2011 Global Civil Society Representatives Statement on Internet Governance

Pages from group_statement_IGF_01Oct11

First, we want to say how pleased we are to be meeting at the IGF here in Kenya. As a Tunisian, I can bear witness to the fact that the movement for freedom on the African continent has been facilitated by the availability of new ways for us to communicate. When the World Summit on the Information Society was held in my country in 2005, the regime thought that it would serve to legitimate its dictatorship.

Instead, because so many people were present, like those who are here in this hall, those of us in the country who wanted a new future were inspired by the show of solidarity and support from abroad for our striving for freedom.

Given that so many people were present from around the globe, with so many connections to each other across the world, the effect on a repressive regime was exactly the reverse of what the dictator hoped for. This precedent shows that other dictatorships trying to exploit the magnificent prospects of the new global information society will not succeed.