You are here

IGF 2017 - Day 0 - Salle 18 - Towards a Global Citizens Debate on the Digital Future: Involving "day-to-day" Citizens from All Over the Planet

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

***

 

 

>> MODERATOR: My name is Vint.  I'm IGF's -- I care about the further spread and use of the Internet and its safe implementation, so I'm listening carefully to what you have to say. 

>> So my name is Karla Fever, and I'm here because Vint's here, because I'm his chief of staff. 

(Laughter)

>> RAQUEL GATTO: Hi, everyone.  My name is Raquel Gatto.  I'm from Brazil.  I work with Internet Society, and I'm here also -- I've been attending IGF since 2007 when it was in Brazil, and I was an Intellectual Property rights lawyer, and there was a lot of domain names issues, and I saw something about this Internet governance, I don't know what "governance" means, let me go there and see what this means, and so I got hooked, and I'm here for this time, and -- well, this year I'm also in the MAG, the Multistakeholder Advisory Group, for the IGF. 

>> FRANCISCO: Hi.  I'm Francisco from Portugal.  I'm here with a group of young people that are interested in the copyright reform, and I also have a local group in Portugal where we discuss Internet freedom in general. 

>> HONG: Hi, everyone.  I'm Hong.  I work in the Chinese Mission here based in Geneva, and I follow the IGF work, and personally I'm very interested in the Internet governance work also, so that's why I'm here because I think there is some kind of emerging new world order in the Internet governance.  Yes.  Thank you. 

>> KATHARINA HOENE: Hello.  My name is Katharina Hoene.  I'm from the DiploFoundation/Geneva Internet Platform.  I'm here to report, so you'll actually see me taking lots of notes for the Geneva Internet Platform.  The report of this session should then be out tonight.  So I will not participate as much but probably type more than speak. 

>> Good morning.  My name is Brinza.  I'm with the Canadian commission for UNESCO in Ottawa, Canada.  I've been involved first with the WSIS in 2003 and 2005, and I attended two previous Internet Governance Forums, and I'm in the -- involved in this because it's part of my work.  I have to be in touch with the Civil Society at the Canadian level, of course, and also understand the issues at stake here.

>> If I could invite people to actually take seats and use the microphones, this would be very helpful to me.  I wear two hearing aids, and if I'm going to summarize anything at the end of this, I need to hear what you had to say, so as a practical matter, if you don't mind using the microphones, this would be very helpful for me. 

>> KRISTEL ABI AAD: Yes.  Hello.  I'm Kristel Abi Aad from OGERO Telecom, and I'm here to learn more about the IGF since we're launching our Lebanese IGF. 

>> Thank you.

>> Good morning.  My name is Lena.  I'm also from OGERO Telecom, the public fixed land operator in Lebanon.  We are currently establishing the Lebanese IGF and we are very much involved in the initiative.  I'm also a member of the UN MAG.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.

>> NICOLAS ROUHANA: Hi, everyone.  My name is Nicolas Rouhana, also from Lebanon.  I'm the vice president of ISOC, Internet Society, Lebanon chapter.  That's my volunteering work.  And my paid job is (?) so I found the startups and entrepreneurs.  I'm here because -- I'm a newcomer, first time I come to IGF.  I used to be active in the IETF in the '90s, so I'm a techie.  That's my previous life.  So now it's less techie, and I'm here to learn, to network, to see which way I can serve, and the cheese is good, they say as well, and I take this opportunity to invite you to a Lebanese panel on Tuesday afternoon to learn more about the ecosystem of Lebanon and what's going on over there.  Thanks. 

>> I'm going to speak in French. 

>> Yes. 

(Laughter)

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> So just a few words, sorry, as we don't have translator, so Michelle is from Cameroon, and he's from an NGO in Cameroon and also from the Central Africa Internet Governance Forum, correct?  And he expects from this discussion to be -- the discussion will lead to a point where we'll have more clear vision on how to involve citizens, if I understood right.  Okay.  Sorry for my translation. 

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> So she's coordinator of an NGO for the education and promotion of women. 

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> Interested in the issue of governance and also what should be the role of women in the governance of Internet and in Africa.  Thank you. 

>> JEREMY MALCOLM: My name is Jeremy Malcolm.  I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  I've been attending the IGF also since 2006, and I've always been interested in how the IGF could implement mechanisms of deliberative democracy, and I think this project on global citizens debates is very well aligned with that, so I'm interested to participate in this session. 

>> LUIZ FERNANDO CASTRO: Hi.  I'm Luiz Fernando Castro.  I'm from Brazil.  I'm a lawyer and a professor that has been dealing with law and technology for the last 30 years, and presently I am member of the Brazilian Steering -- Internet Steering Committee. 

>> LISA VERMEER: Hello.  My name is Lisa Vermeer.  I'm working on human rights and Internet issues in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the MFA of the Netherlands.  I'm here mainly to get ideas and inspiration on urgent issues on human rights and international cyber policy to feed our international policy.

I just learned from the initiative this morning on having a citizens dialogue on future of Internet, and I think it's a very actual issue that needs this kind of dialogue.  Also to feed into the policy development and thoughts within governments.  Thanks. 

>> ADAM PEAKE: Hi.  Adam Peake.  I'm another who's been involved in IGFs for a long time and before that the World Summit on Information Society, so I'm attending again to see what's happening in these talks, and I've been talking about this particular project and things, because I now work for ICANN, and how we may or may not be able to contribute one way or another, particularly as my responsibility at ICANN is for engagement and outreach for Civil Society and academia and so on, so there's a nice overlap there.  And, yeah, looking forward to the discussion.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. 

>> AVRI DORIA: Yeah.  I'm Avri Doria.  I've been involved in IETF, IGF since it began, ICANN, almost anything that begins with an I.  I've never considered myself much of a citizen. 

>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Sebastien Bachollet from France.  I used to participate when I can in some IGF.  This time I planned myself my trip, and that's not so easy.

The second is I love when there is new -- when I learn from new French organization I don't know at home, coming to IGF, and I love the French way of organizing not-for-profit associations, when somebody has an idea, they create a new association.  I am thinking that some of the things that you are trying to do may or already is done by some organization, like Internet Society, maybe someplace within ICANN.  I am member of the At-Large Advisory Committee, and we're trying to have a voice of the end user.  I am a global end user.  Not sure I can be a global citizen because there is no citizenship global, and for me to -- I stick with some words, but I think it's very important we use the right word to talk about the right thing in the right language, and I really am coming here to see what could be done to improve the voice of end user globally.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. 

>> ANNE MARIE JOLY: Hello.  My name is Anne Marie Joly, and I am here for a nonprofit organization.  The name is e-Senior.  So I am interested in development for the people. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

>> ROBIN: Hello.  My name is Robin.  I'm a student from Germany, and this is my first IGF, so overall, I'm just curious and here to learn.

>> MOHAMED SHEDEED: Hello.  My name is Mohamed Shedeed from Egypt.  I'm representing my NGO of Egypt, EITESAL, and I'm a member of the African ICT Alliance, AfICTA.  I'm new to IGF, and about the global citizen, I'm very interested to know which is absent for the whole Arab area. 

>> BAHER ESMAT: Hi.  I'm Baher Esmat.  I'm with ICANN.  I'm part of the Global Stakeholder Engagement team at ICANN.  I've been involved with the IGF since the beginning and before that with WSIS and the Working Group on Internet Governance, and I'm here attending another IGF meeting.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. 

>> RAPHAEL DUNANT: Hello.  I'm Raphael Dunant.  I come from a technical background.  I'm a master student in computer science, and I'm here to see how different associations, different NGOs and governments and private sectors work together to -- and how this fits in the global model. 

>> SYLVIA: Hello.  My name is Sylvia.  I'm Lithuanian, living in London.  I'm part of the Copyfighters Youth Movement, together with my colleagues here, and we are interested in ongoing copyright reform, which concerns press publishers and content filtering issues, and I'm for the first time in IGF.  I'm interested in how Internet can empower citizens.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

>> PHILEAS LEBADA: Hello.  I'm Phileas from Austria, Vienna, and I'm part of the Copyfighters movement people and also part of hyperlinks.at youth organization in Austria focusing on Internet governance stuff.  I'm working in IT security, and I'm open source advocate, and agrispace citizen, so looking forward. 

>> YONG: Hi.  I'm Yong.  I'm from the Netherlands.  Just like my two colleagues, I'm here with Copyfighters.  Besides that, I'm a student communication/multimedia design, and I'm generally concerned about human rights in the new era, digital age, and I'm here to look at what everybody has to say. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. 

>> Hi, everybody, including the veterans that we have seen for a while here.  Like some of you, I've been coming to IGF since the beginning, and I'm very pleased to see some of us still here and many young people also arriving because I think the reason some of you have attached yourself to Missions Publiques' idea was this feeling that you may share, some of you, that maybe we haven't reached out to the general public enough in certain cases for some issues, and after 10, 12 years, we've been fine-tuning our issues and defining what are the principles that we think are global issues, like security and et cetera.

We've been hit on net neutrality very recently, as you know, and this is why I would not use, like Sebastien, the term "end user," because this is maybe the trap where we have been caught in the last ten years accepting the idea that we're just dealing with consumers and users, and so I embrace the idea of a global citizenship and a global debate and the creation of a global public opinion, which is now at the very early stages in each of our countries but needs to be coordinated a bit more, needs to be sent messages, needs to be feeding back to decision-makers in all kinds of fields, were it at ICANN, were it at IGF, were it at Google, were it back in academia, where I belong, were it among young people, see their perspective, the Internet they want.

And the reason I found the methodology of Missions Publiques very interesting for us is because it is deliberative, but not just on a hot spur-of-the-moment kind of deliberation.  They spent five or six months preparing these debates, informing the general public, and the value of this information is like, you know, Internet 101, basic crash course on what is happening, the state of the situation, so that then when the debate actually happens, people speak from informed positions, not just as an ignorance, so this is why I would call your attention on this procedure, and I'm sure we can continue debating now.

We'll continue debating a bit more in the next session that we have on data literacies and disruptive literacies, for those of who are in academia and are interested.  We'll also have a lightning moment on Wednesday at 3:00 where, again, we can talk about what was decided here and inform people more at large who want to support IGF officially.  We are still on the pre-event.

So there are several moments when you can catch up with us.  The event later is at 2:00 in Room 4, for those of how are interested to join.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Divina.  So I created Missions Publiques 20 years ago, and the reason I became a radical entrepreneur in political science is because I was -- I did not understand how it was possible to spoil so much the intelligence of the citizens in the policy agenda setting, and I did not understand the disconnection between the decision-makers and the citizens since this connection cannot be solved by an election procedure every five years or every six years.  There is a need for permanent dialogue between the decision-makers and the citizens and the resources they need to consider the citizens as decision-makers and as one of the bodies to include.

And in the last 20 years, at Missions Publiques -- we are a team of ten people based in Paris and Berlin, so Cameron and Antoine and are two of the members.  Antoine wrote a thesis on sortition, so he's one of the best world experts for the issue of random selection of citizens for political process.  If you want to talk about it, he is the right man.  He read and he wrote everything about sortition from the Greek time to the present time, and we have three others on the team in political science and social science.

And so what we are talking about is science.  I mean, there are no procedures to connect the nonexperts with the experts, and this requires protocols, this requires to use political and social science, and let me -- let me invite you to have a look.  This map is from -- this map is from the Global Citizens Debate that we did organize in 2015.  It was prior to the COP21, the Paris Agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the idea -- and we signed an agreement with the UN for that -- was to engage ordinary citizens in the discussion of the Paris Agreement.  Why it is?

So, like in the IGF, there are many stakeholders involved in the negotiation for the climate, but all these stakeholders have an agenda, and, in fact, it was useful to go and to involve citizens who have only -- who have no agenda.  They have the expertise on their life, there's the expertise on the place where they live, there's the expertise from what they learned from life, and we have included -- the countries in green are the countries, the 76 countries that we have included in this deliberation.

When I talk about deliberation, it's a face-to-face meeting.  People meet, they talk during at least one full day about the topic.  There is no expert in the room except the citizens, and they are -- as Divina said, they receive information before, they talk together, they make up their mind, and then they answer two questions.  It's the same question everywhere on the planet.  It's in the local language.  There is a tool to aggregate the results, and so we have the regional results and the global results.

And this is a method that has been experienced, proven at the European level, at global level, and let's go into this procedure.  So let's imagine -- because this is the topic of this discussion and we only have one more hour to have this discussion and we want to have it with you, so let's imagine that we are on the 22nd of September 2019, so it's a few weeks before the IGF 2019, so we are in the Fiji here and it's the first debate that is going to be open.  People line up to register for the debate that is going to be organized in the Fijis in the Pacific islands, and these people will come and have at least one day of discussion with other ordinary people.  They don't know the others.  They will be organizing the room table per table, as we are going to see.  We are now in the Philippines.  This debate is in the Philippines.  Then the next one will start a few hours later in -- where are we now? 

>> Nepal. 

>> MODERATOR: We are in Nepal.  Then you see how the people are in the room.  Then we go to Afghanistan.  When we did in 2015, it was the first debate organized in Afghanistan that was not talking about war and civil war, and people in the room, 50 men, 50 women in the same room in Afghanistan, I can tell you that it's quite a challenge.  They discussed about the future of the planet, and at the end of the day, they said thank you for giving us a say on the future of the planet and giving us the opportunity to talk about something else than the problem that we have in the country.

Then now we are in Iran.  It was one of the best debates, 150 people in the room in Tehran.  We are still in Iran.  I show you when you invite ordinary citizens in the room for this, people are not used to talking for this, so we have yoga practice, and France, during the COP, they did some practice of yoga to represent figure on the climate, so you can find yoga, the way to embody the climate and good climate for the body and for the planet.  And so it tells the people to keep the good energy from the beginning to the end of the day.

Now we are in the Palestinian territories.  We go now to the next one, which is in Italy.  So you see the vast of Italy and the beauty of Italy.  Now we go to Africa.  This is in Mauritania.  So in Mauritania, the debate was organized in traditional tent and all participants the same day, so this is important to keep in mind.  It was in the traditional tent.  The people sat on the ground.  There were -- about 1/3 of the people were illiterate because to take part in debate, you don't need to write and are literate, anybody has an expertise, and it's important to make a procedure that allows everybody to be an expert, and so the goal that we have for this global debate for the future of Internet within the room, connected people, disconnected people, to have literate people on Internet and illiterate people on Internet, and it's really important to have the diversity of the people.

So we don't provide written material to these people before the debate, we just organize reading classes or we organize reading material on the chips, and the people put them on their phone and they can listen to the information like they would listen to a radio program, so there are techniques on it.

So this was the organizer.  We go to Senegal, and you see that it's -- what is important is that all these cultures can be embedded in the procedure without feeling external to it.  We cross, we go to Brazil.  We have some Brazilian friends here.  And we finish -- so the idea is to finish the debate on the same day on the west coast.  This picture is taken in Arizona.  That was the last debate organized on the west of the planet, considering the way the sun turns or the -- the sun turns. 

(Laughter)

So -- and this is what we proposed for the future of the Internet, and to have such a debate, why it's -- this cannot happen on the web because on the platform where the people deliberate on the web first, you have only the literate people, and in France, on the platform, people spent less than five minutes on platform to give their opinion.  To give the opinion on topics like the neutrality of Internet, about the -- the issue about misinformation, about social Internet vs. commercial Internet, you cannot do that in five minutes, you need a full day to do it, and so this is important.

And also, it's not -- it's important if you want to talk about the next 20 years or next 40 years of the Internet to have everybody onboard and not only the people who are the most active on the Internet, so this is the project.  And this can happen in one or two days all over the planet.  We have a program for that.

So the idea is to have it ready for the IGF 2019, and to do that, that means that next year in 2018 there would be a pilot, a better version in the five continents, one event per continent, and the reason why we want to have this discussion with you today is to present you the idea to see if your organization is interested to partner to become one of the members of the coalition to make it possible at global or at regional level and also to discuss with you what would be the relevance of such a debate.

So we have heard from the IGF that a lot of people talk about we should have the say of ordinary people, but, in fact, we don't have it, really, and so the question that we would like to -- we have two questions to discuss here, and we are going to do it like if we were in the citizens debate, so we invite you to work in group of four people, and we have the first question.

So the first question, Antoine, is? 

>> About relevance. 

>> MODERATOR: Yes. 

>> So it's about the relevance of such a debate and why.  And what do you see as opportunities and obstacles for this debate.  And last but not least, what could be, should be the impact of such a debate on the discussion and negotiation around the future of Internet?

So to do that, that's very -- we propose you -- the room is not very situated for that, but maybe you can -- on this side, you can push a bit the seats to build groups of four people, and on that side, you have here -- also, you can do it here and here, and at the back, you can also back a bit and have groups of four people, and we will give you 12 minutes.  This is what citizens have to do too, so we will put you under the same stress, and you have 12 minutes to --

>> MODERATOR: Three minutes each. 

>> Yeah, so it's three minutes each.  Good luck with that.  We're going to go around and give you papers to write your answers, and maybe you -- here, you can step back a bit and do a group of four here.  Here you are.  Maybe you can try to gather a bit. 

>> MODERATOR: And the second question -- so the second question will be about the topics, so first we talk about the -- first we talk about the interest and the expected impact, so what would you do with the results, if you could hear 20,000 ordinary people from all over the world about the future of the Internet, what would be for you the value and what could be the impact?

(Speaking non-English language)

So who can work in French language?  (Speaking non-English language). 

Okay.  So let's launch the discussion, and make sure that you keep the trace of what you are going to say.  So let me ...

(Group discussion)

>> Okay.  You have two minutes left in order to choose one reason on your list that you're going to present to the Plenary, so you have to choose one -- the one biggest added-value relevance and the one biggest impact it could have, so you have two more minutes to do that. 

Clear?  Okay. 

(Continued group discussion)

Okay.  So we can now stop the discussion in the groups and start gathering your inputs.  Okay.  Carmen will take notes. 

>> CARMEN: Yes. 

>> Thank you, Carmen.  And I will start simply here on my right-hand side, and can someone of your group present the essential -- the most important results of your discussion. 

>> One on relevance, one on impact. 

>> Okay.  One on relevance.  Can you start?  We'll work from left to right. 

>> Okay.  Can you hear me? 

>> Okay. 

>> So basically --

>> Pay attention. 

>> So, basically, one of our biggest agreements was that the informing public and educating the public is really important, and it comes not only in terms of raising awareness, but we actually have to educate the public in specific areas of the governance.  We need them to know the tools, how to control and how to put their ideas into a policymaking process and have actual change and also the competition and centralization of the system, of the Internet governance system --

>> That's the relevance. 

>> You want to do it? 

>> Yeah, sure.  I can do it.  See, our point was also kind of if we have, like, educated users and citizens, this can lead -- have -- moving the Internet back to something that is actually decentral and not centralized by big entities and corporations and governments, and this is, like, one, yeah, major issue and, like -- yeah, I think this is the impact, that can be created by having educated users, that Internet becomes decentral again, and that's my point -- our point.  Thanks. 

>> One main topic that we all shared in our discussion was the involvement of the youth in those kind of debates, and this is very relevant for all of us at different levels.  This is relevant because the youth are, first of all, the future generation that will come and that will bring the new -- the new policies and the new debates we have, and that is also important to include them so that they have a feel of urgency over what's happening around them and educate them about being a global citizen, for example. 

>> We had a good discussion, but writing things down at the end was a bit rushed, so hopefully this is okay. 

(Laughter)

So the biggest opportunity we thought was the inclusion of newly involved citizens in global digital policy debates, people who don't usually come to IGF, for example.  Some of the biggest obstacles were political restrictions, both on participation in the debate -- in certain countries there may be, you know, monitoring of citizens who are involved in these sorts of things -- but also political restrictions to how the results of the debate could be taken up and used by policymakers.

And impact, well, we said it depends on the topic.  One of the things that is going to be a challenge is selecting topics that are targeted enough to be meaningful to policymakers, so those were our thoughts. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> Okay.  In terms of the first question, I think the answer was it has to be relevant.  It would be uberous to say it wasn't, so, you know, the question is sort of, yeah, of course, how could you say it wasn't relevant and explain that answer?  So when there isn't a negative answer, that has to be positive.

The opportunity to understand the concerns of people, and that's one of the things, and talked about increasing trust, increasing feelings of security, you know, letting people discuss and figure out how they're going to live with what we've got and basically a lack of understanding contributing to anxiety, so perhaps it could help to decrease anxiety.

In terms of what could be the impact, ability of greater number of people to affect policy.  There is possible some strength in numbers, and the debate itself could soften concerns. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> (Speaking non-English language)

We had a great working group, but it's in French so I have to translate.  Of course, it's extremely important not to let the future of the Internet belong to issue.  What was -- We looked at the opportunities, and it seems like the debate would be an opportunity, so I'm translating in the meantime, to get a strong representation of people on a subject that is not often talked about in certain countries and the fact to being able to replicate -- to have people getting into the subject is important, so it would be like an inclusion kind of tool for some countries. 

It would also be an opportunity to change the bottom-up kind of decision-making and thinking among the population just doing this exercise.

It would allow to have a multistakeholder approach and for one time have all those people talk together on a fight and get a constructive decision.  Stop me if I get the translation wrong.

It would also be an opportunity for all of these actors to be thinking about a subject they might not have thought about.  And to show the whole country that the subject is an urgent one we have to deal with.  It could obviously be a good way to influence governmental decisions, and that's it.

In terms of obstacles, they could -- there might be problems with government -- some government by just not wanting the debate to be run in certain countries, so we have to be careful that we do not get them in the middle. 

The question was also to find ways to -- to have people understand that the subject is an important one, and in some countries, people say why should I even waste time on this and try and make sure that people are aware this is a worthy subject.  It seems not to be obvious. 

>> Okay.  Thank you very much. 

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> We keep the traces (Off microphone)

We keep the traces.  That's why we invited you to keep notes, so we keep the traces of everything for the summary of this workshop, and we -- as we still have a question to go through before 1:30 and we have two interventions, so we'd like you to focus on one or two key ideas, not to go into all the details. 

>> Okay.  So we suffered like those people.  We had a great discussion but not a lot of writing down.  Yes, it was relevant for all of us.  We come from very distinct representation of Lebanon government and New Zealand Internet Society, so there was relevance for both of those groups.  We have very personal needs on what it meant to us.  For me, it was that New Zealand really only has one body that represents Internet users and their interests, so debate at the most grass-roots level of actual citizens is crucial to feed into us so that we can better represent Internet users.  Without that, we only represent our members, who are not a very diverse bunch of people.

For the Lebanon government, they strongly believe in multistakeholderism, so, once again, this debate is crucial for feeding in and treating citizens as stakeholders and not just receivers of policy decisions. 

And the main obstacles we were looking at were how to engage the community, how to make sure that they trust what we are delivering, and in my country it's actually what true representation looks like because we have a bicultural society in which our indigenous people have a very different experience than immigrants, and getting them represented is often very difficult and there's a very unique situation, but we think the impact is better awareness of what Internet issues are for everyone, getting youth involved, and building that dialogue between nonexperts and experts. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> Okay.  So the relevance, of course, because we have a lot of Internet users all over the world, so it is relevant, and I think this -- we think that this number is growing.

So for the obstacles, let's say that there's, of course, rural and urban, ages, disabilities, and also the question was how to consult, is it just face-to-face only or is there other ways to do it, especially with youth?

For the impact, of course, it can -- it gives a voice to ordinary people.  It can impact legislation and public policies, but it depends -- but it depends on governments and corporations, and with the net neutrality discussion at this point, we're not sure. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> Okay.  I must say I'm a very lousy rapporteur.  I got hooked into the discussions, so I have --

(Laughter)

 -- Vint to help me out, but just to summarize on the first question, why is this debate relevant, we came out with three -- with three answers.  One is diversity.  It's to understand expectations of the citizens, especially in different cultures, so it's important to reach out, to listen, and to put this together, well, for the path forward, and then also -- well, a little bit understand the legitimacy of the whole process that we are setting as the Internet governance process, why you think the citizens are the ones with the sovereignty rights, and then you need to also listen and put their voices together.

And we also talked about the engagement of -- well, youth and those who are starting to understand key threats and key topics.

And then I'm jumping in for the second one which came up as, let's say, a little bit on the threat, especially on privacy and understanding your role in this -- in this environment.  It comes also with understanding -- I mean, why should I be involved?  I just want to use a computer, I just want to use the Internet, why would I care?  And so going through this capacity building, raising awareness process is either a necessity but also an opportunity.

And finally, in terms of impact, it's -- well, it's not only showing them, then, you have a voice and they understand that, giving them the channels to get engaged and giving the solutions in some cases, but also don't take it for granted.  It's a continuous process.  Even when you land in a good place, it can change over time.  So did I capture it? 

>> Yes. 

>> Okay. 

>> I think you did a very, very -- an excellent job, actually, of making coherent a conversation that wandered around for a bit.  I wanted to, if you'll permit, make an observation from the commercial point of view.  There's another reason why this is a very useful exercise.  If you're a multinational company, like Google is, hearing what people are expecting of the network and of the products and services, some of that will be related to trust, safety, privacy, reliability, and the like.  Hearing from the general public is important.  Also having the debate lets you hear, which you wouldn't otherwise be able to.

Obstacles.  There may be some countries that will not permit this debate to be carried out, and so we should be conscious of that potential hazard.

The biggest value of the debate, I think, is educating the public and making it aware of the fact that there are things to debate about the Internet.  It's not just there.  There are real issues related to policies.

One rather odd idea popped up.  Because people just assume the Internet is there and use it without realizing both potential and risk, maybe we need to have an Internet driver's license where you actually get to learn about the safety practices of using the Internet so that they can demonstrate that they at least have heard what practices will make them and others safer in the use of the system.

>> Okay.  Thank you very much.  No pressure at all, okay.  So very briefly, we launched this year, in September, the Global Internet Report focused on the future of the Internet.  This report comes from the fact that ISOC, Internet Society, is accomplishing 25 years older -- years old, and that brings us not only the moment to look back at what the founders and the pioneers did in the last 25 years to expand the Internet and to defend the core values of the Internet but also the responsibility that we need to look ahead on the next 25 years and see what we need to do today to ensure that the Internet of tomorrow keeps with its core values of being open, resilient, secure, et cetera.

So we started this journey about two years ago.  We interviewed and received inputs of more than 3,000 people, and we consolidated these views into what we call the drivers of the future or the forces of change that will drive this future, so we have about six of them.  No surprises on -- on many.  We have Internet economy, we have the role of the government, how the convergence between the Internet and the physical world will take place, physical intelligence, cyber threats, and the way networks standards and interpretability is going to take, so those are really the forces or the factors that will provide the Internet for good or for bad.

And then you have three areas of impact, and if those forces goes to one way or to the other, it will impact how the digital divide takes place, how the personal freedoms and rights will be set, and the media and society.  So that's the -- the overlook into those -- into those issues.

And they asked me also to dip in to one of the topics perhaps to inspire some of those discussions, and I'm going to take security and the issues with privacy and data protection because, I mean, we have this environment that is already happening, which is the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, et cetera.  What does that really mean?  That means that we are going to have many more devices connected to the Internet, and we are already in the situation where you have some threats, you have some real breaches that are happening and then you have the reaction, and the reaction when you are not prepared to it is control; right?  You need to solve it, and you have the people's pressure, you have the government pressure, et cetera.

And if we don't look at this now, what is the Internet that we are going to see in the future or are we going to have an Internet at all if we don't start thinking about processes where everybody can bring their voice, can say what they expect for this future, and how it can make an Internet more safe.

So I will leave by this, and we will have these reports, printed versions, at the booth in ISOC if anyone is interested,  and I'm here to share more.  Thank you. 

>> So thank you very much. 

(Laughter)

(Off microphone)

So in this step, you take the Post-it and you write one topic on one Post-it so you can -- we can aggregate them very nicely at the end, how you serve in three minutes, so you take time for yourself, and then you have five minutes to share in the group of four people, and then we will ask four groups to share that, and then we will talk (Off microphone)

Okay.  First --

>> Just one? 

>> No, no, keep it. 

>> One idea per person. 

>> One idea per person. 

>> We can share. 

>> One idea per person. 

>> One idea per person.  You can share more than one idea per person. 

>> Do we do it alone? 

>> You do it alone and then talk in your group. 

>> (Off microphone)

>> Oh, my God.  There is so much. 

(Group discussion)

>> I can start so without coordinator, we coordinated well our post its.  Vint provided the high-level idea that if we don't have the most pressing topics, trust and utility, so if we don't have safety, security, if we don't trust the Internet, nobody's going to be there, and if we don't have the utility, if we don't know why we're using the Internet, it's not improving your life, it's not going to be there.

And then Francisco and I went together to the issue of cybersecurity threats, algorithms, censorship, and digital divide.

And the question we want to put forward for the citizens is how would it feel if the Internet went away? 

>> Okay.  There is a question. 

>> (Off microphone)

(Laughter)

>> It's -- on this side. 

>> Yeah.  We weren't really -- hadn't decided on the end yet, but we were talking about how we should -- well, how we should set up a general framework for Internet governance and that we should think about how decisions are going to be made about the Internet, and we had -- we were about -- worried and concerned about representation of universal basic human rights, and like most governments have already decided on most of the basic human rights and most of the countries and people in the world agree on some stuff, but we should also think about how we can be sure to represent these human rights on -- in a new framework and how to make sure that they are represented in new society. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> I'll be short and concentrated.  So this information, privacy, freedom of expression, net neutrality, artificial intelligence, probably I should have mentioned it.  The questions, so did Internet change your life for better?  Do you consider your privacy important?  And how to be more engaged. 

>> Thank you very much.  Very good questions. 

>> It is my turn again.  Very quickly, we had a main theme of access and mainly what does that access -- what does meaningful access mean and entail, so what should a minimum standard for access to the Internet mean, not just beyond a connection but sustainable -- a sustainable affordability, having the skills to actually be able to participate meaningfully online.  We talked about freedom of speech, how the Internet could be used for human development, and entrepreneurship in the digital economy, which I believe is from our entrepreneur down at the end. 

>> Thank you very much. 

>> So we have topics on democracy and Internet, human rights, a lot on data protection, a lot, a full list, and another one on culture and impact, the culture, the way people perceive the world and how it can help or not help the use be more happy. 

>> Thank you very much.  And here.  Last group. 

>> We had a discussion.  The main issues there were net neutrality, also the gap between openness and security and privacy on the other hand and also a balance of stakeholder power that -- at the IGF everybody is kind of equal in all parts of the process, and when it comes to the actual decision-making, this is a very different picture, and then as questions, we had to what level would you accept to be seen on the Internet and also a variation, how much are you willing to share on the -- of your personal information on the Internet. 

>> Thank you very much.  (Off microphone)

Let's go straight to the first question, and so I already -- I already said --

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> Okay.  So as I --

>> Sorry, the transcribers will have trouble hearing you if you don't use a microphone. 

>> (Speaking non-English language)

>> Okay. 

>> That's why I used it. 

>> So -- okay.  So we can conclude the session by thanking you all, but -- so on our part, and we asked at the beginning of the session Vint to wrap up and give his impression on the session, so I give you the wand and -- yeah. 

>> I'll keep this very brief.  The first thing I've come away with is the belief that it is actually important to have this dialogue, that it is a true-way opportunity.  One to help create more awareness in the general public of the benefits and the hazards associated with the Internet.

The other -- in the other direction, learning something from the Internet users about their expectations is very valuable, not only from the commercial point of view, but from the government's point of view.

One thing that I would urge all of us to keep in mind as we pursue this effort is that we are going to -- if we are successful, we are going to uncover a set of incentives that are driving behavior in different sectors, whether it's government, the private sector among the users.  Users have incentives too, and we want to create incentives for beneficial behaviors, so there are people out there who think nothing of clicking on every possible link, ingesting all kinds of malware into their machines, and they don't even realize that by doing so, they're harming other people.  Their machines may still work, it's just that they're also doing things users don't know about, like sending spam and generating denial of service of attacks.  So I think we want to imbue our users with a sense of responsibility for protecting the interests of others.

One last point on that subject, we also need to understand that when we're in this online environment, we are confronted with a world of content.  Not all of the content is of equal quality, and no organization, including my own company, can guarantee the quality of the information.

What that means is that every citizen who uses the Internet needs to understand the responsibility for thinking critically about what they're seeing and hearing, not only on the Internet but in all the other avenues of information, books, radio, television, movies, magazines, newspapers.

If we can teach the world to think critically about what they see and hear as a side effect of being Internet users that is going to have a very big impact.  And I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman. 

>> Thank you very much.  And so, again, thank you all. Okay.  So I'm going to try to do it like that.  We can -- we are here in the -- before the room because I think there is another session.  We can chat together, and as I said, all the week here I'm happy to go on with the discussion.  We now have a list of participants, so you will be updated on the results and the further coming, and we welcome you as partners in this coalition.  Thank you very much. 

>> Thank you. 

(Applause)

 

(Session concluded at 1:31 p.m. CET)

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411