internet diplomacy

The book is not a technical manual, or a list of what to do and not to do. It is rather a collection of information, anecdotes, and experiences. It recounts episodes involving foreign ministers and ambassadors, as well as their ways of interacting with the tool and exploring its great potential.

In 2012, Fergus Hanson released two reports covering the scope of "e-diplomacy" within the U.S. State Department. He provided a broad view of how the State Department had adopted social media and other IT platforms to accomplish the business of diplomacy. Facebook pages for U.S. embassies, tweeting ambassadors, and new forms of knowledge management were among the examples cited to illustrate a larger trend towards the incorporation of information technology into the practice of statecraft.

Executive chairman Eric Schmidt and former Gov. Bill Richardson said they urged North Korea's government to drop barriers to Internet access to boost its impoverished economy. Officials in the isolated country, they added, appeared open to technological exchanges.

The United States, along with a host of other nations, has refused to sign the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) put together by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) in Dubai this week.

With the Arab Spring still unfolding, our mission was to open a real-time window onto the realm of digital diplomacy, showing dialogues between key actors and ranking their influence. Facebook arguably played a greater role in driving the changes in Tunisia and Egypt, but Twitter was the vector through which news flowed to the rest of the world (and back again), and we wanted to harness that.

Representatives of more than 190 countries will convene as an official body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Dubai. It is the first time the ITU has assembled to write critical new rules since 1988. Today, the internet has reached a crossroads, and decisions made this month could set it on a distinctly new path.