March 21, 2013
Women and the Arts on Tuesday.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Sen. Ron Wyden and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade spoke in between videos depicting CCIA’s 40 year history. CCIA was started by seven small to mid-sized companies who were trying to compete with IBM.
Chehade said those like CCIA who are doing all they can to advocate for Internet freedom are facing a dangerous time now. He said the problem with the WCIT in Dubai was that several countries understood the issue and were trying to gain more government control over the Internet. Meanwhile, the US, Sweden, parts of the EU, Brazil and Kenya were fighting for Internet freedom.
“But the rest of the countries in the middle had no clue. This is what amazed me,” Chehade said. He explained that since then he has been traveling the world to explain to other countries about all the critical resources the Internet brings.
“It’s not just about Internet freedom only. For them it’s about Internet opportunity,” Chehade said. He offered examples like Kenya, which focused on growing the Internet and Internet businesses. Now it is 20 percent of Kenya’s economy. He said that after South Africa focused on the Internet it surpassed mining in importance to its economy.