IGF 2017 WS #250 The Dark Side of Internet Policy:How flawed policy can lead to censorship,surveillance and shutdowns

Proposer's Name: Mr. Danilo Bakovic
Proposer's Organization: Counterpart International
Co-Proposer's Name: Mr. Dominic Bellone
Co-Proposer's Organization: Counterpart International
Mr. Dominic BELLONE Civil Society, Counterpart International
Mr. Robert GUERRA, Special Advisor, Technical Community, Counterpart International

Session Format: Round Table - 90 Min

Country: United States
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Country: United States
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Speaker: Nalaka Gunawardene
Speaker: Andrii Puziak
Speaker: Iria Puyosa
Speaker: Dominic Bellone

Content of the Session:
In this session, experts will share experiences on how the lack of digital rights and security due diligence in the formation and development of International copyright agreements, protections against abusive speech, as well as the deployment of internet connected devices can lead to limits to free expression, surveillance and Internet shutdowns.

The participants in the roundtable will share experiences and case studies from four select countries typically underrepresented at IGF fora (Ukraine, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe) to discuss the following:

1. How national implementation of treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), such as the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), are not only being used to protect content producers, but unfortunately also being creatively used by authoritarian countries to stifle and take down content related to free expression and investigative journalism.

2. How well intentioned content flagging systems that remove criminal, national security related, and other harmful content online are also being abused to hinder and impede legitimate political discourse, pluralistic voices, investigative journalism, and suppress dialogue on and about human rights issues.

Relevance of the Session:
Shaping a digital future in which governments respect rights online requires vigilance as to the ever evolving creative ways policy makers are using to counteract those rights. Notably, copyright laws typically associated with the piracy of entertainment content, are now at risk for abuse by governments to stifle free expression and access to information. Additionally, terms such as "hybrid warfare" and "information sovereignty" are gaining gaining prominence in Ukraine as it relates to its conflict with Russia, and the use of information, technology, and online spaces to advance narratives around the conflict. We'll discuss how that government is negotiating between rights and security in its internet governance practices.

Tag 1: Disinformation
Tag 2: Copyright
Tag 3: Freedom of Expression Online

Nalaka Gunawardene will bring the Sri Lankan experience and perspective of working in the intersection of internet governance, journalism, and freedom of expression/human rights.

Iria Puyosa will bring a Latin American, Research, Civil Society, and Gendered perspective to the session.

Andrii will bring a Ukrainian, government, and academic perspective to the discussion, particularly as it relates to respecting online rights during times of conflict.

David Hughes (Invited) Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chief Technology Officer, will share his perspectives on intellectual property, piracy, and balancing the right to free expression.

Zimbabwe Media Representative (TBD) will bring the perspective of a those operating in online spaces under ambiguous standards for law enforcement and definitions of cyber crime and national security threats.

Dominic Bellone (moderator) is a Senior Program Officer for Counterpart International, where he manages projects advancing a multistakeholder rights based approach to internet governance at the state, regional, and international levels.

Our diversity is highlighted by gender, geography, and stakeholder representation. The workshop is being organized in collaboration with national level internet governance and digital rights experts from Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. This collaborative and multidisciplinary effort aims to highlight and present traditionally under-represented stakeholders and issues in this forum.

David Hughes has 25 years’ experience in digital technology, focusing for the last 20 years on the online distribution of music. He joined the RIAA in Washington, DC in 2006, where he is currently the Chief Technology Officer. Hughes represents the recording industry’s technology interests and coordinates technology efforts. His responsibilities include the development and promotion of technical standards, emerging technologies and new formats, and outreach to the broader technology community.

Iria Puyosa is a researcher and consultant on political communication and government control policies on the internet. Currently, part of the team that leads the Global Voices´ News Frames initiative for understanding how global media shapes the information landscape. Recent research projects related to internet censorship, online political campaigns, political discourse in hybrid and authoritarian regimes, and networked social movements, using a wide array of methods, including statistical analysis, network measurement, web analytics, social network analysis, and discourse analysis.

Andrii Pazuik is an Associate Professor of International Law at the National Taras Shevchenko University where he lectures on the intersection of internet governance, technology, and human rights. He also serves as an advisor to the Chairman of the State Service on Special Telecommunications and Information Protection of Ukraine for 2013-2016. Andrii will bring the perspective of an academic researcher with extensive knowledge of Ukrainian government controls over the internet and the challenges faced while protecting fundamental rights to expression and access to information while engaged in a "hybrid" warfare where information and propaganda are now as much a part of the battlefield as traditional weapons.

Nalaka Gunawardene is a science writer, journalist and development communication specialist with over 25 years of professional experience in Sri Lanka and across Asia. Nalaka holds journalism and mass media qualifications from the University of Colombo and the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Onsite Moderator: Dominic Bellone
Online Moderator: Danilo Bakovic
Rapporteur: TBD

Online Participation:
A online moderator will field queries and signal to moderator when online participants wish to engage. The panel moderator will encourage online participation throughout the discussion, and incorporate their input appropriately.

Discussion facilitation:
Led by the session facilitator, the invited experts will each be asked a question regarding how flawed rights protections in international agreements, and technical standards can lead to limits to free expression, increased cybercrime, surveillance, Internet disruptions, and shutdowns.

The questions posed to the panelists and subject matter experts in the audience will be drawn from an open call for questions, engagement with participants and site visits by the workshop organizers to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

The moderator will then turn the panelists to ask each other a round of questions, and then turn to the audience for a interactive discussion, dialogue and development of practical opportunities for coordination and collaboration.

Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: Yes
Link to Report: http://friendsoftheigf.org/assets/Uploads/WS6-Can-Law-enforcement-catch-bad-actors-online-anymore-.pdf

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678