IGF 2019 WS #151 Law enforcement online: Challenges for content regulators

Organizer 1: Oli Bird, Ofcom
Organizer 2: Matzneller Peter, Die Medienanstalten (DLM)

Speaker 1: Kevin Bakhurst, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Tobias Schmid, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Marie-Teresa Weber, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

How should regulatory authorities with duties to regulate content in order to secure public policy objectives and safeguard compliance with core European values, approach the particular challenges presented by the increasing production and consumption of content via the internet?
How can the rights to freedom of expression be balanced by regulators against the potential harms from some types of content?
How can models of co-regulation and participatory regulation be employed, to harness the agility and expertise of internet actors, while giving sufficient confidence to regulators/policymakers and to the public?

Relevance to Theme: The regulatory and policy issues to be discussed form an important part of the broader set of issues around security and safety for internet users, in particular the safety of consumers and protection of minors using internet services.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Governments across the world, and in particular the national Governments of this session's participants, are currently developing principles and rules aimed at online content regulation. This session will aim to inform that process, from the particular expert perspective of the experienced content regulator.


Birds of a Feather - Classroom - 60 Min

Description: Both Germany and the UK have seen recent developments and policy discussions around online content regulation. As the established broadcast regulators with responsibilities already extending to some areas of online content, the DLM and Ofcom have a unique expert perspective on these debates. National Regulatory Authorities across the EU and beyond have long been engaged in discussion around online regulation challenges, and the DLM and Ofcom have been active in those discussions, with Tobias Schmid, as Vice Chair of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), currently leading work within that network.

This IGF presents a timely opportunity to continue those discussions with the benefit of broader participation from the multi-stakeholder community at the global level. The inclusion of the stakeholder's perspective, with a speaker joining us from Facebook, will enrich the discussion and provide a valuable technical and practical perspective.

The session will have a flexible agenda, since policy developments are in flux and it will be most useful to be able to respond to recent developments. But the intention is to discuss the challenges of online content regulation broadly, including the application of existing public policy goals and imperatives to new online paradigms of content creation and consumption. We anticipate drawing on thinking already done by the DLM and Ofcom, see background papers attached.

Expected Outcomes: To an extent the session is an end in itself: an opportunity to expose a wider set of stakeholders to some of the discussions between regulators that have been held privately or in more local fora over the past couple of years, and for the speakers to garner input from this community, and take it back to their respective organisations. But we anticipate also that expected outcomes could include follow-up initiatives between regulators, stakeholders and other participants, aimed at increasing mutual understanding, and furthering the achievement of public policy goals while respecting fundamental rights.

Onsite Moderator: 

Oli Bird, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Oli Bird, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Oli Bird, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

The discussants will actively invite participation from other attendees.

Online Participation: 

Usage of IGF Tool

Proposed Additional Tools: We plan to use Twitter to broadcast some key excerpts from the discussion and to invite comment.


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions