Internet Governance Glossary
A world-wide virtual space, different from real space, with many sub-communities unevenly distributed using a technical environment – first of all the Internet – in which citizens and organizations utilize information and communication technology (ICT) for their social and commercial interactions.
Integration of telecommunications, computers as well as the necessary software, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.
The worldwide public network of computer networks that provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web (WWW) and carries e-mail, news, entertainment and data files.
The Internet (with capital "I") refers to the huge global public network which also runs the World Wide Web. Other internets – also being networks of computer networks – are written with lower case "i".
Multiplication of interactive information objects by means of adding sensors and other devices to material objects (i.e. “things”) with the ability to communicate with other objects thus transforming the physical world itself into a huge information and knowledge system.
This enables things/objects to recognise events and changes in their surroundings and act and react in an appropriate way, without human intervention.
This enables things/objects to recognize events and changes in their surroundings and act and react in an appropriate way, without human intervention.
“the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet”.
(§ 34, Tunis Agenda for the Information Society – 2005)
Refers to parts of the Internet that can be considered as a global public good essential for the welfare or well-being of the general public.
Recognition of a multiplicity of legitimate interests and Internet stakeholders.
Multi-stakeholderism is closely related to the concept of the Internet ecosystem.
formal organizations, institutions or informal networks of the private sector and civil society, as well as governments, intergovernmental and international organizations belonging to the Internet ecosystem.
Internet stakeholders or their organizations may be active at international, regional or national level.
Refers to the clear provision of complete and accurate information on the activities and practices of Internet stakeholders in a form understandable by an average user.
One of the core values of the Internet being an open platform with open processes.
Some Internet stakeholders assume that a healthy and sustainable Internet is based on the principle of openness comprising first of all:
- Open global technical standards: referring to technology and content related standards
- Open communications (for everyone): referring to society at large
- Open markets: referring to economic progress
- Open institutions: referring to Internet governance characterized by multi-stakeholderism.
Policy to facilitate or even guarantee access – including the requirement of affordable access – for everybody to the Internet.
Universal access in a broader sense is encompassing a variety of issues, including information and computer literacy, digital media, information and communication technology (ICT) skills, as well as linguistic diversity through language protection, gender equality and women empowerment and empowerment of minorities and persons with disabilities. In a narrow sense it sometimes focuses on facilitating the expansion of access to ICT and the Internet in underserved areas. Regions benefitting from low communication costs (cities in general) could, for instance, extend their support to less favored regions (rural zones in general) characterized by high communication costs.
Guiding design principle of the Internet, whereby the flow of all the data on the Internet is treated without discrimination.
The most popular of all Internet services and applications (often used interchangeably with the Internet) that provides users with the ability:
•to access information and services while connected to the Internet,
•to publish information, and
•to offer services that can be accessed by anybody else in the Internet.
The World Wide Web is one of the biggest services running on the Internet. The multitude of other services implemented over the Internet includes e-mail, file transfer, voice over IP (VOIP), digital TV, remote computer control, newsgroups, and online games.
System of transmission media – such as telephone wires, fibre-optic cables, satellites, microwaves, and wireless links – on which communication services can be set up thus facilitating today’s convergence of Internet, telecommunication and multimedia technology and applications.
The key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications and telecommunication infrastructures include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In addition to legal and economic regulations there are numerous technical standards.
Authoritative document with technical regulations necessary to ensure the smooth technical interoperability of the Internet.
The technical standards of the Internet include many interdependent technical rules, specifications or guidelines covering also aspects of interoperability, accessibility and. The most important software standards for the Internet are comprised in the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
Collective term for all hardware and software systems that constitute essential components in the operation of the Internet.
Physical transmission lines of all types, such as wired, fiber optic and microwave links, along with routing equipment, the accompanying critical software services like the Domain Name System (DNS), e-mail, website hosting, authentication and authorization, storage systems, and database servers are considered critical Internet components. If any of these systems and services were to be interrupted for a significant period of time … [t]he Internet...as we know it would collapse
Access to the Internet comprising at least three main aspects:
- technically speaking referring to the bandwidth of the access (which may be narrowband or broadband)
- socio-economically speaking referring to the access by passive users (e.g. households) or active users (e.g. businesses, etc.),
- eAccessibility, i.e. access by persons with disabilities (PwD).
Refers to access to the World Wide Web (WWW) by means of the use of browser-based Internet services, from a handheld mobile device (such as a smartphone or a feature phone), a notebook or a tablet computer etc., connected to a mobile network or other wireless network.
Collective term for all main technical, information and service resources accessible through or constituting the Internet.
Under a legitimate “Internet for all” aspiration linked to the prospects of development and democratic citizenship the Internet has become a critical resource of its own to be managed with a maximum of rights and services subject to a minimum of restrictions and a level of security which users are entitled to expect, which make the lives of people, communities and groups more fulfilling.
Bandwidth for high-speed access to the public Internet at downstream speed equal to, or greater than 256 kbit/s
Fixed or wired broadband can include for example cable modem, DSL, fibre-to-the-home/building and other fixed broadband subscriptions. Wireless broadband can include satellite Internet, terrestrial fixed wireless and fixed WiMax and fixed wireless access; it also includes broadband terrestrial mobile wireless access. All of the above are based on technical standards.
Traffic management process of measuring and controlling the communications (traffic, packets etc.) on a network link, to avoid filling the link to capacity or overfilling the link, which would result in network congestion and poor performance of the Internet.
One of the main aspects of bandwidth management is routing.
Bandwidth management process designed to send a data packet over multiple networks using packet switching technology and routing information to make decisions.
Generally speaking traffic management is becoming increasingly sophisticated with respect to routing Internet traffic in the most optimal way in order to provide quality of service.
Measure of overall network performance that reflects the quality and reliability of a connection commonly seen as the guaranteed minimum level of performance by the users of the network.
In packet-switched networks like the Internet with its abounding multimedia content and delay-sensitive applications, QoS is affected by various ‘human’ or ‘technical’ factors, resulting among others in the following problems as seen from the point of view of the sender and receiver:
- Low throughput,
- Dropped packets,
- Out-of-order delivery.
Large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet.
The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.
Information and communication technology (ICT) service of delivering application software, services or content to end users via network access to a scalable and elastic pool of shareable physical or virtual resources with on-demand self-service provisioning and administration.
Model communications infrastructure consisting – besides its telecommunication infrastructure – of a layered system of protocols that control various aspects of the Internet architecture.
The Internet architecture comprises the following layers of protocols:
- Application layer,
- Transport layer,
- Internet layer,
- Network access layer.
At each layer various technical protocols are working based on rigorously developed technical standards dividing methods into a layered system of protocols. The Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) is the most important set of protocols of this layered system of protocols.
Organization that supplies the bandwidth capacities to other information and communication technologies (ICT) service providers.
These high-speed transmission lines are known as Internet Backbone.
Physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISP) exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems).
Internet exchange points (IXP) reduce the traffic portion of an Internet service providers’ (ISP) which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost of their service. Furthermore, the increased number of paths learned through the IXP improves routing efficiency and fault-tolerance.
Computer networking model and communication protocols combining numerous technical standards used in the Internet and other networks based on the Internet Protocol Suite.
The Internet Protocol Suite is the most important set of protocols of the Internet (collectively called Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol Suite – TCP/IP) and allows large, geographically diverse networks of computers to communicate with each other quickly and economically over a variety of physical links. It is maintained and developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Main internetworking technical standard underlying the Internet that specifies how data is moved through it based on three principles: packet-switching, end-to-end networking, and robustness.
The IP is implemented in two versions, IPv4 and IPv6 both based on technical standards of which different implementations exist. It is often used interchangeably to the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
Connectionless internetworking protocol version 4 in the Internet’s Internet Layer supporting 32-bit IP addresses which allows for approximately 4 billion unique IP addresses.
IPv4 as used on packet-switched networks operating on a best effort delivery model is still dominantly in use today, the number 4 is the protocol version number carried in every IP datagram.
Version 6 of the internetworking protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet.
Unique numerical address for every computer by which a location in the Internet is identified.
Computers on the Internet use IP addresses to route traffic and establish connections among themselves; people generally use the human-friendly domain names made possible by the Domain Name System.
Internet registry responsible for the allocation of IP address resources within a particular region.
Internet registry (IR) that primarily assigns address space to the users of the network services that it provides.
Entity or individual holding a domain name.
Organization which handles the registration of domain names for entities or individuals.
System allowing a familiar string of letters (the domain name) to be used in addition to the IP address thus helping users to find their way around the Internet.
top-level-domain (TLD) which designates a specific country or special area of geographical interest, such as .uk (United Kingdom), .cn (China), .in (India).
ccTLD are managed according to the international standard ISO 3166 (multipart) “Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions”. Some ccTLD are still managed by a variety of institutions or individuals that received accreditation in the early days of the Internet, when some governments were not all that interested in such matters.
top-level-domain (TLD) which includes domains that could be obtained by anyone, such as: .com, .info, .net, and .org.
For each gTLD there is one generic top-level-domain registry that maintains an address list. The salesman function of the registry is performed by registrars; for example, the .com gTLD is managed by VeriSign. ICANN provides overall coordination of the domain name system (DNS) by concluding agreements and accrediting registries and registrars.
Domain name that includes characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet
An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese.
The Domain Name System security extensions are a set of extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS) which provide to DNS clients (resolvers) origin authentication of DNS data, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity, but not availability or confidentiality.
As the Internet architecture was not designed with cybersecurity in mind, incorporating security protection requires substantial changes to the very basis of the Internet, the TCP/IP, including among others:
- Security by design
- Security architecture
- Hardware mechanisms that protect computers and data
- Secure operating systems
- Secure coding
- Capabilities and access control lists.
The balance between cybersecurity and human rights, especially the right to privacy, anonymity and freedom of expression, is in constant flux.
Sum of the processes and technologies used to protect information assets from unauthorized acquisition, disclosure, manipulation, modification, or damage and loss.
Information security on the one hand refers to the act of ensuring that data is not lost when critical issues arise, such as: natural disasters, computer/server malfunction, physical theft, or any other instance where data has the potential of being lost. On the other hand it refers to unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction.
Identification of an organization information and communication technology (ICT) assets as well as information assets, followed by the development, documentation, and implementation of policies and procedures for protecting these assets.
Security might not bring monetary gain but it does prevent monetary loss and other damages. Organizations and states increasingly develop services capable of stimulating an economy by having a good cybersecurity approach. “Therefore, security management must be a dynamic process – one that is constantly evolving to counteract the evolution of security risks.
Trust-based identity attribution, providing a codified assurance of the identity of one entity (viz. a person or an organization) to another.
Traditionally, governments were the only players who had the power and the know-how to develop and deploy powerful encryption in their military and diplomatic communications.
Inverse operation to encryption.
Refers to techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties by constructing and analyzing protocols that overcome the influence of third parties.
Electronic document used to prove ownership of a public key including information about the key, its owner's identity, and the eSignature of an entity that has verified the certificate's contents are correct.
Result of a cryptographic transformation of data that, when properly implemented with supporting infrastructure and policy, provides for a digital message or document the services of origin authentication, data integrity and signer non-repudiation.
A valid eSignature gives a recipient reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender, such that the sender cannot deny having sent the message (digital authentication and non-repudiation) and that the message was not altered in transit (data integrity).
Free flow of information is considered an essential component of the “Internet way of life. It is closely related to the fundamental human right of freedom of opinion and expression. It also refers to the freedom of spreading news or ideas, transmitting scientific or technological data, making people aware of matters essential to democratic life, or providing a medium for individual or collective cultural expression. However, this flow might also be hindered by some "obstacles" such as State secrets or intellectual property rights.
Important legal method for developing trust in eCommerce by ensuring the rights of consumers.
eCommerce regulation is supposed to protect customers in a number of areas, such as:
- Online handling of payment card information
- Misleading advertising
- Delivery of defective products.
Content available in electronic form that can be transmitted over a computer network such as the Internet and which is representing information in a manner suitable for interpretation by human means.
Collective term for the digital interactions and delivery models between the citizens and their government (C2G), between governments and government agencies (G2G), between government and citizens (G2C), between government and employees (G2E), and between government and businesses/commerce (G2B).
The production, distribution, marketing, sale, or delivery of goods and services by electronic means considered as information society services that cover any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by means of electronic equipment for the processing (including digital compression) and storage of data, and at the individual request of a recipient of a service.
To individuals the most familiar type of eCommerce aiming at consumers.
From an eGovernment perspective B2C is also called business-to-citizen.
Highly important type of eCommerce in the area of procurement policy.
Growing type of eCommerce between individuals in the form of for example, exchange marketplaces.
From an eGovernment perspective C2C is also called citizen-to-citizen.
Act of buying or selling something or sending money electronically conducted over computer-mediated networks, such as the Internet.
eTransaction of goods or services, whether between businesses, households, individuals, governments, and other public or private organizations.
Transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from one computer system to another without human intervention.
In 1987, the UN/EDIFACT Syntax Rules were approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as the international technical standard ISO 9735:1988 which became the multipart standard ISO 9735:2002 Electronic data interchange for administration, commerce and transport (EDIFACT) – Application level syntax rules (Syntax version number: 4, Syntax release number: 1).
Taxation based on the ‘destination’ instead of ‘origin’ principle of taxation (according to the OECD’s Ottawa Principles) specifying that no difference exists between traditional taxation and eTaxation that would require special regulations.
Many governments – especially since the financial crisis in 2008 – have been trying to increase fiscal income in order to reduce growing public debt.
Payment for buying and selling goods or services offered through the Internet, or broadly to any type of electronic monetary transfer.
Digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server. It can also be stored on (and used via) mobile phones or in a payment account on the internet.
Set of legal rules established by sovereign states, usually through the adoption of international treaties and international conventions and generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states.
All basic types of international law, namely:
- international public law
- international private law
- international customary law
may apply to Internet governance.
The other legal approach is the real-law approach, whereby the Internet and the information and communication technology (ICT) are essentially treated no differently from previous technologies. Consequently, any existing legal rules can also be applied to the Internet.
A faster, simpler, and cheaper mechanism of settling disputes in place of traditional courts.
The use of an arbitration mechanism (which is usually set out in a private contract with parties agreeing to settle any future disputes through arbitration) as the main Internet dispute settlement mechanism has particular advantages in regard to one of the most difficult tasks in Internet-related court cases, namely the enforcement of decisions (awards).
But it also has a few serious limitations:
- Since arbitration is usually established by prior agreement, it does not cover a wide area of issues when no agreement between parties has been set in advance (libel, various types of responsibilities, Internet misuse or cybercrime).
Many view the current practice of attaching an arbitration clause to regular contracts disadvantageous for the weaker side in the contract (usually an Internet user or an eCommerce customer).
Organization having law enforcement powers and operating within a jurisdiction.
Law enforcement agencies (LEA) can
- operate at international, multinational or national levels, and even at different levels within a country,
- be responsible for enforcing different kinds of law, regulations or codes of practice.
The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) provides mechanisms that have significantly reduced cybersquatting. However, cybersquatting can also concern famous individuals and non-profit entities.
Moral principles commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being and laid down in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UN/UDHR).
Fundamental human right recognized under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN/UDHR, Article 19) stating.
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
The protection of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression. However, the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary, such as
- "For respect of the rights or reputation of others"
- "For the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".
Fundamental human right concerning “the state or condition of being alone, undisturbed, or free from public attention, as a matter of choice or right; freedom from interference or intrusion” .
In digital environments (characterized by digital information, dematerialization of actors, computers and networks operating mode), technologies don’t preserve, in native mode, user’s privacy. Copy, logging and eavesdropping are easy to realize. Network traffic analysis, auditing of activities, intrusion of detection systems, firewalls, etc. contribute to optimize network performances and security, but at the same time, they can damage privacy of the users. This affects everyone’s privacy over the Internet, and can put in danger eCommerce activities.
Characteristic of an entity whose name is unknown or which does not reveal its name, allowing an entity to use resources without being identified (incognito).
Provision should be made to respect the wish of certain users who may have a valid reason for not revealing their identity when making statements on the Internet, in order to avoid excessive restriction of their freedom of expression, to promote the freedom of expression and ensure protection against unauthorized online surveillance by public and private entities.
Process by which a collection of data is stripped of information which would allow the identification of the source of the data.
Common uses of de-identification include human subject research for the sake of privacy for research participants. Common strategies for de-identifying datasets are deleting or masking personal identifiers, such as name and social security number, and suppressing or generalizing quasi-identifiers, such as date of birth and zip code. The reverse process of defeating de-identification to identify individuals is known as “re-identification”.
Monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting them originally as a tool of public authorities to maintain social control, today, can be carried out by any person or organization with sufficient funds for using powerful ICT tools for this kind of monitoring.
While Internet surveillance is considered to some extent a necessity against cybercrime and other Internet misuses, powerful surveillance tools could potentially endanger some fundamental human rights, particularly privacy and freedom of expression depending on those applying these tools. Therefore, the Convention on Cybercrime reinforced the discussion about the balance between cybersecurity and fundamental human rights.
The act of blocking or controlling access to content or services otherwise accessible on the Internet. It can be implemented using various techniques, such as domain name and/or IP filtering, content inspection, etc. As it hinders the free flow of information on the Internet, censorship is often seen as a violation of the right to exchange information, and the right of freedom of expression.
Censorship can be effected by the entity having ability to control data traffic on part of the network or link, thus directly affects users of that part of the network; like connectivity providers, the ICT department in an organisation, or even the administrator of the network of, for example, university or workspace.
Note: part to be deleted in Arabic version.
The challenge in data protection is to share data while protecting personally identifiable information from a wide range of sources, such as:
- Healthcare records
- Criminal justice investigations and proceedings
- Financial institutions and transactions
- Biological traits, such as genetic material
- Residence and geographic records
- Privacy breach
- Location-based service and geolocation.
Legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized.
IPRs are protected by several branches of law covering certain primary rights, such as: copyright law, trademark law and patent law. Laws on unfair competition also affect IPRs. Depending on the degree of material loss IPR infringement or violation of pertinent regulations or codes of practice through Internet misuse may be judged as cybercrime.
Branch of intellectual property rights (IPR) referring to the expression of an idea when it is materialized in various forms, such as a book or other publication, CD, or computer file for which exclusive rights are recognized.
Symbol (or word, phrase, logo, etc.) used by a company to distinguish its products or services from those of another representing an intellectual property right (IPR).
The trademark as a primary intellectual property right (IPR) can be owned by the trademark owner (who can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity), but also licensed. Cybersquatting is the Internet misuse of registering domain names also representing trademarks with the intent of reselling them to the companies who are the rightful trademark owners.
Creative Commons license enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. The free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use the creative work — on conditions of the creator’s choice.
Creative Commons licenses let creators easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved”. CC licenses work alongside copyright and enable creators to modify their copyright terms to best suiting their need.
Development model referring to the design of products and their components which then can be reproduced free of charge thus promoting a universal access via an open license to a product's design or blueprint, and, depending on the license, universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.
Open source is the core concept of the open source culture with its open design movement resulting among others in free and open-source hardware and free and open-source software.
Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community or released to the public under some license. The term Open Source is also widely used referring to the design of products, such as objects, which then can be reproduced free of charge in accordance to the licence.
It consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open design movement. Open-source software (FOSS) and open-source hardware is created by this open-source culture movement and applies alike concept to a variety of components.
It is sometimes, thus, referred to as FOSH (free and open source hardware). The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the FOSH community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing creates enormous economic value.
Software that respects users' freedom and community, which means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.
Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in "free beer". We sometimes call it “libre software” to show we do not mean it is gratis.
Free software does not necessarily mean free-of-charge software.
It’s the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.
The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other "Open" movements such as open source, open hardware, open content, and open access. Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. The key point is that when opening up data, the focus is on non-personal data, that is, data which does not contain information about specific individuals.
Share-alike is a copyright licensing term, originally used by the Creative Commons project, to describe works or licences that require copies or adaptations of the work to be released under the same or similar license as the original. Copyleft licenses are free content or free software licenses with a share-alike condition.
It can be assessed under the Framework based on the extent to which it can be retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistributed by members of the public without violating copyright law.
Unlike open source and free content, there is no clear threshold that a work must reach to qualify as open content. Although open content has been described as a counterbalance to copyright, open content licenses rely on a copyright holder power to license their work.
It is content licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute.
"Any type of educational materials or tools released into the public domain or with an open license that permits users to legally use, copy, adapt, and share free-of-cost." (UNESCO).
Unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research that comes in two degrees: gratis open access, which is free online access, and libre open access, which is free online access plus some additional usage rights.
Additional usage rights are often granted through the use of various specific Creative Commons licenses. Only libre open access is fully compliant with definitions of open access such as the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
Explicit policy of persistent data and records management for meeting archival requirements for legal and business data.
The borderline between Internet misuse and cybercrime is not fixed. Depending on the degree of material loss or physical harm to people the infringement – which is a violation of a law or right – or the violation of other regulations or codes of practice through Internet misuse may be judged as cybercrime.
Any crime that involves as a means or the target:
- a computer system (computer or computer-related crime in a narrow sense),
- internetworking technologies (netcrime in a narrow sense),
- or both.
The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
A program such as a virus, worm or Trojan horse, or any other form of attack software that acts more or less independently and may disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems.
A class of malware designed specifically automating cybercrime, in order (a) to perform illegal acts, (b) to steal personal information, or (c) to automate financial crime.
Crimeware can include spyware, keystroke loggers and bots. Most often crimeware: (i) gathers confidential information, such as passwords or credit card numbers; or (ii) takes control of a computer and executes remote commands.
Malware watching users’ activities, without their knowledge, gathers information such as online activities, confidential and personal information, and transmits this information back to the spyware’s owner.
Spyware represents a threat to data protection.
Internet misuse using of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages (spam or junk), especially advertising indiscriminately.
Spamming is the chosen method of many cases of Internet misuse that infect machines with viruses. If the introduction of a virus results in data corruption, the spammer can be prosecuted.
Activity of Internet misuse crossing international borders and involving the interests of at least one nation state by targeting the vulnerability of critical national infrastructure and data.
Internet misuse for stalking and harassment behaviours or abuse.
Many offenders combine their online activities with more traditional forms of stalking and harassment (telephoning the victims for example).
Internet misuse to harm, intimidate or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.
Cyber bullying and especially harassment is a particular challenge for child safety online. Children and minors can easily become victims of cyber bullying, most often from their peers using information and communication technology (ICT) – combining mobile phone cameras, file-sharing systems, and social networks – as a convenient tool.
Children are threatened first of all by objectionable content, counted to include a wide variety of materials including pornography, hate, and violence content, and content hazardous to health, such as suicide advice, anorexia, and the like. Besides, children can be victimised through child grooming, cyber bullying, cyberstalking and harassment.
Cybercrime deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child's inhibitions in order to sexually abuse the child.
Child grooming is a criminal violation of child safety online most frequently undertaken under a masked identity – while pretending to be peers, offenders collect information and steadily groom the child, easily managing to win the child’s trust, even aiming to establish a physical meeting. The virtual conduct thereby transforms to real contact and can go as far as the abuse and exploitation of children, paedophilia, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and even child trafficking.
Safeguarding of the secrecy of information, information flows, transactions, services or actions performed in cyberspace for the purpose of guaranteeing the protection of resources against unauthorized disclosure.
Confidentiality can be implemented by means of access control and encryption.
Cyberattack attempting to fraudulently acquire confidential information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details etc. by luring the user with a message which seems to come from a legitimate organization.
While spamming is most annoying, phishing can cause serious damage.
Identity theft often works together with privacy violations.
Online fraud results in loss of property to another through the input, alteration, deletion and suppression of computer data, as well as any interference with the functioning of a computer system, with the dishonest intent of procuring without right an economic benefit, comprising piracy (e.g. illegal downloading of software, music, movies), and online fraud, including Internet auctions, advanced fee frauds, Internet fraud actions, etc.
Society where the creation, distribution, use, integration and manipulation of information using information and communication technology (ICT) is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity.
Societies having capabilities to identify, produce, process, transform, disseminate and use information to build and apply knowledge for human development (UNESCO).
Knowledge societies require an empowering social vision that encompasses plurality, inclusion, solidarity and participation.
Communiqué of the Ministerial Round Table “Towards Knowledge Societies”, organized during the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO, Paris, 9–10 October 2003 (document 32 C/INF. 26, para. 3),
Eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration to achieve the goals by 2015.
The Internet as well as the concept of the information society have at least indirectly a great impact on any of the eight MDGs, namely:
- To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- To achieve universal primary education
- To promote gender equality and empowering women
- To reduce child mortality rates
- To improve maternal health
- To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- To ensure environmental sustainability
- To develop a global partnership for development.
All 189 United Nations member states at the time (there are 193 currently) and at least 23 international organizations committed to help achieve the MDGs.
The global regulation of IPRs directly affects development, because of the reduced opportunity of developing countries to access knowledge and information online. International conventions/agreements/treaties related to IPRs, such as the Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO Copyright Treaty are obligatorily observed by the signatory countries. However, they are implemented at national level into national law. That is why differences exist between countries with respect to the implementation and jurisdiction of IPR-related international law.
Differences between countries with different levels of information and communication technology (ICT) development.
The digital divide exists not only for technical reasons, but also for political, social, or economic reasons at different levels and for an array of aspects, such as:
- within countries and between countries,
- between rural and urban populations,
- between the old and the young,
- between men and women.
It refers to a “gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs) and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities”. (OECD 2001)
Trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory legal, regulatory and policy environment created by governments to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits of the information society.
To create an enabling environment is a demanding task, entailing among others the gradual de-monopolisation of the telecommunication market, the introduction of Internet law (covering copyright, privacy, eCommerce, etc.), and the granting of universal access without political, religious, or other restrictions.
Policy measures to manage transformations and change concerning all aspects of the Internet and the information society by individuals, organizations and society at large with the aim to reach their own goals over time in a sustainable way.
The need for capacity building in the field of Internet governance and policy was recognised as one of the priorities for the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. Capacity building may comprise:
- human resource development (i.e. the process of equipping individuals with the understanding, skills and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively),
- organizational development (i.e. the elaboration of management structures, processes and procedures, not only within organizations but also within the management of relationships between the different stakeholders: public, private and community),
- institutional and legal framework development (making legal and regulatory changes to enable organizations, institutions and agencies at all levels and in all sectors to enhance their capacities).
“Refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys … /implying/ that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration – recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men
“Equality between women and men is seen both as a fundamental human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centred development.”
fundamental human right enshrined in the UN Charter and one of the main objectives of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), refers to using the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination, and to empower women and girls to participate fully in society.
Protection of tangible cultural properties and cultural intangibles threatened by cultural influences from other cultures, lack of sustainability of digitization, or exploitation by foreign commercial interests.
As the cultural heritage is a crucial component of identity and self-understanding of individuals that links a community to its past, the preservation of cultural tangibles and intangibles through digitisation is one of the main goals of the protection of the cultural heritage. In addition to grass root organisations and many civil society activities, it is first of all the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which endeavours to organize support for the preservation and protection of the heritage of nations for the future.
Policy measures to guarantee that every cultural and linguistic community can be represented in the Internet under all its dimensions: governance, infrastructure, economic, legal and socio-cultural.
Multilingualism is a key concept in terms of ensuring cultural diversity and participation for all linguistic groups in cyberspace. The promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity requires among others:
- Stimulating respect for cultural identity, traditions and religions,
- Appropriate governance frameworks,
- Development language technologies, including machine translation and automatic interpretation.
‘Ease of use of information and communication technology (ICT), such as the Internet, by persons with disabilities (PwD)’ [WHO 2012].
Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Web accessibility is one of the major aspect of eAccessibility, for which the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as international standard. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN/CRPD) of 2008 draws attention to the need to ensure access to ICTs for PwD on an equal basis with others and helps to eliminate barriers to information, especially through the Internet.
Participation of all individuals and communities in all aspects of the information society supported by inclusive information and communication technology (ICT) in daily life, at work, in day-to-day relationships, in dealing with public services as well as in culture, entertainment, leisure and when participating in community and political dialogues.
eInclusion means both inclusive ICT and the use of ICT to achieve wider inclusion objectives, especially for minorities disadvantaged in some way or other.
Process aimed at ensuring the continued accessibility of digital materials. Digital preservation involves finding ways to re-present what was originally presented to users by a combination of software and hardware tools acting on data.
A new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.
Organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as member states), or of other intergovernmental organizations and being major stakeholders in Internet governance.
Executive body or administration of a given state.
Institutions, organizations, groups or entities conducting for-profit business operations.
Organizations, groups or communities of the field of non-governmental organizations and institutions that do not seek profit.
Institutions, organizations, individuals or communities active in the educational system and scientific research.
Institutions, organizations, individuals or communities active in technical fields related to ICT.
The UN (established 1945) together with many of its specialized agencies is forming a system of intergovernmental organizations with all kinds of sub-organizations/institutions which to some degree are all involved in Internet governance activities.
ICANN (established 1998) is an international multi-stakeholder organization with US government oversight responsible, at the overall level, for the administration of three sets of unique identifier systems for the internet: domain names, numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and a third type that serves to identify so-called port and parameter numbers. ICANN has two channels through which civil society organisations (CSO) can participate in the "bottom-up policy development process": The Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC, http://ncdnhc.org/) and the At Large Community (http://www.atlarge.icann.org/) with the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).
The UDHR is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 representing the first global expression of inalienable fundamental rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled, simply because she or he is a human being.
The OHCR (established 1993) is the UN institution of global scope formally responsible for the UN Human Rights Programme.
IANA (established 1988) is operated as a department of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and executes with high policy authority for IP number allocations some technical administrative functions on behalf of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and ICANN.
ITR (coming into force in 1988 by the International Telecommunication Union – ITU) facilitated the international liberalisation of pricing and services and allowed a more innovative use of basic services in the Internet field, such as international leased lines, in the Internet field. It provided one of the infrastructural bases for the rapid growth of the Internet in the 1990s.
The key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
UNCTAD (established 1964) is the principal organ of the UN General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues – incl. those related to the Internet.
Unincorporated organization uniting the five regional Internet registries (RIR): AFRINIC, APNIC, LACNIC, ARIN and RIPE NCC
On the basis of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the regional Internet registries (RIR) of the NRO undertake joint activities, including joint technical projects, liaison activities and policy co-ordination.
OMG (founded in 1989) is an international, open membership, not-for-profit computer technology standards consortium which through task forces driven by vendors, end-users, academic institutions and government agencies develops enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies.
Formally called The Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services the BTA was adopted on 30 April 1996 and entered into force on 5 February 1998. More than 100 countries have liberalised their telecommunication markets with the aim of boosting development of new communication services by allowing access to existing (state-owned) infrastructure.
CSTD (established 1993), a subsidary body of ECOSOC (see below), is inter alia responsible for many follow-up activities to WSIS, the World Summit on Information Society. It is also connected to UNCTAD.
AFRINIC, the regional Internet registry (RIR) for the African region, was incorporated in Mauritius in 2004 to serve the African Community by providing professional and efficient management of Internet number technology usage and development, and promoting Internet self-governance.
GAID was launched 2006 by the United Nations as a cross-sectoral platform and multi-stakeholder forum that will bring together all stakeholders representing relevant constituencies for providing advocacy and oversight on information society issues and implementing programs addressing the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
The Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) of the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) serves as a model for national and international legislation and assists contracting parties in formulating their contracts. It provides some guidance for removing barriers to electronic commerce, but is not a binding legal instrument.
ECOSOC (established 1945) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations (UN). In regard to Internet Governance, its primarily relevant sub-body is the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). (see above)
APNIC was born 1993 and has become the regional Internet registry (RIR) for the Asia-Pacific region whose core activity is the allocation and registration of Internet number resources including in particular the allocation of blocks of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.
Wi-Fi Alliance (founded in 1995) is a global non-profit trade association that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products, if they conform to certain standards of interoperability.
The Berne Convention (first accepted in 1886) requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals. In addition to establishing a system of equal treatment that internationalised copyright amongst signatories, the agreement also required member states to provide strong minimum standards for copyright law.
UNDP (established 1965) is a UN institution providing expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries – incl. Internet implementation and utilization. [Siochrú 2007a]
ARIN, established 1997 as one of the five regional Internet registries (RIR), is incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA.
G3ict was launched 2006 by the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as an advocacy initiative to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies.
The WCT is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1996. WCT provides additional protections for copyright deemed necessary due to advances in information and communication technology (ICT) since the formation of previous copyright treaties before it.
WIPO (established 1967) is a UN institution of high authority especially with respect to the negotiation of international treaties in the field of intellectual property rights (IPR) and related topics. [Gross 2007]
RIPE NCC (established 1992 in Amsterdam) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization and one of five regional Internet registries (RIRs) providing Internet resource allocations, registration services and coordination activities.
- First phase in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003;
- Second phase in Tunis, from 16 to 18 November 2005.
WSIS provides a platform in which multiple stakeholders including international organizations, governments, the private sector and civil society could discuss the opportunities of the new information and communication environment, and also address challenges such as the inequality in access to information and communication that is called the ‘digital divide’. WSIS output consists in a set of outcome documents and also resulted in the creation of Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS). One major follow-up activity of WSIS is the annual WSIS Forum.
TRIPS is an international agreement was negotiated in 1994 and is administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). It sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members.
UNESCO (established 1946) is a specialized agency of the UN highly influential among others on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) as well as in follow-up activities, such as the WSIS Forum. Among international Internet governance institutions, there is one topic that appears to be addressed practically exclusively by UNESCO: cultural participation, cultural diversity and record of historical heritage including multilingualism and languages in danger of extinction.
AfTLD, an association of ccTLD (country-code Top Level Domain) managers in the Africa region, was incorporated as a Mauritius non-profit organization in 2002.
Since 2006 the WSIS Forum has been held in Geneva around World Information Society Day (17 May) to implement the WSIS Follow up. The multi-stakeholder event is organized by the WSIS facilitators including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime (adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 8 November 2001 and entered into force on 1 July 2004) is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
ITU (established 1965) today is a specialized agency of the UN and one of the key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications. It is developing rules for coordination among national telecommunication systems, the allocation of the radio spectrum, and the management of satellite positioning.
APTLD is an organisation for ccTLD (country-code Top Level Domain) registries in Asia Pacific region originally established in 1998, and in 2003 legally established in Malaysia.
The New York Convention (1958) regulates the enforcement of arbitration awards which national courts are obliged to enforce. The main limitation of arbitration is that it cannot address issues of higher public interest such as protection of human rights; these require the intervention of state-established courts.
WTO (established 1995), an intergovernmental organization (IGO) setting global rules of trade between nations, is one of the key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications by playing a key role in the liberalisation of telecommunication markets worldwide.
LACTLD was created 1998 as an association with the aim to represent the region´s interests in domain name issues, promoting Latin American and Caribbean integration, as well as becoming a platform for the cooperation and exchange of information and experiences amongst regional TLDs.
ISOC chapter (formed 2002) of international scope dedicated to addressing the needs of people with special needs that are related to the Internet and its attendant technologies.
The Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985/2006) of the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) provides a pattern that law-makers in national governments can adopt as part of their domestic legislation on arbitration. The model law is not binding, but individual states may adopt the model law by incorporating it into their domestic law.
UNECE was established 1947 as a UN institution to encouraging economic cooperation among its member states.
CENTR (formed in March 1998 and since 2006, registered as a NPO based in Brussels) is the European ccTLD organisation.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. They consist of a set of guidelines for making content accessible, primarily for people with disabilities, but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones. The current version, WCAG 2.0, was published in December 2008 and is also an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012.
OECD is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) established (1948; reformed 1961) with the stated goal "to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world" seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and co-ordinate domestic and international policies of its members. OECD potentially covers all Internet governance topics.
ISOC (established 1992) is an international non-profit organization that participates actively in Internet policy development processes and which has some governance roles in regard to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), providing the financial and legal framework for IETF's activities.
CoE is an international organisation established 1949 to promote co-operation in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and culture.
IETF (established 1986) though not being a legal entity develops and maintains the core fundamental technical standards of the Internet.
ICC (established 1919) is the largest, most representative business organization in the world with hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries. It keeps in touch with the UN, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, to voice the views of international business.
The IAB (established 1979/1984/1986/1992) today is a committee global in scope of the Internet Society (ISOC). It has a number of organisational governance responsibilities regarding the work of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). In particular, it serves as the appeal body in regard to decisions in IETF's standardization process, and IAB is responsible for the appointment of liaison representatives representing IETF in the relationship to other standardization and Internet governance organizations.
ALECSO works to coordinate Educational, Cultural and Scientific activities in the Arab world. It is premised on the values of tolerance, moderation, respect for others and cultural diversity. ALECSO organization was established and officially announced in Cairo on 25 July 1970.
IEEE (established 1963) is a professional association for technical engineering dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence and standards developing organization. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines.
The Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) was established on 9 August 1973 pursuant to the Economic and Social Council’s resolution 1818 (LV). The purpose of setting up the Commission was to raise the level of economic activity in member countries and strengthen cooperation among them.
The Commission was entrusted with new responsibilities in the social field by virtue of Economic and Social Council resolution 69/1985 of July 1985. Its name therefore become the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). http://www.escwa.un.org
W3C (established 1994) is a multi-stakeholder standardization consortium focusing on website content formats and developing World Wide Web related standards.
The Web Foundation is a non-profit organization which was established 1009 by WWW inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and is devoted to achieving a world in which all people can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely, building bridges across the divides that threaten our shared future.
The IGC was originally created 2003 in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to provide a forum for discussion, advocacy, action, and for representation of civil society contributions in Internet governance processes which should be inclusive, people centered and development oriented. IGC is an important coordination body for civil society organizations (CSO) participation in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
ICDRI was founded 1998 as a non-profit center based in the United States with the overarching vision of equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities.