IGF 2022 Networking Session #32 Internet’s contrasts: rights/obligations, inclusion/exclusion, in/accessibility, dis/connection, ...

Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (06:00 UTC) - Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 (07:00 UTC)
Banquet Hall B
  1. Dariusz Kloza, Universiteit Gent – Human Rights Centre (Belgium)
  2. Georgios Terzis & Mihalis Kritikos, Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) – Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation (CD2I) & Olga Gkotsopoulou, Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) – Health and Ageing Law Lab (HALL) (Belgium)
  3. Giovanni De Gregorio, University of Oxford – Centre for Socio-Legal Studies – Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) (United Kingdom)
  4. Evelyne Tauchnitz & Peter Kirchschläger, University of Lucerne – Institute of Social Ethics (Switzerland)
  5. Rosanna Fanni, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) – Digital Forum (Belgium)
  6. Paolo Passaglia, University of Pisa – Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza (Italy) Latin America
  7. Agustina Del Campo, Universidad de Palermo – Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (Argentina)

Opening statement [3 min.]
Evelyne Tauchnitz [Uni. Luzern]

Part One: Plenary Session [30 min.]

Cluster 1: rights/obligations
Paolo Passaglia [Uni. Pisa]
Dariusz Kloza [UGent]
Peter Kirchschläger [Uni. Luzern]

Cluster 2: inclusion/exclusion & in/equality
Anriette Esterhuysen [APC]
Georgios Terzis [VUB]
Rosanna Fanni [CEPS]

Cluster 3: dis/connection
Giovanni De Gregorio [Uni. Oxford]
Agustina Del Campo [Uni. Palermo]

Cluster 4: in/accessibility
Olga Gkotsopoulou [VUB]
Quito Tsui [The Engine Room]

Part Two: Parallel breakout sessions [25 min.]

Cluster 1: rights/obligations – moderator: Peter Kirchschläger [Uni. Luzern]
Cluster 2: inclusion/exclusion & in/equality – moderator: Georgios Terzis [VUB]
Cluster 3: dis/connection – moderator: t.b.c.
Cluster 4: in/accessibility – moderator: Quito Tsui [The Engine Room]

Closing remarks [2 min.]
Evelyne Tauchnitz [Uni. Luzern]

Onsite Moderator

Evelyne Tauchnitz [Uni. Luzern]

Online Moderator

Olga Gkotsopoulou [VUB]


Mihalis Kritikos [European Commission]



Targets: Being a cross-cutting theme, internet 'contrast' - rights/obligations, inclusion/exclusion, in/accessibility, dis/connection, ... - affect a wide number of Sustainable Development Goals.


This networking session will be divided into two parts and will be held in a hybrid format. In the first half, we will have several short (interactive) presentations aimed at introducing the subject-matter. The second half will consist of a (digital) coffee break where participants can join different discussion tables and debate in a greater depth the critical issues for each ‘contrast’; each of these coffee breaks will be moderated. Participants will be able to come in and out of the conversation at their convenience, as they would during a coffee break. A report with the outcomes of these discussions will follow.

Duration (minutes)

This networking session will revolve around the following IGF22's theme: Connecting All People and Safeguarding Human Rights. It addresses, both from theoretical and practical viewpoints, the need to respond to a series of societal challenges, recently emerged or escalated, concerning internet (access), which are called here ‘contrasts’: rights/obligations, inclusion/exclusion, in/accessibility, dis/connection, in/equality, in/efficiency, progress/regress, etc. For instance, nowadays using the internet has increasingly turned from a mere option to an obligation as many essential services have moved to the digital sphere; while digital identification is needed to access most such services, not all users benefit therefrom; internet surveillance, censorship or shutdowns are on the rise, yet so are hate speech and disinformation; etc.

This networking session is open to policy-makers, researchers, civil society organizations as well as public and private sector actors interested in protecting and promoting human rights in the context of internet (access). We aim to set up an agenda for a debate and build a network of stakeholders in this area where theoretical reflection can be translated into concrete policy and/or legislative proposals.

The first part of the session (about 30 min.) will sketch the problem(s) and offer possible solution(s) in the format of a few short interventions per ’contrast’. The second part (about 25 min.) will critically analyse them during an informal coffee break around a few coffee tables devoted to each of the ‘contrasts’. Moderator’s remarks gathered during both parts will close this networking session (5 min.).

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)
The right to use (access) the Internet and the right not to use the Internet are complementary; they do not exclude each other and both should walk together.
Looking the issues of ethical inclusion through only the lenses of utilitarian, contractualist, deontological or discourse ethics is very restrictive and we should try to use virtue and care ethics in order to be able to see in equal light both the issues of inclusion and exclusion and recognise the right of exclusion as a basis for the protection of human rights.