Internet Governance Forum and Freedom of Internet Users

Posted on Dec 5 2012 - 10:49pm by Sidrah Zaheer

internet freedomIn a recent annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting held in Baku, Azerbijan, Google presented its grievances over the internet freedom the host country allowed for its internet users. The IGF is a United Nation’s body that looks after the security and stability of the internet and supervises the internet governance around the world. One of the purposes of the IGF is deal with issues arising from use and misuse of the internet.

Although a general perception is that both use and misuse is from an internet user’s side, however, the fact is that governments around the world are also involved in not just the use, but the misuse of the internet and its technologies. Internet freedom is an integral part of the freedom of information and speech, but around 40 countries around the world put limits to these. These countries which put restrictions on their internet users want an international law that could secure their methods as legal, logical and permissible. Through an International Telecommunications Union, this step has already been taken.

However, as far an internet crimes are concerned, there is no doubt that similar measures of the strict laws should be taken as in the real world situation. In that sense, the virtual world of the internet is no different and is getting closer to the real world an inch every year with the development of communications technology and information services. Many champions in this cause of freedom are shamed when it comes to this new medium of information exchange, including the US, which is known to meddle with a lot of websites and their content.

Local laws have to be considered while presenting a case on an international forum, and thus Google will be faced with a lot of opposition to its stand on free internet for everyone everywhere. It will be years before any proper conclusion satisfactory to both states and internet corporations could be reached. But considering the influence that many corporations and business have begun to have on government policies, it might happen that while framing international laws, they could get their way.

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