Connecting the Next Billion is a key milestone for the Internet Community. Primary factors being addressed towards this objective include infrastructure, capacity building, policy coherence, access devices (such as mobile phones) and technology. Of secondary enabling factors, an important one is Open Source, both in technology (Free/Open Source Software, FOSS), as well as in terms of approach.
FOSS provides many advantages, including:
- Low-cost, robust, cost-effective, customizable, public software
- Liberal licensing
- No-cost community support
- Enables building of group/community applications
- Enables privacy, anonymity and confidentiality
- Provides the software 'community' model, combining developers, maintainers and users
There lurks numerous risks when a large number of first-generation Internet neo-literates--ordinary users, children, girls/women, differntly-abled, and the aged, civil society activists--join the network, including cyberstalking, surveillance, loss of confidential information, lack of anonymity, cyberbullying, malware, spam, scams, identity theft and more.
FOSS provides numerous technolgy tools & social models that helps building resilience in commmunities to become empowered users. These include general applications such as browsers, messengers, media players and office suites, to specialized software such as ToR, Freenet or I2P.
The BoF session will focus on ways in which communities can deploy FOSS and build capacity within the community to meet the challenges arising out of joining the Internet. The speakers are drawn from IGF participants from previous meetings. There exists a distinct group of IGF participants--judging by previous workshops on similar topics--who are interested in FOSS, who will constitute the audience.
Speakers provisionally confirmed:
Crépin-Leblond, Olivier M.J.
Teelucksingh, Dev Anand
Moderators: Judi Okite, Satish Babu