Experts highlight Palestine’s Internet risks and opportunities

The Internet Society Palestine Chapter and Birzeit University held on February 23, 2017 a workshop on the opportunities and challenges that face internet users.

The workshop was attended by Birzeit University president Abdellatif Abuhijleh, head of the Internet Society Wasel Ghanem, Stakeholder Engagement Manager for ICANN in the Middle East Fahd Bataynaeh, and Palestinian Authority Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Allam Mousa, in addition to  a number of specialists, scholars and academics.

Abuhijleh opened the conference pointing out the university’s efforts to provide opportunities for its students to attain knowledge through emerging technologies. The university, according to Abuhijleh, realizes the benefits of these technologies and modern teaching benefits in the classroom through student improvement.

Abuhijleh talked about the university’s recent projects to improve entrepreneurship education, and contributions towards innovation among students and faculty. The Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is one example that he gave, saying that it allows the university to connect with businesses and organizations to access their technology and exchange data.

Abuhijleh alluded to the recently inaugurated Techno-Park, a joint project between the Indian government, the Palestinian Authority, and Birzeit University. “This park will be a platform for the production of knowledge, creativity and innovation, and will be offer investment opportunities and job opportunities.”

Ghanem emphasized that the internet is a cornerstone in daily life. The Internet Society Palestine Chapter is striving to promote and use the internet for the benefit of all people, offering local applications that integrate the local community with the international network.

Batayneh stated that ICANN seeks to promote competition and develop policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. Despite the vital role of internet in all sectors, only 50% of the world’s population is connected to the internet.

Allam, in turn, reaffirmed the student role in innovative digital projects. “The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information is working to create a legal milieu to guarantee legalized competition in the Internet. Palestine will finally take part in the digital revolution,” he said.