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No. 107 Internet blocking: When well intentioned measures go too far

Robert Guerra

ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee, SSAC

IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Enhancing Digital Trust

Description

The economic and public policy impacts of Internet blocking by state actors has been well studied. Receiving less study to date are the economic and public policy impacts of Internet policing by third party non-state actors. The systemic impossibility of a common definition of “due process” or a common policy framework has led to occasional collateral damage that undermines the security and stability of the internet. This is a form of “digital culture clash”

This workshop will explore the state of play in third party Internet blockades and boycotts by non-state actors such as Internet reputation systems, whether commercially motivated or not. Examples of collateral damage will be drawn from the record, including the impact of SPAMHAUS’s blockade of Sweden in early 2014. We will engage leading experts from both the technology and policy arenas to debate and discuss questions like “at what limit does a blockade or boycott do more harm than good to the organizer’s own values, due to foreseeable collateral damage, lack of care, or lack of investigatory resources?”

The panel hopes to reach a common understanding and brief set of recommendations for those who might organize Internet blockades and boycotts, for those who might participate in such events – perhaps by subscribing to an Internet reputation system, for those who might be targeted by such moves, and also for policy makers and shapers who need to know the powers and risks of collective third party action in Cyberspace.

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Robert Guerra
Academic & Technical Community
ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
Citizen Lab & Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Paul Vixie
Private Sector
Farsight Security


Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?

yes

The link to the workshop report

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ddvh1zyloi1w4sv/IGF2013-WS234-Workshop-Report.txt

Type of session

Roundtable

Duration of proposed session

90 Minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#security,#blocking,#censorship,#ddos,#spam, #intermediaryliabilty

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Ms. Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder
Technical Community
Chief Information Security Officer, .SE (The Internet Infrastructure Foundation)
Sweden

Ms. Yurie Ito
Technical Community
Director of Local Coordination Division for the Japan Computer Emergency Response Team (JPCERT/CC)
Japan

Ms. Cristine Hoepers
Technical Community
General Manager at CERT.br, the Brazilian National CERT
Brazil

Mr. Moez Chakchouk
Chairman & CEO, The Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI)
Tunisia

Mr. Shazad Ahmad
Civil Society
Director of Bytes for All, Bytes for All, Pakistan



Name of Moderator(s)

Paul Vixie

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Robert Guerra

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The workshop will be organized as a facilitated dialogue. Led by the moderator, subject experts will debate and discuss the key questions and issues. Subject experts will give opening comments, after which the moderator will turn to those attending the session and invited experts in the audience to engage in facilitated dialogue.

In addition to the background documents and papers that will be prepared ahead of the IGF, additional articles of interest, commissioned blogs, reference materials and social media conversations will be published and distributed ahead of the workshop.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

The workshop organizers will encourage workshop panelists as well as technical experts on the topic to post blog articles, as well as background briefing materials on leading social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, as well as on key Internet Governance sites such as circleid.com before, during and after the IGF in Istanbul this September.

We will strive to identify and recruit engagement from remote participation hubs. We anticipate participation from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Given past experiences with remote participation modalities, contingency plans will be created backup options prepared so that recorded video statements and mobile to conference call bridge can be used if venue internet access is not optimal.

Background paper

background paper

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions

The economic and public policy impacts of Internet access blocking by state actors have been well studied. Receiving less study to date are the economic and public policy impacts of Internet policing by third party non-state actors. The lack of a universal definition of “due process” or a common policy framework has led to occasional collateral damage that undermines the security and stability of the Internet.

The workshop explored the state of play in third-party Internet-access blocking such as Internet reputation systems, whether motivated by commerce, a sense of duty, or legal requirements. Examples of collateral damage were drawn from the public record, including the impact of Spamhaus’ block of significant Swedish IP space in early 2014, Microsoft’s court ordered takedown of No-ip.com, and the US Congress’ COICA/SOPA work in 2010/2011.

Although blocking can be essential to maintaining the usefulness of the Internet, such as filtering the abusive email that has accounted for over 90% of email connections at times, blocking can also go too far. The operative question is: “at what point does organized Internet access blocking do more harm than good to either the public interest or the organizer’s own agenda, due to foreseeable collateral damage, lack of care, or lack of investigatory or research resources to validate the action?”

The organizers WS107 developed an interactive dialogue that engaged expert audience members and panelists drawn from government, the technical community, civil society and independent internet agencies to reach a broad understanding and brief set of recommendations for those who might block or restrict Internet reachability between otherwise consenting parties, for those who might participate in such events by subscribing to an Internet reputation system, for those who might be targeted by such intentional blockages, and also for policy makers and shapers who need to know the limits and the risks of collective third party action in Cyberspace.

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

The workshop report (attached) includes summarized session notes related to the introductory comments, presentation of case studies, panel discussion, and dialogue with the audience. The report includes a set of twelve issues that were raised by the audience as well as a set of fifteen recommendations that should be included as part of best-practice policies when implementing Internet-access blocking .

The complete workshop report is also available at the following URL:

Workshop report - Google Drive , Workshop report -Dropbox

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop

200

Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was not seen as related to the workshop’s theme and was not raised

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

No information provided

Reported by

Robert Guerra

Workshop transcript

transcript

Youtube video

video

Attachments

attachments

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