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IGF 2018 - Day 2 - Salle IV - WS132 Towards a Decentralized Internet Constitution

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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>> DENNIS REDEKER: All right.  Welcome, everyone, to our workshop in the afternoon.  I'm sure that all of you are quite tired at this point already, but I think it's worth sticking around. 

Can you hear me quite well?  Very good. 

Our workshop today is going to be on the question, whether we're moving towards a decentralized constitution.  And we want to explore two trends that we experienced over the last couple years.  One is the emergence of block chain technology.  Decentralized cryptotechnology.  It's described as digital constitutionalism.  The idea that there is a consensus forming around norms and rights and principles for the Internet.  And we have today people here in the room and here on the panel who can show us a bit about both topics. 

We want to discuss the intersection of those two topics.  We see a fragmentation of the digital constitutionalism globally on a national and regional level are being made and norms are formed around how the Internet should be governed, and what rights and principles should exist on the Internet. 

And on the other hand we have a mega trend, a lot of people now thinking and investing into block chain technology, both in a private and private block chains, and we will talk about those two things. 

Our speakers have diverse interests.  And I'm sure all of you have found the diversity of interest.  So we try to get as much time as possible to discuss those two issues. 

The first part will be a presentation by each speaker for five to six minutes.  The second part gives you the opportunity to make your comments, ask your questions.  We will also have relay or remote participants and we will hopefully get interaction there, if you can hear us remotely. 

Think about questions for the second part. 

The third part is going to be about reactions by the speakers to each other, and to you and to your questions and comments. 

Now, before I give the word to the speaker, I'd like to introduce them quickly. 

We have on the very left of me, on the right of you, Lisa Garcia, who is with the Foundation of Media Alternatives, who fights for Internet rights. 

And we have Primavera De Filippi with the Technical Community, Western European and Others Group

And Nicolas Suzor who conducts research in the field of digital constitutionalism and human rights online particularly with the perspective of two platforms. 

We have Andrea Beccalli, from ICANN, who will provide the perspective of ICANN on the topic of human rights

And later on we will have Guy Berger who will join us. 

Lisa, do you want to start? 

>> LISA GARCIA:  Thanks, Dennis. 

So as Dennis mentioned, I work in the Philippines for a nonGovernment organisation, and for the last several years we have looked into the intersection of Human Rights and ICTs.  So there is no doubt that over the past decades, you know how digital technology transformed our lives and now we enjoy a lot of unprecedented possibilities to exercise our rights online.  But at the same time, there are threats current and emerging in the Internet. 

So how do we protect such rights and freedoms on the Net?  So in the Philippines what we have done is that we came up, in 2015, together with the different organisations, we had a multistakeholder forum, which we did in 2015.  And what we did was to get inputs from the different stakeholders and developed a draft of a Philippine Declaration of Internet Rights and Principles.  This was inspired by many similar initiatives of a global International scope.  So we have that from Brazil, from Africa, the one developed by the APC on Internet Rights and Principles. 

So the process is that when we had the forum, we also had many workshops within the forum.  And we discussed issues that were heavily impacted by ICTs, issues such as privacy, the digital economy, gender, freedom of expression, et cetera.  And there are also a lot of discussions.  We had a drafting team consisting of individuals from different organisations with diverse backgrounds.  And they were tasked to develop the content of the declaration that we developed. 

What we did was also to hold consultations in the different provinces in the Philippines, as well as to solicit inputs online.  So there was some suggestions coming from individuals belonging to different groups online.  Because we published it. 

And when we came up with a declaration we called it the Philippine Declaration of Internet Rights and Principles.  We focused on ten areas that we think should be -- that we think -- things that we value, like Internet access for all. 

And then there is the section on Democratizing the architecture of the Internet, which speaks about openness.  Freedom of expression.  The right to privacy and protection of personal data, gender equality, openness and access to information, knowledge and culture. 

The socioeconomic empowerment and innovation, which talks about the digital economy. 

Education and digital literacy. 

Safety and security of the Internet. 

As well as ICTs for environmental sustainability

Of course this declaration, we perceived it as the reflections of the dreams, hopes and aspirations of Filipinos, of what a Philippine Internet should be.  And we thought that this is something that can serve as a basis for public education, advocacy and networks on ICTs Bill of Rights and development

We launched it in November of 2015, at the Office of the then Department of ICT, and we had 23 Civil Society organisations that signed the declaration.  No Government organisation signed it because it would take a lot of time to draft a memorandum of agreement with them.  But we knew that some governmental organisations were supportive of this.  And to this day, we have been -- we still spread the word about the existence of such a declaration in the Philippines. 

And I'd also like to talk to you about this principle that we developed with another group, and this is with women's rights advocates, sexual rights advocates, Internet rights advocates, and I'm talking about the feminist principles of the Internet.  You might have heard it was.  It was developed by the (?) There is a copy here in front, both in English and in French. 

So we know that the Internet is a space for empowerment.  And it's a space where we can express ourselves.  It's a space for assistance, for building movements. 

It's something that should work for all of us, for women and all persons alike.  So given the chance for families to -- feminists to create our own Internet, what would it look like. 

So the APC held a workshop in 2015 and we took part in that workshop as a member of the APC.  It was called imagine a feminist Internet.  So if you're a feminist, what would you want the Internet to be?  How would it look for you?  So what they did, there were -- women, I think the first one was a gathering of more than 50 women, who discussed different issues related to them, affecting them.  The women who were there were coming from different countries all over the world. 

So in 2015, if I'm not miss -- 2014, if I'm not mistaken, I think there were only 15 principles.  But the following year, 2015, there was another workshop that was held, and the initial draft of the principles were further developed.

So currently the principles, the feminist principles of the Internet, have 17 principles, divided into five clusters, that include access, movements, expressions, economy, and embodiment. 

And what I like about this principle is that if this -- it's a living document.  We continue to develop it.  We continue to spread the word about it, encourage different groups, women's groups, sexual rights activist groups to discuss it among themselves and to see if the principles worked for them.  Because I know for instance in the Philippines some of the groups we talked to don't agree with some of the principles, but it's a basis.  They are provided with a framework on how to realise their dreams, realise their rights, on the Internet.

So I think I will stop here. 

Sorry for the lengthy time. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much.  Would you like to follow? 

>> PRIMAVERA De FILIPPI:  Sure.  Hi everyone.  So I was asked to talk a bit about how technologies correspond to Human Rights.  And to some extent I feel the obligation to expand a bit the scope of my talk, to try to demystify all of the kind of promises that comes along with blockchain technologies. 

So I have put this into six categories.  I'll say to which extent it can help and to which extent they cannot.  So the first one is related to banking.  So providing currency accounts to people.  We have, for example, at the UN, we were provided refugees with some currency based vouchers that can be redeemed.  And this obviously made a lot of like noise and like PR.  Now because, of course, was it necessary to actually use a blockchain for that?  Could you not just use, for instance, not having to record?  Of course, there were other issues of the fact that refugees often don't have access to the digital device, so they have to share the digital devices between each other. 

And then the problem of transparency, since we are using like a public blockchain in which all of the transactions are publicly accessible to everyone, there was no surveillance to see what each refugee is doing with the money. 

So what is then the blockchain could help with this regard is, I guess, in the field of (Inaudible) in the sense that today, it's not really about like banking, but it's about how do we make sure that we can make sure that people can transfer funds from one place to the other, without having to rely on the traditional intermediaries or someone that takes a big Commission on the funds being transferred, and it takes perhaps one week.  But the problem there is about the interface, because we don't have machines and actors that are accepting the currencies.  Then once we transfer the currency, then the question remains of how do they engage this into the field currency as they engage in the local economy. 

The second one is digital identity.  Again, this has quite a few problems.  One is because, you know, the concept is about providing some kind of privacy based on the biometrics of the individuals to the extent that the biometrics can be compromised, this is one important problem. 

The other problem is if we just provide a particular account based on biometrics and other things, then there needs to be constantly a centralized identity service provider to make sure that every identity that is given to the people is a singular one.  That people are not collecting more than one identity.  And then even if we claim that this is their identity, then there is one actor who is controlling who actually gets the identity and then this can follow all of the activities of these identities. 

So what is the annual best use in this sense?  It's not about the question of credential management and providing the possibility of certifying specific skin sets or attributes of a person in a way that the attributes can follow them from one platform to the other, without having all the time to go back to this centralized operator or this single identity provider that is providing all of the certifications.  

The third one is about privacy.  So whether or not the technology can actually contribute to the production of personal data.  This is quite a crucial question in the sense that any time there is personal data on the blockchain, which is by design transparent, so everyone can access to the data and be a part of it, and if it's encrypted on the blockchain, then if I get a key for the blockchain I can access the data.  And perhaps maybe I cannot remove the data and it cannot be uninstalled. 

So the question is, here again I think we have to focus more on the question of access controls.  So using a blockchain not as a means to provide any identity or type of data, but the idea is to provide permissions and privilege to people in this blockchain structure, and then using it to identify whether or not -- identify whether someone can have this identity. 

As well as in the context of proof of existence, it's not about recording the data on the blockchain but proving the existence of a particular document without disclosing anything about the document.  But in such a way that the person can store the data and then through the blockchain prove that the document that they are showing is authentic and is being issued by a particular thing.  So this is like in the sense of diplomas or any document for the person. 

So then we talked about how transparency could promote more fair, equitable trading, and then stop the use of slave labour.  So we have some examples mostly in the fishing industry, where you are, oftentimes, you are put on a boat and locked in harsh conditions.  So maybe in the case of blood diamonds, where they are (?), and so in this case, the blockchain can be used to recall the provinance and all the steps to which all the projects have gone through.  So that every actor participating in the supply chain will declare that this has been done to a particular process or this has come home to a particular location.  And we cannot prevent the actors from lying, but with the system that applies to the blockchain system, if an actor lies, then it's possible that a person can identify something has gone wrong, we can see through the supply chain who is the actor who provided some falsehood into the black chain. 

And then finally the last one.  Again, there is like some discussions on here that the blockchain technology could promote the carding system.  But in a case that it's tamper resistant and the problem is that it's a very specific thing that asks some guarantees.  One important one is the ability to see that the work that I have done is being -- the vote that I've done is being counted into the ballot.  The ability also to be hidden, so that's a bit of secrecy. 

So an election vote system can be useful, but when we want to combine viability and secrecy it becomes much more complex.  And if there is a solution by which we can use some form of specific encryption, and so far, to ensure the privacy, we are -- we are away from being able to access the system. 

I'll stop here. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you.  Now Nic I'd like you to say something. 

>> NICOLAS SUZOR:  I'm going to change text to come back to the constitutionalization components of this talk.  And, really, go backwards a bit to think about what constitutions do and how they are designed to protect rights.  And so we see a constitution ultimately does a couple of things.  But for these purposes, the most important thing it does is it puts limits on how Governments and the people who are able to exercise power over us have to exercise that power.  It includes both procedural components and due process and safeguards about how rules are made and enforced.  It includes substantive rights that limit the actual content of those roles. 

At the same time, in parallel, we have the Human Rights system that does the same thing against States.  That there are most particularly some universal values that we think are inherent in all people and we try to hold States primarily accountable for making sure that this protects those fundamental Human Rights. 

So those models of regulation, as they evolved over the centuries, really put a lot of emphasis on States.  And the challenge, I think, that we have in front of us today is that a lot of regulation is not done by States.  Regulation or States are just one actor among many in the work of regulating how we live our lives. 

We're here at IGF, so a lot of the work of technology developers, of firms, of companies, a lot of work that is embedded, the rules and processes that are embedded in the software code and the architecture of the Internet, of the policies and platforms and the processes through which they are enforced, the terms of service of contracts and so on. 

So the question then is how do we protect fundamental rights in an era when governance itself is fundamentally decentralized?  And it's more complicated when we're talking about even more decentralized technologies like blockchain solutions and smart contracts, where you are trying to cut out the existing intermediaries, often the institutions that we have learned how to regulate. 

So there is a fundamental regulatory problem, for the public interest.  For those of us who care about the public interest and for those of us who care about fundamental rights, to think about what are the processes that we need to put in place in the future to ensure that those rights are protected. 

So this is what I mean when I talk about digital constitutionalism.  This pressing need right now to rethink how we do the functions of constitutionalism, without necessarily the focus on the state that has been historically at the core of constitutionalism.  And that particular view of constitutionalism doesn't work if you care about things like due process.  The scale of the sorts of things that we're talking about, the scale of decisions and the scale of content that we are regulating, the difficulty with which public regulators have of trying to get to grip in force, public norms, no one can rely wholly on a top-down model of regulation that is designed to protect the public interests and to promote fundamental rights. 

Okay.  So I think regulation is a big component.  Public law is a big component of how we protect fundamental rights.  But it can't be the only strategy. 

And so what I really want to think about today, and just talk about briefly, is how can we imagine a more decentralized approach to holding the exercise of power accountable?  And particularly today thinking about Internet regulation, and content moderation, and the sorts of issues that we have been talking about at the IGF particularly, there is a pressing need, I suggest, for a lot of coalition building and a lot of innovation, regulatory innovation, to figure out how you promote and protect human rights and freedoms in a decentralized environment.  And so I think this requires, and again I'll use the term multistakeholders, because I believe it requires a fundamental chain in the way that we do regulation to involve a much broader array of interesting groups and stakeholders. 

Particularly, we have been talking a lot about things like transparency, and trying to understand how many of these systems work and in whose interests they are often deployed.  And I think transparency on its own is not really enough.  There has been a really interesting post just came out, a big open letter signed by 706 Civil Society groups, it came out a couple hours ago, attached to the Santa Clara principles.  It's a targeted demand for the sorts of due process safeguards and Government safeguards that we might want to see from private actors and particularly from platforms.  This is an important step forward to saying what we need to be able to promote human rights in a decentralized environment. 

So just to wrap up, what I see as some of the most important opportunities, the sort of coalition building that we can do with this broad range of stakeholders in this room is if you recognize that the State is not going to solve a lot of these challenges on its own, then we need to involve a much broader group of stakeholders.  I think it means doing more than transparency, although transparency is important.  But being able to understand a lot of the technical systems that scale requires from like the academics like myself new innovation that can try to work out the effects and impacts of social technical systems that are large scale.  But then the NGOs who are doing the crucial work of working through on a day-to-day basis to try to raise public awareness and to start a more sophisticated conversation about exactly whose responsibility is it to protect rights in particular circumstances. 

The developer, I think there is an opportunity to invest in the tools that promote autonomy and human rights values by design, some of the things that were discussed, I think that there is a real key opportunity here for us to think carefully in the design phase and in the procurement phase of a lot of the systems that we are building, to ensure that protection and promotion of human rights is built in at at core. 

A lot of this is ongoing, but my fear is that this is a bit disconnected.  So if I have hope of the constitutionalism as a project is if we can bring together a huge amount of work going on in different communities, to get into some sort of unified or at least coherent intervention at different levels that enables us to embed protection and promotion of human rights into the software, into the code, into the architecture, but also then into the monitoring apparatus of NGOs, into the work of academics, and into the targeted work of public regulators. 

I'm happy to follow up in the conversation.  But that's the hard work in front of us right now. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much for the fantastic call to action. 

Now next is Andrea. 

>> ANDREA BECCALLI:  Thank you.  And good afternoon.  Thank you for inviting me. 

And let's see how I can jump in from my experience at ICANN.  So I work for ICANN, I guess most of you know what ICANN is.  If you don't, I probably could spend 30 seconds and explaining what ICANN is.  It's an organisation that coordinates the unique system, the unique identifiers for the Internet.  So it makes sure when you open up a computer or mobile phone and you want to reach a page or send out a message or email, well, the system knows where to distribute these.  The zeros and ones, the packets of such organisation.  So decentralized, it's one thing that is fully is it centralized.  It's names, numbers, and articles. 

When I was listening to you, and ICANN has been undergoing a process of looking at its own constitution, and I went to see the regional document, in ICANN they are called bylaw, 6 November 1998, 20 years ago, and the document -- I don't know if you remember in 1998.  But it was a time when Google was founded. 

If you look online, you'll see the Web Page of Google.  You may feel yourself suddenly old, that's how I felt when I went to check this.  But there were 150 million of Internet users around the globe.  And the ICANN bylaws, the constitution, was 22 pages long and about 8,000 words, according to word count. 

And now ICANN has been going through, as I was saying, a process of rewriting its constitution.  And there was no mention of human rights in the original one.  Now it's 80 pages and it's 80,000 words.  And we moved up to 4.2 billion Internet users, estimates.

So you may ask why ICANN is doing this constitutional rewriting?  Well, it's longer here and more complex, but to put it simply, back in 1998 the Internet was seen as another technology.  We didn't have iPhone, we had GSM communication and it was another way to speak to each other and to connect and open up a blog. 

Suddenly, the Internet, 20 years after, is a part of our everyday life from our economic life to our rights, to our personal and more intimate spheres of life.  And the interest and attention on how ICANN works and how the Internet works, actually, on how the Internet works, led the global attention on who is in charge of all of that in a completely decentralized Internet.  There is one organisation who was supposed to be in charge, and there was -- and it was deemed to be ICANN.  Funny enough, 1998 is also the great grandfather of this forum, of the IGF.  Around this time is when the United Nations were looking at whether we needed a global summit to tackle the issues brought by this new technology. 

And the creation of ICANN back then was also in this environment.  Do we need new rules?  Do we need to set a UN organisation to coordinate how this technology works and who benefits and who doesn't and who takes the decision?

Well, the Internet made things more interesting and more complicated than that.  And for many years ICANN has been leading with these challenges of sticking to this idea, but recognizing that the world has changed so much so that back in 2012, 2013, the global pressure on the Internet -- I think it's similar to what we have seen just this week -- was high enough.  Many of you may remember these revelations, remember how the tech community came together in a statement called the NETmundial stating that there was a lack of trust on the Internet.  And the organisation that underpinned this beautiful technology that we all used needed to do something to step up. 

And they did that.  And one clear step that was taken was the decision by the US Government to let the organisation rewrite its constitution and also to rewrite its own legitimacy, another key word for the constitution, through -- it was guaranteed by a contract between the organisation and the US Government.  So to rewrite the contract and the rules, the constitution. 

And ICANN did that in a multi-discussion, to rewrite its own governing rules, and also to institute the role of this one single Governmental who is responsible for it.  Who is taking the final word on that?

And long story short since my time is over, the decision was taken that no other country, no other group of countries, no single group of stakeholders would be in charge of that, but all of this together through the 200 pages long procedures. 

I think so far it's a most advanced example of a global constitution for a technology like the Internet, which wasn't meant to be constitutionalized by default, a decentralized network.  And it's something that we can discuss further on how we can address some of the issues that are on top of the technology, the applications, the years of the Internet that impact our rights and human rights.  And 20 years after, human rights are within the new ICANN bylaws, although they are a key part of the core values, along with public interest and providing a public service for the world. 

So thank you. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much indeed.  For a very different and very interesting contributions. 

And right on time.  We have the next panelist, Guy Berger of UNESCO.  And we will give him just a minute to settle in.  All the other participants of the panel have just given about a six-minute contribution about what they, you know, consider important with regard to the topic of this workshop. 

Do you want to jump right in?  We will just have you a bit later. 

Right now we want to open the floor.  We had four contributions already that I think will evoke some discussion here in the room, and remotely. 

And I see some hands up here.  We would like to first move to the remote -- well, we will go here in the room.  We hope that we get some remote questions and comments later on. 

Who has a question or comment?  Please be concise and not too long.

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you for the opportunity. 

My name is Fika Lousy (?).  And the idea of this discussion is good, but, maybe the question I should address to -- sorry, I forgot your name, the Professor. 

>> ANDREA BECCALLI:  Andrea. 

>> AUDIENCE:  Also, I have a question.  In our history of humanity, Democracy was suppressed by some representatives.  So how do we enforce as many people as we -- or as we want to have, when our population is growing exponentially?  Do you think it's idealistic, but when we implemented it, creating a slower process to get effective results?  And -- because maybe in the future the idea is maybe we can just rely on the machine to do that work for us, not because we are lazy but maybe because of the complexity of humanity.  What do you think about it?

And then about the blockchain, my question is with the crypto concept, maybe this is the lack of the environment to accept the cryptocurrencies.  Because like the Government, for example, to create their own cryptocurrency.  Because, as you know, in our currency it's produced by the Government, whatever Government the country comes from.  But what I understand so far, it's not from the Government, at least, like bit coin.  It's not made by, for example, from the European country or US and so on. 

And also, how to be accepted, the concept of this.  How do you see the spread awareness of the blockchain?  Because we often get the hype  of how good is the technology and so on.  But when it's implemented, it's more like rather than closing the gap, more than -- it's creating more gap.  Because if I refer to the Oxford research last year, that actually globalization make sa digital economy rather than making people have a chance to be like the poor end reaches us closer.  But actually, it's still as big as we found before. 

Thank you. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  We collect all kinds of comments and questions, and if you do, you can comment on each other.  The speakers in the panel will have another chance to react later.

>> AUDIENCE:  I have another question. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  I'm trying to let other people, other questions and comments.  The lady there in the very back.  Whoever wants to start.

>> AUDIENCE:  Yes, thank you. 

To make it short.  I think many people around here and like other events like this start to have a good idea of like the dangers of the Internet in general, and the necessity for regulations, but still we don't know much about -- questions about privacy.  What are the limits?  What consensus we might find?  And therefore I'm wondering if anybody on the panel might have ideas of first principles that might help to build such considerations. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you. 

Other questions?  Now the lady in the back and then you over there.

>> AUDIENCE:  So some of the promise around blockchain technology is using private ordering to improve humanitarian goals, to protect human rights.  So is there a dichotomy to the idea of constitutionalization?  Can they converge and work together or are they at opposite ends of the spectrum? 

>> AUDIENCE:  Hi.  I'm involved in an experimental project to build a decentralized network that tries to preserve freedom of expression but also discourages things like Nazis.  And when I go to people who would be best qualified to answer the questions about predictive market voting and moderation by communities and things like that, the answer is I have a blockchain allergy.  Because the community as it stands right now is people who perhaps don't believe in moderating networks at all.  Or that, politically, they are fine with being right wing.

Where is the work being done and how do we bridge the gap between the highly technical communities and people who care about human rights and particularly for marginalized populations? 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you for the questions.

>> AUDIENCE:  So my question is regarding blockchain governance and existing structures that result in (?).  So do you know of any strategies that we can avoid that? 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Anyone else at this stage or may I go to -- maybe comment -- you can comment at this stage?  Yep? 

>> GUY BERGER:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I'm Guy Berger.  I work here at UNESCO, so welcome to this building.  And I apologize I'm late.  I ended up with a double booking so I just finished another session. 

So my intervention is less about the technology of blockchain, but more about this question of digital -- decentralized digital constitutionalism.  And the question of technology can be enabled or not be enabled as the case may be, but they come within the bigger context.  As Wolfgang pointed out, the paradox of the Internet is that it's an International organisation -- it's an International phenomenon in the face of failed States. 

So despite the fact that people thought the States were going away, John Perry Bono, it's clear that they are not going away.  If anything, the States are more assertive about the questions. 

And so this issue of constitutionalism at the national or regional level is becoming more apparent.  Certainly at the International level of constitution, it looks like -- in any more formal shape it's not on the agenda at all.  But norms are important and norms do impact on the kind of constitutionalism that exists, because norms can constrain power and norms shape laws and laws shape behaviors.  

So at UNESCO what we have done in the face of the International and the national and the regional is to come up with an attempt to map Internet experiences at the national level.  There may be a paradoxy in that, because we are speaking about something that is far more than national.  But increasingly one is seeing the States at the national level or the regional level articulations impacting on the national or the regional experience of the Internet.  I mean, you all know the examples. 

So with this in mind, if this is a scenario that States again are becoming more and more impactful, how can one try to have good constitutionalism rather than bad constitutionalism?  And the fragmented Internet, one Internet that is abused to violate human rights by a range of actors. 

So what UNESCO -- and this is the session I just came from, we have a set of indicators that were developed over a year and a half consultation, including comments from 2000 experts and 17 Member States and so on.  So these are quite well developed indicators about how you can map the situation of the Internet at the country level, and then make recommendations that could strengthen the role of the Internet in regard to four principles that UNESCO Member States agreed. 

So these were principles:  Rights, openness, accessibility, multistakeholder participation, which is ROAM. **

So the importance of these principles is that it means if you're looking at the question of rights, and trying to balance the right to security or privacy and the freedom of expression and dignity, if you balance those, there is a classic rights test about necessity and positionality. 

So you have the open economies, open opportunities, and open data and open Government, and indeed when you do the balancing, you have to look at accessibility, because it doesn't help to create rights respecting the Internet and people don't have access to it and if people don't understand their rights and if it's not catering to language and marginalized groups.  So that's the A. 

M is the multistakeholder, because of the way that you'll try to get this nuanced.  Balancing rights with regards to not damning openness is with respect to multistakeholder participation. 

Increasingly, you find Governments in some crisis and they cut Internet access or at least platform access, and they say well, this is what we're trying to do to stop inciting to violence, and there's people being killed. 

So they are balancing, right, but they are not thinking what does this mean for accessibility and openness and are there other alternatives that can try to keep intact the Internet?  Because if there is violence on the Internet, you just kill the Internet.  But this model is to try to keep the Internet, because you want to keep the rights.  And if you don't keep the rights, what is the point of the Internet?

So with these indicators, it's a way to take the things and assist in a given country. 

Okay, let's look at the way Internet companies are setting community standards.  Do they do it in a multistakeholder way?  Or do they do it -- do they make the actual decisions?  Which Governments are making decisions on what they will do in the event of crisis or intellectual property, do they do it in a multistakeholder way?

So this mapping, you can look at all of the Xs and see where there are shortfalls, this leads to powerful recommendations to improve practice, but opening up the accessibility and multistakeholder performance. 

We did an interesting publication at UNESCO, and I've got a bag here called what if we all governed the Internet?  It's a provocative title.  What if we all governed the Internet?

we are trying to reconcile all of these things.  What does multistakeholderism impact on the constitutional version, because it doesn't necessarily do that.  Because if you speak about ultimately digital constitution, it's about rights and the state as either a key violator or protector of human rights.  This is important. 

At the end, I would say that while there are indicators, there are 250 indicators, with 70 core indicators, the most important indicator, certainly from the piloting that we have done and the pre-testing which is in countries like Nigeria, Thailand, Paraguay, Brazil, I can't remember offhand the other ones.  But from the experience that we have done, the most important research we found is that it's the multistakeholder.  That's the most powerful set of findings that we have found when we owe and we revised the indicators to be more powerful that this regard. 

So I think to come with research, hopefully with this UNESCO endorsed instrument which next week people will decide if they give the stamp of approval or not.  But if you do that, you get Internet based assessments at the national level and good recommendations.  Voila.  So I invite people to have a look at indicators.  And if you are interested, contact us at UNESCO, maybe we can create a multistakeholder Committee to do an assessment in your country, no matter whether your country is mid level, developed, developing, whatever.  These indicators are universal indicators, and of course you interpret them for your situation.  But this can help creating that context, and also impact on regulation and technology about digital constitutionalism. 

Thank you. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much.  Before we come to a round of last comments by the panelists, directed to each other and also to you, do you want to ask whether there are other comments or questions at this point?  Over there?

>> AUDIENCE:  So I'm from the University College of Dublin.  I wanted to make a brief comment on the possibility to introduce in our debate the distinction between fragmentation of general principles and fragmentation of particular norms.  On the one end, we have the elaboration of particular norms related to digital rights.  And we know that the norms are fragmented.  And the example of smart contracts is a perfect example.  But I think that this is in line with the global nature of the Internet and it's not to be demonized, because the implementation of constitutional principles has always produced different results. 

What is worrisome at first is the fragmentation of general principles.  But my position is that the fragmentation of the general principles at this stage is not worse, insofar as it will not last the long time.  Because the digital revolution is a relatively recent phenomenon and we are still working on the context of state centrics, and in the context of the digital society, to what we now call fragmentation on the level of general principles is not to make it de facto. 

The complexity, this fragmentation, this divergence is what I think in the long term could announce the richness, resistance and the suddenness of the principles of constitutionalism. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Are there any remote participants that have questions?  Not at this time. 

So I'd like to ask the panelists in which order they prefer to react to the questions that came up -- sorry.  -- To react to the comments and questions, and also to try to answer the question that we laid also out in the programme, which is how can technical decentralization, including blockchain and deep centralized digital rights advocacy, lad to better human rights protection. 

Who wants to start?

>> I want to address the important question about which to (Inaudible) and digital (Inaudible) actually go together.  And I think this is one of the core questions as to like what do we mean when we mean digital constitutionalism?  Because the way I can see it, we are in a situation in which we, the actors, because we have multi-national cooperation and operating transnationally, the question then becomes digital constitutionalism.  It's something that transcends the actual national state and it's something that needs to actually involve some form of private, in the sense that we need those actors to come together and to decide to operate regarding to a particular set of principles, which back in the past would remind us of like what is happening, like when you have actors that are operating outside of the jurisdiction of a particular state, then you create a new system of normativity and people agree to work. 

And then we move on to the Internet and we have informatica, or whatever we want to call it, where we are actually talking about some form of private (Inaudible) which is a multistakeholder fact of actors that decide to clear a particular set of things that they decide to become -- to abide by. 

And on this point it's interesting to see how people are reacting.  But, generally, people rely on these contractual or technical means in order to actually fill up a gap that actually exists because national Governments cannot actually reach this particular platform, because International laws are difficult to apply.  And the problem is that on one hand you can use the digital constitutionalism in order to assure that human rights are protected where a Government could not actually manage under International law of a difficult ability to actually reach de facto.  And so people agree to abide by principles.  At the same time, it has the opposite effect, because they are creating a technical and contractual means, that operate actually into a separate system of normativity, then it becomes harder for a Government to enforce those Human Rights in case that there was an actual violation. 

With regard to the question of to which extent does the Government need to have been adopting or recognizing blockchain technology, we can see the distinction between one that is existing institutions adopting blockchain technologies in order to transition throughout the system that is more trusted or trusted less, but providing technical guarantees in order to increase the transparency, the accountability of existing institutions. 

So if I start -- just to put all of my transactions on the blockchain, I get the realtime audits that I cannot deal with.  On the other hand, we have the use of like the small fully decentralized system.  But these are adopting though questions.  And then it goes back to the Governments.  So when we have is the use of blockchain technology is reducing the need of the other side.  Because you bake specific principles into a technological framework.  The way you design the technology is designed by the institution itself.  And the Government is the institution, but then decides to bind itself to the technological design. 

The other question is when we create fully decentralized systems, then the Government becomes extremely important.  And if you look today, most if not all of the blockchain networks or applications, because they have been designed in a particular Government structure, which is wasted on technological things, on the unchained Government side, obviously it's done by a plutocracy

And the problem is, I think, a logical one.  If you have an upside down system, and not a blockchain, that does not incorporate within its own system a notion of identity, then by definition it's plutocratic. 

So if you don't have a system which incorporates identity, a strong identity system, by definition it's always going to be based on whatever it is that you use as a proxy to identity.  But because it's not an actual identity as to one person, one vote, then it necessarily leads into plutocracy.  And that's where I think there is thinking that goes on in this field is that -- if we want the system to maintain being open and public, then the Government needs to have a blockchain.  That's the only place that we have identities and that's a place where we can clear the system of Governments that does not depend on (Inaudible) which leads to plutocracy. 

I have a problem, if we do introduce identity into this system, then you start having a centralized identity provider, which to some extent, if there is a centralized identity that controls every transaction. 

So most of the thought is when we look at an institutional framework, there are ways that it can help to this transition.  When we are in a full decentralized network, we have to focus on the question of chain Governments to avoid that. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you.  We would like to go on from here. 

>> So when we talk about this, the digital constitutionalism, most of the principles, the declarations that are being developed, they are not state led.  Although recently we have seen that a lot of States are already getting involved in this because they are being left behind. 

And what is good about this is that when this land state -- nonstate led principles are being developed, it's actually people who are concerned with our rights who are leading the way, who are providing the value, the principles that they think should be -- should be -- should be cherished. 

And this is something -- these are things that are not really that far removed from our traditional values.  Those that are enshrined in our UDHR.  We were just adopting these for the new challenges that are emerging. 

We know that we cannot always relay on law, laws cannot catch up with the technology, and technology is so fast. 

But the thing is, we have to consider that there is also somehow a disconnect.  Like you have a group of individuals, maybe technologists, human rights activists, who put up this proposal to have these principles.  And would he have to consider that there is a disconnect because a group of people might not even be familiar with what is actually happening with -- that there is already technology and it is already impacting their rights.

So there is a need for us as well to explain what -- how technology is actually affecting our rights.  If it's something that is alien to many people, like in my country, like it's only maybe half of are connected, and they don't know what blockchain is and what it does for them. 

And there is -- I remember that we organised a consultation about issues of rights.  And they were questioning us -- issues of access to the Internet.  And they were questioning us, in my place we don't have electricity and water, and they are talking to us about all of this Internet fights about access, about using technology and all of that.

So it's also important that we also try to bridge that gap, explain to them what the technology can do, blockchain for instance, what it can -- I think through examples, and how it can really solve problems. 

For instance, we have been thinking blockchain in terms of safeguarding the votes, elections are coming up in many countries and we are thinking that it can be something that would be useful.  Like in my country, nobody loses -- one loses an election because one has been cheated.  So a blockchain technology might work. 

And that is important to explain to the population, constituents. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much. 

>> Just a couple of quick points just to follow on.  I want to echo Primavera's comments in relation to the question that:  Is blockchain at odds with constitutionalism?  And I think fundamentally no.  Blockchain development doesn't do away with governance discussions at all.  It just moves where those Government discussions happen. 

So how those values are baked into the code and how they are resolved by the community who is responsible for maintaining the code, they are constitutional questions.  They are not addressed by the old style of constitutionalism.  But they are the type of new style constitutional questions that we have to fundamental tale deal with and meet head on. 

In the middle here, in I'm looking at my notes, how do we bridge the gap between tech communities and people who care about human rights and where is that work being done?  And I'm hopeful that the answer is here.  Here at IGF, at Rights Con, at the Internet Freedom Festival, every day by organisations like Lisa's, the NGOs working.  But if it's not, if we feel that the IGF is not providing that mix that we need, then we need to -- let's take seriously Macron's statement last night, to think about the future of the IGF to make sure it tackles those questions.  This is the place where we have the multistakeholder group, and if it's not working then we have to fix that, because we absolutely need that collaboration. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you. 

>> So there was no particular question to argue.  But I wanted to build on the last intervention and just give you a few points. 

We do -- I was thinking now, the Internet that we experience today is different from the one in the late 90s, and early 2000.  It's fragmented.  And speaking about global Internet constitutional or some forms of global forms norms and principle is becoming more and more challenging, even to think about it. 

So probably the solution to preserve what we can for the future, and we have to act now, is to currently go into some either other topic or regional specific focus and approach.  And within ICANN, when I mentioned to you the old process of rewriting the bylaws, we faced some major issues of, you know, writing the constitution. 

The issues of participation.  How do we ensure that you move to bylaws that ensure the DNS, the core that keeps the Internet together when the users are 4.2 billion.  And it's impossible.  But the challenge is there. 

We work with groups, multistakeholders, and linked to that is the cost, the transition for us and the rewriting of the bylaws costed us millions.  Lots of money.  I think we never counted.  If you put manpower and all the air travels and all the cost of the meetings, it goes easily into tens of millions. 

And ICANN can do that, because there is a system of self financing, and we have to brand most of our research to do that.  So that's something that you cannot leave aside. 

But indeed it's upon us.  And we heard yesterday from Macron, the line is either you do it or we do it.  And we did it.  We succeeded at DNS level, although it's not finished.  The process within ICANN is still going on.  But we are being able to succeed at the global level.  We tried too with NETmundial.  But when we tried to implement the principles, things start falling apart. 

My question is, is that a way to go forward?  Can we go back to a declaration of human rights today?  Can we go towards Internet rights and freedoms and principles today?  Maybe we are trying to -- maybe we have to understand yet, and I -- and I understand the natural technology and the Internet that we are talking about, and we are completely blind to blockchain.  It goes farther than that.  It's good to have the reflection, and it's also the place to realise that we have to act fast.  And the need is there, the classic approach is falling short more and more.  And we have to innovate the governance side of things. 

These are my thoughts. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Anything to my right?  Any other comments?

>> Well, I would echo Andrea that it's really important that these issues are discussed here about the need to innovate for governance for these kinds of questions, and the need to consider the endangered species of multistakeholder participation and to the extent it can be constitutionalized and the way that blockchain can play a role. 

Blockchain plays all kinds of other roles, some may be positive and some may be to strain the planet because of the amount of computing power that may be involved. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  All right.  Thank you very much. 

I think we have heard reactions from the panel.  Are there any -- we have another ten minutes left if we want.  Are there any further comments from the audience?

>> AUDIENCE:  My name is Sandra Jen from China.  I have a question, how do you involve countries like China, which has its own Internet.  If not, how do you call it a universal constitution? 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  I think that's a good one. 

>> Well, I'm happy to respond.  Every member state in the world has signed up to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by being a member of UN.  And if you sign up to UNESCO, you sign up to a free flow of information and protecting culture and so on.  It's rights ROAM, and it's under universality.  Is this like an Internet for everybody?  Universality doesn't mean that the principles are interpreted and applied the same way on every spot on earth.  If you take a right to dignity versus defamation and defamation that is not justifiable.  We know between the US and Europe there are different concepts on how do you limit and what do you limit?  When is speech that violates rights or reputation?  Tradition itself, US and UK, traditionally they are different. 

So the fact that there are different principles and standards in the case of the indicators it doesn't exclude cultural diversity.  But if things actually step outside the bounds of the kind of International regime of human rights and the ICCPR, which sets the conditions for limitations, then of course that is not acceptable.  But universality doesn't mean uniformity.  It means at the board level these things must be dealt with, and interpreted.  And the system has to be aligned. 

So as I said, nobody would say that the right to dignity or reputation is being disrespected or violated because of the difference between the UK and the US regimes on this.  They are both legitimate interpretations of how you defend this. 

So there is a lot of variation possible, but we will have to say -- but there are some parameters, you know, when deviation becomes -- there is a right not to be tortured, for example.  That is pretty clear.  Once you deviate from that, you are deviating from human rights standards. 

But the freedom of expression, and et cetera, they are interpreted different leave according to community standards. 

Anyway, as we come to China, I cannot say China is a member of the International community.  And China would be the first to say that they -- whether you want to take it or not, but their standards are the same as the standard of other countries, which is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ICCPR. 

Okay, now you assess, is that really the case or is it debatable here or there?  But the standard remains the standard. 

And it's not just a norm.  These are agreements by the International community.  So it's not just the norm that you can take it or leave it, these are standards.  And unless you want to deviate and leave the UN system, at one point you move beyond the bounds. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you.  One short statement from Francesco Pirro.

>> FRANCESCO PIRRO:  Thank you.  It's very late and it's only a few words.  And I'm -- I have to ask you, and for the happiness of Andrea, and we are starting a new model to evaluate possible alternatives to the (Inaudible) structure of the DNS.  And it's very far from this and at the beginning of this, and I thought that I have many ideas, very confused about it.  And after this panel, I have many ideas but more confusion with respect to the beginning. 

And I thought that our good news, yesterday, the French President Macone launched the big initiatives, call for the peace, and then I think it's a very important initiative.  Italy is seeing it immediately with another recount.  And probably it could be a beginning to transform this situation, this confused situation.  I don't know. 

But let me reflect about it, China.  Probably she is right.  And I remember a wonderful song of it tallian, Italian song, that said how can a rock stop the sea?  And it's a very famous song, and I want to finish with it.  I won't try to Singh it, to Singh this, because it's not -- it's not the right situation.  But if you heard it, you'll understand. 

Thank you. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much. 

We promised -- just one last question over there, or a comment.

>> AUDIENCE:  It's a bit of both.  So, the panel has spoken in terms of constitutions and bylaws and standards and best practices, and sometimes those words evoke legal.  They are legal terms, which differ depending on your jurisdiction in their meaning.  So in my jurisdiction, the United States, it protects individuals from too much regulation.  So to hear comments that regulatory policy is a key part of building a constitution, it's confusing to me.  It's hard for me to get my head around what a digital constitution looks like if it's that's a part of it. 

So are we hampering the discussion around an important topic by building in legal words that mean different things to different people, based on where they live in a multistakeholder environment?  That's the question. 

>> That's an interesting question that I'll have to take on notice a bit. 

Accept to say that that is a particular -- it's a particularly American view of constitutionalism, I think, as the primary goal of restraint on the States. 

And I do think that we can also think about more positive roles for regulation.  So particularly when we're talking about human rights and we're talking about the obligation not just to refrain from infringing on human rights, but to create the circumstances that enable people to enjoy their human rights, those are positive duties that are on well both States and other types of governing bodies. 

As to the question are we confusing?  I think we are to an extent using words that create confusion.  I take that criticism.  I don't know how to fix that in the two minutes that we have left in the panel.  But it's an interesting point. 

>> DENNIS REDEKER:  Thank you very much.  And it's true, I don't think we have come to any clear conclusions, but I think we have thrown up some questions, and perhaps one conclusion that we can draw is that blockchain technology will not in itself guarantee human rights, but that there are some applications where this is very much relevant. 

We have to discuss the relative state -- the role of the state and the role of multistakeholderism, because that was a big question.  And some say we need the state as a central authority.  Others say that perhaps multistakeholder governance is the way to go. 

And we also have this paradox that the more important Internet becomes in our society, the more important these kinds of questions become.  But at the same time we heard that it's mother and more difficult to have the process of talking about it and finding the kind of rules that suit everyone. 

Thank you very much for coming out.

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