IGF 2018 WS #319 Regulations for a neutral and open Internet at the age of online platforms

Format: 

Panel - 90 Min

Subtheme: 

Other
Sub-theme description: Internet regulation

Organizer 1: Paula Forteza, Assemblée Nationale
Organizer 2: Lucien M. CASTEX, ISOC
Organizer 3: Mauricio Mejia , Assemblée Nationale

Speaker 1: Paula Forteza, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Sebastien Soriano, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Carolyn Nguyen, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Luca Belli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Chérif Diallo, Government, African Group

Additional Speakers: 

Théodore Christakis, Professor of Law and member of the French Digital Council.

Luca Belli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Relevance: 

Internet Regulation is at the crossroad of many debates related to the Internet Governance. Whether we talk about infrastructure or behaviours, we are constantly discussing which regulatory model is best adapted to the fast changing and global interconnected system that is the Internet. The “traditional” forms of regulation are facing some limits and challenges as there are some concerns about the efficiency of rigid legislative regulations or the lack of any legislative regulation with the US stepping back on a neutral and decentralized Internet. With more than 4 billion users around the world, it is essential to find the adequate regulation that allows protection and innovation. The issues at stake are therefore important, and constantly evolving. They also have multiple consequences: from the individual user to the big stakeholders like Google or the States, the future of internet regulation is a global question - with a global impact. The goal of this workshop is to put in perspective the different regulatory methods with its own challenges and opportunities. This panel will explore the best practices to overcome the present challenges of Internet regulation and will open a debate on the way that we, as a global community, should take to implement an adapted, effective and resilient regulation.

Session Content: 

This panel will explore the different regulatory frameworks applied to the Internet, to open the discussion on how to think about norms and standards when facing a global, decentralized, social and fast-developing technology.

The session will focus specifically on the the rise of the digital platform economy and its challenges. Indeed, over the last two decades, a few online platforms have managed to become some of the most powerful organisations in the world. Those platforms have eased citizens’ access to information, cultural goods, as well as opened up new business opportunities and reduced transaction costs. They have managed to do so because of their distinctive model of production that breaks with the paradigms of the traditional economy : they generate large flows of data, host engaged communities, optimizes externalities and govern ecosystems. These features have even allowed few platforms to acquire a phenomenal influence over Internet users, individuals and professionals alike. Yet, their development has raised various concerns mostly related to the asymmetry of information and power between them and those who rely on their infrastructures to get the relevant information, good, or service. Because of this, there are growing calls within the policy realm and beyond to develop new means to hold them accountable to society. Regulators are currently ill-equipped to fulfil this duty. This session also aims at encouraging various stakeholders to share their ideas on how to upgrade our regulatory frameworks to hold online platforms more accountable.

We will start by understanding the challenges and different perspectives when applying a traditional State centered regulation. From Brazil’s Marco Civil that introduced the internet’s first bill of rights to the multilateral legislation for data protection in Europe, we have a myriad of regulatory frameworks from around the world to draw some conclusions on its challenges and opportunities.

The panel will follow with a second framework that can come as a support to the traditional state centered regulation. A data-driven regulatory method based on an increased data transparency, a stronger access to information and a user-empowered approach. This crowdsourced, multi-actor approach allows traditional regulators to tap on the collective intelligence and the available data to set up more flexible, adapted and user-centered norms and standards. Self-regulation encompasses a large number of concepts such as codes of conduct, model contracts, codes of ethics, memorandum of understanding, technical or administrative standards, certification or labelling systems and it is considered by some actors like the most effective tool against harmful and illicit content on the internet. A systematic, self-regulation-based approach is especially interesting as an alternative on highly intrusive regulations, with laws differing across borders and short-term solutions. In this perspective, we could see the Internet as a market that self-regulates itself. The interactions between users- backed by a conduct code, government support and filtering technology- could lead to a form a coasian bargaining eliminating bad externalities and in fine to some sort of walrasian equilibrium of the Internet.

The discussion will end with a more philosophical and sociological alternative to the latter regulatory approaches. A democratic framework or a bottom-up regulation could be presented as an alternative to rigid, state centered, national or private regulatory methods. By empowering users through traditional legislation like the GDPR and by providing tools to better understand the technological interface like data and algorithm transparency, civil society could act as a regulator. The tools put in place by the self-regulation method, could also help civil society to demand for more control or to reverse the power relation established by the platforms. This democratic and bottom-up approach will allow users to take back control of their own data and could set up more adequate and organic guidelines and standards to regulate the uses of the Internet and the behaviors online.

In conclusion, this panel will have drawn a complete picture of the different regulatory methods applied today to the Internet: a traditional state centered legislation, a technological regulation through data, a private self-regulatory vision and a bottom-up approach by civil society.

The moderator will then open the floor for interaction with the public to engage in a discussion about the future of internet regulation.

Agenda:

- Introduction (10 min) by Paula Forteza (Assemblée Nationale)

- State / traditional regulation (10 min) by Chérif Diallo (Senegalese Government)

- Data-driven regulation (10 min) by Sebastien Soriano (ARCEP)

- Private sector perspective (10 min) by Carolyn Nguyen (Microsoft)

- Democratic and collaborative regulation (10 min) by Luca Belli

- Conclusion (10 min) by Theodore Christakis, Professor of Law and member of the French Digital Council

- Q&A and debate moderated by Lucien Castex (ISOC) (30 min)

Interventions: 

Paula Forteza, french member of the Parliament will bring her expertise on legislative regulation as rapporteur of the French implementation of the GDPR and as part of the working group on the Constitutional revision to include a digital bill of rights.

Théodore Christakis , Member of the French Digital Council (independent advisory commission created to address all the questions set up by the development of the digital in society and economy) will discuss about the need of new digital regulations at the age of online platforms and artificial intelligence.

Chérif Diallo, Director of ICT at the Telecommunication Ministry in Senegal, will bring his expertise on a State centered, traditional regulation and will be able to share with the public the recent framework put in place in Senegal.

Sebastien Soriano, president of the french regulator ARCEP, will bring his expertise and field knowledge on the data-driven regulation approach, put in place by the ARCEP.

Carolyn Nguyen, Technology Policy Director at Microsoft and ICC Digital Economy Commission Vice-Chair, will share the private sector vision and she will be able to contribute to the general debate as per her experience on the Internet Governance process.

Luca Belli, is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Rio de Janeiro and will share the point of view of a civil society active member on how to build up a more democratic, more collaborative regulatory model based on the empowerment of civil society especially at the age of online platforms.

Lucien Castex, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and ISOC France, will moderate this session. His knowledge on a variety of issues concerning internet Governance and Internet regulation will be an asset to moderate the debate and enhance public participation.

Francesca Musiani, ISOC France will moderate the online participation.

Diversity: 

This workshop aims to gather a variety of perspectives and speakers to address the question of Internet regulation. Each stakeholder group will be represented and speakers will represent different geographical,cultural and policy perspectives. As a first time proposer, we think that we can bring some new insights on the matter and help to diversify the contents proposed during the IGF. The subject chosen is indeed a subject that impacts multiple stakeholders and it will be presented by a very diverse panel gathering government/legislative, technical, academia, business and civil society communities. This will introduce new horizons and perspective in the new edition of the IGF. The proposer has a practical experience on Internet regulation as per her work at the French Parliament (implementation of GDPR and inclusion of net neutrality in the French Constitution). Furthermore, we propose a gender balanced panel, that groups experts from different geographic zones: Europe, North America and Asia. Organizers will also ensure that the issue is tackled from different points of view in a way that the workshop would cover every aspect of the debate.

Online Participation: 

The remote moderator will be involved throughout workshop to include participation from online viewers. The onsite moderator will frequently communicate with the remote moderator during the session to ensure remote participants’ views/questions are reflected and integrated to the discussion, specially suring the Q&A sequence. This will ensure remote participations are given the opportunity to interact with multiple experts remotely. Organizers have specially invited a participant to act as the remote moderator and will share information with the remote moderator about training sessions for remote participation at IGF and ensure they have all the necessary information. Co-organizers will ensure that the workshop is promoted in advance to the wider community to give remote participants the opportunity to prepare questions and interventions in advance. We can include the intervention from youth participants from Latin America and Africa to increase diversity and bring fresh opinions and questions to the debate. Any handouts prepared in advance for the panel will be shared with remote participants at the start of the session so that they have the necessary material to participate.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The list below provides examples of the ways discussion and presentation will be facilitated amongst speakers, audience members, and online participants and ensure the session format is used to its optimum: Seating: The panel of experts will debate share their expertise and their vision on Internet regulation sitting at the same table so the participants can see and hear them. It will be an effective way to compare and contrast the various positions of the panel. The moderator will open the discussion with a general review of the policy question and then speakers will provide their remarks on the question and then address questions from the moderator. At least 30 minutes will be allowed for questions/comments from the audience. Media: The organizers will explore the use of visuals (i.e. PowerPoint slides, images,) to animate the session and aid those whose native language may not be English. Experts who have short video material to share will be encouraged to help animate discussion and debate on these examples. Video material may also be considered to help engage remote participants. Preparation: A prep call will be organised for all speakers, moderators and co-organisers in advance of the workshop so that everyone has a chance to meet, share views and prepare for the session. Given the varied background of discussants and audience members, organisers will explore introducing questions to animate discussion on social media in the run up to the workshop. This will introduce the subject, encourage conversation and create links to other dialogues on digital skills taking place in other forums to create awareness and help prepare in-person and remote participants for the workshop. The moderator will have questions prepared in advance to encourage interaction among invited experts and between participants, if conversation were to stall. Moderator: The moderator is an expert, well-informed and experienced in animating multistakeholder discussions. The remote moderator will play an important role in sharing the ideas of remote speakers/participants. At the end of the session, the moderator will encourage questions from the audience in order to open the debate and bring new perspectives into the discussion. This will also invite the speakers to reflect differently on the matter and think out of the box.

Onsite Moderator: 

Lucien Castex

Online Moderator: 

Francesca Musiani, ISOC France (Technical Community) / CNRS (Academia) : [email protected]

Rapporteur: 

Mauricio Mejia

Report: 

IGF 2018 Pre-Session Synthesis & Short Report Template

Pre-Session Synthesis Due: 2 November 2018

Short Report Due: Within 12 hours of when session is held

[sample report here]

 

 

 

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.):  Workshop Panel 90 min - WS #319

 

- Title: Regulations for a neutral and open Internet at the age of online platforms

 

- Date & Time: Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 - 15:00 to 16:30

- Organizer(s): Paula Forteza, Assemblée Nationale / Lucien M. CASTEX, Internet Society France / Salwa Toko, Conseil national du Numérique

 

- Chair/Moderator: Lucien M. CASTEX, Internet Society France

 

- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Mauricio Mejia , Assemblée Nationale

 

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

 

Speaker 1: Paula Forteza, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG), French Member of Parliament, Female

Speaker 2: Sebastien Soriano, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG), French Telecom regulator ARCEP, Male

Speaker 3: Carolyn Nguyen, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG), Microsoft, Female

Speaker 4: Luca Belli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School, Rio de Janeiro, Male

Speaker 5: Chérif Diallo, Government, African Group, Ministère des Postes et Télécommunications, Male

Speaker 6 : Salwa Toko , French Digital Council - Conseil national du Numérique Female

 

 

- Theme (as listed here): Evolution of Internet Governance

 

- Subtheme (as listed here): legal & regulatory issues

 

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]

1. We need to improve our regulatory frameworks to hold online platforms more accountable.

2. As of today, we have different regulatory methods applied to the Internet: a traditional state-centred legislation, a technological regulation through data, a private self-regulatory vision and a bottom-up approach by civil society and the technical community.

3. We need a more flexible, adapted regulatory mix that fosters innovation whilst holding online platforms accountable, allowing users to control the use of their data, and keeping the internet safe and open for everyone.  That is why we need to consider the principles of loyalty and transparency in order to reach a fair and open digital environment, deploy a bottom-up approach and a data-driven real-time regulation, develop new tools, as well as build channels of cooperation for regulators.

 

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [150 words] Examples: There was broad support for the view that…; Many [or some] indicated that…; Some supported XX, while others noted YY…; No agreement…

 

- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [100 words]

 

- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [75 words]

 

- Please estimate the total number of participants.

 

- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

 

- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

 

Session Time: 
Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 - 15:00 to 16:30
Room: 
Salle III

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

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