The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Welcome, everyone. Welcome to Day 0, 2021 Collaborative Leadership Exchange. My name is Marilee D'Arceuil, and I'm one of the Internet Society's Program Support Staff for the IGF Youth Ambassador Program. And I'm speaking to you today from Toronto, Canada, so you have a sense of where in the world I'm located.
Today I'm delighted to be the moderator for the Collaborative Leadership Exchange. Thank you, everyone, for bearing with getting online today. We've all learned a lesson to check in for our sessions the day before, and I hope that the website does not crash again, so we can get emails with the Zoom links.
Welcome back, everyone who has attended Collaborative Leadership Exchange before. If you are new to the Collaborative Leadership Exchange, AKA, CLX, I'll just go over the brief history of the CLX. The objective of the Internet Society's Collaborative Leadership Exchange is to bring together all interested participants to network, build relationships, exchange ideas, discuss key local and regional Internet Governance issues and explore applicable solutions.
This event will be focused on Internet Society's projects on: Strengthening the Internet, promoting the Internet way of networking; Extending Encryption, securing global routings; and Growing the Internet, building community networks, fostering infrastructure and technical communities; measuring the Internet, while integrating the inputs, requirements, and experiences of different stakeholders. This session will contribute to building communities of learning and fostering relationships that create a multiplier effect that we hope will cascade throughout the IGF week of activities and beyond. So, that's a bit about the CLX.
And now I'll talk briefly about the IGF Youth Ambassador Program. You'll be hearing from some of our ambassadors. Each year, the Internet Society selects 30 young, passionate people to participate in our IGF Youth Ambassador Program, equipping the next generation of Internet leaders to collaborate and innovate for a better world. This program is set up to support young adults 18‑30 years old. And we do this by making a big impact on Internet Governance in their communities through educational programs that we have on Internet Governance. The ambassadors receive training and connect with a network of key influencers in the Internet Governance sphere, and they gain access to a platform where they can raise their voice on Internet issues that matter to them.
Next, I'd like to take a moment to say our thank‑you’s for everyone that's come together to support this program and the CLX today. Thank you to the IGF, despite all the technical difficulties with the website today, for helping to create this platform for our IGF Youth Ambassadors to collaborate, exchange ideas, and meet some of the IGF community before all of the sessions of the hectic week starts. Thanks to our sponsor, Google, and for all of our in‑kind sponsors, partners, course instructors, and program mentors. They have all come together to impart the knowledge of the history of Internet Governance. They have helped teach our ambassadors journalism and writing for media and online platforms, and have trained our ambassadors in how to lead, present, and participate at the IGF.
So, today our session is going to be a bit shorter than the initial three hours, so I'm going to do my best to get through the next bit of information for you all. We will be hearing from ten of our Internet Governance IGF Youth Ambassadors. They will each be speaking for five minutes and will be leading a discussion of their choice for five minutes. After each of these sessions, there will be a ten‑minute Q&A. And today, our ten ambassadors will be speaking to us from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, India, Malaysia, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States of America. So, for any of our audience members who may live and work in these regions, in these countries, please feel free to engage in the discussion and Q&A sessions after each ambassador speaks.
All right, I will pull up our house rules in a couple seconds and go over our agenda. Bear with me. I will share my screen right now. All right. So, on the agenda today, as I mentioned, let's go back one. Okay. Give me a second as I get this under control. Here we go.
As I mentioned, you'll be hearing from ten speakers. We will do five at the first half of the session, then take a break and then do our last five speakers, and then wrap up with a conclusion. A reminder of our housekeeping rules. To ensure that everyone is able to participate, please note the following: You are welcome to engage with us via chat or by using the raise your hand function in Zoom to let us know that you'd like to comment or ask a question. I will have some of my colleagues in the chat helping me keep track of all of the questions and comments to make sure we get to everyone. Please keep your microphone muted at all times, unless you are asking a question or speaking. Please kindly respect our Code of Conduct. Everyone that's registered for the IGF would have also been given links to the IGF Code of Conduct. And a reminder, this session is being recorded with a link for future viewing being circulated by IGF. And you can also access that via their YouTube channel.
And one more note. As we've all experienced, it can be a bit of a tech challenge getting online. Please be gracious with us and patient as we move through our speakers, in the event that a speaker's call gets dropped or there's any technical difficulties. Please be patient with us as we work through those, and thank you, again, for staying on the call, despite the delays that we've had today.
All right, we're going to start jumping into our speakers. For the first half of our session, we will be hearing from Ahmed Elmasry, Francis Xavier Inyangat, Idil Kula and Osei Kagyah and Purnima Tiwari. First, Ahmed Elmasry will be talking about digital citizenship in the age of digital transformations in North Africa. Ahmed, you have the floor.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Thank you, Marilee. Thank you, our Chair. Can you please stop the screen share? Thank you. Just a few seconds. Can you see my screen now? Okay.
Good morning, everyone. My name is Ahmed Elmasry. I am one of the Internet Youth Ambassadors, and I'm representing Egypt. And today I will be discussing about my project which addresses digital citizenship in the age of digital transformation in the North African region. And as you all know that ‑‑ sorry. I don't know why, but we lost the screen. You can see the screen anymore, yeah?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: No, it's gone for me.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Okay. Here we are again. Okay. Can you see my screen? Okay. So, nowadays, actually, many people are talking about the topic of digital transformation and how ‑‑ I have ‑‑ I don't know why, but I always lose my screen. I think there is an issue. Can someone start until I fix this problem? I don't know why, what's happening.
>> ALEJANDRA PRIETO: Maybe we can share the slides, if you can send them to Marilee or myself?
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Okay. Give me a second. Okay, can the next one start until I send the PowerPoint so that we don't waste time?
>> ALEJANDRA PRIETO: Yeah, maybe, Marilee, we can move to the next presentation.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay. So, next in line, we have Francis Xavier. Francis, are you ready to start your presentation? Or are you able to start a bit earlier?
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: Yes, I am ready to present.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Do you need to share your screen?
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: My name is Francis Xavier Inyangat. No, I don't have to share the screen. I can just speak and present. Yes, so, digital interest is a term you may have heard over the past year, but what does it mean and why is it important in the context of Africa? My name is Francis Xavier Inyangat. I am an Internet Society IGF Youth Ambassador, I am also Generation Connect Youth Envoy. Today I am pleased to have this digital talk best on my lived experience and from my experience as a student. Skills include literacy, numeracy and fluency in the language as the building blocks for lifelong learning. But it is not just about how you use technology, it's about navigating and communicating through the different digital environment.
UN projections show that 60% of Africa's population is under the age of 25, making Africa the youngest population on the continent. And by 2100, it is predicted one out of every three young persons (audio fading in and out). This project is the greatest resource Africa will have in the next decades will not be ‑‑ but it will be on the quality and resourcefulness of the young generation, so having the right digital skills is extremely important for a generation that is entirely dependent on the Internet for social life, education, entertainment, business(audio fading in and out) such as online banking. The absence of digital literacy in tomorrow's African generation would be catastrophic in the history. First, the population ‑‑ for Internet would plummet, and therefore ‑‑ made by multiple partners in connecting the unconnected. Secondly, digital literacy ‑‑ security risk as users are (audio fading in and out). These consequences would be calamitous for the future of the Internet in Africa. Formal education and training is major to pass through primary and secondary education, and the pandemic has exacerbated the use of education technology.
The use of hardware and technologic which will ‑‑ the learning of schools ‑‑ moreover, this is concerning to Africa. 105 million children and youth were out of school before the pandemic according to UNESCO. So, what happens to the millions of ‑‑ friends, my generation of young people, we need opportunities to acquire and develop these skills and relying on primary and secondary education (audio fading in and out) to address inequalities in accessing digital skills for Internet users while centering on the needs of young people for a more resilient and responsive recovery. This would end the gap of the digital skills, the digital literacy skills that the Internet ‑‑ ethical conduct and general best practices for online users and Internet governance. Acquiring these skills will improve and sustain the livelihoods of young people in the 21st century. I ask all of you here today to support our efforts in breaching the digital divide in Africa by partnering to promote Internet literacy in Africa. Now is the time to rethink and reimagine digital education and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed. This is an existing discussion we should pick up in the Internet Society ‑‑ on the 10th of December for a continuation of this discussion on digital literacy in the context of Africa. Thank you so much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Francis. And I apologize about that bit of issue that we've had with that person going off mute and the audio that interrupted you. So, a reminder, Francis just spoke to us about digital literacy and the forecast for Africa. And Francis, I'm wondering, do you have a question to the audience to open up the discussion or the Q&A section?
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: Yes, sure. I would like to ask the audience to please drop in the chat, what happens to the millions of school dropouts that cannot acquire digital skills in a classroom setting? As we have seen, according to UNESCO, across Africa, 105 million children were out of school before the pandemic hit the globe. So, what happens to the millions of school dropouts that can't acquire these digital skills in a classroom setting? How can we digitally enlighten the already out‑of‑school Internet users across Africa? Please, I welcome your reactions in the chat, and as well, you can post any questions for me in the next ten minutes. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Francis, for that. And Jose, I see your hand up, if you'd like to give your feedback or question. You have the floor.
>> JOSE MICHAUS: Thank you. Hi, Francis. Excellent presentation. I really liked it. I wanted to answer your question with another question, if I may. So, I think you raise a really important point, and I think part of the issue ‑‑ and I would like to hear your thoughts on this ‑‑ is that the detailed literacy and this being able to provide education through digital means in very complicated context also talks or leads to a discussion of Internet service providers, what their role is in today's economy, any country. There is others saying about them becoming gatekeepers. It's a term that's used, or the Internet being understood as a public utility. So, I wanted to see your thoughts on this idea of digital education, how to expand it on the role that Internet service providers will have, obviously, in hand with the government in order to provide this service. Thank you.
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: Yes. Thanks so much, Jose, for your question. The Internet service providers across Africa contribute to a large percentage of those who pay taxes to the government and they generate a lot of revenue from the work they do in providing the Internet services across Africa. So, therefore, it should be part of their social corporate responsibility to enlighten a younger generation through (audio fading in and out) as well as also through initiatives such as fellowships to enlighten a digitally enlightened generation of young people. So, therefore, Internet service providers cannot benefit, cannot prosper, without a generation that knows how to use the Internet technology, if they really want to maximize their profits. It should be part of their agenda to schedule activities so they help the younger generation to be digitally enlightened and also benefit from the possibilities of the Internet. Thank you so much, Jose.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay, IGF tech team, if you can please resolve this issue. We currently have someone that has hacked into our session. Thank you. I apologize, everyone. Obviously, it's not our fault. This is someone that's intruded into the session.
>> ALEJANDRA PRIETO: Please remove that person, please. IGF organizers.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Can we please shut down the share function completely? The share the screen function? We're happy to continue the session without sharing our screens if this is possible. IGF IT team. I apologize again, everyone. Francis, please continue. Hopefully, you have not completely lost your train of thought. Yes, please do continue.
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: Yes. So, as part of the answer to Jose's question, on the role that Internet service providers can play in helping to bring a digital enlightened generation of young people, I can point out some examples of initiatives that have been done by a few of the Internet service providers across Africa that are helping to train young people in digital skills. Microsoft has a project called Microsoft for Africa that is training recent graduates in digital skills, especially IT. These skills are necessary for the generation that is going to be the future of the Internet. They are also running a mission for graduates ‑‑ and trainings for young people. These are the initiatives that other service providers across the continent can adapt and provide digital skills to the population of youth who are already in school and those who cannot access school but also need to access the Internet because we need the Internet to be open, accessible, secure for everyone, whether you're in school or out of school. So, therefore, the Internet service providers play a very important role, very critical in providing digital skills and also promoting the use of the Internet across the continent.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Francis. And I'm opening up the floor again to any of our IGF attendees who may have any comments or questions for Francis on this very relevant topic that he's raised for us today. We have time for probably one or two more questions or comments.
>> FRANCIS XAVIER INYANGAT: Marilee, in case there are questions in the chat, you would help me read them aloud so that I can follow up.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Yes. I'm checking the chat right now and I don't see any questions. So, maybe everyone's processing their questions, and they can contact us at a later date. Everyone who is registered for the IGF, you have seen all the attendees on your IGF Community profile. So, please feel free to connect our ambassadors that way. If you would like to do so.
All right, next up ‑‑ thank you, Francis, for your discussion and for really toughing it out through a lot of technical issues that we had. You did a great job with your presentation, and I see you dropped your LinkedIn profile link in the chat section for anyone that wants to follow up with you and connect on the work that you're doing. I invite everyone to please do so, if you are also doing work across the African continent that aligns with the work that Francis is doing. Thank you, Francis.
Next up, we have Idil from Turkey, talking to us today about digital literacy and community empowerment. IEdil, you have the floor.
>> ELIANA FRAM: Marilee, I'm sorry, but I think she's having trouble accessing the session.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: All right. We may have lost Idil. We will get back to her once she's able to rejoin us. Thank you, Eliana, for that update. We will move to our next speaker in line. Osei Manu Kagyah, are you ready to present? If you are, I welcome you to take the floor. Osei Manu Kagyah is joining us from Ghana, and he will be speaking on the gender digital divide. You have the floor.
>> OSEI MANU KAGYAH: Good morning, everyone, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are joining us from. I hope I am audible enough. My name is Osei Manu Kagyah, speaking from Ghana. I will be talking on a broad, complex topic, the gender digital divide, IGF Ambassador, Internet Society Ambassador. And from Manila to Suva, from Nairobi, through to my country, through to Kuala Lumpur, the Internet has come as an infinite resource. The Internet is a major driver in trying to bridge the economic gap and also one of the main drivers in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5, Goal 1, and Goal 13.
But here is the case, the pandemic has exacerbated, has heightened the digital divide, and especially gender. The digital divide, gender, and the marginalized groups have difficulty in accessing the Internet. Recent reports by the Internet Telecommunication Union, ITU, suggests that 58% of women are affected by the digital divide as opposed to 42% of men. Prior to this, we did a big survey assessing the various demographics, from Africa to Ghana, Kenya, Nairobi. We did find out that affordability is a big hindrance in people accessing the Internet. It is a very, very big challenge. On the average, people spend $6.20 a day on one gig of data, and this was quite pronounced in the case of Africa. Kenya and Africa being the major part of our survey.
We did also find out that some parts of Africa also have cultural biases and stereotyping and gender bias to the adoption of mobile phones so they can get online. These are all major barriers. Other barriers as digital literacy and digital skills has also been a challenge. With the pandemic moving off and progressing, we have a lot of online activities. Right now, we've moved from the days of traditional, to click‑and‑order, buying online, and also digital education. This has been a major, major, big challenge. Where do we find a solution? I intend to collaborate with a lot of my ambassadors on this platform. Youth Ambassadorship, continue the engagement, continue being part of the solution.
I do believe primarily, we can't be in silos, but we need to collaborate in a more sustainable approach, bottom‑up. I intend to also, through webinar sessions, through podcasts, continue the engagement, and also other people who are already working on bridging the digital divide. I know a lot of people are working on connectivity. I intend to take up, collaborate with them, work with them, connect with them, and also, secondly, drive home awareness and education through my publications, written, and also try to create awareness through the local schools and the grassroots.
I would like to end by asking this question. The future is digital; the future is the digital economy, digital education. Do you oppose the idea that every human being on the planet deserves the Internet? Thank you very much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Osei, for your presentation. I think it's very relevant and it's very interesting that we have a male individual that's really interested in being a strong ally, an active ally, in helping to lead this work for your region in Ghana. Osei, maybe can you repeat your question for the audience? And audience, if you have an answer or feedback to Osei's question, please raise your hand or drop that in the chat section. Osei, if you can repeat your question.
>> OSEI MANU KAGYAH: So, I was asking, the future being digital, with that said, the traditional economy will be replaced by the digital economy, the future digital education. Do you oppose the idea that every human being on the planet deserves the Internet? If so, why? Thank you very much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you for your question. It is a very provocative question, especially since the Internet Society, one of our goals is to connect everyone and connect the remaining 48% of the population around the world that's not connected to the Internet. Do we have any comments or answers to Osei's question from the audience?
Okay, maybe I will broaden the frame of your question, Osei. We do have a number of our IGF Youth Ambassadors. Oh, I see Fred. Fred, thank you for raising your hand. You have the floor with your feedback or question.
>> FRED KWADWO AAZORE: Hello, everyone. Thank you very much for having me. I'm Fred Aazore from Ghana, and I speak as an IGF Youth Ambassador today. Yes, Osei, the question is very provocative. It actually brings a lot of thought into the reason why the Internet is much more important. I would say, no, I don't oppose the fact that everyone on the globe or the planet should have access to the Internet, because this is the reason why Internet Governance Forum in itself is much important, as we have one of the major topics in this year's IGF being better access and connectivity.
We are trying to ensure that everyone in the world is able to have equal opportunity to access the Internet. We are aware through a report by the UN that about 37% of the global population is not connected at all to the Internet, and this is actually a problem. We have several reports which also increases that percentage by about 47% of the global population not having access to the Internet. You and I today are able to participate on this platform right now, just because we have access to unrestricted Internet. Permit me to say, at start of this event, we had a little glitch where most of us were finding it very difficult to get connected to the Internet or connected to this particular session. And this, in itself, demonstrates the reason why it is much more important to ensure everyone has equal access to the Internet, and equal means unrestricted, very reliable, access to the Internet. Thank you very much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Fred, for your contribution to the conversation. Up next we have Ethan and then Oluwaseun. Hopefully, I pronounced that close to correct. First up, we have Ethan. Ethan, you have the floor.
>> ETHAN: Thank you so much, Osei, for that contribution. My question, rather, a contribution to what you've just said, is around whether we should go beyond just theoretically saying everyone deserves access to the Internet and actually put it into law and say, well, is it a basic right that you can actually go and enforce through your government and your other stakeholders, that you can actually go enforce and say, "Hey, this is my right, this is a fundamental right that should be granted to me as an individual."
And that question also just brings a whole can of worms because it's also asking, how fundamental is the Internet now to our everyday life? And you know, given the platform that we're on, I believe that it should be. I believe that we're now in that digital era as you were talking about. And besides all the cultural biases that have been mentioned here and the gender injustice when it comes to access to the Internet, I believe it should be presented as a basic human right, because now we can't do without it. And it should be something that is prioritized just as much as your other human rights are. So, that's my contribution to a very interesting conversation you started.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Ethan. Before we move on to the next speaker, I'm going to read a comment from Jose in our chat section. And he says, "Hey, Osei. Maybe we could rephrase your question and ask if we should legally recognize access to the Internet as a human right and then ask what we could do to make that a reality." And I think that overlaps with what Ethan has just shared.
We did have another hand up, who wanted to give feedback or contribution. I see that hand is gone. Do we have any other attendees who would like to comment or ask a question? Jose, I see your hand up. You have the floor.
>> JOSE MICHAUS: I really like Ethan's point, and I would just say, to add to that point, saying, if, actually recognizing something as Internet is in law would make any kind of difference, or is there something that we should even ask more? And it would be really important if we think it is a fundamental right that we not only say, well, we should establish into law, but then that needs to come with specific public policies that actually bring that access into our reality. So, I think to Jose, I would recommend that ‑‑ this is a very humble opinion just to say that maybe with the discussion of gender and everything, we should also think about the importance of recognizing it as a right. And then from that, how can we bind states to actually take action to a point? Thank you.
>> OSEI MANU KAGYAH: Yes, thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Osei, did you want to respond to Jose? We have time for one more person, and I see that Oluwaseun has been waiting to contribute. Do you still want to give your feedback or ask a question?
>> OLUWASEUN: Yeah, I want to give my feedback. Thank you, Jose, for the wonderful presentation. I would like to say that the Internet should be a human right for all. And you have to look at the aspect of technological adoption. It is very important and germane to this discussion. Because if people are allowed the use of this Internet technology, there is no way that we can have it as a basic human right for all, so we have to concert our efforts towards making technology available to all and making them realize it is their basic human right. Thank you very much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you for that contribution, Oluwaseun. And Osei, you have 30 seconds to wrap up.
>> OSEI MANU KAGYAH: Thank you very much for the contribution to Jose and my good friend, Fred. Very nice contribution, how fundamental, recognizing that as human rights. I think last year during the pandemic, the courts did rule that, but it's a very complicated issue, very, very complicated issue, working on digital. You need to know the cultural nuances and how it has been put out there, should be set as a fundamental human right that states continue not to provide access to a lot of people. And I do believe if you impose a concerted, collaborated effort, and I'm willing to work with anyone who is working on the community networks, who is working to bridge the digital divide to engage. And thank you very much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Osei, and thank you for everyone who contributed their feedback and their questions.
Up next, we are going to circle back to Ahmed Elmasry, who will be speaking to us from Egypt on digital citizenship in the age of digital transformation in North Africa. I believe the IT team said we should be able to share our screens now, Ahmed, if you want to try that again.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Okay. We can try. I will try. Just a second. I think I will speak directly easier. So, I was speaking about like digital transformation and how ‑‑ and actually, the importance of the concept of digital citizenship in North Africa specifically and also in the other regions of the world.
And why I'm speaking about this topic is because nowadays, the topic of digital transformation is booming and is becoming common to hear serious discussion about how to digitally transform education services, public services, and business activities. And many voices believe that digital transformation would boost transparency, promote efficiency, and eliminate corruption. However, many of us miss the fact that unless we have users who are capable of using the digitally transformed services correctly and meaningfully, all the digital transformation efforts will go in vain, or even things can get worse by having users who start misusing these services like just what happened.
So, what I'm saying is, it is important that the states promote and raise awareness on the concept of digital citizenship and its role in achieving the goal of transformation of our society into digitally oriented societies, because digital transformation is not only about transforming digital infrastructure and services, but also transforming skills and human capabilities, unless you have digitally competent citizens, we will not be able to harness the outcomes of digital transformation. But this also leads me to a very important point, which is, what is digital citizenship, how to define digital citizenship. And basically, digital citizenship is using information technology in order to engage with the society, the business community, and government on the digital environment.
And in order to be a digital citizen, you need to have the required knowledge, skills, and access to effectively use the digital services and actively participate in digital social activities, and finally, wisely consume the digital content. For example, unless citizens are able to use online payment methods and Internet services, they will not be able to benefit from the ePublic services offered by the government and they will fail to contribute to the digital economy. Therefore, the topic of digital citizenship contains like overlapping themes, such as first raising awareness on the basic cybersecurity practices, also citizens' ability to meaningfully use the digital platforms and interact with digital content.
And due to strategic importance and in line with the reason digital transformation agendas implemented by the governments all over the world, and especially in the North African region, actually I'm interested in working on raising awareness on the topic of digital citizenship as part of my role as Internet Society Youth Ambassador. And I'm also happy to say that the Internet Society Egypt Chapter is interested in providing their resources in 2020 to spread awareness about the concept.
And the main four focus of the project that we agreed to work on is, first, highlighting the current digital transformation plan and the current plans to digitally transform the infrastructure in the North African region; and second, addressing the status of digital citizenship in North Africa and how are we behind or how are we on schedule of having digitally citizen. And ‑‑
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: All right, sorry, Ahmed. If we can get the IGF IT team to boot Jayson Blue again, please. Thank you. Ahmed, I apologize. Continue.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: The last part of our project focuses on addressing the role of the Civil Society and academic institutions in empowering digital citizenship. And here we are talking about not just the government. We are moving to the role of Civil Society, how Civil Society can contribute to the goal of having digitally oriented society. And here I would like to ask you all, like, what do you think are the main challenges for digital citizenship? Yes, many governments are interested in digital transformation, but also, I think there are, like, different barriers against digital citizenship that differs from region to region. And since here we have people coming from the different regions, I think it would be interesting to see, like the differences between the different regions in terms of digital citizenship.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Ahmed, for your session and that opening question to open up your discussion. I see Idil with her hand up. You have the floor. And welcome back.
>> IDIL KULA: Hello, Marilee. And thank you, Ahmed, for your presentation. I would like to respond to your question about the challenges against digital citizenship. And I agree with the point that all regions are different in their own circumstances and dynamics. And I would like to reflect on, for example ‑‑ yes, this is one of the most important challenges is just social‑cultural dynamics, actually. Because as we are working on the NGO and Civil Society side on Turkey, then we got to society and talk about the notion of digital citizenship concept, they always respond with some kind of entrusted approach. Like, they always ask if they try to learn about these new kinds of things, they are simply scared of just being unlawful and being privacy (?). They are scared because they don't grasp the notion of digital citizenship, maybe.
For example, when privacy issues are upheld by our Civil Society community, they always ask, "We don't have anything to hide, even in digital places." And it doesn't matter where you ask, senior citizens or even youths, communities. This is an example from a privacy perspective, but we all know that privacy has many correlations to the core Human Rights, like human integrity and human dignity.
But yes, first of all, we should just prevent this kind of approach from fear culture and protectionist cultures. Yeah, this would be my take on your question. Thank you.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Thank you. I totally agree, this will always be an issue, and this will differ from country to country based on, like how the Civil Society is perceived in these countries. But I think it would be safe to say that if ‑‑ we are more concerned about how to make the Civil Society play more role in actually educating the citizens on how to use the Internet services, how the Civil Society and institutions can play a role on spreading awareness on the basic cybersecurity practices. And I think no political regime will have an issue with such basic role. Actually, I believe that all the regime, regardless of their agenda, they should be supporting such initiatives because they already have many governments, they already have digital transformation plans in place, and these digital transformation plans will not be effective unless we have citizens who can use them. But I totally understand your point. And Eliana?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Eliana, you are up next. You have the floor.
>> ELIANA FRAM: Thank you. Thank you, Ahmed, for the presentation. It is certainly one of the priorities that I think countries should be implementing, also for making, you know, relevant content online. Just bringing services online makes being online more enticing and more useful for citizens.
But leveraging on your last point, I do agree. No political party or no government will ever say, "I don't think that this will benefit my citizens." I think the benefits are clearly evident, maybe not for ‑‑ well, there are certain barriers for users to recognize the benefits of online services.
But I do think that one question that we may have to ask in the digital transformation processes is these processes being manual, being in paper. Those systems, as they are in place for so long, they may benefit someone in some part along the process. One personal experience that I have back home in Argentina, we had a platform for Digital Democracy, for people to be able to perform tasks totally online without having to go into governmental office. And one of them was the ability to create a company, an enterprise totally online in 24 hours. Now, this has been a transformation process that has found to be very difficult, because the act of the citizens to be able to go to the office to make that bureaucracy in person allows for some officers to take bribes on certain processes being more efficient or more rapid result than others.
So, I think a question that we need to ask ourselves and civil organizations have to keep asking themselves is, who is the current system benefitting, and responding to those private interests when addressing digital transformation processes. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Eliana, for that. And Ahmed, we also have a comment in the chat that I will read before we move on to your response and Ethan. So, I see from Oluwaseun, we have, "Thank you, Ahmed, for your presentation. Main challenges for digital citizenship in Africa include lack of digital education, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate effective awareness creation and lack of cooperation from stakeholders," something we've heard a lot today. "Also, concerns have been raised about overreliance on government policies to address the problem. It is necessary to encourage a broad education that has necessary skills to enable digital citizenship." Ahmed, if you want to respond to Eliana as well as this one and then Ethan will be the last question for your session.
>> AHMED ELMASRY: Yes, Eliana, I believe, yes. Just agree with all your points. And I think, like, digital transformation gives us a chance to overcome corruption and also to enhance efficiency. But unless we correctly use it, we can have actually, like, a backfire impact. And what we are seeing ‑‑ actually, what just happened today is one of the examples.
Like, 10 years ago or 20 years ago, we would not be able to have an online conference like this. And back then, if anyone saw that, okay, what will happen ‑‑ like, it could be a good idea that ‑‑ actually, it would be an awesome idea to have different people having a platform that allows them to communicate universally on the same time. But then when this happens, someone is trying to violate and someone is trying to actually, like, interrupt the meeting like what just happened.
Why this happened? This happened because of what we are talking about, like, the lack of digital citizenship and the lack of awareness. So, yes, I agree, digital transformation can enhance efficiency and transparency, but unless we have the skills to benefit from this, actually digital transformation could backfire.
And we can move to Ethan? I think you raised your hand?
>> ETHAN: Yeah, I will just give a quick comment. Thanks for that, by the way. I think there is what we have kind of raised, which is the awareness part. But close to the awareness or education part of things is the idea of upscaling the digital skills. It is the skill set involved in a community.
So, for example, in Africa, if you were to speak about all these, you know, technical things that we're talking about that can happen on a digital platform and all the benefits that arise from being in a digital environment, it's, okay, then, how do you, one, make them aware, but importantly, how do you make them competitive with other markets in that same space? And it's that part whereby, you know, one of the comments was, let's not leave it just to government. But it is that part whereby how can we make sure our citizens actually have the necessary skills and can move from the skill sets that they already have to new skill sets that allow them to operate in this environment.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Ethan, for your feedback. You're all addressing some really complex topics right now. Ahmed, if folks would like to continue the conversation with you, please leave in the chat how they can do so. And attendees, if you would like to continue this conversation and this line of inquiry with Ahmed and follow his work, the great work that he's doing, please do follow up with him with the contact that he shares with you in the chat section.
Up next, we have Idil Kula, back with us. She will be speaking to us from Turkey on digital literacy and community empowerment. Idil, you have the floor.
>> IDIL KULA: Thank you, Marilee. And hi, everyone. It's Idil, science and technology studies and also a graduate researcher with a low background. I am very happy to join the discussion from Turkey. And since my research covers societal and legal implications of emerging ICT technologies, I have been inevitably been interactive on digital citizenship and also digital literacy.
That's why today I am going to talk about digital literacy with all of you. As my colleague stated previously, we are heading towards the edge of media wars in which ethical debates and policy questions are hovering here and there. And likewise, the more our lives go into the digital sphere, the more we are prone to new challenges and risks throughout our journey on the Internet.
However, it is obvious not all countries and regions are on track with this technological lead and its critical discussion. Having most interactions migrate to the digital, irrespective of age and social demographics, it is still not possible for a quite big portion of society to realize the implications of this strict technological shift.
Similarly, it is not reasonable to expect people to think about Internet Governance issues or the implications of new technologies when populations tackle with economic crises and conflict, political polarization, starving and radical terrorism. Just because of these reasons, it is of dire importance to raise awareness and empower communities around the concept of digital literacy. This issue is crucial because digital literacy provides us a ground for safe and fair interaction with digital technologies and generally the Internet.
Moreover, by implying awareness in society, the concept itself has the promotional digital rights. For example, in order to be aware of new kinds of biases and also discrimination in digital sphere, and also to defend our rights in the digital sphere, we should be armed with the appropriate knowledge in the first place, right? Therefore, no one can claim that digital Human Rights and a safe and fair Internet experience are only for a specific portion of society, because we are all human beings, and we should be equal in terms of accessing resources and enjoying our Human Rights.
At this point, I would like ‑‑ it will be beneficial to realize that every country and region have their own source of cultural and political dynamics. And taking into account regional customs, I would like to suggest broad capacity programs to be built that are designed for special target groups, such as senior citizens, peer community, children and youth, and also women. In this aspect, I would like to share our national initiative with citizens that is a digital citizenship project in which we are promoting the notion of digital literacy among various stakeholders within society.
We have an online education program that is constituted of five modules based on information technology literacy, digital citizenship, digital life culture, cybersecurity, and also Internet Governance. We also offer face‑to‑face, on‑demand lectures and plenty of training courses on subject matter to universities, academia, other NGOs, firms and companies from private sector and also municipalities and governmental institutions.
The Digital Citizen Project has come into reality with a force of calibrated people between Internet Society Turkey Chapter, like me, and the Internet Society. We have initiated our project with a grant from Internet Society Foundation, and now, happily, we are on the verge of our exponential growth with increased interactions with other stakeholders. And we are widening our impact area and reaching our educational materials and growing our online platform day by day.
Finally, I would like to end my speech with a call. As an emerging capacity‑building project on digital literacy, we are seeking partners, serious partners, to collaborate and engage on the concept of digital literacy and citizenship. We are fully open and eager for any kind of collaboration with similar initiatives worldwide. And we especially value voices from the global (?) Asia‑Pacific and South America and it would be great to connect with people with similar stories in digital literacy.
And I would like to thank all of the audience for listening to my part, and I would like to hear folks' ideas about further promotion of digital literacy and community empowerment. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you. Do we have someone that has a question or feedback, comment? Thank you, Idil. I'm seeing a lot of waving hands, celebrating your discussion points. Thank you, everyone, for that encouragement. And thank you for such a thorough ask of the audience. I think it's definitely important for us to identify the intersectionality of the work that we're all doing around the world and the need to come together to really expedite the process of the doing part of the work. It's one thing to identify issues and problems, but it's another thing to actually start doing the work, planning the work, and implementing on the ground.
Are there any audience members that would like to reply to Idil's questions or would like to connect with her work or are doing similar work to what she's talked about today?
>> Hello. I would just like to hear a little bit more about the five modules that she said, the learning part is divided. It is not a question, just to understand a little bit more of what is thought to people during these phases.
>> IDIL KULA: Thank you for your feedback. If I'm not wrong, you are questioning the structure of our online educational platform and modules on five specific topics.
>> IDIL KULA: Yes, yes. This is simply, our project is constituted with two structured phases. One of them is just online learning platform, and one of them is our face‑to‑face educational materials. Actually, I can pass the website link to the chat, if you wish.
Basically, what we are doing on our online education platform is just, we have interactional courses, like EdX or Coursera, but in English, of course, because we are aiming to national ‑‑ I mean, citizenship. But after the courses, we are offering digital citizenship identity, a batch, a completion of ‑‑ a certification of completion. And of course, it's all verified by the Internet Society Turkey Chapter and Media Literacy Society.
And what we are doing with our online education platform is we are going to stakeholders from academia, from NGOs and private sector, and we see that there is a lack of digital literacy, both in the curriculum of universities and both in the work culture of the private sector and also public institutions. And in our interactions, people just give their feedback with a very big (?) Our educational platform. And I can simply pass the website link here.
>> Marilee, could you please save it afterwards because we don't have access to the chat here? But I would like to see it. Thanks.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Sorry, can you repeat your request?
>> Just can you save the link and send it afterwards to the Mentors Group or somewhere else? Because we don't have access to the chat right here.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Yes. I can definitely do that. Thank you for raising that concern. Thank you for your contribution, Idil, for a very relevant and also region‑specific presentation on the work that you're doing. It's so encouraging to know that you've actually been able to move into implementation and actually prototyping the IGF, the work that you want to see in your region. That is great. I hope for anyone that's listening on the line that is working on similar projects or that would like to contribute and partner with Idil, please do reach out to her via the links that she's shared in the chat and on the IGF Community platform as well. If you would like to reach out to our speakers, that's another opportunity to do so. Idil, do you have any closing remarks before we move on to our next speaker?
>> IDIL KULA: Well, thank you, Marilee. I will be sharing the social media contact for our initiative on the chat, and I would be happy if you can also pass the chat to IGF onsite participations. This is all. Thank you so much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Idil. Next up, we're going to hear from our IGF Youth Ambassador, Purnima Tiwari from India, talking about digital access and inclusion. Purnima, you have the floor.
>> PURNIMA TIWARI: Thank you, Marilee. And hello to everybody in this particular call. The discussion that we just had was really interesting. So, my topic largely concerns to what Idil said. It was more about ‑‑ she discussed about the idea of digital literacy. I'm going to relate it further to impart in digital literacy to the digital Natives under the larger theme of digital access and inclusion.
So, Internet Governance is about creating a space for multi‑stakeholder dialogue, as we all know. Let's suppose if we place all these actors around whichever work in the Internet fora, like users, government, users, digital service providers, companies, et cetera, and arrange them in a scale of one to ten, and ten being the highest in terms of who commands the highest power in shaping the Internet policy, you, or probably I would place the tech companies at the level of ten.
Now, if you take the same actors, and if you look at them from a different variable, in terms of who has the highest vested interest in Internet policy from one to ten ‑‑ and again, ten being the highest ‑‑ we would display digital users as ten, who would have concerns about cyber payments, hacking, malware attacks, invasion of privacy and surveillance.
Therefore, it becomes very clear that users who have the highest stake and interest involved in the Internet ecosystem also seems to command less power in comparison to the other entities like government or probably companies, at this point. And also, Ahmed previously mentioned that, Civil Societies need to take the charge and should be spreading awareness on what the implications of these policies actually are.
I believe that the future of Internet will be negotiated and constructed by the communities. So, building and strengthening your own community's capabilities with regard to the online space is the responsibility, I believe, that we all should be bearing. We should be collectively promoting the dialogue which advocates for digital access and inclusion, because in the digital world, that is the first step. That's the foundation.
Now, I'll just briefly talk about the infrastructural challenges that exist. In terms of different countries, there are a lot of issues in terms of infrastructure, like digital divide, issues of accessibility, reliance on slow‑speed connection and even dependence on a single device in a family setup. I come from Chhattisgarh, a developing state in India. It has been formed in 2001. So, growing up, there was very limited access to media exposure, which meant limited access. Hence, equitable Internet is an idea ‑‑ equitable access of Internet, specifically, it is an idea very personal and very, very close to me. So, I believe that in the access isn't equitable, we will have a fractured space which couldn't be considered democratic in any way.
I will now talk about how should we promote the idea of rights‑based approach. We need to promote a dialogue which would mean the users are aware that they have the right to consent, consent to digital payments, consent to agree to cookie usage, consent to privacy. This consent is the power that we own to shape the digital world, customized, just according to how we want. That's exactly how an individual could contribute in shaping the Internet.
So, now this particular idea of consent, it's not just limited to the content or the front‑end part, but it is also about agreeing to the infrastructure of Internet. We can consent for stronger policies regarding encryption, data governance. We can advocate for our chance in terms of how long we want our data to be retained, how promptly we want law enforcement agencies to sort of intervene in the cases of cyber bullying, fake news, hate speech, et cetera. It is also our responsibility as a digital user to contribute in the creation of digital literacy and promote that particular dialogue that would be a digital nature that commercialization of privacy doesn't have to be a norm.
Now, moving on to the idea of inclusiveness. The discomfort experienced by digital natives who would be using Internet as a medium for the first time, it's a serious concern. This means that though someone might use a smartphone for business or education purposes, but they would still be very much unaware about their digital footprints and their transaction of privacy for information in the social media platforms.
Now, younger people from my region solely understand and explore Internet via social media platforms. Such kind of onboarding process needs to be addressed. The Internet beyond social media platform, beyond being a recreational tool, needs to be introduced to the younger population. It could be delivered by providing Wi‑Fi access in public spaces, like public libraries, et cetera. These ideas of rights‑based approaches could be delivered through stronger and frequent dialogue.
Now, just to take this idea forward, I would be discussing on how there is a very limited dialogue on the idea of privacy and user‑generated data. So, the rural communities in my area aren't much familiar with concepts like privacy, as privacy, it's a very vest‑bound idea in itself, and it's not prevalent in south Asian communities. It is very common for someone to ask me, what did you have for your meeting or your lunch or your dinner? So, now digital advocates have long proposed digital literacy as a valuable skill and concept, yet it remains something that's very much limited to the developed countries and urban setup. The awareness on these concepts is yet to become a part of everyday discourse.
To address this particular challenge, I am working on a project on developing digital media literacy amongst rural communities in my region under this particular ambassador program. I'm currently delivering digital literacy workshops which will be touching up on the basic ideas on what it means to be a digitally literate person, the importance of verification of information, whatever comes to you through social media, because as we know, misinformation actually has real‑world consequences when it came to a pandemic. Also, I will be exploring the concept of privacy in online platforms, et cetera. So, this workshop will be targeted for social groups, like women or self‑help groups, a micro entrepreneur, educational spaces like higher secondary schools, training centers, and colleges. The idea at large is to inform the users on how to better navigate through the Internet.
The question that I seek to answer, and I would also sort of leave it for all of you to sort of conjure upon, is how can we better create an organized sort of onboarding process for those digital natives who have just crossed the digital divide? That's all from me. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Purnima, for your discussion and your question to the audience. Audience, if any of you would like to respond to Purnima's open question to you all, please do. If you have questions or comments, feel free to raise your hand or simply come off of mute and ask your question or give us your comments or type it into the chat section. And Purnima, if you may want to repeat your question, that would be great as well.
>> PURNIMA TIWARI: Sure. So, the question that I intend to put forward is: How do we create a better and organized system of kind of an onboarding process for the digital divide, for the digital natives, for that matter, who have just crossed the digital divide? You know, so the idea is, obviously, the digital ‑‑ it lies in the concept of digital literacy, but you know, how can we further better deliver it in a better way?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: All right. Thank you for your question. We'll give the attendees ‑‑ I see Idil. Idil, your hand is up. You have the floor. And then Eliana after you.
>> IDIL KULA: Thank you, Marilee. Maybe one of the answers to Purnima's question would be just strengthening the conditions for Human Rights would be an asset, because over the course of policy‑making discussions on Internet Governance issues, one of the most important things that I realized with my current from places in political polarization and economic crisis is just, unless we promote the notion of Human Rights, and unless we have the stability for democratic institutions, we cannot even talk about a simple issue of digital literacy, because people have different inclinations about digital issues, technology, and computational and ICT technologies. They always question and ask with an atmosphere of fear, and this is just because of the instability of the democratic institutions, the bad conditions on Human Rights, environment, and, yes, these kinds of things.
And I believe that if you can ‑‑ I mean, somehow, if we can achieve a kind of stability on democracy and Human Rights, it will provide the open and free place to discuss these kinds of Internet Governance issues, like using information in online spaces, privacy, data protection, and so on. There are a myriad of issues on, for example, autonomous harms, like harms that are occurring for not being consent as well, or coercion of chilling effects, or for example, V‑point discrimination. This is on online platforms, and this is a question on platforms. But all of these questions and all of the discussions will be freed if we have the place, the right place for freedom of speech and freedom of ideas and thoughts. Yeah. This is my answer, Purnima. Thank you so much.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Idil, for your contribution to the conversation. I think one thing I will mention briefly before we move on to Eliana is that what we're asking for here, what I'm hearing multiple ambassadors asking for is really buy‑in and support from key multi-stakeholders within the greater scope of the conversations that we're having. So, it's one thing for the population to say dramatically, we citizens need this, we want this. It's one thing for our technical communities to say, yes, we're here to build the programs and the online learning courses. It's one thing for our educators to say that as well and to be on board. But we need the higher‑level multi-stakeholders to really support these work and endeavors. So, if we have any of those individuals on the call today, surely, we are looking forward to having you connect with our ambassadors to help move their work forward.
Okay, next up, we have Eliana. Eliana, you will be the last person for this session with Purnima. You have the floor.
>> ELIANA FRAM: Thank you, Marilee. I will try to keep it short. Thank you, Purnima. That was really on point. One thing that I will say, I may be bringing the conversation down a little bit, is there are some studies that, I think that are also very important. Establishing a relationship between digital skills and years of calling. So, I think in this scenario, there is an issue, a societal issue; there is a correlation between a lot of indicators in this one.
I always, when coming to digital literacy and when I talk about digital literacy, I always think about my personal anecdote, which is my father being careful about using his credit card information to buy something online. He was doubtful. I was like, yeah, are you sure? What is coming down from that?
And at that time, we both shared the same doubts about going about the Internet and how to share personal information. And that is not often the case. There is a question about how to get young people to be safe online and how to explore all the opportunities that online life brings. But I think it's also important to keep in mind the elders and the persons that are no longer in the education system and how to get them to be active and involved in digital initiatives and also how it is important for community engagement and them being still a very big part of society. Just a contextual comment. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you. And Purnima, I will leave you with the last 30 seconds for your session to give us your closing remarks and any comments from those that have shared in your session today.
>> PURNIMA TIWARI: So, Eliana, I totally agree with what you have said about including others, people who have actually left out of the educational system. So, you know, to address this, as of now, under this particular project on digital literacy, I am sort of ‑‑ I'm not including any age bars, particularly, meaning that we will be targeting social groups for that matter, but obviously, including people who are sort of, you know, 60‑plus or somewhere. I mean, they are largely sort of away from the digital transformation that's happening around them. And we certainly need to include them in such kind of dialogue. So, I certainly appreciate what you have said.
And now, just to address Idil's point here. So, obviously, I believe that, my world, it's being transformed as we are talking right now. So, Finteches are taking over traditional market, Edtechs are taking over the traditional market. They're mushrooming everywhere. Unicorns are being developed on an everyday basis. So, amongst this idea, what concerns me, the people who are crossing the digital divide, you know, who are actually, who could be the first person to attend school in their ‑‑ first person who will be attending school in their family. So now that sort of person would actually need some ideological understanding on how ideas of privacy and all of these work in a digital domain so that that becomes very, you know, pertinent to us as a digital user to sort of strengthen our community.
And also, just one last comment on this idea. What we talked about, that developed nations actually have these courses on digital literacy in their primary school education. But what about the developing world? Because even they are introducing digital users. So, it remains a dimension that I intend to flag down the line, that governments should also ‑‑ governments from the developing world, too, should be including the ideas of digital literacy in their curriculum. It's very important, I believe.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Purnima. And please leave in the chat how individuals can connect with you about your work and the questions that you've asked.
And we are going to move on right now. We will be taking time away from the five‑minute break. So, we will no longer have a five‑minute break, since we started late. And to give each of our remaining five ambassadors time for their presentations, we will shave off a couple of minutes from their ten minutes Q&A section to make sure that we can get to everyone.
We are moving on now to some more presentations that are a bit more granular in the Internet and interesting, some deeper topics and some more technical and policy topics, for those on the call who are interested in these issues.
Next up, we have Jeremy Bernick from the U.S., talking to us about CDN, centralization and monopoly of the Global Edge Networks. Jeremy, you have the floor.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Thank you. Can everyone hear me okay? Can everyone hear me okay?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Yes, I can hear you. And the share screen function is back. We see your Monopoly guy. Thank you.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Awesome. Awesome. I'm glad that, you know, that's brought up. So, my name is Jeremy Bernick. I'm representing the Internet Society here as a Global Youth Ambassador. Today I'll be speaking from Katowice, but I reside in the U.S. and conduct research as an interdisciplinary scholar on the structural risk to the current and future Internet at the University of Arizona.
Today I'll be presenting briefly on a major structural risk facing the current and future Internet, specifically, the largely invisible crisis of centralization and monopolization of the Global Edge Networks by private U.S. content delivery network operators. I'll get a little bit deeper into that in a little bit, but that's kind of a brief thesis and overview. This will be kind of a hybrid lecture/critical analysis, because this is obviously a topic that isn't going to be familiar to everybody. And so, I'll briefly go into what a CDN is and why it's important for us to talk about, especially with infrastructural issues like that were happening today at this conference, and hopefully, we can kind of tie it all together to understand why this is, you know, a major issue affecting all of us.
In the early days of our shared Internet, many of the users of the Internet were far less concerned with their connection speeds and the ability to surf the web. However, as our commercial era in the '90s began, the creation of faster and smaller server technologies, sites, and the web browsers, like Google, led to a disastrous chain of events, resulting in what is an insatiable consumer desire for both speed and access.
As the mobile computing era began with the iPhone and Android about a decade ago, speed and access became a very intrinsic necessity for all of us, as significant parts of the Internet‑enabled world came online. And as a result, new web optimization formats and network architectures ‑‑ this is where the CDN stuff comes in ‑‑ were constructed that would alleviate the speed and access problems that would bring the nearest point of presence closer to you, the end user. This became popularly known as the Edge. And it's mostly just talked about in network communities, but it's very, very deeply important to topics on access and the digital divide as well.
But the Edge is also known as a content delivery network era, which is a better example of what we know it as today. But what I would be asking in this presentation is, at what cost will this consolidation harm future users, and at what cost to the future stability of the Internet has all of the centralization got?
In the first decade of this new CDN Edge architecture, the consequences appear to be minor. Through the creation of CDNs, both consumers and Internet companies saw better round‑trip speeds, lower cost to Internet users and reduced bandwidth and transient cost for Internet service providers. Seemingly, this was a positive sum gain for all stakeholders. In fact, for some companies like Netflix, which we all use, they flourished mainly because of their proprietary internal content delivery network, called Open Connect. But for companies that don't have excessive wealth for monopolizing their industry, there are far less options for CDN providers. These companies all around the world are subjected to choosing from only a few U.S.‑based global monopolies in the CDN space, like Akamai, Cloudflare. Today the largest market share is Cloudflare, which owns 20% of the CDN usage market since 2018. In the last decade, this hyper consolidation, as I see it, of the CDN space, has led to a major market monopoly, similar to Google and Amazon today in other sectors. Due to the just nature of the volume economics of building infrastructure globally at scale, that costs that much money. As a result of the high cost of entry for competition, what you end up seeing is that there can be only a few major market price‑setters in this space, and down the road, it's only going to get worse.
But strangely, this is not the only major issue at stake as a result of market consolidation, private ownership and government regulation in tangent, when things do break in the CDN space, whether by internal accident or due to external forces, all of us suffer. In recent years, dozens of global outages have rocked major websites, nations, and the global economy due to just small mistakes by innocent network engineers at these CDNs. For example, in 2019, the major, privately owned ISP Verizon, which is a major U.S. ISP, accidentally leaked a large subnet, which means just a big pool of address spaces, a ‑20 address of the CDN service Cloudflare, to an incorrect router or autonomous system, technically, in rural Pennsylvania. To spare any more technical details, the consequence was, as soon as the route address was posted, a large swath of Cloudflare's major clients went down. The results were complete chaos, only seen recently in the Facebook outage a couple months ago.
The engineer who wrote the postmortem, so kind of the account of death after the incident, for Cloudflare, started by saying, "Today, the Internet had a small heart attack." This incident not only took down Cloudflare, but it also took down Amazon and many other major platforms for several hours globally. In my opinion, this can't keep happening, and especially going forward through the oversight of just these private companies and engineers who don't understand the risks that we all face.
At this point, the Internet has become a critical and life‑saving service globally, and I don't think we can go down this path any longer. Catastrophic outages like these are an immediate and dire risk to all of us as stakeholders globally. And to me, this is the worst part. And this is where us as ambassadors really do come in.
As of May of this year, independent researchers at UC Berkeley in the U.S. found the Internet ‑‑ or has shown that the Internet has continued to prosper as a project of U.S. capital interests and hegemonic power. Across the spectrum of core Internet infrastructure, U.S. companies and the U.S. Government, itself, remain largely in control of all of our futures. And the stability of the globally shared Internet, that we should all be owning. And most disturbingly, the CDN space, which is the basis of all of this, is the most blatant and corrupt example. Today, 97.6% ‑‑ so, only 2% don't ‑‑ 97.6% of websites globally that use a CDN service are using a U.S.‑based company.
Going forward, I'd like to collaborate and help to restructure a truly globally owned Internet. I don't think we have one right now. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Jeremy, for a very insightful presentation. Do you have a question that you would like to open up the conversation with, by chance?
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Yeah, absolutely. You know, as the only representative from the U.S., I think I'm in a position of privilege to where my experience of the Internet is uniquely benefitted from this system. And what I would ask to all of you is, clearly, from the higher end levels of our work as scholars and as activists, we can do work on the ground, but how do we address some of these kinds of structural foundational questions of the Internet? The fact that the U.S. Government owns most of the core infrastructure. Can we get to a point where we can distribute this across Latin America, across Africa, across Asia, to where everyone is owning and sharing and operating on the same level, rather than just one nation?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you for your question, Jeremy. For anyone in the audience that would like to comment or answer that question or engage in that conversation, please do. I see we have a ping from someone that's live in Poland. Do you have a comment or question?
>> VERONICA: Yeah. First of all, my name is Veronica. I'm a former IGF Youth Ambassador. So, my first comment is to give my congratulations to all the 2021 IGF Youth Ambassadors, because we are following your work from here in Katowice, and I would like to congratulate and to tell that we also appreciate the work you have done, at least virtually there. Hopefully, we will meet next year.
My question for Jeremy is that I also work on the CDN as ‑‑ I think last year ‑‑ for an ICANN project. And my question for you is if you have considered to apply the Internet Society, Internet Impact Assessment Toolkit, because I know they have developed this toolkit that is connected to their project of the Internet way of networking. So, my question, if you ever considered or you have done it yet, to apply, you know, that kind of toolkit? You know the toolkit.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Yeah. Thank you, Veronica. And thank you on behalf of all of us for paving the way for us and for making it all the way to Katowice.
Yes, I actually do. I'm a big fan of the Internet Impact Assessment Toolkit. And I use it. I work on several projects in the U.S. with other scholars, and one of them is actually funded by the Internet Society. His name is ‑‑ as for the Daylight Lab at UC Berkeley, and they study Internet fragmentation, which is another really interesting topic that we should all be deeply concerned about, which means kind of that the Internet is splitting. And there is kind of fragments and sovereign Internets forming. And so, how do we look at kind of the consequences of that, and what are the, you know, signs infrastructurally that point to those. So, I really appreciate you bringing attention to that, Veronica, because I know that there are ambassadors in this cohort who will definitely benefit from that.
>> VERONICA: Thank you. We thank you, Jeremy.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Is there any other questions? Yes, of course.
>> PEDRO: Hello. Pedro again, for the record. I just have maybe a comment more than a question about ‑‑ you were talking about the United States Government influence. But I believe that you should also take a look, not just in the government sphere, but also at the private sector space. Because the big question that has happened today and nowadays is exactly on the center of the debate that's happening right here. The IGF, during the COVID‑19 pandemic as well. That is, how even the multi‑stakeholder model is centered on in some places, in some aspects, the way that the private sector of the United States wanted the way that the Internet would be structured, about the way they wanted it to go.
So, there are some subtle ways that this happens. There are some values that everyone has in the Internet Governance system, values that are advocated strongly on every space. And they are strongly derived from this private sector interests. So, I believe that there has been in past years kind of sharing of power from the United States Government, but this sharing of power is ending up going to the hands of some United States company. So, I believe that part should also be a strong focus of what you are looking on, what you are working with.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much, Pedro. That's a really insightful comment, and it actually opens up a couple threads that I'll touch on really quickly.
I think that the nature of the U.S. Government and the U.S. private sector is one of a very toxic and kind of disgusting, kind of imperial hold on the rest of the world, and it's in my interest that that doesn't remain so for the next century.
But I would say that there, at least from my perspective in academia and from being in the private sector previously in the CDN space, there's far less that you can do to tangibly change that sort of industry capture. I know ICANN specifically struggles with that, where most of the ICANN operation is just, you know, private sector, and you know, influencers in there. So, something like the IGF is really great because it actually opens it up to multi‑stakeholder participation in a meaningful sense.
And I know there are develops like the IGF Leadership Panel that kind of maybe threaten the overall stability of, you know, independent voices like ours. And so, it's, you know, it's definitely on kind of my front radar to ensure that the IGF doesn't fall into that same sort of, either government or industry capture, where it just becomes kind of a playground for the private sector, government elites, to decide our futures.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay. Thank you, Jeremy. If you can wrap up your session in the next 30 seconds and let folks on the call know how can we continue following your work and where can we connect with you to contribute or continue this dialogue going forward throughout the IGF and beyond.
>> JEREMY BERNICK: Yeah, absolutely. You can contact me at my email. I'll share it in the chat. I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter as well. I'd be happy to collaborate with anybody. I work in issues of law, political economy, economic theory, and technical infrastructure. So, I'm kind of happy to bridge the gap for wherever you guys are. So, thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you again, Jeremy, and for all of folks in Poland who were able to contribute with their comments and questions.
We're going to move along to our next IGF Youth Ambassador, James Declerus, who is joining us from Haiti, talking on empowering responsible digital citizens. James, you have the floor.
>> JAMES DECLERUS: Thank you, Marilee. And thank you, everyone, for joining this wonderful discussion. And my intervention will be about digital literacy and connectivity in all ideas, and mostly the case that we are experiencing in Haiti.
I am James Declerus. I was born in La Mer. This is a way to let you know that my childhood was marked by the absence of electricity, health care, digital technologies, and a lot of other things that could make a huge upgrade impact on a child in life.
I remember this day my father went to Hesh (?). And he bought a small radio. And you know what happened? I broke the radio days later. You know why? It was just because I was looking for the people talking inside of the radio. For me, they were inside of it and I couldn't understand that people talked aloud inside such a small device. And my father ‑‑ and happy for me this moment ‑‑ said, "Hey, man, are you crazy? What are you doing?" But he quickly understood that it was a lack of computing for my part. I didn't really understand what happened, and he brought me to the radio station and see the people talk and made me understand that the device was just a receiver.
Actually, there are some evolutions, because you know, smartphones are so popular. But compared to the rest of the world, Haiti is still far behind. In 2008, I was 15, and I saw a computer for the first time in my life. It was fascinating to me. And when I started the computer 101, like introduction to computer class at the public school that I attended, I realized two things. The first one is, I realized that I missed a lot of things during my childhood. Like, it was like I missed ten years out of the world, due of low Internet connection and no access to computer. And the second one, I quickly understood that computers and Internet represent the future.
And since then, I have seen a great passion started growing inside of me. This passion, I'd like to share it with you, it was made the highest possible degree in computer science, and back in the world committee to bring where I was born at the first time, to bring digital literacy, knowledge, and experience, to all kids that are facing the same situation that I faced during my childhood.
In 2019, before joining an IT non‑profit organization ‑‑ I joined as coordinator ‑‑ I founded a Krik Krak project, an affordable model of delivering technological world to kids in Haiti. I would like to explain to you how the model works. The model is a model‑model. Our key items and operations are, we have one recycle, we have 15 computers, and we designed a month‑long curriculum. And as we don't have Internet connection in the rural area, we use Internet in a box. And this small device we implement model of the academy and a lot of other content that can be accessed offline.
My experience, both at Hope for Haiti and this project make me realize that lack of computer literacy in areas in Haiti is alarming. For example, our surveys just showed that 98% of world kids aged from 7 to 17 years old have no experience with computers and has no access to the Internet. You know, this is even during the pandemic, where the number of Internet users increased in other parts of the world, but not big thing has been done in Haiti. Like, we were not moved too much.
With Hope for Haiti, I led this project, and we opened 20 labs in Haiti. With the model, we teach digital literacy to 600‑plus children in rural areas in Haiti. This intervention today is like a call of action. The idea behind Krik Krak is to train rural kids in their earlier age. So, no matter when they have access to the world Internet connection, they can behave like a responsible digital citizen. Because we talk about privacy, about connectivity, and we are working to have everybody connected, to connect the unconnected. So, Krik Krak is working to see how we can start training those people out of connection, actually, and in the future, no matter when they have access to the world Internet connection, they can be responsible by protecting themselves and others.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, James, for your conversation. We need to move into your open discussion and Q&A. So, if you can please move us into an open discussion, what would be one question that you have for the audience to get engaged with you in this discussion?
>> JAMES DECLERUS: Before asking my question, I would like to share my screen a little bit.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay. And I just need to remind you that we have a reduced amount of time to get to the rest of our speakers. So, if you could please be brief.
>> JAMES DECLERUS: Yes, I will be brief. Okay, let me share. Okay, I can't share. But actually, as I told you, we use an offline Internet connection just to simulate Internet connection for our children. But we want to bring the real Internet connection to them. I would like to ask the attendees if they have experience with, like, a way that we can make rural Internet connection possible in rural communities where access is very difficult. Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you for your question, James. And please, leave in the chat, James, how folks can connect with you to learn more about your project and to continue the conversation. Unfortunately, due to the reduced amount of time for our session, I think that we should move on to our next speakers. So, James, please leave in the chat how folks can connect with you and respond to your question. And continue the conversation. I just want to make sure that we can get to our next three speakers before our session ends.
Up next, we have Eliana Fram joining us from Argentina. And she will be talking about regulation for universal access. Eliana, you have the floor.
>> ELIANA FRAM: Thank you, Marilee. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening to everyone. I don't know what it is for me. It's like late in the night. I will try to keep it brief. I will start by saying that the uptick of the internet has accelerated during the pandemic, which is, of course, great news. And since 2019, the number of users has increased 800 million, reaching 4.9 billion in 2021. That is roughly 63% of the population.
And as we know, behind these types of numbers, there are gaps, such as gender, age, urban versus rural, for which numbers I will not get into. However, I want to be emphatic about this one. From the 2.9 billion people that remain offline, 96% of them live in developing countries. With that in mind, a lot of literature says that Internet access creates a beneficial ripple effect in the economy, expands opportunities, and strengthens communications, regardless of industrial sector or geographic location. For instance, assuming diversity increases in fixed situation ‑‑ North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean ‑‑ will enjoy an increase of 1.9% GDP per capita than when we think about the Internet as a general-purpose opportunity that creates opportunities across the entire economy, I think leaving no one behind, it is a moral imperative that we cannot look away from.
I believe this situation inevitably falls on what Internet Governance is, not only shaping the evolution and protecting the way the internet works, but also safeguarding the value that it has as an enabler. And within Internet Governance, the multi‑stakeholder approach as we know it is chosen due to its adherence to principles such as inclusivity, openness, and decision‑making.
And when thinking about a major actor of universal access, in my mind, immediately goes to rural entities ‑‑ one of the actors considered in the model and my personal area of interest. I think the IGF is not only for related entities to execute their stakeholder role, but also to bring this model back home. This means becoming transparent, inclusive, and open. Replicating the IGF model as we know it within countries for communications regulations can solely be a beneficial ripple effect.
I'm currently working on a project looking at governmental regulation and its impact on universal access. And one of the items that I'm seeing so far is fairly evident. In services, competition, and prize are related. Suggesting, if not confirming, that fostering a multiplayer market makes the fixed Internet service more affordable, and consequently, enhances accessibility. Circling back to regulatory entities, why is it important that they update the model from the IGF? As a reminder on transparency, inclusion, open practices, the conversations that are made hastily or through closed‑door proceedings can undermine the regulators' credibility and create a perception of undue influence, which in many cases has caused a level of uncertainty that hinders private investments, ultimately, preventing infrastructures from being developed, creating barriers of entry to the market, and harming the creation of competition, which is the way to achieve a countrywide offering of affordable Internet.
A different analysis that I'm doing shows that countries that promote competition ‑‑ for instance, by creating flexible licensing frameworks and performing their functions transparently ‑‑ those countries are also most likely to engage in universal access policy practices, such as promoting free or low‑cost public Internet access in public libraries or what have you.
A multi‑stakeholder approach that gives rise to confidence can be achieved by a number of approaches, such as evidence‑based decision‑making, regulatory impact analysis, public consultations, commitments to transparency and discrimination. I do believe that the multi‑stakeholder approach is not to be left in Poland but is to be taken home as well.
And my question for you all, and I'm fully aware that there are a lot of unknown unknowns in policy‑making and that are one of the reasons that I believe this room is so valuable, to deliver a perspective. So, I invite you to share your thoughts. If we are short on time, I will leave in the chat box the ways of reaching. And my questions are, how can we advance flexible regulations for an enabling market that allows more people to be connected to affordable Internet? And where mechanisms are to be put in place for this and what hinders it? Thank you.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: I'd say let's give this five to six minutes for individuals attending the session who would like to comment or answer Eliana's question please raise your hand or unmute. You are also welcome to leave your comments or questions in the chat.
>> Just so I know, is there anyone with their hands raised? Because I don't want to ‑‑
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: No. You are free to continue, our guest in Poland.
>> So, this was a very interesting exposition, because it's exactly what I was talking about, the differences, the difference about approaching the Internet Governance models and types of ways to see how we want them to work. And the thing is, when we are talking about this Latin American perspective, we're not talking about freedom in the Internet Governance ecosystem. Sometimes it's necessary to have some ‑‑ at least a certain level of regulation to approach it. For example, as to make it possible to new agents to enter the market, it's important that we create some barriers. So, the big agents, the already established agents, cannot just buy them every time they appear, every time they are starting to make a difference in these regions. And it's really interesting that someone from the Youth Ambassadors is working on that aspect. This is probably one of the hardest questions that we have today in Internet Governance.
As you know, there is no easy or rigid answer to that, but I congratulate this project, because having a national‑specific approach to this question ‑‑ oh in Argentina, or in South America, what are the kind of regulations that we need to make to empower smaller agents here that wants to get into this kind of market, that wants to promote some values that we think are important. So, I'm really happy to see this, and I would like also to congratulate our ambassadors. The projects here have been amazing. And I'm sorry that I will have to leave right now for another session, but it's been an amazing experience and you all have some great projects. I'm really, really happy to have seen these things and these expositions.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you for your contribution and your comments and for actively engaging with us from over there in Poland. Eliana, I will leave it to you for any closing remarks, and then we will move on to our next speaker.
>> ELIANA FRAM: Thank you, Marilee. And thank you for the comment. It's really encouraging to speak with people that understand what a complex situation this is. And the short answer is, there is no short answer. As we know, policy doesn't travel well, and what works for a country may not work or may need to suffer a lot of adaptations to specific, locally based context.
For instance, in Argentina, we have a way of providing relevant services for small Internet companies within the country to resell the Internet, and that is a model that has worked, but it has a lot to do with the geographic diversity and the local market and how private investors may not find it profitable to reach certain populations and the distribution is not something that we can look away from, and we need to get the Internet to them. So, that pushes the local different solutions being brought in fiber‑optic or being satellite solutions. But yeah, I'm looking into these challenges. I will leave my contact information in the chat box and I'm happy to continue any conversation.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you very much, Eliana. Up next, we have Luiz da Silva from Brazil. You will be talking about Internet factors. Luiz, you have the floor and I will do my best to pull up the slides. Hopefully, this is going to work. And please, do prompt me to switch the slides as you're talking and as you would like me to move through them.
>> LUIZ EDUARDO MARTELLI da SILVA: Okay, Marilee, thank you very much. Thank you, everyone, for being here. And I'm going to talk about Internet intermediaries' liability and the existence of many times of intermediaries and its impact on regulation. So, my goal right here is not very much to teach you about Internet intermediaries' liability or share a specific thesis, but to provide context and to raise some questions, which is the main goal. You can put in the next one, please. Thank you, Marilee.
So, for those who are not very familiar with the topic, Internet intermediaries are actors that facilitate the transmission of information generated by content producers. And intermediary liability is the legal responsibilities for this content published by these users. So, we have many liability regimes, such as Safe Harbor model, which consists of notice and takedown procedures, and broad immunity. It also involves many, many problems in our daily lives, such as freedom of expression right, privacy and their protection right, try and remedy, due process rights for taking down content and equality on non‑discrimination rights for biased decisions. If you can change the slide, please. You can go to the next one, please. Marilee? I think you can put in the next one, please, the next slide. Okay. You can change? Okay.
So, I think I'm going to continue anyway, and then maybe we can keep up with the slides. So, the Internet intermediary environment is very complex and involves the provision of many types of services, such as ‑‑ yes, thank you ‑‑ such as ISPs, hosting providers, social media platforms, search engines. And those, they can also be split into many other services with many functions themselves. So, it's a very complex environment, which involves many types of functions that are very important for the operability of the Internet. You can change again, please.
There are some proposals for classifying, categorizing the Internet intermediaries for regulation proposals. So, we have ‑‑ one that I think is very interesting is a study conducted by the European Parliament called "Liability of Online Platforms," and it divides the Internet intermediaries based on six factors, so based upon the activities that they exercise, such as web hosting providers, search engines, advertising platforms, based on structural relevance, if they are eCommerce platforms, Fintech, Accommodation; based on the use of data, if they are data‑enabled operators or for data‑enhanced operators; other type of actors; the source of revenues; and on the level of control. So, you can change again, please.
And based on these factors on the nature of the intermediaries and on the complexity of the services that they provide, there are factors that I think should be taken into consideration in this case. And the first one is the difference between the Edge intermediaries and the lower‑level intermediaries, since they have access to the content based on different levels of abstraction. So, for example, the upper levels, they can see the content as of the spoken language and the lower level, they see more as in code language or encryption, and sometimes they are even allowed to have access to the content because of non‑disclosure policies and all.
And we can think as the root of a tree. Also, if you cut the top of the tree, you're going to undermine ‑‑ the top of the root of a tree ‑‑ you're going to undermine the whole system. And kind of in the same way, if you impose a control mechanism upon some lower‑level intermediary, then you're going to undermine ‑‑ you're going to affect the activities of how the other service providers come up to them, you know.
Then we can raise a question. Like, should we regulate them in the same way, based on the different activities that they exercised? And the second one, the second factor that I think should be taken into consideration are the risks of imposing control on intermediaries. So, depending on the way that we do this, if we do not take into consideration their differences, and we do not create adequate policies, we can restrain technological innovation. So, there is this false economy between innovation and regulation, and I think we can consolidate both things, with for example, sandbox models that can enable one business model to develop oversight, so it can be very effective. And also, it can violate freedom of expression rights because we can allow cards to understand the applicability of the policy and a more restrictive way not only to, intermediary, but to development. So, they all fall on the same scope which might create some problems.
So, you can put on the next one with the references. I think that's it. And I just wanted to raise some questions. I think the screen is not being ‑‑ the slides are not being shared anymore?
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Yes. We do need to move on from your initial presentation to the discussion.
>> LUIZ EDUARDO MARTELLI da SILVA: Okay.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: We can share your slides later on, if you would like, but if you can lead us into your discussion session or portion of your session. We have time for one to two questions for remarks.
>> LUIZ EDUARDO MARTELLI da SILVA: Okay. Yeah, so I'm just going to share one question. Actually, I had two, but due to time, I think one is more effective. So, my question is, is the classification ‑‑ do you really think that a classification of Internet intermediaries is necessarily for ‑‑ is necessary for creating liability regimes? And if the law is appropriate instrument to contain a classification? I think those are the questions. And please, everyone feel free to their contributions and to answer to this.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Luiz, for your presentation, for your discussion topic, and for the question opening up the audience to engage with you. Please also leave in the chat how folks can connect with you and learn more about the topic that you presented to us.
>> LUIZ EDUARDO MARTELLI da SILVA: Yes, I will do that.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: I will give it a couple more seconds to see if we have any questions or comments for Luiz. We have Luiza, you have the floor. And please keep in mind that we have one more speaker before the session ends in the next 15 minutes.
>> LUIZA MALHEIRO: Thank you, Marilee. First, I would like to congratulate about the presentation because this topic has interesting impact on the Internet. And answering your question, I think although it's really a complex subject to address in a law, for example, right? Because there is no universal taxonomy regarding this theme. I still think it's important because, as you mentioned, we have so many types of Internet providers, for example, and social media platforms, that they all are intermediaries. And I think that if we don't have this classification, or at least a kind of classification, we may, unfortunately, impact, for example, the Internet access, for example, because we think about an Internet regulation. Only think about on social media platforms, for example, we may restrict the access of the Internet service providers, right? So, I think it's a main issue, because to think when we are regulating these topics, because we may impact negatively the Internet access for all, for instance. Thank you for the interesting question.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Luiza, for your contribution. And do we have one more person in Poland that would like to comment? Please keep it brief. We have one more speaker that we need to get to.
>> VERONICA: Hi, Luiz. I'm here from Katowice. My answer to your question would be, yes, I think it's ‑‑ it's not only ad advisable, but it's necessary to make this classification according, you know, between infrastructure operators and between the service operators. And this is something that ISOC has already worked on with the Internet Impact Assessment Toolkit. Because when you deem liable the infrastructure operator, then you've got to impact the functioning of the Internet itself. So, we have to make a distinction, because we cannot deem as a whole thing the service that is the shallow, you know, layer and the infrastructure layer. Because we cannot confuse the two things. The infrastructural operators, they have no control over the content. While maybe service operator, they have control over the content. So, this is why you have to make the distinction between the classification as you mentioned before.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you. Thank you for your comment. And if I can ask our IT person to please boot Jayson Blue out of the call again. I believe he keeps popping back in. And Luiz, I will give you, please, 30 seconds to let folks know how to connect with you.
And next up, we will start with Stella. Luiz, please, let folks know how they can find you.
>> LUIZ EDUARDO MARTELLI da SILVA: Okay. I also thank Luiza and Veronica for the comments. I think they're very interesting, just commenting briefly. And I agree with you both. Also, I do think that the law is the adequate mechanism for making a classification of Internet intermediaries, but we need to take care, because as Luiza said, we cannot make a universal classification as we risk to ignore that many other actors, many other business models may emerge.
So, you can find me, to get in touch, you can find me in my email and through my LinkedIn. I'm going to share these in the chat. And I also invite everyone to keep discussing about this topic to get along with my colleagues, Luiza, who just spoke, and Jose and I in our virtual booth on Friday, December 10th, at 11:00 a.m. UCT. I think it would be 12:00 a.m. on CET. So, yes, we're going to mostly talk about the project that we are developing on this subject, which is an Introductory Guideline for Regulating Internet Intermediaries, and ‑‑
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay, Luiz, thank you. We do need to move on. And for folks wondering about the virtual booth, Luiz is referring to the Internet Society virtual booth. So please go on to the virtual element aspect of the IGF website and look for the Internet Society Virtual Booth, which should be in the lower halls. So, please do explore that after the session today.
Next up, we have our last IGF Youth Ambassador speaker, Stella Teoh, joining us from Malaysia. She will be talking about the intersection of philosophy and the web to close us out today. And Stella, you have the floor
>> STELLA TEOH: Okay, thank you very much, Marilee. Greetings, everyone. I don't think I'll share the slides I prepared. It was only a brief slide show anyway. I just wanted to talk about philosophy and the web. So, the reason why I feel like I needed to highlight and why I wanted to research about the intersection between these two disciplines is mainly because, like, when people think of philosophy, they see it as kind of dead or without any place in the future, especially with the web and how important the web is now. So, philosophy is not up to date. And I'd like to challenge that, because there is a quote about how Berners-Lee viewed the web as philosophical engineering. So, for him, physics and the web, they both had a similar relationship, that they were about the relationship between the small and the large. So, in terms of what I wanted to kind of research or do surveys about, the intersection between this philosophy and the web, was mainly, for instance, Asian youth perspective towards things like digital identity. So, I do believe that there is a little bit of a divide on how the East and West may view how parts of assets of your identity spill over from your real life into your digital life or how some people manage to keep, like ‑‑ I'm not sure if it's positive or negative, but they keep their digital identity separate from their physical real‑life identity.
And one thing that philosophy of the web touches on is how the web has changed how we view knowledge. So, like, historically speaking, if you were to say someone is knowledgeable, they actually do hold pieces of information in their head. For instance, specific names of capitals of countries, et cetera. But now, with Google and the Internet, all this has come ‑‑ has transformed in to being information at our fingertips, but not actually like at the moment of asking. So, it's changed what it means to have knowledge, and that also draws into certain things like aspects of reality. Do we consider, like potentially the mind to be widened by the fact that you're online? And of course, I think the aspect of philosophy that most people are familiar with in terms of the web would be moral philosophy, so things like ethics, ethics concerning AI ‑‑ artificial intelligence ‑‑ et cetera. So, I'm just going to keep this brief and short. But for me, I decided from an IGF Youth Ambassadorship, I wanted to focus on seeing how philosophy could be kind of revitalized and to not be forgotten, especially when we speak of digital literacy, like so many previous ambassadors touched upon the importance of digital literacy and how it contributes to digital citizenship, but I also feel that the lacking part that potentially could have more focus is the philosophical side of these questions. So, like, things about the identity, knowledge, and ethics. So, that's it for me. I'll put my LinkedIn in the chat.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Thank you, Stella. And I apologize to our ambassadors that we had to really rush through these presentations, our topics, to make sure that we got to everyone today. Stella, if you can repeat your question that you may have to the audience again, that will be much appreciated.
>> STELLA TEOH: Okay. I think one question I'd like to ask everyone is do you think philosophy is really dead, now that you've heard, like a few of the little ties that I've drawn outside. Do you think philosophy really doesn't have a place in discussions about Internet governance, discussions about the web, or do you think you maybe need some time to think about it? And yeah, just that, just food for thought.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: We have Anurag. You have the floor with your feedback or question.
>> ANURAG: Yeah, hi. Am I audible? Thanks, Stella, for the amazing short, but very informative presentation. I believe that philosophy does have a very essential in present times discussion, especially when it comes to privacy and even more into privacy about encryption and who has, whether the government has the power to take away encryption and other things. And moreover, when it comes to (?) issues as well, and cybersecurity is one of the issues as well. So, I definitely do believe that it is not dead, but people have sort of adopted the way philosophy has been dealt in, in other subjects. Not particularly calling it philosophy, but calling it more policy‑based subject, and not really realizing that they're pretty much dealing with the philosophy of things. Having said that, I have one small question, if you wouldn't mind, about your presentation. You intentioned that digital identity has become something different from physical identity. What are a couple of your views on that? Specifically in the philosophy point of view? Thanks.
>> STELLA TEOH: Thank you so much. And great views on how, yeah, philosophy actually has evolved to be kind of assimilated, but people don't really view it as like the traditional philosophy that we know, which is great.
And on the topic of digital identity, I think the first thing people would think of, mainly, is like the issue between youths and how there is the potential that facets of their identity can be affected through the way they communicate online, which sometimes leads to a divide in how they feel. For instance, like the most normal thing would be how people currently socialize properly in real life feel a greater sense of belonging online because it's easier for them to find communities that accept them.
But for the philosophical side of it, it's more like the notion of embodiment. So, they may somehow result ‑‑ like, there are a few Black Mirror episodes that talk about this, how some people may have this kind of feeling where, instead, they want to forego the material or physical world and say, like hey, it's kind of useless for me to go out there. Why don't I just focus on the virtual world, the augmented reality, where I have more control, where I can be myself, et cetera? So, I think that notion of embodiment is, like, something that they want ‑‑ well, the philosophy of web talks about. But it's also something that I'm learning about as time goes by, and I think that was a great question. And it does tie in with things like Internet Governance in terms of age verification on websites, et cetera. So, yep.
>> ANURAG: Thanks.
>> MARILEE D'ARCEUIL: Okay, everyone. I'm just dropping in our chat section a link to the virtual booth schedule where we can continue the conversations that some of our Ambassadors have been having today at the CLX. Thank you, Ambassadors and attendees, for your patience and your perseverance, despite all of the technical difficulties that we faced getting on the call today, and even during the session today. We all had to witness some things that we should not have to, and I want to acknowledge that and hope for all of you continuing on to future IGF sessions that you have a better experience getting on to the sessions and during your sessions.
Please, if you haven't already grabbed the information from each of the ambassadors that they've posted in the chat section, please do take the remaining minutes in this session to do so and connect, follow up, collaborate. We want to get as many people working together on the issues and topics that were discussed today. Thank you, Stella, for closing us out with your presentation on philosophy of Internet and the web and the future of the Internet. Again, please do continue the conversation with our ambassadors in our virtual booth linked in the chat.
And I will open the floor for the last minute for any closing remarks from our ambassadors. All right. Thank you, everyone, for making the time to attend, for staying on the call. We have had a few of you who dropped ‑‑ who were disconnected from the call and who persevered and we were able to get you back connected to the sessions. Thank you to the IGF and to the Internet Society for creating this platform for our IGF Youth Ambassadors to present their initiatives and the important work that they are doing around the world, locally in their own regions. Thank you for our attendees who have stayed on the call, who have asked your questions, who have given some insightful feedback and who have shown interest in continuing the conversation with our ambassadors. I wish you all an eventful, knowledge‑filled, engaging, interactive rest of the IGF. And I hope to see some of your faces in future sessions coming up today and for the rest of the week. Have a great rest of your morning, afternoon, evening, wherever you are around the world, and thank you, again, for attending the session. And thank you, IGF teams who have done an amazing job at keeping us on track and booting all of the people who should not have been on the call out. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day. See you all in future sessions.
(Session concluded at 12:30 CET)