The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been under threat and there is a raging debate on its sustainability. When the Indonesia government announced it would pull out as the convener of the 2013 IGF, the entire Internet community was thrown in a spin. For that reason among others, Internet Society (ISOC) has resolved to establish a legal structure with the objective of achieving stable and sustainable funding for an association in support of the global IGF and regional IGF initiatives. This is a welcomed development which will give stakeholders more resolve and confidence in participating in this important forum.

The setting up of a group composed of ISOC, IETF, IAB, Regional Internet Registries, and ICANN’s Supporting Organization and Advisory Committees to steward IANA transition is welcomed. To have an all-inclusive IANA transition acceptable by both the East and West, ICANN which has been granted the privilege to spearhead the process will have to appear to be as inclusive as possible. The script had already been read when ICANN’s Government Advisor Committee (GAC) insisted on having 5 slots in the IANA transition committee to represent the five regions of the world instead of the two positions it had been given. The outcome of the whole process has to appear to have the interest of the world Internet user. All citizens of the world need to feel part of the whole process. I would expect a transition process that does not place any stakeholder in a privileged position. In the IANA transition, I do not see the need for structural changes in relation to the development of global IP addressing policies since that function is working as expected, a position shared by the Address Supporting Organizations. The Internet community will expect a transition with minimum risks on current well established operations.

Many stakeholders have accepted ICANN to be the final manager of the IANA functions. To be more acceptable, ICANN has initiated a number of activities, among them Internationalization of ICANN to make it appear a not so much a “California (US) organization” but a global organization. The folly of this is ICANN is still a US organization no matter how many branches it opens worldwide, the world will still continue to see it as a US organization. As the IANA transition debate rages on, we will see positions change as each stakeholder tries to get an upper hand. France’s call for world Internet Governance Council to be headquartered in Switzerland to replace IGF and oversee ICANN operations is an example of the fear and marginalization other stakeholders feel within the Internet Governance landscape. My fear would only be more government control in Internet Governance matters, which would mean other traditional stakeholders would find it even harder to engage.

I believe the different stakeholders can have equal say in shaping the future of the Internet. In Brazil during NetMundial, we saw all stakeholders coming together in an ad-hoc constituted meeting and trying to reach a consensus on common principles. Although civil society felt shortchanged in the process, it is a move in the right direction because you win some, and lose some.

Although the IGF model as envisioned is not a decision making model, the Kenya IGF has been praised even at UN level where the output has been touted as a model to emulate because some of the decisions have gone ahead to be implemented at the national level. A good example is Article 10 of the Kenyan constitution where Multistakeholderism has been embraced where all stakeholders are consulted in national issues. As an example, we have seen Computer Authority of Kenya call for public consultation in the National Cyber Security Framework. Most government Authorities have representation of all stakeholders and the Kenyan consumer has a say in matters of policy.

To quote the Kenyan constitution “Article 10 National Values and principles of Governance (2.) The national values and principles of governance include: (a) patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people. (b) human dignity, equity, social inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized.”

The question of concrete outcomes produced through the IGF is sometimes tackled diplomatically. At the UK IGF of July 2014, the organizers were not able to clearly indicate how the outcome of previous IGFs were used to influence policy, only stating that multistakeholderism and dialogue was part of the success of the IGF. The UK also stated she was able to adjust policy positions from outcomes of the IGF and have UK positions in bilateral talks with the greater Europe. However, there was no example given on these positions.

Let us not lose hope. The IGF might be a talk shop, but the outcome has a positive bearing to our society. And talking is not necessarily a bad thing because consensus on contemporary issues is reached after engagement. It is my hope that we can have a discussion that is as inclusive as possible where all stakeholders feel they are participating on equal footing. The IGF provides a unique platform for all stakeholders to openly exchange perspectives on key issues that impact the future of the Internet. I also commend the IGFs for the capacity building it develops because participants usually have key lessons they domesticate back home. It is also my hope that the Internet Governance community can find a way to make the IGF more effective, and have a proper way to implement and measure the effectiveness of the outcomes.

After the last session on Tuesday July 24th, I happened to join the ICANN policy team through a trek across London from Padington to Marble Arch on Public House 6 New Quebec Street. It was a traditional English restaurant called the grazing goat. The setting summer solstice sun over the window overlooking the horizon was just incredible even though it was past 8PM.

The Vice President, Policy Development David Olive lead the team. I learned it it was the first time the policy guys were meeting in such a setting. Because of the Internalization of ICANN, the staff come from diverse regions across the world from North America, Europe, and Asia, and this was a perfect opportunity for them to link up. A not so formal setting helped them bond and know each other better.

The food was incredible from the wild boar starter, Yorkshire pudding, to the nicely grilled lamb and exotic French wine and double expresso coffee. The wild boar took me through a time machine to the times I was reading the French comic books Asterix and Obelix.

We had great conversations with Robert Hoggarth, the ICANN Senior Policy Director, Ariel Liang,  Susan, and Tom Dale the GAC secretariat contractors from Acig Australia.

Well, it’s not manners to crash into parties, but the lessons and interactions I had with these cool people was invaluable especially know that I’m getting deeper into ICANN policy working groups.

It must be fun working at ICANN, isn’t it?

Trying to penetrate the various groups and become an integral MVP seems harder than cracking diamond with bare teeth. It’s like there are so many opportunities but getting in is proving more difficult.

But I know the trick, volunteer in working groups, read background information documents, comment and give suggestions. You will learn and find areas of interest on the way.ring at

Starting engagement with ICANN is like driving on a road less traveled at night. Your can only see the next 50meters, but you drive on hopeful you will arrive at your destination. I’m on my first 50 meters 😐

I’ve been active in At-large’s AFRALO as the Internet Society Kenya Chapter Secretary General and ALS representative. Before ICANN50 I did not know much about other communities like NCUC, NPOC … what are they? 🙂

So I had a personal goal

“Challenge yourselves to look at other communities and their way of working through the multistakeholder process and discover information that you may not already know about ICANN that can help you moving foreword.” – Janice’s clarion call

I met and re-established contact with many ICANN and AFRALO African leaders like Pierre Dandjinou, Abdelaziz Hilali, and Tijani Ben Jemaa.

We discussed at lengths with Lars-Johan Liman of Netnod and Root Server System Advisory Committee on ways to volunteer at RSSAC. RSSAC is in the process of getting more volunteers involved, especially those with different skill sets, not just the traditional geek. I’m still considering how helpful I can be if I join this group.

Sentiment analysis and Opinion mining is a new area in social media Business Intelligence analysis. Through much persistence, I was able to discuss with Aba Diakite, the ICANN Senior Manager for Business Intelligence on how ICANN can get instant feedback from the community just by analyzing social media posts. Aba was positive and promised to get back to me after discussing with the high and might at ICANN.

So I was privileged to be a mentor for two newcomers, One from Venezuela and another from West Bank. Not because I know anything really, but because I had attended ICANN47 in Durban.

We exchanged emails for a month prior to the meeting, sharing important PowerPoint presentations from the different ICANN constituencies, and exchanged tit-bits from the new and improved ICANN learn.

Unfortunately, the West bank fellow was not able to make it to London. Not withstanding, I hope to meet him in future, probably in LA. His dream is still valid.

“No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o.

As for Jesus, he was very informed and focused, and knew many participants especially from Latin American region. His interest was more on GAC where he understood most issues especially because of his past engagement with ITU. This was puzzling because his background is ccTLD management. My thinking was he would have found ccNSO a natural home. We are still in contact via email, so let’s see how it turns out.

Thoughts on mentorships

What gets measured gets done.  This is just a beginning of a good thing, and the programme is superb.

  1. Timing of Guidelines to Mentors: A month is perfect, and the timing for initial engagement, 19th May was good.
  2. Guideline Package itself: It would be great if we can develop a mentorship guide, that new mentors can follow. In a matrix form, or something like that.
  3. One vs Two mentees: Two mentees are better. They can share with each other thoughts on the information given to them.
  4. Response and reaction from mentees: My mentee was very positive and eager to learn. He responded promptly to emails.
  5. Pre Meeting: I had a small meeting with my mentee where we exchanged expectations, and modes of participation at ICANN. I advised him to make a checklist of all sessions he wants to attend, and also make short notes, probably a paragraph on key takeaways for the meeting. This was to aid in report writing.
  6. At Meeting: We met in between sessions and evaluated effectiveness and relevance of the session.
  7. Post Meeting: We are still communicating via email, and finding the best ways for future participation in ICANN policy making activities.
  8. Does this need to be regional or based on compatible sectors: Compatible sector is better. It’s easier to engage on a professional level if you are from the same professional background.

Apart from the officially assigned mentors, I was able to interact and learn with many newcomers. Questions like “Are you are a member of ATLAS constituency?” were not uncommon but were met with fine answers on ICANN structures.

The fellows were lively and very eager to learn, from the knowledgeable Nabil of Morrocco, the young and intelligent Xiaohui of China, the friendly Martin Pablo of Argentina, the reflective Muchene of Kenya,  Amparo of Dominican who insisted I should pronounce her name with Latin romance accent – Ampaarooo,  Oarabile of Botswana who was oozing with life, to Adrian the key mobilizer. This is the perfect fraternity.

The leads Jeannie, Karel and Gao conducted the fellowship meeting very professionally, and the alumnae were quick to interject when called upon.

The ever smiling and warm Selina and Sarah (SS) were the perfect team for the ICANN newcomers booth. How Mama Janice picked two lovely people with extraordinary likable characters amazed me. No wonder visitors kept on going back to the ICANN booth.


On one of the meetings, our constituency ran late and exceeded the time allocated, eating into the time of the next group coming in. Apparently, the team that was before us also ate into our 10 minutes. If you add room transition times, we started 20 minutes late. To make matters interesting, Staff told us our meeting allocated time had been changed from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. We were virtually thrown out of the room, in a rather undiplomatic fashion I must add after our time was up.

I approached the Ombudsman  Chris LaHatte and his mate Herb Waye on seeking clarification on how such matters should be handled. After listening very carefully, he approached both teams and came up with this blog post.  

Lesson learned: I must acknowledge some meeting Chairs are terrible at controlling speakers who go on and on and on and on and on and on and on … Yawn

Social media was abuzz with London’s ICANN 50 trending. The twitter hash tag was #ICANN50. The At-Large summit was on with the tag #ATLAS2.

Officially checked in 3000 attendees to . Thank you 4 making ICANN50 our new record!

At you have to think quickly, and fast like the speed of the internet

How do you survive an Meeting? Reply w/ ur top tips using , be included in Mtg Guide!

Words being thrown around at : bottom up, multistakeholderism, open, participatory, review, transparent

Do you know what happens when you enter a domain name into your browser? Take a look…

It’s important for other civil societies to track ICANN and engage –

Nice to see remote participants from Cameroon, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippine engage actively in discussions at

Fadi says he is an atypical CEO who changes his mind and changes course in reaction to community feedback

Become part of the process. Help shape the Stewardship Transition

fellowship morning meeting

Public Forum begins at 16:00 in Sandringham. Remote participation details:

The Board should delegate .africa pursuant to the registry agreement signed between ICANN and ZACR 25/6/2014 – GAC

Joke of the day: If your laptop has crashed, and you have lost your data, you can have NSA give you a backup.

 Jul 1

had meeting room challenges that brought to the attention of the Ombudsman

Already loving the topics at the Public Forum….

Live now: Public Forum

Learn the basics on the IANA functions with this new infographic:

Africa Strategy Progress Report with Pierre Dandjinou taking place in Windsor Suite

“This is an opportunity to show that these bottom-up processes work” – Community Member

lunch sponsored by at Hilton Paddington, London

SSAC meets fellows in London. Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

Africa has 54 ccTLDs

Its time to put users at the front of the family says CEO Fadi Chehade

The Internet should be Conducive for healthy growth of juveniles. . Those are the 7 Internet tenets according to

DR. Steve Crocker, Board Chairman says should be all about

endorsed by acclamation!!! to present to Board, 18:00 Sandringham


During the ICANN50 Public forum on 26th June 2014, I made an appeal for At-large to get a fair representation at the ICANN board level. Here is the transcript, that due to my Kenyan english, I’m sure the transcribers could not get correctly 🙂

“Mwendwa Kivuva, Internet Society Kenya Chapter and AFRALO. I respresent myself, and I will speak in Kenyan English.

I am happy to say this ICANN has celebrated the individual internet user, where most of us belong. Atlarge.

At ATLAS2 showcase, The ICANN president Fadi Chahade said, “It’s time to put the user at the front of the family.”

Steve Crocker the Chair said, “ICANN should all be about Atlarge”. End quote

From this, we see that The end user should be considered an essential component of ICANN’s multistakeholder model.

This seems to contradict the constitution of the ICANN board where Atlarge has only one board position while the other groups like ccNSO, and GNSO, each have 2 positions.
The urgument advanced is that board members don’t represent the interests of their community but represent the interests of ICANN. But I differ, that is not true since board members have the DNA of the constituency that nominated them.
Board members should represent public interest, and it’s in public interest for Atlarge to get an extra seat at the board.

[Applause] 🙂

Here is the Public forum transcript:

Audio transcript:

 I can’t get the video transcript, but my left hand was trembling , I’m surprised it did not cause a hurricane or fall off.


As ISOC Kenya ALS, we managed to set 3 remote hubs for our members to participate in the ICANN50 public meeting.

I made good use of my extended stay in England and  attended the UK IGF held on 1st July 2014 at St. Ermin’s hotel, London, England. The Nominet Chair Baroness Rennie Fritchie gave the sponsor’s welcoming remarks. She said “The IGF provides an opportunity for discussion, dialogue, divergent views, and encourages people to speak-up”. The event had about 50 participants. The Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP appeared briefly to give his keynote speech and fielded questions from participants.

At the UK IGF. Kivuva, Minister  Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP, and Adrian discussing bilateral relations

At the 2014 UK IGF. From Left Mwendwa Kivuva, Minister Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP, and Adrian Rodriguez

The agenda had 6 items:

  1. Net Governance: Net Mundial, London High Level Governance Meeting, now what?
  2. IANA functions
  3. Governance of cybersecurity
  4. IPv6
  5. Network filtering plenary
  6. Wrap-up and key takeaway from the IGF.

Despite the low turnout -(attributed to conference fatigue at ICANN) the discussions were healthy with key takeaways. The government was taken to task on her position on NetNeutrality, which she seemed to contradict herself with no clear position. However, the Minister stated UK is concerned on the kind of regulation being discussed in Europe that would stifle businesses. The IGF organizers were also not able to clearly indicate how the outcome of previous IGFs were used to influence policy, only stating that multistakeholderism and being able to talk to each other was part of the success of the IGF. The UK also stated she was able to adjust policy positions from outcomes of the IGF and have UK positions in bilateral talks with greater EU. However, there was no example given on these positions. Mr. Vaizey noted there is need to strengthen IGF locally and internationally.

UK Internet Governance position for the IGF

The session on Internet Governance landscape identified the following positions for the UK

  • Resist attempt to give priority to single stakeholders – have a more dynamic model
  • Keep the IGF open and balanced
  • Keep vested interests out of the process.
  • Have IGF outcomes stakeholders can take home to aid in capacity building. Use IGF as a forum to address local problem.
  • Make the IGF more focused, and identify the big issues to be discussed.
  • The IGF is all about lobbying. (Seems to contradict point 3. above)
  • True democratic governments are a minority
  • Looking for climatic help from state is the norm. It would be difficult to achieve multistakeholderism while states have more strength.
  • Focus on involving more businesses on the IGF. Content Providers, ISPs, and industries affected by  the Internet.
  • Rebuild trust among stakeholders locally and internationally.

It was appreciated that the IGF landscape has changed greatly. For example, at NetMundial, all stakeholders were treated equally with Civil Society, private Sector, Government, and Technical Community all queuing up to the microphone to make their submissions. IANA stewardship was identified as a positive step taken by USG’s NTIA. A key point was that the idea of human rights has become more mainstream in Internet Governance.

One hindrance identified to multistakeholderism was the fact that not all stakeholders understand the issues being discusses. An example is eight out of nine US Supreme Court judged do not use emails. What kind of decisions would they make if IG issues were presented in their courts?

Relevance of the Istanbul IGF.

  • NetNeutrality will be a big debate in Istanbul.
  • Ongoing support for the IGF and fundraising.
  • How to make the IGF feel like an open platform.
  • How to achieve consensus to develop an outcome document from the IGF
  • The IGF offers capacity building, and many participants find answers to local problems.

The IPv6 Session

The session covered updates on IPv6 addressing use in UK and explored the potential barriers to it’s adoption. The panel was chaired by Olivier Crépin-Leblond Chair of ISOC UK England, with panelists being Alain Fiocco of CISCO, Tim Chown of University of Southampton, and Adrian Kennard Andrew and Arnold Ltd.

It was noted that UK is trailing other European countries in roll-out of IPv6. The global growth of IPv6 roll-out was at around 8% as of 2014. The challenges identified that face the implementation of IpV6 were:

  1. Traditionally lack of Content on IPv6. It’s hard to convince people to use IPv6 without content hosted on it. Now there is massive content on IPv6 and clients need to access this content.
  2. There were few IPv6 transit providers. Now there are many directly commuter BGP transit points.
  3. In the past, there were Few equipment especially core routers and client premise equipment that supported IPv6. Now most devices are IPv6 compliant.
  4. There is a high cost of upgrading the Internet backbone to support IPv6 by large ISPs
  5. Bugs on equipment that were to be IPv6 compliant. Most equipment are now bug-free.
  6. Affordability of consumer routers. Low end routers did not have IPv6 support. Most of these technical hurdles have been solved already.
  7. lack of Operating System support. Now, most Operating Systems are IPv6 compliant.
  8. Use of Career Grade NAT (CGN) and Large Scale NAT (LSN) which are presented as IPv6. This prevents operators from rolling out pure IPv6 networks. The CGN is not scalable, and the end users have poor network experience.
  9. What is left? Cost of change. We need technical staff to understand issues around IPv6. Staff need to be trained including engineers, support team, and call center operators. There need to be more affordable equipment in the market that support IPv6. There need to be demand from the end users for IPv6 content, and IPv6 connectivity.

It was identified that as of July 2014, only 4% of the Internet  users had access to IPv6. The big players like Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, e.t.c are on IPv6. A key point was the driver for IPv6 roll-out seemed to be innovation and not demographics.

The Network filtering session came into a conclusion that education was more desirable in protecting minors online instead of blocking websites since the minors could still access the content from other devices elsewhere.

The wrap-up session was a Q&A session between Kate Russell, freelance Journalist and BBC Click presenter with Eleanor Bradley, CEO of Nominet.

NB: Key take-away from the IGF: Possible areas of research – IPv6 uptake in Kenyan Universities. Universities are agents of change in society, and they usually have good budget. Why are they not leading the way in implementing IPv6?