Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. 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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>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Good morning.  Good morning.  You may need your headsets here.  You might need your head seats for this room.  So if you don't have them, I would encourage you to pick them up just across around the corner here.

Good morning, everyone.  Hello?  Would you please tell your friends around to put your headsets on?  There is no ambient sound in this room besides the one that comes from the coffee break.  So we need you all to wear your headsets.

We're going to start this session now.  Good morning to everyone.  This is the Internet Society's open Forum.  My name is Sebastian Bellagamba and I'm from the Caribbean region of the Internet Society.  We have one hour?  It's not working?  Can I ask you a favor?  Would you please tell your neighbors to wear your headsets?  Spread the word, please.  Thank you.  And also for all of you sitting there on the back, if you like to join here and be more friendly, you're welcome to come join us.  We're just too alone here.  Please, accompany me.

This is the Internet so it's open Forum.  Thank you very much for being here.  We have a one hour session so we have to start now because we are already late.  We're going to have three tracks today.  The first one is an introduction to the Internet Society.  The second one would be the Internet Society around the world, challenges on the ground for community building and empowering people.  The third one is Internet so it's approach to global policy challenges., to global Internet policy challenges, focus on Human Rights.

And we can start now and I would invite our Chairman of the board, Mr. Bob Hinden.  She pointed at you, Bob.  So Bob Hinden, Chairman of the board of the Internet Society.  Thank you, Bob.

>> BOB HINDEN:  Thank you.  Yeah, my headphones don't work very well.  So can you hear me?  Good.  Okay.  I'll start.  So I wanted to also welcome you to this session.  I'm going to give a bit of an overview on the Internet Society if you're not familiar with us.

So we were founded in 1992 by Vince Cerf who we have sitting across the table and Bob Kahn.

[Applause.]

I was one of the early members, as well, so I've always been very proud to be associated with the Internet Society and I'm very honored to be serving on the board and being the current Board Chair.  So it's been something I've really enjoyed contributing to.

The Internet Society has basically ‑‑ the main mission has really been always the Internet is for everyone.  We want everyone around the world and I guess now we need to change this to be everything around the world to be connected to the Internet.  It's, I think, a great empowerment for the world.  I think all of the people who worked on this at the beginning are very proud of having built something that is such a big positive effect on the world.  Like the real world, it is sometimes used for bad things; but I think overall it has been a great asset to the world and I think we've only begun to see its impact.

Internet Society has almost 80,000 individual members, 146 organizational members and 112 chapters around the world.  We don't yet quite have a chapter in every country, but I think we're clearly working to that.

We've also created some not‑so‑geographic chapters and special interest groups.  There's the interplanetary one which eventually will allow people to communicate from other planets so we'll have more chapters to create.  And then there's also groups like the Internet of food.  So it's becoming which had and then broader.

We have regional bureaus in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, North America and we're soon to have a regional bureau in the Middle East.  I think this will be a good addition.  The bureaus provide a more detailed regional view with a lot of collaboration with the chapters.

We work closely and are the organizational home for the Internet Engineering Task Force, the ITF.  We work with the Internet architecture board, the regional registries, W3C, ICANN and other players in the ecosystem.

And again our mission is that we want there to be an Internet for everyone free of censorship and regulation and enable their progress.

The Board recently approved the 2016 plan and budget, the plan for next year.  And, I'll hand it over to Kathy who will give some highlights of that.

>> KATHRYN BROWN:  Hello, everyone.  I'm so glad you're here.  And I'm so glad to see my fellows here.  Wave your hands, guys.  Okay.  Thank you.

The Internet is for everyone and it's particularly for the young, and so I keep wanting to look around and making sure that our digital Natives are here to help us figure out what's next because I know you know probably better than we know.  You're already deep into using the Internet.  And what we want you to do, to help us do, is make sure that the Internet is actually everywhere.  I know you're from all over the regions of the world.  And we're looking for you to truly be our ambassadors for this message.

We need to understand the underlying technology and architecture of the Internet.  That's part of what we bring to the table is our technical roots.  It's very important as you think about the deployment of the Internet how it will be deployed and that it will not be fragmented, that it will be a network of networks that reaches everyone everywhere.

You've heard Vint this week really talk about this issue again and again.  It's something that we think not only technically we have to understand, but we have to understand the benefits of a global Internet.  And we have to be able to instruct those who would think otherwise what the benefits are.

In the 19 ‑‑ listen to me ‑‑ the 2016 plan, would we attempt to me is take our expertise, the expertise that is part of who we are, which is in the policy area, the Internet development, technical development of the Internet and the community development of what it takes to use the Internet and our policy background and focus that on what we believe are the, as I say, the imperatives of our age.  So it's not 1992 anymore, it's 2016.  And just as we dreamed and thought and hoped, the Internet has evolved.  It has evolved into what I like to call the central nervous system of our economies and our communities and our way that we communicate and do business and educate and deliver services, et cetera.

And if it is not available to the whole world, if it indeed it is only half the world that is on the Internet, we face not only a digital divide.  I think I heard the Minister from Bangladesh say this yesterday and I couldn't agree with him more.  It is an economic divide.  It's a social divide.  It's an equality divide.  And so we have to, we must address this issue.  And it's complicated to address.  And you're going hear some of the issues today around that.

And the other issue is a trust issue.  We must be able to trust this network of networks, trust our identity on it, trust our data on it, trust our ability to use this Internet in a way that we decide is a safe way as users.

So the 2016 plan lays out a number of initiatives and then below that, projects, which we, a staff of only 90 people, are committed to initiate with our chapters and with our partners around the world to try to do very specific, concrete things to address these two large imperatives, which we know we cannot accomplish in a year.  But these are big goals under which we will do concrete things that we can accomplish in a year.

So I ask you to take a look at it.  As you listen to the presentations today, I hope it's against that backdrop.  I'm assuming it is, Sebastian, and we'll make the connections for you.

At the front of the table you see the heart of the work, the people who do the work on the ground, as I say, and around the room, and that is the staff, our regional directors, our people who are out working with our members and our Fellows are here in the room.  I hope you'll get an overview and that you'll then approach us, ask us more questions, become involved, and really do become, many of you, our next generation leaders for ISOC.

Sebastian, back to you.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you, Kathy, very much.  So we'll start with the second track.  And I'll invite my fellow here, my colleague here on my right, Raúl.  He's Vice President of global engagement.  So please, Raúl, join us.

>> RAÚL ECHEBERRÍA:  Good morning, everybody.  I was listening very carefully what Bob Hinden said at the beginning, and I think that this is really true.  I am also very proud to have been involved with the Internet Society for many years doing different things.  Such as the other day we had a meeting with all the Fellows that we have supported for coming to IGF.  And I remember that I myself started working in this community as a Fellow of the Internet Society in 1986.  And when we had opportunity to meet for the first time many of the people that is in the room, including ‑‑ debar an that is a very important leader in the community and also the Chairman of the board at that time of the Internet Society Vint Cerf that it was my time that I met him.  So this is an encouraging message for all our Fellows that are here in this meeting, that many of us started in the same way, working in this community, and now we are taking other responsibilities.

When I joined as ISOC as one year and a half ago, I really think what I have I have seen is a process of really expanding the limits of our organisation and also becoming every day a more international organisation.  In the past, sometimes I know that some people use it to see us as very U.S.‑centric organisation or developing countries organisation.  And let me share with you that this is really an incredible international organisation.  We have people, more than 90 people in our staff.  And we have all those 90 people are based in almost 30 different countries, 29 or 30 countries depending on the last hirings of the last two months that I didn't include in my counting.  But it's an incredible distributed organisation.

We had a meeting of all staff meeting just a few weeks ago.  And that was instance of traveling everybody to a single place for having an expensive meeting, we used the Internet.  And so we had absolutely distributed remote meeting.  In fact it was not a remote meeting because there was not a central place.  It was just a distributed meeting.  And we had a meeting with 63 ‑‑ from 63 different locations.  It was amazing when we saw that we had people connected from 63 different places from around the world, from Australia to Ethiopia, Argentina, United States, different places of Europe.  That was really amazing.  And we challenged the Internet.  And it worked very well.  Even that is anecdotal, but we work in groups and in panelisations.  And we did the exactly the same thing that we usually do in face‑to‑face meetings.  It was incredible.

We have 96, chapters in 96 countries.  112 chapters that we have distributed in 96 countries.  This is really an immense power that's our organisation have.  I have had opportunity myself of meeting with almost 100 percent of the representatives of 100 percent of the chapters in.  In the last 12 months we have had regional meetings with workshops in different regions.  I have attended all of them.  It has been an incredible experience to see all the energy that's come from our chapters and had the commitment that the members of our chapters have with ISOC mission.  This is big change that we have experienced also in the last time.  We don't see the chapters as something that's separated from our organisation.  Chapters are just one component of the organisation, as the staff is or as the Board of Trustees is or as the organizational members are.  And this is the way that we are working, the only way that we can reach larger audiences for advancing our mission is to use all the energy that this bilevel in our members and our chapters.  And this is what we are ‑‑ how we are working in ISOC now.

Speaking about chapters, there are some, a couple of good news.  One is the creation of the chapter of ISOC council and the Steering Committee that has been recently formed is calling for chapters who are participating in the organisation.  We have launched a programme that is Beyond the Net.  We are spending this year $400,000 in supporting proceeds that are run by chapters.  We have now the first round of 11 chapters ‑‑ projects that will be run by our chapters aligned with our objectives.  It's just doing the same that we do in the staff but done by our chapters.  This is the new concept in the organisation.

As an extension of Beyond the Net, this week we announced it here?  João Pessoa our alliance with a programme that is run by the AfriNIC, APNIC and the three Internet registries for also supporting the grants programmes and we are very proud to see that as an extension of our beyond the net programmes.

We are doing an amazing work on IXPs and interconnection.  In fact, some of our colleagues are leading a workshop in another room on this topic.  We are supporting a lot of Forums in Caribbean, Latin America and other places, and we see the changes.  The African Forum is really success.  And when we started to organise this seven years ago with the situation in Africa was absolutely different.  Now we organise meetings with almost 300 people, operators that come to negotiate to get agreements, to discuss their problems.  And we see how the content providers from developing countries come to Africa now to those meetings for negotiating with the African operators.  We changed the question.  Is not the African operators going to developing countries looking for content.  Now it is content providers that come to Africa for bringing their content to the African community.

And we are involved in 19 of the IXPs in Africa from 33.  In total in Latin America we have been involved in building or leveling up more than 20 IXPs in 10 different countries.  And really this is an extraordinary work that we are very proud of.

We are expanding also the work that we do in more regions, more countries.  Also partnership with other chapters.  But we are doing more things in the Caribbean, in Middle East.  We are opening now our regional bureau in Middle East.  We have a lot of expectations on the work on that part of the world.  We are working more on eastern Europe and central Asia.  So you will see us more present in those regions.

And the ultimate goal:  Let's work together.  What we are trying to do is to continue to connect the unconnected people.  And it is very important, but as we always say, more important is to think and to work about how to connect the last 2 billion, that this is the real challenge.  Thank you.

[Applause.]

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much, Raúl.  I would now direct our senior director, Ayesha Hassan.

>> AYESHA HASSAN:  Thank you very much, Sebastian, and good morning to everybody.  So we've heard that there are key messages and priorities that need to be heard around the world and need to be carried to policymakers and other stakeholders.  We've also heard that many people around the world ascribe to ISOC's mission.

So in order for us to get those messages out, we have to work closely with our community and also start to build our community further.  In the past 23 years, the community has grown immensely.  And part of our focus right now and for the coming year and years is to strengthen that community and network even further because that is how we will have impact and how we will get the messages heard by many others around the world.

So when we look at this unique ISOC network that is made up of civil society, the technical community, business representatives and our relationships with policymakers and many other organizations, our focus right now is how do we keep building that so that it is an effective network.  And part of that is reaching new stakeholders.  As Kathy mentioned in her remarks yesterday, there are many new sectors that are affected by the issues that we are all focused on.  And part of what we're trying to do is reach those new stakeholders.

So some of the examples are we have been participating and speaking at events around the world at the regional level and at the global level, which we had never been at before.  And that's been a very inspiring opportunity.  People are excited about what the Internet Society does.  They just have to get to know us.  And all of you are part of raising awareness, as well, at the opportunities that exist.

Another part of our focus is building outreach and engagement of our organizational members.  We clearly work closely with the chapters around the world, and they are an important strength.  But organizational members are also critical to getting our messages heard at the local and regional and global levels.  So we've been doing some focused work on outreach to organizational members, working with the regional bureaus, as well, to start identifying potential organizational members.  We've also, as many of you know, we've been doing a lot of virtual meetings.  So every quarter there is a community Forum and an opportunity for the members and chapters to come together with ISOC staff around the world and focus on critical issues.  So that has been a way in which without spending a lot of money, we've also been able to touch our community and hear from our community.

The amazing intercommunity 2015 was unique experience that I think people were amazed at, and we plan to do that again in 2016.

For those of you who were not a part of it, I hope that you will join so you can be part of it, bringing many hundreds of people around the world together in the virtual format that Raúl had described was really very special.

In addition, we've been trying to maximize opportunities where our members, our organizational members in particular, are present at meetings like ICANN or IETF, or other, the African Internet summit, et cetera, where we can have in‑person opportunities to listen to organizational members, build their ‑‑ empower them to carry our messages, but also help them to contribute to the work that ISOC is doing.

We held, for instance, special focused discussions with organizational members and chapters on WSIS + 10 at the Dublin ICANN meeting and here at the IGF.  And these are very important ways in which we want to empower our community to carry our messages.

I think the last point I'd like to bring up is, you know, reaching policymakers and other stakeholders is a collective action.  It's not just ISOC global staff doing this.  This is about the community.  This is about all of you letting us know what you need in order to carry the messages forward.  And what we would like to do is look forward to your feedback and for those of you who are not ISOC members, we also look to you, you're part of the broader community.  And we would be welcoming any feedback you have about how we can help you to carry the messages.  And with that, I would just say carrying our messages is about having impact.  If we want to protect the issues that have been talked about by Kathy and others, that's the only way we'll have that impact.  So thank you very much.  Raúl?  Sebastian?

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much.  I would invite my colleague to give some European perspective.  Frédéric Donck?

>> FRÉDÉRIC DONCK:  We appreciate talking to you in reality with my headphones like we were on the Internet.  Very weird feeling but it must be some kind of virtual reality.

So I'm heading the European bureau, we're based in Brussels.  We used to describe ourselves as a one shop stop for the region.  This is what we are.  We try to coordinate our many activities in the region going from political issues to technical development issues, economic issues, as well.  I will come back to that in a few minutes.

A few minutes ago I was with Raúl in a meeting with MEPs and in a few minutes after this meeting I will be discussing development issues with people from Kyrgyzstan.  It also gives us an idea how we describe Europe.  We normally try to describe Europe with ‑‑ in the middle but we have extended a little bit above, don't tell the UN.  We are very flexible with all the colleagues of the regional bureaus to work on new fields of development.  This is the case in central Asia, as you might know already.  One of our biggest projects is to help drafting a central Asia IGF.  This is in the pipe for next year.

We come back from Kyrgyzstan with a very good engagement with stakeholders there.  We have produced, thanks to Michael and some other people on the team, a report on Kyrgyzstan that goes very well to enable us to go to the next level.

Europe is very diverse.  You know that there is no one day without a new hit, new breaking news with policymakers or regulators jumping the gun.  It was the case recently with the UK government, with France.  So our community and/or ability to react to that fairly rapidly is important to us.  There is much about community building in Europe.  We have the chance, I'm looking to Olivier, to have people who are very well aware what's happening in their localites and help us crafting position to react to some of those new attempts by regulators to impact the Internet in a way that we might not appreciate very much.

With this in mind, I could continue, Sebastian, I know that you gave me three minutes.  So bottom line, it goes from political issues to development issues depending upon where you are.  And this is what makes us really proud of working with our community because we are able to tackle all those issues.  Thank you.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you, Frédéric.  With my moderator hat, I would like to say that we're going to have some questions and answers and comments at the end these presentations, so stay.

And now I have to change my hat.  I mean I'm going to become a presenter.  And I have a dual hat because I will also introduce some perspectives from Africa.  My colleague is in the panel at this moment, so we will have to apologize for him not being here.  And I will try to cover Africa as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.

So briefly in both regions, we are working.  Our African regional bureau is based out of an did he say Ababa and our Latin America bureau is in Montevideo Uruguay.  And I would say that we are both working the intersection between technology, policy and development.  That's the key of our work.

In both regions, we have been working in strengthening the Internet and the security and stability of the Internet through different approaches, mostly as Raúl already said, working in improving and enhancing the capabilities of the Internet in itself.  For instance, work with IXPs, Internet Exchange Points which has been extensive in both regions.

We have a lot of experience in working with our policy bodies in both regions, too.  We engage with the intergovernmental bodies, with the regulators, with several policy issues in both places.  We have a very big regions in both cases.  It's more than 30 economies in the Caribbean and Africa.  So our work has been extensive.  And we have to also work in regions that are unified in certain way but are quite different culturally in many other ways.  And the economic and social issues in different countries are quite different.  So we have to adapt a lot in order to localise our work in these regions.

So we are working a lot in technical capacity building.  We are supporting several instances.  For instance, one example NOGs, network operating groups, both Latin America and the Caribbean are new to the NOGs world.  And we are supporting that.  We have been supporting that for many years.  We have been very successful in doing that.  And we have strong communities now working on sharing experiences on how to operate their networks in a better way.

Another important task is regarding to this meeting.  We have been working with our communities in many countries to help them run national dialogues on Internet Governance.  In Latin America, we've been involved this year at least in three regional and subregional meetings, one regional for Latin America and the Caribbean, one regional for the Caribbean, one for Central America that was in April, and at least until now 10 different national dialogues on Internet Governance.  This also happens in Africa where we are very involved in the Internet Governance arena.

There is particular something that is happening now in Latin America and it's starting to happen in Africa and there is a parallelism between the two regions, too, which is the work that we've done in order to engage our communities in the work of the IETF.  We have been working in Latin America a lot in order to increase the presence of our regional engineers in the IETF work, to the point that next April, the next IETF meeting for the first time ever is going to be held in a developing country.  That is going to be in Argentina, in Buenos Aires Argentina next April.  So you are all invited to attend the first IETF meeting in a developing country that is coming.  It is the IETF95.  So it took a long time to get there.  It's actually the second in the southern hemisphere, being the first one in Australia.  So you're all invited.  Africa is doing the same.  We are working a lot in Africa in order to engage the African engineering community in the work of the IETF.  And we hope that the IETF will be coming to Africa, too, in the close future.

With that, I will change my halt again.  I will become a moderator.  And I will invite my colleague, Neil Harper, who works with our Internet leadership department.  So Neil, please.

>> NEIL HARPER:  Thank you very much, Sebastian.  So the Internet Society has had a rich history of delivering training and the workshops to our various constituencies.  And over time we've seen that expand our reach and increase impact.  We've had to rethink the approach.

In 2014, we would have launched our online learning environment.  It's called Forum.  We would have launched our flagship Internet Governance course.  Now from 2004 to now we've expanded where we have almost 3,000 persons on our online learning platform.  We've moved from one flagship course and we have almost 10 training courses right now.  We've been taking advantage of our partnerships and our regional people on the ground to really expand our reach, specifically in our African regional bureau, we've developed a course called introduction to network cooperations.  And that course was traditionally delivered in a face‑to‑face workshop, and we would reach a maximum of 200 persons per year.  But the online course, we actually now for ‑‑ we started the online course in February of 2015, and up to now, we've trained almost 600 persons using this course.  And we continue to use that model of partnership both internally and externally to really develop out our courses and really to impact our reach.

We're also part of M3AAWD and London Action Plan and that course is really being used to really help build capacity in our communities to really address cyber security, not just spam particularly as a cyber threat but also other cyber threats such as botnets and other type of threats.

We've entered into a partnership in 2014 with IEEE.  And we're working with IEEE to re‑purpose our wireless for communities' content and develop a course on building wireless community networks.  And the intent behind that course is to train trainers in various developing countries that they can go back to their communities and expand the expertise to bring more people online uses the wireless and license spectrum.

Outside of our learning programmes, as well, we also do quite a bit of leadership development.  And that would be our IGF capacitors.  So at this particular meeting, we have 21 ambassadors, if they could put their hands up.[]

So it's a diverse group.  21 ambassadors representing 14 countries.  And it's a diverse mix across professions, across countries.  And we also have a 50/50 split of males and females.

[Applause.]

And we also deliver a fellowship to the Internet taskforce where we bring individuals from developing countries to really have these individuals who will be represented the next 2 billion who will come online, have them involved in developing the standards that impact them.  And, finally, just to speak again on expanding our partnerships and taking advantage of those, we've actually entered in a partnership with IEEE, as well, for a new fellowship that we're piloting.  And this fellowship is really to expand the Internet standards development realm where we will choose a small community of fellows who will be attending IEEE plenary and they will also be attending Internet Engineering Task Force meetings.  And it's really to try to break the divide between those two communities and really increase the participation of the developing countries and standards development.  And that's it from me.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much, Neil.  We are now up to the final track of this session.  And I'll ask my colleague Nicolas Seidler to introduce to Internet Governance challenges.

>> NICOLAS SEIDLER:  Thank you, Sebastian.  Good morning.  I have pressure because I'm actually moderating the next workshop in this room at 12 which is about law enforcement and encryption.  You should stay, definitely.

So the global policy department is doing some of the same work that was mentioned by regional colleagues on the policy side but at a more global level, engaging with a wide range of stakeholders.

Clearly there is no shortage of issues from security, privacy, IN transition, the Internet of Things and you name it.  So actually that's a pretty overwhelming ecosystem to engage.

And a few months ago we did a survey of our ISOC members and one of the key challenges that they raised in this survey was that they needed better resources to navigate the Internet policy field.  Many processes are open, multistakeholder, but usually don't have those resources, it's difficult to engage meaningfully.

So to respond to that need, ISOC has developed or associated with a number of initiatives.  And I just want to mention three now.

The first one is called the digital watch.  The digital watch is a web platform that is developed and operated by the Geneva Internet platform.  And so basically it's a website where you can find analysis, background, really up‑to‑date information on more than 42 Internet issues.  So it's really packed with content.  Every day you have new content news on those issues that you will actually hear about during the IGF.  So it's really helpful, we think.  So please go visit the website.  It's digitalwatch.giplatform.org.  And actually yesterday we announced the next evolution of the website which will be about localising even more the website.

So as you know, if you take an issue, net neutrality, it's not the same in India than in the U.S. so the website is going to have local curators to reflect those national perspectives on those issues.  And we have launched a call for curators for that.  So if you go on the website, please apply.

The second resource I wanted to mention is that ISOC has just released 10 policy briefs that provide background and also information on issues such as local content, IXPs, privacy, spam, et cetera.  The difference with the digital watch is that these are two, three pagers that also show ISOC's perspectives on those issues.  So there's an advocacy aspect to that.  And we think, as well, that can be really helpful for people to engage in those policy discussions.

And last but not least we also have a partnership that relation to resources and online freedoms.  I'd like to get back to what Kathy and Raúl said earlier.  We have two key priorities, one of them is to connect the unconnected.  And ISOC is doing a lot of work on that.  And another priority is to ensure that people who are connected can trust the network.  So trust should to be foundation of access.  And people cannot trust if their privacy is violated or if they cannot express themselves online.  So trust is related to online freedoms, as well, very much.

So, we basically looked at who was providing some of the best the and most reliable data on freedoms.  And there was an organisation out there, freedom house who was doing an annual assessment of online freedoms in 65 countries.  So we can announce today that ISOC is actually now a partner of the freedom Internet report which we are very excited about.  And I would just like to give the floor briefly to Sanja Kelly, who is the Director of the Freedom on the Net report, just to say a few words about it.  Thank you.  Sanja.

>> SANJA KELLY: Thank you very much.  Freedom house is very excited about our partnership with ISOC particularly that we are truly at the critical moment of the future for Internet freedom.  So it's extremely important for the Human Rights community and for the technical community to work together.

Just to provide you with a very few highlights in terms of the things that we were able to assess through our data, for example, one alarming item is that currently there are over 3 billion people who have access to the Internet.  But among them, 61 percent live in countries where criticism of the authorities is censored.  Even more so, 58 percent of them live in countries where bloggers or ICT users have been jailed for just putting things online that is critical of the government or posting things about Human Rights.

The range of topics are being censored is very wide.  So we are talking about not just the criticism of the authorities, but also satire, blasphemy, social commentary, and very often even the issues of life and death.  For example, in some countries where the government is trying to cover up scandals like pollution, they block that information online as well as in other mediums.

One of the things that we have noticed through our research is that surveillance has been growing exponentially.  Just looking at the last three years, assessing specifically the situation in 65 countries and assessing the laws that were passed, we saw that in about half of them, new laws have emerged.  So they have been passed and ratified that actually enable the government to conduct greater surveillance.  We have even seen more governments who are obtaining technical capacity to actually make that greater surveillance possible.

We have also seen an increase in governments targeting encryption   and anonymity.  And this is related to the issue have this is not only happening in nondemocratic countries but we have seen a number of democratic countries calling to back door access to communication.  Of concern to the Human Rights community is the fact that we are seeing more and more people arrested for things that they write online.  And many of these prison sentences exceed 10 or 20 or 30 years in prison.  In fact, in a number of countries that we assessed, people are jailed for a life time just for writing things online on political rights or Human Rights.

And some of the issues that we track are also issues like net neutrality because this is an issue that is no longer just relevant to the debates in the United States and Europe but also they're gaining tractions in all over the world.  As well as the issues such as the right to be forgotten because after the EU rolling.  We have seen countries actually invoking this right to be forgotten in their judicial proceedings.  And some countries have actually passed similar legislation; however, legislation in those countries does not have protections for information that will be deemed of public interest.

So, again, the situation is getting quite worrisome.  And I'm very excited to be able to work together with the technical community to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, particularly for the next generation.  Thank you.

>> NICOLAS SEIDLER:  Thank you very much, Sanja.  So that about wraps that part on policy, those three resources.  I hope they will be useful for you.  And if you want more information, please go to me or Sanja for the Freedom on the Net Report.  Back to you, Sebastian.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much, Nicolas.  Before opening the floor for questions and answers, I would like to highlight in the presence of this room of three of the inductees to the Internet Hall of Fame.  We have Eric Huizer there.

[Applause.]

We have Vint Cerf there who is also our first Chairman of the ISOC board.

And we have also Steve Crocker there.

[Applause.]

Who he wrote the number one in IETF and is now Chairman of the ICANN Board.  So, welcome.  Thank you very much for joining us today.

I will open the floor now for question and answers.  Vint is the first one.  Vint.  Thank you.

>> VINT CERF:  I never pass up a chance to use an open microphone.  I have three comments.  The first one is to remind everyone that the reason we called this the Internet Society was because we believe that a society would emerge out of the Internet.  And I think that's what's happened.  That we are seeing this global society with all of it is many facets out of this connectivity.

The second observation I want to make is that even though our purpose is to get everything online, to get everyone online to make it potentially possible for anything to connect to anything else, that in fact we're also beginning to realise that sometimes you don't want everything to be able to connect to everything else.  This is particularly clear in the Internet of Things where what you don't want is the 15‑year‑old next door connecting to your entertainment system and your heating and ventilations and air conditioning system.

So I want to make a fine distinction here between the potential for everything to connect to everything else and the ability to decide when you don't want or to decide which things you want to be connected to or to interact with.  And we need to remember that that may be an important capability.

And, finally, I just want to tell you how much I am impressed by all of the policy work that the Internet Society is doing and the information that you're assembling and making available to everyone.  The Internet watch and the other reports that you mentioned are incredibly useful.  And I want to thank you for that because it fulfills one of the hopes that I always had about the Internet Society, that it would be the source of high quality, straight reportage, telling us what's going on, what the issues are and what the opportunities are for dealing with them.  Thank you.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much, Vint.

Now, Steve Clark?  Please.

>> STEVE CLARK:  I want to echo one aspect of what was just saying and that is that I think one of the wonderful things about the Internet Society is that we're part of creating the new norms that our society is building using the Internet.  And we've been throughout a lot of the discussions this week observing a lot of tensions that society is having with the new things that we can do on the Internet.  You know, we can annoy people in horrible new ways.  But we can also be wonderfully connected to each other in wonderfully new ways.  Incredibly creative and connect to build our communities.  And it's a wonderful thing that we globally are part of this as the Internet Society, to help build these new bridges and new social norms with all of our wonderful friends across the globe.  It's such a powerful community.  And I'm really proud to be part of it.

My second point I wanted to raise is that out of all these wonderful new ambassadors, I'd like you all to have a look at the nominations for the Board of Trustees because I'd like to rope some of you in on that if not this year then next year or the year after.  Thank you, Sebastian.

>> KATHRYN BROWN:  So Narelle is a Trustee of the Internet Society.  She is on our board right now.  So everybody knows that she speaks with some force here.  

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you, Kathy.  I was about to say the same.  Thank you very much.

And we have some information here if you'd like to apply for a seat on our Board of Trustees, you have some information here.

Yes, please.  No, it is not working.  And also if you please introduce yourself.

>> Hello.  I'm Garila Asperank (?) Is it working?  Yes, okay.  The Australian chapter and a member of the Pacific island chapter.  And I commend all the work that ISOC globally does.  We heard about connecting the unconnected.  We heard about the which had variety of policy briefs.  And I commend the latest annual mobile Internet report that Michael completed.  And in that, there was a wide variety of information, including about how people with disabilities can benefit from but there might be barriers to usage.  So we're talking about connecting the unconnected.  And my comment is that that type of report includes a wide variety of aspects, including accessibility for people with disabilities who are 1 billion people globally.  So my suggestion is that with other policy briefs that the society produces in future, it would be great to consult with disability accessibility experts to see if there are any impacts, any barriers, and for that to be included in the general policy briefs.  Thank you.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  If you can use your headphones, somebody can tell her?  Okay.  I was waiting for you.  Thank you very much.  We have talked many times.  I'm very interested in all the work you do with regard to disabilities and accessibility.  And we need your energy.  We need your energy for working on that.  This is a topic that we have not done all that we can do.  And I think that it's very important.  This is one example of a topic in which we have people with a lot of expertise in our chapters, and we have to take advantage of that.  So I know that I'm very open, very supportive of the work you are doing.

Thank you very much and we have also here a very beautiful report on Internet Governance in Africa so they're available here if you would like to pick them up.  They're here for you.

Do we have any other comments or questions?  Just one more and that would be the last one because we are just on time.  Come here.

>> Hello.  I'm ‑‑ from Nepal.  I joined Internet Society in 2005 and it has been 10 years, I think the Internet Society has grown so much in so many ways with the clarity in communication reaching out from leaders to chapter leaders to getting down to each member.  That's something very credible.  The Internet community conferences that has been going on, it should continue and it should grow where we need to have more communication like this.  And I believe the leadership itself is more spectacular in so many ways where I guess Internet Society is the next biggest thing happening in the Internet world.  And thank you.

>> SEBASTIAN BELLAGAMBA:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much for your intervention.  I think that's the work that our chapter in Nepal has done this year in this terrible situation that you had lived there with the earthquake.  This is really impressive.  And I think that you are not listening?

[Applause.]

He has no idea.

[Laughter]

I was saying that it is impressive the work that our chapter in Nepal has done with regard to all the situation that you have lived with the earthquake.

We are very interested.  We have in Sri Lanka a few months ago a workshop with the chapters of the Asia and Pacific region.  So we are very interested in working more regarding disaster recovery and how to help in the situations.  And we are very interested in learning from Nepal experiences.  And we are planning to organise an Inet in Katmandu in March.  And so that will be great to work together on that.

 

Thank you very much.  You were an example for all the chapters around the world.  Thank you.

[Applause.]

And with that, I will thank you all.  Thank you very much for coming here.  We run out of time, sadly.  But we will see you around.  We will be around for the next few days.  So we are happy to get along in the corridors or wherever we meet.

We have another new today, we have an ISOC reception this afternoon.  And you're all invited.  It is going to be held at 7:30 in the Paso de dos lions.  More information will come.  I don't have the information here but you are all invited.  Thank you very much for coming here.

[Applause.]

[End of session.]