IGF 2020 WS #201 COVID-19 and Internet Governance: An IGF 2020 Approach

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Chris Buckridge, RIPE NCC

Speaker 1: Chris Buckridge, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Constance Bommelaer, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Marco Hogewoning, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Moderator

Chris Buckridge, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Chris Buckridge, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Chris Buckridge, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Other - 90 Min
Format description: A main session is proposed.

Policy Question(s)

This proposal establishes a framework in which a wide diversity of policy questions can be explored in a holistic way.

The proposal establishes a framework for the IGF 2020 to consider the events surrounding the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications – specifically, the way the Internet was used, the Internet governance actions that were (or weren’t) taken in response, and the many Internet governance questions raised or highlighted by what occurred (and will likely still be occurring in November 2020).

SDGs

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Description:

Rather than proposing a single session, this is a larger proposal for the MAG’s consideration for a coordinated series of sessions within IGF 2020 to consider the events surrounding the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications – specifically, the way the Internet was used, the Internet governance actions that were (or weren’t) taken in response, and the many Internet governance questions raised or highlighted by what occurred (and will likely still be occurring in November 2020).

The details of this proposal are laid out in the supporting document.

Expected Outcomes

It is expected that a consistent, holistic framework for consideration of COVID-19-related issue at the IGF 2020 will facilitate the production of concrete outputs, either by the organisers of the individual workshops, or by the IGF community as a whole, if the MAG decides to facilitate such a process.

Ensuring interactive contributions (alongside interventions from the planned speakers), whether from those physically in attendance or online, will be a priority in ensuring that the main session is able to achieve its goal of effectively framing the COVID-19-related discussion with relevant factual information. As a main session, responsibility for the modalities for such interaction will lie with the MAG; however, effective onsite and online moderators will be vital. This is particularly true at a time when many around the world are becoming more comfortable with participating in online sessions via platforms such as Zoom.

Relevance to Internet Governance: As described more fully in the supporting document, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the societal responses to the pandemic, have a raised a broad range of questions in relation to Internet governance, including:

- Impact on Internet infrastructure
- Impact on global lifestyles and work, particularly the remote work transition
- The growing and changing use of Internet platforms
- Regulatory responses
- The Internet industry: What the COVID-19 response has revealed

the supporting document further breaks this out into specific issues relating to each fo the four thematic tracks.


Relevance to Theme: The supporting document describes a breakdown of topics that may fit well or be appropriately grouped into separate workshops arranged according to the four thematic tracks:

Data
- Use of private electronic data to track COVID-19 exposure (e.g. use of contact-tracing apps)
- Potential and risk in harnessing big data approaches to health data
- Online platforms and the use/retention of private data

Environment
- Environmental impact of increased Internet use
- Potential for online communications to reduce professional travel in the future: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience
- The place of the Internet in a “new normal”, post-COVID-19: What should that end goal be, and what can different stakeholder groups do to help achieve it?
- Reduction of environmental impact in social isolation through IoT and e-services

Inclusion
- Diverse global experiences in relation to Internet-enabled work alternatives: A new facet of the "digital divide"?
- New opportunities through increased and normalised remote working
- Cooperative models between operators and with other stakeholders to develop and ensure connectivity
- Multistakeholder governance in the COVID-19 era: Has the model worked? How are the fundamental principles of inclusivity, accountability and transparency maintained?

Trust
- Online platforms, security and building/maintaining trust
- Lessons learned for cybersecurity discussions and cyber-norm development
- Cybercrime, misinformation and misuse during the COVID-19 response: New approaches, new dangers, new responses
- Regulation and new legislation: Human rights implications of COVID-19 responses and their persistence after the crisis
- Recognition of the Internet infrastructure as essential during COVID-19 and the implications of this

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool.