IGF 2021 – Day 1 – Town Hall #35 Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network Session

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.



>> NATALIA LOUNGOU:  Hello, my name is Natalia Loungou.  Before we begin this session, I would like to share a few housekeeping updates.

Attendants of this session are welcomed and encouraged to use the chat function to introduce themselves with their name, affiliation and country to this session, it allows interactions from the audience.  We ask you to use the raise hand function.  Attendees will be invited to take the floor and give the opportunity to unmute their microphone.  At some point the Secretariat of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network.  And now I invite the executive director of the I&JPN to begin today's session.  Thank you very much.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you so much, Natalia.  It's a pleasure to see everybody.

A few words, because it's the ‑‑ the full intent here, we are presenting results of the work of the Internet and the jurisdiction policy network at the IGF.  But I want to start by stepping back and strongly reaffirm what actually drives us as a Secretariat and as a network of hundreds of actors from more than 70 countries and six stakeholder groups and Sophie, if you can show the first slide, which is a general background and presentation for the network.

What I want to say is that what drives us is a vision of a digital society that's defined and governed collaboratively.  It's also the conviction that we have problems in common that need to be addressed but not only problems with each other.

It is also the belief that the digital revolution can be beneficial to all, and that it should not only widen in equalities.  And it is a commitment to empower those willing to contribute constructively, irrespective of their position, their stakeholder group or origin.

I think we are confronted with a civilization challenge, it's how to organize 7 billion people with vastly different references and modes of organization.  And as a society, we have moved from nothing could go wrong to take backlash and take doom.  And both visions are excessive, and the real issue is actually different.  The real issue is that we lack the cooperation processes and institutions to deal with policy questions that are transnational.  And I insist not international issues, transnational ones.

Enormative processes are necessary for two things.  On the one hand to address abuses of all sorts that threaten our society and on the other hand to maximize the creation of social and economic value for all.  Collecting the evidence as indicated in the slide, to frame and inform the debate, to provide a safe space to connect stakeholders and bridge silos.  This is the mission we have assigned ourselves humbly and ambitiously, and in that regard, 2021 has been a very fruitful year.  As you see on the right of this slide, we have released the operational toolkits, one for each of the policy toolkits we have.  We have launched the new for the Africa continent.  This addresses cross‑border access to electronic evidence and online content moderation and DNS level action to address abuses.

They are the result of intense work in multi‑stakeholder group since the first global concept of the I&JPN that we held in Paris in 2016 and the guidance of the coordinators and the program directors with, I would say, patient and iterate, international organizations, civil society, technical operators and academics have collaborated to develop solutions to foster legal interoperability.  Since the launch of these toolkits, we have worked with a wide variety of practitioners and we are extremely elated to see the work being picked up all over the place.

This allows me to share our first message.  Multi‑stakeholder cooperation does work.  If it is conducted in the spirit of mutual respect and with a dedicated methodology, in order if it takes time.  I really strongly invite you through the presentations to download this toolkit and subject events where it can be discussed and circulate it to whoever may help.  You can do it too.  Don't hesitate to approach us if we can help in making you apply this methodology to other topics.

The second point regarding community intelligence, if you can switch to the next slide, Sophie, thank you.

Following the global status report we presented in 2019, we embarked on regional mappings to collect digital policy trends and today at this session we will share the report we did with, and the project we just learned for Africa, and both UN ECLAC, and Africa, and GIZ, which we will speak in this session and next week on Monday, December 13, we will bring together stakeholders across Africa, to share expertise and help develop the future of content for new regional status report.

And there is a second report here to provide evidence of trends and that's their purpose, but most importantly, they aim at strengthening the voice of actors and regions.

There are too often excluded from policy discussions that nonetheless impact them.

And so please express your interest in participating in these efforts.  We will put information in the chat to that intent.

Finally, next slide.  We are incubating the data sphere initiative.  We produced a report.  We need to talk about data, framing the data around free flow of data and data sovereignty to introduce much more nuanced in a debate that's reduced to a bottle of simplistic Logans.  It was thanks to the Germany's ministry of economy and energy, and it built on the contributions of more than 100 policy experts.  We released it in April at a conference we jointly organized with Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry, and it introduced the new concept of data sphere leading to the data sphere initiative that we are currently incubating and you will hear more about this later on.  This brings me to the third message which is to properly address the key processes the digital age, we often need bold change of perspective, in order to unlock innovation, in tools, frameworks and concepts.

And then this is true both to we present abuses and to foster well‑being for all, two fundamental legs to enable the digital society we want.  Voila.  Please use the chat no discuss and comment during the presentation but also use the chat to share any resource that you have produced that is relevant to the topics we addressed, because we want more than ever in this strange period, where we cannot meet in person, to play the role of connective tissue among stakeholders who are striving to create a better digital future and we will also post in the chat a link for you to express interest in the different aspects of the work of our NGO.

Thank you.  Now I think I passed on to Ajith.

>> AJITH FRANCIS: Thank you, Bertrand.  My name is Ajith Francis.  I'm with the I&JPN.  I will talk about the data and the jurisdiction contact work.  Following the great work done by the contact group in the cross border in the cross‑border, this year the we are focusing on the following key topics focusing on the global landscape for electronic evidence and workflows for the EU's evidence proposal and categories of user data, including traffic data and content data.

Own the global landscape of electronic evidence, the contact group will seek to build upon the work of the toolkits, especially around the notion of scalability across border regimes and interoperability of norms and technical tools.  Given that the various frameworks that have been proposed such as the bilateral agreements and the cloud act and the evidence proposals and the second Budapest convention have had limited application or still being negotiated without clarity of timelines for implementation or are very limited in scope respectively and the contact group will continue to ensure that this topic receives adequate attention.

Given the increased proliferation of data localization requirements around the world, makes a collaborative approach towards addressing these issues from a global perspective.  We are working on developing workflows for the proposals made by the European Commission, and the EU parliament as part of the evidence package in order to provide the different stakeholders with the breakdown of the different building blocks of proposed regime architecture, while also pinpointing the key differences and the points of deviation in the three proposals.

This work would be aimed at providing an informative basis to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have a common understanding of the structure of the proposals, and ensure that all relevant parties have all the necessary information in understanding the commonalties and divergences of the different proposals.

Finally, the contact group will also be working on framing the discourse surrounding the categories of user data.  Currently the definitions of the types of data and in particular for subscriber information, come from the world of telephony and are ill suited for the kinds of data currently stored online.  And that's ambiguity and how this data is categorized across the three categories of subscriber information, and contact group is focusing on whether the current categories are sufficient to cover new types of data and whether all data should even be requestable by law enforcement authorities and if so, what are the appropriate safeguards and protections that they may require?

At this point, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the 40 plus members of the contact group and our coordinator Robert Young who devote their time regularly to engage in the virtual meetings towards development of concrete operational solutions to these challenges and with that, I will Hanover to my colleague, Frane Maroevic.

>> FRANE MAROEVIC: Thank you very much.  We are determining how we govern cross border Internet issues and in terms of the work of the content group in 2001, the focus has been to explore three issues that are closely related to content moderation.  The issue of geographically proportionate action, transparency, and the topic of regulation, of, by and on platforms.  In terms of the geographically proportionate action, what we are discussing here is the fact that legal or regulatory order in one country or one jurisdiction can make content unavailable in other countries or even globally.  And while there may be cases where this is desirable, there is clearly a jurisdictional conflict.  This means that countries can impose on others their own local standards, and there's also the questions in terms of the implications for the rule of law.

As states are increasingly regulating online content and or behavior of online platforms this issue of geographical reach of content restrictions is becoming even more important.  Last year we explored possible parameters that could be helpful and important for those who are taking those decisions what types of issues should they consider in making such an evaluation.  This year, we are looking to explore the different parameters through scenarios and to see what is the best way to bring greater awareness in the decision‑making and possible effect of action which is being taken by one country jurisdiction and so on.  When we look at the issue of transparency, all stakeholders seem to agree that transparency is an important tool for addressing online current challenges or in terms of online content moderation.

But what is important is to have a shared understanding of different approaches to transparency, in terms of setting up common frameworks that establish and distribute the responsibilities of the different actors in this regard.

Topics such as what problems do we want to solve through transparency would be important.  How can transparency measures and regime assist all stakeholders in solving the challenges they would like to address.  We also discuss concrete operational aspects of different dimensions and the purpose of transparency and when and why transparency may be necessary, what are the roles and the responsibilities of the different stakeholders in the governance of transparency.  What are the competing interests that need to be reconciled in different transparency regimes.  These are the topics that we are addressing.  And we are looking lastly at the issue of three tiers or three layers of regulation.  And it's determined regulation of, by, and on platforms, essentially when we look at the regulation the platforms, it's usually regulation by states or by administrations that are looking to regulate the behavior of platforms.  Then on the plat ‑‑ by platforms, you are also subject to the rules of a particular platform, whether it's in terms of service, community standards.  But also, there are rules and moderation respect on a particular platform.  So letter looking at how the three different layers could be helpful in apportioning this for those who are taking part in this regulation, of, by and on platforms.

This is a brief introduction.  We will have the pleasure to hear the coordinator of our group, to learn how this work can be applicable and helpful in other fora.  But first of all, I would like to pass on to my colleague, Elizabeth Behsudi, who is the director of the domains and jurisdiction program.  Liz?

>> ELIZABETH BEHSUDI: Thank you very much, Frane.  This has, indeed, been a very busy year for the domains and jurisdiction contact group.  In addition to producing the toolkit for addressing abuse at the DNS level, the contact group has been focusing on two primary issue.  The first is trusted notifier arrangements and the group has been conducting robust discussion and consideration of what mutual Affirmation of Commitments between operators and notifiers must exist as a predicate for a trusted notifier arrangement.  And the group is close to producing a final outcome, a consensus‑based outcome on this issue.

Particular focus will be paid to formal structured agreements between operators and notifiers.  The second group ‑‑ the second issue that the group has been looking at is botnet remediation, and the contact group has been discussing the need for a more streamlined procedure for dismantling botnets.  The cross‑border nature of botnets themselves and the take down efforts necessary to dismantle them implications a wide array of operators, law enforcement, CERTs, ICANN and the courts of many different countries and this complex web often makes it difficult to address botnets in a timely and coordinated manner.  We are considering a proposal to make the process run meter.  Finally, a third issue that will be addressed in content and jurisdiction program, will be the issue of transparency and accountability, both in terms of operators' terms of service and in their domain suspension activities.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the contact group for their very diligent, hard and productive work, and also to thank our coordinator Brian Cimbolic, who will speak to you in just a moment.  At this point, I will conclude my remarks and hand the floor back to Bertrand.  Thank you.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you, Ajith, Frane, and Liz.  Yes, indeed.  We want now to provide the ‑‑ the opportunity to the three coordinators of the contact groups would come from the community.  We have done a tremendous job in organizing and driving the spirit of cooperation and helping the Secretariat tremendously in managing this line of work to I will start first by giving the floor to Robert Young who is the legal council at Canada's department of global affairs and was the coordinator of the group that is dealing with electronic evidence.  Robert?

>> ROBERT YOUNG:  Thank you very much, Bertrand.  Bonjour, everybody.  Good to see folks and I'm always happy to be with Internet and jurisdiction friends and colleagues from around the world, and, of course, as Bertrand has just said, we are always interested in widening the circle and widening the dialogue and expanding the conversation.  I want to make four quick points today.  Ajith has done a great job in outlining our past work and our future plans.

I want to talk concretely about what this involved and what it means.  I think the first thing I want to underscore is the contact group on data and jurisdiction has proven over last several years to be very helpful, I think in providing what we call a safe space for dialogue and also producing resources so it is same time, it is an open place to discuss without ‑‑ where organizations, representatives can speak freely, but at the tame time practical in terms of producing resources that help all the different actors in this space navigate the complex policy landscape of cross‑border access to electronic evidence.  We all go to lots of meets and I think all of us are looking for opportunities to reduce the number of meetings in a week.

I find my meetings with the data and jurisdiction contact group more necessary than ever.  And that's because the trend of data localization is growing.  And that is not a good friend in terms of free flow of information in cooperation in sharing evidence across borders.  The concern is that it will only accelerate in terms of rights respectable frameworks, that are scalable, scalable across jurisdictions and scalable across geographies.  The problem with cross‑border electronic evidence and having rules‑based approaches to effective access, it will not go away any time soon.

So a multi‑stakeholder process to address this, that brings relevant actors to the table becomes more and more necessary, as Ajith has outlined.  There are multiple processes.  There's plurality of approaches, but what we want to see across all of them is a focus on rules and respect for frights.  And then thirdly, I want to underline as has been said that we developed practical tools and resources and I really encourage folks would aren't familiar with them, or even those who worked on them to go back and look at the toolkit on cross‑border access to electronic evidence.

I think you will find it useful and relevant.  It doesn't have all the answers to all the questions, but it's meant to provide some useful pieces to ensure due process standards and guarantees as regimes for cross‑border evidence are developed and refined.

Finally, I would be remised if I didn't take this chance to thank all the members of the data and jurisdiction contact group, over recent years and similar to Ajith and the secretary team, Bertrand and Paul and the others and the great Army of staff and interns that work on projects.  It's truly been a collaborative effort but speaking particularly to the members of the contact group, there has been a tremendous commitment and contribution of hours and expertise from industry, from academia, from civil society, busy people from all around the world, multiple continents, people stating up late in the night or getting up early from Asia, Europe, Africa, and we are very grateful to all of those members.  It's a real pleasure to work with them, and we're looking forward ‑‑ aim looking forward personally to working with all of you in the coming months to continue to come up with practical results.  Thanks very much.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you, I am pass this to Wolfgang Schulz, for the Internet and society and the coordinator for the group.

>> WOLFGANG SCHULZ:  Thank you, Bertrand.  And thanks for having me.  I would just emphasize two points from the work.  Frane did an excellent job in explaining what the issues are we're dealing with this year, and the two points I would like to make is first of all, why do we believe that it is important work and we can make a difference here with this school?  That brings us all together with all the packed schedules that we have, that everybody is submitted to come to the contact group meets and bring in their views and knowledge and information and the problems they have on the table and share that with the group.

The first thing is that we see more and more that we are tackling real world problems that become more and more important and the geographical portion action is one where you can really see that.

If you allow many he to explain it from a European perspective, knowing that similar issues are all over the world, you can see in court rulings, as well as proposed legislation, as the DSA, that there's a vague reference for when it comes to overspill of national legislation, then the general international standards apply.  But what are they, actually?  And what scenarios do we have here?  What kind of types of decisions do we have to keep in mind?  What are the criteria that guide us when we have these kind of conflicts?  Those are the issues we are discussing in the contact group on content.

And discuss that from the different perspectives.  And that has been extremely helpful.  Some of it has already been funnels into the toolkit that has already been mentioned among other aspects that are dealt, sometimes moderation‑wise, in this tool box, and we want to contribute more on this issue.

The transparency aspect there we also see a gap where we can contribute something.  There's a debate on transparency.  A lot of people in the contact group and here in the room do a lot of good work on enhancing transparency, but we still see that some of the debates are on a rather abstract level and what our approach has been is to say what do specific actors need to know to make the system better in a specific way?  What kind of information do they need?  And can we categorize that?  Can we say would can and which form provide this?  What do we need to do this information can be provided and understood by those that need to know?  And that's our specific approach and we are working on a taxonomy here that might help different stakeholders to enhance will level of transparency, be it government, regulators, platforms, content providers, civil society organizations and others.

The second point very briefly is how do we do that?  I think Bertrand already made the important point that formats matter.  It's about methodology, for example.  We discuss from the different perspectives the different scenarios that have been built to discuss the different issues that may or may not play a role.  From my perspective, it may not be an issue but from my part it does.  I think this type of methodology is extremely helpful and brings us forward and helps us to contribute as we have already and hope we can do in future even more.  I have to thank the members of the group, as well as the Secretariat, first and foremost, Frane as the responsible director.

And what makes it really important to have this group is that we really have different perspectives and we have frank debates on the different scenarios and that the people come together in this contact group and share the views and we are discussing that in the spirit of solving problems together is great and that's why I personally really look forward to these kind of meetings and looking forward to the next meeting and thank all the members here for their work and effort and commitment.  Thank you.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you very much, Wolfgang.

I will give the floor to Brian Cimbolic, who is the vice president and general counsel of PIR who is the coordinator of the domains contact group.  We will have a short session for questions because the time is pretty tight.  We will have a short segment for questions.  If you have questions, put them in the chat, and, again, I strongly encourage you to exchange in the chat because this is a pretty packed presentation and I want to make sure that everyone can express themselves or herself.

Brian, you have the floor.

>> BRIAN CIMBOLIC: Thank you, Bertrand.  Hello, everyone, I'm Brian Cimbolic with Public Interest Registry.  I want to briefly touch on the work of the domains and jurisdiction program in two important ways.  The first is obviously the work that it puts out being directly informative and practical for registries and registrars and those seeking to address abuses online.  This is through the existing work, through the toolkits that the domains and jurisdiction program have put out, through the previous work of the operational approaches, as well as the work that Liz highlighted that continues to go on domain generated algorithms.

But more importantly, I want to highlight the foundational role that the work of Internet and jurisdiction has played across the DNS in dealing with DNS abuse in a variety of other fora but the work of I & J through the toolkits and the operational approaches has served as the cornerstone in advancing questions of DNS abuse.  And you can look to a document called the framework to address abuse, which is a best practice document developed independently by registries and registrars that now has more than 50 signatories that sets out when a registry or a registrar must act on forms of abuse and that's limited to instances of technical or DNS abuse and egregious content abuse that they should step in.

That framework was built on the operational approaches, and created the definition for DNS abuse that now within ICANN, the contracted party house that comprised of registry and registrars rely on.

The work of Internet and jurisdiction also inspired PIR, the organization I work for, to create the DNS abuse institute, that again, built on the back of the work of operational approaches and the toolkits is meant to move forward and develop practices, perhaps a level deeper than I & J has brought things to this far, and really help iterate and develop both independently and in collaboration with the Internet and the jurisdiction, the further best practices of DNS abuse.

Finally, the registrars and registries put out their only best practice documents, that many organizations are involved in that.  It cites to or relies on the work of Internet jurisdiction policy network.  So in the area of dealing with abuse online through the DNS, DNS abuse, however you want to call it, the work of Internet and jurisdiction has been absolutely essential to pretty much all the conversations that are happening in this area.

Finally, I just wanted to echo the sentiment, and tremendous thank you to Liz Behsudi, as the director of the domains and jurisdiction program, and Ajith, and the other members of the Secretariat and the other members of the contact group.  The domains contact group, it's tremendous cooperation and good faith from all different parts of many constituencies and we do really good work and a lot of members dedicated from around the world taking calls all hours of the day and I really appreciate it.  Congratulations on the great work.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you, Brian, Wolfgang and Robert.  The work is largely under your direction and the product of the work of the members.

I would like to open the door floor to any questions if you want to mention them in the chat.  And while we monitor ‑‑ we monitor this I want to highlight just a few points.  One, you heard in the different presentations that a lot of what we do is actually serving as foundation.  For other types of work because either it's being picked up by other actors to be used in what they develop, or as Brian was mentioning it is used by a certain number of factors to go further in the implementation part and in most cases implementation is where it lies.  And one of the goals is to make sure that the implementation part of the policy decisions is always taken into account and guided by a multi‑stakeholder discussion.

The second thing is that the contact groups are limited in size on purpose to make them manageable, so that there can be a real discussion, but there's no normative power for I & J.  It's recommendations.  It is production that helps other actors and the goal is to have all the different perspectives represented but also to collect information on the larger basis, and this is why I was encouraging you to connect with us on the different topics.

And finally, I reiterate my recommendation on the basis of what has been said, to please identify opportunities where these products, these results can be presented and move forward.

So with that, are there any questions?  Or any comment?  Oli, do you want to say something?  Oli Bird from OFCOM in the UK.

>> OLI BIRD: Thank you, Bertrand.  And hello, everyone.  Good afternoon, morning, evening, wherever you are.  So I'm from the U K.'s communication regulator OFCOM and thank you for the invitation to say awe few words about why we think this initiative is important.  So I lead OFCOM's international work on Internet issues.  And as an independent regulator, we are, I think, a relatively new category of stakeholder in the Internet Governance world.  Registering for this IGF meeting, colleagues and I had a choice between register as government or technical community and I think we fuel somewhere in the ‑‑ we fall somewhere in the building.  We have an increased role in Internet regulation at the technical level.  We have a proposed role in the UK's online harms regime, where we are developing our thinking around a regulatory model that falls somewhere in the I & J terminology, I think between the regulation of platforms and the regulation by platforms.  So it's not a notice and takedown model.  It's more focused at making sure the systems and the processes of mat forms are fit for purpose.

Actually OFCOM as net neutrality and the regulation of video sharing platforms and digital literacy and I can put some links in the chat after I speak.

In the international team there, we are very conscious that these are not national issues with tidy solutions at the national level.  They are messy, contested, global problems and their solutions should come at the global level through multi‑stakeholder collaboration.

So I have been privileged to join the Internet and jurisdiction content group.  I think the methodology that you have all spoken about really has been fruitful in advancing some useful outputs and in facilitating an on exchange of views where we are not ready to move to outputs to, for example, in the discussions on the geographic proportionality.

I would encourage others to join in conversation because I think it really benefits from the diversity inputs and from OFCOM's point of view, we are looking at ways to use the toolkit in our work, for example, the typology of notifiers seems like a useful thing to structure our conversations with other regulators around online safety.

So that was all I wanted to say, really we are committed to engaging in global and multi‑stakeholder fora like this one and we are looking to incorporate multi‑stakeholder development into our own policy framework and I hope we can say more about that soon.  So thank you for the opportunity.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thanks a lot, Oli.  Fernanda, you want to chime in?  Fernanda Domigos is a prosecutor in Brazil.

>> FERNANDA DOMINGOS: Thank you.  I'm very honored to participate in this panel.  I'm a federal prosecutor in Brazil, and I coordinate the advisory group on cybercrime at the federal persecution service.  I have been attending the meetings and involved in the discussions of Internet and jurisdiction since 2016.

And our participation was really a turning point to Brazil's understanding of what the world was thinking about electronic evidence.  How to deal with it in practical terms and possible legal frameworks.  Existing and to be elaborated and to attain electronic evidence cross‑borders.  So it represents our window to a pilot of different views and perspectives.

I have to say that being part of a multi‑stakeholder process, allows the stakeholders to follow and contribute to the evolution of the evidence discussions around the world.  It has provided a voice for countries like Brazil in the global discourse, what means effectively sharing our experiences and point of view with others that can benefit from them.

And it also provides a trustful space as ‑‑ as Robert has said where we can comprehend other stakeholders' roles and purposes.  What contributes to better shape our future policies concerning the subject.  I have been mainly the data group.  And we see that the nature of electronic evidence naturally leads to the necessity of a cross border access, placing on the support the international cooperation as Bertrand pointed out at the beginning and its complexities to fulfill the requirement of efficiency and effectiveness, while safeguarding the human rights.  So it's really a challenge.

And I & j provides the opportunity for the learning process and to be examined.  The last workshop in Brazil, presenting the toolkit to prosecutors and what has fermented now thoughts and thinking and bringing new solutions.  It has been a unique experience, and I also encourage others to come and join us.  Thank you, Bertrand, for the space.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you, Fernanda, and I could not agree more with Robert would is thanking Fernanda is as the other members of the ‑‑ the group because the diversity of perspectives, albeit the group be limited in size, is a key goal and very happy to have managed to have the participation of the diversity of actors.

Without further ado and please continue putting questions in the chat.  With he have to respect the timeline.  We are almost on time at one minute past.  I want now to give the floor to Martin Hullin, to present the aspects that I was alluding to before which is community intelligence, and the different reports and the activities that we're developing in Latin America but also in Africa.

Martin, you have the floor.

>> MARTIN HULLIN: Thank you very much, Bertrand.  Good afternoon.  Good morning, good night, everybody.  My name is Martin Hullin.  I'm the director of the operations and knowledge partnerships, and overseeing the work of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network since 2018.  Part of this work really stems from a community‑driven effort by now over 600 data and information contributors that are sharing their expertise and knowledge with us in different shapes and forms, and in particular, we have created and working now on different studies, the one that you might be most familiar with was the ‑‑ it's the global status report that we launched back at the last in‑person IGF in 2019 in Germany.

We also ‑‑ I think this was alluded to in the chat, have been working on a dedicated study in collaboration with the United Nations economy commission in the Caribbean and Latin America and we have a dedicated collaboration in Africa and the region beyond.

A few additional words on the last item I was referring to, first and foremost.  We are extremely helpful for the support that is enabling most of these activities, in particular the support that has been provided for us at the federal ministry of economic development, and we are also very happy to have Mrs. Krüger with us today, who I will introduce in a second to tell us more about why they are supporting the exercise, but before doing so, a few words on project that we have been kick starting in November, actually this year, will be a three‑year project that aims at creating an intersessional space for key experts to share knowledge on questions in Africa and beyond.  We will establish a status report as was the case in the previous projects but we also initiate something a dialogue workshop series and first of these workshops will take place actually next Monday so there is an expression of interest form in case you would be interested in helping us to develop jointly the table of content and the priorities that we would like to cover in a status report afterwards and last but not least, we will also be developing very concrete learning and capacity development material, that then later can be embedded and used in the multitude of different learning platforms that are trying to cater to policy experts in the region and beyond.

So this being said, I would now like to actually let a few of our colleagues now share their observations that they had doing the community intelligence work with us, and also why they are embarking with us on some of the new things we are building.  So without further ado I would introduce you to Ms. Laura Theresa. Krüger who is with the German.  You don't want to hear the German abbreviation for that.  So Mrs. Krüger you have the floor and thank you again for joining us.

>> LAURA THERESA KRÜGER: Thank you, Martin.  Thank you for inviting me to this session at the IGF 2021.  Like probably all of us, I regret not being able to meet in person.

The development of harmonization of digital strategies and policies and I see that Paul is part of this topic, is an important priority not only for us as the German government, and the European Union but also for many of our partner countries and organizations such as the African Union and its Member States.  And as we know, uncoordinated action in the digital field can have adverse effect on many stakeholders.  So if he want to shape the digital transformation in a sustainable and inclusive way, we need greater coherence and coordination.  Or as Bertrand, the digital revolution should indeed be beneficial to all.

It's our goal to foster international cooperation and dialogue and as the German government, we aim to support efforts to close the digital gap and the integration on the regional, as well as on the global level.

And in this context, we are especially pleased to have established a trusted cooperation with the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network.  In 2019, we supported the first Internet jurisdiction global status report and last year, the regional status report on in Latin America and the Caribbean.  And to us, both reports have sparked central discussions and highlighted important issues and challenges regarding policy making and the cross‑border nature of the Internet.  Against this backdrop, we are very happy to now support the new regional status report on the African Union, and as Martin has explained, this report will compliment existing regional mechanisms for stakeholders from the African continent to share knowledge, consult each other into international stakeholders and develop capacity in addressing cross‑border digital policies for Africa.

This first regional African status report by JPN will provide an evidence‑based overview of our fact, trends and challenges for the digital transformation of the economies, governments and societies in Africa, and hence it will set the basis for a better understanding of the fast based developments of digital societies and economies in the region, as well as further action and decision making.  As Martin said, a set of workshops and dialogue will connect African experts and support knowledge exchange.  We decidedly welcome that the project based on the findings of the report will now invest in capacity development through multimedia learning modules for policymakers.

To us this bears great potential for feeding the results of the community's discussions international regional policy making.  We are looking at first policy report at the global Internet Governance Forum next year and then hopefully in person in Addis Ababa.  We would like to contribute to leaving no one behind.  As the pandemic has painfully demonstrated, we are truly interconnected and how uncoordinated action can have adverse effects on all this.

Cooperation is therefore, the key to mutually beneficial development.  Germany is and will continue to be a reliable and committed partner in that regard.  We wish you and us fruitful discussion and exchange, over the next results.  Thank.

>> MARTIN HULLIN: Thank you very much, Mrs. Krüger.  Without further ado I would like to pass virtual microphone to Fernando Rojas, with CEPAL and a key focal point for the hard work that last year amounted in the regional exercise in Latin America.  Fernando thank you for being here.

>> FERNANDO ROJAS: Thank you Martin.  Good afternoon, everyone.  First, I would like to thank the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network for the invitation.  It's a pleasure to be here and to be able to share with you some of the work that we have developed with I & J.  As Martin mentioned, UN ECLAC, established a support for Latin America and the Caribbean.

That had the objective to serve as a roadmap to some of the most pressing issues around policy making and the cross border making in the region.  The report was launched in a special session within the framework of the seventh ministerial conference on the Information Society in Latin America and Caribbean on November 24th this conference is a platform for dialogue, coordinated by ECLAC in which representatives of all the governments of the region participate as well as representatives of private sector, academia, civil society, and also multilateral organizations.

Because of that report, we obtained very interesting information, which we consider to be helpful to support the development of public policies to foster the digital economy, and also the digital transformation in Latin America.  I also want to mention that the methodology that was unveiled by I & J for the preparation of this regional report, was very useful, since in addition to allowing us to know firsthand the opinion of experts of the issues analyzed, it also served to reinforce and expand our links and networks, which is already a positive result itself.

We will be discussing this report in more detail in one of the I & J workshops this Thursday at 16:50 Polish time.  We hope that you can join us to learn more about the policy initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

And finally, I would like to thank and congratulate, I & J for the work carried out and express our interest in continuing to collaborate with them to support the digital development of our countries.  Thank you for your attention and thank you, Martin, for the space.

>> MARTIN HULLIN: Thank you very much, Fernando.  I'm echoing on Thursday, we will have a dedicated session that will dive deeper on the work that we are embarking, also in the context of digital transformation.  For those who want to dig deeper, we warmly welcome you.  And now for the sake of time, I'm handing the microphone to Saud Ahman.  This is a new key entity that we will be collaborating with in the African exercise that we just clarified and we would like to hear from you, Adil, what your thoughts are before we go to the last session.  You have the floor.

>> ADIL SULIEMAN:  Thank you.  Sorry for joining a little bit late, Bertrand, nice to see you.  Our collaboration as the ING goes way back and I think some of the ‑‑ the I & J goes way back and I think some of the capacity building for the diplomats and we had a virtual one in 2020.  I want to say the stakes are high for Africa, because I think we are kind of digital, full speed and I think in 2020, we developed the strategy for Africa.  2020‑2030, and part of this digital transparency strategy is to make sure that we harmonize our policies an regulations, as well as the African Union also adopted the area and we will develop the digital market.  The stakes are high.  And then the cross‑border data flow becomes critical, crucial.

And the issue of trust and data protection also become very significant.  For the African Union Commission, for us, we realize that in the cybersecurity becomes a project for the data commission, as mentioned by Laura that the issue is between the African Union and the European Union who are working together on the issue of digital and the digital transparency, including the education and the agriculture and health, et cetera.

And this report, I think it will be crucial.  Of course, it will be launched during the 2022, IGF that will be held in Africa.

This is something that we can look forward to.  As I mentioned, there's so many things from digital.  The African Union is putting digital on the front burner and this is something that we need to make sure that we capitalize in this report because we are doing our data policy, the African Union data policy.  We are doing also the cybersecurity strategy for Africa.  So many things are going on.  I think this report will come at the right time so that it can fit into other initiatives that we are also implementing.

And I would hope also just because we are running out of time, I hope this will not be a one off.  In the future, we may be collaborating on kind of regular policy briefs so we are filling the gaps' with go, of course based on the report that will be developed.  I stop here and thank you very much.  Again, once again, I'm honored to be here with you guys and looking forward to our future collaboration.  Thank you.

>> MARTIN HULLIN: Thank you very much, Adil.  And now for the sake of time, I'm handing the floor to Lorrayne Porciuncula.  And apologies that we are slightly delayed.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you.  Thank you, Martin.  We spoke about the report and we talked data earlier which launched in April.  I will not elaborate on that, especially because we are running out of time.  I will share a teaser since the launch.  Report.  We need to talk about the report, called for a change of perspective, regarding narratives around data, and around data governance.  And that is the ambition of the data initiative that we are incubating.  We believe that this change of perspective can be catalyzed by the notion.  It's between data and groups and norms and that is to say that the data sphere is more than the sum of data.  And there's a power of naming it.

I invite you to check our learning page to learn more about how we plan to unlock the value of data for all.  We are just at the start of this.  We are, again, partners and friends.  So stay tuned for its official launch next year and please contact us if you are interested in partnership and interested in learning more.  My colleagues probably have already included a link to the introduction video we have prepared along with the website.

This effort has been labeled as timely by several actors and I'm happy to have a conversation about that.  Thank you to those who contributed to the I & J data report, as far as Germany and Japan and as mentioned before Bertrand, has been the government of Switzerland.  So I invite Andrin Eichin, through the Federal Office of Communications to share his experiences and his experience of the Swiss contributing to the report, and why they think that that it holds promise for the future policy debate around their governance.  So Andrin, I think you have two minutes and then we have to end the session.

>> ANDRIN EICHIN: Yeah, I will be very quick.  Many thanks, Lorraine and the whole team from I & J for having me today.  And some of you will might have joined from the previous session on digital self‑determination from the government of Switzerland.  We have been working on data governance for sometime.  And I was part of the group that we need to talk about this report, and I would like to quickly share some of my key takeaways.

I think what was incredibly useful for me was to see an actually experience the different ways in which the issue was approached and I mean that first in regard to definition.  So what is that ‑‑ what is data?  What makes it special?  How do we understand free flow of data and what do we mean by the digital sovereignty.  There's an incredibly wide conceptualization of all of these things across different stakeholder groups.

And then the second element with regard to diversity is with regard to the actual problem statement.  Why do we need to act on these issues and what are the potential solutions.  And I think the report does a really great job in playing these different approaches out, and demonstrating to what extent we need to develop a common language in this agenda for data governance issues.

Lorrayne has labeled it as timely and I would say it is timely.

If you haven't read it, I would really recommend it.  And then very quickly, I would like to say a few words on the data sphere initiatives.  Many politicians and the wider public have started realizing that doing nothing is no longer an option.  The grows mistrust and the unit I lateral approaches and the increasing concentration of data among very few actors has shown that there's an urgent need for international data governance and this needs new and innovative models but also models that stay true to our core values and to the multi‑stakeholder approach that served Internet Governance and many networks like this so well in the last years.

And that's why I'm really excited that I & J has launched this initiative and I'm excited to see the outcome it produces.  Thank you very much for having me and I wish you all the best and hope to continue to collaborate and distribute in this initiative.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you, Andrin.  Now I hand over the floor to Bertrand who I think will close the session.

>> BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Well, thank you, Lorrayne.  I hope that the different elements give you a sneak peek of what has been accomplished, what we're working on, what are the exciting elements moving forward.  Once again, I want to highlight what I mentioned in the early moments of introduction, we have confronted with one addressing abuses, and what ‑‑ that's what the policy programs are dealing.  With we need to have a vision for the digital society that we want and how it maximizes the economic and the social value for all, and that's a key driver in the data sphere and there's a third element that is underpinning everything, which is to include ‑‑ to be as inclusive as possible in terms of diversity of perspective, but also collecting the views from regions that are often left on the side of those discussions.

So that's what we're trying to do.  We put and I put iteratively and repeatedly on the chat the link to the expression of interest page.  Please don't hesitate to connect with us.  You have a lot of opportunities on the side of Internet and jurisdiction.net or the data sphere.org and we will look ‑‑ we were really looking forward to continuing the interactions with you and working together for a great digital society.

With that, I think we are three minutes past the time.  We are staying here as Secretariat as long as the Secretariat of the IGF allows us to be, but I want to thank the participants and the people who attended this session.  We were more than 60 people, and I'm extremely elated by the fact that people stayed and that they were still listen to what we said.  In bodes well for future collaborations.

Have a great rest of the IGF, and good luck in whatever you are doing to make the digital society we want a reality.  And please connect with us whenever you want.