The issue of country’s readiness for changes on the Internet will be raised on Belarus IGF

National Internet Governance Forum Belarus IGF will take place on 3 October. The country’s only big platform for dialogue between the government, business sector, internet users and civil society will be held for the third year. The organizers are promising to raise even more sensitive issues and attract the highest number of representatives of civil initiatives. However, one thing will remain the same – free entrance for everybody and an opportunity to suggest topics for discussion.

“This year the focus will shift even more from global trends to local issues,” promised Sergey Povalishev, the executive director of the company hoster.by – forum’s permanent organizer. “In the light of IT boom it is good to understand whether we all are ready for its consequences. And how to make it work that not only schoolchildren and young businessmen, but the government and big businesses as well are absorbing the every minute evolving technology.”.

The program is still being developed, but the following sections are certainly on the agenda:

cybersecurity and the internet as a zone of insecurity;
personal data in Belarus: balance between business, security and human rights;
open data: when this enormous source of information will be available for business, governments and common people;
legal aspects and regional problem of the Internet development in the light of a range of new laws and draft laws;
the Internet of Things, where we will get to know about the chances to become the first country in the world with IT projects’ realization on governmental level.

There will be a number of new sections on Belarus IGF as well. For example:

digital skills, how to deal with the new inequality;
media and content;
social activity on the internet. From the chat of neighbors to a crowdfunding platform.

The latter, by the way, will deal with deeper issues than the overview of the work of individual activists.

All interested persons can take part in Belarus IGF-2018 for free, the only requirement is to register on the official website and wait for the confirmation letter. Please specify the topics of your interest while registering.

Moreover, the program will remain to be flexible until the last moment so that everybody has an opportunity to suggest a topic for presentation or discussion. Please send your request at the following link indicating talking points and description of the problem.

The overarching goal of IGF defined by its organizers is to ensure open-ended discussion in all areas on the issues of development and regulation of the internet sphere. There are no objective obstacles, however, a range of difficulties remain to exist.

“Business and society has many ideas, the government is ready to listen. But it seems that there is the invincible gravity here in Belarus, and in practice everything moves from top to bottom,” Sergey Povalishev continues. “The past experience of IGF evidences that the Forum is a unique tool for overcoming the gravitation pull. The involvement of business, non-profit organisations and civil initiatives is growing rapidly every year, and the level of skepticism is falling down. We demonstrated that the constructive dialogue is possible, the willingness to initiate and maintain it is enough. This year I have high expectations because Belarus IGF will be even closer to our internet reality. Probably it will not please everyone. There are a lot of uncomfortable questions, and not all of them are to the government. But their progressive resolution will take the sphere to a new level where there are no losers”.

Internet Governance Forums have been held worldwide since 2006 under the United Nations auspices. The ambassador of IGF in Belarus is the company hoster.by, the provider of cloud services and technical administrator of national ccTLDs .BY and .БЕЛ. Last year the Forum gathered more than 400 participants from 20 countries from Canada to Armenia.

We will be glad to see you at Belarus IGF-2018:

When: 3 October 2018
Where: Minsk Marriott Hotel, 20 Pobediteley Avenue

Register on the forum