ICANN to Proceed with the Delegation of .Africa Domain Following US Court Decision

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says it is now free to proceed with the delegation of the .Africa generic top-level domain (gTLD) to ZA Central Registry (ZACR) following the decision of a California Superior Court denying DotConnectAfrica’s (DCA’s) second motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the delegation of the domain.

The Superior Court of California, sitting in the County of Los Angeles Central District in the United States, in a ruling on February 3, 2017, denied DCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction and held that “the delay in the delegation of the .Africa gLTD is depriving the people of Africa of having their own unique gTLD.”

ICANN is a California-based not-for-profit public benefit corporation that oversees the technical coordination of the Internet’s domain name system around the world.

 In 2012, ICANN launched the “New gTLD program” in which it invited interested parties to apply to be designated the operator of their chosen gTLD.  The operator would manage the assignment of names within the gTLD and maintain its database of names and IP addresses.

In March 2012, DCA, an organization formed with the charitable purpose of advancing information technology education in Africa and providing a continental Internet domain name to provide access to Internet services for the people of Africa, applied to ICANN for the delegation of the .Africa gTLD

ZACR, a South African non-profit company which was formed to promote open standards and systems in computer hardware and software, also applied to be the operator of .Africa.

In 2013, ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) issued an advice that DCA’s application should not proceed due to issues with regional endorsements.  ICANN accordingly rejected DCA’s application based on the GAC’s advice, while ZACR’s application continued.

Thereafter, DCA challenged ICANN’s decision and filed a request for review by an Independent Review Process (IRP) Panel, a form of alternative dispute resolution provided for by the ICANN  bylaws.

On July 9, 2015, the IRP Panel issued a Final Declaration in favour of DCA and concluded that ICANN should “continue to refrain from delegating the .Africa gTLD and allow DCA Trust’s application to proceed through the remainder of the new gTLD application process.

In the same month, July 2015, ICANN placed DCA’s application back in the geographic names evaluation phase but later concluded that DCA’s application was insufficient to proceed past this phase.

In January 2016, after it found out that ICANN would reject its application, DCA filed a suit against ICANN and while the case was pending before the District Court, DCA moved for and was granted a temporary restraining order and subsequently a preliminary injunction prohibiting ICANN from delegating the rights to .Africa until the case was resolved.

ZACR then filed a motion to reconsider the preliminary injunction order which ICANN joined. The motion for reconsideration was denied.

But on October 19, 2016, the District Court remanded the case to the Superior Court of California due to lack of jurisdiction, upon which DCA moved for the same preliminary injunction that the District Court previously granted.  The motion was heard on December 22, 2016 and argued at length, after which the Court declined to grant the motion.

DCA then moved another motion for the same preliminary injunction in substantially the same terms with the only difference being that while DCA initially sought the injunction under its ninth cause of action for declaratory relief, the second motion was moved under the alternative causes of action for intentional misrepresentation and unfair business practices.

Ruling on the motion, Judge Howard L. Halm noted that DCA has not provided any new evidence of harm that was not considered by the court in the earlier motion for preliminary injunction.

He observed that the .Africa gTLD can be re-delegated DCA if it prevails in the suit, adding that this fact is not disputed by DCA although DCA has argued without support supporting evidence that the procedure for gTLD re-delegation is uncertain.

On the contrary, the judge said, the evidence before the court reflects that re-delegation is not uncommon and has occurred numerous times, adding that ICANN has an established procedure for re-delegating a gTLD, which is set out in a published manual.  Accordingly, he held that there was no potential for irreparable harm to DCA and that any interim harm to DCA can be remedied by monetary damages, as requested in DCA’s complaint.

Judge Halm noted that in constrast to the speculative nature of DCA’s harm, ZACR presented evidence in the form of a detailed spreadsheet prepared by its finance section demonstrating that ZACR is incurring significant financial costs with no attendant benefits as a result of the delay in delegation of the .Africa gTLD.

He held that the public interest also weighs in favour of denying the injunction because “the delay in the delegation of the .Africa gLTD is depriving the people of Africa of having their own unique gTLD.”

Judge Halm noted that although the public also has an interest in having the .Africa gLTD properly awarded through a fair and transparent application process, this concern does not apply tot he interim harm analysis because in the event that DCA ultimately prevails in the action, the gTLD can be re-delegated.

The judge also upheld ICANN’s contention that DCA is unlikely to win the substantive action because among the terms and conditions that DCA acknowledged and accepted by submitting a gTLD application, as a covenant barring all lawsuits against ICANN arising out of its evaluation of new gTLD applications.

Freemuse Says Artists Face Sharp Rise in Attacks and Censorship  

Freemuse, an independent international organisation advocating and defending freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide, has released its report for 2016, indicating a sharp rise in attacks on and censorship of artists and their rights to freedom of expression in 2016.

The report, Art Under Threat, shows that in 2016, incidents of attack on artists and their freedommore than doubled those that took place in 2015, increasing by 119%; rising from 469 attacks in 2015 to 1,028 in 2016.

Freemuse reported that six countries: Iran, Turkey Egypt, Nigeria, China and Russia account for a total of 59% of serious violation in 2016 out of the 78 countries in which the violation happened.

Art under Threat, documents a total number of 1,028 cases of censorship and attacks on Artist freedom across 78 countries in 2016. This number more than doubles the 469 cases documented in 2015.  A total of 188 serious violations involved killings, attacks, abductions, imprisonments, and threats while 840 acts of censorship were also recorded.

The Freemuse report shows that while most acts of the acts of censorship were politically motivated wherein governments, such as of China and Turkey, in attempts to silence artistic freedom within their own borders also made further attempt to prosecute and censor artists aboard.

Freemuse also argued that religiously motivated attacks came to the fore in 2016 whereby the claim of defending   traditional values” or “the interest of the state” are, in many cases, the driving arguments behind the violations and these violation are carried out by militant groups as well as peaceful civil society group to restrain artistic expression and also discriminating against women and LGBT artist.

Broken down, Freemuse registered three killings, two abductions, 16 attacks, 84 imprisonments and detentions, 43 prosecutions, 40 persecutions and threats, and 840 acts of censorship in 2016. Music was the worst hit art form with 86 cases of serious violations, followed by theatre and visual arts.

Film was the most censored art form representing 79% of all cases of censorship registered. The majority of cases of censorship stemmed from Ukraine and Kuwait blacklists which banned hundreds of individual film titles.

Freemuse Executive Director Ole Reitov said: “When populist and nationalist governments, as well as others in a position of power, forcefully try to secure a single dominant narrative, artists are at increased risk,” adding “Artistic expressions do not and should not fit into one frame. A healthy society needs alternative creative voices.”

Freemuse attributed the overall increase in registered cases, in part to the fact that Freemuse and its collaborating partners have improved their documentation methods and partly that some governments published lists of censored art.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has reaffirmed the right to creative and artistic expression as an integral part of the protected human right to freedom of expression but unfortunately only 53 of the 193 UN member states supported the statement.

IFJ Calls on President Trump to Respect Freedom of Expression as a Fundamental Right

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on January 20, 2017 called on Donald Trump, then President-Elect of United States of America, to stop attacking the media and respect freedom of expression as a fundamental right, as he prepared for his inauguration.

IFJ expressed deep concerns about a number of clashes between Donald Trump and the press throughout the presidential campaign and beyond, including a series of intimidations and threats against journalists, hateful comments, media bans and proposals to amend libel laws.

Philippe Leruth, IFJ President, said: “The journalists’ community holds Donald Trump accountable for his actions as President of the USA and we call on him to abide by core freedom of expression standards that are fundamental to his country’s democracy and its First Amendment rights“

“We ask President Trump to respect the basic right for US citizens and the rest of the world to be properly and independently informed.The new president not only has a responsibility towards his own national press but also towards the foreign media and citizens across the world.”

IFJ advised journalists covering news in the US to abide by strong ethical standards such as those incorporated in the IFJ Code of Principles.

Leruth reminded journalists that: “Fair, non-discriminatory reporting is essential to our media’s credibility”, adding: “It is journalists’ role to challenge authority and it is also their role to abide by core ethical principles. The presidential campaign coverage in the USA illustrated how important unbiased, fact-checked reporting is. Trustworthy journalism will be essential in the upcoming 4 years and we wish our colleagues reporting on the ground strength, luck and solidarity”.

World Radio Day 2017: MRA Calls on Government and Others to Support Community Radio Sector

World Radio DayLAGOS, February 13, 2017:  On the occasion of the World Radio Day 2017, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) is calling on the government, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to institute a package of support to the community radio sector in Nigeria to enable it flourish.   It noted that there is an urgent need for support covering funding, programme development, management and governance as well as general capacity building to enable the sector achieve its full potential in Nigeria and realize its role.

In a statement in Lagos, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of MRA, noted that: “Radio remains the most popular and cheapest means of information dissemination even in the digital age. Unfortunately, inappropriate policies and other challenges are standing in the way of the full realization of the potential of radio, particularly community radio which has the greatest possibility for making the theme of this year’s celebration, “Radio is You”, a reality.

He observed that almost two years after the issuance of 17 licences for community radio operations, the vast majority of them, besides the Lavun Community Radio in Kutigi, Niger State, had not been able to get their operations off the ground. He stressed that the situation is indicative of a significant policy or regulatory distortion which needs to be addressed urgently.

MRA said it was regrettable that community radio, the third tier of broadcasting, is unfortunately still stunted in Nigeria while it is growing and flourishing throughout the West African sub-region as well as in other parts of the world.

Community radio, according to MRA is unique in a number of ways including informing people on what is going on in the communities where they live; broadcasting in the languages of the communities; involvement of everyone in the station’s programmes; the promotion of economic growth; and the preservation of local culture and traditions among others.

MRA criticised the regulatory framework for the broadcast sector in Nigeria, noting that the criteria and processes for obtaining broadcast licences are still shrouded in secrecy and pointlessly tied to the approval of the President. The group noted that this had contributed to stifling the growth of community radio stations in Nigeria, including commercial radio station.

The situation, MRA said, “was not allowing Nigerians to take full advantage of the potential of community radios.” He therefore called on the government to make the environment conducive for the acquisition and operation of community radio in Nigeria.

Mr. Ojo advocated the overhaul of the legal regime governing the award of broadcast licences in Nigeria, saying: “Government should recognize the third tier of broadcasting, community radio, as a very important tier. It is the tier of broadcasting that gives voice to the community and the community ownership structure of community radio ensures it is sustainable.”

He reminded the Nigerian authorities that community radio fosters unity and oneness, calling its attention to the statement of Tim Francis, Associate Programme Specialist for Media Development and Society at UNESCO, who has said: “At a time when many are pointing to a breakdown in civil, constructive discussion, and when the very idea of truth is increasingly being called into question, radio is uniquely-positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change.”

The UNESCO’s 36th General Conference of November 3, 2011 proclaimed February 13 the World Radio Day, to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe. The commemoration of the World Radio Day was originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain. February 13 was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946.

MFWA Board Commends ECOWAS, Urges President Barrow to Undertake Urgent Reforms

The Board of Directors of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its commendable efforts in ensuring a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia from ex-President Yahya Jammeh to President Adama Barrow. It also called in President Barrow to undertake urgent reforms to restore human rights in the country.

In a 10-point resolution issued at the end of a meeting which held on January 25 and 26, 2017, the Board indicated that the ECOWAS’ action on the Gambian situation was one that will help strengthen and consolidate democratic governance across West Africa.
It congratulated the new Gambian President and urged him to undertake urgent reforms that will help ensure good governance, and respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Gambian people.

“As a commitment to the human rights reform agenda, the Board further calls on President Barrow to take urgent steps to unconditionally release all political prisoners and detainees under the Yahya Jammeh regime. A similar gesture should be extended to journalists who were arbitrarily detained or imprisoned under the regime,” the resolution stated.

The Board further commended the people of The Gambia for their resort to peace and dialogue during the transition process and for remaining resolute in their quest for democratic consolidation and respect for human rights.

The two-day meeting which was chaired by Mr. Edetaen Ojo of Media Rights Agenda was scheduled to discuss and approve MFWA’s work plan and budget for 2017.
The Board then held discussions with Gambian media experts, editors and the leadership of The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on the recent political challenges in The Gambia.

The meeting discussed the prevailing context of press freedom and freedom of expression in The Gambia as well as the challenges and prospects for improving the media and freedom of expression landscape in the post-Jammeh era.

World Bank Launches Free online Course on Financing for Development

The World Bank Group is launching a free online international development finance course titled “Financing for Development: Unlocking Investment Opportunities”. The course which will begin on March 1, 2017 will teach about the critical role of the private sector and the use of finance, including innovative solutions to fund the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to help meet the World Bank Group goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity by 2030.

The four-week online course will discuss methodologies currently being considered by global leaders to finance the sustainable development agenda. Key concepts, terminology, sources of development finance, and the need for increased use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and innovative financing solutions will be covered.

In the online finance course, candidates will learn about critical stakeholders, instruments and trends associated with domestic and international public finance in support of development; purpose and premise of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the main drivers and sources of private finance – both domestic and international – and their growing importance in development; and how Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) support public and private efforts to meet the 2030 development agenda goals

The course is free and open to everybody and no prior knowledge is required. Interested candidates should register at https://www.edx.org/course/financing-development-unlocking-wbgx-f4d01x

TICTeC 2017 Conference to Focus on Impact of Civic Technology and Digital Democracy

The third edition of The Impact of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC 2017) comes up in the Italian city of Florence on April 25 and 26, 2017  and will be focusing on the impact that civic technology and digital democracy are having upon citizens, decision makers and governments around the world. It will be held at the beautiful 19th century Villa Vittoria in the historic city.

Organised by mySociety, the conference will bring together individuals from academic and applied backgrounds as well as businesses, public authorities, NGOs and education institutions to discuss ideas, present research and build a network of individuals interested in the civic technology landscape.

Sponsored by Google, this two-day conference will provide the opportunity for researchers to present theoretical or empirical works related to the impacts of civic technology. Proposals from individuals who would like to lead workshops or give presentations relating to the conference theme are also welcomed. The organisers encourage submissions that focus on the specific impacts of technologies, rather than show-case new tools that are as yet untested.

Discussions at the conference will revolve around themes of engagement, participation, institution, social behaviour, politics, community, digital capability, communication and ethics relating to the use and study of civic technology.

The organisers have put in place facilities to cater to the needs of different participants including those on wheelchair; those attending with personal care attendant/assistant and who need their conference fee will be waived; those who need special requirements to attend, such as hearing loops, sign language interpreters, handouts in advance, or in alternative formats such as Braille or large print etc.

TICTeC has also invited interested individuals to submit abstracts or workshop presentation proposals of not more than 300 words by 10th February 2017. Those selected for inclusion in the conference programme will be notified before February 17, 2017.

Presenters will be required to register for the conference by 10th March in order to confirm their slot (The registration fee will be waived for individuals presenting).

Participants who would be needing any of these special facilities are encouraged to contact Gemma Humphrys by phone on +44(0)2032390725 or by email via gemma@mysociety.org.

UNESCO Calls for Proposals to Develop ‘Defining Internet Universality Indicators’

The United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has launched a call for proposals to develop and finalize an elaborated set of Internet Universality Indicators through a global multi-stakeholder consultation online and offline.

The call is made to interested researchers, institutions, research consortiums, entities and organizations and will run for a one-year time frame from April 2017 to April 2018.

UNESCO launched this new project called “Defining Internet Universality Indicators” following’s its adoption of CONNECTing the Dots Outcome document in 2015 as its new approach to Internet issues and the successful development and application of the IPDC Media Development Indicators.

The aim of the project is to elaborate on appropriate Internet indicators which can enrich stakeholders’ capacity to assess Internet development, broaden international consensus and foster online democracy and human rights towards knowledge societies engaged in sustainable development.

This study will be founded on the UNESCO concept of Internet Universality as the guiding framework which promotes an Internet based on human Rights, and the principles of Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation (abbreviated as the R.O.A.M principles).
There are General Terms of Reference according to which Applicants are to submit their application by email to internetstudy@unesco.org.

For this new project, UNESCO launches this call for proposals to carry out the key deliverable and related tasks within a one-year time frame from April 2017 to April 2018.

The Key Deliverable for the project is to Develop and finalize an elaborated set of Internet Universality Indicators through a global multi-stakeholder consultation online and offline.

One of the specific objectives of the project is to develop and finalize an elaborated draft set of Internet Universality indicators and sub-indicators in line with international human rights standards and within the focus of the Internet Universality concept, with realistic and practical applicability to countries at all levels of statistical development.

Another specific objective of the project is to plan and conduct an inclusive global and regional consultation process with multi-stakeholder groups, which will feed into the drafting and elaboration of Internet Universality indicators, including offline consultations as well as online tools via building and maintaining a dedicated online platform/website with multi-lingual access.

The final deliverable setting out the indicators will take the form of a policy paper in English with maximum 100 standard pages (minimum of 320 words each) excluding annexes and bibliography, as well as a project online platform/website on Internet Universality indicators under UNESCO domain name and server.

A draft of the deliverable will be open on the project’s online platform/website, which is to be created under this project for consultation, while the final version will likely be released as a UNESCO publication.

Depending on the budget, the publication will be translated into 4 to 6 UN official languages, which will inform UNESCO’s 195 Member States and other international policy-makers on internet-related policy making.

Applicant are required to ensure that their proposal include a detailed description of the research methodology; an elaborated plan of a multi-stakeholder consultation; a strategy for the creation of an online platform/website; preliminary elaboration of 5 categories of indicators; a work plan; and a timeline.

Proposals should also include a description of the team including CVs and the requested funding in US$ with a budget breakdown. This budget breakdown should show – if needs be – a minimum and a maximum scale of implementation.

Interested researchers, institutions, research consortiums, entities and organizations are invited to submit their proposals, according to the General Terms of Reference by email to internetstudy@unesco.org.

Applicants are advised to use the caption “Proposal for Defining Internet Universality Indicators” as the subject of the email, for ease of tracing the email and facilitating quick processing. The deadline for submission of proposal is Noon (CET) February 28, 2017.

UNESCO has commissioned preliminary research on the Internet indicators which should be considered as a basis to develop this final deliverable, this initial background paper will be provided to those interested in submitting proposals upon request through the email address: internetstudy(@unesco.org

Submission of applications will be acknowledged upon receipt via email but ONLY selected organizations will receive further notification and correspondences.
For more enquiries on this call, please visit; http://bit.ly/2jGCda6

Court Orders NDDC to Release Requested Information

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on December 21, 2016 ordered the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to release to a group of activists and civil society organisations information they requested from the Commission, declaring that the Commission’s failure to disclose information requested by the activists was illegal, oppressive and vexatious.

Justice A. M. Liman, who presided over the suit brought by Some non-governmental organizations, civil rights lawyers and others comprising of 26 persons led by Aigbokhan President against Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Minister of Finance, gave the ruling.

The group through its Counsel, Aigbokhan President had asked the Court to declare that the NDDC’s refusal to respond to their request for the information made on January 6, 2015 violates their fundamental right to information guaranteed by Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, Sections 1 and 2 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1999; Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 1948 and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966.

They also prayed the Court for, among others, the following reliefs:

• Declaration that NDDC is under the law obliged to release certified true copy of documents to the Applicants showing its budget outline and expenditure of N309 Billion in the year 2014.

• Declaration that NDDC is under the law obligated to release certified true copy of Newspapers, journals or documents showing tender bids for each of the projects awarded by the commission between 2012- 2014 and receipts of payments to them.

• Declaration that NDDC must release to them certified true copy of documents detailing the breakdown of personnel and re-current expenditure for youth, women, sport and cultural activities between2013-2014.

• Declaration that NDDC must release certified true copy of materials, written, audio, visual, sound and electronic recording of meetings held with Niger Delta Communities on NEEDS assessment between 2012-2014.,

• Declaration that NDDC is under the law obligated to release certified true copy of documents detailing list, academic particulars, selection criteria of 210 beneficiaries of the 2014 Niger Delta Commission, Postgraduate Foreign Scholarship Program to them.

• Declaration that the 1st Respondent is under the law obligated to release certified true copy of documents showing the commission’s support for INEC, Political parties or stakeholders of parties by the commission between the year 2013-2014.

• Declaration that NDDC owes a constitutional duty to them to release to them certified true copy of documents detailing the amount of money transferred to the commission from Ecological Fund and the remittance by oil-producing and extractive industries and international oil companies to the commission between 2013-2014 and how the money was expended.

• An order of perpetual injunction restraining NDDC, its servants, agents, privies, or any other person from requesting for fund, monies, warrant, budgetary allocation or doing anything capable of interfering with their rights pending the disclosure of information as requested for in Exhibit A.
• An order of cost of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) against NDDC as the cost of instituting prosecuting this action from the date of judgment and interest therein at 10% per annum until judgment sum is fully liquidated.

• An order of conviction against NDDC to a fine of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) for denying them requested information from the date of judgment and interest therein at 10% per annum until judgment sum is fully liquidated.

The group had in a letter dated January 6, 2015, requested the release of certified true copies of documents detailing certain information which was declined. It approached the Court when its FOIA request for the said information was denied.

After hearing the argument of both parties, the Court dismissed the Preliminary objection raised by NDDC, granted most of the reliefs sought by the group and then struck out the names of President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Minister of Finance as respondents.

The court also dismissed and refused five of the reliefs sought by the group namely:

• An order of court appointing an independent auditor to audit the account of NDDC and handing over the report to the court, the group or whoever is interested.

• An order of perpetual injunction restraining the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Minister of Finance, their agents, servants, privies and by whomsoever from approving any expenditure, appropriating any sum, issuing any warrant, money or grant including but not limited to the 2015 budget estimate of NDDC, or releasing, giving of funds, monies, budgetary allocation to NNDC, their servants, agents, privies or any other person or doing anything capable of interfering with the applicants rights pending the disclosure of information as requested to the applicants.

• An order of perpetual injunction restraining NDDC, their servants, agents, privies or any other person from requesting for fund, monies, warrant, budgetary allocation or doing anything capable of interfering with the applicants’ rights pending the disclosure of information as requested for in “Exhibit A”

• An order of cost of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) against NDDC as the cost of instituting prosecuting this action from the date of judgment and interest therein at 10% per annum until judgment sum is fully liquidated.

• An order of conviction against NDDC to a fine of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) for denying them requested information from the date of judgment and interest therein at 10% per annum until judgment sum is fully liquidated

Emeka Akwuruoha and P. I. Ogbu respectively, represented NDDC and Ministry of Finance.

ISOC Receiving Nominations for 2017 Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Society (ISOC) is calling for nominations into its 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductee class. The Internet Hall of Fame seeks to celebrate people who have contributed to the existence of the Internet, with innovations that have enabled people all over the world to connect to the life-changing global network of networks.

The year 2017 marks a significant milestone for the Internet Society as it celebrates 25 years of dedication to an open, secure Internet that provides opportunities for people all over the world. There has been a lot of advancement on the Internet over the years, as a result of this, the Internet Hall of Fame has been used to honor selected group of visionaries and innovators who were instrumental in the Internet’s development and advancement as it evolved.

The first set of inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame which included Internet luminaries such as Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee were described by PC Magazine as “Internet rock stars” and operating on a “whole different level of cool” according to MSNBC.

Now in its fourth year, the Internet Hall of Fame is led by an Advisory Board of past inductees who provide leadership in refining the program’s direction and selection process.

Nominations can include someone who deserves recognition for the technological innovations they conceived, communities they networked, or work that has impacted lives in places near and far.

Nominees are considered for induction into one of three categories. Individuals who were instrumental in the design and development of the Internet with exceptional achievements that impacted the Internet’s advancement and evolution may be inducted as pioneers.

Those who made outstanding technological, commercial, regulatory or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s positive impact on the lives of others are inducted as Innovators.

Individuals who have made major contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet, either on a global scale or within a specific region that resulted in global impact will be inducted as Global Connectors.

“The Internet’s very DNA originates from the fabric of a collaborative, global community that fought hard at the Internet’s inception to make it open and inclusive. We all benefit today from the contributions of individuals who helped shape the global Internet with their innovative ideas, groundbreaking technologies, and collaborative work to connect more people and countries”.

According to ISOC: “It’s time to honor these inspiring leaders for their foresight, creativity, dedication, and achievements. We look forward to welcoming the next class of inductees in September as a cornerstone to the Internet Society’s 25th anniversary celebration.”

The deadline for submission of nominations for the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2017 inductee class closes March 15. Further information about how to submit a nomination can be obtained online from https://internethalloffame.org/nominations.