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IGF Dictionary

Algorithms: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

Application layer : In computer network programming, the application layer is an abstraction layer reserved for communications protocols and methods designed for process-to-process communications across an Internet Protocol computer network.

Browser - short for “web-browser” : software application used to locate, retrieve and display content on the World Wide Web, including webpages, images, video and other files. The web server sends the information back to the browser which displays the results on the Internet-enabled device that supports a browser. Today’s  three most popular desktop browsers, according to Net Marketshare (June 2019), is Chrome (66.46%), followed by Firefox (9.50%), Microsoft Internet Explorer (8.84%), and Edge (4.71%). Other major browsers include Apple Safari, Sogou Explorer and Opera.

Cloud computing: The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Computer chip: A small integrated circuit, typically installed in a personal computer or other electronic devices.

Cyberspace: The virtual computer world, and more specifically, an electronic medium used to form a global computer network to facilitate online communication. Cyberspace's core feature is an interactive and virtual environment for a broad range of participants.

Cybersecurity: Things that are done to protect a person, organization, or country and their computer information against crime or attacks carried out using the Internet. It is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks.

Cyberattack: Any type of offensive manoeuvre that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or personal computer devices.

Civil society: All the actors, associations; organizations, movements, lobbies, interest groups, think tanks, etc., more or less formal, which have a non-governmental and non-profit character. It constitutes a form of self-organization of society into citizen initiatives outside the state or commercial framework. Its objectives are based on the general or collective interest in various fields: socio-political, solidarity, humanitarian, ethical, legal, environmental, scientific, cultural, etc.

Data : Data is distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way. All software is divided into two general categories: data and programs. Programs are collections of instructions for manipulating data. Strictly speaking is a single piece of information.

Data storage: Data storage is a general term for archiving data in electromagnetic or other forms for use by a computer or device. Different types of data storage play different roles in a computing environment. In addition to forms of hard data storage, there are now new options for remote data storage, such as cloud computing, that can revolutionize the ways that users access data.

Disinformation: False information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.

Email : Electronic mail (abbreviated "email" or, often, "e-mail") is a store and forward method of composing, sending, storing, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems.

Fake news: Type of propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media. In recent years, the phenomenon of fake news has spread on the Web. Fake news can be propagated for different purposes. Some are intended to mislead the reader or influence his or her opinion on a particular topic. Others are made from scratch with a catchy title to increase the number of visitors to a site.

5G - Fifth Generation Wireless : Fifth generation wireless (5G) is a wireless networking architecture which aims to increase data communication speeds by up to three times compared to its predecessor, 4G.

Freedom of expression: The power or right to express one's opinions without censorship, restraint, or legal penalty.

The General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR: The GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR primarily aims to give individuals control over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. The GDPR was adopted on 14 April 2016, and became enforceable beginning 25 May 2018. As the GDPR is a regulation, not a directive, it is directly binding and applicable, but does provide flexibility for certain aspects of the regulation to be adjusted by individual member states.

The Global Entry Program (US): Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at selected airports. Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment and any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in the appropriate enforcement action and termination of the traveler’s membership privileges.

Hacking : Hacking generally refers to the activity of using a computer to access information stored on another computer system without permission, or to spread a computer virus. The person engaged in hacking activities is known as a hacker. But hacking can also refer to non-malicious activities, for example certain corporations employ hackers as part of their support staff: hackers use their skills to find flaws in the company security system, thus preventing identity theft and other computer-related crimes.

Hardware : Hardware is an encompassing term that refers to all the physical parts that make up a computer. The internal hardware devices that make up the computer and ensure that it is functional are called components, while external hardware devices that are not essential to a computer’s functions are called peripherals. Without any hardware, computer would not exist, and software could not be used. For example, a webcam is an external hardware peripheral.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP): HTTP means HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

HTML - short for Hypertext Markup Language :  Commonly used mark-up language for creating web pages and for preparing information for display in a web browser. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document by denoting certain text as headings, paragraphs, lists, and so on and to supplement that text with interactive forms, embedded images, and other objects. HTML is written in the form of labels (known as tags), surrounded by less-than (<) and greater-than signs (>)

Internet Governance: Process of taking decisions and actions related to the Internet and how it works. The management of the Internet, emphasising the legal, social, linguistic and economic perspectives of the Internet, in addition to its technical base.

Internet protocol: The communications protocol that allows a unique identifier to be assigned to a computer, which we call the IP address, which identifies the location of a device on the Internet.

Internet of Things: First proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999, the Internet of Things would assign a unique identifier to each unique identifiable object, no matter how small or large, in an Internet-like structure. It is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. In other words, it is the materialization of the Internet in the real world. It concerns all objects, cars, buildings and other elements connected to a physical Internet network by a computer chip, sensor, network connectivity allowing them to communicate with each other, collect and exchange data.

International human rights law : International human rights law refers to that body of international law created to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional, and domestic levels. They are mainly obligations which states are bound to obey. It is primarily made up of treaties, agreements between states and customary international law. Enforcement of international human rights law can occur on domestic, regional or international level.

Internet search engines: A software system that is designed to carry out web search (Internet search), which means to search the World Wide Web in a systematic way for particular information specified in a textual web search query.

Misinformation: False or inaccurate information.

Multi Stakeholder approach : Strategy to foster consensus between all involved stakeholders, even with diverging interests, to include the public domain, governments, the private sector, and civil society. It is a governance structure that seeks to bring stakeholders together to participate in the dialogue, decision making, and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals.

Online marketplaces: An e-commerce site where third-party companies can sell their products or services to consumers. All of the transactions are processed through the website owners. The most famous online marketplaces are Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba,...

Social media: Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,...

Software: Software, in its most general sense, is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is a generic term used to describe computer programs.There are System Software, Programming Software and Application Software. For example Windows, MacOS and Linux and Software.

Telecommunications infrastructure : The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows. Since the telecommunication infrastructure is predominantly privately owned, there is a strong interplay of corporate sector, governments and international organisations in global debates. Internet data can travel over a diverse range of communication media: telephone wires, fibre-optic cables, satellites, microwaves, and mobile telecommunications technology.

United Nations : The United Nations (UN) is an international organization formed in 1945 to increase political and economic cooperation among its member countries. In addition to maintaining peace and security, other important objectives include developing friendly relations among countries based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; achieving worldwide cooperation to solve international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems; respecting and promoting human rights; and serving as a centre where countries can coordinate their actions and activities toward these various ends.

UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, established in July 2018, was convened by the UN Secretary-General to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, academia, the technical community and other relevant stakeholders.

Web Server : Web servers are computers that deliver (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL in your browser, this sends a request to the Web server whose domain name is The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.

Wireless Technology : Broad term that encompasses all sorts of technologies and devices that transmit data over the air rather than over wires. With wireless technology people or other entities can communicate over very long distances.In the 20th century it referred mainly to Radio, Television or Satellites. Nowadays we have two main Wireless Technology : the WIFI and mobile phone networks.

WIFI (Wireless + Fi) : Technology which allows tablets, video game consoles, printers, and smartphones to communicate with the Internet. Medical devices, laptops, and digital audio players also use Wi-Fi.

World Wild Web (WWW) : Collection of internet resources (such as FTP, telnet, Usenet), hyperlinked text, audio, and video files, and remote sites that can be accessed and searched by browsers based on standards such as HTTP and TCP/IP. Also called the web, it was created in 1989 as an easier way to access information scattered across the internet.