The World Summit on the Information Society, which met in Tunis in November 2005, recommended the creation of an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to bring together industry, civil society and governments to look at important Internet issues such as freedom of expression and the free flow of information, security and user protection, linguistic diversity, and the digital divide.
In January 2006, DTI hosted a UK consultation on the IGF, and the conclusions of this meeting have been fed into the international consultation and are published on the IGF website (http://www. intgovforum.org/contributions/igf.pdf). The creation of a forum where stakeholders can meet on an equal footing is seen as a positive step: industry, civil society and users working with governments can develop practical ways of addressing concerns on the use and misuse of the Internet. The IGF should be open and inclusive, and focus on a few topics.
We now want industry and civil society to take the lead in preparing for the first IGF meeting in October. I am pleased that Nominet, the registry for dot.uk Internet domain names is organising a first meeting on 4 July 2006 in the Houses of Parliament, bringing together industry, civil society, and government. I hope to be involved in this discussion.
The Oxford Internet Institute is also developing a dialogue on issues on the IGF agenda.
Initiatives like these will help us identify clear ideas and objectives for the IGF and will help UK stakeholders to make a very positive contribution to the discussion.