Cybersecurity, Cybercrime & Online Safety
Cyberattacks, Cyberconflicts and International Security
New Technologies and Risks to Online Security
Online Hate Speech and Rights of Vulnerable People
National Democratic Institute
Daniel Arnaudo, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, North America Ketty Chen, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, Asia, Madeleine Nicoloff, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, North America, Hyra Basit, Digital Rights Foundation, Civil Society, Asia Hou I-Hsiu, g0v and AI Academy Taiwan, Civil Society, Asia
Daniel Arnaudo, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, North America, Ketty Chen, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, Asia, Hyra Basit, Digital Rights Foundation, Civil Society, Asia Hou I-Hsiu, g0v and AI Academy Taiwan, Civil Society, Asia
Daniel Arnaudo, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, North America
Seerat Khan, Digital Rights Foundation, Civil Society, Asia
Amara Shaker-Brown, National Democratic Institute, Civil Society, North America
Targets: The goal of the session is to strengthen regional and cross-regional collaboration around technology concerns and developments around creating healthy information spaces. The network offers an opportunity for an improved coordination mechanism at a global level to address information threats and to highlight successful approaches, resources, and best practices. This network is dedicated to providing opportunities to discuss and train members on the informed use and promotion of ICTs, including social networks. Objectives include improved access and expansion of these technologies into marginalized communities, particularly women, empowering them to actively take roles in promoting open, diverse, robust and democratic information spaces in their national and regional contexts, as well as globally.
Networking event with breakout sessions
NDI has developed an “Info/tegrity Network” of individuals and civil society organizations throughout the Asia region, as well as globally, who are working to promote the integrity of the information space. This includes those working on issues related to countering mis and disinformation and tech-facilitated gender-based violence, civic technologists, as well as those promoting digital safety and improved coordination and communications to ensure human rights are respected online. The goal of the network is to connect groups working on these issues to share information and best practices to strengthen societies’ resilience to information threats. Speakers will begin the session by sharing an overview of the Info/tegrity network (both in Asia and globally) and opportunities to join the network and engage. The Digital Rights Foundation, g0v and NDI will share some new resources to support organizations working to promote information integrity in Asia and invite other organizations who are present at the session to share their resources related to this space as well. g0v and NDI will discuss the Civic Tech Handbook, on methodologies for building ICTs for civic good, which was drafted by CSO partners and civic hackers from seven Asian countries. Those joining the session will then be organized into breakout groups to discuss different topic areas relating to information integrity and internet governance, such as the challenges of working online in closed societies, issues with data access for research, or coordination with technology platforms around trust and safety concerns. The groups will use a Jamboard in order to engage participants both online and offline to share resources, and key discussion points from the breakout groups which will be shared with all who participate. The small group discussion will allow participants to dive deeper into certain topics and connect with others in the region and across the globe who are working to address similar challenges, with the aim of linking representatives from the civic tech, democracy, human rights and the broader IGF community for joint research, training, and coordination on information integrity and internet governance issues. https://www.ndi.org/infotegrity
The research and resource lightning presentations will be livestreamed virtually for online participants. The online moderator can flag questions from online participants for the speakers. We will also aim to organize and moderate multiple online breakout sessions for those joining remotely. Organizers will use a Mural board for breakout groups to share information, resources, and notes from their discussions with the broader group.
The process of negotiating internet governance issues is opaque and confusing to ordinary people, particularly in less developed, global majority contexts. There needs to be a multistakeholder approach (public sector, private sector, media, academia, civil society, tech companies) to address internet governance specifically focusing on information integrity issues.
Civil society engagement with the private sector has gotten more difficult as tech companies disinvest in trust and safety teams, certain platforms such as TikTok have become more responsive such as to physical threats of violence or violent images, while others such as X have been challenging to engage.
All stakeholders should work with and pressure private sector technology companies to have clear and robust escalation paths that are not based on personal relationships or single employees committing to action.
Civil society should form regional networks so that similar closing contexts can share resources and strategies. Through networks, CSOs should look to share information to get a more holistic view of current data sets, engagement experiences, and historical data around closing societies and other contexts.
This session brought together stakeholders from civil society across Asia and Globally to discuss the challenges facing CSOs when trying to build a resilient information space, especially in closed or closing societies. NDI discussed its Info/tegrity network and other means of connecting with groups across civil society to develop capacity to address information integrity issues and contribute to internet governance discussions. Experts from Pakistan and Taiwan shared the challenges associated with engaging social media platforms to gather data for critical research, support an open, democratic and free information environment during elections, and escalate cases of online harassment and abuse. The session then split into four break-out groups to share both existing challenges and potential solutions across the major themes on this issue.
Group 1: Challenges of working online in closed societies
- This group discussed the feasibility of creating a global network of CSOs for groups or individuals working in closed societies. They agreed that while a network of support is an important component of successfully navigating a closed space as a CSO, regional-level networks make more sense than global networks. Closed societies face unique challenges within their larger classification and allowing convergence at the regional level would allow groups to take a narrower, deeper approach to networking than a broad, shallow global network would achieve. They cited current work in Asia around protecting journalists in closed societies as an existing model of their proposal.
Group 2: Social media data access for research
- This group discussed current methods of monitoring social media platform information and what resources would make their work easier. They focused on ways CSOs can support each other’s work in addition to talking about recent API changes that have made research more difficult.
- They highlighted that to continue the important work of researching the information landscape using social media data, they recommend that CSOs build regional networks to share their experiences across similar contexts and share their current data sets and historical data sets to bolster the total amount of data and enrich everyone’s data sources.
Group 3: Coordination with technology platforms around trust and safety concerns
- This group discussed the varying roles specific social media platforms play across Asia and the World. They also emphasized that platforms’ gutting of trust and safety teams across the boards has resulted in a delay or lack of response when online harm is reported and an uptick in attacks on activists and human rights defenders.
- Their main point was that while programs like Meta’s Trusted Partner Program are effective in providing an escalation path, it is not equitable and relies on personal relationships or individual tech platform employees prioritizing trust and safety. A system fix is needed, especially with the 2024 elections around the corner. The recommendation from this group is that all stakeholders should work with and pressure private sector technology companies to have clear and robust escalation paths that are not based on personal relationships or single employees committing to action.
Group 4: Internet governance for information integrity
- This group recommended several strategies to improve coordination at the global level around local, national, and/or regional Internet governance and policy best practices. These include adopting a multistakeholder (public sector, private sector, media, academia, civil society, tech companies) approach to Internet governance to make the process more accessible, prioritizing tools that enable access for people with disabilities and other marginalized groups, and developing regional and local strategies for Internet governance as well as a global perspective.
- They also suggested that a human rights approach can be incorporated into technology platform policy by applying the multistakeholder framework to implement better interaction, information sharing and policies with the private sector. This would have impacts such as more robust privacy and data protection procedures, simplifying the language that platforms use to communicate their policies (including expanding available languages), and creating quantifiable measures for tracking online harms.