The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. May I ask you to take your seats? Very ‑‑ very good morning, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished participants of this edition of Internet Governance Forum here in Geneva. My name is Janis Karklins, I'm ambassador and representative of Latvia to United Nations organization here in Geneva, and I have the privilege to be the coordinator of this NRI session on rights in digital world together with Anja Gengo from IGF secretarial. Let me start with making a few introductory remarks.
As you all are fully aware that Internet Governance Forum is the offspring of the world summit on information societies. It was in Tunis in 2005 when decision was made to organize under auspices of the Secretary‑General of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum to address all issues related to Internet Governance in a multistakeholder fashion.
At that time we were talking about one event per year and now we are talking about more than a hundred events a year at international, regional, and national level.
National and regional initiatives are offsprings of Internet IGF because countries recognize that address Internet Governance and related topics one can do only in multistakeholder way, and gradually, over a period of 12 years, we have reached number of 97 national and regional IGFs, and I was told that discussions are taking place with another ten countries to help them establish this multistakeholder dialogue at national level on Internet Governance and related issues.
We have had, in previous editions of IGF, sessions where national and regional ‑‑ representative of national and regional initiatives shared their experience, practice, and knowledge, told their success stories and warned colleagues about difficulties they have encountered in organizing these events at the national level.
But to my knowledge today is the first time when you, representing national and regional IGF initiatives, will be addressing and discussing substantive issues rights in the digital world.
Before we go in this conversation and before I explain how we will be conducting this conversation, I would like to invite my comoderator, Anja Gengo, to make a brief presentation on the status of the NRI network. Anja over to you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Mr. Karklins. Thank you very much for joining us this important session, I hope you can hear me that my audio is on. And, of course, thank you very much to my colleagues for entrusting me this important role and to bring all of us this discussion whose preparatory work started at the beginning of this year and went through a very lengthy journey before we gathered here all in Geneva.
The idea would be to enter this session with a very quick presentation on the current status of the NRIs network so if you would allow me appear if you are prepared I would just go through a couple of slides that are reflecting the nature of the NRIs network and the current records that we have.
Going back to the background of the NRIs, as you would know the agenda for the information society gave the mandates to the IGF and the agenda didn't call for the information of the IGFs on the national and regional levels, however, today just as Mr. Carton said we are speaking about 97 officially recognized IGFs. This is probably late in Paragraph 80 on the Tunis Agenda that encouraged the development of the multistakeholder practices on national and digital and international levels in order to discuss the issues pertaining to the Internet Governance. With that some countries started organizing their own IGF practices in 2006 and the IGF secretarial recognized a very important value of these practices and in 2011 ‑‑ in 2009 started the official recognition process in order to give more visibility and more credibility to these important practices.
What makes different the IGF and your meetings and other forums who are discussing similar issues are the core principles that (?) referred to just as the IGF itself so with that the NRIs are completely organic, they are autonomous, independent. They have a multistakeholder approach to their work. They're bottom‑up, open, transparent, fully inclusive of all views and, of course, they are of a noncommercial nature.
The core principles of the NRIs are reflected in a unique document that is a product of the collaborative work of last year's recognized NRIs and that we call the NRIs tool kit. One important segment of the NRIs segment is the engagement of the work into the IGF process. The IGF secretarial along with the NRI colleagues is working hard on trying to give more visibility to the great work that is happening on youth engagement in many countries and regions but also on a global level and so far we have produced one publication that reflects the youth engagement at the IGF.
If you look at these graphs that you see hopefully on the slides, then you will see and you can easily track the continued evolutionary growth of the NRIs across the three IGFs mandate. You can see that we started with 37 NRIs that we recognized in 2011 and today just as it was said previously we are talking about 97 officially recognized NRIs in ten countries ‑‑ and ten countries that will soon join the network. This will be the overall breakdown as you see 71 countries has a national IGF process established, 17 regions have processes established. We have youth IGFs present in nine different communities and hopefully 10 more national I was will be ‑‑ IGFs will be joining us very soon. It was very intensive year this 2017 IGF cycle. We had more than 60 NRI events organized and as you can see the biggest concentration was in November. If you could go just to the next slide, please, to the next one, yes.
So more than 60 national, regional and youth annual meetings were organized in this year. If we go to the next slide, then we can see the geographical coverage of the NRIs and as you can see there is a very good balance when it comes about the spread of the NRIs across countries and regions. The NRIs are very important partners to the global IGF and with that we are all trying to have the NRIs better integrated into the IGF annual meeting. That integration is reflected by the eight collaborative sessions that more than 30 different NRIs organized on different subjects for this year's IGF. Of course, this main session is also one of the most important outcomes of that collaboration that exists between the IGF and between the NRIs. The NRIs (?) that the IGF village is a place that you can meet other NRIs, exchange experiences and learn maybe how you can improve your own practices or join one of the existing practices. I hope that tomorrow you will join us in a very important work meeting that we call ‑‑ NRIs call the nations session, that is the session that brings together face‑to‑face in one room all the NRIs, colleagues from the U.N. DESSA, the (?) and also the team of the IGF secretarial. The main aim of that coordination session is actually to discuss what has been done in 2017 and what needs to be done in the next years for improving the overall collaboration and the IGF itself.
As I said, at the beginning, we're very much (?) about the youth engagement in the IGF. Tomorrow morning at half past 8:00 we will have a work meeting with young people enrolled in the IGF processes at different levels and, of course, you are more than welcome to join and help us to brainstorm on how to advance the overall youth engagement in the IGF.
With this I would conclude this short presentation. Thank you very much for your attention and over to my comoderator, thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you very much, Anja, for this presentation and let me now explain the rules of the game. So this session is like summit within two parts. We have first part where representatives of (?) will be engaging with each ‑‑ NRIs will be engaging with each other answering questions that have been formulated with the organizers of the session, and there are five. And in the afternoon starting from 3:00 to 4:00 we will open the floor for any participant wishing to engage either on five questions or interact with representatives of NRI.
So questions that we will be addressing one by one probably 14 minutes each are the following: How do the NRI community understand the rights in digital world? That's question number one.
Two, from the perspective of NRI, what are our rights in the digital world, and do you see the access as one of those?
Question number three: Are there any challenges and limitations in exercising rights in the digital world, according to views of your NRI?
Number four: How is development of new technologies affect these rights in the digital world, from your perspective and ‑‑ and last question: What recommendations or advice from your NRI you can give approaching all the identified problems in the previous questions can the multistakeholder model be an effective approach in ‑‑ from making improvements.
You need not to speak on all five because we simply have limited time. But please choose those who ‑‑ those questions that are closer to your heart or you have opinion as representing the opinion of your NRI, and if you want to speak, please do like this on the question. Raise your nameplate that I can see and I will give you the floor. Your intervention should not be more than two minutes and at the bottom of the screen you see that and after two minutes I will invite you to press the button of your microphone to shut it down.
We know, since we are living in Twitter era, we can express ourselves very successfully in 280 signs. So therefore, two minutes is much more than that.
By saying this, I would like to open the floor for the first question and I repeat the question: How do the NRI communities understand the rights in the digital world? Those who do not master English perfectly you have a choice to listen to this conversation also in French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, six languages of U.N., and you can also speak in those languages, if you wish so. So the floor is open on the first question. Who will kick start the debate? Colombia. Colombia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Gracias [Spanish]. Yes, I'm going to speak Spanish, Chair. Since the beginning of the debate that we've started in Colombia, on the question of Internet Governance, right from the very beginnings of this debate, we have always said that in the digital world, we must respect the same rights which prevail in the nondigital world in all circumstances, whatever these might be. So we have formulated some concerns on this matter. Indeed, we need to look at how we can make sure these rights are respected in the best possible manner to protect them from vulnerabilities because we are more vulnerable in the digital world so all the rights we have in the physical world should also be implemented and respected online.
So our concern is to look at how we can do so in the most effective and efficient way possible. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, information on our rights, offline should exist also online. Italy.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Chair. So in Italy we have an important initiative that was taken by our chamber of liberties that in 2014 started a committee to discuss and prepare declaration on Internet rights, and connected to this, we had the IGF Italy in the year '14 and year '15 at the chamber of liberties. And this was then concluded with an approval of the parliament about this declaration, and IGF Italy has been always very well engaged in discussing Internet rights. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much that started in Atlantic City with the first IGF meeting in Greece and we have at least one country where Internet rights are adopted by the parliament. Brazil, please.
>> FLAVIA: Thank you. So I must start with a disclaimer that the Brazilian (?) has been since 2011 and it's truly a multistakeholder event organized by the (?) Brazilian multistakeholder (?) committee. And the Brazilian IGF community comprises a very complex set of individuals and organizations from all stakeholder work that gather around this annual event organized by CGIs, a very complex community. It's therefore the (?) of the different stakeholder groups and different cross‑community coalitions would have different responses to this question and to other questions that are presented today in this main session. So I do not speak on behalf of that whole community, I speak as a member of the multistakeholder organization team that was put together by CGI to organize the Brazilian IGF which in this year's edition which the global IGF entirely organized by community efforts. We had 78 workshop proposals from all groups and regions of the country, all 21 could be selected, and the discussions dealt with very different issues such as protection online, privacy data coalition, blockchain, algorithms, jurisdiction and many others, so any understanding of the rights in this digital world has to incorporate the complexities that enter into such a larger world of issues and to the great number of conflicting interests that have to reconcile within that context, and we can say this as a communities. We firmly believe that a principled approach such as the Brazilian (?) Internet rights and the IGF principles is for dealing with that complexity and for reconciling different views around the world. And I can please state that there is wide recognition in the Brazilian Internet Governance community and repeating what Colombian IGF has said that we have in the digital world the same rights as offline.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, Flavia for reminding that there is another country where parliament has adopted Internet rights.
Now I will go to China.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, it's a great pleasure for me to discuss with you Internet covenants. My name is Lo Ri (phonetic), IGF Secretariat in China. It was established this year, our communion to establish an IGF in China so more people will know about IGF at the same time we build a bridge so the world can know China and to expand China's experience to the whole world.
The first agenda item of this world is the Internet digital rights. We believe this is an important question, even we believe that this is the basis for our discussion and of all other questions.
When we discuss the right, we must understand that there might be different understanding of the rights and different criteria to judge these rights. Our discussion might not come to a uniform understanding of this right.
Secondly, we must realize that the subject individual community, religion, or country as the subject of the right, they might have different claims. This is a reality. As for the different views of different subjects in the field of Internet we believe ‑‑ (no audio).
>> [Technical difficulties ‑‑ please stand by].
>> JANIS KARKLINS: And I'm very curious to listen thoughts coming from different parts of the world where the access is right. If I recall in one of the first editions of the report broadband commission for digital development argued that access and use of Internet is not that much right but human need so do you agree with that. West African IGF.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much, West Africa, my name is Mary Donuma (phonetic) for the record and I'm with west African IGF. West Africa has about 15 countries and we have the IGF and we have the (?) IGF and one of the things that stood out for us in defendant was this question of Internet shutdown and we considered it as against access and we should have rights to the Internet and why are we experiencing Internet shutdown mostly in West Africa in Togo and Gambia, so we assume access is a right to every person, and when there is a shutdown it could affect the health, it could facility the economy, and it's expensive to shut down the Internet so it is a right so we adopted ‑‑ in West Africa we adopted the declaration of Internet rights and freedom of 2016 by the African Union, we adopted it (?) and also adopted the Internet permanency for all government in West Africa. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you, thank you very much for this affirmation. Afghanistan.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, Mr. Chairman, my name is (saying name), I'm from IGF Afghanistan. Mr. Chairman, we have our first IGF in March this year, and this was a very successful event by bringing 200 people from all walks of life. We had a two days' meeting which included ‑‑ the topics included access in diversities, scales capacity and cybersecurity issues online safety gender and emerging issues. A little bit on the infrastructure of Afghanistan. It is the only country that has a fiber ring throughout the country and it connects all the neighbors to the fiberoptic. But still, Internet band width remains the most expensive in the world, in the country. Band width costs about 150 per month, on average. If you want to build fiber to home, that costs you $550 a month as maintenance fee. And there is a ‑‑ like insulation costs of 2,000 to $30,000 that would be charged to you in order for you to bring fiber home.
So if you are going to get at home your Internet it would cost you 15 to $16,000 per month and that's totally unaffordable for the afghan citizens. Right, according to us is the connectivity and access technology. It should be affordable for the people, common people, to have access to quality services to bandwidth that's stable and reliable. There are often fiber cuts due to security in the remote areas. Taliban are cutting fiber and that's putting us as businesses, Civil Society, the citizens in trouble we have electricity issues sometimes and that puts our data center off, you know. So these are some of the challenges we're facing in Afghanistan, but luckily we recently adopted the open access policy. Previously it was government ‑‑ a State own telecom (?) the fiber but now due to this open access policy the private sector is going to invest, the government is planning to issue more licenses to further enhance the conditions and make it easy for the investors to invest as well as to provide connectivity and improve the quality of services. So we are very determined in Afghanistan and we're working in IGF 2018 ‑‑ IGF Afghanistan 2018, looking for more partnerships and collaborations. We would like to learn from the experiences of other IGFs in other countries and love to talk to you all.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you, Amar and IGF is really the place that you can do all what you need to do. Important to retain that access as a right should also be affordable, otherwise many people simply cannot afford to get online.
Spain followed by Nigeria.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is ‑‑ for the record, so to be able to reflect the perspective of the Spanish IGF we use our annual meeting which was held on the 28th and 29th of November and detail rights specifically and we also conducted (?) that reflects the bottom‑up process. And so insights about the outcomes. So the view of the IGF is rights in the digital world shouldn't be any different from the rights of (?) has already been said within the IGF community. So the first one is by the (?) (audio poor) and secondly access to the Internet and in our perspective the access to the Internet is ‑‑ (no audio).
[Technical difficulties ‑‑ please stand by]
>> AUDIENCE: Clearly part of our democratic experience and it's not just, you know, about that but also Nigeria just came out of a recession recently and one of the key things that everyone, obviously, agrees, you know, or plays a part in the economy is the fact that there are three things that come to be. One is access, two is youth, and three is SMEs. Without access, young people can't view SMEs that can generate within the economy and help the country improve and go forward so these are some of the things that we discussed and it's great that we end with this which is good news is that the regulator, because the national IGF in Nigeria is multistakeholder, if I have to use that word again but indeed the regulator was also participating and is a favorable idea of using the license spectrum for improved access even in rural areas and I think that's good news.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, I like this expression, access as democratic experience. Brazil, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Janis. So Marcus Hill (phonetic), the Brazilian rights for the I want which has been approved by the national parliament in 2014 after a long, open, very participative public consultation process, assures several rights, especially freedom of speech, privacy, data protection, the need of court order to remove contents from Web sites and platforms and it also states explicitly among its goals and I cite the promotion of the right to access the Internet and access to information, to knowledge and to participation in the cultural life and in public policies. And I can certainly claim that the debate among several years in the Brazilian IGF and the Brazilian multistakeholder stakeholder committee has been (?) that has been enshrined in the bill.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much I will take the next four interventions starting with the democratic republic of conga, Asia‑Pacific and Nepal and then we'll move to Item 3. Democratic republic of Congo.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for giving me the floor. I believe we are the youngest IGF country because ten days ago we were able to organize the first iteration of our IGF in Congo and we're very proud of that because the government has understood the point of having such a platform in Congo. And since 2009 we have done the formalities to set up such a public forum, we've been able to, in 2016, embark upon our activities with government approval, and in 2017 we were able to have this iteration of our IGF because several changes occurred within government. As far as consumers are concerned and the problems they face, we have access to Internet. We have some 26 in 2017 Internet cuts, breaks in access. The cost to have access to the Internet remains pretty high.
The second need we have, obstacles we face is a connectivity. We need to have high debit policies, and we're far from having reached our targets in terms of coverage, and the last but one is that we need proper laws. We do not have properly tailored laws to our needs in DRC. We have two bills before parliament currently, and we are lobbying to ensure that they meet consumers' needs.
The last point I would like to raise is what we need to improve the operation of IGF in our country and how our stakeholders are representative ‑‑ represented. Thank you very much for giving me the floor.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for your experience and I now invite Asia‑Pacific IGF to say something about access as a right.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, chairman. So this is (saying name) from the Secretariat Asia‑Pacific region IGF. In our Asia‑Pacific region human rights remains a highly concerned topics and we believe it's fundamental ‑‑ respect for human rights is fundamental achievement of the goals. And especially in the area of access development so we believe access is actually a key enabler to right to information and not only to that but also actually to education, health, and culture and all the other e‑services that happens online right now in this digital world. So therefore in some of the area in our region, actually, we experience Internet shutdowns which we consider it highly affecting the information flows and also the development of the community.
And on top of access I want to echo the Spain IGF that there is also other dimensions of empowerment that we have to consider especially the digital literacy and how weeks empower people to have true access to the information that they needed and also we believe that lastly the application of human rights should also consider cost‑cutting issues such as gender, agent, thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you, also remaining those remaining cross cultural issues. I was asked to repeat that those who take the floor, please indicate your name in the dictating speed that we can capture it for the.
>> UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: And also, please, just a kind suggestion put your name plates down because the colleagues that are streaming they don't see your face.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So with that we are going to Nepal.
>> UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you very much, this is (saying name) for the record the Nepal IGF. We started the Nepal IGF since this year and it was very successful, more than 100 participants participate each year ‑‑ each day, around this for two days, and around 49, not around, it was exactly 49 organizations who participated in this Nepal IGF in various ways. It's absolutely access is one of the very major issues in Nepal as well as 82% line of ‑‑ land of Nepal is covered by either snowy mountain or high hill mountain and after 2015 disaster of big, massive earthquake, more realize that access is one of the major issues that we have to consider in that way, not only to get other kind of facilities rather than comfortable in living life very smoothly and building relationships among the people in that kind of different (?). So access is one of the very majors to discuss in Nepal and talk about in please perspective, issues previously use of the service fund. By this year we have started using universal fund accumulated through these (?) trust and now we're expanding (?) across the country and we hope by 2020 it will have a big opportunity through this access. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, indeed, access might be a difficulty in a country which ‑‑ with a very difficult geography terrain. Japan.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, my name is (saying name), I'm a newly appointed coordinator for Japan. I don't remember we have discussed rights or access in Internet Governance in Japan in the sense that most of my colleagues here talk about but we do have access issues if you look at Internet connectivity from a business or investment point of view. Net neutrality in IPv6 network is one of those examples. Also network operators are not necessarily positive about the opening up of their network to retail network operators in the way that is desirable from a net neutrality point of view. So this will definitely lead to an access issue on the citizens or consumer side so we do have some access issues like this.
And chairman, I will have to excuse myself in a few minutes because of some prior commitment. Sorry about this.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for your intervention.
Let us move now to the next item which ‑‑ I would like to invite you to speak about perceived limitations and challenges exercising rights in the digital world. I suspect that this might be probably the longest list that we will get so let me start by the Sri Lankan IGF to take the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, I'm (saying name) coordinator IGF Sri Lanka. First of all, IGF had ‑‑ Sri Lanka had two national IGFs in the last two years. For the last two years we have not discussed about these rights, human rights within IGF. But after the IGF there were some concerns of persons, activists, they asked why Sri Lankan ideas human rights in the digital arena as a topic to be discussed within the national IGF.
Then we had the same query, we checked our check and balances, we saw that the bottom‑up communication from the whole national IGF community doesn't want to have a session on digital rights. So thinking of that, the literacy is an issue on rights in our country. So what we have to do, we have to (?) the people of Sri Lanka about digital rights. Still we lack behind about human rights, fundamental human rights even so it's better. So we have to work on shadow to improve the literacy of our people towards the digital rights. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Literacy as an impediment of challenge to exercise rights in a digital world.
Look, I suspected that there will be many flags up, and I beg you not to put flags up anymore so then I will ‑‑ then I will take all those who have flags up, including Armenia and North Africa. Are we in agreement? Okay.
>> ELIZABETH: This is Elizabeth Chalman (phonetic) on EuroDIG. Human rights online has received a lot of traction in Europe as well and, of course, there are challenges online as there are offline interconnected online audiences lead to larger groups of people being affected at the same time in the cross countries. While legal systems, normative beliefs, and societal principles tend to differ on how much of legitimate limitations there can be to digital rights, personal data, data security and privacy are main concerns and their attention has been outlied in the EU some European states still enforce it and stick to it but the right to privacy is discussed vividly and on a good standard for Europe. It would be desirable for intermediaries and platforms to be more transplant about the data practices and policies as it is hard for agencies to make decisions at this point in time. IT spread into everyone's life is also a big topic. Human rights protection, economic interests and the possibilities of technology have to be balanced therefore the intersections of these issues have to be addressed continuously. Thank you (EuroDIG).
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much and apologies for losing a little bit of concentration. Armenia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: (Saying name), Secretary Armenian Internet Governance Forum. We have at least three main problems which I think is not only for our country. First is intellectual property. Is it possible to protect today intellectual property? Because maybe it's possible because we have all ‑‑ we have open access to the Internet and how to resolve this point is necessary to understand, is it possible or not, and if it's possible we can find a way. Next point is privacy. According to European directives, privacy is on the first place in each country, okay, have to keep personal data in the servers on their territory. But when we have Cloud computing, this is not logical. I think necessary to find any ‑‑ any solution for that, why we need to keep data in our country. Maybe it's better to keep in other country because ‑‑ so it's necessary to understand that these formal requirements are very far from real life.
And the third point, I think, which is very important is contradiction between content provider and telecom operators. So we see that our pool in our country is less than $4 per user. It's impossible to keep up to date our cellular networks because $4 is nothing to implement 4 or 5G technologies. At the same time content providers now are ‑‑ they are gathering revenue using our infrastructure and how to resolve this? We don't know, but it's one of our most serious problems. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. Challenge ‑‑ the national tension between national operators and content providers.
North African IGF. You have the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. We started in 2012 and we became active in 2016 and we were able to have our first General Assembly just some 20 days ago in Egypt. So we are an older as well as a younger version. We have all the structure necessary for the IGF, so that's old but we're also a young one because we have a young, new fresh debate. I'd like to give you an idea of what is happening in Tunisia. You know Tunisia created its IGF in 2012. When we look at rights Tunisia has enshrined in its new constitution practically all of the rights and has brought the right to communication together with more fundamental rights such as the right to water and the right to electricity. So the question of rights to communication, in particular, Internet communication, is a very current topic in Tunisia. To come back to the northern African IGF, there's still a great deal of work to be done and we started to do this, in particular, on those questions raised here today.
One core concern for us is how we encourage the establishment of national IGFs in the whole of this north African region. That's the first thing.
Secondly, how do we improve awareness of all questions related to the Internet in our region and all of the countries of North Africa are seeing great enthusiasm for the consolidation of infrastructure, which is, of course, at the very basis of Internet access in our countries. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much, Rita. So capacity‑building is one of the major issues in north of Africa. Croatia, and Poland.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Chair. My name is Nata (saying name) I'm a coordinator from Croatia IGF. Our IGF is active for three years now, and from the previous IGF meetings we had human rights present as ‑‑ in the agenda in various fields, mostly children's safety online and open data. So I'll tell something from that perspective. So we find that like digital literacy and media literacy is a huge challenge in Croatia. Many children finishing schools today are not prepared for dealing with the cyberspace threats. Also although we have a citizens project which enable services from public administration to be accessible online, unfortunately very few citizens use those kind of services, just 9.3% of Croatian citizens are e‑citizens. So it's lack of digital literacy and people are, we suppose, uninformed to use those public available online services.
Also unfortunately on the developed Internet infrastructure in all parts of Croatia causes an unequal availability to access digital services as well as those from e‑citizens or any other digital services. And also for the last few months harmful online content, especially hate speech, is rising appearance in Croatia. So it's mainly based on a different political affiliations and ideological differences where supporters of one ideology is sending serious threats toward politicians, journalists or public persons that they believe supporters of our ideology. So it's recognized as a serious problem by Croatian government, and now task force is formed in order to take appropriate measure to mitigate this issue.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. I suspect that those that ‑‑ challenges you indicated is not specifically relevant to Croatia, they're much wider. Poland followed by Netherlands.
>> AUDIENCE: This is (saying name) from the Polish IGF speaking. We have been organizing IGF meetings since last year so this year we conducted our second IGF forum, and there was no specific session on digital rights but virtual every other discussion within the Polish IGF was centered around people's rights and topics is something else entirely if commerce or cybersecurity the most basic layer of discussion was always about rights and values that corresponds with different online activities and there is a universal agreement about our community that new technologies can change how we execute our rights and can make it more difficult but the real source of the challenge is not the technology itself but always the human nature ‑‑ humans that stand behind it.
And we are able, we'll be able to solve the technical problems we believe but keeping the high standards and, in fact, entering the same rights online and offline can be challenging. And if the real source of the problems is a conflict between different values and different rights, there was one overarching theme in many discussions within the Polish IGF and it was surprisingly ethics. So as the technology progresses and new conflicts arising and other ones are escalating, we have the ‑‑ well, we have the responsibility to talk with the (?) and this is our responsibility as participants in the multistakeholder model and the supporters of the model to try to reconcile the different values and therefore solve the problems that seem technical but are, in fact, ethical in its deepest nature. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Netherlands followed by Panama. Netherlands, please.
>> LISA: Thank you, Moderator. My name is Lisa Framier (phonetic), I'm responsible for Internet and human rights as the Dutch ministry Foreign Affairs I'm very glad and honored to be here to represent our community it's a very lively community. Human rights are very much on the table in this community disturb our Dutch IGF event in September. One of the many, I would say, concerns in the Netherlands is the role of the private sector and the extent to which they experience and take responsibility for their role in advancing human rights online. I'm happy to stress there for one of the ‑‑ one of the projects that has been supported by the IGF community in the Netherlands, the private sector is very much engaged in the Dutch IGF community, both the social media as technical community.
One of the organizations in the technical sector has embarked on quite an exciting journey. SIDM which is managing .nl in The Netherlands has teamed up (?) services IT organization Article 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to assess a business and human rights impact assessment. So they developed an assessment scheme ranging from freedom of expression and privacy but also workers' rights, antiharassment policies, there is a very broad scheme to assess human rights impact of the work of the SIDM. This project is I think unique in the world for a registry to embark upon and they will be presenting their results later this IGF tomorrow at the session. The IGF community, both the global and the Dutch one, have been catalyzing for this project. They have been following up on all the events and therefore I wanted to stress this project that is a cooperation between both technical and government and I would say government, sorry, services organization and the IGF secretarial. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for sharing these insights. Now Panama followed by Uganda.
>> AUDIENCE: Microphone, please. Hello, (saying name) is my name. I'm from the IGF in Panama. We were created formally in March this year 2017, and I believe that we have made significant progress as an organization. I represent the Civil Society but we're not going to speak ‑‑ what I'm going to speak about today is the consensus and what we've been working on since March. We were created in March, but in April we had a round table on Internet Governance to be able to define those themes which we needed to work on in our country to subsequently in August, in Panama, organize the regional forum for our region on the Internet. We really weren't working on these things and we needed to make progress on these things to bring together our countries.
In October, following this, we were able to identify our challenges and despite the fact that Panama is a country that has infrastructure in Latin America, we have lack of technological specificities as a result of which there are limitations in our laws. Our laws are outdated and are not in tune when the challenges that we have in the current digital market. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. The outdated laws as impediment exercising rights in the digital world. Uganda, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, my name's Naroga (saying name) and I represent the Uganda IGF. We've had the Uganda IGF since 2008 and each year we have a thematic ‑‑ thank you ‑‑ we have thematic sessions. In the past we have worked for the Internet policy laws and among these were the cyber laws including the computer misuse act. Some of the challenges and limitations we've seen in this act is being used to prosecute individuals for offensives of ‑‑ in instances where they're expressing their rights of expression or maybe they're arrested for instance of inciting violence or abusing the person of the president. But this year during the IGF, we had a special session on the official cybersecurity and the Internet in Uganda, and we had a representative from law enforcement and he agreed and expressed concern that there was too ‑‑ lack of awareness about digital rights and balancing rights and freedom of expression and privacy.
The other thing that we see as a challenge, as much as we have so many laws in my country, focusing on protection of digital rights or fighting cybercrime we really don't have that protection, no, and this is one of the things that came out highly as an issue for us in Uganda. But also there was the issue of lack of resources, both financial and human resource from all ‑‑ all actors, including law enforcement users and policymakers so these are some of the challenges and limitations that we're looking at when we look at digital rights in Uganda. Thanks.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Laws are in place, but implementation of those laws not necessarily are done in the best way. Dominican republic, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, everyone my name is Fredricka, I'm from the Dominican Republic and I will talk about our experience. IGF in Dominican Republic was created in 2015, so we have only three years working on this, but every year we try to include in our schedule human rights and digital rights because we want to keep awareness about it.
Our rights in digital world should be the same as existing online and they should be respected and treated like that. In this context in 2016 our local chapter, our localized chapter submitted a declaration of the digital rights principles and values in the Dominican Republic. It established some principles like the freedom of Internet, the human rights ‑‑ the recognition of human rights online and offline, the net neutrality and so on.
In this case, in 2015 ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ in 2017, I mean this year, two members of the ISOC Dominican Republic board made a report about women digital rights in our country. And we collected some important information such as sexual violence and harassment and not establishing the law so women have no ‑‑ have no way to be defended. And a gigabyte cost in the Dominican Republic is two points over the goal established by the aligns for affordable Internet so it causes difficulties in enhancing sustainable public policies to achieve the universal access to ICTs in the country and it also affects Internet access for the final users. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for sharing concerns from the Dominican Republic and let us listen now how things are going in Kenya.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, everyone, my name is Chris Gavenka (phonetic), I am here representing the Kenya IGF. The Kenya IGF, the tenth Kenya IGF was held in July this year. It's usually a multistakeholder grouping of organizations that come together to organize, and it's convened by the Kenyan ICT action network. This week to celebrate the ten years we held a Kenya IGF week that we conducted a Kenya school of Internet Governance for flee days, then we had a youth IGF for one day and we had a thought leaders meeting to discuss Internet shutdowns on one day and all this culminated in the Kenya IGF 2010 when among others we launched a brief on Internet shutdowns. Some of the challenges that were discussed and have continued to be discussed one is the issue of surveillance. In particular, during instances of high political agitation where the suspicion from different quarters and the citizens are concerned that they might be surveilled.
The other thing is there's also insecurity, and this, again, is an issue of surveillance, as a result of terrorism, you know, we are in a country that has continued to experience terrorism in Al‑Shabab attacks. There, a concern that has continued and it was very much in the Kenya IGF was there's a lack of data protection in the country and this was ‑‑ this was a fear that was expressed as a result of Kenya going through a general election, and the fact that citizens were told that their data was told in Europe so there was a concern that that data can be used in any way without any protection, and therefore there needs to have a data protection act.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Suspicions on surveillance and data protection as challenges identified by Kenya IGF. Before going to Asia‑Pacific and Italy, we will listen to youth representatives and we'll start with the youth representative from Turkey.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is Susanna Herring (phonetic) and I'm one of the coordinators of IGF Turkey. Shortly about our initiative this was the third year this year that it was at the end of November and it was the most bottom‑up and inclusive one with travels on that ensured participants from ‑‑ from ‑‑ not from Istanbul was also able to come, we had different cities, different backgrounds, it was multistakeholder. But about the challenges and limitations, we did some surveys and also during the discussions our government was listed high on the list as a challenge in front of exercising digital rights both in content blocks and survey links official and unofficial surveillance, both in use of online vials by, violence by trolls, and this was more felt by female users online. And also we ‑‑ we discussed in length the increasing exclusion of People with Disabilities because there are ‑‑ because the design of things does not keep them in mind. So raising awareness in that sense. And also self‑censorship came to the forefront as another issue, again, due to surveillance and political climate. So these were the main challenges the youth of Turkey identified.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Okay, thank you very much for sharing challenges identified in youth IGF in Turkey. And now let me invite youth LAC IGF, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, everyone, my name is Allison (phonetic), and I'm here representing youth LAC IGF. The youth LAC IGF is (?) has been working for two years in Latin America. In both years we have a session about human rights and the Internet and we have realized that (?) especially the lack of connection in rural communities (?) is one of the biggest limitations towards satisfying the rights in the world. We have (?) from Latin America is a developing region. The poverty, the discrimination, the lack of opportunities, especially with young people (?) issues that are present in the digital world too. 2017, there were more a half a billion people in Latin America and the connected ones are just 54.5% data for 2016. For the people connected, Internet is present every month in their lives and it's limited to exercise their rights not only on the platform but also due to enhance their capacity of rights for these ideals and their different points of view and et cetera. On the other hand, the unconnected are being deprived of all of this, deprived to have access to technology. They might be able to create different ways to improve their lives and to exercise their rights. Because, like I say, the Internet gives us potential for (?) of things from communicating with others to work and exercise your rights. So I think that lack of connection together with lack of access to information are the major limitations and we as several institutes are working to struggling to end it.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Affirmation that the digital divide still exists and it causes a major problem in Latin American and Caribbean region. Asia‑Pacific privilege.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, this is (saying name) from the Asia‑Pacific IGF again. So I want to highlight one of the most concerned issues within our region or challenges and limitations as the gender digital divide and also the gender‑based violence. This is a critical concern which actually impeding us to address disparity and Internet access in our region because actually the gender‑based violence would limit the women's ability to take advantage of the opportunities of that ICTs can provide and also the full realization as women's human rights and oftentimes in some part of our region there is not equal access between the different genders, and for example, within a family, if they should build a family plan there might be discrimination over the gender ‑‑ I mean, over a daughter instead of a boy so these are some of the challenges that we observe in our region. And, of course, there are also other persist tenth disparities for example, in literacy income and also other barriers in the form of personal and cultural norms that we observe in the region thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much and now Italian IGF.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning to everybody. My name is (saying name), I'm here representing Italy IGF. Given I was in Bologna this year on the 20th and 21st of November, it was quite a successful event and it has been managed following the five principles of IGF tool kit so it was open and transparent, inclusive, but a statistical and noncommercial event and we set up an online participatory platform just to ‑‑ to take on the comments from the community on the agenda.
We are actually several session and I try to say a little bit about the session. There was one reality cybersecurity and the Internet about a lot of discussion has been debated about the importance of data security and importance to ‑‑ to start a discussion, a public debate on the security to involve more people on this discussion because we think security is not only to be intended as a cyberattack but it's important security for what concerned data and the privacy.
Then we share importance also to start training project at the school and the university to improve awareness about privacy and data protection.
And then we share important social to ask Italian government to have more human resource tools able to manage emerging situation, also to push more on research on cryptology, IoT and scatter system and also another issue came out during our discussion about cybersecurity and the Internet. So important we have a body, a body in Italy and Europe, a specific body focused on the hardware and software and firm certification to be used by the public administration, and also important to have more involvement of cities in public ‑‑ in defining the public policy using a multistakeholder model.
Then we had also another session on intelligent ‑‑ on artificial intelligence. And also here, a lot of issues came out related to the use of big data. As they usually have ‑‑ or manage ‑‑ use the predictive algorithms, so this algorithm are not using human intelligence. So this could be a problem for citizens.
And, actually, we have discussed a lot of things so maybe my time is finished but anyway, there were also a lot of problems related to the risk opportunity between Internet and work, also the new business model coming from (?) so maybe I can try to report and share ‑‑
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. As we usually say, that problems grow with kids, seems the problems of Internet grow as Internet spreads in the country, where the country is developed or developing alike.
I must say I absolutely failed in my task, moderate the discussion and keep the time. We are lagging about half hour behind the initial schedule so therefore, I don't think it is wise to start discussion of question four. That we will do in ‑‑ we will start with question four in the afternoon session and therefore, remaining three minutes we will spend listen ‑‑ list of challenges coming from Brazil and from this democratic republic of Congo. Flavia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you Janus (saying name) Wagner speaking for the Brazilian IGF. Limitations in exercising our rights in the digital world I bring a legal perspective the Brazilian bill, the bill of rights on the Internet is still very young, it dates back to 2014. Debates in the Brazilian IGF has shown that the Brazilian community fears that some of these rights that have been enshrined in the bill could be negatively affected by new bills proposed in the national parliament afterwards, very recent years and mostly by pressure from very specific sectors. This is clearly the case for net neutrality for instance which is firmly established in the bill but should be weakened according to telecom companies just to mention an example. Also rights to privacy and data protection could be affected by a new bill on data protection which is under discussion for several years without a final decision yet.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, and Democratic Republic of Congo [French].
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for giving me the floor. As far as I'm concerned, this is just something I omitted to say but it's quite a significant omission, it has consequences that is. First of all, our government is determined through its vice minister in charge of new technologies to organize the next iteration of the IGF in the central African region. That's a piece of information I had this morning, a confirmation I forgot to share with you early on.
The second piece of information I'd like to share with you is at the same time as the IDC/IGF was launched we also launched the youth platform, the young DRC which is now up and running as such.
The third point I would like to raise ‑‑ well, it's a comment really. We are speaking about the forthcoming IGFs. Our catalyst was the fact that our vice minister in charge of new technologies was invited to our IGF, and he was able to concretely see how important it was to set up such a platform in the DRC and I think that for all the other countries in the future it would be good to involve directly the authorities' concerns so that they can understand directly what the IGF is and what the point of the IGF is.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Your ‑‑ your experience highly relevant, especially for those who are planning to start their IGF initiatives so with this we have come to the end of our allocated time for the first part of the session. As I mentioned, I failed completely in managing the time properly as planning, what can you do, life is life, and I think we heard many interesting things that were very educational for all of us and we share that information and now we have about two hours to digest what we heard in order to come back at 3:00 and to talk about question four and question five. And after that we will engage also in a dialogue with the audience if there will be any questions or comments from those who haven't taken the floor until then, so by saying this I would like to thank all of you for your active participation and I invite you to be back in the room at 3:00 p.m. that we can maximize the time of one hour.
>> ANJA GENGO: So before you leave the room very importantly the second segment will be devoted to listen you will have an opportunity to ask questions with the colleagues so I hope you will be back here at 3:00. I think Marilyn has an announcement.
>> MARILYN CADE: My name is Marilyn Cade, I'm the chief catalyst of IGF USA and part of the NRI network and we have agreed in the NRI network among the coordinators that we'll have a session just with the NRI coordinators or representatives from your NRI with UNESCO from 2:30 until 2:55 and the discussion is between the UNESCO team and the NRI coordinators or people who are officially in their NRI. It's not that others can't be in the room but the dialogue is going to be primarily pushed around a discussion that we have been trying to develop to learn more about UNESCO's programs so the NRIs themselves can take that into account in their future planning. Thanks.
>> ANJA GENGO: Marilyn in, this room, right, in this room?
>> MARIYLN CADE: In this room.