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IGF 2020 – Day 11 – WS299 Building Digital Security for Journalists

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Hello everyone.

>> Hello.

>> Well, this is Helena Dias.  Thanks for this organisation and how this presentation is about to start.  I want to inform you that the icon in the questions and answers will be there.  In addition, we have to consider the idea of the code of conduct.  So it's just a brief reminder. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you very much and thank you for hosting us. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Hi everybody.  We can see everybody coming in.  Humayra from Switzerland.  Good to have you along. 

Lovely to see you this morning.  I hope the sun is shining in Switzerland.  It's shining in Berlin.  I'm not sure -- sorry about that.  And hey, Daphne, from the Netherlands.  I can't see you.  But good to know that you're here with us. 

Just a bit of an announcement.  We're going to be starting in about 8 minutes.  This is just because we want to make sure that everybody who is meant to be on here is with us. 

One of our panelists is just having a bit of a work around getting into the platform.  So bear with us.  We will be getting started.  I can see many of us also need the time to get started. 

So to those that are slowly trickling in, hello everybody.  A wonderful and warm welcome to you all.  I know that some of you guys are on YouTube as well.  We can't see you.  But we definitely are glad that you are with us.

(Phone ringing)

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Okay.  So Humayra says it's actually a bit miserable in terms of the weather in Bazil today.  While we hope that we can cheer you up on this platform.  Are you a journalist Humayra?  She says hopefully the session will brighten the day.

I can promise you that.  

The session will brighten your day.  Good to see you all everybody.  Just a reminder.  We are starting in a few minutes.  You are not early or too early.  We are just making sure that everybody is fired up and comfortable.  This is part of the budgeting that we made just to get everybody on the platform.  Don't go anywhere.  We were starting in a few seconds. 

Also, our friends on YouTube, we won't be seeing you, but we know that you guys are there.  You must be writing in the comment session.  After this, we will definitely have a look at some of the things that you have contributed in the comment section on YouTube and we will take that into accounts.  So please don't feel neglected at any point in this conversation.  Those who are joining on YouTube, we know you're there and we're excited about that.  In the meantime I'll just do some shout outs to shows who I can see on the Zoom platform. 

Ivan it's good to see you.  He's still not on his video.  But I saw you and nice to have you this. 

Mr. Etta Lee, good to see you as well.  Alexandra, lovely to have you with us. 

Lenna Tee, good to see you. 

Thank you all for joining.  Nicolai.  Nebotsa, so wonderful to see you. 

Hi Nebotsa.  Tell us where you're coming from.  

>> Yes, from Uganda, Kampala

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Good to see you.  You can feel free to write to us in the chat and tell us where you are joining us from.  That will be good for us to know. 

So Ivan is joining us from Kampala

Nebotsa is from Bosnia.  Wonderful.  And Herzegovinia.  Wonderful.  I wonder where everybody else is joining us. 

I suppose by the end of this, each continent will be almost represented.  I'm certain of that.  So that's wonderful. 

And somebody from Russia as well, that's Alexander, good to have you here with us. 

Everybody from the Netherlands.  That's good.  Delt in the Netherlands.  I don't know if you know this, but there is a good neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa, named after this place, Delt.  So I'm more familiar with the Delt in the southern hemisphere.  So good to have you with us. 

I'm watching the clock, and we will be starting in three minutes. 

And from Turkey.  Lovely to have you there.  How is it, Idyll?  Representative of the ISOC and ICANN, the Turkey chapter.  That's fantastic.  We're happy to have you here.  I cannot wait to visit Turkey one day.  I've heard or seen amazing things.  

And Mumbai, India.  How is it?  Good to have you with us.  We love that.  People here keep taking pictures of autumn and calling it an Indian summer or something like that, or Indian spring.  I'm still keen to know what that is as well. 

Welcome. Welcome to you as well, all the way from Mumbai. 

In two minutes, ladies and gentlemen, we are now talking seconds. 

>> You're making it such a positive start of the morning.  It's great. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Well, I'm glad.  I'm just really excited about all of this.  I'm so excited.  Now we have been talking about this now for the last few weeks and I am so glad the day is here.  Because I'm really intrigued at some of the things that we're going to be talking about. 

Look, technology is so fast.  I'm already linking up with people on LinkedIn.  Let's do that.  That is so cool. 

But yes, I'm like this, because I'm really excited about this session.  I'm a journalist myself, one who could really do with a lot of help from you guys and everything that you guys know.  So I'm really looking forward to this conversation.  It's so meaningful. It's very thought provoking.  So I'm really glad that you guys are here.  It will be worth your while.  A lot of planning has gone into this. And I know that it's going to come through.  So I'm glad that you are all here. 

Those of you on YouTube, I might just log into YouTube on my other device and check you out there.  But I still wouldn't be able to see you.  But we're happy that you're here whichever way that you have logged on.  And now we're just waiting to the last minute.  We are waiting for one of our panelists who was having some trouble coming in.  Let us see if she has now made it in. 

Nonetheless, we will begin and I'm sure at some point in the conversation she can be produced.  But I'll just wait for the go ahead. 

Okay.  And welcome everybody to this session.  Hello to all of you joining us from around the world.  We have established in last few minutes that we have people coming from everywhere.  tuck key.  I know there is somebody coming from India.  We have people as welcoming from I saw here in Europe, the Netherlands is well represented so.  Thank you so much everybody for joining us today.  This is of course a part of the 15th annual meeting of the IGF, which is being held virtually this year for very obvious reasons, we are living through this pandemic. 

The theme this year for OGF is Internet for human resilience and solidarity.  Now, this session is being brought to you by reporters without borders.  We're going to be looking into digital security for journalists.  A lot of the people that I believe that are on this platform are journalists or at least have some interest in that regard. 

Now it's been said, and I'm sure you heard this before, that there is no free society without a free press.  Today we are asking the questions about technology.  What tools and technologies exist to protect journalists from digital threats?  Because that's what we're facing now, the digital threats that journalists are facing.  And you're going to be hearing about some of those digital threats and how these can be secured. 

Now, what kind of regulation can be used to prevent Human Rights abuses against journalists in the digital security context? 

We're also looking at the current export control regimes of surveillance technology.  Are these fit for purpose?  And how can we prevent the fragmentation, if you will, of the open Internet into the different Internets. 

Now, I'm your host today.  My name is Christine Mhundwa.  And I'm here in Berlin, Germany.  I'm a journalist with Deutsche Vella. And we are in good company, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm going to introduce you to the people that are on the panel.  As I say their names, perhaps you guys can wave. 

We have Helena Bertho Dias.  She is a journalist from Brazil where she writes on women's rights. 

Helena, give everybody a wave.  You're going to be hearing from her in a few seconds. 

Holmes Chan, he is a freelance journalist in Hong Kong where he writes about culture, law and politics.  Holmes, give everybody a wave. There he is. 

We also have -- you know what? I want to point out that Reporters Without Borders Germany, they have been running this training programme, where they train journalists basically to protect themselves from digital threats.  They get the skills that they needed.  It's actually a programme that is sponsored by the Berlin Centre Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprise.  And Holmes and Helena are fellows of that programme.  So I just point that out.  They have been learning a thing or two about how to protect themselves online from the digital threats, and how to protect themselves and their work.  So good to see you guys. 

We have, I'm not sure she is here yet.  I'll just confirm that now. Gyde Jensen is one of our panelists today.  she's a member of the German Parliament where she heads the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.  We will be hearing from her as well at some point in the conversation. 

And then we have Lisa Dittmer.  I can see you.  Give everybody a wave.  She is with the Advocacy Office for Internet Freedom and Reporters Without Borders, Germany.  So this is the company that you are in, ladies and gentlemen. And we are going to be learning a lot from these people

And I just want to point out that we are like -- we would like for you to be engaged in the conversation as we go along.  So if you have a question at some point, write it in the chat.  And what I'm going to try to do is depending on where we are thematically in the conversation, I'll actually incorporate your question into the conversation.  So unfortunately, our audience on YouTube, you'll miss out on this part of it.  But if you are on Zoom and a question comes to mind for one of the panelists, do indicate.  I will be monitoring the chat as well as the team this is supporting me as well.  And we will try and bring those questions into the conversation as we go along thematically.  So use that chat function. 

And then, of course, I just want to say to you that, you know, this is of course being held with all the decorum of the United Nations.  You know what that means.  I was asked to give you notes of that.  And the session is being recorded.  I will, just in terms of housekeeping, please keep your mics muted at all times.  Make sure that your mic is muted. 

You're welcome to turn on your video, but keep your mic muted so that we will won't be interrupted. 

At this stage, I just want each of our panelists to give a word about the contribution that they will be making to the presentation today. 

And I'm going to be starting with Lisa.  In a few words, well us about your stake in the conversation.  Lisa?

Lisa Dittmer

>> LISA DITTMER:  Hi everyone.  Thanks so much for joining us this morning.  My stake is to contribute a Civil Society perspective on some of the policy issues that relate to the freedom of expression right now (audio fading) worldwide and why we want to be proactive in shaping the sort of structures and standards that we have online. Journalism happens more and more in the digital space, and we want to discuss the specifics of that space. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Okay.  Holmes?

>> CHI HANG CHAN:  Well, my work as a journalist has been amplified by the voices of the people from Hong Kong.  And in order to do that I have to navigate and peacefully understand the digital security landscape.  And that's why I'm very interested in hearing about policies and any potential directions and make sure that we can safely communicate with vulnerable groups of people, especially politically vulnerable groups of people, and how we can safely bring their stories to all  audiences. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  All right.  Thank you for that, Holmes. 

Helena? 

>> HELENA DIAS:  Good morning.  I'll be talking about the attacks on journalists on social media, and how we can start to deal with it. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Okay.  Fantastic.  We look forward to hearing that in terms of the solutions that are also part of that conversation. 

And last person, but not least, at the moment, Andy?

>> ANDY YEN:  Hi.  Yes, so I'm Andy., I'm the founder and CEO of Protonmail, an email service, the largest one in the world, actually. 

I'm going to represent the technology sector and we work on solutions for better privacy and security.  And I also represent a voice from the private sector as well. 

Thank you for having me. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Okay.  Fantastic.  We're looking forward to all of your contributions. 

We do have one other panelist who will be joining us shortly.  That is,  I mentioned her earlier, Gyde Jensen, the German member of Parliament.  She will be assisting us in terms of helping us understand where the conversation is from a regulation perspective, right?  How authorities are responding from a regulation perspective and the discussion about State surveillance that is currently taking place.  She will be joining us.  As soon as she comes on, she will be able to introduce herself. 

But in the moment, let's get straight away into the conversation.  Helena, you told us that you're going to be telling us about some of the digital threats social media journalists are facing. 

Tell us about that now. 

>> HELENA DIAS:  Well, I work on a feminist magazine in Brazil.  And we cover all issues regarding women's rights, including sexual and representative rights.  And last year we published a piece on abortion that caught the attention of the Minister of Feminine agreement and human rights in Brazil. 

She tweeted about it, saying she would denounce us to apologize for writing about the crime of abortion.  And she did so.  And the public minister opened an investigation against us. 

But besides the legal issue, the tweet she did caught the eye of the minister.  They published our personal data, our home addresses, and threatened us, the journalists. 

We also endured a cyberattack that took our site down, which I learned from my fellowship from reporters without borders is a form of censorship that journalists suffer. 

And all of that was really scary for us, because we are small media and we were not prepared to deal with it.  But we survived, and we were the first to learn about digital security to protect ourselves

But What happened to us is really common not only in Brazil but all around the world.  That a Government agent, at the same time, they can have a digital attack on the press and a digital attack publicizing the organisation and making them subject to a crawl attack.  And it happened this week in Brazil with a colleague of a fact checking agency. 

And it's happening mainly to women journalists, the attacks have a specific gender factor.  They attack us, attack our reputation, make threats of rape oor to our families, and create a general situation of fear.  And this violence is digital.  It's analyzed as being online and not serious. 

But it's a real problem.  Our research of the International media shows that nearly one-third of female journalists consider leaving the profession due to digital online attacks.  It's a lot, one-third of female journalists.  And we have to remember today it's essential for the dissemination of information.  And how can we women, and journalists in general, keep doing is our jobs if we don't feel safe in the public debate. 

My cat, sorry. 

And, of course, we can protect ourselves a bit.  We can protect our identification.  Encrypt and protect our data.  But that is just one small part of the problem that we can face. 

The other part is not up to us.  And we are questioning what can social media platforms do to stop these attacks?  How can they provide a safe environment for us? 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Helena, you have quite elaborately laid out the situation there that many journalists are facing.  The kinds of attacks that you are having.  One of the things you are describing is called doxing:  Publishing a person's personal information and allowing the public to simply troll journalists simply for doing their work.  So you can imagine the kind of hostile environment that people like Helena have had to work in.  

As I understand it, Helena, the Government in Brazil has responded.  So you ended off your statement by talking about what social media companies could do.  But your Government's actually done something by way of law in an attempt to address this situation.  So tell us about that attempt and what you make of it. 

>> HELENA DIAS:  So the threats that journalists suffer are a problem that works together with disinformation here in Brazil.  Fake news. So they have the same mechanics of happening.  The use of votes and massive dissemination of threats and false information.

And to deal with it, the Congress has been working on a law project, called the fake news project, the fake news law.  And it was supposed to be a regulation of what happens on the social media platform, what information and what people are sharing.  Be despite the good intentions, the project has become something that we are all afraid of.  Because it leaves almost all responsibility of judging which content and accounts will be taken out of the platforms to the platforms.  And it has vague concepts.  The processes that are being built from moderation and from communications with users are insufficient.  And the project collects mechanisms of transparency. 

We fear that the law can create a scenario that will threaten the freedom of expression in the country and become a violation of the rights of citizens.  And it's a really complex situation, the debate about this law, because how can social media platforms be regulated without threatening freedom of expression?  How can we fight disinformation and digital violence without threatening freedom of expression?  So this is the debate that we are taking in Brazil now. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  That’s very interesting.  And Humayra is pointing out that she is wondering if there is no definition being used to limit the application of the law.  And from what you are saying, Helena, not necessarily, because it is now encroaching on the right of freedom of expression. 

Gyde, it’s so good to see you. Here she is.  Good to be with you now, Gyde.

I'm actually just going to throw you right into the conversation.  I had to introduce you to the others.  But you're hearing Helena, and she is talking about how authorities in Brazil have responded to the fake news problem that we're having on social media, which is in a way embedded as well with the challenges that people are facing, these attacks on social media.  She is saying that what has happened in Brazil in terms of the regulation is borderline stifling freedom of expression. 

Just give us a sense of where you are in the German parliament and this stem conversation is playing out. What has been done in Germany on that front? 

>> GYDE JENSEN:  Thank you.  And apologies for me being late.  I had to redo my link and this took a while.  So sorry.

So crrently, we are discussing a law that our constitutional courts here found unconstitutional so far with regard to the work that our secret service is doing, and protecting sources for journalists, for example.  And we currently are having a debate on -- to which extent journalists need to talk about their sources, for example, when they are researching. 

So, maybe I can just tell you my point of view so far.  I think it should be enshrined in our law that journalists do not have to give up their sources.  Because that is one of the main aspects of the freedom of expression but also the free work that journalists and the very much important work that journalists are doing around the world. 

And I think what is sometimes forgotten from the German Government side is that Germany plays a role and is a role model for so many countries in the world.  And if we are discussing these kind of rules and regulations, or maybe also talking about -- that investigative services are -- should be available or the back doors for them should be available in messaging apps, then countries that are more repressive, such as China or other countries, are taking this as an example for them to basically create laws that correspond with ours, in a way, but do not have these regulations that we might be having in Germany. 

So I think it's not a question on leaving back doors open for investigation purposes, but rather making sure that our investigation services are properly equipped with personnel, with staff, with resources. But not trying to -- to take out freedom of expression and the freedom of speech, which would be one of the details if we have a back door open and if Government -- well, basically asks of companies to leave back doors open.  We have technicalities or we have experts on how this technically could work.

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Exactly.

>> GYDE JENSEN:  But experts say there is no possibility to leave back doors open.  That can only be used by officials an also by hackers or other persons with no good interests. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  That’s really interesting. So what you are basically saying is authorities in Germany are also running into the same challenge of borderline stifling free spiritual or compromising one of the things that journalism relies on, which is anonymity and the protection of sources. 

Lisa, come in here because it seems like the lawmakers are having trouble.  Does Civil Society have alternative options that they can bring to the table?  What other alternatives can be considered in terms of, you know, bridging that gap?  We need to regulate this space.  We need to protect people, but we also cannot stifle free speech.

>> LISA DITTMER:  Well, Civil Society definitely has a large part to play, and so far I think that’s one of the reasons common threads or regulation often happens very fast with little consultation with Civil Society or at least very little meaningful consultation. 

There is often a sort of brainwashing effect where you’ll have maybe a brief period where we are encouraged to give a statement, but we rarely see this really having an impact.  And so far I think both big tech has been disinterested at large when there is not enough public pressure, anyway.  We have seen that with the US election and the major worries about what disinformation could do to this election.  We have seen that they can step up when they have to, but this has to happen under significant public pressure notably from the US audience.  And that needs to change.  Because I think we see these issues on a global sphere.  As Reporters Without Borders, we notice that obviously these digital spaces have added large freedoms especially in countries where there is not enough media freedom in general, and sometimes Facebook and Twitter can act as a positive means of giving people an added space for communication and information exchange. 

But these companies for a long time have not been aware of the way that they shape and reshape the way we communicate with each other.  And they have not done enough to protect Human Rights on these platforms.  They often act with a naive sense of bringing goodness to the world, but obviously we know that they are not doing enough now to react to the realities of Government pressures, especially when they are' authoritarian in nature. 

We have seen Germany passed a law very fast about two years ago and is now changing it once again under Civil Society pressure that was one of the first attempts after 20 years of unchanged online regulation to recalibrate the balance between the self-regulation of big tech and Government pressure.  The issue here, I think, is for one we don't really see more transparency.  We don't really see more Civil Society engagement and more ways of people who are largely affected, such as journalists, to really have a voice in the way we shape regulation now.

And we don't see enough leeway for independent authorities to check in on what these practices look like.  So now we are under public pressure seeking efforts like the Facebook oversight board.  But these are driven at large by public pressure on big tech.  They are not really driven by Civil Society and they are not sufficiently driven by the ideas that are there. 

I think the key points now are greater transparency, more often an effect of Human Rights law on moderation, a dealing with disinformation, and certainly not naïve and very haphazard, fast efforts to just pile on pressure on big tech to did something.  Because just doing something is not enough.  We need more research and more common conversation on what we expect these platforms to do and to shape our digital space. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Fantastic.  Thank you for that, Lisa.  And I think you have given some orders to get it to maybe consider.

Take that message to Parliament, right?  Let's include Civil Society.  Let's have more transparency and processes of us lawmakers sit and put together the regulations. 

Holmes, I want to come to you now because we are talking about the social media space.  Hong Kong, where you are, is an interesting place.  We watched pictures that we couldn't imagine, we couldn’t believe what we were looking at when we saw the protestors in the numbers.  The streets were rivers of defiance in Hong Kong.  Where we saw young people determined.  And we also saw that the brutality that came with it, how the police clamped down on that. So that is what we were able to see.  But there is another crackdown that is happening online and that’s not so visible, right? And social media is also a part of that. 

Holmes, take us through that situation in Hong Kong now. 

>> CHI HANG CHAN:  So in the last year we saw very spectacular protests, but in 2020 all you are seeing is kind of below the surface political reprisals against not big-name activists, but against everyday individuals.  In particular, we are seeing that police are arresting and charging people based on something that they did in the digital sphere. 

Now one common example would be using that digital communication that is evidence of a crime.  We are saying for example last year people were using the popular messaging app telegram.  So if you made a call for protest on telegram, that message might be used as a basis for arrest on incitement.  And we have seen, actually, that multiple channel administrators of these protest channels have been arrested. 

But more than that, China passed a national security law that applies to Hong Kong.  And that criminalizes things like secession.  So this actually broadens the scope of potential danger.  Because we're talking about not just digital communication, but also digital materials.  So, for example if I drew this protest flier or poster, and I would send it to somebody and put it in a group or on social media, that too can form the basis of a crime. 

So from my view, as a perspective of the journalist, the first thing is I don't want to get my sources into trouble.  Under the national security law, the maximum penalty is possibly life in prison. 

But the bigger cultural shift here is that because of this heightened surveillance on the digital sphere, there is a chilling effect and there probably comes how do we manage to talk to these vulnerable groups and bring their stories to the world when they are not so confident talking to the press anymore.  They are trying very hard to cover their tracks and they are scared of the reprisals that may come from what they do or say in the digital space. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you for bringing that out for us.  The implications of this law, just how far reaching it is, and the kind of fear it invokes.  Now you'll face the challenge.  It's going to be very difficult for you to get people to talk to you now because of fear of what might happen.  You talk about life in prison potentially for some people. 

Andy, this is where you come in.  Because you are saying that from where you are sitting, from the big tech perspective, you are building the -- the platforms, let's call it that, to help people like Holmes and people like Helena and people like myself reach our people in a way that is hidden from the authorities, so to say.  So just explain how you are building a more private Internet.

>> ANDY YEN:  Sure.  Happy to give some context into what Protonmail has done and what we do in general. For us, it's all about ensuring that private communications are possible.  Today on the Internet, they say that nothing is private.  And I think that is a big problem, because it really limits the ability of the internet to fulfill its mission, which is allowing the spread of information and to give us progress and freedom and Democracy and Human Rights. 

So there are three core pillars that we need to ensure internet privacy and the security that is needed in the digital space.  One is technology.  It's very, very important that you adopt the correct technologies which ensure from a technology and from a mathematic standpoint that information and data is secure.  One best way to do that is end-to-end encryption.  That's what we use at Protonmail, that’s what a lot of other services around the world are using.  End-to-end encryption.  It gives a mathematic guarantee that your information can remain secure.  And ia t's important to have mathematical guarantee because legal guarantees can often change, right, like what you saw in Hong Kong. The passage of a new law clearly changed the legal environment.  And if you have a mathematical guarantee, encryption is really important. 

The second element is education.  There are a lot of people in the world today who are simply not aware of digital threats out there.  When it comes to physical threats, violence, intimidation, you can see this in real life.  But, you know, the issues of Google’s finance models, Facebook and your data, the issue of Government surveillance, this is less visible. So that needs to be circular through education. 

Third, you have to have a strong legal and regulatory framework to protect privacy and rights online.  This means adding more privacy legislation.  This also means ensuring more fair play in the internet among tech platforms.  So, you know, antitrust efforts being championed by the European Commission and also by the U.S. congress are really important in making sure that it’s a fair playing field and that all the technologies that help security and privacy can be allowed to prosper and compete effectively. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you so much for that.  You're in an interesting place.  So you sort of are caught in the middle.  And this is something that you pointed out, I mean, big tech is not necessarily pro privacy.  Let's look at the criticisms that we were talking about.  It's taking pressure from people basically to get big tech to get along in terms of assisting people in this conversation. 

But you are now in this unique position where you are increasingly seeing, and you did sort of allude to this, pressure from Governments.  And by the way, not just Governments across the world that we say have authoritarian regimes, but even in European contexts, to sort of build these back channels so that state actors, in the event that they do need to, can access the information that you would normally be trying to keep hidden away.  Just talk to us about that balance now of a big tech that is already up naturally for privacy and now increasing pressure from Governments that are more or pro State surveillance. 

>> ANDY YEN: So there is indeed pressure from both sides.  On the big tech side, if you look at companies like Google, their business model fundamentally is advertising.  So they have no incentive to protect privacy because the fact is the more they invade privacy, the more money that they make.  So the incentive model is twisted towards more invasion of privacy, more data harvesting.

On the Government side, governments are in a sense actually in favor of that business model. Because the more data that tech companies collect, the more data is potentially accessible to Governments, and that is part of the problem that happens with big tech.  Because if you give all of your information to the tech companies, this information actually is also available to Government authorities through legislation that is being championed.  And this we see mentioned not only in countries like China and Russia, but we also see it even here in the EU. 

So, for example, this month, there is a draft council Resolution on encryption.  And it's going through the EU Commission right now and may get approved this month.  It is indeed our organisation that is seeking to, you know, force tech companies to provide some sort of back door access into encrypted systems. 

And from my view it's dangerous, right?  Because we know there is no such thing as a back door that only let's good guys in.  Once you create that vulnerability, it’s a vulnerability that anybody can exploit.  And we hear about this fight as beingm you know, you’re either for privacy or for security.  But that's very, very deceptive.  It's not a matter of privacy or security.  It's a matter of privacy and security.  What people don't realise is that privacy and security, they are two sides of the same coin.  Systems aren’t entirely secure are also inherently private.  And the threats that we face today as a society, they’re moving online.  More and more crime is happening online. 

So, in fact, when it comes to defending the security of citizen, you need the same technologies that provide privacy.  And if we can -- so we need to protect privacy because we don't want to build in weaknesses in our technology in our country systems, because it would weaken the Internet for everybody. Because more and more of these threats are moving online.  So it's not really privacy versus security.  It's two efforts that need to go together.

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  That's interesting.  And, Gyde, I saw you nodding as Andy was talking. What is it from your perspective?  Is it privacy versus security or is it that you are doing both things at the same time.  I'm interested to know.

>> GYDE JENSEN:  That’s interesting.  No, I was nodding because that is – or Andy basically depicted the debate that we are currently having in the Bundestag but also in the European Parliament,.  I would say the same thing.  It's the same side of the coin.  It's not playing out privacy versus security, or however.  Our Government tends to argue that way, and currently I am within the opposition.  And so I can talk that way. 

However, I think it is not about trying to limit our authorities within a litigation or within their cases they are trying to focus on and -- but it's whenever we are talking about the right to encryption, and my past colleague, Jimmy Sholes, who is been leading the Committee on digital agenda in our Bundestrag, he says there needs to be a right for encryption.  Because when we bring this debate to the analog world, nobody was there in the first or to think about opening letters to people.  However, if we have the possibility to just read messages in the digital world, that tends to be a rather lower threshold to just reading messages or wanting to just maybe take a sneak peek of that.  And I think we need to change this debate back to it is not normal for us, for authorities, to try to invade a personal space, which is also the digital space.  I have also a right to privacy in the digital age. 

So I think it's more also a question on how old you are to reflecting that digital and real world or analog rights are the same.  And I think the next generation, and some of us belong to this generation in the Government sphere, but also from private sectors and Civil Society, need to remind politics, Government, that this is the way we need to think and talk about.  And it's not -- it's not the '60s anymore, where we would be seeing when a letter has been opened.  So, there is no justification, in my opinion, to create back doors that can be used by authorities, hackers, whomever.  There need to be other ways to ensure that authorities can do their job.  But also journalists and people can stay private and safe and do not have to disclose their sources.  And this is what I'm fighting for, alongside with other colleagues.  But I think it's rather a question of mindset rather than just a question of how to address this topic. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you so much for that.  And I think you answered Ivan's question, because he was basically asking why the EU is breaking into encryption today that was protecting journalists, how best we can prevent this. And I think the argument has been laid in terms of Governments prioritizing security, what they deem, you know, how they need to protect countries against digital threats.  So it’s that conversation about privacy and security.

Yes, I'll rope you in here, Lisa, to get that Civil Society perspective.  So you can see how the debate is going.  Andy has told us these are two sides of the same coin.  But from where you see it, is it privacy versus security? 

>> LISA DITTMER:  I think it's a development that a whole generation has now basically grown up with this sort of false contradiction.  It's always been clear that we have a basic and human right to privacy and this needs to be protected.  And the fact that we are reframing this debate in line with the debates that we are having about terrorism and new security and Internationalized security threats, that we're suddenly questioning this very right and it's not self-evident anymore that this should be a key right, and that this actually matters to protect our security and everyone's security.  This is not a techie debate.  It's a broad societal debate that we ought to have. What we see from a Civil Society point of view is that surveillance has become a niche topic just as digital rights are seen as a niche topic by a lot of people.  So we are grown too used to being surveyed. In a massive sense the Snowden revelations have now gone past by seven years and many problems still exist. And if anything, it's very much in the nature of security services to the world powers. 

But we're not really seeing a debate over whether this is necessary.  Just calling out terrorism as an international threat seems to be enough to call for more and more powers all the time.  When we're not really checking in on does this help security services even to do their job?  It's a legitimate argument to have.  But at least they really need to prove that they need these powers.  And we have seen lately, and in line with the attacks that caused this whole renewed debate about encryption was that actually security services were overwhelmed by an information overflow of anything.  They had friendlier available information, but even they were not able to effectively share these bits of information between different departments.  And they failed to connect the dots.  So, if anything, having more powers to intrude to people's data would not have helped them in the first place.

I think this is a key debate.  But also I think we need to renew that sense of outrage at people at large, and not just in journalists or tech specialists or NGO specialists who work on these issues, but in society at large as to whether we want to have a right of privacy and whether we want to make sure that our rights are protected and not just our security interests. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  That’s really interesting.  Because here is a suggestion that more surveillance doesn't mean more security

Did I hear somebody who wanted to say something?  Sorry.  I missed out on that. 

We can scroll down.  Helena, please don't feel like you are being blocked from making a statement. 

But somebody is making a very interesting contribution in the comments section and they’re saying how do we protect journalists from big tech?  Has anybody thought about the fact that maybe journalists are trying to do stories on the big companies and maybe it's virtually impossible for them to do, because they go against you and prevent you -- they can look at when you are doing and perhaps impede your work.  So I think that’s one thing, right? We have the big powerful technology companies that are difficult to monitor because they have the tools to stifle somebody's work in that regard.

So okay, ladies and gentlemen.  What I want to do now is point you to the fact that we are going to be breaking into rooms at some point in the conversation. 

And that is because we would like for us to actually discuss some meaningful ideas.  I can see how sort of vibrant and lively the chat is. You guys really are engaged in this.  You have been.  And so we're not just coming here in the name of discussion, but we want to see if we can come to some concrete ideas. 

So we will be breaking away into groups.  We have four breakout rooms that we will introduce you to in a few moments.  But I want to go through my notes and see that I haven't missed out on anything. 

Helena, while I’m doing that, I want to bring you back into the conversation.  Everything that you are hearing, do you have some takeaways, something that you want to add to the conversation for everything that has been said?  I'll open the space to you now, Helena.

>> HELENA DIAS:  I guess the encryption debate here in Brazil is starting.  People don't use it mostly.  Some of us use it a little.  And we have not been discussing it in the public.  So I'm interested in it, because it's something we need to learn about, to prepare ourselves.  Because the debate will arrive here someday.  But we are not having it here right now.  We are still listening and learning. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Fantastic.  And I do want to talk to you again, Holmes.  We want this contrast between Hong Kong and China.  It is looking like there is a transition taking place from a sort of free society to sort of an authoritarian way of things. Give us a sense of just contrast the two as you see things, and that will be the final thing before we break away into our groups. 

>> CHI HANG CHAN: When it comes to China, the ecosystem there is one of constant surveillance.  We have not just an army of internet sensors who are working in real time, but also a culture of self-censorship that has grown around this notion of constant surveillance. 

Hong Kong, fortunately, is still semi-autonomous and has a separate internet ecosystem that is free, unrestricted, and doesn’t have the great firewall.  But the anxiety is that Hong Kong is moving closer to the model of the mainland.  And I've touched on how people are anxious about their communications for the whole digital security.  But one aspect is -- which ties back to the discussion that we have had so far is the role of platforms and what they do in the face of an authoritarian regime like China. 

Now, in the case of Hong Kong, after the national security law was passed, notably Internet giants, Facebook, Google and Twitter among others, said they would suspend or halt accepting data requests from the Hong Kong Government.  So we see that on that front, at least for now- we are not at risk.  But that is only a stop gap solution and this relies on the self-regulation and goodwill of these Internet giants. 

So we are also thinking about the relationship of big tech and what happens down the line if the Chinese Government exerts more pressure, will the big tech be able to stand up against that as well?  So that is something that is looming in the horizon for us. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Very interesting.  And we should be watching that.  Thank you for that. 

Guys, now we are breaking into our stations.  Now, if you scroll down to the audience on Zoom -- guys on YouTube, I'll get to you guys in a moment.  But if you look at the bottom of your screen, where all the icons are, there are four breakout rooms for you.  We absolutely are for freedom of choice here on this platform.  So you can choose which group you would like to be a part of. 

I’ll point out our panelists, we are allocated you specific groups.  So you stick around on where you ought to go.  But everyone else, you are free to decide.  There are four groups.  One is defining the responsibilities -- and that has a lot of the contributions that are being made on the chat, a lot of thoughts towards that.  Best practices, global standards and future. 

So you are welcome.  And I'll say to you what we are going to do now is for the next 15 minutes, in your groups, just pick out one person who is going to represent your group.  This person will give us feedback about what you have discussed in your session.  But, basically, get into the conversation under the banner of these four themes, depending on the group that you are in, and we are looking for your feedback on the basis of everything that you have. 

Now it's just gone 24 after 10 a.m., that is the place where I am in Berlin.  Then we will indicate to you where you go.  But it's simple.  Just go onto the break out room session and click as to what group you want to be in.  And you can immediately go into that. 

So, go ahead to our friends on YouTube.  You have now the permission to take a bit of the walk for the next 15 minutes.  Get something to drink.  Stretch your legs. Be back in 15 minutes because I'm sure you are interested to know what others were discussing as they have broken out in the groups. 

So, Lisa you go to the defining of the responsibilities. 

Holmes and Helena go to the best practice group. 

Gyde go to the global standards.

And Andy please go to the future.

>> LISA DITTMER:  We might have in issue in having people choose the rooms. I can't see the rooms either.

>> GYDE JENSENI can't see options, either.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Sorry to jump in.  In some devices are not updated clients.  It seems that you can’t see the button.  So it's better to just put the session in the chat and the host will be assigned. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  So if you are not able to get into a specific group, indicate in the chat where you would like to go and we will put you into the group.  Thank you so much.  That's a good idea.  Some people are populating some of the others.  So let's look around in the chat.  And we will place you where you want to go.  One of them is defining the responsibilities.  That is group 1.  Group 2 is best practices.  Group 3 is global standards.  And group 4 is future. 

Lisa will be in group 1.  She is going to the defining of the responsibilities. 

Helena and Holmes in group 2, best practices. 

Gyde is in the global standards group. That is group 3. 

And Andy is group 4, that is the future.  So I'm watching the clock now.  It's just approaching half past the hour.  So we will come back at a quarter to the hour. 

We will add Holmes to the best practices as well. 

>> LUIS BOBO:  I apologize for breaking in again. This is Luis with the IGF UN.  Just to clarify that the breakout rooms themselves are not captioned.  Not streamed, and not recorded, as in any onsite meeting.  When people come back here, the streaming will continue in this room and the captioning. 

Thank you. 

>> Apparently, you have Lisa Dittmer asking for room 1. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Right.  We still have a few people to allocate into groups here.  Luis, are you able to assist us for that? 

>> LUIS BOBO:  Not at the moment.  But I think the hosts are doing that.

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Best practice is a very good one as well.  I encourage people to go over there.  It's an interesting one.  Somebody is asking for a reminder.  Group 3 is global standards, Gyde Jensen is there.  And group 4 is the future. 

Group 1, defining the responsibilities.  Lisa is there.  And best practice for journalists and fellows, Holmes and Helena are on that one. 

Bear with us, it's taking us a while but we are manually allocating people to groups.  We will also keep that into consideration. 

So let's have you go to group 1, Almyra, if you can do that, with some urgency. 

Leonard would like to go to group 3. 

>> Group 4 is just two people.  So group 4. 

>> Put the rest of us in group 4.  Group 4.  Please.

>> Okay.

>> And everybody else. 

>> Yes.  Thank you. 

>> Okay.  Thank you. 

>> LUIS BOBO:  Captioner is kept here. 

>> That is done.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Don't close the breakout rooms.  Don't close the breakout rooms, please.  Keep them open.  Why did you close them?  No. 

Can you please make me a host?

>> Okay. 

>> LUIS BOBO:  I apologize.  It seems that the rooms were closed by mistake.  They should not have been closed.  So let's reopen again please, and everyone please join again. 

Please make me host, if you can.

>> You are host now.

>> LUIS BOBO:  No.  Click on my name.  I'm not host.  Sorry.  You have to accept.  Click on my name, Luis Bobo, and make me host, please. 

>> You have to bear with us.  Technology is like that.  We all have to be patient.  When it works, it's amazing.  Sometimes you get a few hiccups.  We are in good hands. The team is sorting us out.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Thank you. Now I am host. Most of you should be able to rejoin automatically.  So sometimes the button is on the bottom, and sometimes it's hidden in "more," but it's there.  Sometimes people are not updated and they cannot see it.  But please try to join the rooms now. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Fantastic.  This is good. There are a few people.  Many people seem to have gone to breakout rooms.  Mess around on your screen and something should come up. 

And then I think those on mobile, we will just allocate them to the groups.  Thank you, Luis, and company.  Just allocate them to groups where there is not a lot of activity.  But Gyre has a specific group she needs to go to.  And she needs to be in global standards, group 3. 

>> LUIS BOBO:  Who? 

>> Gyde Jensen. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  I'll go to group 4 and you can allocate everything else to the groups.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Jensen is in group 3. 

>> LUIS BOBO:  This is a message for the hosts.  So I will give you back the role of host now.  So, yes, are you there?

>> Yes, I'm there.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Do you want to close the rooms at a given time or just people are done when they want to be done?

>> At a given time.  Let's just take from now maybe 15 minutes from now on.  Could be do that, from now on 15 minutes and they rejoin like the last time, where they automatically come all back.  That is the easiest.  And we need, after that, since we have some problems now, another maybe -- when they all come back, maybe 20 or 25 minutes.  It's the final -- the panel will be closed then.

>> LUIS BOBO:  I think that can be fine.  The only thing is I'm not sure why you started ten minutes late, because we have to be tight.  But I think the room is free.  If the captioner can stay for ten minutes more.

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA: That would be great, so it's not cut off in the middle of something.  We are sorry about that.  Starting ten minutes late to break up the session.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Yes, I understand.  Thank you. 

>> Luis are you there?

>> LUIS BOBO:  Breakout rooms end at 10:39.  And they break at 10:50.  It's in 11 minutes.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Maybe I stay here these ten minutes and then grant you the host role.  So we will simply -- sometimes it's tricky, these platform, you see a red button and the red button and they closed the rooms. 

>> They are discussing in the rooms and that's the most important thing.

>> And that it's not cut off in the middle.  That's very important.  Also they started ten minutes late.

>> LUIS BOBO:  I understand.

>> Thank you very much. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Okay. Okay.  We’re back together.  I’ve missed you guys.  Good to see you.

I hope that wherever you were, you had meaningful conversations.  Thank you.  You are incredible for bearing with us. 

Technology, I always point out, let's not forget that it brought us altogether.  People are here from all over the world.  We are able to see each other. People are able to engage in conversations.  For the most part, it held out.  And we are thankful to the hosts.  Thank you for everything that you have done to help us on this platform. 

I don’t want to waste anymore timI do want us now to get into the state where we are reporting back on some of the things we have been saying. 

I hope that as you were in discussion, you picked out an individual in your group who in a few words will summarize the discussions that you all had.  So, I would ask now, the person who has been selected for group 1, who is going to be reporting back on group 1. 

Humarya, fantastic. Put your mic on and we are ready

>> We started discussing initially my proposal was, and I think it was evident in my chat as well, having specific laws so that they are not too broad and therefore misused.  So, ensuring that journalists are carved out when there are specific privacy or encryption related acts. 

But that does not mean that I'm advocating for pure protection for journalism -- when individuals as a journalist is also involved in a criminal capacity, for example, misuse of child pornography.  So my proposal would be to ensure that the law is very specific. 

In addition to that, having, say, for example, a time limit.  So the Government has the responsibility to make sure that they are not introducing legislationy that just lasts forever.  There should be a time limit and it should be reviewed ever couple years, depending on the security threat. 

The second point that was mentioned was cyber awareness across the community, starting with journalists.  So it's a primary issue as she -- for example, in Turkey, that there is a big cyber capability in the defense sector by the Turkish military, but there is not enough cyber awareness and resilience by the community and journalists to ensure that they’re able to protect their sources and also if they are able to protect themselves online. 

And then we had, from Ivan, local awareness and addressing it at a local level.  Often we see people being targeted where their personal information is being misused.  And I think Lisa used it as an earlier example as well.  So ensuring that there is local awareness as well and raising that awareness. 

In addition to that, defamation laws should play a big role in here.  It comes down to Governments.  Defamation across the globe is a complex legal issue.  So if we have more strict laws protecting journalists and their personal information being misused, I think that would be a great value.  Maybe it's not something that the technical side has to do.  It’s something that the Government has to do and there should be a push for it as well. 

In addition, I also advocated from the tech sector there should be a push to ensure that the legal framework of the government is introducing, and I think it would be difficult to argue against national security, because it's such an emotional topic.  So I think rather than just focusing on fighting the encryption act, we should come up with mitigation ways of dealing with it.  One could be to ensure that the legal framework that allows lawful access to encrypted data, without dictating technical tech solutions from the Government sector.  So the technical sector should be very open about ensuring that you don't get to dictate the solutions.  If it’s there, maybe it can be used, but the Government shouldn't be able to dictate it at the end of the day. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you.  I don't know what I enjoyed more, that contribution or the beautiful Australian accent that I love so much.  It’s so dear to my ears.

So thank you so much for that.  So that is Humaya summing up the conversation that took place in the group defining the responsibilities. 

Who will wrap up for best practice? Humaya has set the bar high.

>> KAMAYANI:  This is Kamayani.  It's the smallest group. Just five people.  I think we are going to go swiftly what group one said.  Because we had the same discussions as well.  We talked about the fact that there needs to be a U.N intervention in the form of having some International framework or guidelines. 

We also had a discussion that there are countries with dictatorships and countries like mine, which are Democratic, but they are functioning in a dictatorial manner, where we have the arrests of journalists as well.  And the whole issue of data encryption.  And also the fact that we need to have more awareness on digital security.  Digital security workshop.  That is another effort that you can take up. 

And we need to go beyond the language barriers.  Because, you know, in India, it's very important.  We have journalists in remote areas.  We are talking about the accessibility of the Internet as well.  It's a huge big issue.  But digital security workshops to happen more to make people more aware about it, so they are secure themselves.  And to have an International framework which would be making the Governments as well as the big tech companies also accountable.  There has to be a basic core minimum within which we – the Government and big tech -- cannot be negotiated with.  The freedom of speech and the right of the security of the journalist cannot be negotiated. 

So that basic framework.  Maybe the countries could adapt it within their context and add something more.  But there has to be a basic framework which nobody can negotiate with. 

And we discussed about it, it was a small group, about the what's app fake university.  And I was asking them, you know, like in India it’s like everything is in what's app, although the Government has actually reduced that you cannot forward beyond one, and especially the whole area of fake news.  And we were told that in Brazil, the prime minister was chosen because of the what's app.

So there was – I mean these regulations and beyond these boundaries conversation which are getting us together through this are also great. So that was our conversation. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thank you.  I almost want to say, don't turn on your video, because your voice, you remind me of -- you fall in love with the radio personality.  You never see this person.

>> I cannot put on my video.  It's so bad the Internet where I am.  I'll just go off. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  We will all have our picture of who you are, and we can listen to your voice.  You talked about WhatsApp and the impact it has.  I'm from Zimbabwe. I spent a lot of time in Johannesburg. People get news on WhatsApp, especially across the African continent. We are increasingly seeing that.  I'm seeing that WhatsApp is the medium where people get their news, where people share their ideas. It’s how people mobilize.  It’s incredible what it is.

And Itye is saying your voice is so energetic.  So that was another comment. It’s not just me.

So that was best practices from the small group.  But we appreciate the big contribution that you made. 

Global standards. 

>> GYDE JENSEN:  We forget to appoint a spokesperson.  So if nobody is against that I'll sum up our discussion, I'll be happy to do that.  We had a small group.  Alexandra, is that okay for you? 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Thumbs up.  She says okay.

>> GYDE JENSEN:  So I can perfectly add to what has been said already from other colleagues.  We talked a bit broadly about what are the difficulties at the moment, when it comes to global standards.  We take into account that Human Rights are not so much falling under a sanction regime, if Human Rights are not protected or enshrined as it should be. 

We talked about the definite need for an International framework of journalists trying to better collect each other.  And I think Reporters Without Borders is doing a fantastic job in connecting journalists worldwide.  Because sometimes they don't have the means or networks or contacts to also connect to other colleagues in other countries.

So the way education works, also taking into account that the next generation needs to learn about their rights, they also have in the digital age how to use their devices, how to protect their privacy in a digital age.  I think it was Alexandra who said that people know how to protect their health, when they engage in sexual relations.  So this is the same thing that should also be part of the educational system when it comes to data protection, to digital protection. 

And the last thing is that we were a little speechless, and I'm happy to hear from other colleagues also, with regard to best practices when it comes to making countries abide by their laws that are already existing. 

I think that is something I should take with me into our political context.  Because this is, in my opinion, one of the bigger questions that we have not been focusing too much on.  What happens if countries are over and over not abiding by the laws that are existing?  And one focus should maybe be or could be that we have a Special Rapporteur on the protection of journalists and press freedom at the UN level.  That is something that I think also Reporters Without Borders have been advocating so much or so long for.  And I think that could be one piece of the puzzle to a broader solution that we have not come up with yet. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA: Okay, Fantastic. Thank you so much for that, Gyde.

So I guess there is an invitation for all to think about., un, how we could come up with that solution over there.

Our last group. Andy, I know that you are going to take this one in terms of future.

Before Andy speaks, we are wrapping up soon, guys. I know you are all wondering, we were supposed to finish up at 11, but remember we had a bit of a delayed start.  We are wrapping up with the next seven minutes.   Just bear with us there.

Andy?

>> ANDY YEN:  Yes. In the future discussion, one of the key themes that was touch upon was the need for Government to be more inclusive.  In the next couple years governments around the world will have to legislate on some extremely important issues which are not very black and white regarding security, privacy, encryption, social media, fake news. These are all very common topics, fake news, social media.  And the conclusion of the session was that it’s very, very important for government actors, to bring more people in from Civil Society, from journalism and technology, and to make them part of the conversation earlier on. 

Typically, how we think of it in the past, it's a challenge in the court, it goes to the people's rights and the discussion -- it goes to the riots and problems that happen there.  It's better to have discussion in advance and the new laws are passed, in order to ensure proper covering for all of these issues.  It would be fantastic if Government could be more inclusive of bringing in different groups to be part of the laws at an earlier stage. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Fantastic.  You are hearing that more inclusion again coming through.  So thank you so much, Andy. That was the group that was discussing the future.  Thank you for that. 

And please, these are meaningful contributions.  We have noted some of these down and we will compile a report perhaps that people can consider.  So we really do value these contributions that you have all made. 

So we are now approaching the end.  And I wanted to give our panelists here just a final word.  Right?  So we have a few minutes to go.  Helena, Lisa, Holmes, Andy, Gyde, your closing statements as we had the conversation broadly.  And then we will wrap up. 

Remember when you introduced yourselves, just short and sharp. I want that same thing now.

We will start with Holmes, then Andy, Helena, Gyde, and then Lisa. 

>> CHI HANG CHAN:  My closing statement would be continue to pay attention to Hong Kong, especially the digital role and the political reprisals that are taking place there.  Because they are possibly a sign of things to come, with the rise of China and their authoritarian tendencies.  Hong Kong is like a canary in the coal mine, and that's a test case.  And one of the solutions that are used for it and what are solutions that might help them, might have wider applications of all the topics that we have been talking about. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Fantastic.  The word there, “Let’s keep our eyes on Hong Kong.”

I hope you guys were listening. Who did I say is next? You can unmute your mic.  Thank you.

>> ANDY YEN:  My closing statement is really that, you know, the next five, ten years, is going to be one of the most critical periods when it comes to determining the future of the Internet.  A lot of very, very important issues are being registered and discussed right now.  And the outcome of these discussions really will set the future path of how freedom, Democracy, develops in the digital era.  So it's important that we all look at it closely.  It doesn’t just impact us in our lives , but it also impacts the future.  And we have only one chance to get it right.  If we get it wrong in this critical phase, the repercussions could last for decades. 

The discussion is not black and white.  There are a lot of nuanced and deep arguments here.  So given the importance of the topic, I want to iterate the importance for everybody to be an active participant in building a future together. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  So we are in a critical phase.  The decisions we make now will go on to shape the future.  Thank you for that.  And these conversations are to important. 

Who was next? 

>> HELENA DIAS:  It’s me. I guess the conversations are so important that we have to pay attention to the discussions that have been lawmaking in each country and in the International level.  Because it will affect our lives.  It will affect the journalists’ work and Democracy.  So I guess we need to watch and have Civil Society participation in every law about the internet, that they’re becoming to be exclusive. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  All right. A message from Brazil, where it’s very early. And I'm so proud of you for staying awake.  It's super early where you are.  Let's keep our eyes on the laws that are coming through, that regulation.  Let's not take our eyes off of it.

I now know the order.  Gyde, it’s for you.

>> GYDE JENSEN:  Thank you very much. This is one of the bigger tasks for politics and politicians in the world.  Talking about their existing legislation but also taking in account how this existing legislation in European countries and Democratic countries can be exploited by authoritarian regimes. 

I’d like to underline the first statement, “keep your eyes on what is happening in Hong Kong,” but also in Belarus and Turkey and Russia, in Brazil, because I think we only can connect and that is what we also try to do a better job in connecting to other politicians, MPs worldwide and exchanging views.  And taking the lead in one hand but also knowing and sharing best practices and the knowledge that has been gained in other countries. 

And I'd like to do a little part, but we can only do that together in a network.  And these conversations like this one are influencing a lot what is being done in the world. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  Exactly.  And I know that you'll be taking these nuggets to Parliament as you contribute in the discussions. Thank you so much.  It’s been good having you here as well to give us that insight from a parliamentary and lawmaking perspective.  Thank you so much.  That's been a meaningful contribution.

Lisa.

>> LISA DITTMER:  Thank you so much.  It’s been such a fruitful discussion and getting all these personal perspectives from various different countries, and seeing the common threads. It has been really interesting to me as well. 

From a Civil Society perspective, we will do our very best to connect you to make sure that different voices are heard.  RSF is osin a somewhat privileged position to bring the voices out. And I think the whole workshop has been a great representation of what more inclusive and transparent policymaking should look like.  And this needs to happen more often and your voices need to be heard and the different International perspectives play a great role in producing better legislation, even on a national level.  Stay healthy.  Thank you so much. 

>> CHRISTINE MHUNDWA:  I want to extend the thank you to everybody who has been here. Thank you so much, guys.  Thanking for taking part.  It is indeed a workshop. We worked.  We’ve put our minds and heads together.

Thank you to our panelists.  All these conversations and their contributions that you have made, it's food for thought.  I think as we walk away from the conversation, we are each examining just how we can do it.  We have been told that the next five years are so critical.  Let's keep our eyes on thsee places that we have been asked to keep our eyes on. 

I want to give a final thank you to everybody, especially our panelists.  And our friends on YouTube, thank you for sticking this out with us. 

The organisers of the Internet Governance Forum, thank you for creating the platform for us to be able to have this converstaion. 

Reporters Without Borders, thank you for bringing us together.  The team has worked hard to make sure that we can come together in this way.  Thank you so much.  Many of them you won’t be able to see, and I don't want to start giving shout outs, because I’ll miss out on some people, but they know who they are. 

Thank you very much, and for the contributions that you’ve made.

So to Helena, to Holmes, Gyde, to Andy, to Lisa, thank you all.  And to everybody who has been here. Thank you. if I start listing I know I’ll leave someone out.

What a fantastic start for the week.  Some of you are going to the evening now, but thank you for this.  And we hope to engage soon on this conversation because I think the message is that we need to continue talking about this. 

So you all have a wonderful day. It's been great having you here.  Thank you for being so kind, for engaging us in the comments.  I've seen the messages, and my heart is warmed.  I loved being here today.  You made my job easy. 

So thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Have a wonderful day.  Bye everybody. 

 

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411