Internet Governance Forum Opens in India

The 3rd meeting of the UN Internet Governance Forum is now underway in Hyderabad, India, beginning with the Annual Symposium of GigaNet (Global Internet Governance Academic Network). Attendance has been affected by the violence in Mumbai, which is 700 km away. Life in Hyderabad, however, is quite normal, attendees are moving about the city and the suburban “Cyberabad” area where the Forum is being held with no problems, other than the sometimes horrific road traffic. The presence of Indian security forces at the hotels and conference venues is noticeable. Many Indian commentators take the same attitude toward avoidance as was taken by New Yorkers after 9/11: it is important to not be intimidated and to insist on going on with one’s life. I was especially moved by an opinion piece by Suketu Mehta in the Times of India: “The terrorists’ message was clear: Stay away from Mumbai or you will get killed. But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run towards the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. … I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro.” Hyderabad is not Mumbai, but I can say that we are running to it and are not intimidated.

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