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Bahrain, Oxford & Canterbury

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Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) inaugural conference in Bahrain 
This morning, the TRA-FOSI conference began its two day conference on child safety online, a first for the Arab world. The original conference had to be postponed in January and with the Icelandic volcano threatening air space last week it was touch and go whether the 20 or so speakers from the USA and UK would make it. Happily for everyone we are all here. I am moderating one session today “Building a national consensus for Safety” and I am on a panel tomorrow on “Women & Children’s rights online”. I’ll write more about the conference next week.
It was live on local television here but not alas on the net but I expect there are plenty of tweets and Facebook comments.
Incidentally, FOSI will be organising a European conference in Madrid on 27th May 2010 I shall be attending and speaking. Its fourth annual conference takes place 9th-10th November, 2010 in Washington, DC. I spoke at its inaugural conference and at its third but I missed its second as I was leading a group of UK academics in a two day seminar with their Indian counterparts on Artificial Intelligence in Hyderabad. 
Internet Policy Institute
Late on Friday afternoon, I finally made it to the Oxford Internet Institute: to spend an hour with Bill Dutton, its Director. I like to think I founded the Institute back in 2000 but I couldn’t have done this without Colin Lucas, then the Vice Chancellor at the University and Andrew Graham, then acting Master at Balliol. I have recently deposited the early correspondence and papers I produced back in 2000 with the OII; I have been on its Advisory Board since 2002.
Bill and talked over the upcoming plans for the OII which cannot yet be made public but augur well for us and I outlined my plans to create an Internet Policy Institute over the next six months. 

Canterbury Branch, British Computer Society
Last Thursday, I spoke at the University of Kent to a full house which, given it was the second Leaders’ debate on Sky (I caught it later on BBC2), was impressive!
I covered off a number of policy issues – Google’s sojourn in China and its longer term implications for the governance of the net; the security of the net and the potential of a terrorist organisation bringing parts of it down; the UK government’s ICT programme over the next decade and the need for an Internet Policy Institute.


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