Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder platform that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet.
The IGF was convened in by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2006. The organization facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise.
It creates opportunities for developing countries to engage in the debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in existing institutions and arrangements.
Since its inception, the forum is convened once a year. This year will be the 11th forum which is going to take place at the PALCCO Center at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico during 6-9 December. This year's forum's theme is "Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth."
Bangladesh is going to participate in this forum. In order to determine the issues it is going to raise at the event, Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum (BIGF) called an open meeting last Sunday (November 20, 2016) at the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB). At the meeting, BIGF Secretary General Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu presented the activities of BIGF. A documentary on the activities of BIGF was shown. Chairman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) Akram H Chowdhury was the moderator of the meeting.
President of the Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB) Aminul Hakim; Information & Communication Technology Division Additional Secretary Md. Harunur Rashid; Senior Assistant Director of Systems & Services Division Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Mahdi Ahmad; CEO of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) AHM Bazlur Rahman; Chairman of the Department of Computer Science of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Professor Dr. M. Sohel Rahman; Director General of PIB Md. Shah Alamgir; Engr. Khan Mohummad Kaisar SDE Dept. of Telecom, MOPT&IT; CEO of Drik ICT Ltd. S M Altaf Hossain; Deputy Feature Editor of Daily Prothom Alo Pallab Mohaimen; President of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) Razib Ahmed; Chairman of the Bangladesh Network Operators Group (bdNOG) Sumon Ahmed Sabir; and Administrator of Bangla Wikipedia Nurunnaby Chowdhury attended the meeting.
Among others Managing Director of Shom Communication Ltd. Afroza Haq Rina and Gigabyte Technology Co., LTD's Senior Manager of Bangladesh Khaza Md. Anas Khan were present at the meeting.
At the meeting, the attendees discussed about future of Internet, net neutrality, right of the stake holders, bridging the digital gaps etc. The discussants agreed that Internet should be considered as one of the basic rights of the people and a study should be conducted on the condition of the Internet at grass root level in Bangladesh. Currently, Facebook is the most popular social networking website in Bangladesh and many people only use Internet to check their Facebook status. This is not a good thing for many consider Facebooking as as using Internet, The best way to combat this problem is to develop websites rich in Bangla content.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that cybercrime is a global problem and the best way to combat this problem is to increase participation of the stake holders, Increase technical capacity, and developing timely policies. In addition, he emphasized on signing a deal with the International organizations in order to keep the Internet under civil authority. He would bring this matter to the Prime Minister.
Minister also said that regulation and technology are the two biggest challenges the Internet is facing today and the government would take necessary steps to meet those challenges.
AHM Bazlur Rahman said that the government should focus on developing Internet infrastructure, developing benchmark for standard, forming policies and regulation and undertake various social and cultural projects for sustainable development and spread of Internet in Bangladesh.
bdNOG Chairman Sumon Ahmed Sabir said that government should focus on upgrading its existing infrastructure. The activities of the government agencies should be co-ordinated and BTC should be given more authority.
Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu is Secretary General, Internet Governance Forum, Bangladesh