Security and privacy over net key
South Africa has signed a Multi-Party Administrator Service Agreement with the Data Orientated Network Architecture Foundation in Geneva towards developing the Digital Object Architecture (DOA) or an alternative way of managing information on the internet.
Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele opening the 5th African Internet Governance Forum in Durban today, attended by among others, African Union Commissioner, Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim and renowned internet scientist Dr Robert Kahn of DONA.
The DOA, Cwele said provided better security and the owner of the information had control over it and decides which will be public and which will be restricted to authorised users only, such as personal medical records or sensitive information.
“We don’t see this as benefitting South Africa alone but all African nations that would like to participate in or adopt it.”
He said the African continent believed the internet governance should be multilateral, democratic and involve all governments and relevant stakeholders such and academics, NGOs and ICT companies in their respective roles. It was key to ensure everyone participated in the on-line economy; intellectual property was protected; cybersecurity ensured; privacy online maintained; and that key technical issues such as Domain Names and IP Addresses mad internet governance possible.
The continent should pay particular attention to infrastructure access, affordability and skilling of all our citizen to take advantage of the internet and internet economy value chain.
Recently, Cwela’s department finalised the National Integrated ICT White Paper to guide the development of ICT in a converged environment. It dealt with matters of universal access; supply side measures such as spectrum and rapid deployment policy to facilitate deployment of infrastructure at reduce costs to operators. It also covered demand side measures such as e-skills, digital economy and industry growth.
Cwela said one of the chapters in the White Paper dealt with the Internet. It outlined the policy framework for maintaining the open Internet to maximise the possibilities offered by Internet that included transforming how citizens interacted with governments and each other, how governments delivered services and how businesses transacted.
It also included approaches to governance of the Internet at an international and national level and policies on managing and administering the Internet in line with the vision set in the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society.
“Importantly, it outlines policy choices that South Africa can use to step up from being merely consumers of internet to creators of internet content across the value chain that includes data centres, search or navigation internet and internet exchange points,” Cwele said.
Over the next few days, the AfIGF will discuss topics that include Shaping the Future of the Internet in Africa, Delivering an Inclusive Development, Bridging the gender divide in digital transformation of Africa, Youth and Internet Governance, and assessing the role of Internet Governance in the Sustainable Development Goals.