Although you may not have heard about it yet, there are plans afoot for an Internet Governance Forum for the U.S. The location has been set for Washington, DC at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The date is set at October 2. The purpose of the affair is to debate, discuss and seek out common ground on some of the issues facing the global Internet Governance Forum operated by the United Nations, which will be held in Egypt November 15-18. In particular, we seek agreement on whether to support the IGF's renewal for another 5 year term. We note, however, that this is really an IGF Washington not an IGF-USA, as its organization, awareness and programming are pretty much confined to the nation’s capitol and it lacks the preparation time and breadth of participation to be considered a nationwide effort. UPDATE: You can now visit the website for more information, including a program agenda.
The Internet Governance Project along with several other civil society groups, notably EPIC's Public Voice project, has decided to support and participate in this event. Although the initiative came from Washington-based business interests and the program plans reflect the sometimes-parochial concerns of that crowd, we believe that it is a good way to raise awareness of the IGF and of global Internet governance issues in the nation’s capitol. If more civil society groups and people with diverse perspectives get involved, perhaps the event will become more than an echo chamber for the usual Washington lobbyists’ line on ICANN and Internet governance. EPIC has set up an email listserv exclusively for civil society; if you want to get involved please contact Katitza Rodriguez at email@example.com
National and regional IGFs have proliferated in the last two years. One of the most developed is European dialogue on Internet Governance.