We are now living in digital era where almost everything can be connected using internet connection. The number of internet users keeps increasing each year. It is like we live in two worlds. The first one is the real world where we interact physically with others. The second is the world where all interaction can still be done effectively via internet connection. Internet is not only about social media. It provides many services we can use daily such as electronic mail, as well as database. Internet has significant role in globalization. However, unlike a state or a country, internet doesn’t have ruler or manager which can really signify how to use it properly for supporting civilization. The freedom we have in internet is unlimited. The uncertainty about internet use leads to the idea of internet governance.
Since digital or precisely internet world is unlimited place to control, the ruler or manager involves multi-stakeholders. The main stakeholder is the national government but it is supported by multi-stakeholder approach so the forum is participated on equal footing with civil society and private sector. Up till now, there is always debate over the role of the state to determine internet policy properly. There have been global internet policies made. The similar agenda continues and is followed by other countries all around the world including Republic of Iran. That is why Persian IGF now exist to follow the success of previous internet governance managed by global stakeholders.
Persian IGF (Internet Governance Forum)
The Islamic Republic of Iran has great interests in engaging with the issue of global internet governance. Iran is not new to internet governance because it has been involved and participated in governance events since 2003 where WSIS forum in Geneva was held. Iran has strong critic towards the use of global internet power. International system of internet governance leads Iran to create its own governance to balance the power of internet governance. Thus, the development and formulation of global internet policy has multilateral engagement in empowered international organizations.
Persian IGF is made not to control internet users but help to build and develop internet healthily. People have taken internet freedom carelessly without boundary, forgetting other’s right within social. Iran has also bad record of internet freedom which led to the birth of Internet Governance Forum. The main purposes of Persian IGF are to maintain, empower, and legitimize, its efforts in monitoring and controlling internet access. Iran has actively pursued those objectives domestically. They have been trying to filter vast quantities of online content and invest in the development of new technologies as well as infrastructure. Those are needed to facilitate state surveillance on massive scale.
How Persian IGF works
Iran has been actively filtering online content on massive scale. They restrict access to many sites on Alexa. They also filter keywords, throttle connection, as well as restrict DNS hijacking methods. They are not just random sites. Those are political, sexual, and cultural themed- pages related. Those pages are blocked to avoid massive conflict.
Persian IGF still has limited ability in influencing the development of internet policy in Iran. They cannot participate fully in the state. This is because Iran has developed its own internet regulation comprehensively. They have also control mechanism of international telecommunication regulations as well as internet governance treaties. Persian IGF exists to stabilize internet governance objectives because the change in government in Iran doesn’t change anything. Persian IGF is made in hope to make differences of internet governance system so it can balance out the power. Internet governance has become one of major issues the press keeps discussing till now.
Internet is a complexity that needs to be organized properly to maximize its use and benefits for the users. However, the power of internet also has significant role in influencing economic growth and other issues globally. That is why Internet Governance Forum is needed to facilitate the discussion between different stakeholders which can contributes to makes differences in policy-making process and outcome. Even though IGF is not meant to delegate outcome of internet policies, the annual meeting is expected to the best time for sharing information as well as exchanging good practices. Thus, those who have power in policy-making have something to be considered based on current situation and needs.
Persian IGF objectives
The objective of IGF is similar generally. The forum is there to facilitate the discussion of internet-related issues. Persian IGF is co-organized by IJMA3 and TIG. The establishment of Persian IGF is considered as critical opportunity for new generation to get involved in internet governance-related issues as well as the openness and economic growth. The first annual meeting held for Persian IGF was in 2014. The main objective of this forum was to raise awareness about internet governance processes in the Persian-speaking communities. The purpose is to establish Persian Multi-Stakeholders Advisory Group or MAG.
The reason why Persian IGF initiated was due to many sanctions against Iran during critical period that might be lifted. It is not a secret that Iran has took upon itself to control internet use. They filter many things to set boundary. However, they didn’t give equal footing to other important stakeholders which can give good contribution for internet governance. The purpose of Persian IGF being made is to shape and enhance the forum between Persian –speaking communities so that critical internet governance policies can be built and developed with new connections involving global and local internet governance stakeholders.
Through Persian IGF, the capacity of its members will be enhanced by different ways such as seminars, workshops, fellowships, as well as training. Those methods are expected to be the best opportunities in exchanging knowledge as well as ideas between national and regional IGF initiatives.
The outcomes resulted from Persian IGF will be reported to the global IGF. Persian IGF utilizes internet governance experts in the forum so that the results will have big contribution. Just like other IGF in different countries, Persian IGF has the same objectives in general view. It is expected to help policy-making people to give more attention on internet and its effects.
Global IGF or Internet Governance Forum in 2006 has shown successful and positive result. Therefore, there are regional IGF version that tries to follow the same path. Persian IGF is one of regional IGFs that attempt to make changes to internet use so that it gives more positive contribution and effects. Other regional IGF that have been acknowledged are European IGF, Asia Pacific Regional IGF, African IGF and many more. Persian IGF is independent platform which involves only Persian speaking stakeholders.
The process and objectives of Persian IGF are not that different from global IGF. This is a platform to discuss issues and policies related to internet governance especially through equal footing. The term equal is the most suitable for IGF because all stakeholders have the same right to contribute and share information so that they can achieve the objectives they have equally.
Persian –speaking countries involved in this regional IGF see this as opportunity to create new generation so that all internet related issues can be solved effectively. Besides, all internet related issues have impact to economic growth, stability, and society. The first dialogue or meeting of Persian IGF had been held in 2014. The objectives were to raise awareness about internet governance process in Persian-speaking communities.
What is the impact of Persian IGF?
From the first dialogue, the objectives were clearly stated. In the past, Persian-speaking countries such as Iran took decision of internet policy making in central which meant it didn’t involve other important stakeholders. This way, public internet policies were not as effective as expected. Through Persian IGF, internet governance has been shaped to help policy makers to choose the best decision which not only beneficial for the state but also all people from different background. The forum is also enhanced to straighten the linkages between Persian-speaking countries and their counterparts especially within larger technological sectors.
Persian IGF has big impacts especially in building and developing new connections with other local and global internet governance stakeholders. As the results, critical internet governance policy can be made effectively because the forum involves many important factors to consider. As the impact gives positive result especially to the Persian-speaking communities, the objectives of Persian IGF to create new generation for openness and economic growth are still on going. It is not easy to create effective internet governance especially when the world keeps changing. The power of internet use also keeps increasing which make the attempt to create big impact more challenging than it already has.
Internet governance forum or IGF is a platform serves to bring people from different background to discuss on public policy issues related to internet. The global version of IGF has been proved to be successful in achieving some objectives globally. Following the success of Global IGF, many countries started to consider doing the same thing. This is why Persian IGF also exists. Internet has many opportunities as many as the risk. Thus, Persian IGF and other IGFs are meant to address those risks and maximize the potential for better outcome.
Understand more about Persian IGF and its concept
At the beginning, the term ‘governance’ got people confused because it was like were meant to be controlled by the state. Lots of translation of the term had led people to mistaken the real meaning of the term ‘internet governance’. IGF is not about how internet being controlled by the state but also by others from different backgrounds such as expertise, academic, scientist, technical communities, etc. By bringing stakeholders from different background to public discussion, better solutions are expected to be made. That is why IGF is not only about the state but for broader scale including social and economic growth.
There are various factors involved in every IGF meeting including the one being held by Persian-speaking communities. They are the information society, information technology, and communication system. Those are needed to be included for more comprehensive discussion. Therefore, internet governance is not limited to wire and connection because there are more complicated factors that needs to be addressed. That is why understanding the concept of Persian IGF is important to make better internet policies which are beneficial equally for people even from different backgrounds.
Even though Persian IGF involves only Persian –speaking countries, international laws are included as important factor as well. Just like other IGF in different countries, Persian IGF also involves multi-stakeholders from different background such as the state, which has authority in public policy making related to internet use locally and internationally. There is also stakeholder coming from private which can contribute in filling in information related to internet use in technical and economic point of view.
Civil society is stakeholder represented by organization which fills in information related to internet use in general society. There are also other stakeholders involved in Persian IGF such as intergovernmental organizations as well as international organizations. Those are important to help coordinating internet related issues which involve broader scales.
Internet is not an easy thing to manage or control even for advanced country. The approach is more suitable with decentralization instead of centralization because internet involves different institutions. There are many issues that might relate with internet and to be discussed in internet governance forum. There is an assumption that internet can overpower national principle due to its unlimited power which can influence many sectors and boundaries. Therefore, internet governance is important to balance and manage internet use for good benefits.
Persian IGF is not meant to control internet users between Persian-speaking communities. The forum is expected to contribute in policy-making to create balance effects and power of internet especially in domestic use. The policy made for internet governance is supposed to consider many factors such as freedom to express, cyber-security, as well as intellectual rights. Internet policies are still blur in many countries so Internet Governance Forum is a great move to make differences for making the better version.
Benefits of Persian IGF
Persian IGF has objectives to achieve more balance internet use and control the negative effects within Persian-speaking communities. In the process, it utilizes internet governance experts to assist as well as grows Persian Speaking Community. The forum serves as a base or foundation to strengthen the relationship between Persian speaking communities and others in the world. As the result, this forum is expected to raise the awareness of internet governance related issues that potentially emerge and influence Persian speaking communities including Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.
The benefits are clear enough to notice if the forum goes well. They include the raise of awareness about the emerge of internet governance policy, improve and grow brand new co-relation with other stakeholders. As the result, this forum will be able to help enhancing the ability of all the members within their means.
The debate of Persian IGF involves important and expert multi-stakeholders. They represent different roles. The forum is beneficial because then there will be significant development and growth to the internet policies which are not only good for the country but for the people within Persian –speaking community in general.
Besides, there was a critical period when many sanctions against Iran might be lifted. Thus, this Persian IGF is considered the right movement to make different change, development and growth of internet use. Therefore, internet will give more benefits positively because they are supported by the right and better policies.
Internet governance has become one of the major issues being discussed in many countries. The role of internet in our life cannot be denied. It has significant role to many sectors even for social and economic growth. Persian IGF is one of forum discussing internet governance involving multi-stakeholders especially Persian-speaking countries such as Iran, Tajikistan, etc. Internet governance is a development or approach of internet management by involving the state, as well as other stakeholders from different but important background.
There are many things they can do while discussing current and major issues related to internet use and growth such as sharing information, helping to take decision, as well as lighting up the ideas to make better internet policies.
Persian IGF exists to balance the power of internet within the state. Persian –speaking country like Iran has taken some actions to control internet use by filtering offensive sites which are considered to be potentially disturbs national security. Unlike the state, Persian IGF attempt to take different approach rather than just controlling and filtering.
They discuss important issue with other influenced stakeholders so that more effective approach can be made to make internet use result in more positive ways for the users as well as for the state.
The annual meeting through Persian IGF doesn’t contribute directly to the policy-making. However, it does contributes to fill in important things to consider by those who have power in making decision to make better policies related to internet governance. The contribution sounds not so big but it has big impact indeed. Without Persian IGF, Persian-speaking countries may take different approach in making internet policies ineffectively.
That is because the meeting and discussion Persian IGF is not only talking about how to minimize damage caused by unlimited internet power to the state but also the impact in general include to society and economic growth. Thus, internet has big contribution to build better world.
In Internet Governance Forum, internet issue is not only about every digital-related things but also the information society as well as information technology and communication. All those aspects cannot be separated from each other because it will only cause in missing important point.
By including all those aspect in discussion, the real problem can be found and the most effective solution can be made. Therefore, it can be concluded that Persian IGF contribution has significant impact to social and economic growth especially for Persian –speaking countries.