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IGF 2018 - Day 1 - Salle X - WS324 “The Open, Free Internet” is for EVERY Stakeholder

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. 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. 

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>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: So, thank you for coming to our workshop.  I think now people are like getting cold feet or get lost getting here, so, we can just wait for five or ten minutes, then we will start.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: So, we will start after five more minutes.  Waiting for some people.  Thank you.

So, Hiro, are you ready for?  Moderator?

>> HIROTAKA NAKAJIMA: No, actually ‑‑ no.

>> MODERATOR: Still working?

>> HIROTAKA NAKAJIMA: Yes, we are not sure how do we connect the remote participation, so, but, the thing is, website is down, so, I think it's a little bit difficult to attend the, this meeting from remote because they don't have a link to attend this meeting.  So I think it's okay to start the meeting.

>> Yes.  So, good morning, everyone.  Thank you for coming to workshop.  This is the workshop 324, The Open, Free Internet is for every stakeholder.  I'm the moderator of this workshop, Mariko Kobayashi.  So, yeah, let's start.  So, we are still waiting for one more speaker but we're going to start.  The background.  Issue is the internet is one of the best platforms to challenge new things and creating new business, idea of any kind.  Also, The Open, Free Internet is important to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals.  Oh, it's coming.  However, with a growing number of the blocking or filtering and internet Shutdown, like interference on the internet by some government's policy, now the freedom on the internet is now threatened.

And also, Sai will talk about the government.  But when people here talk about the intent contents blocking or filtering, the dialogue around policy makers and our stakeholders can be a neglect stiff discussion like criticizing each other.  Therefore, The Open, Free Internet is for every stakeholder.  We believe the positive discussion will be an effective way to build a multi‑stakeholder dialogue between the stakeholder and also our including governments.

As a result, it will encourage multi‑stakeholder discussion on this subject.  So, this is brief introduction.  Let's move on to the first one.  So, first one, the, we have four experts from multi‑stakeholder.  Then, the input from stakeholder.  But, before that, let me explain the discussion facilitation.  So, this is an interactive expert session, so, if you have any questions or opinion, you can use your mic at any time.

It is kind of open mic style in the technical committee, IGF, so if you have any questions or any comments, please raise your hand and we'll get you a mic.  So, firstly, Sanja from Civil Society will talk about the The Open, Free Internet and also, what is the good impact on the Civil Society of The Open, Free Internet.

>> SANJA KELLY: Thank you very much.  It's a pleasure to be here with you, and it's a pleasure also to be the first session in the morning because I think that shows your dedication to this subject.  As Mariko said my name is Sanja Kelly and I'm director for internet at Freedom Mouse.  One of the things Freedom House does each year is publishes an annual report called Freedom on the Net.  Each year, we publish a compilation on reports of every single one of those 65 countries.  Another thing that Freedom House does uniquely is we grade those countries based on their internet policies so then we're able to see how countries do in comparison to one another and we're also able to draw trends to see whether internet freedom is improving or declining globally. 

We've done this for eight years now, and the latest findings are show casing that internet freedom has declined for the eighth consecutive year.  I think particularly worrying is to know that only 20 percent of all internet users live in countries with free internet.  So, they live in countries where the internet is not severely blocked, where there's now widespread undue surveillance on the citizens or where people are not jailed for simply speaking out freely on political and social issues.

When we look at the whole range of restrictions, whether that be internet Shutdowns or blocking, what we've seen is they're most likely to happen around election time.  That was certainly the case over the past year as well.  So, it seems like that in many countries, particularly political players and political parties that want to stay in power tend to increase the number of blocked welcome websites and they tend to institute Shutdowns and also promote this information online in order to stay in power.

So, I'm going to spend a few minutes talking about the top three trends that we saw in the latest edition of Freedom on the Net, and then during the Q&A, I will be happy to talk about some of the additional questions about multi‑stakeholder cooperation and other issues that may be identified.

So, the first trend that we heavily focused on this year has to do with online manipulation.  Our research over the past several years has documented that online manipulation, whether that be through paid progovernment commentator controls or whether that be through spread of this information by default.  So as a researcher when I started looking at this a few years ago, it was mainly Russia and China and Bahrain and a handful of countries but in our survey, about half of them have employed some method of this H. in some methods, this happens on a territorial level, we've seen some examples of Russia in United States, for example. 

In most cases, this actually happens within own borders so it happens by political parties or leaders who are trying to influence their own citizens and depend their own policies online.  So, in order to address this issue of manipulation, over the past year, we've seen proliferation of new laws addressing so‑called fake news.  While this is an issue that all of us are dealing with, particularly problematic for us was that we saw in 17 out of 75 countries we've seen either proposed or new laws that tackle this information in a way that it actually suppressed free speech, particularly political and social speech.  And just to give you a few examples, in places like either I want, perspective, a new law was passed under the context of ‑‑ information.  Under this new law, social media users with over 5,000 followers are now treated as regular media. 

So for some of you in the audience, you might have over 5,000 followers.  That means now if you live in a country like Egypt, you are legally obligated to follow the same laws and on the same law legal obligations as a media outlet such as the New York Times, of course without having a legal team to actually domestic violence you and to interpret the policies that that entails.  We've also seen reactions in places like Cambodia, for example, where now websites are required to register with the government.

And again, this is also under the pretext of fighting fake news.  So then giver you sense how these new laws really are displayed in practice, we're seeing people being arrested for their legitimate social activity now under the pretense of these new laws and we've seen that in 13 out of 65 countries that we examined.  I mentioned Egypt previously which passed a series of laws under particular category.  And we've then as a result of that seen a number of people being arrested and tried for multiple years in prison.  So, for example, there was a case of Lebanese tourist who was Cairo and she published a social media video where she angrily denounced on taxis and so forth.

She was prevented from coming home.  She was arrested.  She received an eight‑year prison sentence simply for doing that.  And her sentence was recently commuted but only after her father and her attorney were able to demonstrate that she was mentally unstable, again, just for publishing this video.

Or there was another case of an activist in Egypt who received two‑year sentence in prison again, simply for complaining about social harassment, or sexual harrassment on social media.  I think as a woman, this particularly strikes me in the age of Me Too movement where in some countries people are actually being arrested and women are being arrested simply for complaining of sexual harassment on the internet, and this is being done under the pretense of fake news.

The second area that I wanted to briefly touch upon has to do with personal data and data protection.  So, particularly aft Snowden revelations and then after the last year with Cambridge and Facebook, I think a lot of countries have been taking a deep look on how they can protect their citizens' data.  And I think this is obviously very positive and we've seen GDPR being a very good case study of positive legislation.  What but, what remain worries us at Freedom House are examples of many countries now, particularly authoritarian countries using this kind of very serious concern to pass policies that would make it easier for them to surveil their citizens. 

One of the tactics that we've seen is then the passage of so‑called data localization laws where all data now in particular countries needs to be stored within the borders of that country and we've seen that in places ranging from China, Russia, Viet Nam, we're seeing proposals to this extent in places like India.

And, again, what really concerns us is that many of these places have such few checks and balances and this is going to be abused doer political reasons.  And finally, the third area that I wanted to draw attention to has to do with rise of China, particularly in terms of internet governance and also in terms of new controls imposed at home.

So, we've seen just generally internet censorship in China reaching new extremes over the past year.  More so than in the previous years, but also, particular interest is China's export of some of these policies abroad.  Starting with China at home, we've seen the new sleeping cybersecurity law under which companies must register users under their real names and they need to immediately stop transmission of banned content.  This new cybersecurity law is so vast that there are about two regulations a day just kind of clarifying how companies and how individuals need to better comply with different provisions of it.  In provinces like Xinxong where humanitarians is quite dire, we've seen facial recognition used to target the Muslim minority and we've seen situations where individuals are being forced to download special tracking apps which would then allow the authorities to track their all movements and it would alert authorities if the individuals, or if the suspects go within X number of meters away from their house or their place of work.

And we've also seen new steps and implementation of this social credit system which will be mandatory and government implemented by the year 2020.  But, it's currently being implemented on a private basis and I think many of us in the western Europe and in many other countries are well aware of the credit system where people are essentially graded based on their financial history.  But what social system in China is going to do is, they're going to also assess people, not just based on their financial transactions and this, quite frankly is very scary but perhaps even carrier is also for us at Freedom House to observe that China has been on so‑called charm offensive and they're trying to essentially institute a new kind of alternative method of internet governance abroad. 

And the way how this is being displayed is that we're seeing Chinese officials organizing workshops in many countries around the world.  In fact, according to our study, in 36 out of 65 countries that we examined, Chinese officials organized workshops for top officials of those countries and although we don't really know what transpired in those meetings, what has been particularly of concern is that very soon after these workshops, we've seen countries actually introduce new laws that closely mimic what is found in China.  And we saw that with Cambodian Viet Nam, just for example.  So, where do we go from here?  I think there's certainly a number of steps that different stakeholders can do to work for open and free internet but I think the key will be that we work together and I look forward to actually the next segment where we will be able to explore some of those steps.  Thank you very much.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Sanja.  So, this session is interactive so you can speak any time.  So, please, don't hesitate to use your mic and tell your opinion.  So, if you do not have any comments, we going to move on to the Thomas.  Yeah, Thomas on business sector ISP.

>> THOMAS GROB: Good morning, everyone.  My name is Thomas Grob.  I work with ‑‑ before that, I was working with swiss regulator.  When I was asked, I, of course, checked the report and was glad to see that Germany is still considered to be a free country as internet access is being concerned, according to Freedom House, which, of course didn't surprise me.  I mean, our business is to transport data, not to not transport data.  So, we make it a very strong priority not be put into the role where we have to decide what content is legal or not legal.  Of course, that may happen.  In Germany, the hurdles are rather high until something gets blocked.

So, as German operators it's quite usual that you even contest some orders to block content in Court until it's implemented.  We currently do not have any blocking procedures but I'm sure the next procedures will come.

So, basically, what I'm saying is as a private company, we see our responsibility with our customers in a competitive market, it's definitely important to sell access to the full internet.  You couldn't sell access to a full internet and most certainly not according to what the ISP would like to have.  I mean, having said that, we do not have a policy to push certain contexts or certain political ideas.  We do not want to be the incident that does any content.  I think had the discussion today and we've also heard that from the first speaker is when should governments actually impose such orders and I think it matters a lot what the general feel of freedom in a country is but speaking as the IGF, I think we should also tackle the more controversial issues.

Now, for Europe, we do have a Net Neutrality regulation that made it very clear blocking is a no go except in very clearly defined scenarios such as security and of course that is an important topic and a topic or an area where we as internet service provider have responsibility.  For example, in Deutsche Telecom, what we will do if we see one of our users has been infected by malware and for example is sending out spam in large quantities, we do a so‑called sandboxing which means that access is for a time where disinfection is happening, restricted, but, of course, we want that user to be back online as fast as possible so what we do is we provide them with tools and with help to get rid of the malware and be back fully online with no restrictions as soon as possible.

The other thing that concerns me on a personal level is we had to practice with several of our European subsidiary, especially in mobile only countries where we had a so‑called black list that's in place that is provided by the Internet Watch Foundation, the target here being to prevent target abuse, material to be distributed, and even words to be used for profit online.  We've had no formal decisions but we have had indications when talking with regulators that the implementation of this Internet Watch Foundation list would be seen as a breach of net neutral rei thraws so in at least one instance we took that down where in a situation that I think content which is illegal and clearly very harmful is now not be prevented from being accessed.

So, that could be a topic of discussion also in this round, and I think I'll leave it at that for the moment and will be happy to answer your questions.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you.  So, do you have any comments or your opinion on this topic?  So, please state your name and ‑‑

>> Yeah, hi, I'm Basilis, I'm from Greece and I'm a member of a community network.  For those who might do not know, community networks are networks that are built from the citizens and maintained and operated and managed by the citizens and such networks operate in place where Telecom operators do not reach.  In Greece, we have the internet, and Deutsche Telecom has bought our internet since some years now.  Our difficulty and problem is that now that it's a private company, we cannot get access from our local community network to internet black hole.  Which means that we have to find other ways to access internet for people who are geographically isolated but also digitally isolated.  So what I would like to ask, does Deutsche Telecom have some policy to work with internet or facility what we do to connect the unconnected?  Thank you.

>> THOMAS GROB: Let's say we have a standing practice, which is not to enforce what is written in most of Deutsche Telecom's contracts that you should not share your access with people that you don't know.  (laughter).  And definitely not for commercial reasons.  Now, I see that community networks do not have the commercial angle most of the time, and I was of the opinion that we are not enforcing in any technical way, we are not even monitoring if you are sharing your access.

So, I haven't heard of a case where we actually terminated a business relationship when we thought it was used for an uplink for a community network.  Now, having said that, I also don't think that we are actively facilitating.  But, I'm sure if you reach out and if there is technical problems, there will be opportunities to get to people to solve them.

So, please reach out and tell us what you need.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Well, thank you for your comment.  So, we're going to move it on to the next.  The next expert is Guy Berger from the UNESCO.  He's from intergovernmental organization.  So, please.

>> GUY BERGER: Thank you, Mariko, and seeing that I work for UNESCO, I welcome you all to this UNESCO.  The title of this session, as you know, is The Open, Free Internet is for Every Today.  Every in capital letters, so I would just tell you UNESCO's stakeholders are 195 states, the members of UNESCO's organization.  When this was formed in 1945, Constitution of UNESCO said the following, that the Member State should collaborate in the work of advancing mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples through all means of communication.

Of course, back in those days, the internet wasn't even known.  And to that end, the organization should recommend international agreements as may be necessary to promote free flow of ideas by word and image.  That didn't say sound.  I think one could say that sound would include at least audio with words, but, we know, also, audio includes music.

So, anyway, so, that's this stakeholder in the internet, UNESCO with its interest in advancing mutual knowledge through free flow of ideas by words and image.  So, a few years ago, UNESCO Member States were trying to figure out how the internet plaques sense for them as stakeholders.  They came up with a concept called internet universality which was agreed by these 195 states.  Internet universality may sound complex, but, basically it means internet for everybody everywhere.

And in order to have that internet which the Member States also saw as being extremely relevant to sustainable development, they came up with four principles known as ROAM principles.  I think this is pretty interesting because R is rights, O is openness, A is accessible, and M is multi‑stakeholders.  So UNESCO when it speaks of free internet refers to human rights.  That's the definition of freedom here, not just the absence of restraint or illegitimate restraint.  It's also that rights are being respected, right to privacy, and also economic rights.  So the package is rights is what is seen as important for the free internet.

Openness is UNESCO as open systems.  Should be open for entry, not a closed system.  That's the beauty of the internet.  If you have centralized control, blocks, monopolies, this is against the idea of an open internet.  At the same time, if you only have proprietary facilities and services on the internet, that's against openness.  So, one of the breaches of course of the internet is that it runs on a mixed economy, I think you would say, with a lot of open source software.  Not particularly there, but also open education resources and everything else.

So, if you The Open, Free Internet is for every stakeholder, for UNESCO, it means a rights‑based internet and an open internet.  It's open education resources, open software, and open markets as well.

Now, in the other part of this equation, you also have the A and the M.  And I think this is important because the A is accessibility because there's not much point in having a free and open internet if it's not accessible to people.  And actually, I do commend Freedom House because when they assess freedom on the internet they do look at the accessibility question which is questions of affordability, for example.  Questions of infrastructure and so on.  To what extent is the internet accessible.  At UNESCO, we also refer to media accessibility. 

Also in terms of the competence people really need to use the internet, use it in a critical way that's going to advance the mutual knowledge and understanding of all peoples and sustainable development.  And then multi‑stakeholder, which is the M, is of course as everybody knows, we have the Internet Governance Forum which is about the multi‑stakeholder participation in trying to make sure that you don't have unilateral decision making on the anybody because as soon as you have the capture of the internet either by a company or companies or by a government or governments, then you reduce the internet.  You certainly reduce the openness and you risk the question of rights and accessibility for that matter.  So, if you want to have rights, openness, accessibility, you need to have a multi‑stakeholder practice.

So, that, in a nutshell, is the interest of a stakeholder in a free and open impact.  Perhaps more about how that impacts multi‑stakeholder goals which Mariko said she also wants me to address.  By the way, we have some publications on this ROAM universality model.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: So, if anyone interested in this publication, they can come to, yeah, here, after this workshop.  Okay. So we have one more expert from the African Region technical community.  So, I know that recent years on African region has led to controversial discussion on internet.  I think she can input the insights for how to build a dialogue between policy makers and technical community.

So, could you ‑‑ okay.

>> LILLIAN NALWOGA: Thank you, Mariko and apologies for coming in late, but, since I didn't miss much, I just fell into things.  Hi, everyone.  My name is Lillian Nalwoga.  I'm from Uganda.  Today I'm representing the Internet Society.  I'm president of the Subject Society, Uganda.  Just to give us a glimpse of Africa, I think that's where most of the fun is happening when this comes to pushing internet for everyone or for every stakeholder, as this session is looking at.  And for those who are not probably so much familiar.  For those of you not familiar with the situation in Africa, we've had the highest number of Shutdowns.  In 2015, for example, I think there were 56 of these Shutdowns and 26 were from Africa.  The technical community in Africa has had a bit of push from stakeholders, internet users to find a solution to respond to governments.  Just so you know, Shutdowns, of course, always done by the governments.  They compare the private sector, the technical community to implement this.

And in 2017 I think at the Africa internet summit there was a proposal that was awarded to have take down IP addresses of governments that, you know, implementing these internet Shutdowns.

Of course, as the internet technical community, this was told that it was a little bit far reached, the proposal that came from the community.  Some of the community members, one was that even if we are saying no to internet shut downs, we want everyone to connect.  But, if we say that we take down the IP addresses of governments that are implementing this Shutdowns, then this would kind of either further push away people who would be connecting, but of course, it will further lead to inaccessibility of the internet because if you cut off the IP addresses of the governments and these governments are the ones that actually providing, they're the ones that are buying the IP addresses.  They're the ones that are providing certain services so you would be cutting off certain accessibility.

But, of course, another most recent trend is the one that we are seeing around taxing social media users, and this also kind of, you know, limits the issue of having an open internet for everyone.  And we know that in Africa, majority of the users, of internet users get to first experience internet social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, snap chat and all these other things.  So, when you cut that the accessibility, you are most likely to prevent other people from getting on to the internet or even for people to experience that internet to enjoy other.  So, that's once they connect to the benefits the internet provides.

From Uganda, where I come from, for instance, just about this year, this financial year which I think I think begins July 1st, we had social media.  Introduced, I think five cents to connect to it the internet and you have to pay this particular tax for you to connect.  If you don't connect, then you're not off.

So, when you put it in the perspective that the majority of the internet users accessing internet through social media, they first get that experience then they can use other services then you're most likely known to have people connect, you know?  One, the openness is cut off, the freeness is cut off and then you have these interesting thoughts and what's happening right now is there have been push backs.  Of course, technical community reacted saying if I go back to the issue of the community, the technical community say no, we cannot protect this but from Uganda's perspective, the technical community.  The taxation of internet users in terms of social media that you have to first pay to access this particular social media platform. 

One reason is because there's the issue of the policies that are kind of repressive.  If they do not implement this, they are most likely to face hefty fines.  In terms of paying additional amounts of money or having licenses terminate had had so probably they are also getting a bite in this because they have to make the government.  But also a trend from Uganda is that we are seeing more and more countries within Africa adopting the policy that was started in Uganda.  Zambia, for example, also introduced a daily tax on internet voice calls, around three cents.  And all this is, you know, to raise money and also Kenya as percentage or taxation on internet data services so all these kind of internet service providers in tight positions how to negotiate with the government.  They want to help the government but also raise revenue to remain in sustainable business so there's a bit of where do we draw a balance?  Which side do we fall?

Is it to the users or to the governments who are providing us access into the markets so I'm happy to take the discussion from there.  Thanks.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Lillian.  So, from the audience, they have any comments or opinions or question on this internet Shutdown or like the dialogue between policy makers, technical community and also ISVs, please speak on your mic.  Okay. Go ahead.  Please turn on your mic.  Thank you.

>> There we go.  Okay. My name is Benita and I'm from the DRC, Republic democratic of Congo and recently we've been subject to internet Shutdown.  With all the political tension that is going on on the country right now, it's always internet Shutdown and we've tried to make noise but we don't see anything.  So, I'm wondering, how can we reach the internet technical community because it's really a serious issuing and we feel like we've been left alone.

>> LILLIAN NALWOGA: Turks Linette.  I think, one, in Africa, the technical community is actually listening.  For example, if you speak to Afrinic, they know what's going on for automation that the number of countries where internet Shutdowns has happened, Uganda, all these other countries, but, like said, the challenge is we've issued statements, for example, Afrinic Internet Society has issued statements and there's this sort of dialogue.  The internet Shutdowns, I think the way they're being calculated by the governments is national security.  Which, I had that as priority number 1, and of course happening around elections, I think GRC, we know around elections which have not taken place until now.

But then there's also this fear for people to express themselves because where they're happening, we have this long history of, you know, people who have been governments forever like say my president, your president, all that sort of thing.

The technical community may be a little bit complicated to say that we are going to say no to the Shutdown.  The only success story I can put, for instance, in Uganda, was sometime in 2011, government had ordered the Telecoms, the ISPs to shut down internet because of course they had cited national security as a caution.

However, they say, no, we are not going to take this because we don't feel it's something that is in the interest of the users of our services.  What has happened between 2011 until now is we've seen a number of legislations coming up and compelling these people to take action where, if they do not take action, this happens and I'm sure the same legislation that H for instance, is in my country that is in your country.

Right now, the technical community is these kind of long term dialogues trying to see, when we say no to this, how it's going to affect our portability.  Mow is it going to affect our, you know, relationship with the governments and that is where I think in my perspective where it is at.

However, also, we need to take note that we look at the service providers, who is providing internet access in majority of African countries?  One is, we have I'm sure in your country there's Imchan, Uganda.  From India, from South Africa.  When you look at that trend, I think that when internet Shutdowns in India as well a couple of times, I think this year.

When you look at other service providers like say Orange, which is, you know, Orange is a French based company.  There are a kind of, they may not implement certain measures.  For instance, during the internet Shutdown in 2016, people on Afrisan, which is the version ever of Orange, did not experience the block affect there were access in the services so it also tells you where the service provider coming from so if it's within some of the countries, if it's within from the continent like say if we say Imchan, which is south African, the legislation may be different and there may be much more probably compelled to respond to the government request than a Telecom company that is not based within Africa.

But, as I can say, the technical community, there's that kind of dialogue where we draw a balance between implementing this and implementing that.  And of course, in terms of, say, national security, governments in their, at times we are thinking it is valid and we can justify them, justify this reasoning to the Private Sector but of course there are things that are currently being blocked like child sex images, you know, that is being blocked.  Right now in Uganda, you cannot access pornography.  It's being blocked.

And it's kind of, I don't think so it's a very complicated situation in Africa.  Yeah.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: T and also comments from the audience.  Hiro, do you have any comments from the online moderator?

>> HIROTAKA NAKAJIMA: Yes.  Hi, everyone.  I'm the online moderator for this session, but, also, be part of the technical community and I'll just make some quick comments about the technical community.  So, that's, we mentioned already before like Afrinic is one of the contact points but also I believe that there is network operator groups, that there should be like a regional operator groups and also national operator groups will be available in your country or in your region.  So, they had like technical expertise about how do they implement those things?  And they know what is, I mean, working is not sometimes best but they know that what is better way to do that.

So, I think that they could be one of the contact points.  And also, I directly mention that the Internet Society and, they're now working on the routing security.  It's like to ensure that routing is on the internet should be secure and ensure that no one can hi jack someone else's IP addresses, those things.  So, I think that you can take a look with those documents or can you contact ISOC as well.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Hiro.  So, we still ‑‑ Okay. Go ahead.

>> Thank you.  My name is Partik.  I'm a lawyer at Teler company, Nordic, Baltic.  I'm also at the global initiative GNI.  I had a question to Freedom House and one of the main conclusion themes of the latest report was online manipulation and you said paid commentators from states, for example.  Could you put that in context of the tool which is mentioned as an alternative for blocking which is counternarratives where counternarratives should be as it is stated be an alternative to terrorist propaganda, et cetera.  Can you put that in context of what you explained as a worry for online manipulators, state‑paid commentary, thank you.

>> SANJA KELLY: Thank you very much for that question.  So, state propaganda, whether that be through paid commentators or through a spread of this information is a serious problem and I think it really is going to require solutions of multiple stakeholders and I think that's one of the reasons it's so fitting for this panel.  I think particularly in free societies, there is a push to deal with this information with just, you know, posting counternarrative that would then provide a more truthful perspective of what is being said.  You know, to which extent that's really effective, I think it's still questionable.  I do think it has effect but perhaps not as much effect as we would all hope that it would.

I think there is an old saying that by the time truth puts off her pajamas in the morning, a lie will travel across half of the world.  I think that's pretty much the state of the facts.  So, when we look at some of the fact‑checking efforts, for example, like we've seen numerous efforts where in order to deal with this information, you know, there were a number of NGOs and media organizations who are done fact checking what is being said and then they're posting block pieces or short articles, kind of like, you know, disputing let's say the veer astir of something that is clearly, you know, this information.  But, what we have seen is that people still like to click more on this explosive news even though if there is a warning that it might not be truthful.

So, I think that's a problem.  So, for that reason, you know, I do think counternarratives as a concept it's going in the right direction but it's not sufficient.  I think they really need to figure out what it is that compels people to really consume this information.  We need to look into some of the psychological reasonings behind that because even if we compare this information to nutrition labels, for example, people have all the information that certain types of food are bad for them.

Like, nutrition labels say that yet, you know, people choose to eat bad food.  So, it's kind of similar to that.  You know, right now, there are many tools out there that are pointing out which information is being false and you know, there are counternarratives dealing with that.  But yet, you know, it seems like those efforts are having, you know, much more limited effect than we would hope had and I think we need to figure out what the reason for that is.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you for your comment, and thank you, Sanja.  So we have about more 30 minutes so we're going to move on to the next.  So, before we move on to the part 2, I would like to ask the participants, so, what is your stakeholder, where are you from, the stakeholder, like, so if you are from the, is anyone from the government?  A few.  There it is, thank you.  So, the technical community?  Not so much.  Very few.  Business sector raise your hand oh, just thank you.  So, on Civil Society.  Oh, I think the math or the.  Thank you.  So, yeah, regulator.  I'm sorry like the government is the same thing.  Independent.  Okay. Thank you.

So, the next part will be how to build dialogue between the legacy and policy makers and we invited from the commission on the .  So, I'd like to ask you, how do policy makers recognize the freedom on the open free internet.  How do you think good impact on this economy?

>> So, hello, everyone.  My name is ‑‑ from the European commission.  I'm in charge of internet policies and development of the next generation internet commission will have a workshop tomorrow so I allow myself to do the publicity for this workshop.  So, before explaining how we take into account the views of the stakeholders, used like to just remind everyone what is our stake, what is our position in European commission on freedom of speech.

So, it's a fundamental right.  So, it is a part of the charter of fundamental rights so this is something we take very seriously and it has been our position in this forum but also in general in all internet policies to support an open and free internet and this is, indeed, very, very important to keep this openness of the internet.  So, the idea is that anyone can connect to the internet.  Anyone can connect to anyone.  For us, it is important to ensure it continues in the future and brings the social progress and positive impact that it should have.

Free speech is also a very important.  It's the way the internet has allowed to communicate across borders.  It's a great tool for public and private debate and we are not going to enter into elections time at the European level so the internet is going to be one of the key platform to have this political debate ahead of the elections.  And it's also a great tool to have unfettered session to knowledge so in a way, the internet is now a platform for people to get informed.

So, we see openness as one of the key characteristics of the internet together with trust and inclusions.  And we have a framework to make sure that this is implemented so Thomas has already mentioned the Net Neutrality rules.  So, in Europe, end users can have the right to access and distribute information, the content application and services of their choice and there is no possibility for internet access providers to ban or to discriminate.  So, that's, at the level of the network, there is this strong nondiscrimination provision.  I would also mention at an upper level, at service level, the electronic commerce directive which has put in place the limited liability regime for platforms.

So, platforms in Europe are not expected to filter content, but they are expected once they get to know that there is illegal content, that they host illegal content to remove it quickly.  And this was important and I know there are equivalent rules in other parts of the world to promote the development of user generated content and the hopes.  I will also mention, the other important instrument we have implemented is free flow of data.  In Europe, we have free flow of data and GDPR which foresees free flow of personal data so the data can flow freely and I think this is also a very important basic content to allow freedom of information and freedom of speech.

At the same time, we need to protect this free and open internet and we cannot allow that illegal and harmful content spreads on the internet or online disinformation spreads because this would completely ruin the type of debate we can have.

So, certain safe guards are needed and we have put in place a number of these safe guards.  I would mention two thing has.  One is, recommendation on the removal of illegal contents.  So, we ask operators on the internet to quickly remove illegal content, have in place clear notice and takedown measures.  But also, we foresee and it is important precisely to preserve freedom of speech appropriate safe guards in the form of redress mechanism.  In case, for example, the content is removed by mistake.  We also foresee that governments should put in place effective judicial remedies as Thomas was mentioning in case an operator does not agree with the request to remove certain content.  And of course, there is always human oversight of automated tools. 

A lot of the removal is taking place with automated tools but we need to have human oversight.  Another interesting instrument is what you have done in terms of removing online information.  In there, we have not followed the regulatory approach, we have followed the self‑regulatory approach.  So, we have agreed last month a self‑regulatory practice on this information for online platforms and the advertising sector.  So, within five months, we have managed to put on the table different stakeholders and they have agreed on a number of principles to make sure that we keep the internet free from online disinformation.

Now, we need to see how it works.  We need to see that it is properly implemented but it shows that we can have a self‑regulatory approach.  We can arrive at the free and open internet but collaborating with the stakeholders.  And that's, so, that's one way to do it and of course when we do legislation, we do it together with the stakeholders.  We organize public consultation workshops and there is debates, we tried to have debate a different stage of the policy making process to make sure that the view of all the stakeholders are fully taken obviously you cannot impose rules which is have important impact without properly involving the stakeholders, without properly taking into account their views and how to protect fir fundamental rights including freedom of speech.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: T. so, I think in this rooming we have several governments and also the regulator.  I'd like to ask several of you.  So, when you discuss, so, for instance, the contents blocking.  Like, sometimes, you have ways that Civil Society or also technical community or like, if you were to remove the contents or block some contents by DNS or by IP address, even applied to stakeholders so, what do you feel the barrier for doing the dialogue between the policy makers and also other stakeholders, if you have any experience about it.  Thank you.  Go ahead.  Yeah.

>> Actually, forgive me.  I'm not answering your question because I have another thing which is, I think it's important.  Concerning freedom of internet in the EU, and this concerns the voting of article 13 in the directive for the single digital market.  There has been a lot of discussion about this.  This is, for those who don't know, it's a provision in the EU law that every single content that is uploaded from every single user in the EU will be censored to scan for copy right infringement, which I think it is a major setback in internet freedom and I would like its opinion of Mr. Oliver on that.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Oliver, do you have any comments on this?

>> Yeah.  So, first of all, it's not law yet.  So, the commission has made a proposal.  This proposal has been presented to the parliament, what we call the Keio legislators so the European parliament and the council of Member States and they have made a number of amendments and the parliament has recently back in September voted on the text which includes a number of amendments.

But, then, the next stage will be that the three institutions get together and discuss and agree on the final law.  I think the, in a way, I would reply to the two questions so to your questions and to the question of Maricosa, right?  When use the term censored, I think it is excessive.  I mean, the purpose is not that the platform censor user generated content.  What the provision says is that the online platforms are responsible and should make sure they put in place the measures to remove, to take down contents it that infringe copy right.  This is not censorship.  This is making sure that intellectual property is being respected.

And again, there are and there will be a number of safe guards to make sure that this is not done fully automatically.  So, I will say that not censorship but removing content that is illegal that infringes copy right.  And I think this is, to reply to your question, Mariko, I would say if we want to discuss these issues and arrive at balanced solution, I think we need to have, it's difficult, but I think we need to have a discussion or debate.  We need to really be ineffectual and that's the best way to arrive at solutions which take into account the different requirements and the different constraints of the stakeholders.

So, I would say this is quite important when we discuss such a heated issue to try to put everyone around the table and try to have as dispassionate debate as possible.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you.  So, you have a comment?

>> Thank you.  Yes, on the same theme of privatized enforcement and the strong need for rule of law where what is illegal or not should not be decided by private entities, I wanted to pick up on, of course, there is, everyone in the room, I guess, I hope agrees that there's a need for action against terror propaganda everywhere in the world.  But, you talk about human oversight on what is removed and I wonder how that fits together for the request, in practice, requests for automated takedown.  A one‑hour deadline for takedown.  How does that go together?  Human oversight and one‑hour takedown limit and automization.  Thanks.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you.  So, we were, we can replay.  Yep.

>> I don't know the details of how this is going to be implemented but the idea is that terrorist content is most harmful in the first hours where it is posted on the internet.  This is where it spreads the most quickly so the idea is to act at this crucial moment and what the, so, we are speaking here of proposal for regulation by the commission, still needs to be addressed to remove very quickly terrorist content.  The idea is that the request will come from a public authority.  It's not a notice in takedown coming from anywhere.  There's a notice of public authority, particularly the police, so I think there is already a sense of trust about the request and then, indeed H the purpose is to have it removed within one hour.  I don't want to be too specific because I'm not ‑‑ but I guess it's a request from police it's being handled by people on the side of the operator so I don't think it would be fully automated.  I think there is a huge human dimension in this removal process.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Oliver.  So, I'd like to ask the experts.  So, do you feel some barriers for, to dialogue, building dialogue with like the policy makers of governments from your stakeholder.  And how do you want to the improve?  If you have, if you feel any barriers?  Yeah?

>> SANJA KELLY: So, from the perspective of Civil Society, we have a human problem in some parts of the world where we've seen this trend of closing civic spaces.  Which means that Civil Society is being squeezed out of conversations not just about internet policy but just generally, we've seen governments in much of the world, you know, more authoritarian governments suppressing freedom of government and information and assembly, which means that Civil Society is not only that they're not brought to the table, but they are actively being arrested for stating their views.

So, in this environment when it's happening, I think when we talk to activists in some of these countries they almost kind of laugh at you us highway where he say moiled collaboration.  They say, there's no way for me to have access to my government at all.  In fact, I'm lucky if they don't arrest me if I say something critical of government policies so I think that's just a reality that is, that many in Civil Society currently face.

I think the second point I wanted to make is that very often different stakeholder groups are being kind of like grouped all together but there is a huge difficulty of interests in each stakeholder groups.  So, we see the issue of Net Neutrality, when you talk about private sector, you have ISPs having different interests from media content companies and I think the similar thing is in Civil Society.  So, I do think that it's very important to think about each stakeholder group being diverse in its own in order to effectively bring everyone on the table.

With that said, I do want to mention that we have seen some very encouraging examples of multi‑stakeholder cooperation for good.  So we've seen that in places like Nigeria with their digital rights bill.  For those of you not familiar, this is a piece of legislation that was pass bid the Senate in Niger Yay that guarantees users some basic rights to the internet.  This was something initiated by Civil Society but obviously needed support by the government and eventually received support of the private sector so it is something that is a concrete piece of legislation that can be used as a good example.  We've seen that in some other countries like for example, the country of Georgia, when the government decided to institute access to the internet as a part of their new Constitution.  And again, this came as an initiative by Civil Society that worked together with government and then they were able to get support by the technical community.  So, again, I do think that there are some really good examples but the bottom line is that most of those countries are, have such political environments where such multi‑stakeholderism is possible and, you know, and unfortunately, that's not the case in much of the world.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Sanja.  So, I would like to ask.  So, we need input from the audience.  Like, is from the stakeholders so, how about business sector in the audiences?  How do you think about this problem?  Or technical community?  No.  Or also Civil Society.  Okay. So please, Guy.

>> GUY BERGER: So, I think this question of policy discussions, you can approach it directly through internet related discussions and I think what's important then is to have this perspective because if it's one issue you start talking about like copy rights, it implications for these other issues.  If it's security, implications.  Fingerprint it's accessibility, any discussions needs to be not just focused on one issue but put in the ecosystem of the internet because this is an integrated, interdependent entity and I think that's where this ROAM model is useful.  So, that's one approach.  The other approach is to come to these internet policy discussions through the SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, because all governments have signed on to these goals and so all governments should be engaged and be open to dialogue around the Sustainable Development Goals.  And these goals are not just for the developing world.  These are universal goals like combating climate change and gender equality or so.  People here may not know that there is a goal 16‑ten, which is public access to information and fundamental freedoms.  Now, like some other goals, for example, goal on gender equality, goal on education, these goal that's can really impact on the achievement of all other goals because if you don't have gender equality, you don't have education, it's very hard to see how you're going to have cities or life under the ocean and so on.

So, I think that the sustainable goal 1610, public access to information and fundamental freedoms as part of the SDG pack an and a real enabler of achieving those other SDGs, this really gives a lever to engage government on internet issue has because how can you have public access to information and fundamental freedoms with the arts, an internet that is respecting rights of open and multi‑stakeholder.

I think if anybody hasn't tried this, it's a very important dialogue, not just for the sake of internet but for the humanity because if we don't have sustainable development achieved, we're just going to see continuing strife, warfare, conflicts and environmental degradation to the point of no return.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you for your comment, Guy.  So, I'm from Japan and in our environment, the governments and also business sector, like, set a goal to accomplish SDGs.  As Guy said, it can be some common sense for different stakeholders, I think

>> Oh, actually it's not in response to you, but I was going to say, considering that we have Patrick from GNI here and GNI is such a great multi‑stakeholder initiative with the private sector and Civil Society, I guess two stakeholders there in some academia, I wonder whether there are any lessons learned from GNI model that we can apply elsewhere.

>> I agree, GNI become a great initiative.  We work hard with many challenges issues.  I think a GNI has a huge potential but it's also difficult to work with 50 plus strong organizations.  So, we need to continue to do good work.  I don't really know what the more exact question was so if you could repeat that to me, I could be more helpful.

>> I was just wondering if there are any GNI models on multi‑stakeholder policy discussions on how to best reach that agreement among different stakeholders and contentious issues whether that be countering vital extremism or copy right.  All of these are obviously very heated debates where people have divergent point of views.

>> Thank you.  So, yes, what GNI definitely provides is a safe space for more open discussions on, as you say, sometimes very challenging issues where very often, we see that we have joint interests, joint goals, and when we meet and learn each other, that we have these same aims, we can get more hand on to the problems and discuss more constructively.  I think that's a big win and something that the GNI provides within the GNI community.  Thanks.

>> LILLIAN NALWOGI: Okay. My ‑‑ wanted to highlight the issue of multi‑stakeholder discussions.  On a personal level what I've observed in our region, say, in Africa, is that most of the times, conversations around the private sector would be between private sector or technical community and government, un why, the Civil Society voice or other stakeholders' voices are usually not represented.  Like in terms of, say, what GNI is doing, I find that most of the times that we have kind of at the global level and we need to reach out more to the regional levels where there are more threats to the internet.  First, I say, in Africa, I'm not so sure how many representatives say from the private sector from the GNI network are from Africa because if we could have more of these voices then we would be able to, I know from Civil Society there are a couple representatives from Africa but from the business and private sector, how do we get more voices to come and engage with the government.  Sorry to put you on the spot.

>> Yes, if I could answer that, of course, GNI an open organization, open membership for applications but GNI membership also goes with quite some commitments on there is assurance, we are open with, for other companies to join but it comes with commitments.  Companies operators, outside of the GNI need to answer for themselves if there are ready to take commitments, which contains all of the four constituencies of GNI.  To see if the company is eligible for membership.

But, a strong idea, of course, with the GNI as such which you imply with your question is that the more members, both Civil Society, academics, investors, NGOs, companies, the more we are, the more leverage, of course, there is to address the issues of thanks.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Lillian, so, I think we have just four minutes left so I want to move on to the wrap‑up this workshop.  So, as I wrap up, I like to ask the one person from antistakeholder, I would like to ask, so what is the positive effect, positive impact of the free internet in your stakeholder and I appreciate if somebody from the audience can speak about this, but if there's no ‑‑ I would ask the speakers here.  Anyone want to appeal the positive effect from your stakeholder?  So this needs speakers.

>> Right.  I can say it.  I mean, for me, right now, representing technical community, of course, when the internet is open, I'm not so sure about the free aspects, free to what level.  But, if it's open and accessible for everyone, the more profit, the more operations will go on, the more people connected.  The more people connected, the more benefits.  But, also wanted to mention that there's this global campaign of keeping it on that is current, ongoing from the internet associates, part of this campaign.  So, I will just appreciate everyone to go to the hashtag and continue pushing again, against internet Shutdowns of the actually, right now in Uganda this week, we have, there was a case on the internet Shutdown until 2016 and there's a Keio chair this week.  And so, if we can push more and push our government to keep it on, probably at a government, if we in this case.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Sanja, one minute.

>> SANJA KELLY: Well, for Civil Society, internet has been essential in the ability to push for greater rights and we've seen this in some of the most challenge, most repressive environments.  So even places like Saudi Arabia was of online campaigns we've seen the right to drive to flourish, for example, or we've seen some of the public authorities being brought to justice in places like Russia because of citizens going on to YouTube to talk about corruption, we, for the first time, would see it actual reaction from the authority it's.

So, we've seen internet really brunging rights and realization of those rights to the next level.

But, as a result of that, we've, unfortunately, also seen suppression.  But, I think I remain an optimist so I do think that internet will be essential for our human rights.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, Thomas?

>> THOMAS GROB: I'm rather optimistic as well.  I think the internet is simply the greatest tool for everybody to share and to publish, actually.  Anybody can be a publisher and I'm personally hopeful actually that this AI symmetry we see is very important because I think it's important that not just Blockbuster content being consumed by millions which are identical content.  I think there's a huge facilitate for more diversity and I'm hoping the development is going in that direction.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you.  So, Guy?

>> GUY BERGER: Well, I share the optimism of colleagues here and I think that if we see that the internet is this most marvelous instrument for free flow communication and that should be the default setting it means that any limitations should be, according to national standard, they must be absolute necessary P proportionate to the purposes and the purposes must be legitimate so I think it's important to keep making that call that any limitation should be the exception and should have to be justified.  We cannot have a free flow of ideas and understanding and knowledge, free journalism.  If you don't, put some limitations on any limitations so any regulators or governments wanting to regulate need to look at this value of international standard, necessity, proportionality, legitimate purpose.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Thank you, so Oliver?

>> So, I would also agree colleagues on the fact that the internet is really a great platform for open debate and organization and we need it.  I think there are times for limitation and I agree with Guy here that it needs to be necessary and it needs to be proportionate.  And when we go into such safe guard measures, we should not go as government in the top-down manner but we should really involve the multi‑stakeholder community and its different constituencies to make sure that we address their worries and we produce better rules or better cause of practices and I think this is really a joint responsibility.  This is something we should do together and it doesn't rest on the government.

>> MARIKO KOBAYASHI: Sorry, from the organizer, I also represent the youths and so I think.  So, I would like to continue how to include business stake and business tech community and how to equity connect those stakeholders and policy makers.  It can be great to connect each stakeholder so that's why I organized this workshop here.

Finally, I want to thank you for all of the participants in this room.  I'm very glad to include all of you here so if you have any comments or opinion, please let me share after this workshop.  Thank you.  That's all.

 

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