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FINISHED COPY

NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014
ISTANBUL, TURKEY
"CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR ENHANCED
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE"

03 SEPTEMBER 2014
16:30
THE FREEDOM ONLINE COALITION OPEN FORUM –
PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS ONLINE

 

 


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This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: I know it is unusual to start on time. We have a couple of contributors. My name is Andrew Puddephatt. I'm moderating the panel this afternoon. For those of you who don't know the coalition is a partnership of 23 governments who have come together to examine ways for freedom and democracy for human rights online. It was launched from a conference in the Hague and grown through a number of conferences and activities. Because for the last few years or so, there's been quite an escalation in activity, we want to take this open forum to explain some of the different aspects of the work we're doing. In a series of sections, we're going to be hearing about the annual conference, something about a major project of the coalition, the digital defender's partnership which some of you will know, an item on the workgroup we've set up, and an issue outlining the problem of restriction on social media, which may be an issue for some of you in the room. I'm going to walk around the room. I feel it is confining to be on the platform.
    I'll be able to bring you in in each section to make contributions. I need to get you out by 6:00 so I'm going to try to hurry things on. The first person I'll introduce, is Piret -- we have copies of this at the back, and what we can expect. Piret, over to you.
    >> PIRET URB:  Thank you. Thank you, Andrew. We have come full circle from the IGF of Bali. There I promised you that the content of the FOC conference where we worked out in close cooperation with civil society, I'm very happy at the moment that our expression has been realized.
Estonia was part of the freedom coalition, which means that in June 2013 until the end of the fourth conference last April. So the first part of Italian started four months ahead of event. There is a think tank called E-core academy, and they took the lead. With the help of Freedom House, they composed international (Technical Difficulties).
    But there is there an open dialogue which I believe will help them to move further to the right direction. We see the 5th conference in Mongolia as a great opportunity, not just for Mongolia, but for the whole Asia. Last week while visiting the whole country, we have promised to be there for them, to be ready to assist and advise any questions they might have over the cold winter.
So I would like you to extend your support to Mongolia and I encourage you to contact your partners there, to start brainstorming to build up as good parallel events as you held in Estonia last year. This is all I want to express at the moment. Later I would be very glad to receive all the questions. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Here are the cards. We will put them back there. The governments will report back on the progress and implementation of the recommendation. Can I get an indicator of the Mongolian representatives? I know they're keen to talk to you, and those of you who can come and join us at that event. Are there any questions for Piret at this stage?  Obviously, feel free to come back later in the meeting.
    The next thing I want to do is go through one of the major projects of the partnership. The Digital Defender's Partnership. We will have some discussion of that.
    >> Thanks. So I wanted to give you an update on what the Digital Defender's Partnership is. I will refer to it as DDP. I will tell you who we are and what we've been doing for the last year and a half. So the Freedom Online Coalition wanted to establish a mechanism on which they can respond to digital emergencies which were facing journalists, activists in international internet repression.     We've seen digital attacks that are attacking human rights defenders and journalists. Here we see the ban of Twitter and Facebook. There's been targeted attacks and dragnet surveillance on anyone who dares to speak up. There are people being tried for blasphemy, et cetera. These are very big issues and the globe is a very big space. What do we do? (Technical Difficulties.)
    These are really aimed if you really need legal support, if you've been hacked and you need to replace your equipment. If you need any other type of support that comes from a digital emergency you're facing. You can apply for emergency grants.
    We have direct-support grants which are a little bit bigger. We have a pamphlet in the back that can describe these different types of grants. These can be used for security audit of organizations. Once we find out we've been attacked, it's usually too late. You fix your vulnerabilities. People have been harassed, on the phone, text. Then there's malware. How do we respond to this?
    This also means that individuals who do reach out to international organizations usually reach out to multiple. So what we try to do is we try to get people together to coordinate the actions better. Some people might have closer ties to companies where others might have closer ties to malware experts. How can we piggy back on other's expertise.
    We've worked on pre-planning. Social events around the world provide surveillance in steroids. We've seen it in Russia during the Olympics. We don't want something bad to happen during these events happen and they usually target critical voices.
    And then people also come to us directly. That is the third thing we do for help. We try to find the right person who can help them, which is usually a local security expert or a professional security host who can mitigate that. This is all nice.
    So what have we done in the last year and a half? I think through the DDP, and through our strategic partners, we have supported 153 organizations and over 700 individuals who were facing a digital attack. These are from countries from central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These incidences can be support and a tour of the infrastructure.
    Legal support -- unfortunately, legal avenues are used more and more to silence people. We provide support to local security consultants who are put out. Most are media organizations that get attacked. They don't know where to start or what to do. So they need someone to guide them through the process.
    We set up temporary help lines in local languages when violence spikes or when journalists are being targeted. Think of countries like Venezuela or Ukraine. I just want to say that a month ago we also launched a digital first aid kit. This is done from a collaboration from more than 15 organizations working in this field. It was really a collaborative effort and it is supposed to give you through the steps of what you do when you've had to hand over your phone or your laptop when you cross a border and you got it back. And if you have ID's for potential mitigation strategies when you are facing a digital emergency, please come and talk to us. We'll be here at the end of the session, but we also -- we have a booth in the pavilion and we'll be there for the next two days as well. You can also reach us by e-mail, phone, or look at our web silent. Send us a DM. That was it.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Are there any questions or comments you would like to make at this time about the partnership? No hands? Okay. Obviously such a convincing presentation, there were no doubts or ambiguities in mind. I do encourage you to -- I'm sorry. Marcus? Yeah?
    >> MARCUS J. SCOTT:  I'm from the University of Austria. I wanted to ask you from which side you get funding all these activities and in particular, if the European Union, with its strategy of helping digital defenders, is part of that who support it.
    >> PIRET URB:  Thank you for your question.  The DDP got established under -- 7 states have been donating to the FOC. We do coordinate with other people in the field.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Additional comments? Another new feature of the work of the coalition this year has been the creation of the multi-stakeholder working groups to exam issues on which the coalition has an interest and where new thinking and policy and development can take place. We have two of the working group co-chairs. I will come to Simone Halink.  How we can intend to construct and build them in the future. Simone?
    >> SIMONE HALINK: I think we've had an eventful summer. In the conference we had in April, we discussed how to take the working groups further. We decided on the frame of the first and the third working group and got to work. We basically decided on a process which was framing the working groups. We made terms of the reference for the working groups and opened them up for applications for members from different stakeholder groups. Over the summer, those applications were reviewed and we got to a selection and both working groups consist of about 15 members from civil society and private sector and in the case of the working group that I'm co-chairing with Ron Debert (ph), which is Internet Free and Secure (Technical Difficulties) Citizen Lab in Canada, and the other countries involved are the US, the UK, and Canada.
    When we had the group together, we thought of a way to develop a common starting point because of course the field of cyber security is very broad. People have different backgrounds and we sort of started with a framing (Technical Difficulties) of cyber security and also how you can embed human right issues into cyber security strategies.
    And so to sort of be able to talk to that with a whole group and to see where to go and to create a common starting ground, we issued something that everybody could read. It is also online. We also send a questionnaire out with questions like, "How do you define cyber security? What are the principles underlying it?" Similar questions for the multi-stakeholder model. Of course we also ask more practical questions like, "How would you like to communicate?" Very simple questions which are essential for like, the cooperation.
    Over the last couple of weeks, we have received those inputs and made a first analysis of it. Yesterday we came together with the group to discuss it. And it was like -- it was very motivating and inspiring. We have a fantastic group of -- I think we were there with 12 people yesterday. There's actually more in the group, but we weren't able to sort of have everybody here.
    But we had a first discussion about these issues and where to take the working group. It was very constructive and actually lots of fun, of course, to work with a group of inspiring people to bring such an issue further.
    It's in progress, so I can't really share like any definite outcomes, but I can share with you a couple of directions that came out of the discussion yesterday in which we will be exploring in the upcoming weeks.
    So the first thing we will be doing would be to bring the input we've got in a report that will refine on a couple of issues. We will look at the definition of cyber security. We'll look at the principles underlaying it. We think it is a very important issue to tackle is the different parties and different issues.
    We want to see then if we can map the multi-stakeholder model -- I'm sorry. I'm actually saying this wrong. Sort of mapping -- in what forum cyber security is discussed. How those forums work. And how multi-stakeholder participation could be further developed there. Because what we see is that there is lots of discussion on cyber security but only very few people have a full oversight of what forms there are and how everything fits together.
    So where he think this could be an important added value of the working group. Also within the working group, there is a great interest in seeing how we can develop norms on how human rights can be embedded in natural cyber security strategies. This is something we can explore over the next couple of weeks. We can make an action plan and what types of output we can generate within these two contexts.
    In any case, the sort of next thing we will do and which will also be published to the rest of the world is a report that I refer to and so we think that will be published sometime later this fall. As soon as we have an action plan with the working group, we'll be able to share a little bit more on that.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you very much. I'll go to Katharine Kendrick and then I'll open up for discussion. Katharine?
    >> KATHARINE KENDRICK:  The third working group is dedicated to the topic of increasing transparency from governments and companies and in particular how they interact on issues that implicate the freedom of expression and privacy of their users. So today, as with working group 1, we had our first meeting of the members which we selected through applications this summer and one of the first things we did as working group over the summer was an inventory of existing efforts on transparency and the ICT sector, particularly around Government requests to companies on user -- for user data and non-content takedown.
    One of the things we've found through that inventory and through our conversation today is that a lot of the conversation about transparency in the last couple of years and the movement has been done on company reporting and increasing transparency on the company side.
    One of the defining characteristics of this working group of course is the involvement of governments and the collaboration of civil society, and governments. So we discussed in our meeting today, taking advantage of this group to take a more holistic approach of reporting by governments, companies and on the inter-faction between the two to give more transparency to how the two parties interact.
    So much of our conversation today focused on what some have called -- or considered the more qualitative components of transparency. There is quite a lot of work on increasing the number of requests to companies, the number of requests coming from governments. Today, working group members expressed interest in filling out framework and lies that go on on the Government side and the company's side with requests for the private data. The Global Network Initiative and the Center for Network and Technology sent a letter in advance that governments could take. That gave us a good initial platform for the groups.
    As an immediate next step, some of the governments have pledged to take back that letter to other agencies in their governments and get feedback that GNI and CT proposed on what would be immediately possible in terms of increasing transparency and also what would the potential obstacles be. Even having a conversation about what the challenges are in increasing transparency and what the potential obstacles are will help us move the community towards a better conversation about what the reality should be when it comes to having as much information as possible.
    So as an immediate next step would be, and in the coming weeks we'll be refining our scope of work further. We didn't have the full group here today as with Working Group 1, so we're still getting consensus from the full members. We are consideration that there is a 6-month time line, if you subtract December for the holidays, and the members of the group emphasized the value of having a concrete starting point for hopefully a renewal of the group's mandate and continued work on this topic. But we are interested in finding something that's both reasonable and concrete for Government and other stakeholders to continue on this topic.
>> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Obviously there is an enormous community here of knowledge and experience. If people here are interested in following the working group activity and contributing thoughts and reflections on the documents produced, would there be a means -- the website is available. Are you willing to welcome that contribution from the community?
    >> SIMONE HALINK:  It's clear that we, as a working group. It was an open working group in the case that the application was open. You have to make a selection and start working with a core group of dedicated people. I think one of the things we'll have to think about is the way we will engage with other people and the opportunities we will create for that. Doing that via the website and publishing documents could be a very valuable means and we can see at a next conference, we would organize a meeting which we would open up for a much broader public -- where we would discuss a couple of issues we're working on and get feedback through means like that.
    So I think the ways we want to do it is something that we would have to develop just like the rest we're doing, but we're definitely open for engaging with other people and hearing feedback.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Katharine?
    >> KATHARINE KENDRICK: We'll have various public documents along the way for comment.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Obviously we're a community of people who love to enter rooms and send e-mails in silence. Let's reflect that with a lot of human beings in the room, it might be nice to talk to each other, not just through e-mails.
    >> COURTNEY RADCLIFFE:  My name is Courtney Radcliffe. I would like to urge you to take a position on inclusion of an indicator on freedom of expression and internet access. There is a whole initiative going along to get this on the agenda. This falls right within the agenda of the FOC. I think it's somewhat less political perhaps than many of the things -- of other things that you're working on, I think it is a way that could make a very powerful statement when we're going to the UN to say, "Hey, the Freedom Online groups need your support." There's other people who are working on this. I hope that is something that you guys can make a statement on.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks. We'll ask the Government reps to respond to that and take another question from here.
    >> WILLY ALSAGOFF:  Yes. It's Willy Alsagoff. The Arab world is one area that appreciates help in these circumstances. Aspects of circumvention and privacy issues, I realize that language barrier is a huge issue. One thing we find is a deficit is trainers in the area. Not only is it language, but fear and various other aspects. Do you find that this could be a potential -- let's say problem to work on? Perhaps with -- through consultation with us through the region, to understand the best means to go forward with it. Because there's a lot of need, yet not much in response.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Did you want to pick up one of those comments?
    >> CARL FREDIRK WETTERMARK:  I think many efforts around the countries have identified this issue through the IGF negotiate nations, this is obviously another context in network. It is a very difficult negotiation. I think it is something that deserves to be made more widely. Thank you for that suggestion. Thanks.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Scott, anything you want to add to that?
    >> SCOTT: Thank you Courtney for that suggestion. As Carl mentioned, the inclusion of human rights of SDGs is not a controversial topic, there are elements there now, but the idea of adding in access and freedom of expression is a good one and we'll look into that.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: In response to our colleague in Yemen, would it extend to considering the capacity in the training area, or would that consider further discussion in the coalition?
>> Simone: The DDP is actually specifically aimed at mitigating emergencies {*} and digital security trainings are more of an investment. Also the Dutch Government and the Swedish Government are investing separately regarding more digital security training. It is something they should talk about as a collective.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: If I can have your card, we can come back to that after the meeting.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. As your agency promoting freedom of expression offline and online. I think it is a good idea to highlight the element agenda in discussion. It is a mainstreaming opportunity. We have with our colleagues based in Beijing which covered Mongolia, to get involved in the Mongolian conference. I also press that so many lines are picked.  I work to launch new intermediaries enforcing freedom of expression on Friday.
    We have explored three categories of the internet intermediaries, social media platforms as a phase 1 study. I feel that both of us really fit with each other to come up with outcomes.
Lastly I want to also press that there is a connection between (Inaudible) involved in almost every conference and have had the opportunity to provide inputs to the decoration. And really congratulations for this outcome. We are also doing a comprehensive study to provide sort of recommendation for the future options on internet principles which we are going to discuss tomorrow at our open forum. We have well considered this Italian declaration into the UNESCO study as well.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you very much.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I come from Nigeria. I sit at the membership of coalition -- my question is, do you really think that you're making a difference in terms of online freedoms? Especially in the light about anxiety of online freedoms. Do you think you're making a difference with your presence and activities?
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: I'll take one more and come to the platform. Yes. I'm coming to you.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you. I'm from Costa Rica. Being in Latin America and having two countries participating in this coalition, Mexico and Costa Rica, we support our mission in supporting much more memberships from other countries and that is what we are going to do in the region. But it is very important to highlight that besides, of course, freedom online and all transparency and accountability issues in our region, we're still dealing much more with accessibility and education and how to use internet. So these issues are very important as human rights, but we have first to deal with accessibility and getting every people access to the internet.
So that's priorities that comes in, but of course, we will always deal with human rights and of course the fear online.
    So be sure that from Costa Rica, we'll be trying to get more members to this coalition, at least from the Central American region where we deal with much of our countries in the region. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks. I'll take one more section before moving on from here.
    >> Thank you. So I would like to propose some idea that was actually briefly mentioned in the meeting of a previous working group, but stopped because it was decided it was a wrong time. Idea of benchmarking legislation and implementation of legislation related to internet freedom. I think this activity would be useful for all countries like to clearly define dimensions that can be used to relate legislation and its implementation.
    To create a methodology for those evaluations. So I think it can help to understand freedom online coalitions where they are, and it can be extremely helpful for other countries to know where they can go. So like that. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Okay. Thanks. So I think a couple of points there. Are we making a difference? I will point that one at maybe Simone, as the Government that really kicked this off. What is your -- it's a work in progress, but over the year since the annual conference in the Hague, what is your opinion?
    >> SIMONE HALINK: I will answer this question from a Dutch perspective and from a citizen's perspective. I've been on the job for nine months and I've seen a lot of things. I want to see action right away and I'm not used to political maneuvering which often takes a lot more time.
But I think through the experience good -- my experience in Mongolia last week I think is sort of is an example for where I think the opportunity of the coalition can lay. We went on a scouting mission for the conference. Of course Mongolia is located between Russia and China, both have -- let's say a difficult policy -- when it comes to internet freedom.
    Around there, in a special zone in Asia, I think the situation is actually becoming -- has become worse over the last -- it's been a period, but over the last year we've seen a couple of worrying developments.
    At the same time also like Mongolia is a very young democracy. They're very open to human rights and democratic principles, but they're still building very hard on that structure. And so what's very interesting is that having the conference there will not only give the coalition an opportunity to sort of promote internet freedom in the region which will give stakeholders in the region and other countries an opportunity to raise issues there, participate in a high-level conference, but it will be an opportunity for Mongolia itself to put freedom of internet on there.
    But at the same time, there's also worrying developments. A blogger was recently arrested for exposing corruption. If you look at what the Freedom Online Coalition has done, we've made a difference. We've recently released a social media statement -- or a statement on social media blocking which we'll discuss in a bit. We've developed working groups which are dealing with points that should be brought into context. We have had a lot of people taking on that.
    I think with that, you actually see where we make the difference. I understand maybe that sometimes not everything we do, not every diplomatic effort that we put into this coalition is seen. If you have any suggestions or if you think there are specific things are we should be doing more, that is the reason why we're here. I think we're also trying via the website, but also through the work of the support unit, to make it more approachable for discussing issues like those.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: I know that Sweden has seen this as a key element of the work that it wants to pursue. I guess that is something that you would endorse that?
    >> I would like to address the point made by the gentleman from Nigeria. I've been doing a lot of the negotiation in the human context, specifically, and I think in that context, it is very clear that it is a great value to have a set of member countries who share values that extend between regional groups that you night them beyond their usual block voting patterns. That has been a very clear gain with this coalition.
    Regarding the question about accessibility and human rights and expression, I kind of don't see those two as a dichotomy or opposite, I think often we tend to portray that debate as activism and human rights second. I don't think that is any contradiction between the two.
    Sweden puts a lot of emphasis on building access and on constructing infrastructure in developing countries, but I think what we're seeing now is the need for more and better regulation and better rule of law mechanisms within this field. And that is -- I think especially important in those countries that are experiencing very fast growth. This is the informative stage for those countries once legislation and regulation is put into place. I will revert briefly back to the Working Group 2, which Sweden is doing, and it has not yet started.
    It was designed to look at the connection between open internet and economic growth. We are reframing that to look more towards the rule of law and development. Not the least to serve as a guide for development efforts in this field which we're investing heavily in.
We also note that the World Bank will be prioritizing this field in their development report which will be entitled "Internet And Development" which will be a guide on how to implement the online world into a nice landscape. So thanks.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: We need to move on. I think we need to come back to you on that. This coalition is adding what would be the addition to things like Freedom House, and how the Coalition can raise the standards. I think that is something that we would need to reflect upon. Unfortunately we can't get the website up. We think it is just the internet connectivity and nothing more sinister than that. But we do have a website launched. Freedomonlinecoalition.com. If you can get it.
    They are dealing with their increasing restrictions on social media. There's a growing, tighter restriction. Before we come to the statement and the response, get perspective from civil society and business on the nature of that problem. I want to start with Sabet Shamanti (ph) who co-organized the UN conference which will be at Bilgi University and others in Turkey. But tell me about the social media problems you're seeing in Turkey, and how it is impacting you as writers, bloggers and activists?
    >> SABET SHAMANTI (ph):  First of all, as many of you heard, ex-prime minister and now President of Turkey calls social media a menace. Turkish governments always has the power of the media, newspapers, television, magazines.
    But when internet came around, they couldn't understand how they can go and how they can stop the freedom information on that because internet wasn't for them and they always work against them because they can't just censor everything they want. They can't do this like the old ways and now they are calling it a menace.
    Right now, in Turkey, we have more than 50,000 websites blocked. It is getting more and more every day. We couldn't know the exact number because everything they've done on the internet is closed to the public. We couldn't get any information from them. We don't know what they are doing on censorship and surveillance. Just we are testing, learning, and trying to get information as we do.
Also, 5651 is the Turkish version of the Internet Bill. It was renewed in February. They have the right to censor and block any website they want without any court order. They have the right to stop any website located in Turkey and they can do like in court order again.
    Also they have right on the ISPs right now, and now they -- the Government forced all ISPs to start a union and these union has to obey what Government and what Government wants from them and they have to do everything they do otherwise their license will be taken away and they can't have any right to serve people anyway.
    Also as maybe you heard about recently, journalists were put in prison because they spread information about the Gaza issue. Also we have new surveillance to start to using and they are planning to use in here. For example, Turkish Government forces all ISPs to use DDP technology to be surveillanced. Therefore they are forcing all kind of legal tools and illegal tools to suppress activists and journalists to directly censor them.
    So basically, we don't have so much internet freedom or humor rights in Turkey. We are having hard time in here. Somehow the Turkish Government doesn't see that. They say, "Everything here is great. There isn't any censorship or surveillance." So that's I guess one of the reasons why none of our proposals for the IGF accepted. We made five proposals for the IGF. Actually, none of them directly about Turkey situation, but somehow, being from Turkey, I guess it's up to us for making workshops here.
    This is the reason why we're doing the Internet on Governance Forum. We think if we can't get any workshop and internet plans going, we should go there any way, we should also make excitement to talk about the things we couldn't have time or space or we couldn't -- also other people that couldn't have time or space to talk issues like that.
    So we are only inviting anyone who are interested about what civil society says, what activists, journalists and what other groups says, and come and talk with us. We want to talk every single one of you to how can we do something about to change the situation in here? Also we want to help all activists and other groups that around the world to work together and we want to do something good in here. And that's why we are at the IGF, and that's why we are doing this.
    There are brochures in the back about more detail about the situation in Turkey and about the Internet Governance Forum. You are all invited. If you want to learn about more about the situation in Turkey or you want to help us, feel free to talk with me after the panel. Thanks.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you. It's very good you can be here. I'm sorry you were unable to have a seat in the IGF as a whole. I want to say to Marcus, you are seeing patents throughout the world. Can you tell us the kind of patent you are detecting and how you see the social media restrictions, if it's going up, getting worse, give us an idea of the overall flavor.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you. My name is Mark. We are trying to frame internet forums to open up. Sometimes censorship is something different. I would say they all pressure to limit the space for -- the spaces for user to express their opinion. It comes different forms.
    Recently, there was a kind of misunderstanding around the kind of balance that intermediaries need to keep to allow user to enforce very important things to materialize, to have control over the information that are about them online. So that is something that probably requires further discussion. We believe through the initiative we align is us looking at the consequence of the right to are forgotten, or the right to religion.
    Another trend we see is the old pressure from governments to go for the localization. Localization is per se from a business perspective is against the old concept of the free-of-flow of information. All service providers should be able to compete in a very open and effective way globally, but as other important consequence, which is giving to governments more control over the data flowing in the national networks, and there providing them more power of enforcement of collect data and how they are stored in a given country.
    That is why we generate -- tend to consider that it is a residential exercise. Because it not always comes together with transparency. And then I would like to arrive to the third point and again, that -- for us, these are our priorities to counter-balance all these threats.
    Transparency, accountability and the rule of law are things we put on the top of our priorities. We are pushing these in different ways. We totally support transparency from the coalition. We believe that more and more governments and industries should embrace transparency as a general policy. We've seen a lot of progress. Sometimes we tend, for example, to look at the discussion arriving at the IGF, people don't really say they don't really follow-up or there's no progress, but if we look at four or five years ago, if you look at transparency, you would see a few companies. Even governments are looking at transparency with not the same approach. Today, we think transparency is the only way to repair trust.
    The rule of law is important, especially in the concept of debate around surveillance. There is no way to move around that without enforcing the rule of law without having clear procedures in order to access information, in order to enforce the existing laws. And then on top of that, accountability. We believe we would be more than happy to come and listen at the debate at the governance forum. There is no one-stop shop for talking about these issues and companies should be very open and very present in the debate in order to answer questions and be part of -- also receive criticism.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks very much, Marcus and Ahmed for painting the picture. Scott comes to you from the State Department. How does the world look to you concerning the world media and global restrictions. What was their reason -- why did the coalition feel the need to come up with a statement on social media restrictions?
    >> SCOTT: Needless to say, we're quite concerned. It's not only situations like Turkey, it's situations in Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Iraq. We're seeing a proliferation of attempts to shut down social media. That's why we felt it was justified to come together and issue a statement on this. I think this is the second time the Freedom Online has issued a statement. It is one example of how the Freedom Online has made a difference.
    They have the ability to limit speech but in very very narrow ways, when it threatens the national security public order or the rights and reputations of others. While governments are using these sorts of rationales to crack down on social media, they're doing so in an over-broad, general, and vague ways.
    We've seen governments rachetting up their efforts to enforce rules couched in these terms. We've seen governments putting ownness to partner governments carrying out these restrictions or not allow that company to do business inside the country.
    And we're seeing situations such as those in Thailand and Iraq where the Government simply asserts a broad national security concern and then radically limits the way in which social media platforms are regulated and/or restricted.
    We think these actions go above and beyond what international law permits. That's why we felt the need to collectively speak out about this growing and worrisome trend.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks. If I could just come to Kyle Fredrick. I know you work in the UN with some tough and often hostile negotiations. Where do you see this coming from and how do you see the importance of the coalition in taking a clear stand and making a statement about the problem that it's highlighting?
    >> KYLE FREDRICK: Thanks, Andrew. I think it's quite clear that there has generally been a hardening of the environment surrounding freedom of expression issues, not only when it comes to the internet, but broadly. I think it's -- we're very much concerned specifically when it comes to freedom online because we do see a tendency to treat the online environment as being something separate from the real world.
    This is a line of argumentation that we can see in many different foras, increased pressure on treating internet issues separate from other aspects of the same issues, whether it comes to security or democracy, there by creating a free-standing set of norms for the internet.
    From our perspective, this is obviously long-term would mean hollowing of human rights norms because in 20 years time, it's hard to think of any human activity that will not at least, to some extent, play out on the internet. So with a long perspective, this is a crucial future for human rights broadly.
    I think in this context, it's been very important to see that we've been able to assemble a consensus around resolution text that says that human rights apply offline as they do online. In 2012, a consensus was reaffirmed from that earlier this year also by consensus, and I think this was an important -- it was an important stepping stone in creating a solid basis when it comes to international norms when it comes to restrictions on social media and it creates a solid statement for this FOC statement. But it's clear that the differences between different countries on their views on their strategies and ways those strategies are tied to longer-term security policy goals are quite clear. So we're concerned about that. Especially the long-term hollowing the human rights, broadly.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: I'm going to throw it open. I'm interested in getting people's experiences from anywhere out in the world. About any patterns you have seen in social media. I'll start in the back here.
    >> Hi. I have to make a correction first. I work for the (Indiscernible) of Turkey. The gentleman from Turkey said the proposal for IGF was rejected because the Turkish Government denied it. As you know, workshops are determined by the UN. So the Turkish Government has nothing to do with this decision. I have to make this correction. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you very much. Anyone else like to come in on the over-all issue? Yeah.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thanks. Joy Letty from the APC. We are actively engaged. We think it is important that like-minded governments do organize in arguing strongly around human rights online in relation to organizing -- particularly in normal-sitting environments like the Human Rights Council. Seeing that the point has been raised in the discussions. I'm very concerned about what the position of the Freedom Online Coalition might be on the right to privacy in the digital age, which is being discussed in the Human Rights Council next week. I'm worried that we won't see the same sort of consensus in relation to Freedom Online. We won't see that same consensus us. I think we need a clear sense of how the coalition is setting on that. How we can support Freedom Online members, and strengthen then that massive violence is an offense. It is great that we can participate together and have a discussion. I think in terms of a spirit, we need something strong from the coalition on that. I just need a response on that.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you, Joy. I'll get a couple of others.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Will from InterNews. Any blocking of social media use is in law, particularly in cases where Government is citing national security or public order. I'm thinking recently the role of blocking or addressing the use of social media in the immediate use of conflict. An example would be the alleged rape in Mandalay and the violence that happened afterwards. The violence was then fanned by Facebook postings and so on.
    If you could I will illuminate when the Government would have, in the absence of other delays, seeking a legal recourse, perhaps a justification to shut down broadcaster media. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks. There are other governments in the room other than those on the platform. They should feel free to try to respond to any of the questions.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much for the discussions. One thing related to Freedom Online -- sorry, freedom of expression online, and especially in many other countries is the expert of surveillance and the trade and surveillance equipment. Without mentioning specific companies, but we've seen in the past couple years several examples of either equipment or software being supported and used by repressive regimes to crush online expression.
    And it would be really good to see from the members of the coalition a greater effort to regulate this trade to make sure that companies who are exporting equipment is being used for human rights violations, that this is much better regulated. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Okay. I'll take one more and then I'll come back to the panel.
    >> AUDIENCE MEMBER JESSICA DEER: I'm Jessica Deer from Social Media Exchange. We're getting ready to publish a report that maps the new laws that are affecting online expression in the Arab region. Two of the trends we've noticed in this mapping, is that there are trends in so-called anti-terror laws and cyber crime laws. At least 12 laws criminalize speech across platform and the same goes for the anti-terror laws.
It seems to me that when we're talking about anti-terror laws or anti-cyber crime laws, if we -- are not also at every instance that we're talking about security and talking about cyber crime, if we are not also reinforcing the need to respect rights within those laws -- because I know there are a lot of coordinating meetings on developing cyber crime legislation, if we're not also including the rights aspects of those, at least as a matter of record, that we're actually somehow kind of turning a blind eye to the problem. This is just a trend that I think goes beyond the region as well.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks.  So if we can start getting responses. We have a question about whether you think there's likely to be a consensus along coalition. That is one question. Secondly, a question from Will is whether you think there are circumstances, what is your reaction to a Government responding to a media crisis saying it wants to shut down social media. The Iraqi Government says, "ISIS is using social network to spread terrorism." The question of equipment. That is an issue as well. Finally the importance of reiterating the principles of human rights whenever we're looking at cyber security or cyber law. I might come back to Simone. I think I'll put this on you, Kyle. Do you think there's likely to be a consensus among the coalition Government? What is your sense of where it is?
    >> KYLE FREDRICK: I will have to admit it is very hard to say. We haven't been able to do our own legal analysis. Even for us, we don't have a fixed position yet. This is a timing issue. Of course summer has just passed. So honestly, I can't say that. I don't know.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Any other Government have a view, go ahead. Anything else on the point Will brought up about exceptional circumstances?
    >> We're finalizing our analysis of the report, we're beginning to talk with our allies in the issues of the report. The issue is quite broad in the number of issues it deals with in some of the claims it makes about what the legally binding norms are. I would note that -- maybe we will provide you a fuller answer at that workshop. I think there will be a number of challenges there. My -- you know, the United States is very committed to staying in the tent as much as we possibly can. Aiming for the consensus and at last year's UN general assembly. Whether we can get there remains an open question.
    Colleague in the back. Will, I guess, asked questions about rule of law, and how to deal about situations like that in Burma. Maybe we should look at the statement again. When we talk about laws here, we're talking about legitimate laws, that is to say laws adopted through a democratic transparent process that are consistent with international norms. The mere indication of any old law is not sufficient for the rule of law standard to be met.
    In the Burmese context, if there is a false report put out either Muslim on Buddhist or Buddhist on Muslim, given what a tinder box that is, for the Government to conclude that that type of allegation has to be restricted, that it all situation-dependent, I don't think it would be reasonable in a situation like that, where the Government knows that an alleged act is untrue for the government to -- you know, I think the first recourse is to immediately say, "That's not true." I think that is a better response by the Government. If the Government feels the false allegation, the rumor -- again, drawing a line between truth and rumor is a tricky task. I mean, of course in the United States, we believe that more speech is always the better antidote to problematic speech than simply curtailing speech all together.
    But clearly Article 19 contemplates situations in which governments may need to restrict speech and specific circumstances.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you. Stephen from the is UK here. Any reflection about surveillance equipment, which I know many governments are thinking about?
    >> STEPHEN LOWE:  Tomorrow ask the anniversary of our civil and human rights, which we'll be publicizing one of the things we did -- one thing we didn't complete, because we didn't get it out by September the 4th, Tech UK has been working on with us and civil society, putting guidance out to society for people who are working around arms exports, to do due diligence, that technologies like to have looking at particular marketplaces. So I hope that goes some way to addressing the point you made. Once it's formally launched, I'll use the coalition to publicize it earlier.
    On the privacy report, I think it's worth remembering that the freedom online coalition is a voluntary group of people online. We don't have to have a single position. I don't think I've ever known a UN report where all the countries agree on the day it was issued.
    We have commitments and statements through the coalition that we are all signed up to. And so our response to the report will be based on those shared values. We may have different views on some elements of it, but we have a common understanding of what we do want to achieve in this field. Thank you.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thank you. If that UK report comes out, it might be an opportunity for the International Secretary to assess and share more broadly. On the last point, maybe coming into context on the working group of cyber security, part of the role is emphasizing the human rights standards. Do you see that as being an important dimension to flag up as our speaker would, perhaps, suggest?
    >> SIMONE HALINK: We've been discussing the normative framework and I think that would be sort of exactly sort of the right angle to also tackle the problem of restricting anti-terrorism and cyber crime and cyber security laws. What you still often see in cyber security or related policy is that it is quite reactive in the way that it is actually set up. So an event happens and that is used as an opportunity to create new laws and I think the procedure that follows doesn't take human rights always sufficiently into consideration. So I think this is actually something that the working group could do very valuable work on.
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Okay. Thanks very much. We've got about five minutes left. So there is a quick opportunity if you want to make a final comment if you're desperate at the end of the working day. After all your e-mails and many conversations. Basically, you sit in your workshops and do your e-mail, and you do your talking at the bar. Maybe we should suggest to the mag that they should think about the IGF, because people come and do e-mails without doing any conversation. Maybe we should ban social media. I might suggest that to get a bit of a livelier interchange. I think that's about it. Can I ask you in joining me in thanking the panel and their contribution and their debate on this?
    >> (Applause)
    >> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Just to remind you, the next Coalition of Freedom Online is in Mongolia which offers opportunities to meet an incredibly friendly and engaged people, a community that is hungry to be part of these debates and I know they would love to see people there. Keep your eye on www.freedomonlinecoalition.com. We're happy to share our contact details. Please do contact us and we can be in touch with you and whatever issues you want to raise. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference. Thank you.
    >> (Applause)

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This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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