this approach.
What I can say is, we certainly celebrated the recent, let’s say, evolution of the policy
in India with respect to Internet governance, and I think that the more that we can celebrate
those evolutions, the more likely it is that other countries will follow suit.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: (Off mic.)>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I think we might.. I think we might move onto.. We’ll just include one last question. Sorry Mike. And then we’ll have to oh, I’m sorry. Sure. Okay. Sorry.
Then we’ll have to get moving on to the next session, so.>>OLGA MADRUGA-FORTI: Okay, thank you. Olga Madruga-Forti from the FCC. And thank you for your wonderful presentations, and for bringing to the platform my two passions, which is radio and Internet.
So, this question is probably for Julie, but for both. And now that we are at this intersection
between radio spectrum requirements and Internet policies around the world, to what degree
do you think that the upcoming World Radio Conference will country’s needs and policies
to facilitate Internet access growth play a role, a real, significant role in the spectrum
policy? Thanks.>>JULIE ZOLLER: Thank you, Olga. As Kathy
was speaking about the fact that, for many people, their primary or perhaps only access
to the Internet is via mobile devices, I was once again reminded how important the World
Radio Conference this November is. And our top priority for that conference is the allocation
of spectrum for mobile broadband. So, those are the terms we use to look at this particular
agenda item for the WRC. We’re not talking about it in terms of what’s riding on the
mobile broadband, but we’re talking about the need for spectrum for mobile broadband.
And it’s a growing need that will not be satisfied completely at WRC 15. We already have in progress
an agenda item for WRC 19 to allocate more spectrum for mobile broadband. We’re also
looking at innovative platforms like high altitude platform systems as additional delivery
mechanisms. So, Olga asked a great question. There is this intersection, but in terms of
the issues dealt with at the World Radio Conference, and that is the allocation of spectrum, the
insurance that you’re allocated it in a way that avoids harmful interference between services
that are sharing that spectrum, is the focus of our conversation there. And that’s a good
thing, because it keeps the WRC technical.>>KATHRYN BROWN: This is where..>>It was bound to happen. Internet technologists
are about to meet spectrum technologists. I’d love not to have that happen at the WRC but I sure would like the conversation to start. I heard someone yesterday on the Internet side say, well, we’re going to need that LTE in order to have the kind of connectivity, the kind of broadband, for what we need for a vibrant internet. Well, that’s particular spectrum. That doesn’t happen just by hoping for it. So, I hope that conversation begins.
Thank you.>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks so much. And over to Shane, as we move on to our next adventure.>>SHANE TEWS: Thank you, ladies. I really
appreciate all the work that you’re doing. And I want to, especially Kathy, thank the Internet Society is providing live streaming today of all the main events, as well as the streaming of anything
in the main session. So thank you very much. I know that was an additional cost that you
brought to this and… (Applause.)

Danny Hutson

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