Central Asian Internet Governance Forum
The Internet is continuing to transform the Central Asia region. Access to Internet is becoming more ubiquitous and affordable driven by expansion of mobile infrastructure. New initiatives in E government, Open Data and biometric identification are expected to lead to greater adoption of ICTs in government, economy, and society. At the same time, access is not universal and government and industry must work to ensure that rural and remote populations, as well as the poor and other marginalized groups can benefit equally from the information revolution.
As more Central Asian citizens come online, the Internet itself is becoming a reflection of society, and of the global geopolitical climate. Cyber security, the protection of critical infrastructure, the status and rights of citizens in handling of their biometric data, and terrorist use of the Internet are issues that urgently require developing new approaches. With increased importance of digital media platforms for civic activism and expressing critical voices, most governments in the region are taking steps to introduce greater control, new surveillance tools and legal frameworks against online dissent.
These are difficult challenges that require a multi-stakeholder partnership of government, industry, and civil society to work together. For instance, renewed efforts are needed to promote basic digital hygiene and help citizens learn the skills necessary to protect themselves online and abide by recognized community standards – to help define acceptable online behavior. The challenge of the Internet of Things, is quickly becoming the challenge of the “Internet of everything” as new devices and services emerge, creating not only opportunities for new economic activity, but also significant cybersecurity challenges.
The Central Asian Internet Governance Forum is the public platform for the discussion of policies regarding Internet governance in Central Asian countries. The forum has been held since 2016. Every year more than 200 participants – representatives of the expert community all over the world meet to discuss issues related to global and national approaches to Internet governance, cybersecurity, Internet freedom and regulation, development of the DNS industry and access to the Internet, as well as Internet innovations and national strategies. The next CAIGF will provided in June, 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan. More detailed information is at the event’s website.