Submitted Proposals

Organization: Council of Europe and World Broadcasting Union
Title :
20. Governance for gatekeepers shaping access to the Internet
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.



Internet users increasingly rely upon gatekeepers (e.g. news portals, search engines etc, which act in various ways to filter access to information) to access content and services which facilitate the way we communicate, work, learn and research and entertain ourselves.


They have become a vital door for the public’s everyday activities. They are evolving as organic tools for navigating web content. The range and number of popular gateways is shrinking as market forces make the powerful engines even more powerful. 


The overall aims of the workshop are to better understand the control and influence that gatekeepers can have over the way we access, search, select and use of content, and to consider how they are (self-) governed, how they are (ethical) responsible and transparent in their operations. 

The objectives of the workshop are to consider who these gatekeepers are, to examine how they assist and facilitate access, search, selection and use of content, and to assess the benefits and risks to users (e.g. with regard to free choice, consumer protection, harmful content and free speech, etc).   

Outline Agenda: 


1.  Opening and setting the scene by the co-moderators: Jonathan Charles, BBC World

2.  Panellists debate: Who shapes access to the Internet, by which means, and is it fundamentally different to how we access content and services in the offline world? (20 mins)

Media perspectives: Alex Shulzycki, World Broadcasting Union

Business perspective: Marco Pancini, European policy counsel, Google

BBC perspective: Khalid Hadadi, BBC EU and International Policy

3. Open debate: Risks and benefits to users? (25 mins)

Civil Society/academic perspectives: Ang Peng Hwa, Singapore Internet Research Centre, and Murali Shanmugavelan, Panos, UK (5 mins)

Government perspectives: Thomas Schneider, Ofcom, Switzerland

Business perspectives: Sheriff Haja, Microsoft

Media perspectives: Mr Alexandre Jobim Kruel, AIB-AIR/WBU

4.  Open debate: How to enhance the benefits and mitigate the risks to users? Is there is a need for measures to ensure that there is no monopoly over access? Should alternative gate keeping tools be made available, and is the public is aware of all the implications of its choices? (25 mins)

5.  Wrap up: conclusions, messages and reporting back (5 mins)

Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.
  • Jonathan Charles, BBC World
  • Sheriff Haja, Microsoft

  • Khalid Hadadi, BBC EU and International Policy
  • Ang Peng Hwa, Singapore Internet Research Centre

  • Mr Alexandre Jobim Kruel, AIB-AIR/WBU
  • Marco Pancini, European policy counsel, Google
  • Murali Shanmugavelan, Panos, UK,
  • Thomas Schneider, Ofcom, Switzerland

  • Alex Shulzycki, World Broadcasting Union


Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.
Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
The workshop aims to bring together expertise and representation from various sectors/perspectives, including states, education, industry, media and International organisations.
Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.
This workshop relates to freedom of expression and openness of the Internet. It also impacts on the issue of access to the Internet (content and services) and the develoment of public policy regarding the Internet.  It directly relates to the Tunis Agenda's reference to "freedom to seek, receive, impart and use information, in particular, for the creation, accumulation and dissemination of knowledge" (para 42), to the public policies issues related to the development of the Internet (para 72 a) and to facilitating discourse in this regard (para 72 b), and to "identify emerging issues" (para 72 g). Moreover, it relates to "(...) the ethical dimensions of the Information Society (para 42), and to the implementation and follow up to the Tunis Agenda, namely to: "building confidence in the use of ICTs by all - incuding youth (...)", to "promoting the use of traditional and new media in order to foster universal access to information, culture and knowledge for all people (...) in using radio and television as educational and learning tools" (para 90 n) 
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.
Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?
Together with the Council of Europe the WBU co-organised the IGF workshop on “Quality and the Internet – using and trusting Internet content  (report submitted) for the 2007 IGF.