IGF 2018 WS #324 “The Open, Free Internet” is for EVERY stakeholder


Other - 90 Min
Format description: Interactive Expert Session

Organizer 1: Mariko Kobayashi, Keio University
Organizer 2: Hirotaka Nakajima, Mercari, Inc.

Speaker 1: Sanja Kelly, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Thomas Grob, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers: 

Speaker 3: Guy Berger, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Lillian Nalwoga, Technical Community, African Group

Speaker 5: Olivier Bringer, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Moderator: Mariko Kobayashi, Business Sector, Asia Pacific region(APAC)


The Internet is one of the best platforms to challenge the new and creative idea at any time. U.N. Suitable Development Goals(SDGs) has adopted and came into force in 2016 and nations all over the world decided to commit seventeen goals in various areas. To accomplish these goals, “the freedom on the Internet” is inevitable.

However, with the growing number of blocking, filtering and Internet Shutdown by some governments’ policy, and “Freedom on the Internet” is now threatened. According to ”2017 Freedom on the Net report,” which is released by Freedom House indicates that only  23% of the world’s Internet users are assessed as “Free.” Although some countries which are assessed as “Free,” their situation is started to be changed. Those policies or laws can be a trigger to allow more intervention to the Internet, and the impact will spread from economy to the evolution of technology.

The problem here is that, when people discuss this kind of issue, they sometimes tend to criticize the government, a certain organization, company or a person emotionally. As a result, it is difficult to build a “multi-stakeholder” dialogue between each stakeholder. Therefore, this session will focus on discussing and appealing the advantages of "the freedom on the Internet," instead of insisting "anti-blocking or anti-censorship." We believe that the positive discussion will be effective to seek the solution and fill those gaps. As a result, it will encourage multi-stakeholder discussion on this subject.

- Part1: What are the benefits of  “The Open, Free Internet” for each stakeholder?
- [Business Sector(ISP)] How do ISPs make use of  “The Open, Free Internet” on their business? What is the benefits for the company to emphasize the freedom of economic activities on the Internet? 
- [Intergovernmental Organization]What does  “The Open, Free Internet” provide benefits to accomplish SDGs? 
- [Tech community] Why  “The Open, Free Internet” is essential for the evolution of technology and community?
-  [Civil Society]What kind of benefits for users to claim  “The Open, Free Internet”? 

- Part2: How can we reflect our discussion of the policies? How can we appeal the benefits above to policymakers and executives by cooperating across stakeholders using IGF community? Is there any idea which you plan to work on or a case study that worked well?

Session Content: 

The goal of this workshop will summarize the "benefits of freedom on the internet" form each stakeholder, and consider how to appeal the benefits to the government and executives of companies so that it reflects on actual policies which is related to censorship, Internet Shutdown or contents blocking. For the introduction(10min), a moderator briefly explains the background of the issue which is described in “relevance of issues” and share a goal for this workshop. Regarding the first part(40min), we plan to share the current status of “the freedom on the Internet,” such as contents blocking, net neutrality and Internet Shutdown with global experts. The first part will be dedicated to understanding how “the freedom on the Internet” is essential for each stakeholder, and how they can commit to it. This workshop emphasizes the interactive discussion between experts and participants. Each expert shares the view, and audiences freely stand on the Open Mike and ask a question or their opinion. The purpose of this part is to let people know other stakeholders’ status and perspectives and enhance the “multistakeholderism” to deal with the issue. The second part(35min) will discuss how to appeal the benefits of “the freedom on the Internet” to policymakers or executives, and how to reflect our discussions to policies. The goal of this part is that each participant and expert will define the role to contribute this issue. We also expect they will bring back to the local community, and discuss in their local community. At the end of this workshop(5min), we shortly summarize the discussion and concludes the next step we can go forward.


 Ms. Sanja Kelly(Civil Society): A starting point of this workshop is the report which was published by Freedom House in 2017. She is the right expert to share the most updated situation as a director for “Freedom on the Net.” We expect she will tell us how benefits civil society(the Internet user) can gain from “the freedom on the Internet.” She also has enough experience to engage with various governments and international organizations, and she will provide us with good insight into how to appeal to policymakers. 

Mr. Thomas Grob(Business sector):
We invited a European ISP for our workshop, since the venue of IGF2018 will be in Europe region Mr.Thomas, as Senior Expert for Regulatory Strategy at Deutsche Telekom AG, covers various area related to the issue of the workshop, such as Net Neutrality, blocking effects, and he also well know about the “blocking vs. the Open Internet EU regulation.” It is hard for some non-technical people to grasp the ISP issue, and we expect he will help to make them understood what is good for ISP companies to keep "openness and freedom on the Internet." 

We expect Mr. Guy Berger(Intergovernmental organization) talks about "How does the 'The Open, Free Internet' have a good impact on educational, scientific and cultural areas" from the perspective of the UNESCO and "How is 'The Open and Free Internet' is related to accomplishing SDGs?."

We also invite Ms. Lillian Nalwoga(Tech Community), who is the president of ISOC Uganda chapter, and she has profound experiences on the discussion of the Internet Shutdown. AFRINIC26 concluded their discussion of the Internet shutdown as "Nobody supports Internet shutdown. On the other hand, rather than emotionally criticizing, there is an economic impact on Internet shutdown, it is constructive to encourage the government to comprehend that point fully understanding that," and we believe this view is relevant to our workshop. We expect she will help participants’ to understand how “the freedom on the Internet” encourages the evolution of the technology.


Stakeholder: We cover, civil society, Intergovernmental organization, private sector(ISP), Tech community. Organizers belong to Academia and private industry (selling app company) in experts and organizers. We only lose "government" for our team, so we would like to encourage several government to attend this workshop as a participant. Regions: Africa(1), APAC(2), Europe(2), North America(1), Intergovenmental organization(1) Gender: 3(female) : 4(male) including organizers. Newcomer: IGF2018 will be the first meeting to join the global IGF community for two speakers and both organizers. Youth: One speaker and two organizers are active in the Internet Governance of APAC as a young. Besides, we would like to encourage [email protected] Programme to join in our workshop and ask their opinion from the young perspective.

Online Participation: 

Both online and on-site participants, will have equal priority, and we propose to use only chat system to support online participants since the quality of the Internet connection from each country should be unstable, and online chat system enables everyone to track the comments. We suppose to follow the format like below when online participants want to post. When they put a comment or discussion, an online moderator read your name, nation, company/organization and the comments.

【Format】 ------------------------------------------------------

Name, Nation, company/organization



For instance,


Mariko, Japan, Keio Univ.

I’d like to ask….


This format enables an online organizer to read “who are you” and “What you want to ask or comment” in front of the open mic. Mr. Hirotaka Nakajima, who has both Tech and Internet Governance background, and collaborator of this workshop will moderate the online discussion, since he deeply has discussed with a workshop organizer, and understand the background of the issue and have the same perception as an on-site moderator(who is also an organizer of this workshop.) We explain more detail about how to work together between onsite and online moderator in the next question "XV. Discussion facilitation".

Discussion Facilitation: 

Firstly, to realize the form of this session “Interactive Expert discussion” which means helping participants to understand the issue deeply, and encouraging the discussion among participants, not only participants and experts. We plan to prepare several “Open Mike” in the room to encourage this style of debate, and every audience can stand in line and ask a question or comment. Secondly, we will display the screen of Google hangout during our workshop to make it easier for onsite participants and speakers to track comments from online participants. The online moderator will pick up each comment and help them to follow the discussion. To treat both onsite and online participants equally as possible, both moderators have to determine which participants and a speaker will speak the next. To accomplish the management, we chose both online and onsite moderators who have collaborated with each other for a long time and know well about the aim of this workshop.

Onsite Moderator: 

Mariko Kobayashi

Online Moderator: 

Hirotaka Nakajima


Mariko Kobayashi


Overview: How can we discuss issues such as censorship, Internet Shutdown or contents blocking from a positive perspective  “The Open, Free Internet”? 

- Introduction[10min]: A moderator briefly introduces experts to the participants and explain background issues.

- Part1[40min]:  
We invite experts from various stakeholder such as a business sector, a tech community, an intergovernmental organization, and a civil society, and each of them will share what kind of benefits does  "The Open, Free Internet" bring for their stakeholder. At the end of this part, a moderator summerize topics which discussed and use it for discussion of part2.

- Part2[30min]:
This part focuses on to discuss outreach for policymakers, regulators, and executives. We will include several people from governments and how to build a dialogue.

- How can we appeal the benefits above to policymakers and executives by cooperating across stakeholders and reflect it to actual ICT policy?
- Is there any idea which you plan to work on or a case study that worked well?

- Wrap up[10min]  :
Summarize the discussion and discuss how to output them to the public.



- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.):  Interactive Expert Session


- Title: “Freedom of the Internet” is for EVERY stakeholder


- Date & Time: 9:00-10:30, November 12(Day1)


- Organizer(s): Mariko Kobayashi, Hirotaka Nakajima


• Chair/Moderator:Mariko Kobayashi(on-site), Hirotaka Nakajima(online)


- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Mariko Kobayashi


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

• Sanja Kelly(F), Freedom House

• Thomas Grob(M), Deutsche Telekom AG

• Lillian Nalwoga(F), ISOC Uganda

• Guy Berger(M), UNESCO

• Olivier Bringer(M), European Commission


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

• Subtheme (as listed here): MULTISTAKEHOLDERISM

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

• “The Open, Free Internet” encourages the digital economy, the evolution of technology, express and share ideas and accomplishing SDGs.

• Appealing benefits of "The Open, Free Internet" is an effective way to build a “multi-stakeholder” dialogue between policymakers and several stakeholders rather than only criticizing about issues, such as blocking, filtering and Internet Shutdown. 


- 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…


  • According to the latest “Freedom on the Net” report, growing number of restrictions on the Internet in election or protests, and Website registration is even needed in Cambodia.
  • An expert from UNESCO mentioned that the Internet should be based on the human right according to “INTERNET UNIVERSALITY”  and “ROAM model” which is an important concept to understand UNESCO thoughts. He also mentioned an Open Internet means open markets, open software, open educational resources and it enables “Free Flow of the idea(audio, music, art…).”
  • According to an expert from the African Tech community, although AFNIC and ISOC have published statements against the Internet Shutdown, governments argue “the national security” and tech communities fears to speak out.
  • An expert from the business sector(ISP) mentioned that they have a responsibility for customers and competitive market to sell access to the Internet, and do not want to do any censorship. According to the recent case study in Europe.
  • An expert from European Commission told us that EC asks network operators(ISPs) to remove illegal content via take-down notice, but has safeguards in case content removed by mistake.



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

- SDGs can be a common purpose for both governments and business sectors.

  • Open membership is needed for some forums to realize the multi-stakeholder participation in the discussion.


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

We realized that there is the structure of “The Open, Free Internet v.s. National security” from a dialogue between policymakers and other stakeholders in our workshop. An expert from Intergovernmental organization said “If you want to have rights, accessibility, and open Internet, you need multi-stakeholder process“ and IGF should be the place for it.


- Please estimate the total number of participants. 

approximately 40-50


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

Participants: 3:7 

The panel was also gender balanced with three out of five speakers


  • To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]
  • Women speaker actively speaks on the open mic from both participants and speakers. We have diverse participants from each stakeholder,  including several people from governments and one regulator attend our workshop. After organizing the workshop, there is a contact from several governments. 
Session Time: 
Monday, 12 November, 2018 - 09:00 to 10:30
Salle X

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

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