IGF 2019 WS #343 Was the Internet a mistake? Humans x Technologies

Organizer 1: Franco Giandana Gigena, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Organizer 2: Bruna Santos , Coding Rights
Organizer 3: Phillips Dustin, ICANNWiki
Organizer 4: Louise Marie Hurel, Igarapé Institute

Speaker 1: Franco Giandana Gigena, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Bruna Santos , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Phillips Dustin, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Louise Marie Hurel, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Policy Question(s): 

Is it possible to retrieve the romantic ideas that made the internet popular 20 years ago?

To what extent do the societal issues that the Internet is being blamed for - i.e. hate speech, vaw online - needs regulatory specific remedies ? Will regulation fix these problems ?

Can we recognise globalised regulatory trends that put in danger basic human rights online? Are they possible to structure to facilitate their tracking? How do we make the picture easier for the public to engage in discussion?

Was is the responsibility of the Users? What should the digital market be doing to help us increase connectivity and remedy the impact of partial access to Internet? What is the role of civil society and the academic sector?

Relevance to Theme: Digital Inclusion is not only about access or connectivity, but it also means allowing anyone that intends to participate at the Internet Governance discussion table to do so, which is not easy due to the set of skills and confidence that is needed to truly engage in relevant participation. For that, not only we recognise the need of listing and describing a broad set of key issues concerning the Internet Governance landscape, but also creating an easy path to those still not participating to be able to do so. Furthermore, we believe that the "general public" also have the sensibility to recognise important Internet Governance issues, so we are putting out a set of polls before and after the IGF session to foster participation and to recognise collectively which topics to work on first.

Relevance to Internet Governance: In the world of Internet governance, there has been a massive global movement to regulate the Internet, by governments that have both good and bad intentions. These regulations already have and threaten to continue to restrict the way the Internet operates, including at a technical and protocological level. Additionally, some of these actions are prioritizing some rights over others. For example, the right to be forgotten can give individuals more control over their information online, but also can restrict others freedom of expression and freedom to access information.

The conditions that governments are trying to treat are severe, however, the question should be are they treating the symptoms or the cause of these issues, and to what extent do the side effects of this treatment harm individual and collective rights, and the global, interoperable Internet.


Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Description: The Internet intersects with more aspects of our lives every day, in ways that are both direct and indirect. As we travel further down the digital road, we are increasingly realizing that societal problems are traveling in the same direction, in some cases surpassing us on this journey. With this present submission, as explained above, we intend to discuss societal and infrastructural approaches to the same problems that often affect the Internet, as well as the possible remedies available. Internet related experiences these days are crafted to feed consumers and end-users needs and sell products in opposition to the initial conception of an open, free and interoperable arena that belongs to everyone. so the question is: are we still able to promote a free roaming and purely interest-driven or thematic discussions around the web? Other than that, we intend to bring back to the discussion common sense with a twist of philosophy and/or historical analysis to bring down the walls that are being built around freedom of expression, fair use of Copyrighted content, due process and empathy, to not only show what could happen if the internet keeps being shaped by these colluding interests, but also which is the most constructive nature of the globalised human being, such as tolerance and acceptance.

For that, organizers will collect thoughts and problems around the following themes: (a) Platform for exercising collective and individual rights; (b) Shrinking of online civic space; (c) connectivity; (d) Internet of everything (hyperconnectivity); (e) Societal aspects of the network; and (f) Neutral technologies.

2.What are the problems and how are we contributing to them ?
3.Are there regulatory remedies available ?

Expected Outcomes: With the discussions and stakeholders input discussed at this present submission, we aim to develop better guidelines and communication strategies that would allow us to approach the broad public about the themes we address during the session. Therefore, the inputs brought by this present session would instrument capacity building tailor-made content, with simplified questions and definitions that would be more palatable to the non tech-policy public. By 'capacity building tailor made content we mean blog posts and social media content to be posted at wasabibrothers.ninja and other platforms related to our activities.

Onsite Moderator: 

Rocio Laurin, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

David Morar, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Franco Giandana Gigena, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Discussion Facilitation: 

We will be putting out a set of preliminary polls in order to organise the session taking into account the list of themes described in this proposal and the themes that arise from the interaction with users regarding the selection they do on the main internet issues they are able to recognise. During the session, we will split the time in order to have a quick introduction on the current status of these selected issues and right after, divide the room into different groups in order for each of them to address one of them (using color cards to provide some standard options”), with the idea of creating summary tables to share at the end of the session, at the conclusion stage.

Online Participation: 

Not determined yet.


GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions