Programs

“The Internet Society is operating on a world  stage to help all of the stakeholders of the Internet  to understand what the implications of the
technology are, what policies are beneficial,  and what right and freedoms need to be preserved  in the use of this system.” – Vint Cerf

Area of Focus for the year 2018

  • Internet Governance
  • Internet of Things (security)
  • Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Systems (MANRS)
  • Community Networks
  • Other participated Events

INTERNET GOVERNANCE

 

How the Internet is governed is critical. Its important how we manage this precious, global resource directly impacts our economic and social opportunities far into the future.

The Challenge

Internet governance refers to the processes that impact how the Internet is managed.

As policy makers and technical experts work to connect the remaining two-thirds of the world’s nations, the WAY in which the Internet is governed will likely have an impact on how we use it and how it evolves.

There are key global, regional and local discussions  about how to strengthen the Internet governance model in ways that will be meaningful to users around the globe, and how to be more inclusive of new ideas and perspectives.

The success of the Internet is rooted in the way it was built and able to grow: an open platform for innovation and sharing of ideas. It is this openness that has defined the Internet from the outset and has enabled it to become such a strong tool for positive change through new ideas and services that make a real difference to people all around the world.

It is our deep belief that the Internet cannot be regulated in a top-down manner, but its governance should be based on processes that are inclusive and driven by consensus.

The need to create a clear and simple ways for everyone – regardless of background – to understand and be a part of how the Internet is run is critical.

The Opportunity

Fortunately, there is a model in place that people around the world are fighting to protect.

In the policy world, this is talked about as the “multi-stakeholder approach.” Basically it means that everyone who has a stake in the future of the Internet needs to have a voice in how it’s run.

Users: Nearly three billion Internet users are both creators of information as well as consumers. Websites, blogs, videos, tweets, can all be broadcast and accessed in the largest mass medium imaginable. Audio and video calls and conferences can be set up and received without regard to distance or cost.

Business: The Internet allows for what we call “permissionless innovation”, where anyone can create and offer a service. This helped Jeff Bezos to start Amazon.com in his garage with just his savings, and expand rapidly into one of the largest global retailers. Likewise, Google and Facebook were started by students, alongside thousands of other entrepreneurs around the world who have pursued their dreams online.

Governments: Governments can use the Internet to deliver services and levy taxes and, in turn, can choose to enable citizens to elect, petition, and oversee their governments online.

People’s ability to build Internet as a uniquely universal platform that uses the same standards in every country so everyone can interact with everyone else is one of the most spectacular, and most hopeful, success stories of our time.

We must continue to work to clear away complications and open doors for everyone to have their voices heard when it comes to how Internet policies are developed.

In  this year 2018, here are some of the events that we engaged on under the Internet Governance programme

Engaging the Python programmers of Namibia

As in 2017, this year too, the Internet Society Namibia Chapter sponsored this an annual programming conference, attended by ICT professionals, software entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers, students and educationalists.
This platform provides an opportunity for ongoing engagements with the Programming Community, who are a core part in the internet ecosystem and highlight key concerns, challenges and lessons related to the policy development and technology of the internet.

The chapter presented the Internet Society strategy for the year 2018 and briefed participants on ways to be members and showcased beneficial opportunities for becoming a member. ISOC membership is free.

The chapter sponsorship included the following

  • WIFI
  • Participation fees to attend the event

Event: PyCon Namibia
Date: 20/02/2018
Participants: 82, 21 talks and 16 sponsors

Hosting Africa’s 5th YouthComm in Namibia

Together with The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and UNESCO, we organized a 1& half day workshop aimed at empowering Namibian youth with deeper knowledge and understanding of the internet ecosystem and its functions. This workshop also aimed to strengthen Internet Governance in Namibia, by creating local youth networks that will benefit from ISOC & ICANNs leadership, through training sourced locally, in partnership with national stakeholders of the internet such as the government, Academia, private sector and civil society. This workshop provided an opportunity for the chapter to deepen youth engagement in the Internet Ecosystem, as the youth are key players in the Internet ecosystem.

Event: YouthComm
Date: 26-27 February 2018
Participants: 50

Raising awareness on “Online Violence Against Women” #EndOVAW

Online violence against women has become an issue of great concern in Namibia with revenge porn being an emerging trend amongst others. Hence there was a need to raise awareness, especially during the Women’s month of march but also highlight the human rights aspect of the Internet. In collaboration with the Namibia Women in Computing, ISOC Namibia organized this panel discussion, which amongst others highlighted legislation and legal instrument in curbing online violence but also to create local partnerships and sound a local call to speak out against online violence in general in the country. The panel included Ms Sabine Witting of UNICEF, Ms Emilia Nghikembua of the ICT Regulatory Authority, Ms Meunajo Tjiroze from the Office of the First Lady as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Computing & Informatics at NUS Dr Anicia Peters.

Interactions from this panel discussion, revealed a deeper need to continue advocacy on the safety of women and children online – which are global best practices on Internet Governance. The chapter seeks to continue engagement and further discussions with other stakeholders, on the extent and kinds of violence and identify ways to fill the existing gaps, as well as formulate strategies to deal with online violence.

Event: Online Violence Against Women Panel Discussion 2018
Date: 24 March 2018
Participants: 50

Hosting the Wikipedia Women Edit-a-thon Namibia node

Online content for Namibia is a key concern, and it is also one of our founding aims. When ISOC global’s Women’s Special Interest Group (SIG) reached out with this global outreach initiative, our chapter was only too pleased to partake. The aim of the initiative was to edit profiles of women on the Wikipedia platform within 24 hours, preferably in local languages and the editing needed to be done by women. With this initiative, the chapter collected about 25 profiles of women leaders in the ICT industry in Namibia, featuring women founders, pioneers, entrepreneurs and developers. This is in recognition of their roles in the technology and internet space. For us an opportunity to add more Namibian content online was a bonus. Eleven women came together for this editathon, which received support from the Wikipedia Foundation, through quick refresher on-the-spot training and supply of t-shirts by its Ambassador in Namibia, Peter Gallert of NUST.

ISOC Namibia further seeks to localize this idea and spread it across all other fields, but firstly to finalise editing profiles on hand, through a locally coordinated edit-a-thon. This was done primarily to highlight the importance of having local female role models documented and available for the world and generations to emulate. This activity, complements the Internet Governance best practice on Women

Event: WIKIPEDIA WOMEN EDITATHON
Date: 24 APRIL 2018
Participants: 11

Expanding the Bloggers Network in Namibia

The aim of this workshop was to train the unemployed and students with blogging and coding skills; and further empower them with digital security skills and an awareness of blogging opportunities on the African Continent, and how that ties in with access and development of the internet. Thirty one (31) participants took part in this workshop which was a build up event of the World Press Freedom day celebrations and was co-organized by local partners such as the Editor’s Forum of Namibia, NUST Department of Media Technology and UNESCO.

The participants were trained by three local trainers in the field of media and online business and marketing, who are Ms Natasha Tibinyane – ISOC member & Media Trainer, Mr Milton Louw as well as Mr Hugh Ellis from NUST Department of Media technology and were joined by Ms Janet Faden a media trainer from Nigeria. Participants acknowledged the need to share their Namibian narratives through platforms such as this.

Event: Bloggers Workshop
Date: 7 May 2018
Participants: 31

Ensuring that the Namibia Internet Governance Forum 2018 happens 

As part of our Internet Governance programme, the Chapter organized this national event with the support of the National Working Group for Internet Governance. This one and a half day event brought together 110 participants, made up of players in the internet in Namibia, who discussed different policy issues related to internet development in Namibia. The event was held under the theme “Internet of Trust” as derived from the global Internet Governance Forum theme. Some key topics worth noting were Cybersecurity, ICT Policy Harmonization, Online safety for children and as well as indigenous identity on the internet.

ISOC Namibia served as a secretariat for this national event and sourcing funding and technical expertise and support for this event, on behalf of the national working group. The event took place at the UN House thanks to local partner UNESCO – who at global level also hosted the IGF in Paris.

Event: Namibia Internet Governance Forum
Date: 6&7 November 2018
Participants: 110

Submitting input for the National Broadband Policy 

Responding to the call by the Ministry of ICT to provide input on the draft Broadband policy of 2016, the Chapter provided input on this said policy in April, with assistance from the ISOC global Policy team. Our input focused mainly on the policy direction, its technical content as well as seeking clarity on a number of issues. Namibia is yet to pass its Broadband Policy and consultations over the years have not made this possible, since the 1st draft in 2014/2015.

Event: Submission of input for the National Broadband Policy
Date: 14 April 2018
Participants: Chapter Officers

Internet of Things (security)

Cybersecurity will be the most pressing challenge of the next decade, and IoT will play a critical role in it.”
Internet Society 2017 Global Internet Report

What is an IoT device?

It’s a physical object that connects to the Internet. It can be a fitness tracker, a thermostat, a lock or appliance – even a light bulb.

Imagine shoes that track your heartbeat… and can flag potential health problems. You don’t have to imagine – these “smart” shoes already exist!

How will it affect me?

The Internet of Things has arrived and it’s going to introduce incredible opportunity over the next five years. And while smart things are exactly that, the IoT industry has a long way to go in terms of overall security. Many of today’s IoT devices are rushed to market with little consideration for basic security and privacy protections: “Insecurity by design.”

This puts you and everyone else at risk: from unwittingly being spied on or having your data compromised to being unable to lock your own home. You could even become part of a botnet that attacks the Internet. Your insecure webcam – along with millions of others – could be used to attack the power grid of an entire country.

Internet of Things in Namibia -awareness is key

Our Chapter is taking part in the 2018 chapterthon through a project focusing on developing and distributing teaching materials to schools, which raises awareness on Internet of Trust (IoT), cyber security in local languages through multiple formats such as digital videos and audios by one of our members, Sebulon David – a former University lecturer who now implements ICT based projects in rural Namibia.
We hope that this campaign reaches university platforms and initiate discussions at a national level.

Event: ISOC Chapterthon 2018 Namibian
Participants: 164 Teachers

Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Systems (MANRS)

In 2017 alone, 14,000 routing outages or attacks –such as hijacking, leaks, and spoofing –led to stolen data, lost revenue, reputational damage and more, all on a global scale. Operators, enterprises and policymakers have converged around the concrete steps – Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security – that prevent these incidents.

Network operators and Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) who implement the MANRS Actions improve both routing security and operational efficiency, clearly signaling a security-forward posture and value-added service.

In seeking MANRS-compliant infrastructure partners, enterprises gain increased security and service reliability, while eliminating common outages or attacks.

Policymakers realize the opportunity to improve infrastructure, decrease malicious activity and stimulate demand by calling for or specifying these MANRS best practices.

The Internet’s routing foundation has cracks, and they’re growing. Not a single day goes by without dozens of incidents affecting the routing system. Route hijacking, route leaks, IP address spoofing, and other harmful activities can lead to DDoS attacks, traffic inspection, lost revenue, reputational damage, and more. These incidents are global in scale, with one operator’s routing problems cascading to impact others. – Internet Society

Localising IETF in Namibia through the IETF Remote Hubs

To date, 72 participants have attended the IETF Viewing Hub 101 and 102. The purpose of the remote hub is to promote the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Namibia and expose the local network and other related engineers to the IETF with the aim of one day contributing to the work at IETF at a global level. The Hubs also aims at allowing those who cannot travel to a meeting to still experience the goings on through live event streaming. While the First IETF of 2018 meeting took place in London, and the 2nd taking place in Canada, Namibians for the first time took part in the discussions and practical workshops on setting up the standards of the internet remotely..

To date, we have created a database of technicians and engineers of the internet in Namibia, from participants who attended IETF hubs, with the aim to engage them and open them up to more information and opportunities on the IETF.

#IoTSecurity #MANRS

Under this programme the chapter held 2 related events
Event: IETF Remote Hubs (101 and 102)
Date: 20 March 2018 & 17 – 18 July 2018 Participants: 35 + 37

Community Networks

The Internet can open up a world of opportunity. With half the world’s population unconnected, it’s urgent that we shape a tomorrow that benefits everyone.

Let’s build a digital future that puts people first.

Closing the digital divide is critical and community networks offer a solution. These are “do it yourself” networks built by people for people.

You can promote, donate to, or even build a community network yourself. You can also work with your local community and government to help create change!

Community Networks Can Bridge the Digital Divide

The Groot-Aub Community Network (CN), that is run and supported by the ISOC Namibia Chapter members Nicola Bidwell and Quentilian Louwe received a double boost this year. Funds of US$2,500 have just been provided for networking and solar equipment by ISOC’s Community Network Development Assistance Programme Africa. These funds will enable community members to extend the network across the settlement.

Additionally, Groot-Aub CN is the southern African site in Afchix’s http://www.afchix.org/,initiative to promote women in establishing, using and managing CNs. The Afchix initiative, one of 12 winners in USAID’s 2018 Women Connect Challenge, https://www.usaid.gov/wcc , builds the capacities of women in CNs to serve disadvantaged communities in Senegal, Kenya, Morocco, and Namibia. The initiative uses gender sensitive approaches to involve women as leaders and focal persons in designing, installing and maintaining CNs, both locally and through fellowships to develop and support experienced women from each of the four countries.

Namibia also features in a new book on Community Networks. An article featuring Quentillian Louwe discussing the Seeds of Groot-Aub, https://www.giswatch.org/en/country-report/infrastructure/namibia and an article by Nic Bidwell on her research on CNs around the world. Nic undertook this research with Association for Progressive Communications (APC), which has also taken took her to Accra, Ghana to run a workshop for women in CNs at The Web Foundation’s African Women and Girls in Technology (supported by ISOC-global) and to the IGF2018 in Paris.

Community Network Summit

Aiming at engaging community networkers and give them hands on experience in the setting up of some nodes in the expansion of networks, the Community Network summit took place in the Zenzeleni rural area in South Africa. Our Chapter member Quentillian Louw was one of the fellows for this summit. Who wished that the expansion of the community networks increase in Namibia and hopes for further engagement of community members in the setup of the community networks

Venue: Wild Lubanzi Trail Lodge, eastern Cape,South Africa
Date: 02 – 07 September, 2018