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May 23, 2024

Keeping the internet free and open

Latest News

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

Other News

Homelessness service funded – but only for a year

With 2024 Street Count data indicating a 16 per-cent increase in rough sleepers in Byron Shire, the NSW government has responded to say that the previously-announced Assertive Outreach team will receive $1.3m in funding for a year.

Consumer watchdog asked to investigate MasterChef ‘renewable gas’ claims

Claims that ‘renewable gas’ is making MasterChef 'greener' are under scrutiny following a complaint to the ACCC.

Cartoon of the week – 22 May, 2024

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Adam says it’s time for a Sunday bus for north Byron Shire

As many people are aware, there is no public transport in the north of Byron Shire on Sundays, making it difficult for people, young people in particular, to get to where they want to go. Adam Luck has decided to take action on this problem. 

Rally in Byron against Gaza war

Locals are being called to join in a rally at Byron Bay this Saturday at 2pm calling on the Australian government to take action against the deaths of Palestinians in the invasion of Gaza by Israel. 

Brunswick 30 has been delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour

Following successful sea trials at Yamba the Brunswick 30 was delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour on Wednesday, May 15. 

The internet connects more than two billion users, generates billions of dollars in revenue, fosters unprecedented levels of free trade and facilitates free speech worldwide. It does all this and more while remaining free from control by any one government, country or business. But can it remain that way?

Threats to the successful multi-stakeholder model of internet governance come regularly and in many forms: from big telecommunications companies that want to exert more control of it to regain lost revenues; from governments concerned with national security and intelligence vulnerabilities from increased cybercrime; and from countries that think they are underrepresented in the structures that manage the internet.

Defending a free and open internet while also maintaining its security and reliability requires vigilance and active engagement from all global stakeholders. The inaugural Australian Internet Governance Forum (auIGF) held in Canberra this week will gather together Australian and international internet experts and participants to ensure all parties have their voices heard in this ongoing and increasingly critical debate.

The immediate threat to the internet as we know it is the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to be held in Dubai in December this year. The conference will be convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations body that is only open to membership from governments.

A number of ITU member states are looking to WCIT as an opportunity to assert more control over the current internet governance model, threatening its open and free nature.

Several countries including Russia and China are proposing to regulate aspects of the internet concerned with cybercrime and national security issues. Other proposals focus on changes to technical coordination and standards-setting agreements that enable all devices, networks and software across the internet to connect and integrate reliably and securely.

‘The multi-stakeholder model for internet governance creates the best outcomes for the greatest number,’ .au Domain Administration CEO Chris Disspain said. ‘If we want to maintain the openness and interoperability of the internet, we need to let more people know about the developments that threaten these values and engage them in a dialogue that will help uphold them. That is goal that we have set for the auIGF.’

The auIGF is a multi-stakeholder conference that will bring government, industry and community members together to discuss internet-related policy issues, exchange ideas and best practices and help shape the future of the internet in Australia.

It is jointly convened by auDA, the internet Industry Association, the Australian chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-AU), the Australian Communication Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC). It also has industry support from partners including Google, Facebook, iiNet, AusRegistry and Maddocks.

In addition to internet governance issues, the main themes of the auIGF include security and privacy, access and digital inclusion, openness and copyright.

The 2012 auIGF will be held at the Hotel Realm in Canberra today and tomorrow.


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St Helena Tunnel, Ewingsdale – changed overnight traffic conditions 

Essential maintenance at the St Helena Tunnel will be carried out overnight on the Pacific Motorway at Ewingsdale from Monday, 27 May.

First Nations job seekers in Casino foot in the door to career

Trying to find something you might be interested in doing is always a challenge and local Casino barber Michael Day has come on board to help Aboriginal job seekers the chance to kick start a career in the hair and beauty industry.

Primary care nurses supported in community

Health services, particularly GP services, have been stretched over recent years and new funding to support nurses and build their capability as primary care...

Goonellabah Skate Park overhaul to start next week

New ‘skate elements’ to be introduced have reportedly been designed by skatepark specialists Trinity Skateparks, with input from ‘local enthusiasts’.