16 SEPTEMBER 10
SESSION R/N 7
UK NATIONAL IGF
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. 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.
Right. Hello, everybody. Would somebody push the door to, please. Do come in first. Hello. Okay. Can you just pull the door to for us? Thanks.
I don't? All right. Fair enough. I'll take that piece of technical advice, take it to heart. Thank you very much. Thank you for saving us from ourselves.
Right. Now, the primary reason for this get-together is to look at the lessons that are coming out of the time in Vilnius, although it's not finished yet, from people who have come from the UK delegation, wherever they've come from, whether it's from industry, government, civil society, or parliamentarians.
But what I want to start with is those who are here for the first time so that then we go on to those who have been many times, the old lags, if you like, and we'll look to seeing what they think has come out of it. But as I say, what I want to start with is the voices of people who are here for the first time and the impressions that they've got and what they think is important.
And I'm going to start with the group of young people who are here through the good offices of Youth Net. They have been making an excellent contribution to a number of the sessions already, an it's now more reflective on what you think of the show so far. So who is going to kick off? There's a mic up here.
Would you introduce -- can I ask everybody when they start off just to give their name so that it goes into the record. Okay?
ALEX : Okay. So I'm Alex he have receipts of the youth IGF, and actually, I know Allen said people who haven't been here before, but I was one of the two people who were here last year in Sharm El Sheikh.
Generally, our involvement I think has been a great success here. Progression from last year, in my opinion, was really obvious. Back in Sharm in terms of youth, there was just one specific session where youth was involved. I think this year we are actually attending different workshops like everyone else, really gave us a better, broad opportunities to get our view across. We weren't constrained by the fact that only certain topics could be covered in one very youth-oriented session.
I think this is a double-edged sword, so I am going to have to be negative here, I'm afraid. The fact that we are attending like other professionals has some problems while it is a great step forward, I think. Because like I said, they are the professionals, the experts, while we may be experts in our own field, as in the youth, the users, as young people who use the Internet, all too often from my experience this year is that debates move very quickly away from topics where we know what I'm talking about to much more high-level conversations. One moment you know what you want to say, ten minutes later, you don't know what's going on.
It's okay. Maybe I'm not embracing the bigger picture as much as I could be. I have been focusing on privacy -- and since much of this has no straight answer, a lot of this seems to be going round in circles with no straight answers.
As someone said, there's no point being a yes man all the time, so I really want to say how it was.
But then, even so, it's definitely been a very great experience being at this IGF. Really eye-opening statements have been made. I think though sometimes it's been a bit of an uphill struggle for us being at the kind of bottom of the hill, getting up there to help.
Let me tell you a tweet I came across yesterday. It's been interesting following the IGF tweets. This sums up our involvement as the youth here.
It says training and educating young people is the key to a future vitality of a free and open Internet. Thank you very much.
Thanks. Who's next? Do you want to pass the baton along? I think others are ...
I think you just speak.
SEREN: Is it just turned on already? Okay. Thanks. I'm Seren, and I'm from England. I joined the project, and it's basically a journalism project where we get to learn skills and stuff to become journalists. And Radiowaves, we could communicate the information back to the UK of what we actually learned.
And I'm very glad that I actually came to this event, and it was a bit weird because I just got an email, and I had no idea what it was about, but like I said before at one of the workshops, when you go out to the Internet, you don't actually think about who is behind it or who controls it. You just use it.
It's been so informative because it's actually made me think and realise a lot more than I would have done. And I think it's been overall very businesslike, but that's also what I expected. I didn't expect it to be informal. It's very detailed, and the conversations and descriptions were very -- they had a lot of information in them.
I mean, because it's Internet all over the world, there is such a diversity of people. It's interesting because people from different countries as well, different languages, and I love the fact it's not just in one place all the time. It just moves. And it's also interesting to hear from other people. We are from the UK, but to hear a different perspective from people in Asia, I think that would be good.
I think it would be a lot better if more people came, but as Alex said, we're moving towards that. It's a lot more than last year. It's also interesting hearing from businesses as well. And it was good seeing and talking to the people here that own them about what the businesses were and, like, what they did in the Internet world.
I think a lot of people have the view that young people don't get listened to, but I think that's not true because people do want to hear what I have to say. Everyone was really interested, and I'm glad that I've come.
Thank you. Next.
ALICE TOOMER MCALPINE: My name's Alice. I'm from Manchester, also from Radio Wave, so I got involved with ChildNet through the journalism project. One of the main things I've been doing here is creating stories, interviewing people, things like that, and blogging.
This is my first time at the IGF and also the first time I've ever gotten the chance to express my view about things which are Internet related and my experience on the Internet, and it's also been the first time that I've ever actually developed real opinions on Internet-based issues because it's kind of something that you're around every day, but you don't really debate it in everyday life, the kind of things that are being debated here. So that was quite interesting to actually find out what I did think about things.
So personally, I've gained a lot of knowledge and a deeper understanding of the Internet itself and also the way in which issues are debated. And one of the things that I noticed was the different sessions that I attended were carried out in very different ways, so one of the ones I attended was to do a digital citizenship, and that was very positive. And the panelists really wanted to bring us into the discussion a lot. And it seemed like more of a dialogue than maybe the main sessions, where they seemed more like just a succession of opinions being stated, everybody wanting to get their point across, rather than respond to other people's points.
And so yeah, that's basically what I have to say. I think just the kind of differences between the different ways people debate these issues is the thing that I found most interesting. So that's basically it. Thanks.
DAN SKIPPER: Hi. My name's Dan Skipper. I'm 14 years old, and I think that the IGF 2010 has been a great opportunity for me and all our young people to get our perspective across to professionals, experts, however you're involved in the IGF.
Personally, I attended three different workshops about access and diversity, and for me, these workshops were quite important to me because I have personal experience in getting -- finding it quite difficult to get online because of the place I live. So it was really important for me to be able to tell the experts what I feel about getting online and getting other people online.
Also, I went to a workshop about people getting online with disabilities, and I found that really interesting and got quite involved in it. And hopefully next year, if we go to the IGF as a youth group again, we can maybe get some youth struggling with disabilities who find it hard to get online to tell the experts how hard it really is so they can feel or see what they're going through to get online.
CARLA WETHERELL: Hi. I'm Carla. I'm 16. I first got involved with ChildNet last year and went to some Parliament discussions, but I never thought I'd get this far. I've become more aware of other people who use the Internet rather than just the people I know, my friendship groups.
And I don't normally get up in front of people and talk, but here I am. It's been a great opportunity, and I hope I can get involved next year.
REBECCA CAWTHORNE: I'm Bekah, and I'm 15 from Leeds, and I got involved in ChildNet through Radiowaves, so I've been -- like before this, I was more involved in being on the Internet but not knowing anything about what was behind it or security or anything. I was just basically using it to upload videos.
So through the course of the IGF, I found loads of information about what actually is working behind the Internet and why things happen. And I found that the workshop about digital inclusion, which was workshop 114, I think, was the most interesting as it gave me a chance to voice my opinions on what difficulties people are having getting on the Internet. And also I got a chance to hear about people from other countries and what problems they have.
There was one man from India saying that the government in India aren't even online, so how can they expect everyone else in the country to do -- to get online? So I think that the way forward is for the government to lead the way and set up ways that everyone can get on the Internet. Thanks.
ALISSA MORVAN: Hi. I'm Alissa from Guernsey. I'm 14. Over the course of the past couple days, I've found out a lot about the Internet from some of the workshops that I've attended, and I really hope I'm going to take back some of the points that people have made.
I've found out a lot, like I said, and really hope that I'm going to take back some of the things and hopefully tell my friends that their voice is being listened to and everything.
Thank you. Now, I would like to invite anybody who is here for the first time. Is there anybody else who is here for the first time from an NGO? No? Or from industry? In that case, Stephen, can I offer the floor to you as a quite new member of parliament, as well as new to the IGF.
STEPHEN MOSLEY: Yes. Thank you. I'm Stephen Mosley, a member of parliament. I am one of those who was elected in May as a conservative. We brought quite a large team from the parliamentary delegation. There are six of us, three labour and three conservative. The three conservatives were all new NPs, so first this was a brand-new experience.
I think the one thing that has impressed me more than anything at this conference is how well regarded the world regards the UK when it comes to the Internet Governance Forum. Everyone I've met seems to know that we've got a big parliamentary delegation, and they're all saying I wish our government did the same. I wish our parliamentarians got involved.
When you go back, when you have a look at the main stage, when you have a look at the seminars, the number of Brits you see there taking part, in a number of cases leading the discussions, it makes me, as a parliamentarian proud, and I am pleased that Britain is sort of leading the world when it comes to IGF. There were many countries that don't seem to be engaging in the same way that we are, and I am pleased and very proud that we do seem to be there at the fore.
I think one of the key things that has made that possible is actually our hosts, who are Nominet, Nominet has sponsored the MPs to come here to see what happens, and they also do a lot of good work in supporting the NGOs and people like ChildNet through their organisations.
I think the structure we've got in the UK, not the same as they do in America, not the same as they do in other places. It actually gives us an organisation that's not commercial, it's not government, but it can also -- it can sort of sit in the middle and do both and bring the NGOs together, bring government together, and bring people like ChildNet together. That, for me, is a wonderful model that seems to be working really well. I hope there are other countries, other organisations out there looking at what we do and trying to do something similar.
Now, when it comes to the actual meetings, the seminars, I came into this new, and I didn't know what to expect. I think I made some mistakes to begin with on the seminars I went to because I found that I quite enjoyed the more technical aspects. I think as a politician, as a legislator, what I want to see is what are the problems and how do you go about solving them?
Once I worked that out and I started to attend the right sort of seminars, I'm finding it very interesting. I have been to a couple, I'll be absolutely honest, that I didn't find as interesting as others, and I think they were mainly the ones that are quite -- an honest politician, eh? I think they were very much the ones that were internally focused, and they were focused on structures rather than actually achieving things.
I want to make sure, as a politician, that we actually do achieve things and we actually come out, and if there is a problem, we come up with a solution.
I -- some of the issues I've noticed, one, immediately, I sat down in the hall, opened up my laptop, turned on the wi-fi, and had an absolutely brilliant wi-fi connection, and it is much, much faster than the bandwidth I get at home.
Yesterday, we had a meeting with east Africa MPs, and they're saying, they are talking about hundred megabit hand width. Now, I struggle to get -- the maximum I can get at home is 8, and I live in the city. I live in Chester, the city I represent, an urban area, and the maximum we can get is eight megabits, and to be honest, it's normally quite a bit lower than that. Yet we've got these third-world infrastructure leapfrogging us, coming up with absolutely fantastic infrastructure, and we have to compete with these guys. We countries have to face these problems. I know some of you younger ones were saying we as government have to get behind and improve our infrastructure, and if we don't compete, don't upgrade our infrastructure, we will be taken over by some of these countries, not just Lithuania, but countries in east Africa as well.
So I think there's a stark warning there for us as a country, that we've got to keep investing. We can't stand still. If we start to stand still, everyone else will overtake us.
I was also intrigued by a lot of the issues on the security front. I attended a main forum feedback event this morning, and again, I know there was a young British lady there presenting it, which made me proud that we are also there at the forefront, but for me, some of the issues people are coming up with are issues you do need everybody, you need the private industry to come together to develop solutions, but you need parliamentarians, you need governments as well, to make sure that some of the things that happen are legal.
So I've taken things away. I have enjoyed myself. I look forward to joining future IGFs. And I'm intrigued to hear what other people say and if there's anything that we, as a government, can do to support you. Thank you.
Thank you very much, indeed. Excellent. What I'm going to do now is to look for comments from other participants. And if I can ask you to focus on things that you think either that you are going to take away and do something about or to focus on something you think that we, all of us, need to take away and do something about so that we focus on the practical. Sue, would you like to?
SUSAN DALEY: Is it even on? It is. Sorry. I'm not as quit as it used to be. Hello. I'm Sue Daley from Symantec. This is my second IGF, so glad to be here today.
So for me, obviously, focusing on the security workshops, security and privacy has come across, as you would all expect, as a fundamental theme and a fundamental area of interest for everyone here. I would like to say in every security workshop I went to, the young people were there and provided really good input to the discussions, so they should be very proud of themselves.
For me, a key kind of message, though, was that there needs to be a balance between privacy and security and how do we achieve that. My feeling is balance is perhaps not the right term to use. My message is you can't have one without the other. Online privacy, you need security to enable that, so that's something that perhaps can be discussed more about how the two relate to each other rather than have one rather than the other.
The other key theme for me was, again, all the different countries here at all the different phases of development. So while we are maybe more the developed countries are looking at cybersecurity, eCrime, really key security threats, some countries aren't even there yet, and their focus is very much still on access and getting people the actual equipment to get online, let alone the security issues. So how do we help perhaps raise awareness of security issues that they may face going forward, and how can we, perhaps, share best practice? And I think best practice in the security and privacy area, what works and what is being achieved is something that can perhaps come up in some case studies next year.
We had some questions about the definition of what is cybercrime, eCrime, so still some discussion. I think there's progress being made. I went to a workshop on public-private partnerships, the ICT, and strategies being developed.
Clearly, I think a key thing that everybody understood was that cybersecurity can't be solved by one person. It's got to be us all working together, and that's, obviously, a key theme.
I think in terms of one of the key issues that I would take away and perhaps take back to the UK IGF, though, is one of the questions that was raised in one of the sessions I attended. Somebody asked, okay, well, we're looking at these issues, and it's great we're all here, but who is not here and who needs to be here? Who needs to be participating in these discussions that perhaps aren't already? And I think that's something that we could take back to the UK IGF in terms of who is not involved in the UK IGF, who perhaps could provide some real input.
So I think in terms of when we go back to London, that's something that we, perhaps, need to consider so that when we come back, when the Brits return, as it were, we have all the people that can provide the input that we need, and then we can look at how we develop the UK IGF, perhaps, our work at home to encourage those people to be here next year. Thank you.
Thanks. Who wants to go next?
JILLIAN MERTSCH: Hello. My name is Jillian Mertsch. I represent BT. This is actually my first IGF, but of course BG has been involved in all of the IGFs to date.
I think our core reason for being here and what we really want to see achieved is we ensure there's continuity of this organisation because we really think that IGF is a key part of the Internet Governance ecosystem, and you know, we rely, obviously, on the Internet as for our business, and it's core to everything we do, and ensuring that there's a place where there's an open dialogue going on about all the sort of controversies in this space we think is very, very helpful, and there's really no other organisation that can do that.
And so we're hoping to see the UN, you know, reconfirms the IGF going forward.
I think a couple of my impressions as a first-time participant was one was sort of the lack of controversy to a certain degree, and I think leading on to your point that we need to make sure that we're bringing the right people in. And it may be the people that aren't quite onboard with Internet Governance are here and are taking part in the conversation so we can kind of help get them where they need to go.
I think also as an industry representative, there's a severe lack of small business here, and I think the next time there really should be a focus to get more small business members here. Thank you.
Thank you very much, indeed. I go to Lord Allen of Facebook next. We got the -- it's behind you.
RICHARD ALLAN: Richard Allan. I represent small business.
We're only about 1300 people, so Facebook is a small business, generally a big user base, but a small business. So we haven't been present previously at the IGF, thanks in large part to the activities of the UK IGF and Allen's personal powers of persuasion, we decided to attend this year. My boss was over in London, and Allen spent some time with him explaining why participation at the IGF would be very useful, and that certainly proved to be the case. I think we have been talked about in just about every workshop, and I managed to cover about four of them and was glad that I did. So I found it incredibly useful, just as a way of understanding the concerns that people have and engaging with them directly rather than through sort of secondhand channels.
I found the ability to engage with people outside Europe exceptionally important, where there are some very significant issues actually for companies like mine around access that affect our business that are being discussed at this event, particularly with the east African MPs are here, and the great opportunities now that the fiber optic cable has landed there now, and the kind of discussions that really come home when you actually have them face to face in this kind of environment.
I got myself lost on the discussions of Cyrillic domain names and the challenges for finding an appropriate domain name for Bulgaria. I think I understand about 5% of that, which is 5% more than when I arrived. And I certainly enjoyed, again, meeting the group that came from the youth IGF, which I think is a unique feature of British participation and much valued, again, certainly from Facebook's point of view, it's a bit like a kind of customer focus group as well as a discussion about policy issues. But to be able to go from particular issues and extend that out in this environment, as we heard earlier, to a discussion about the general principles with users really engaged on those is invaluable, incredibly valuable, and will be something I will feed back directly into my company, my small business of 1300 people, when I get back.
Thank you very much indeed. I think a little modesty there. Richard has been very much involved in these issues when he was a member of parliament representing the Sheffield constituency. There are those of us who regret he ever stepped down.
Absolutely. He's's been invest involved in his previous industry incarnation, and Richard, it's really good that you're making sure that Facebook is involved. It's very important indeed.
Can I -- well, a couple of old lags, I think.
You're not too far away. I can kick you. I'd like to thank Stephen for his words earlier, and I think it's worth coming here just for you to realise how the UK might be falling behind with broadband.
Apart from being an old lag, I also am the CO of an even smaller company. Nominet has 130 staff. And I have been around at the IGF since it started, so for me, it was interesting to compare some of the differences and some of the different messages. Some of them are pretty much the same, but there have been some changed nuances, and I thought I would capture three of those.
So a lot of talk as always about digital inclusion, and we're in a connected world, but it's very clear that many countries have challenges getting people online, including developed nations. And more than ever before, I've heard about access being viewed as a fundamental human right, and people having very high expectations of both industry and government working together to deliver access, safety, and security, that those messages are coming through ever more loudly and clearer than before. And for me, that means that the discussion of the multistakeholder model of everyone working together becomes increasingly important to us achieving that.
Protecting the user is another key area, of course, for the IGF, and the message that came through for me on that was that there are real opportunities for multistakeholder models, particularly on cybersecurity, and the discussion and collaboration and sharing of good practice in that area I think is a real opportunity for international work, but also for national work.
So my thing to do from that message, really, was to think about how we could facilitate that better within the UK and then discuss that more internationally.
And finally, I'm a good one for some practical ideas and shamelessly nick other people's good ones. I was at the U.S. IGF session just before this one, and they were using scenario stories, some of them a bit scary, I have to say, but as a tool to provoking some creative thinking and some vigorous discussion at the national IGFs, and I would recommend shamelessly that we copy that at the UK IGF as a means to encouraging some deeper thinking and some deeper discussions. So my action point is to send that one in somebody's direction for the next year.
Thank you very much, indeed. One of the people who is on the periphery at the start of the IGF process and the subject that John has campaigned on for many years was John Carr and Child protection. I think it's striking how as well as specific sessions, it's an issue that now sort of comes up as very natural, John, all the way through, which is in no small part due to the leadership that you've given internationally as well as within the UK. What are your take-aways and action points?
Yeah. I mean, it's certainly, for me personally, been the busiest IGF I've ever had in terms of the number of meetings that have been going on, certainly the number of meetings I've been speaking at, but it's just a reflection there are a lot more people here from my world, from my community of people who engage with these issues than there have been in any of the previous IGFs.
And it makes -- from our point of view, it makes it even more valuable, therefore, for us to keep on coming. This is sort of becoming lodged in our annual calendar as a major place to be, because it is. A lot of the leadership of that community come now to the IGF, and we have some extremely useful and lively debates and exchanges, not just between ourselves, but also with different elements of industry, with the civil rights/free speech communities, and also with government representatives.
So from that point of view, without question, the IGF has become a kind of feature, a fixed feature.
What I -- the analogy I've used before -- not brilliant analogy, but it's the best I can do -- is it's sort of the nearest equivalent we've got in the cyberworld is Davros. I say nearest equivalent because it's a long way off at a number of levels.
But this is the only place where you get so many key players from cyberspace, from the Internet world, gathering together where it makes it accessible to where you can debate and discuss with them.
I heard what people say about more small businesses to be here. My main complaint is not that small businesses aren't here, but that some of the really big businesses that are making some of the really big decisions about what's happening to the future of the Internet aren't here and aren't listening.
There are -- Richard Allen being here from Facebook is a comparatively rare exception that somebody that senior from in the companies are here. There are lots of companies that thank have got people here from middle-ranking positions, but the really top people who are making big decisions that actually will determine the future of the Internet are not here, and that's a shame. And potentially, in the long-term, it's a problem, I think, that we need to think about.
I mean, obviously, small business has got interest. Who hasn't? Can anybody name a group of people that hasn't got an interest in the future of the Internet in some way or another? But it's very obvious to me, at any rate, that we need to establish the important people who make important decisions about the future of the Internet are all here too.
So again, sticking with the positive stuff about the -- about the IGF, I mean, we brought together -- this is the first time ever this has happened, and I think it could only -- it couldn't have happened if there hadn't been an IGF, but we brought together all of the -- basically all of the leading researchers from the academic community and major consumers of research from a number of public institutions like the -- European Commission and interpol and various public institutions and academic researchers who have an interest in working this space came together with us as child advocates and child safety, child protection people to discuss how can we establish a level playing field vis-a-vis us, the public sector, the public interest, and the industry.
We say all the time the Internet is a global mechanism that is dominated by several very large companies, and there is not an equivalent weight of information, intelligence, resources on the civil society side. Not even the European Union sometimes, you know, with all of the resources that they've got at their disposal, would necessarily feel that it's got the same access to intelligence information and so on that others have.
So bringing them all together, my big take-away is that we've got to find a way to make that whole thing work better at the global scale for civil society organisations, and that depends crucially on good research because you've got to -- you can't win a war like -- you can't win any war without good, solid intelligence, good, solid facts. That's why the linkages with the academic community is so important, and we were so grateful that so many of the academics came.
My final point, FIFA. Before FIFA award a world contract to any company, they send out a team to inspect the facilities to make sure they're adequate and satisfactory. Actually, I don't really need to conclude the point, do I? But I do -- a lot of people have -- particularly from children's organisations -- have grumbled, entirely justifiably, about the cost of the buses, about the noise of the facilities, and it's just not good enough. And I sincerely hope that we don't have another IGF that's like that. The others have not been like this. It shouldn't have been like this this time. And I sincerely hope it's never like this again. And somebody should go out and make sure that the conference facilities we're going to use and the transport facilities and the food and all of those things -- people spend a lot of money and a lot of time coming to these things, and it shouldn't be like this.
Thank you, John. Malcolm. Sorry. Gentleman indicating there, come straight after Malcolm. Okay?
MALCOLM HUTTY: Thank you. Malcolm Hutty from the London Internet Exchange. What do we get out of the IGF? Well, first of all, originally, I would have started by echoing very much what was mentioned from BT, the importance of the organisation itself from an institutional perspective to be part of it so as to show support and to try and make it work, and both for what it can positively achieve, and I would like -- since I don't think Nick is in the room -- to give a hat tip to a point I know he always makes at these occasions, which is if it weren't for the IGF, there would probably be something else, and we would probably like it a lot less, so that's a good point to support that side of things too.
Over the years I've been coming to the IGF, I've really changed my mind, as I know many people have, from having an attitude that's focused primarily on the defensive policy king into some real actual values that have come out of it for us.
As an Internet exchange, we are very much part of the capacity-building developmental agenda from the point of view that Internet exchanges can very much help the developing world build infrastructure and build the capability, the core infrastructure that allows more people to get access around the world and get more people online.
Now, I first met the wonderful people at the Kenyan Information Exchange at the world society into n Tunis, and since then, we have been in touch on an ongoing basis exchanging know-how and so forth. There's not a lot we can do in terms of practical, financial, and so forth, but we do have a lot of experience running an information exchange, and they've done things like take our constitution and all that stuff to make it work.
Going from a strength to strength. And Makuchimo, a fabulous leader, now going on to the Internet Society and is going all around now around Africa and taking these exchanges and building up around Africa as well.
Over the last several years, I spent time at the IGF saying to anyone who would listen and particularly to government regulators, the Internet exchange is a good way of building capacity. You don't have to wait for the ITU. You don't have to wait for western commercial companies. Build your own infrastructure through something that's really quite easy and cheap to do. It's all about thrust in people.
And over that time, that message has become more and more received, and it's moved from being interested in what is it to how is it to would it work for us to how do we make best of it, then we've really moved past that. So -- and the support really building that out into more areas now with what I've just said.
Another area where I spent a lot of time this time -- I will -- is on the role of intermediaries, and there is much more interest now from around the world around what Internet intermediaries can do and can be expected to do but also protection that is needed from things they can't do and protection needed to ensure an open and viable Internet. There's been a lot of discussion and a lot of good discussion about that and some leadership from the OECD and the Council of Europe as well, but also from others in a workshop I have attended.
And I'll finish there, but I would just say on the facilities -- because I think this is a point that ought to be made -- I take John's point. It wouldn't be an intervention for me if I didn't disagree with John about something, though. I am going to say this. The Lithuanians have managed to provide far better remote participation facilities than in any previous IGF, and they do deserve credit for that.
Thank you for the positive. Could you pass it to the gentleman next to you there? Thank you.
GERRY ELLIS: Good afternoon. My name is Gerry Ellis, and you might notice from my accent I'm not quite from the UK. I'm from across the water in Dublin, Ireland, but Laura Hutchinson kindly allowed me to sneak in the door.
GERRY ELLIS: Thank you. I'm here. I'm a software engineer for 30 years, and I'm a consultant in the area of accessibility and usability under the name feed of benefit, and you may or may not notice, but I'm blind.
I'm here with the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability, and to try and bring this question of diversity to make it real and make it happen. And we just heard from the last speaker about the remote participation. The software used to do that primarily to allow people in over a hundred places around the world to participate was originally developed for deaf people, and this participation, which was two way, they were able to ask questions and even some presentations were done from remote resources, might have been developed for deaf people, but now it's being used all over the world. That's separate from the streaming notes happening on the Internet.
The message that we were bringing to the meeting was that exclusion actually costs more than inclusion. What's often seen as inclusion costs money. If you look at the whole of society, if you look at industry, if you look at eGovernment in particular, we go through points where you can show that inclusion is not just a human right, but it actually benefits, it shows real economic benefits. If I had a half an hour, I'd go through some of them.
But today I'd like to bring to your attention one resource -- two. One is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed in 2006. So you have that Convention. You have the DDA, the Disabilities Discrimination Act in the UK. So you have loads of legislation. But you also have the economic benefits.
The other thing that I'd like to say and the last thing I'd like to say is if we finally convince you it's a good idea to include people with disabilities in your society, how do you do it? And the best way to do it is to use an approach to design called universal design. That's designing products and services for the most number of people without alteration. And you say, well, our designers don't know how to do that. They don't know what it's about.
Myself and a group of other people from around Europe have been working with the last two years with SAN, the official European standards body, to work on an agreement which is a curriculum for teaching universal design in colleges, in computer-based trainings, and within industry's own training systems., That involved public consultation twice for 90 days. There were 250 people answered to these public consultations. There were missions in Brussels, Dublin, Germany, and that will be launched on the SAN Web site in November. If there are any people here from third-level industry, keep an eye out for that.
Thank you very much for that. Very constructive. I am going to ask if Sue or Mark would like to say anything from a government point of view too. Thank you very much. Then we're going to Andrew Miller, who is another old lag and man of great experience, for his response. Sue.
SUE BAXTER: Thanks. Well, this is my second IGF, and really, I think -- it's my second IGF. I think it's really great. What struck me this time around, I think, is the openness, the expertise, and the enthusiasm and the engagement of everyone here. Really, this has been inspiring to me in a personal way.
Allen mentioned I am a civil servant. I can assure you the points made her do make a big impact in terms of deciding what to do next in terms of national society. I encourage you to really get stuck in and carry on with the high level of debate.
My take-away, if you like, is that what's really apparent here is that the Internet is synonymous with democracy, and my challenge is to make sure that the voices that make up that democratic control for big businesses squeezing out the voices of ordinary people. So please keep going. Please make your voices heard. And I hope this model really grows and grows because it's going really strong. Thanks.
Could you pass that over to -- no, there's one here. Could you put it on the stand there, please.
ANDREW MILLER: I'm Andrew Miller, a member of parliament in the UK, and this is my third IGF, and Allen asked me to sum up the British contributions.
And I'm going to start with the young people because they do tie in to a number of things, and it's very interesting the way that young people who were specifically excluded from the main events when these ideas first evolved -- and Allen, you were involved in the events that led to the IGF in Tunis. Young people were kept outside of the main meeting place.
Over time, through arguments coming from people like Allen, the role of young people has been recognized. And I think that's hugely important because, as I pointed out yesterday in one of the sessions, you are not only the -- the people who have a huge amount of expertise growing up as natives in the digital world, but you also are the next generation of big customers, people like Richard and -- you already are to him. Don't tell your parents how much it cost.
But I'll just comment on some of the observations. I think, Alex, your first observation from that tweet is absolutely spot on. And it's a thread that goes through everything we do. Training and education are absolute key to this, and not just training and education at your age, but at every age. And those people who went to the Disability Forum, those people that listened to arguments about the need for older people, the key to many of these problems and addressing them is training and education, which must be part of everyone's life right throughout their life's days. The days when people went to school, left school, and stopped education are well and truly gone. That world has changed.
And someone said it was good speaking to businesses. Can I just add to that? It's good speaking to people businesses, the business sector, the key here is talking to people from different cultures, different communities, different skill sets who have addressed these challenging problems in different ways. And I think it's -- for all the down sides there are that people talk about of the Internet, there are also such massive plus sides that we need to help improve engagement with other people and learn all those positive messages.
Dan, who went to the disability event, said he learned things from it. Goodness me, everybody who was in that event learned something, including the businesses that were represented there. I think that was the encouraging thing about that because that illustrates the point about lifelong learning.
The point that came out of that was that some of the technologies that were being developed in very narrow sectors for a specific disability needs have massive applications from which businesses are going to make a lot of money that will apply to a much wider sector than the particular group with a particular disability. So there are going to be companies listening to this debate and thinking how can we exploit those technologies, particularly, for example, that demonstration there was from the Japanese television company. I thought that was a really exciting piece of technology.
And similarly, Bekah talked about the inclusion workshop as become important to her. Huge, huge important issue, especially for lots of people from other countries.
If I may go on, comments on the other contributions. Stephen illustrated the point that the UK parliament is united in terms of the objectives here. It's a cross-party agreement. We will be going back and speaking to ministerial colleagues and making sure that the views that you've expressed here today are also included in that report back. And he's also absolutely right that government needs to get behind and help if we're able, if we're going to compete on the issue of bandwidth.
My BlackBerry bandwidth here is actually faster than my PC at home, which is an intriguing thought.
Sue Daley, there's a question we discussed with some of our European colleagues today. One of the questions is who is not here? And one of the challenges we've got -- because one of the contributions -- I think it was -- was it Allison said that hopefully she'll go back and tell other people why she was here, what this place is all about.
One of the challenges we have to set out is how do we make sure that the whole of our society is adequately represented in future years? And that, of course, feeds into Jillian's observation from BT that there is one sector that's not here, some small businesses, but I also agree with John. There are some -- it would be incredibly helpful if some of our big corporations who are heavily engaged in a whole range of services in the Internet were present and followed my friend Lord Facebook -- I'm sorry. I gave him that nickname. But he is genuinely a friend to the UK consumer, despite the occasional arguments we have with Facebook. And it's great that companies are coming here and listening, and I hope that is an exemplar that other businesses will follow.
People like BT are coming. People like Facebook are coming. So where are the rest of the key players who provide our infrastructure in the UK? And I hope that not only will they come, but they'll follow John's observation and come at a senior level as possible.
John said it was the busiest IGF he's had. Well, I'll tell you why, John. It's because people are actually listening to you. There are people from all across the world who respect the work in coordinating a lot of these very difficult issues in terms of policy on the net, and I think we should be proud of the work that John does in this sector.
Malcolm, you are right. If it wasn't for the IGF, we'd invent something worse, and that, of course, is the big debate that governments will be engaged in over the next few months in terms of renewing the mandates or not. We have a very clear position. We want to see the mandate continued. But we also want to see some fresh thoughts to make sure that some of the dynamism that the organisation needs to make -- to carry it forward is injected into those discussions between governments.
And Jerry, welcome. As an honorary Brit for today, we've also got two honorary -- Finns in here, honorary Brits. You know what I mean. You are most welcome, and it's great because they're here to listen as to how we're doing it because they are setting up a similar process. And so I welcome our guests here.
Finally, in terms of the contributions, Sue Baxter, you can tell from Sue she doesn't come from the yes, Minister, school of civil service. She is always welcome.
And I hope that people listen to what she said. Your views matter. And that's absolutely key. We have got to make sure that not only we continue to feed in to the UK IGF, but it gets fed into government and that we make sure that we continue, the UK IGF, but none of it would be possible if it weren't for the support of Nominet. So Lesley and your team, a particular thanks to you. You've not only supported --
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