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IGF 2016 - Day 2 - Room 4 - NEWCOMERS TRACK

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2016

ENABLING INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO

NEWCOMERS TRACK

 

>> BIANCA CHRISTINE HO:  Hi, all.  The Newcomers session will start very soon.  So for those who will not be participating, please -- anyone sitting in the chairs, please move to the table.  We have plenty of space.

Anyone else who wants to join us at the table?  Thank you.

It is such a small group here today.  You don't need to worry about speaking up and all that.

Hi, thank you so much for coming here today.  It's a Newcomer Track.  We see people all the way in the back.  We are not monsters.  So in the future you can move kind of upwards.

So we've got some comments from yesterday on the Newcomer Track.  Today we will start with introduction of everyone who is around the table.  So we will have that first and move to the government and IGOs to understand.  Lee and Christina is here to understand their roles in the organisation, what are the things that they care about in IGF and how can we engage with them and then we will open up to Q & A.

Okay.  So we have to start from this side.  Can you just kind of tell everyone who you are, what organisation you represent?  Thank you.

>> Hello.  My name is Kanan.  I come all of the way from the south and this is my first time in IGF attending as a youth Fellow.

Thank you.

>> Hello.  I'm Jimmy.  I'm from Hong Kong.  I'm a year eight student.  It is my first time to come to this IGF.  And.

>> I'm Elvin and I'm from Hong Kong, China.  I'm a year eight student.  It is also my first time to come to IGF.

>> Hi.  I am (gives name) from Lesotho.  My first time from IGF.

>> My name is Chris.  I'm very old actually, and old old-comer of IGF.  These are three youth engagement causes students and I help them have fun here.

>> Hi.  I'm Natalie Charles from Hong Kong.  I'm a year ten student.  This is also my first time here to attend IGF.

>> Hello.  Karla Reyes.  I'm a law professor at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.  I am here as a representative of the Dynamic Coalition on Blocking Technologies.

>> I am Eric.  My first time coming here.  I'm here from the Youth Alliance of Hong Kong.  We sponsored some students in Hong Kong and we want to promote youth participation on IGF.  And nice to see you guys.

>> Hello.  My name is Alexandra.  This is my first time at IGF.  I'm from ISOC.  So yeah.

>> Hello, Raymond from Net Mission Hong Kong.  First time here.  I come to learn.

>> Hi, everyone.  I'm Anya.  I work for the IGF Secretariat.  Me and Bianca we started the Newcomer Track stemming from our own experience.  When you come for the first final to the IGF you're so confused.  I think it is important to understand the IGF processes.  I'm thankful to Christina and Lee.  You have ten persons sitting in front of you because they are from the IGF in the beginning, but please use our mailing list if you have questions.  It's a good source for communication.  You can always talk to Christina and others now that you see them in the venue.

>> My name is Erin.  I'm from Canada and I work for free expression organisations.  It's my first time with my colleague.

>> I'm also working for IFECs, head of campaign and advocacy.  Heather Orange.  My first time here.  A lot of our members which number over 100 globally are working on digital issues.  It is a did opportunity for me to come and have a better understanding of what it is they are working on and the issues they are facing.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Good afternoon.  My name is Sebastian.  I'm the support manager at --

(Audio garbled.)

I am here because we presented a session on internationalised domain names and enhancing linguistic and cultural diversity online.  My organisation has been here a lot but this is my first time attending IGF.

>> Hi, good afternoon.  I'm JoJo from Hong Kong.  This time is my first time to come because we are sponsoring the youth projects from our Lion's Club.  This is our championship.

>> Hi.  Jose Mendoza from Venezuela, member Fundo Libre.  My first time here.

(Audio difficulties.)

>> Hello, everyone.  My name is -- it is my first time.  I work for a telecom company, orange.

>> Hello, everyone.  My name is Marcia, I am from Mexico, my first IGF.  I'm involved in the local initiative of Mexico.

>> Great.  Thank you for everyone who made the introduction.  I know it might be intimidating at first but hopefully by day four you will be used to it.

In the Internet Governance Forum there are civil society, academia, students and civil society.  Today we are focused on meeting NGOs and so Lee, he is from Council of Europe.  He's the Internet Governance Coordinator on the right.  And Christina is the Head of Sector for Internet Governance, stakeholders engagement at the European Commission.  We will have them speak briefly about what they do, why they why they are here at IGF, what they care about.  Then we open up the floor.  So Lee, please go ahead, thank you.

>> LEE HIBBARD:  Do you want to do that?  My name is Lee.  As Bianca said, I live in France in Strasbourg.  I work for the Council of Europe which is an intergovernmental organisation of with 47 countries in its membership.  You may know, some of you may know that there is in Europe, there is a European Court of Human Rights which is based upon the European Convention on Human Rights.  Which is a legally binding instrument which basically compels those countries to ensure they protect the rights of every individual in their countries.  So it is a legal mechanism, a form of redress which you don't always find elsewhere which allows people, individuals to take cases to court against countries if they don't do, or they don't protect the human rights of those people, those for whom the human rights can be the freedom of expression, right to privacy or right not to be discriminate the against and many other rights besides.

So that means that I'm here to try to ensure that the Internet, at least from a European perspective, has a human rights dimension to it.

Which means that as we move forward with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, there is a human element.  Because the Internet is built upon people and people need to respect it.  There's dignity and integrity and nondiscrimination.  And there is democracy.  And these issues might seem very abstract, but as the Internet runs faster and technological change, the pace becomes faster are and as it moves forward, governments, companies need to understand how to protect people's rights and make sure they evolve in the right way.  In what we do, how we communicate we don't lose sight of the Internet being people and we have the right for individual integrity, the right to choose, really choose what we do, self-determination, et cetera.

So it is an ongoing thing.  And that is my role.  I look at the human rights, the rule of law issues and democracy issues.  I want you to take home the idea that the Internet is a form of democracy.  It is bringing the whole picture together.  Our lives are online, that's more and more the case.  It is difficult to make it distinct from our offline lives.  It is important that we don't lose sight of the people.

I'll pass to Christina.  She works for the European Commission which is not the Council of Europe.  She will tell you why.  Thank you.

>> CHRISTINA:  Yes, thank you, Lee.  Hi, my name is Christina.  This is for me my fifth IGF and the third in my current role.  So in a way I feel still a newcomer because you never stop learning from the IGF.  So it is such an enriching experience.  I think it is also a matter, simple reflection of the fact that the Internet is an innovation and a technology, keeps evolving.  There are always new issues, new topics.  In a way we are always Newcomers at the IGF.

As Lee was saying, yes, I work for the European Commission which is different from the Council of Europe.  The European Commission is one of the institutions that forms the European Union.  The European Union comprises 28 Member States and yes, so we are different organisation.  We are a sovereign national organisation.  So we have a European Parliament that together with the Council that brings together the ministries of all the different Member States, make legislation.

So in that sense we are really different animals, if I can use that expression.

That is what is what makes us united is the respect for human rights and than fundamental freedoms that are part of our treaties.  It is part of our DNA.

In terms of Internet Governance, what we strive to do is to make sure that all the European Union Member States come to international fora and speak with a common voice.  And also promote a vision of the Internet and of its governance, which is based on certain values, like fundamental principles and human rights.

We also believe that the Internet is a resource for the global community which should we kept as a global Internet and fragmented Internet.  We see there are other visions in other parts of the world which have a different perspective.  And there are maybe some authoritarian regimes that would like to close the Internet.  And we don't want that.  We want to promote and open Internet.  We think that this brings the most benefits to the citizens but also to the business world.  The Internet is an amazing technology also to create innovation, jobs and opportunities.  There is also that aspect.

And in terms of the way the Internet should be governed, also for the future we believe that all players, what we say, we use a lot here in this context stakeholders should have a voice.  And this is what we call the multi-stakeholder approach.  I don't know if you came across this word.  It is very much used here at the IGF.  In fact, the IGF is the embodiment of this concept.  It is a space where stakeholders from technical community, from government, from individual users -- who am I forgetting?  Civil society, they come together and exchange ideas and opinions and this is very important, to have the space for debate and for discussion.

Maybe just for you also, as you are Newcomers, many say that the IGF is the place where you come, you discuss and nothing happens.  From our point of view, the IGF is really very valuable because it is the place where you start the discussions.  Maybe then there will be a follow-up somewhere else, but the discussions originate here.  This is not the place to end discussions but to start new discussions.

And this is why also, for instance, the European Commission is also a donor to the IGF.  The IGF Secretariat is managed by donations.  And we are a supporter, yes, and I think that this also shows our commitment for the IGF.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Great, thank you.  For all the people over here, what are the things that they can engage with you, what are the resources that they can provide?  What are the things that you need from them?  I just want to -- for example, if you have a lot of training on human rights or I just wanted to know, what are the areas that they can engage with you?

>> LEE HIBBARD:  Good question.  So I think what is really happening now with regard the Internet is that many people don't know really what happens.  They don't get it.  They don't -- the understanding of clicking yes, I accept terms and conditions of service which are 50 pages long is not understood.  They, the question of network neutrality, which are technical, and all the issues you read in the newspapers or online, these issues are not easy to grasp if you are not in the fields.

So there is a need to build capacity.  I am talking about the judges in the countries that we live in.  The prosecutors that deal with the cases.  So even the civil society activists and the governments.  The people that you deal with the policy in the countries, it is not -- I mean, don't assume that they all understand what is being discussed here.  So building capacity is key and the Internet Governance Forum is a place where you can build capacity.

Lots and lots of national Internet Governance Forums have grown over the years.  I think there's over 60 or more across the world, something in the will region of 30 national Internet Governance Forum spaces in Europe in the wider Europe, 47 countries.  And they are organised because people want to organise them.  So they are multi-stakeholder.  They try to bring people together.  They try to understand the issues, what is happening and what can I do, how can I get involved?  You are here because you want to get involved.  It's all about participation, participation, participation.

The key is to, Council of Europe, for example, in the ...

(Audio cut out.)

>> LEE HIBBARD:  Taking the integrity forward.  In terms of influencing policy, we work with governments.  That's something else which is an important issue.  If there are draft bills in your country, draft legislation, you know, that legislation can come to this organisation I work for.  We can give opinions and make sure that these human rights are reflected hopefully in those draft legislations.

It is a way to positively influence how government thinks.  It is a way to encourage people to understand in their roles.  Because we all work in silos.  Everybody works in a silo.  Here, here, here.

The Internet by its nature goes across the borders and we are only going to be able to deal with the Internet if we go across our own borders.  That is the big challenge is to be able to talk to each other.  Every challenge, every problem on the Internet you can't solve in one silo here in the government ministry that you have in your country.  It won't work, I don't think.  Cybersecurity is a shared approach that involves user, user rights, protection, it involves governments, it involves technical people who deal with the issues too.

Only by talking to each other can you really help, I say, reinforce cybersecurity.  There is a need to come together.  That's what we can provide.  We can try to bring those actors together.  I guess that's the same for the commission.  If you need to address an issue, we can probably help navigate to who should be, which actors are important and perhaps who should be at the table.  And which issues are needed to really be addressed.  We can help focus the debates and point you to the right people.  That's where we can help.

>> I absolutely agree with you, of course.  National IGFs are important especially for people who cannot travel every year to the global IGF happening very far away.  We don't know where it will be in the future.  So national IGFs are a very good place to start with.  In terms of capacity building, I would like to mention that the European Commission is creating a Web site, a tool which is called the global Internet policy observatory.  And it is a place where you can find a lot of information concerning Internet Governance.

It is a tool that is still under development, but it is already quite advanced.  I don't have here the link, but if you go on GIPOnet.org, from there you can access the actual tool.  I think that is also a possibility for you to know more and navigate into the many issues affected by Internet Governance.  And maybe I could suggest you to either subscribe to the newsletter and follow on Twitter the information provided by the global Internet policy observatory.  There are other tools like the Geneva Internet platform which, for instance, I think is an extremely useful tool in terms of capacity building and education.  So yes, I think it is a concrete suggestion that might be useful for you.

But also if I may, I will would be interested to know from you what -- I mean, you have been here for a couple of days.  I imagine, what are the challenges, what is difficult for you?  What are your questions?  That would be interesting for me to know.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Anyone?  Any questions?

>> Maybe some people are too shy, but let me get started and I will appoint them to answer the questions.

This has been a great tool for us to come all the way from Hong Kong to here.  In Hong Kong probably more than 99 percent of people use the Internet.  Probably only less than 1 percent of people know that there is an IGF.  So there is a good idea that we can start first, the national IGF.  How that will work, in Hong Kong or China.

>> I can comment on that.  Hong Kong, there is a YouthIGF that is already here.  For Hong Kong as a city, Hong Kong is part of the Asia-Pacific region.  We previously hosted a Asia-Pacific IGF.  If you wanted to have your own, you can speak to NRI, which is national and regional Internet Governance forums.  I think they have better resources to tell you.  I can give you the contact later on how to organise one IGF.  Right now it is quite grassroots.  Everyone can say I want to organise them and start looking for venues, start looking for speakers and developing their agenda.

>> AUDIENCE:  I have a question about interdisciplinary discussion.  I'm a lawyer by training.  I'm now a legal academic, fairly new legal academic, but academic nonetheless.  Many of the discussions I've gone to in the last day and a half about jurisdiction or law enforcement and cyberspace, from my perspective as legal academic focuses on those issues, some of the topics have been discussed for many years on my side of the fence, right?  But it sound like it's new on this side of the fence.

How would you encourage interdisciplinary dialogue so the discussion doesn't go around and around when some of those things have been thought through from a different discipline?  Are there organisations here that are more interested in interdisciplinary dialogue that I should seek out or is it a matter of participating in those discussions and having my side of the fence heard?

>> CHRISTINA:  I understand your interest is on jurisdictional issues and legal aspects, correct?

>> AUDIENCE:  I'm actually here for blocking technology, but that is really happening tomorrow.  So in the interim I have been going to sessions on jurisdiction and other legal aspects because that's what my interest is.

So far the discussion I have heard resembles very closely discussions that have already happened but only a legal perspective in mind shall right?  Only on my side of the fence.

Now it's happening on a technical side.  My question is, are there organisations I should focus on or people I should reach out to who are bridging the gap in particular?  Or do I just talk in those technical discussions to try to bring my perspective to bear?

>> CHRISTINA:  If I can start, maybe you have more ideas.  But of course here at the IGF there is a great opportunity for networking and meeting new people and new organisations.  In a way what I was saying before, this is the place where conversations start.  It is a matter of finding here the right people you want to talk to.  In the meantime, if you are also able to share your knowledge with others who have different perspectives, I think this helps a lot because, for instance, technical community developing, I don't know, a new IP standard maybe has not in mind some legal implications of what it is doing, so this dialogue is very important to share knowledge and perspective.

Of course, if you are interested in a specific aspect, there are some organisations that are more relevant for you to talk with.  Including us as a representative of the intergovernmental organisations, but also I am thinking about the Internet and jurisdiction project.  You should also find in the programme the right sessions for you.  And then get in touch with the people an talk to them bilaterally.  This is a great opportunity to meet the people here.  Once you have the contact, you can continue the conversation later.

>> LEE HIBBARD:  This is a good question.  This is why we're here.  It is actually really difficult to get everybody that you need to get together in one room and do this.  It sounds very efficient, but it is very difficult.  It is a lot of work, a lot of work and a lot of repetition and discussion, discussion.  And it is exhausting sometimes, I would say.  You don't sometimes see the end of the will tunnel.

I'm thinking of the organisation called ICANN, for example.  Which meets regularly and talks about issues and issues and issues.  And there's process and procedure, procedure.  It is quite boring, I would say.  ICANN colleague, please excuse.  It is technical.  It is hard sometimes to grasp.  It is not easy.  It is just repetition.  You have to have a lot of courage.  There is no silver bullet.  That is why, this is nascent.  The Internet is nascent and working across silos is nascent.  You have to do something -- if you want to go further, you need to start with a core group of different actors.  You need a trusted actor, someone who is recognised who has credibility, I think.  You need individuals in and around like a cloud of supporters who can help.  You need perhaps, it depends.  Maybe you need the ear of the government, or individuals in a government which can maybe help orient your thoughts.  But it is not one size fits all.  And it will take time.

But that is why I'm saying we can help maybe point you in the right direction.  And identify the actors.  Maybe we can even help to organise with IGF Secretariat a meeting with those actors in times to come, and get them there and get it going.

But you need a lot of good will.  You need the ear of certain actors.  If they are not there -- if you are talking about copyrights and you want to can he copyright, you can't do that without WIPO in the room really.  I don't know if it's useful to have a discussion between a single stakeholder group who are complaining about the problem if the problem is linked to an organisation or sector or stakeholder group that is not there.  I would say organise it to prepare, but if you want to change things, then I think that is where the Internet Governance Forum is helpful.  We are sitting here.  We have no name plates.  We are not really affiliated -- we are not saying I'm representing an organisation, I have a particular mandate, I'm talking about this.  We are all talking quite in a flat way.  And if you like, the Internet Governance Forum is unique because it gives everybody the same legitimacy to speak.  We can all speak on equal footing.  That is what is unique about this place.

If you go back to your country, you may not get a foot in the door in a meeting because you don't have a name plate and title to go in and talk.  This is a big lever for you.  You understand the value of this place here and the people.  I come here, if I was to send emails to people, some of the important people I know here, they may not reply to me.  But I might bump into them over the coffee and they may then come to the session and you can achieve more in a five-minute thing than you would ever achieve back home according to normal channels.

Really, it is very unique, underestimated.  You can simply register.  You don't have to pay.  Just come.

Okay, the question is of traveling and staying here, that's an issue.  But it does travel around the world and you can connect remotely.  But it really is a place where you can do a lot more -- I wouldn't say lobbying, but connecting, it's a place of action.  It's knowing how to use it.  That is what we are doing here.

I can't, in five minutes, I cannot say to you how to use it.  We can talk and have other meetings like this.  We can have conference calls.  And we can come together with Bianca and others and try to orient what to do.  I think that's what is possible.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Great.  We have time for one last question.

>> AUDIENCE:  In response to, you discussed what they are doing some things.  So we have the commitment of the government or some companies like Facebook and Google.  So how can you ensure that the discussions are effective and it is used in the world?  But without commissions, just discussions?

>> LEE HIBBARD:  That's a really good question.  We all commit to coming here and talking but no one is obliging us to come here and talk.  The companies, if you are talking about companies, they don't have to come here.  They can stay at home, really.  We can all stay at home.  It's a question of wanting to come and to share.

So that is what is key.  You know, I work in Europe an we've just only now started a conversation with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and many other companies at a small level about how we can connect the governments and the companies to talk more regularly about the problems.  Because in terms of -- companies don't sign treaties.  Conventions.  We agree, we commit to respecting human rights in our business models and in our terms of service.  No, no, they don't sign those.  There's no signing anything like that.

It's a question of wanting to come to the table, a question of reputation.  And once again, we can get them here to talk about those issues.  But it is not obvious.  It is not easy, especially back home.  So once again, this is the place where you can grab them and put people together.  I hope that answers as your question.

>> CHRISTINA:  To complement what Lee is saying, companies do what they are supposed to do.  They do business and governments have to make sure that the rule of law is respected, democracy is respected and citizens are protected.  So at the same time companies create innovation, new services, new products that go to the benefits of the final user.

So there are sometimes issues and problems that needs to be rebalanced.  And so that everybody is in a good situation.

Of course, we live in a complex world.  I don't want to say that everything is perfect.  And there are very strong economic interests in the Internet ecosystem and in general, but there are also very strong political interests.  It is complex.

But that is why it is important for us to be here and to also defend and promote our vision of respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

So it is not easy, but we are there precisely for that.  And of course, for instance, if I can talk about the European Union, we, for instance, we are creating new rules for protecting the privacy of the citizens.  It is a very complex process, but we discuss also using the IGF.  Then we take home and we continue that conversation.  Net neutrality rules.  We just had in Europe a law which is now valid for all Member States, which is a law on the open Internet.  This law prevents that Internet services providers block or slow down the access to the Internet due to commercial considerations, for instance.

So these are practical examples of things that do happen, but all the dialogue that is required also has to take place.

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you very much for your answer.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you so much, Lee and Christina.  I would like to give a great hand to everyone who is here today.

(Applause.)

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Tomorrow there will be another session.  Let me check.  But it will be another convening same time, same room.  Tomorrow it is civil society.  You can come.  Thank you so much, Christina and Lee, addressing difficult questions, but inevitably knowing what will happen the first time.  Thank you.

(The session concluded at 2:18 p.m. CST)

 

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