IGF 2019 WS #345 Resilient Digital Democracy: the role of internet standards

Organizer 1: Nicolas Chagny, Internet Society France
Organizer 2: Julien Rossi, University of Szeged
Organizer 3: Henri Isaac,
Organizer 4: Lucien M. CASTEX, ISOC

Speaker 1: Tara Whalen, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Ndeye Maimouna DIOP, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Benoit Ampeau, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Raquel Gatto, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Policy Question(s): 

The overarching question discussed by the panel will be: How can techno-policy standards, among others in the field of data privacy and data protection, participate in supporting the resilience of the rule of law and human rights in a democratic and inclusive digital societies?

The policy questions which will be addressed are:
- Human rights
- Data privacy & protection
- Internet protocols
- The collaboration of different stakeholders to create resilient standards

Relevance to Theme: Resilience is the capacity of a system react to an attack and recover. Achieving resilience in communication systems was the one of main drives behind the invention of distributed systems. The Internet is now a key infrastructure, driving growth and innovation worldwide. People and businesses rely on it to communicate, share ideas, and do business. However, the Internet has been fertile ground for new cyberthreats. Pervasive monitoring has been recognised as a threat by the technical community in RFC 7258. Recent research in Security Studies by Raab et al. (2015, 2018) has shown that privacy and data protection properties of social systems are key elements in achieving the societal resilience of democratic values and fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom from unfair discrimination. Other leading-edge research (see: Doty and Mulligan, 2013) has shown the role played by some Internet standards in ensuring privacy and data protection properties are embedded into Internet protocols and infrastructure. Finally, other branches of research have shown that architectural choices in the design of Internet infrastructure affect privacy and data protection properties of the system, and thus the capacity of affected societies to develop resilient democratic structures (Musiani, Cogburn, DeNardis and Levinson, 2016).

This panel would like to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders and across communities in Internet governance to further our common understanding of the relation between democracy, resilience, privacy and data protection as resilience-enabling properties of digital infrastructure, and the development of techno-policy standards.

Relevance to Internet Governance: By launching a discussion between stakeholders from different communities, geographic areas and cultures, this session would like to explore how to better integrate goals of democratic and human rights resilience in the development of Internet standards affecting properties of the infrastructure, such as data privacy and protection, that are enablers of such resilience. A set of best practices is a desired outcome of this session.


Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Description: Techno-policy standards play a key role in supporting a resilient democratic digital society. Privacy and Data Protection by Design approaches can be transposed into Human Rights by Design approaches, and implemented into the infrastructure through Internet standards. This panel will explore the potential of such standards.


=> Surveillance, Resilience and Privacy in Democratic Societies
The chair and moderator will open the discussion by giving an introduction to recent research results and policy solutions in their fields of expertise.

=> Data Protection and Democratic Resilience : How data protection and privacy protection contributes to the strengthening of democratic values and fundamental rights.

=> Web/Internet Standards, Resilience and Human Rights

=> Human Rights Considerations in Web Protocols: what methodology could be implemented? How human rights and democratic values can be turned into properties of a communication system. This talk will reflect on recent work on human rights in IRTF HRCIP and W3C PING.

=> Infrastructure, Democratic Resilience and Free Speech
In this talk, a leading expert will give a report on changes that can be observed in communication infrastructure in war-torn regions, and how Privacy Enhancing Technologies, especially once embedded into digital infrastructure, can help affected users and communities adopt resilient behaviours to protect their fundamental rights, especially their right to free speech and access to information.

=> Q&A and debate moderated by the chair and the online moderator (40 min)

Expected Outcomes: The workshop aim at producing concrete suggestion on how Internet protocols can preserve the resiliency of democracy.

As such, following an in-depth policy discussion between high-level stakeholders coming from different backgrounds, and taking into account discussions with the audience, rapporteurs will draw from these discussions to propose a number of ideas and best practices that can be implemented in internet governance fora in order to further the efficiency of mechanisms ensuring Internet protocols are developed in a way that preserves the resilient capacities of democracy and human rights in digital societies.

Onsite Moderator: 

Lucien M. CASTEX, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Julien Rossi, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

Preparation calls: Several preparation calls will be organized in advance of the workshop to enhance interaction and share views. A session dedicated to privacy standards in the European context will also be organized during the French Internet Governance Forum foreseen on July 4th. The present session aim to broaden the discussion to implement a global approach.

Moderation and online tools: The chair and moderator are policy experts and well versed in animating multistakeholder discussions at the global level. Question will be prepared in advance to engage both the audience and speakers to think out of the box.

We also aim at engaging the audience by enabling them to contribute directly to the workshop. We plan to use complementary tools in order to allow participants to vote in real time (mobile polling app and website directly accessible in the participant browser) on questions addressed to the panelist. The online moderator will manage a Q&A tool to allow direct interaction with audience remotely.

The workshop will be promoted in advance through social media networks and various online media platforms, including the organizers’ own websites.

Online Participation: 

The remote moderator will be involved throughout the session to enhance remote participation. Both chair and moderator will ensure views and reactions of remote participants are reflected in the discussion. The remote moderator will also attend IGF training sessions.

Remote participants will also be given the opportunity to participate, on equal footing, to online polling (mobile polling app and Q&A questions).

Proposed Additional Tools: We plan to use complementary tools in order to allow participants to vote in real time in particular the mobile polling app Mentimeter.

We also plan to use social media platforms to promote the workshop in particular remote participation and create awareness.

A number of documents will also be shared online (draft RFC, academic literature and ressources)


GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals