IGF 2019 WS #378 Controversial emerging issues & their impact on Internet Gov

Organizer 1: Raúl Echeberría , Independent
Organizer 2: Carolina Aguerre, San Andrés University
Organizer 3: Gry Hasselbalch, DataEthics.eu

Speaker 1: Jovan Kurbalija, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Garcia Garcia Ramilo, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Constance Bommelaer, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Dominique Lazanski, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

What are the issues that are challenging existing Internet governance mechanisms and why?

Relevance to Theme: HIGH.

There is a perception broadly spread across different stakeholders groups, that there are many issues that are challenging existing Internet Governance arrangements.
It is time to start to land this discussion toward some concrete proposals as to how these issues challenge, co-exist and/or become integrated into the current Internet governance ecosystem and how this environment should adapt to accommodate these topics with their respective agendas and institutional trajectories.
The workshop aims to make progresses on what are the internet governance components of the often called Emerging Issues

Relevance to Internet Governance: Very High
This is a core discussion about Internet Governance and its evolution.
Some of the new challenges are more oriented to security, others to inclusion, and most to privacy and data management.
While we choose Data Governance as the main theme, it is clear that this discussion is relevant to the 3 themes prioritized by the MAG for IGF 2019.


Debate - Classroom - 90 Min

Description: It is clear that issues like Artificial Intelligence, the spread of the Internet of Things, massive personal data collection, disinformation campaigns, large scale cyber-attacks, to name a few, are all in the headlines. Although these are not new, they have become highly contentious and have reached the broader public agenda. These topics are also beginning to undermine in some contexts the very idea that being online is beneficial. These issues expose sensitive concerns that have consequences not only on individuals, but also on the social and political order as we know it. This session aims to detect how the different procedures to tackle these problems can have an impact on Internet governance and its evolving ecosystem.

The discussions about these themes have unfolded at great speed in the last couple of years. There are many institutional projects promoted by different stakeholder groups on AI, IoT, global cybersecurity, etc. Some of these are outside the margins of what one would label the Internet governance ecosystem, others attempt to become more integrated into the loose regime complex of Internet governance. But in both scenarios, it is unclear what are the consequences for existing Internet governance arrangements, including the architecture of the network.

This workshop aims to assess the current scenario of these controversial “emerging issues” on the IG ecosystem and to produce a map of the needs to address for governance arrangements. Discussion will be more about the What than the How complementing the work of other working groups, forums and committees.

The objective is to have an open exchange of ideas, that might even challenge preconceptions on some of these issues in an atmosphere of trust, respect and freedom.

Expected Outcomes: The outcome expected is a list of identified ideas, needs and suggestions that could be used carefully in other environments, taken as what they are: open ideas to feed into other discussions. We expect that together with the outcomes of other processes like the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, UNESCO AI process, European AI principles and the groups that are discussing the strategic plan of the IGF and possible IGF improvements, this could become another important piece to contribute to continue strengthening the Internet governance ecosystem.

Onsite Moderator: 

Gry Hasselbalch, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Raúl Echeberría , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Carolina Aguerre, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session will be very interactive, the moderators will be very strict with the use of the time and both on-site and remote audiences will be strongly encouraged to participate.
As explained below, participants will be also encouraged to use social networks as a way to improve their participation.

Online Participation: 

Every time the floor is opened to the participation of the audience, the moderators will remark that the call is for on site and remote participants. Same treatment will be given to both kind of participants.
Additionally, the remote audience will be explicitly encouraged to use the platforms and tools explained in point 16.c

Proposed Additional Tools: Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and specific hashtags will be used in order to encourage remote participation and collect comments from remote participants. The session will be distributed in specific mailing lists and we will ask for support from our panelists to distribute among their contacts.

The information will be disseminated a few weeks before the event so that participants can schedule it accordingly and it will be reinforced the week prior to the session and the day before. The questions received from the floor and the online platform will be forwarded to the panel moderator. The online moderator will be summarizing key aspects of the discussion in order to engage remote participants into the debate.


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