Last Event: Brazil and Beyond – An IGF 2015 Debrief

debriefThis year’s Internet Governance Forum is taking place in Joao Pessoa, Brazil from November 10 – 13and the theme of the 2015 IGF is “The Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development”. Delegates from all over the globe will debate critical issues affecting the future of the Internet at a time when much is at stake. Please join ISOC-DC for a discussion about the IGF 2015. This is an audience participation event.


Discussion Facilitators

Fiona Alexander – NTIA, US Department of Commerce

Courtney Radsch – Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Carolyn Nguyen – Telecommunications and Internet Governance, Microsoft

More TBA shortly!


Paul Brigner – Co-Convenor, ISOC-DC

Are You Happy With Your Internet?

A Discussion about Broadband Competition with
Blair Levin 

Friday, October 30, 2015 from 11:00 AM1:00 PM
Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center
901 K Street Northwest

WashingtonDC 20001

Eventbrite registration required, click here


What is the state of broadband competition in the US? Ask 4 experts and you will get about 6 different answers. How does the US stack up against other advanced economies? What can and should be done to improve broadband competition in the US?

Join us for a special discussion with Blair Levin, currently a Brookings Non-Resident Fellow, about policies for intensifying competition in the broadband era.  Based on lessons learned as a senior government official in the development and aftermath of the 1996 Telecom Act and the 2010 National Broadband Plan, as well as working with such efforts as Gig.U and Republic Wireless, Levin will outline a framework for what society should want competition to deliver, where competition comes from and the current policy levers most likely to intensify competition.


James Baller

Jim Baller is president of Baller Herbst Stokes & Lide, PC, a national law firm based in Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN. He represents clients in a broad range of communications matters nationally and in more than 35 states. He was the founder and president of the US Broadband Coalition, a consortium of more than 160 organizations of all kinds that forged a national consensus on the need for a comprehensive national broadband strategy and recommended the framework reflected in the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan. Jim also served as a consultant to Google on its Fiber for Communities initiative and is now the co-founder and president of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice.

Hal Singer

Hal Singer is a principal at Economists Incorporated, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Although his consulting experience spans several industries, Dr. Singer has particular expertise in the media industry. He recently advised the Canadian Competition Bureau on a large vertical merger in the cable television industry. He has served as consultant or testifying expert for online pokies nz several media companies, including Apple, AT&T, Bell Canada, Google, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, NFL Network, Tennis Channel, and Verizon.

Dr. Singer earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. magna cum laude in economics from Tulane University.

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center
901 K Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20001

Special Event!

5 in 5 in 5 – What’s Next for the Net

Friday, September 25, 2015 from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
This event will be Livestreamed at
Eventbrite Registration Required:

The history of the Internet is a story of unexpected developments and new opportunities. To explore what might be coming next, six people who are helping shape the evolution of the Internet will describe five different major changes to the Internet that could happen over the next five years. They will have five minutes to make their predictions, after which we plan to dive into a group discussion with the audience.

Breakfast and networking begin at 9:00 AM. Prior to the panel, we will be showing video highlights from the September 24 Internet Summit in San Francisco and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum held in August.

The panel discussion begins promptly at 9:30 AM.

Discussion Leaders:

Paula Bruening, Intel

Leslie Daigle, ThinkingCat Enterprises

William Dutton, Quello Center, Michigan State University (and former Director of the Oxford Internet Institute)

Martin Levy, Network Strategy, CloudFlare

Michael Walker, Information Innovation Office, Defense Advanced Projects Agency


Michael R. Nelson, Public Policy, CloudFlare

IGF-USA 2105 Recap

By Susan Chalmers

I had the pleasure of attending the IGF-USA 2015. The event saw over 300 participants gather to discuss a broad array of Internet Governance and policy topics. From the WSIS+10 Process to policy issues relevant to the Internet of Things, from the IANA transition to cyberbullying and the politics of innovation, the IGF-USA program had something in store for newcomers to Internet Governance and veterans, alike.

NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling

NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling

The day’s schedule had an excellent flow – testament to the experience and expertise of the IGF-USA multistakeholder advisory planning committee. Following welcoming remarks from the organizers, Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration Larry Strickling gave a keynote address during which he explained the strength and the appropriateness of the multistakeholder approach to policy development for Internet-related issues. Reaffirming that the NTIA supports multistakeholderism in practice and in theory, Strickling noted that the Administration would soon be engaging in a series of multistakeholder policy consultations, including on privacy best practices for the private and commercial use of drones.

Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker then took the stage for a keynote conversation with POLITICO technology reporter Nancy Scola. To the delight of the audience, Crocker opened with an anecdote about meeting Cerf in high school German class, in the 1950s. The two young men then formed an extracurricular math club with their high school colleagues.

Internet Pioneers Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf

Internet Pioneers Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf

Cerf and Crocker covered a number of different topics broad and finite with Scola – from the scalability of the Internet’s architecture, to IPv6 adoption, to details around ICANN’s new gTLD program – before welcoming questions from the audience.

Susan Chalmers, Kathy Brown, and Julie Zoller

Susan Chalmers, Kathy Brown, and Julie Zoller

Keynote remarks were also provided by Julie Zoller, Deputy Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy, US Department of State; Kathy Brown, President and CEO of the Internet Society; and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Senior Coordinator for International Information Technology Diplomacy. Their remarks touched upon multilateral institutions and multistakeholder, collaborative approaches to Internet Governance, the importance of the Internet Governance Forum and its mandate renewal, and the IANA stewardship transition and ICANN accountability.

The IGF-USA 2015 schedule also featured eight panel sessions, each treating a distinct and timely Internet policy topic. But for the limitations of physics I would have attended them all. Fortunately for us the Internet Society managed to record the proceedings and has made them available on its dedicated Livestream channel.

I attended the panel sessions Digital Trade Agreements as a Strategy for Internet Governance, which is my own area of personal interest, and Maintaining Trust Online: Cybersecurity, Encryption, Backdoors, and Privacy, a complex and multifaceted Internet policy area which I have yet to fully explore.

This latter panel, moderated by Jon Peha from Carnegie Mellon University, canvassed the challenge of balancing the benefits and pitfalls of encryption. Problems in this policy area were explored and solutions discussed from a diversity of perspectives, including law enforcement and security engineering. On encryption and the secure handling of sensitive information, for example, Eric Burger from Georgetown University described approaches taken to safely sharing health records across state lines for research purposes, using “multiparty computation” and “zero-knowledge computation.”

Maintaining Trust Online: Cybersecurity, Encryption, Backdoors, and Privacy Click here for bios

Maintaining Trust Online: Cybersecurity, Encryption, Backdoors, and Privacy

In a different realm of Internet policy, the panel on Internet Governance and trade, moderated by Edward Alden from the Council on Foreign Relations, focused on the inclusion of Internet-related provisions in plurilateral trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). One area that received particular focus from the panelists was on the free flow of information across borders. These provisions usually appear in the E-Commerce chapters of trade agreements, and would effectively prohibit a country from requiring that data be “localized” within its borders, requiring the free flow of information to and from that country, subject, however, to certain exceptions. This area raises questions of sovereignty, naturally, and whether exceptions to this provision for national privacy laws would be respected or at least defined.

Having sailed through a panoply of different Internet-related debates, insights, anecdotes, and illustrations throughout the day, I had anticipated being tired by the time the closing plenaries rolled around. But I was in fact eager to hear more, and the plenary session on Connecting the Next Billion was an excellent way to round out the substantive discussions of the day.

The “mother” IGF (as it was described during the panel), at the United Nations, has been developing deeper ties with national and regional IGF initiatives through intersessional work. One of the flagship initiatives of this intersessional work is Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion, an activity that seeks to solicit input from the global Internet community on ways to bring the next billion online, alleviating the digital divide. National and regional IGF initiatives in particular were invited to contribute to this intersessional work by feeding their respective discussions on the topic into the global IGF, for discussion at the IGF2015 in November this year.

The IGF-USA will make an excellent contribution to the IGF’s intersessional work through its plenary panel. During this panel, a host of experts discussed their respective efforts both in terms of hands-on projects (for example, ISOC’s Wireless for Communities project, or Comcast’s Internet Essentials program) and regulatory reform initiatives (for example, by the Alliance for Affordable Internet). All in all, this plenary session was an excellent display of the various efforts undertaken by different stakeholders to achieve a common goal, on a global basis.

Kudos to the organizers of the IGF-USA 2015 and its various speakers and volunteers. It was an excellent event – informative, enlightening, and of course, a great opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues on how to carry our shared goals forward for promoting a globally unique, open, and accessible Internet. And, as you can see, sometimes we have fun doing this, too.

The author with an incognito Mike Nelson

The author with an incognito Mike Nelson

Susan Chalmers


ISOC-DC EVENT: MONEY 2020 – Bitcoin and Beyond

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 from 6:30 PM8:00 PM

Eventbrite registration required.


BITCOIN & digital money 
For years, technologists have been working on apps to make moving money as easy as sending an e-mail–and as anonymous as cash. Bitcoin has attracted a huge amount of attention and hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. But is it the future of digital money or will there be a Bitcoin 2.0–or something totally different? What are the technological, legal, and regulatory challenges posed by Bitcoin and similar forms of digital money? Will digital money make friction-free e-commerce possible around the globe or will laws to limit money laundering and sales of illegal goods and services limit anonymous “digital cash.”
Join us for a group discussion with five experts (and the audience) on Bitcoin and similar services:
Moderator:  Timothy B. Lee, Senior correspondent at, covering technology and economics
Discussion Leaders
James J. Angel, Ph.D., CFA, Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Catherine D. Pelker, Federal Bureau of Investigation
John Collins, Head of Government Affairs, Coinbase
Peter Van Valkenburgh, Research Director, Coincenter
Organized by the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (
Hosted by WeWork Chinatown

ISOC-DC Event: Government Surveillance & The Future of the Internet

Eventbrite Registration Required:  

Webcast Live at  

Monday, May 18, 2015 from 12:30 PM2:00 PM

Governments have a special responsibility among stakeholders to make the Internet secure.  However, the Snowden revelations revealed that many governments, including the US, use the Internet to monitor, spy on and attack other governments, organizations, individuals and businesses. In March, we also learned that China is using the Great Cannon, a new malware tool to censor information.  These revelations have stimulated a global backlash against pervasive Government data collection, Internet surveillance, and government use of malware and netizens are increasingly worried about Internet stability and security.

On May 18, 12:30-2, The Institute for International Economic Policy at The George Washington University (IIEP) and the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) will jointly host a moderated discussion between Bruce Schneier, noted authority on cybersecurity and Chris Riley, Vice President and Head of Public Policy at Mozilla.

Our panel will discuss how increasing surveillance and use of malware could impact the future of the Internet, including:

  • Increased pressure from law enforcement for backdoors to encryption;
  • Increased calls for data localization (as in France);
  • International pressure influencing the IANA transfer;
  • Less legal emphasis/protections on privacy at national levels;
  • Less trust in government policies and strategies to maintain Internet stability;
  • The threat of Internet fragmentation.


Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist and Author

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books – including his latest best-seller Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive – as well as hundreds of articles and essays, and many more academic papers. His influential newsletter “Crypto-Gram,” and his blog “Schneier on Security,” are read by over 250,000 people. He has testified before Congress, is a frequent guest on television and radio, served on several government technical committees, and is regularly quoted in the press.

Chris Riley, Head of Public Policy, Mozilla

M. Chris Riley is a Senior Policy Engineer at Mozilla, working to advance the open Internet and Web through public policy analysis and advocacy, strategic planning, coalition building, and community engagement. Prior to joining Mozilla, Chris worked as a program manager at the U.S. Department of State on Internet freedom, a policy counsel with the non-profit public interest organization Free Press, and an attorney-advisor at the Federal Communications Commission. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He has published scholarship on topics including innovation policy, cognitive framing, graph drawing, and distributed load balancing.

This panel is organized by Dr. Susan Aaronson and Kyle Renner of IIEP and David Vyorst of the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society and is part of a larger seminar series. We are grateful to an anonymous donor for their support of these seminars.

IPN ISOC Presents: 2nd Annual IPN Conference in Washington, DC – InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group (IPNSIG)

IPN ISOC Presents: 2nd Annual IPN Conference in Washington, DC – InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group (IPNSIG).


Coming Monday, May 18th, 2015!

2nd Annual IPN Speakers Conference

Showcasing Delay & Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN): the Emerging Standard for Space Data Communications

Last year’s IPN speaking event—Space Technology Innovations: Enabling Exploration Above, Improving Life Below—presented how DTN can enable space data communications as well as provide network services in constrained terrestrial network environments. This year we are focusing upon DTN in the space arena. Our speakers include:

  • Vint Cerf (Google VP, co-author of TCP-IP, one of the “fathers of the Internet—and IPN-ISOC board member) will provide an overview of InterPlanetary Networking.
  • The NASA/Boeing team (Brett Willman & Suzanne Davidson) working on DTN aboard the International Space Station
  • The NASA team (David Israel & Donald Cornwell) who concluded the very successful Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration in late 2013 and who are planning the 2017 Laser Relay Communication Demonstration.
  • Scott Burleigh (JPL’s chief DTN architect) will be explaining recent significant enhancements to the ION DTN distribution (the distribution currently in use on ISS).
  • Keith Scott leads the Consultative Consortium for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) DTN working group that is standardizing DTN protocols for use in civilian space missions.  He will talk about the Bundle Protocol becoming one of the networking protocols being standardized for space communication as part of the Solar System Internet (the other is IP).
  • Scott Pace is the Director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. He will be speaking about the increasing importance of space policies as more nation states engage and collaborate in space exploration.

Admission is free and breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided—but you MUST register to attend. Physical attendance is limited to 150 people. The event will be webcast on the Internet Society’s LiveStream channel and presentations will be available on YouTube for VOD streaming after the event.

The event starts at 9 a.m. Speakers conclude at 4:30 p.m. IPN-ISOC Meeting follows immediately after and concludes at 6 p.m.

Boeing is hosting our event at their Long Bridge facility at:

929 Long Bridge Drive, Arlington, VA, 22202
Building 95-929

Register at: our EventBrite registration site

A speaker bio page will be posted soon.


Tonight, 3/31/15: Digital Trust and the Future of the Global Marketplace

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 6:30 PM8:30 PM

This event will be Livestreamed live:

Eventbrite registration required.

trustmeThe Internet has made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to participate in the global marketplace. But they face a number of public policy challenges related to cybersecurity, privacy, and trade. Chief among them is how to establish trust across far flung geographies and cultures. How can security experts, businesses, governments, and policy makers meet the complex tasks necessary to maintain the trust needed to ensure the future of global innovation – the lifeblood of economic growth?

Join our distinguished panel for a robust conversation that will cover:

  • What can the private sector do to improve trust in the global digital marketplace?
  • How can public policy and trade policy set clear rules of the road to help businesses and entrepreneurs succeed globally?
  • What can be done when conflicting national laws apply to a global service? Who has jurisdiction?
  • What are the basics of security, privacy, and copyright policy that businesses need to know?

The Panel

Jake Colvin – Executive Director of the Global Innovation Forum and Vice President at the National Foreign Trade Council

Adam C. Schlosser – Director Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Danielle Kehl – Policy Analyst, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation

Eric Burger – Director (General Manager) of the Georgetown Center for Secure Communications (GCSC) and the Security and Software Engineering Research Center (S2ERC at Georgetown)


Michael Nelson – Public Policy at Cloudflare, Inc.

 This event is brought to you by your friends at ISOC-DC and the WeWork Wonderbread Factory.

WeWork provides startups and small businesses with the workspace, community, and services they need to create their life’s work. We’d love to personally invite you to learn more about joining our community of over 16,000 members. Email or to set up a tour at one of our 3 beautiful Washington DC locations. Don’t forget to mention ISOC-DC for 10% off your first month of membership!


Eventbrite - Digital Trust and the Future of the Global Marketplace

IGF-USA 2015 Kick-Off Meeting

Please join us for an open multi-stakeholder meeting to begin planning for the IGF-USA 2015. Eventbrite registration is required. This meeting is open to all stakeholders who wish to make a positive contribution to the IGF-USA for 2015. Remote participation will be available and details will be posted shortly.

Eventbrite - IGF-USA 2015 Multistakeholder Kick-Off Meeting

Upcoming Events


Governments and Internet Governance 

Institute for International Economic Policy 
The George Washington University
1957 E Street – 6th floor
Washington , DC

Monday January 26, 2015
12:30 – 2:00 pm

This event will be streamed live at

Eventbrite Registration Required – Click Here



ISOC-DC & ISOC Canada Happy Hour

Join us, and our friends from Chapters near and far for a warm winter meet and greet with the Chapter and other special guests.

January 13th
The Science Club
1136 19th Street NW
Washington, DC
6:30 pm – 

Click here for the Event on Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 3.36.58 PM

Beyond The Dot 2015

If you work with brands and are interested in Internet issues and policy, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity: Reduced tickets for ISOC DC members to the Beyond the Dot Conference at the Newseum on Jan. 21st are available! Speakers include bestselling author and social media expert Dr. James Fowler and Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and a member of the U.S.-China Security Review Commission; Debbie Cohn, Former Commissioner For Trademarks: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); and Akram Atallah, President of the Global Domains Division at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Visit to register today, and use code BTDISOC15 to receive the discount!

Save the Date

Our next panel event in collaboration with the Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) at The George Washington University will be on January 26th during lunchtime –

Governments and Internet Governance

Despite their long experience in global and domestic governance, policymakers from many nations struggle to find their way in Internet governance. Although policymakers can regulate the Internet within their borders and are the only actors at venues such as the UN and the WTO,  some officials are uncomfortable with venues such as the IGF, ICANN, or IETF,  where governments are just one of many stakeholder groups. Meanwhile,  many people in the Internet policy community look cautiously on increased participation by governments in the technical infrastructure and governance bodies that underpin the Internet.  This event examines several different governmental perspectives on Internet governance. 


Amr Aljowaily, Minister Plenipotentiary at Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in NY

Veni Markowski, Internet Society, Bulgaria

David Satola, Lead ITC Counsel at The World Bank

Carolina Debs, First Secretary, Science and Technology Section, The Embassy of Brazil



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