Earlier this month, students in School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor Lee McKnight‘s cross-curricular course Cybersecurity Law and Policy (LAW 832) / Information Security Policy (IST 728) took part in the United Nations (UN) Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles Workshop on Internet Rights via a live link in the Global Collaboratory of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. The course is co-taught by Professor William Snyder from the College of Law’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT).

Created in 2006, the IGF is mandated by the UN with developing law and policy recommendations for Internet governance, on topics such a human rights, diversity, access, cybersecurity, privacy, and systems assurance/trust. The IGF has now become the world’s leading multi-stakeholder forum for Internet governance matters.

IGF 2015 was held in João Pessoa, Brazil, from Nov. 9 to 13, 2015. Earlier that week the LAW 832/IST 728 team, augmented by students from the iSchool’s Internet Policy and Decision-Making course (IST 456), spoke with the IGF panel on “The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Rulings and their Implications” via the remote hub. On Nov. 13, the students re-convened in the Global Collaboratory to continue their collaboration with the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles, which held a “Workshop on Internet Rights.”

While introducing the Dynamic Coalition’s agenda for the morning, the leadership team praised the Syracuse students’ engagement with the IGF and noted the importance of having “digital natives” (as Millennials are sometimes called) join the process of setting rules and regulations for the future Internet, one that will digitally network not just laptops, tablets, and phones but cars, appliances, and even humans.

The Dynamic Coalition 2015 meeting marked six years since the publication of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC) Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet that set out a human rights framework that can be applied to Internet governance.

With encouragement from IGF 2015 participants Marianne Franklin, IRPC Member and a Professor of Global Media and Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Professor Robert Bodle, Co-Chair of the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition and Associate Professor of Communication and New Media Studies at Mount St. Joseph University, the IST 456 students will provide the Dynamic Coalition a “study guide” about the IRPC Charter, which will include legal case studies and an overview of relevant issues/obstacles for each of the Charter’s clauses. The students will be assisted by Professor McKnight and Maxwell School MPA and INSCT CAS in Security Studies candidate Kevin Risser.

“By hosting a remote hub on campus, we’ve provided a space for members of the Syracuse community to discuss the broad range of topics covered during IGF 2015, and the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition Charter Study Guide we are working on hopefully will serve as an educational tool as the coalition promotes its Charter within the IGF and beyond,” says Risser. “Overall, remote participation with the IGF and our work with the IRPC has been a great opportunity for students to engage with the broader Internet governance community and explore developing Internet rights and principles.”