The global Internet requires a global, collaborative approach to Internet Governance

Now more then ever, the Internet Society believes in the need to preserve the values of openness, inclusiveness and transparency that have always been at the heart of the Internet. A coherent global governance model for the global Internet that includes everyone is key to achieving this vision. But how can we get more governments to embrace the kind of collaborative governance that has shaped the Internet we know and use today? How can we improve and expand the model so that it becomes more widely adopted around the world? How can YOU help that to happen?

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our Collaborative Governance Project. This brand new initiative aims to help stakeholders of all communities to understand the ways in which they can turn collaborative thinking into tangible and implementable policies and practices.

Under the leadership of Larry Strickling, the project will initially concentrate on building support for collaborative governance approaches globally. We will actively engage stakeholders in the development and evolution of the project.

As a first step in that process, we are holding two open calls for the community on March 1, 2018, to tell you about the project, get your input on the way forward, and, most importantly, to get you involved. Those calls are:

The calls are open to anyone to attend. If you cannot attend live, the calls will be recorded.


The 2018 Internet Society Action Plan identifies the importance of “promoting collaborative governance as a tool to address a range of important issues.” Collaborative or multistakeholder approaches to governance have grown in understanding and acceptance over the past several years. We think this year is an opportune time for the Internet Society to explore whether we can significantly expand the use of collaborative processes globally.

Last year the Internet Society undertook a feasibility study on how to expand the use of the multistakeholder model to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the future of the Internet. We sought input from the community about how to do this and, over the past six months, many of you weighed in with ideas and suggestions for how to carry this project forward.

We want to thank you to all of you who contributed your ideas and expertise through interviews, discussions and written submissions.

We heard broad support for a project that would expand the global knowledge and use of collaborative governance processes to solve problems and develop norms. We also heard that many in the community want to be involved and hope that the project will enable broad participation from stakeholders around the world. Finally, we understand the importance of existing multistakeholder processes and projects and the need to find synergies and avoid overlap.

All of that community input brought us to the project launch today.

Three Project Components

We see three overarching components to this project but we hope the community will contribute to fleshing out these components and will join in expanding the use of collaborative processes globally.

1.Training: The project will focus on developing and supporting training in how to organize and participate in collaborative, multistakeholder convenings. The training will be very practical and will be designed to giving participants the skills to define outcomes for convenings, set agendas for discussion, develop rules of engagement and definitions of consensus and learn and practice strategies for dealing with impasse and dissent. We will explore a variety of delivery mechanisms for the training, ranging from in-person, group “classroom” courses to online training modules for individual learning.

2. Academic Research: The multistakeholder approach, while it has received substantial press attention in recent years within the global Internet community, is not well-known beyond that community. Moreover, even within the community, the approach is not well-understood among all stakeholders. At the same time, there is a tremendous amount of study and thought being dedicated to collaborative governance approaches in a wide variety of institutions throughout the world. Accordingly, the Project will work to develop a network of academic experts in the field of collaborative governance and to create an agenda of academic research that could be funded in subsequent years.

3. Convening: The project will convene collaborative, multistakeholder discussions. Our goal is that these convenings will develop concrete and actionable outcomes that will be implemented by the parties involved. To enable the discussions to be successful, the Project will offer logistical support; help define/refine the issues to be discussed; and recruit a broad, global range of stakeholders to be engaged in the process.

The Internet Society is deeply committed to a collaborative, multistakeholder approach to Internet decision making. We have witnessed and participated in many successful multistakeholder processes and have lent our voice to the countless policy debates over the merits of these approaches. Kathy Brown, our CEO, recently noted that the Internet is at a crossroads and that we all have some critical choices before us to shape the future of this great technology.

It is our hope that this project will help us move from discussion to action by expanding the base of knowledge and support for collaborative decision making approaches to these challenging issues. We hope that you will join us to offer your ideas and to participate in this new Collaborative Governance project.

Image credit:  Veni Markovski CC BY NC

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Internet Society

It’s Time for a Collaborative G20 Digital Agenda

The G20 member states account for 85 percent of the global economy and are home to half of the world’s Internet users. From artificial intelligence to personal data protections, our physical world is being shaped by our digital world. As current president of the G20, Argentina has put a range of digital challenges on the table. But to tackle these, we need credible commitments and a long-term roadmap.

As three leading organisations from the Internet community, we welcome that Argentina continued the G20 digital work begun by Germany in 2017. Last year, Germany and the other G20 members outlined their aspirations for the development of our digital societies. And the Argentine presidency has identified five priority areas — digital inclusion, future job skills, digital government, SMEs and entrepreneurship, and Industry 4.0 — all dependent on a strong digital economy and society. Now is the year to turn these aspirations into actions.

We call on Argentina to build on this consensus with a dedicated G20 digital agenda. This roadmap must include milestones to the next G20 presidency, to be held by Japan. Priority commitments should include:

Thoughtful and proactive digital policies are needed to reap social and economic benefits for all, the G20 and beyond. A G20 digital agenda can help us to address the challenges facing the health of the Internet and future of the web and establish trust in the development of our digital lives.

The new challenges we face are complicated, but can be tackled through collaboration among all stakeholders to find the right solutions. Argentina can lead this effort through the G20. It must create a convening space, invite participation and ensure transparency and trust — from sharing documents to providing opportunities for inputs from across the spectrum.

The G20 member states are in a position to set the parameters for a global digital agenda that puts the individual first and makes the most of technology for society. We hope they will live up to this responsibility.

This is a joint blog post by the Internet Society, Mozilla and the World Wide Web Foundation.

Cathleen Berger, Global Engagement Lead, Mozilla
Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Internet Society
Craig Fagan, Policy Director, Web Foundation

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Internet Society

Ocado to test SecondHands collaborative robot

secondhands robot collaborates with ocado technology

Ocado Technology is ready to put the SecondHands robot through its paces on the warehouse floor. The Horizon 2020-funded project is aiming to develop collaborative robots (cobots) that can assist technicians with maintenance and repairs. 

In the not-too-distant future, technologists envisage a working world in which robots and humans collaborate on a daily basis. To begin with, that working relationship will probably revolve around practical tasks such as maintenance and repairs.

Today a prototype robot from SecondHands – funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 project – has been presented to Ocado Technology. The prototype will act as a platform to test and develop applications related to the maintenance and repair of automated equipment in Ocado warehouses.

Read more: European Parliament pushes on IoT device security and interoperability

SecondHands’ ARMAR-6 meets Ocado

The SecondHands prototype, ARMAR-6, was developed at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) by Tamim Asfour and his team at the High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab (H²T).

The video below shows ARMAR-6 interacting with its testing environment for the first time after assembly:

Ocado’s fulfilment centres are already highly automated, leading the way with regards to robotics in retail and logistics.

The Ocado team has introduced IoT warehouse solutions, robotic arms and explored the potential of automated deliveries in recent times.

Developing a team of robots to keep things running smoothly seems like the next logical step.

Read more: Exotec Solutions unveils robotic retail order system

Teams around the world working on industrial use cases

The SecondHands project is a collaborative operation involving researchers from all over Europe. The aim is to deliver real-world industrial use cases with a focus on:

  • the design of a new robotic assistant
  • a knowledge base to facilitate proactive help
  • a high degree of human-robot interaction
  • advanced perception skills to function in a highly dynamic industrial environment

Ocado Technology has been working alongside research teams from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Sapienza Università di Roma and University College London (UCL). From natural language dialogue to perception and planning, each team is contributing to a different aspect of the project.

Ocado Technology’s role is to integrate all of that functionality and evaluate the robot in real-world scenarios. It’s on the warehouse floor that the online grocer will demonstrate how versatile and productive (or not) human-robot collaboration can truly be.

Read more: LG set to unveil new line-up of commercial robots at CES

The growth of collaborative robotics

Collaborative robotics represents a rapidly-growing part of the industrial robots market. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) released the World Robotics Report in September 2017. It suggested that collaborative robot installations are expected to grow by 15% in 2018.

SecondHands’ goal is an ambitious one. Arguably it’s attempting to find the solution to one of the biggest challenges facing robotics: working out how robots can safely, intelligently and productively interact with humans. 

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Internet of Business

Meltdown and Spectre: Why We Need Vigilance, Upgradeability, and Collaborative Security

Today the tech media is focused on the announcement of two security vulnerabilities, nicknamed Meltdown and Spectre, that are found in almost all CPUs used in modern devices. Mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers, cloud services, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are all vulnerable.

There are many articles being published on this topic. The best source of information I’ve found is this site by the security researchers at the Graz University of Technology:

At the bottom of that page are links to the security blog posts, advisories, and other statements from companies and organizations across the industry. In an excellent example of the principles of Collaborative Security, the announcement was coordinated with the release of patches and updates for a wide range of operating systems and devices.

For readers wanting a deeper technical dive, the site from Graz University has links to multiple academic papers. Google’s Project Zero team also published a detailed technical analysis.

From our perspective, today’s news highlights a couple of points:

  • Keeping up to date on patches is critical. We each need to ensure that we upgrade our own systems and devices. If we work for organizations/companies, we need to ensure that processes are in place for patches to be applied rapidly. Vigilance is critical.
  • “Upgradeability” is necessary. We’ve mentioned this particularly in the IoT context, but devices need to be able to be upgraded. They can’t just be distributed or sold to people without some mechanism for updates. We see approaches such as the Online Trust Alliance IoT Framework as critical to help on this issue.
  • Independent security research is essential. These vulnerabilities were discovered by different groups of researchers at companies, security firms, and universities. If we didn’t have people doing this research for the benefit of all of us, we would be open to attacks by those who might find these vulnerabilities and exploit them for malicious purposes.
  • Collaborative security is the key. Sharing this research – and coordinating activity across the industry – is critical to ensuring a secure and trusted Internet.  We need the kind of collaboration shown today to be the norm across the industry.

The key point right now for everyone reading this is simply this: get out there and patch your systems! Don’t delay installing the latest security updates for your computers, mobile phones and other devices.

Each of us play a critical role in ensuring the security of an open, global and trusted Internet!

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Internet Society

Building cross-boundary collaborative solutions for next-gen IoT-enabled operations

Over the past few decades, IIoT technologies have crept into virtually every aspect of industrial automation and operations. Seamless connectivity, technology-agnostic interoperability and data-uniformity have enabled operators to easily monitor, manage and leverage data from any number of proprietary assets and processes in ways that, before, were simply cost prohibitive.

During this time, we’ve also seen the influence of the IIoT extend beyond the factory floor to the cloud. The omnipresent IoT liberates inexhaustible quantities of real-time data and metrics that flow cloud-bound to feed insatiable analytics, predictive AI and enterprise data applications; a holy grail manifested in the form of absolute (almost clairvoyant) awareness, intelligence and knowledge… at least this was the plan, says Nitesh Arora, head of Marketing of Cloudleaf.

Pretty sensational stuff, so let’s come down to earth and talk facts:

All too often, these IoT solutions were designed, implemented and managed on the underlying principle of providing efficiency through automation. In the race to digitise, far less thought was given to the real value of the IoT and its ability to help enterprises future-proof their capital investments by providing the means (not the end) to solving real-world business challenges.

As a matter of course, many enterprises implemented technology simply for technology’s sake and after the novelty wore off, operators were left with yet one more system to learn, maintain and pay-off. Even under the best scenarios, operation managers found that their IoT footprint was anything but low-overhead; the majority of IoT solutions on the market require significant allocation of implementation, integration and training resources.

More importantly, these solutions added unnecessary operational complexity that forced enterprises to shift focus from their core-competencies, building collaborate partnerships, managing staff, enhancing customer user-experiences and maintaining government mandated safety standards.

Today, few industrial IoT solutions are engineered from the ground-up to solve business challenges and uncover opportunities in a sustainable value-added way, and if you ask operation managers what their top 4 pain-points are, they’ll likely say:

I don’t have a way to efficiently orchestrate our complex workflows of materials, tools and people,
I can’t track the location or condition of my assets, or prevent them from getting lost or stolen
I have no idea how to leverage our partner relationships and tie into their inventory systems
I don’t have a good way of keeping my operational costs in check

Fortunately a new-breed of IoT solutions has recently come on-line offering a collection of robust technologies that go the extra mile to provide simplicity and the sustainable industry-centric solutions operation managers are looking for. So before we get ahead of our skis, let’s take a look a 4 essential ingredients that go into successful IoT asset tracking and workflow optimisation solutions:

Robust and battle-tested tech

IoT solutions must be able to rely on technology that is robust, interoperable, cost-effective and offers high-availability functioning. By equipping assets with unobtrusive medium-range wireless transmitters (such as Bluetooth-low-energy), plant managers can quickly build smart networks of IoT-capable sensors, gateways and channel and real-time operational data into their cloud applications.

This provides managers with virtually unlimited control over large groups of […]

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