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SU to host international web conference

The issue of Internet governance is one of international significance; the web of networked computers that make up the Internet crosses all borders with no regard for the differences in the legal, social, political and economic forces within each of the countries. What is considered treason or blasphemy in one country is the founding belief of another country, and likewise what may be banned pornography in one culture could be considered art in another nation. Determining how to ensure individual rights and open access to the resources of the Internet while maintaining some rules of global governance has become the work of several international groups. They hope to examine the issue of Internet governance and develop policies that will be universally accepted by the global community and that are built on common ideals.

On Nov. 2, a number of groups scattered around the globe will come together for a web conference to discuss the state of Internet governance and suggest ways to move forward in the policymaking process. Hosted by Syracuse University School of Information Studies' Collaboratory on Technology-Enhanced Learning Communities (Cotelco), the web conference will allow Internet policy experts from various organizations to meet in a virtual room to share experiences and give each other updates on progress made in their specific areas of interest. Some of the major participants expected at the web conference are representatives of the United Nation's Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be simultaneously holding its four-day inaugural meeting in Athens, Greece; participants of the Caribbean Internet Forum, which the School of Information Studies co-sponsors and which will be convened for its fourth annual conference in Grenada; representatives of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization currently responsible for overseeing domain names (e.g. .com, .org, .edu); and several academics and individuals with expertise in this area.
Additionally, a group of SU graduate and undergraduate students and a few students from Syracuse high schools will participate in the web conference at the Maxwell Global Collaboratory, Room 062 Eggers Hall. These students will connect to the virtual conference room before the meeting starts to get an overview of global governance issues—and the technology that enables the e-conference to take place—from School of Information Studies professor and director of Cotelco Derrick Cogburn, who will be speaking with them from IGF in Greece. Doctoral student Ben Addom will moderate the pre- and post-conference discussion with the students at the on-campus location.
The web conference, which will be held from 7:30 to 8 a.m. EST, is being organized by a group of faculty from the School of Information Studies, including Cogburn, Milton Mueller and Lee McKnight, who are all partners of the Internet Governance Project (IGP). Based at SU, IGP ( is a consortium of academics with scholarly and practical expertise in international governance, Internet policy and information and communication technology. Its goal is to inform public policy backed by research and analysis that is guided by the values of globalism, democratic governance and individual rights.
IGF was formed by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan in November 2005, based on recommendations from the World Summit on the Information Society. Its mission is to discuss a wide range of issues related to Internet governance and to make policy recommendations to the international community. Its first meeting from Oct. 30Nov. 2 in Athens will focus on development, especially in the areas of openness and security, diversity and access, and emerging technology and policy issues.
The Caribbean Internet Forum began in 2003 as a collaborative effort between leaders of Caribbean nations and the School of Information Studies. Their goal is to bring together experts in telecommunications, information technology and policy, and devise strategies to assist the developing nations deploy information technologies to spur economic and social development.
The School of Information Studies at SU is ranked No. 1 in the nation for information systems and is a nationally ranked center for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology and information services. The school offers an undergraduate degree, certificates of advanced studies, three professional master's degree programs and a Ph.D. The School of Information Studies was established in 1896 as the School of Library Science and is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). For more information, visit the school's web site at
Syracuse University is a creative campus where exchanges occur easily across disciplines and colleges to educate students who make a difference in the world. Approximately 11,400 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries take classes in the University's 12 schools and colleges. They choose from more than 200 majors and 80 minors, and commit to the University's vision of Scholarship in Action—where excellence is connected to ideas, problems and professions in the world and tested in the marketplace.

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