You are here

IGF 2020 - Day 3 - OF13 Trust Building in Cyberspace on Public Health Emergencies

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. 

***

 

>> MODERATOR: Dear friends, colleagues.  Thank you for being here.  I'm Vice President of Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies, secretary again.  Welcome.

Our speakers, they're ‑‑ please, shake hand, say hello to everyone here.  Okay.  Thank you!  Thank you all!  The theme of this forum is Trust Building in Cyberspace on Public Health Emergencies it is the thematic track of trust of IGF's forum proceeding from the COVID‑19 pandemic.  The forum is a representative of governments, international organizations and technical communities and same time from across the world to discuss about the trust building mechanism in the cyberspace of the international public health emergencies.  In 2020 this year the pandemic surrounded the world and posed a huge and food and health and public security, it is a tragedy of mankind, we have witnessed the ever‑depending application of new internet technologies such as artificial intelligence, Cloud computing, block chain and Big Data in academic and control as well as work and production.

Moreover, we see emerging internet‑based business such as online services and consumption and the smart manufacturing flourish.

Global risk, and the challenges entail a strong global response, the achievement and value of the internet innovation against the backdrop of the pandemic have been further recognized doing a good job in utilizing, developing, counting on the internet is conducive to the huge impact of academic, promoting economic recovery and realizing the future dream of mankind.

Now, let's start our forum.  First of all, let's welcome Ms. Zi Xiaoxia, Director General, Bureau of International Cooperation, Cyberspace Administration of China to give us a video speech.

>> QI XIAOXIA: Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, It is my great pleasure to join you in this open forum.  First I would like to extend on behalf of the Director General, Bureau of International Cooperation, Cyberspace Administration of China warm congratulations for the opening of this forum and a warm welcome to all honored guests attending this meeting.

As we speak, the pandemic of COVID‑19 is continuously spreading, taking a heavy toll on countries around the world.  In the face of this challenge, strength and unity and coordination on the basis of mutual trust is the only way for the international community to defeat the common enemy of mankind.  Against this backdrop, it is highly relevant to hold this open forum at IGF and to discuss on building a trust mechanism in cyberspace.  Here I would like to share with you my observations in building mechanism of trust in cyberspace and striving to foster synergies.

First, we need to foster synergy in liberating digital technologies to fight the pandemic.  New generation digital technologies suggest 5G and other things have played an important role in academic monitoring, virus tracking, prevention control and treatment as well as resource allocation.  It shows that the digital technologies has not only transformed the way of production and life and also effectively enhanced social governance and I look forward to enhanced experience sharing and cooperation in the international community on the use of digital technologies in response to COVID for improving the effect of the global pandemic prevention and control.

Second, we need to foster synergy in amplifying the effects of digital economy and promoting economic recovery.  The pandemic has inflicted severe impact on the global economy and it is imperative for countries to restore economic growth and to boost confidence in economic development.  As COVID spreads, new business forms such as eCommerce, online education, commuting, it has played a critical role in keeping the society running and encountering the downward pressure on the economy.  Digital economy is providing more opportunities for global economic recovery.

I look forward to enhanced cooperation on digital economy in the international community amplifying the positive role of new drivers of economic growth and further facilitating global economy recovery.

Third, we need to foster synergy in advancing dialogue and cooperation for maintaining cybersecurity.  Many daily activities, life, work, education, they have been shifted online while providing convenience to our life, the ever‑increasing online activities have caused new problems concerning cybersecurity as well.  In the face of this new problem, the international community should adhere to the philosophy of cybersecurity with openness and cooperation, enhanced strategic trust in cyberspace and effectively copy with emerging cybersecurity risks and challenges through deepened dialogue and cooperation providing a firm guarantee for advancing the prevention and control of COVID‑19, the economic recovery, as well as maintaining social stability.

Fourth, we need to foster synergy in a multilateral, multiparty participation and enhancing governance capacity.  Since the outbreak of COVID‑19 the international community has been intensifying exchanges on governance in cyberspace at relevant mechanism and a platform such as the UN APEC and G20 with a view to enhancing global governance and making positive contributions to advancing better use of internet in fighting this.

Meanwhile, many things cropped up posing new requirements to our current capacity for governance in cyberspace.  The international community should pay close attention to the new problems from global governance in cyberspace and to further support the role of the UN as the main channel with active participation of international organizations, internet‑based companies, technical communities, social organizations, Civil Society, and individuals to close off loopholes in governance for advancing the building of more just, equitable global internet governance system.

Fifth, we need to foster synergy in bridging thing digital divide and achieving inclusiveness for recall.  The practice in fighting the pandemic has proved that internet has become a platform for human society to respond to public health emergencies, what cannot be ignored, however, is that the weakness of a formation and communication infrastructure in developing countries and the lack of digital skills of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, Persons with Disabilities, women and children which haven hindered mankind from better sharing the benefits of internet development.  In the face of this problem, the international community should step up cooperation and adopt multipolicy measures to improve internet access in Developing Countries and strengthen support and assistance to the vulnerable groups in an effort to further bridge the digital divide and promote inclusive development of the internet for all.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and the unity and cooperation is the only way for us to address the emerging risks and challenges in cyberspace.  The international community needs to enhance mutual trust, work together to address challenges and build an even closer community with a shared future in cyberspace and ushering in an even better future for mankind.  In conclusion, I wish the forum a full success. 

Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR:  Everybody please control your time in the forum.  Next, welcome Professor Werner Zorn, Father of the German Internet, Inductee of the Internet Hall of Fame.  Please.

>> WERNER ZORN: Ladies and gentlemen, life in national and personal areas, it is currently highly influenced by the coronavirus and how it spreads beyond any borders and limits which we may have set.  Since its breakout in February this year, we were in the first wave lasting 5 months with 40 million infected people and a death toll of more than 1 million.

After a short pause this summer, the second wave is just on the way with even more infections per day.  The governments in different countries seem to be helpless.  If we look at the data currently collected and visualized by Johns Hopkins University on a daily basis, we can observe two characteristics:  First, the figures inform over time differ highly from country to country; and secondly, the different curves show steadiness but for singular cases due to data collection delays.  The public, in the different countries of the world, it is informed several times a day with death, to recovery rate, reproduction number, seven‑day incidents and others, which is useful but absolutely insufficient to withstand the virus as it spreads to different regions.

What is currently missing, it is a quantitative model that allows predictions of the behavior of various parameters, including human behavior which differs from nation to nation.  Quantitative modeling is a classic discipline in computer science, often used for system optimization in many occasions and fields, based on solid theory, powerful tools, a lot of expertise.  A well‑known example is when we remember the quality of the model with short, medium, long‑term predictions have considerably improved over the years.  This development was determined by three factors, gigantic increase of computer power, increase of density of measurement stations around the globe, and third, improvement of the models implemented in software.

The world is showing several similarities, complexity, physical, chemical complexity, periodically changing environments, randomness, and issues concerning the power of the model and the quality of data with iron rule of garbage in, garbage out which forest an improvement on the intelligence and measurements of the preprocessing.  Even though we can currently greatly profit from the worldwide data acquisitions system with high resolution in time and space, there is however a specific pandemic problem, how to discover and follow the individual structure, infection processes as early and completely as possible.  This requires the use of measurement tools for every individual person and the partial sacrifice of privacy which is however not possible everywhere.  Approximation may be the means of choice for many countries.

Appropriate software packages for predicting, preventing the current pandemic spread of the coronavirus is a global challenge with common efforts and long‑term experiences needed.  Once developed, it could be the basis for further improvement and specific adaptations.  Let us start and look at how this can be achieved in an international cooperation?  Possible.  Half a dozen solutions have just been submitted from different Chinese research institutes to the world internet conference Committee, a promising first step.

Thank you for your attention.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  We know everyone across the world is thinking about the pandemic, the economic recovery, the use of in this case technology to deal with different kinds of problems.

Next, let's go to the second part of this forum, keynote speeches.  Based on the opinions solicitated from expert scholars and other institutions we have decided on three topics.

I remind you, each speaker shall speak no more than 5 minutes again.

Thank you.

The first topic, impact of international public health emergencies represented by the COVID‑19 on global cyberspace governance and the trust relationships.  First, let's welcome Mr. Paul Wilson, Director General, Asia Pacific Network Information Center.

>> PAUL WILSON: I'm happy to be here and APNIC to be a part of the IGF online this year.

You may know, APNIC supported IGF for its lifetime.  We think it is a vital space for better understanding among so many different communities.  We're multistakeholder corporation and will continue to improve internet governance, cyberspace governance around the world.

APNIC is one of the five internet address registries in the world and we serve 18,000 networks in our region, those are the ones that make up the internet in the Asia‑Pacific.  With IP addresses whose proper management is essential to our vision of global open, stable, secure internet.  APNIC's work is one part of the internet governance ever a trusted cyberspace where we think multistakeholder is essential, it is not possible to believe have a single authority with trust on the internet or cyberspace regionally or nationally, that requires collaboration of all stakeholders and cooperation that exceeds national jurisdictions and many traditional responsibilities.

As for trust in cyberspace governance right now during this global health emergency, there are two perspectives to consider I think.  The first, predictably, it is one of increased anxiety to protect ourselves, to secure critical infrastructure and cyber infrastructure in particular.  There is, I think, higher risks being perceived, geopolitical stresses in a time when we should be seeing cooperation by the way.  Online, I think that there is reported increases in opportunism and abuse in social media behavior which reinforces anxiety, from that perspective, I think COVID is just an additional stress that does threaten our security and our sense of trust and it will turn to increase the call on governments to take stronger action to build on that security and trust.  That's predictable under the first perspective.

The second perspective, more optimistic, and I think that is that even in the midst of this pandemic there is something we can celebrate, that's how the internet has performed during these times.  In so many parts of the world, it is in duo manned like never before, entirely taken for granted as a critical part of your response, that's significant because with the pandemic, the internet is now being described as the glue that's holding societies and economies together like nothing else has.  Without the internet, the impact of this pandemic on all of our lives would be so very much worse.  That really is something I think to see that the internet is delivered like never before, it has been there and served us well.  I think surprisingly by the way is that we didn't plan for this scenario in operational cyber drills for instance, even though we should have, because this kind of emergency has always been possible and there are serious impacts.  Among those impacts, we see ‑‑ we have seen huge changes in internet traffic patterns and types, we have seen great increased volumes of 30 to 50% of many internet exchange points, increases in mobile and other traffic and it is clear why, it is because of what we're all doing now, using online realtime video and that requires the internet to work very well realtime end‑to‑end symmetrical bandwidth.

In this perspective, with the unexpected changes and impacts, the thing is there haven't been widespread problems or outages, that's not to say that there is not work needed by operators, there has been, for instance, in provisioning extra bandwidth and needed connections, so forth.  That's also a feature of the decentralized internet, even with an unprecedented, unexpected global stress, we can adapt, respond to the local bands to do what we need to do when that's needed and by doing so, we work collectively, cooperating, cooperating, alongside each other to keep the internet running.  That's the original model of the internet, decentralized, global, symmetrical, end‑to‑end infrastructure and COVID showed us how much we rely on those features, global end‑to‑end internet, how much we rely on bandwidth, broadband in both directions, upwards and downloads for the customer, and so I think we're going to hear more about the success into the future, how the internet did perform during the pandemic, how it did what we asked of it.  There are lessons for sure, I think we can take ‑‑ when we can take the interrupt for granted, as we have done at this time, I think that's ‑‑ there is no better validation of the current model of internet technology, organization operation and governments and of the internet as a central component of the trusted cyberspace. 

That's all for me for now.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Paul.  Thank you for sharing.

Let's go to Zhou Xiahohua, Zhou Xiahohua.

>> ZHOU XIAOHUA: Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, greetings from Beijing.  Good evening.

We have entered the post truth era, in certain circumstances objective statements of the fact is often less likely to affect public opinion than appealing to emotions.  In my opinion, when we want to learn about the truth, reach mutual trust one thing that we can avoid, it is data.  Data is supposed to be transparent for communication and less likely to be misused, however actually that's not the case in the real world.

The famous British novelist and the former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said there are three kind of lies in the world, lie, lie, then lie and statistics.  In 1955 American writer Darrell Huff published a book How To Lie with Statistics.  In the era of Big Data, there are many more and more traps contained in the data, particularly use of new technology resulting in the likelihood that the data is Pampered with every link from collection to processing, from visualization to information presentations, with a combination of fake news and fake numbers.  We hear this a lot in the U.S.

It is difficult for the people to distinguish right from wrong.  Currently my team is working on the project funded by the national science foundation of China, it is the trend and pattern of COVID‑19 based on new mathematical and statistical models.  We try to use mathematical statistical model to discover the truth in COVID‑19 in terms of the trends and patterns.  There we will use different types of data, including epidemiology, genetic and viral genetic data, we try to answer the question of what is transmission rate among the people, does the policy really work?  We'll hopefully have more results in the future.

Anyway, I believe that mathematics and statistics can play a very important role in distinguishing truth from forced information on the internet age in following different ways.  So first, the security and privacy of data, so data security can be ensured, for example, a trusted data service assistance can be established based on block chain technologies, also regarding the data, we can protect it with new technology both mathematics and statistical and other high technologies.  Without the data privacy, it is hard to make sure that the data is trust.

Second, I think that authenticity, reliability of data is very important.  How can we trust the data we saw on the internet is really trustworthy?  The trust of the data is a foundation of the decision making, without such trust, we cannot believe what we see on the news.  Statistical methods may help us to determine reliability of the data sources and verify whether the data is true or not so we can discover the fake news from the true news.

Third, the reliability of the data analysis results.  So we have the credible results, statistic and mathematical results, we get the reliable results.  As we know, all of the statistical model has assumptions.  How do we know that certain results based on certain statistical model assumption is satisfied?  We want to make sure that that the analysis behind the results we see on the news actually are satisfied to certain conditions which are required for the methods.  Without those kinds of guarantees, we cannot trust the results we see on the news.

I think as a statistician in my opinion, we can play an important role in making the data more trustworthy in the current stage.  However, in order to create such atmosphere we need the teamwork including people from different discipline, statistics, computer science, I see one of the speakers before me mentioned that, and also social science and then policymakers.  As a team, we can work together and then really make internet a safe place to trust so that the people can rely on the internet for their informations.

Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

I'm very interested on your research.  I think that everyone needs to collect data and I hope that your research can get everyone's benefit.  I think it is also very hard, although it is enough available.

Thank you again.

Next, let's welcome Professor David Robertson, Vice Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh.

>> DAVID ROBERTSON: Yes.  As Paul Wilson said earlier on, COVID‑19 has deeply demonstrated how we depend on large scale data driven information for our social fabric, in that way, computation is an enormous help.  We have yet to take advantage of that infrastructure to understand COVID‑19 itself to support decision making on public health or to enable well‑informed action to combat the disease.  In that sense, pandemics make basic functional tis of the computational systems, it becomes a global challenge.  I'm not a computer scientist but I work in healthcare n comes from that background.

That basic functionality that people likely need, here are four examples, to fit into the time, we need to build the evidence‑base more systematically, the interaction between the types of treatment, it is complex, prognosis for sufferers depends on a complex combination of factors and December presents itself in very subtle forms, there is no model that describes that network of correlations, we must apply computational demanding statistical methods across a variety of data, very wide variety actually, with the aim of identifying key be features and relationships, and we need to build those national computational facilities rapidly.  That's happening.  The U.K. is a good example of where we're doing that.

The second point, is we need large scale data with local control with COVID‑19 the relevant datasets are across thousands of different data controllers in the U.K. alone, hospitals, laboratories, regional data centers, national repository, some of it ‑‑ very little of it but some worldwide ‑‑ each controller has the way to balance privacy against individuals, as everybody on this call know, it is a global issue now, because the scientists capable of getting deep insight in this complexity of disease through computation, they are not conveniently located in the national jurisdictions that control the relevant data.  We have to get the agreement for the controlled, auditable, ethical sharing of derived knowledge, not necessarily the data, but the derived knowledge internationally based on mutually accepted protocols and standards.  That's yet to be defined.

We need trustworthy disease models, because to act decisively we need to have new knowledge from the evidence‑based, crucially as the data changes and that raises the issue of trust in the model it's, correct model, not the trust in the implementation, have they been built correctly.  That's a global issue because we want to use models derived and we want to compare the strategies in close to realtime against the evidence pertaining crucially at that time. 

Which takes me to the fourth and final point:  We need to understand the limits of trust for these systems.  Remarkably small proportion of the evidence‑based pandemic modeling or disease characterization, it can safely be assumed to be true at time of collection.  It is commonly delays of weeks or months, in the U.K., data encoding even, and even when it is encoded there is a human error systematic differences in the data encoding, fully automatic data acquisition, it adds other issues, reliability, the standardization of the recording devices and on top of that, data acquired from the broad population makes data quality difficult to estimate and control.  All of the things that are difficult in data are there and these problems, we have to live with them.

So those are the four items to throw in.  They're encouraging signs, the biggest organizations in the world are turning attention to this, governments are creating national infrastructures for this, U.K. is an example, multinational cooperations are coming to terms on constraints on dealing with this sort of data while preserving individual rights.  Individuals crucially are aware of the value of the data, personally and for the common good the challenge is to protect all national populations through the development of global knowledge sharing in medicine and it is one which I think all nations should and probably do subscribe.  On the obstacles, they're complex, technical, social, ethical, they don't seem unsurmountable but they have to be solved together and that requires common practice across nations.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

I really appreciate your points.  More and more people realize these four points, it is very important and I hope that you can share more with us.

Let's welcome Professor Ayad Al‑Ani, Einstein Center Digital Future.

>> AYAD AL-ANI: I would like to talk in the next couple of minutes about the effects of transparent societies on trust.  My sums is that sooner or later the models that have been described before will come into effect and they will lead to more or less transparent societies and this will be done by using machine learning as kind of a time machine.  The question is, what can be done then?  I will talk briefly about the possibilities of counter organizations and also about the positive effects of international cooperation.

Among the many affects that the pandemic had on our societies, I think the usage of technology and data to solve society's problems are the most obvious and grave.  The centralized recording of the human movements, contacts, health status is a decisive stroke in the development of achieving unprecedented levels of transparency across all societies.  I think it becomes observable in this situation that artificial intelligence, machine learning, rather, will be used in this context as a kind of time machine, data will allow for moving back in time to unravel infection histories and change, but fast forward in the forms of models predicting certain situations that we'll see an increased likelihood of another outbreak.  We have focused more on historical data, but I think we'll also move forward to a future kind of predictions.

There is a problem, however, if we proceed in that direction and I think that we will because there is no really other choice than that.  Complete transparent societies become very conservative and restrictive.  From the evidence we have from other pandemics, you turn inwards to the point of becoming hostile to outsiders and it is interesting to see that the individuals in those societies steps back from its ambitions and is under constant threat of misbehaving, in this situation, mistrust is created, rather than trust.  Individuals seem to behave as if driven by someone else.

What can be done in situation?  There are societies which have achieved both high‑levels of transparency and high‑levels of trust and I would like to call this the Swedish model.  The Swedish model says or makes us learn that the more the government system itself adheres to the notions of transparency and also fair, the more data is being donated by citizens.  However, the Swedish model informs us that such trust building takes a lot of time.  The freedom of press act of Sweden, from 1766 and I assume that countries for instance like Germany which have experienced two dictatorships in recent histories, there is a situation where citizens will be very reluctant to donate their data, this kind of situation.  We'll take lots of time.  We don't have the time.  So what to do in this situation?

I think there are two strong measure, one, that governments and societies that are embarking down the road to transparency, they may consider upgrading, developing, supporting equally strong counter forces, these could be derived from organizations that tried to inhibit the unrestricted usage, misusage of data like ethical Committee, data protection agents, et cetera, et cetera.  As transparency grows we assume that the avenues and strategies of the entity, in order to be effective will need to outgrow the predictive path and link to other unpredictable actions.  The more transparent societies we create, the more predictable behaviors that we can model, the more we need to create counter organizations that behave in a rather irregular way in order to counter balance that. 

Finally, I think what we see in all societies, it is the rise and usage of social conscious, and because this is much more cheaper than forcing people to   behave in a certain situation.  This in turn could further enhance the conservative behaviors, the individual steps back from its individual goals and acts in a manner that's expected from him or her.  This kind of intervention is quite subtle, perhaps even unrecognizable for the individual making it very difficult to counteract in this situation.  Here, I think, globalization, multilateral cooperation is a way to balance the power of social conscience built by societies, conscience must verify itself on other facts, experiences, opinion, and in open, reflective system, ideas and experiences will spill over, some are de tested by existing social conscience, others may become part of a constructive debate.  Thus, the more self‑conscious is effective, the possibilities to question and review traits of the pressure by comparing experiences of other societies becomes desirable or even necessary.

Thank you very much for your attention.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your interesting transparency model on the data and such serious research.  It is very interesting.

The academics have highlighted the technology innovation and the new   internet technologies is becoming apparent in people's live, new applications such as distant education, smartphones, they have rewritten and reconstructed life, production and the social management and is reaching a brand‑new development and operational model for global development, but now comes to the second topic, the role of internet technology innovation in responding to international public health emergencies.

First, let's welcome Professor Kilnam Chon, Father of the Korean Internet, Inductee of the Internet Hall of Fame.

>> KILNAM CHON: Let me talk with the PowerPoint.

Can you see that file?

I'm Kilnam Chon, computer professor.  I want to talk on the internet technology.  This coronavirus, for us, internet has been challenged, even though some of us are not ready but we don't have any choice this year.  By looking at nine, ten months, I guess we met the challenge with acceptable performance ‑‑ not perfect ‑‑ but we didn't fail.  We did a pretty good job.  Looking at the detail, network infrastructure has been done surprisingly well globally, even among the Developing Countries.  I saw many in Developing Countries, they could participate in remote conferences without much problem.  Back three, four years ago, even the developed countries participation through the remote conferencing with video, it was very easy.  After several years, we have a close‑up look at the improvement.

So network infrastructure wise, I guess we did pretty good or shall I say a B plus or an A minus.

The remote meeting system, like Zoom we're using today.

Very quickly, I was so surprised, back in three, four years ago, this Zoom was not in person, or other web conference systems, this year, video this year, we worry about the security, and I guess video, it is okay, people reasonably are happy.  That's good.

Let's look into some of the issues.

Appointments I said, audiovisual communication around the world, it is good enough to offer the realtime audio and the videoconferencing.  A reason, videoconferencing, it is pretty intelligent, if the bandwidth is not too good, they cut down the video, just use only audio, it is very intelligent.  On the information dissemination, it is something that the internet does very well.  We have very good information dissemination in the last ten months.  Unfortunately, we also have had a lot of abuse, like all of us have experienced fake news, misleading information and such.  This is something that we have to think about in the future.

This is important to the application system, online education, success is limited, we may be ‑‑ people think online education is second class, face‑to‑face education is first class and this should not be the way.  If we work enough, we can make the hybrid education system and that takes many years for development.  The remote work, I guess that's different than online education, many people are ‑‑ many of those Developing Countries, they're moving on to the remote work as normal.  Such as global, Facebook, other companies, and digital divides, some people comment, yes, we do have a digital divide and first of all, many people, they still can't access the internet or can't access the internet properly.  And application wise, yes, financially, we have to work on that, that's our future homework.

If we have time at the end, I would like some of those issues to be discussed, including usability.  The applications are not that user friendly.  I guess I stop here.

Let's move to the next speakers.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for the discussion of the challenge of the internet with COVID‑19.  I think everyone is thinking about it.  It is very important to make more and more people use the internet to access it and to improve our ability to make the applications more usable for us..  Next, let's welcome Li Qian, Executive Expert of Legal and Policy Research Department, Alibaba Group.

>> LI QIAN: Many thanks to the organizer for the invitation to attend this forum and to address the digital technologies with my observations.  I would like to share with you actually the significant meaning to us here at Alibaba, we have experienced two pandemic, when the SARS outbreak took place, it was four years for us, and by that time, the only way that we could get out is to isolate all of the people in our company at home.  At that time, exactly that time, internet was launched, and the second, it was the year 2020, COVID‑19, and Alibaba has grown up.  We're the grownup company with sophisticated technologies and also solutions to help the country and people.  We generate all kinds of resources and power to guarantee the supply in terms of technology supply, resources supply and also the funding supply to the SMEs and many people.  We have seen the differences.  The first one is the difference of the companies, we have made a lot of efforts, a lot of efforts in the first epidemic, to help us out, the second, it is to ‑‑ second thing, it is to help on the part people and to help the nation.  The second difference, we have seen that the digital technologies played a significant role and in this epidemic, in the control and the prevention and control, the digital technology has played a significant role.  I want to share with you some of our experiences.

The first one, it is that in January we started outsourcing and purchasing of resources and established a platform of outsourcing of the materials online and we rely on our eCommerce platform and we look for the reliable medical supplies and resources around the globe.

Second, we rely on our Cloud to monitor and to provide the services to the communities and for covering 4 million people, providing the timely information of information to the people and we established network for the public health, we set up the public health management and governance platform for the government and also we also relieved the stress for the frontline doctors and nurses and AI accelerated and we opened our preparatory Cloud computing platform in February and also we opened AI algorithm to the stakeholders free of charge and we also provide the Big Data development platform and opened the repositories of the data of the epidemics to the people free of charge as well.

The wide application of the digital technologies as enhanced figures of curbing the epidemics and the people in China, in this epidemic, they have experienced the trend and trajectory and the power of digital technologies.

We think that the core change of the digital technology is to serve the people and in the face of the public health emergencies, no country can set aside, just like saying no snowflake is invisible when the avalanche took place.  So we think around the globe we have to look for actively the paradigm of the internet management and the governance and also to have the exchange of the data and sharing the data and also to set up the rules reliable for the people for use in the future.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for that perspective.

Let's welcome the last speaker ever this topic, Koh King Kee, President of Centre for New Inclusive Asia.

>> KOH KING KEE: Thank you.  Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the COVID‑19 pandemic has changed our lifestyle, the way we work, the way we study.  It is also dealing a devastating blow, especially to tourism and hospitality industry.  No pandemic has so profoundly impacted human kind socially and economically as COVID‑19 since the flu pandemic.  Fortunately, advancement in technology, the internet technology, it has really helped to prevent COVID‑19 from becoming a catastrophe, the scale of the 1918 flue pandemic.  WHO declared the outbreak of and constituted a public health emergency of international concern on January 30th, and subsequently categorized it as a pandemic on March 11 as a virus and have impacted so many with more than 4,000 death, total number of COVID cases worldwide has skyrocketed to 46 million with 1.2 million deaths as of November 1st.  This shows how rapidly COVID‑19 could spread and COVID‑19 is highly transmissible from human to human, battling the pandemic is a race with time. 

The internet is providing realtime data and information to play a vital role in mitigating the spread of virus.  To win the battle against the pandemic, governments must first win the heart and cooperation of the people.  Public trust and cooperation are prerequisites for a successful implementation of any preventive measure in a fight against the virus.  With 57% of the developed population not having access to mobile devices such as Facebook, Twitter, messaging apps, such as WhatsApp have no doubt become the fastest and most effective means of communication in disseminating, handling and the transparent information concerning the virus to the public.  Social media are indispensable platforms for educating the public and debunking misinformation and fake news.  There is no effective developed vaccine or therapy, the infection clusters and isolation of infected individuals through active surveillance, contact tracing, that is the primary measures to mitigate and containing the spread of the virus in this regard.  Internet technology innovations has helped tremendously in translating early detection and rapid identification of the cases as well as ensuring strict adherence to current conditions. 

Big Data and AI could help check infection transmission in place time and person and identify respecters for the diseases to get effective intervention such as migration maps which is used, mobile phone, records, mobile payment applications and social media to collect realtime data on locations of people and helping health authorities to track the movement of the people.

To identify emerging hot spots and clusters of infection, thermal sensor, other thermometers are set up in entrances of workshop, schools and public hot spots to detect people and shopping malls, train stations, capturing the personal details.  Realtime records, information from vehicles and mobile phones will show travel and will show the rapid identification and emergency texts allows people that have been in contact with infected individuals with instruction to testing centers and to self-isolate.  The case identification and the isolation, quarantine of context, it is needed to prevent further transmission.  Digital technology enables authorities to enforce strict quarantine for individuals who have been exposed to or infected with the virus.  For people to have been infected area, tracking the devices such as mobile phones app, digital links through technology, if quarantine is needed.

Apart from technology, public health emergency response, public cooperation, this is a fight against individual freedom and privacy for the larger safety of the community is key.

Internet technology innovations complement but are no replacement tore the conventional measures such as good personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  The information in knowledge and application of innovation, it has brought us a lot of information.  It is urgent to think about how to look at the human survival with a trust mechanism, let's come to the third topic, methods and paths for building trust mechanisms in cyberspace against the backdrop of international public health emergencies.  Let's welcome Jian Yang, Director of the Institutional Governance, Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies.

>> JIANG YANG: Dear colleagues, trust in cyberspace is protection and understanding the trust in the cyberspace from the real world and it has a commonality and characteristics on the issues of information security, transparency and confidence building measures as an important task in establishing the view in cyberspace and proposed measures in terms of the availability, cooperation and transparency.  It is focused mostly on military and the cybersecurity response and with the popularization of new technologies and applications, especially with the COVID‑19 pandemic people spend more time online, cybercrime acts have increased sharply and that information has been spending and it is important to explore building trust mechanisms in cyberspace under new circumstances.  The mechanism in cyberspace, it should have many factors.  This mechanism should be focused on building a community with a safe future in cyberspace and it should be established by the three roots, a base and responsibility, transparency, respect, understanding and cooperation with actors such as government, international organizations, others.

This is essential.  Laws, regulation, standards, norms, IT capability, social, ethics, supervision and self‑discipline, it is a multidimension for the system and now I would like to focus three roots as an example.

Technologies, first we should use technologies to build trust.  New technologies such as block chain play a very important role in building trust.  We should continue to use this for credibility and transparency of the cyberspace.

Second, we should look at the digital gap and trust in cyberspace between countries, looking at the ITU compatibility and the ability to access internet directly jeopardizes the ability to save lives and maintain and effect ability of governments to respond to global emergencies quickly.  Measures should be taken to help under developed countries improve their digital infrastructure capabilities.

Third, we should oppose the politicization of technologies.  Applications, the application, it is the data security, we should adopt methods to enhance legal compatibility and interoperabilities among countries.  Second, international organizations and government should drive communication and cooperation to establish in an orderly, non‑discriminatory framework for corresponding data and establish the data accountability and a relief mechanisms.

Third, the formulation of industry standards and norms should be facilitated.

Legal and social matters, actors should be forming their respectful duties and assume the responsibilities of controlling false and harmful information and malicious acts.  First, government should establish sound laws and regulation to increase cost of illegal acts.

Second, companies should take the initiative to assume social responsibilities with domestic and international laws.

Third, internet literacy of citizens should be improved with assets for self-explaining the laws and the punishment and to choose that the trust, it is the best bounty agent in international relations and we should look at this through mutual consultation and mutual understanding germinated from the foundation, the father of the European Union said cooperation is not possible without trust.  Cooperation is not durable without that mechanism, the transparent societies lies in the heart to heart connection between different races and the technique of trust building lays in sincere cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your speech.

Finally, let's welcome Professor Luca Belli, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Getulio Vargas Foundation from Brazil.  Thank you.

>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you.  I absolute the efforts for organizing that timely debate which is essential in the situation that we're in, it is key, thank you, this is essential I think to build this agenda on how we could build trust.

Let me share quickly the presentation that I want to share with you.

I wanted to tackle the issue of trust from the angle of mass production and cybersecurity, one of the main areas as well as the professor of law school and another project.

Now, for those that know this, this is a main academic institution and it is the fifth influential think tank globally out of 10,000 and this project I mentioned before, it is a unique project analyzing digital policies in Brazil, Russia, Africa, others, from a team from the countries hosted by the law school.  Why is this very relevant not only for the trust discussion we're having today but in general for just policies, well, because the policies, those are adopted by the five countries are impacting more than 1.6 billion internet users and will impact 3.2 billion individuals, more than 40% of the world population and the kids and the companies, they want to utilize technology produced by the countries, which is increasing wide share of the world population.  Now, we have understood, although it is a very low profile group, there is a lot of interesting things happening in this grouping and we have understood more than three years ago the value of cooperation within cybersecurity and the declaration from 2017 and since then, there is incredible upgrades and updates in data protection frameworks of the countries which have been developing these, maybe in some cases from scratch over the last couple of years.  Cooperation in digital governance, it is a key issue for enhancement of the grow growing population that's been reiterated and reaffirming the commitment to cooperation and also underscoring the importance of effective protection of personal data which is key in the overall trust building process.

Let me just provide you an overview of the last six months regarding the data protection.  Brazil has just adopted and entered into force a month ago the new general protection law and it is creating a new authority for the protection of personal data.  Russia is deploying its artificial intelligence strategy and adopting a wide range of data intensive technologies to combat COVID‑19, India has finalized the new data protection deal and proposed a very interesting data empowerment and protection ark temperature, it is a technical way of management of consent for individuals whose data are collected. 

China has just released two weeks ago the Draft Data Protection Law and is spearheading an initiative, a Global Initiative on Data Security and South Africa has Protection of Personal Information Act and entry into force.  Although it is in a grace period, this is only what happened in the last six months.  Now, to have a better understanding of framework, we have often operated this tool that you can find on BRICS, comparing the data protection of the BRICS countries, everything is in access, and all of the analysis and we have collaborated over the last year and a half, over 100 internet access points and something that we also aim at doing, it is lobbying for positive change and I'm very happy to share also with you that last year, during the BRICS summit in Brazil, I had a pleasure to call for a strong, efficient cybersecurity governance and stronger, more solid data protection frameworks to enhance cooperation amongst BRICS countries and to fully enjoy and explore the potential of Sustainable Development Goals within the BRICS countries but also globally I would say.

Now, I'm very happy to hear over the past year, this has been well received and integrated by BRICS colleagues and I would like to offer further elements for the debate, we're publishing this book, this is the first one analyzing cybersecurity regulation in the BRICS countries, including data protection.  It will be released in one month, in December, but you can already access a free access, the content, it is all there on the website or using this URL, bit.ly/BRICSbook.  Everything is in free access and we'll also discuss this as a way to enhance data information, if you have any questions on this, please, I would be happy to answer during the debate or feel free to reach out if we can't talk today.

Thank you for your attention.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Professor Luca Belli.  I think that your introduction to the BRICS countries on data protection is interesting for every country.  I hope ‑‑ nonetheless, for all countries and the world, this will be useful.

Our agenda, the discussion part, but for time reasons, as we all know, I know there are some in the Q&A room, there are some problems.  I can only imagine some people attending, they want to share some of theirs.

First, I want to welcome Karim Alwadi, a Research Fellow from the University of China.

>> KARIM ALWADI:  Thank you for the invitation.  I'm not an expert.  Let me share my views on my backgrounds. 

I'm a businessman, I'm in the business, we have a beltway group, we're happily involved in infrastructure investment which makes us also involved with the road initiatives and my academic background, the international information.

On the first observation today, I would say that we started the year with a very pessimistic view on our operations on the related projects.  However, having now in November, we can share that this has moved to real digital built and road, I'm still in Beijing and we have operations elsewhere internet has helped us in a way that we could not have anticipated to move out this project which is heavily related to people to people kind of operations and that kind of operation requests a lot of trust and I would say business wise, trust is there, which is very interesting of an observation.

On the other side, on the personal/academic, I would say that sitting here, living in Beijing since the beginning, I have been here in Beijing since the beginning of the COVID‑19, I would say that the experience, the personal experience I have, basically the China experience is dealing with COVID‑19, it is worth sharing.  On related to the internet space, I would say that the successful experience that was based on the capacity of data collection as well as with the quantum computing, added with AI, that actually is worth sharing experience and in my view, trust is the vehicle of sharing this kind of experience.

Today, having this forum now in Beijing, it kind of sent a very strong signal on the challenge and the China willingness to share this very needed now apparently successful experience with the rest of the world.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Karim Alwadi.

Let's welcome Mr. Oleg Abdurashitov, Head of CEO Office, Kaspersky.

>> OLEG ABDURASHITOV: Since the beginning, we realized that this will take place in the cyber domain as much as the physical and biological one, we have detected more than 400,000 new malicious objects every single day, up 25% spike compared to last year.  A lot those malicious examples, they're built around the COVID issue, you have the special offers, most of those, they are ‑‑ some of those are very malicious.  And we have talked about the experience, businesses, sending people home, you know, capital organizations functioning but at the same time, the cyber criminals discovered a new expanding threat landscape for themselves, the new targets and people discovered, you know, they cannot protect the users at home with the same level of security that is available in their offices.

For instance, healthcare organizations, critical infrastructure, we thought should have been well‑protected.  We found out that they were not, and we all heard of ransomware taking down hospitals and other consequences of these events.  What we don't hear about, it is we hear of those horrible stories, we don't hear about the success stories of institutional collaboration.

For instance, together with Interpol this year, we're able to clean up the infected network of an entire hospital and to create the lost files in another one, and the fact is, neither Interpol or Kaspersky had to do that, they're helping the police agencies and hospitals, and we're helping clients, not just every other organization.  Because of that institutional trust that we're acquiring over the years of working together when we got this distress call, we put all of our resources into helping them rather than into deciding how we actually framework allowing us to do that, more examples of trust, platform helping people to make cyberspace safer but ultimately, the trust is critical, colleagues from the Chinese Cyberspace Institute highlighted some of the ways to enhance the trust.  As a company, we can only work on a technological level and we do that, we open up our source code, invite people to look into that, teach people do that, but if we are seriously considering achieving a breakthrough, a breakthrough that's really needed in the current environment, they should have more participants and more willingness to do that.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

Now I want to answer the questions from Professor Robertson.  There are 27 people in the room now.  Okay.  So this is the end of the discussion.  Thank you for all of your presented ideas.

For all of the speakers, for your speeches, we know that cyberspace mutual trust is the basics for increasing the overall availability to mankind, even the existing international country's responses and the combination mechanism of cyberspace yet to be improved, it is urgent for all entities of cyberspace to streamline communication and cooperation and to build and implement the trust mechanism in cyberspace.  It is important that the ecological governance of cyberspace, and there is a critical use of emerging technologies and the response to the global risk and the challenges.  Today we have started this talk and there are guests from the world hearing from constructive stories and suggestions.  This is magnificent.  I believe that the cyberspace mutual trust between countries and maintaining confidence in the positive side of the internet will help serve a dynamic economic recovery to maintain collaboration in a physically isolated world.  The forum has to end here due to time reasons.

I hope that everyone, if you want to share, please use that and put answers in the Q&A room.

You're welcome to share within this IGF forum.

Thank you all.  Thank you, again, for your participation.  Thank you.

 

 

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