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IGF 2020 - Day 3 - OF16 Internet Governance with and for the Citizens

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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>> MODERATOR: We have an hour to discuss the preliminary results with internet, it is not enough, of course.  But it is a preliminary round.  I welcome you, I'm working with Missions Publiques and a part of this project.  Welcome for being here today, many are here from our national partners, our strategic partner, from friends and families, thank you for being here with us today to this presentation.

We have a very nice line‑up of speakers today, I will present you shortly now, and then we'll have the capacity and the possibility to answer, to react.

First of all, Vint Cerf, hello, Vint Cerf, the Vice President of Google, thank you for being with us this morning on your side.  Also because it is especially early in the U.S. and you're quite busy with other projects.

We have Concettina Cassa, we know each other for three year, working with the Office of The Prime Minister in Italy, also Co‑Chair of the Best Practice Forum and Data and you are active as a team for the national dialogue in Italy of the citizens there.

Raqual Gatto, we know each other since a couple of year, you are now active in the Internet Society in Brazil, national partner for Brazil, together with another partner in the country.

We then have Simon Kreye, you are working with the German government, the office there, a stronger supporter of the process.  Thank you for being with us today.  Thank you for your support.

We have Livia Walpen, working nearby, you are engaged in the internet and thank you for being in that space and reacting with us.

We have Olga Kyryliuk, hello, a CEO and founder of the platform based in the Ukraine and you have been our partner and you're active at the regional internet governance forum, and thank you for being with us today.

Next, will be Erlingur Erlingsson, and hello, you are working at Facebook and global policy team and have been supporting us for over two year, we have been discussing a lot on this topic and this process and I'm really, really happy to have you here today.

Last but not least, Lynn St. Amour, hello, you are the Chair of our Advisory Board and you are an engineer with internet governance, you have the former Chair of IGF MAD and the difficult responsibility to say the closing words today of our hour.  Thank you very much for being there. 

The people we don't see necessarily, they're all of our national partners, thank you for being there, all of the participants and those that are here.

Why are we here today?  We here at Missions Publiques have a deep conviction we want to test, improve, institutionalize the internet governance with and for the citizens.  We imagine doing that as a process of deliberation.  We want to engage ordinary citizens and stakeholders into that discussion on the future of internet by giving them some tools and those tools, they're first of all occasions to come together, to discuss the future of internet, and also some balancing information to be able to make up their mind on this discussion and we want to have impact on policy.

So this is why we want to use that kind of format, that deliberate format.

The timing of the project, as a remind, we started to work on it in 2017, we have had some preliminary discussion in 2018 and 2019 and in 2020 we have been scaling the process in the frame of the COVID outbreaks so it has brought a lot of opportunities and a lot of challenges, but we're happy that in October we were able to deploy the deliberation in over 70 countries of the world, although some of them, they're still in preparation, we know some partner, they're going to have it in the middle of November.  We think about that.  Now we're going to present the first preliminary results and then we're going to the aim is 2025, that's the long‑term for us and there is more information coming out in 2025 at the next Information Society.

Some key figures about the process, so the stakeholder, the entities and the dialogue, it does involve participants in more than 80 countries and partners in all the countries and over 5,000 participants.

Now I would like to share with you feedback in the video of how it has been for the people, we have fresh feedback from the ground.  I will share that with you and we're going to have 5 minutes with the participants from all over the world.

>> (Video with captions).

>> MODERATOR: These are some impressions from the ground.  I hope that you have gotten a good idea of what's happening there.

Let's dive into the discussion.  Before we do, this is a disclaim, these are preliminary results, mostly based on the qualitative data, that data, it is still to be evaluated and I would like to remind ourselves that these answers, they're the product of a discussion and information.  It is not an opinion poll, it is the answer that people give after they have been discussing the topic and after they have gotten some information on it.  In terms of participants, I would like to show you the diversity that we have had and we aimed at.  We aimed at having people from all walks of life for the citizens dialogue and we have reach that had in terms of diversity of age, diversity in terms of gender, balance and in terms of gender but also in terms of their occupation, having people from all sectors of society.

We're now going to go into the first topic, the question of data.  This is the question, the first question we have asked the citizens, the first topic we have addressed, it is today we're a society in which we produce data, with the produce data as person but also as a society.

For us, a key question concerning the future of internet, it is how should we handle that data that we produce as a society and as individuals.  I'm going to present you some reasons and ask the panelists to react to those questions and before that, I would like to give you an opportunity or so to join the discussion and to answer the question as citizens.  You can join us at slido.com #of16 or scan the code you're seeing on the screen or in the chat.  The link is in the chat.  You can also answer the question we asked the citizens, a key question we asked, if you think about the advantages and the drawbacks of the fact that we as a society collect and use more and more data, I would like your view on that and we can compare the citizens participating in the dialogue and how you are thinking, it is a way of having an interaction on the topic.  I see that answers are coming.

I'll now present some of the reasons.

For the citizens of the world, 50% of them see that it is equally an opportunity and a threat and 25% of them, they think that it is more an opportunity than a threat.  Globally, positive or neutral position, on data.

Also, if we ask them who should control the collection, access and the use of digital data, we have a strong support for persons of responsibility or the responsibility of the people, that people want to have the control and want to make the decision by themselves, including the decision to sell the data and also support for the right to access and to use the data.  Interestingly, we also have quite a lot of people that say that we should stop collecting data in the first place but not the majority of them.

We have asked the citizens after the discussion how they feel about data, they're answering for the majority that their understanding of data has improved.  This is clear effect of the discussion and the deliberate process as I mentioned before.

Also, if we ask them how they will behave after the dialogue, the kind of conclusion that they draw it, a huge majority, a majority of them said that it will act differently, they'll share less data, the majority, but also some of them, they would share more data and I'm happy to see reaction of our panelists on that point.   

As a remind, I see the Slido is open and people are using that to answer.  That's very good.

I would like to give the floor to Vint Cerf.  What is your reaction to those results?

>> VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Antoine.

I have to tell you, this idea to go and ask the world its opinion of the internet, it remind me a little bit of Sergey Brin and Brandon Page when still students at Stanford and said why don't we download the entire worldwide web and index it, and my first reaction to this is you must be out of your mind.  I had a similar reaction when Antoine said let's ask the world what they think about the internet.  It was not crazy, in fact, it sort of is a simplistic concept, you know, if you wonder what people are think, why don't you ask them.

That's exactly what Antoine and Missions Publiques has done with the internet effort.  I was asked specifically to respond on the data side.  I will start off by observing that transparency, it is a critical element here.

It is impossible to offer certain services without having some personal information.  If you want me to ship an item to you, I have to know where to ship it to.  If you need me to call you on the phone, send you a text mail to alert you to the arrival of something, I need to know what the mobile number is.  There are a set of things that are necessary even though we also think of them as being personal information, but of course the users should have the knowledge of what information is needed and they should be able to decide whether they're going to share it or not and so that's the first point, transparency and decision making, it is very important.

The second issue has to do with what happens to that information.  It might be necessary to supply a particular service, but it might also be used by the company that's offering the service for other purposes, and again transparency is very important here, information about what happens to that information, is it shared with anyone or not, if it is shared, for what purpose is it shared, with whom?  So once again, I think transparency, it is very important here.  It is probably not the case, however, that each of us wants to have direct and immediate control over every instance of sharing of our data.  Can you imagine, just for a moment, all of the various products and services that you use in an online environment, being interrupted on a continuous basis with the question, is it okay for me to send this information to that party?  We would probably go crazy.

We would need, if we want to have some kind of authorization mechanism, we probably need to establish frameworks that will allow us to express what our preferences are and have those frameworks be the drivers for what is done with the information that's accumulated in the course of business or in the course of interaction.

I would note, it is not just business that needs this kind of information, almost anything that you do on the internet ultimately requires some kind of information, for example, getting access to the internet, assuming it is not free, you may need to have an account.  The party that is providing you with access to the internet needs to know where to send the billing information, for example or may need to have ways of reaching you with your email or mobile number or something in case something goes wrong, in case there is a question.

The issue here is not whether data is needed in many instances, I think that the answer is, yes, it is.  The real question is what happens to it and are the users adequately informed so that they can make informed decisions about what to do.

Finally, I think that we're discovering that there is information which is accumulated and used but this is not necessarily reported.  You could see a trend in some places looking for regulatory constraint or auditing and reporting from companies, Google for example, we do a considerable amount of reporting about governments asking for information, for example, we provide statistical information about that.  With regard to privacy, we have a privacy dashboard that lets you control and remove information that's been accumulated.

These are the kinds of things I believe the polling, the discussion has revealed.

I wanted to make one other comment, if I might, and it is a point about what you have accomplished.  It is not just a question of getting information back from the users, which you have done, but this is an informing process, people are learning about how things work and what issues arise, what policies need to be debated so the tool you're using to get information back, it is also putting information out into the hands of the general public.  I think that is as valuable of a contribution as getting the information back.

I'll stop there, I'm sure that other also have some observations to make on this topic.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Vint.  Thank you for the complement on the work.

We're also really proud that we made it, also made it in this year, it was quite a challenge also.

I would like to give the floor to Concettina Cassa.  Your reaction?

>> CONCETTINA CASSA: Okay.  Thank you.

I want to give some information about myself.  What we have done in Italy, as you know, we are part of ‑‑ partners with Missions Publiques on this public, and we have discussed this on the 5th of October, I was a moderator to that path, related to data.  What we have had, we have particular interests from citizens, from participants on this theme, on the way that data is collected and shared from the social platform and also from artificial intelligence tools and other platforms.

What we noted, we had several comments on transparency and you are right, so there were several requests and comments asking for a more transparent process on how data is collected and used and also on asking for respecting Human Rights in using data, data from user.

Several participants also shared comments and thoughts on the need to have more literacy and education so that people can have more awareness about how the data are used.

This is not enough because even if there is education, the important part, it is the framework and the legislation, that it could not be related to local level, but should be more global, at least legislation should be handled at the regional level, so should go beyond the national ‑‑ the national borders.

Several comments were related to GPR, we're in Europe, so there was a need ‑‑ there was an ask for updating the GPR to include the perspective of the citizen, but also to include the new issues that are brought up from artificial intelligence.  There was also a lot of discussion about data because several participants said that there could be a kind of separation between data related to the digital identity intended as information that identifies a person and also in this kind of data, maybe it could be centralized and handled by the central agency but the people, they want to know the difference between this kind of data and the more sensitive data that's collected.  The second group of data, it should be owned by people, they should ‑‑ the ‑‑ some of these ‑‑ somebody said that ‑‑ they should never be collected ‑‑ there is some data that's so sensitive that should be kept in the hands of the users.  I don't want to take too much time, but I want to use this opportunity also to mention the Best Practice forum on the new technologies that I'm coordinator, as Antoine specified before, it is honoring the same kind of topics.  I think that the results that have been elected by Missions Publiques maybe could be put and shared with the Best Practice forum and maybe this could be more linked also with participation to the session of the new technology discussion that we'll have next week.

That's all.  Thank you for inviting me.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  U. thank you.  Indeed, I think there is an energy and a lot to learn from your work and to input in the discussion on data.  It was personally one of my breakthroughs in the process to understand that the balance between what's personal data and what is data as a society and that indeed we all have to learn that new state, that new stage of society working with data, handling data together and individually.  It was a pleasure for me, a learning process that I had.

I would like to give you a short feedback on the questions on the Slido.

If we see, people that have joined us, today we have also quite something similar as the citizens, what they said, that it is equal an opportunity and a threat, for me it reflects this need to understand better and to learn what is data and how to handle that.  We're not at the end of the discussion.

Thank you very much.

Vint, thank you very much, Concettina Cassa.

I would like now to go to the next session, which is on the digital public sphere.  That's the second topic discussed during the dialogue.  Why this question, it is because of course the traditional channels of information and the way citizens are making up their mind has dramatically changed in the course of the last ten years with the emergence and surge of social media.  We may all produce information and receive information, and it has a long list of consequences on how we discuss and how we together shape our opinions and discuss online, but also offline.  The question for us, what does it take to have a healthy discussion online and what is it with one of the main challenges around that, which is disinformation and that's the topic we wanted to address with citizens.

On that specifically, I also again would like to ask you a question, where do you draw the line on free expression, this is a question we asked to the citizens.  I see that some of you already have started to answer.  Let's look at what citizens and participants said around the world.

What they said, it is that they see a necessity to regulate, to at least to control, to act on freedom of speech and the answer that comes first, speech should be controlled so that people are not harmed.  So the goal being for people to be protected and it is the same in public and private spaces.  That's the majority of opinion and views of the citizens.  What they don't like, it is that freedom of speech should be controlled completely, it is 10% of the participants, there is no restriction at all on freedom of speech is another.

We asked about the level of exposure to disinformation and what they feel, how they feel exposed or not, how they feel, the people in the country exposed or not, and the people around the world.  What we see, it is that they have the feeling that they're much less exposed than the people in the country and that people elsewhere in the world will be more concerned and exposed to the disinformation.  There is a relative subjective view to the exposure of the disinformation.  We asked after the discussion the same for data, if they will change their behavior, if they will act differently.

When you say this is a learning process for the participants, indeed, in that case also, almost 80% of the participants told that yes, they would be more cautious on what they see, read and observe online.  That was the more individual part of the views of the citizens.  We also asked them as group, you see people seated at table, and we asked each of the tables, all over the world, virtual table, to work on assessing different tools for fighting disinformation.  We asked them to assess the role of different actor, so we asked them what should public bodies do, what should private sector do, what should Civil Society at large do and we proposed them categories of actions to fight against disinformation going from education and employment up to law and legal instruments, going through making sure that content is of high quality.  Citizens had the time to work on the different tools and the different type of actors and to assess the emergency and usefulness of different tools.  What we have, it is that people saw that the number one priority both in terms of emergencies, it is important to act now, and it is going to have a good ‑‑ a big impact, it is education.  That's true for them for public bodies and public bodies, there is an emergency for them to act on education and it is also something that will have impact.

The same goes for Civil Society, so huge support and where they see that Civil Society should invest in education and there was a strong support for actors of the private sector that should also put a priority on education both in terms of impact, because it will have an impact and because it is urgent to do so.

We marginalize, we ask who should take the lead, who should be leading the efforts against disinformation, what we see, it is that there is very high support for multistakeholder process, where all actors in a way are included and the one above no, one, meaning that the less support, it is to let it go and to have no efforts to look at this disinformation, we see citizens are really approving, supporting common action by all actors to fight disinformation but at the same time, we see that different actors should have also different priorities.

Raquel, I would like to have your view, your feedback on this.

>> RAQUEL GATTO:  Thank you.  I was so lucky around ‑‑ to be around the project with you over the three years in different capacities.  I should say that this year, being on the ground, being closer to the discussions was really, really rewarding and I could see the impact it does with the citizens while they're asked as Vint said about how they feel about the internet.

Some of the reflections, first, before I forget, I need to thank also the local team, the wonderful team there in Brazil, all of the facilitators that worked on the ground.  I should take this moment just to give them a big clap, they did an amazing job!.

As well as many of the national partners I guess here, I'm also feeling the information, the spice, the flavors for the local results.

As Vint was say, a thing when asked about how Brazilians feel about the internet, they were much more hopeful.  Over 55 replied that they see the internet as an opportunity ‑‑ more often an opportunity than a threat followed by then equally being an opportunity and a threat.

These a piece of information that's probably a cultural difference also, but it is an experience and the perception that they're having.  My reflections on the digital public sphere, they're really ‑‑ I'm going to keep on four quick topic, I know we're short on time.

The first one, it was when you were showing the results at the global level regarding the exposure and how the individuals felt about themselves being exposed to the disinformation and how they perceived others.  It is interesting to see that people seem to be okay in terms of their moderately exposed to the disinformation but then when they look for others in their country, it is closer to their knowledge, they seem to look at it is bad, they're highly exposed to the impact of the disinformation.  When asked further, how do you feel about other country, how do you perceive other countries, there seems to be the effect of the neighbor's garden is greener and it might not be the pulse, that is interesting to see this perception.  Again, at the end, after the discussions about 70%, they did reply that they were willing to change their behavior regarding the disinformation.  That's an impact that should not be apart from the interesting interpretation, that's the impact that we saw the theory of change, the change of behavior that they're willing to commit to.

The second ‑‑ this turns to the second comment regarding the results which is a very interesting one.

In the discussions about what is a healthy digital public sphere environment, of course, education, the legal tools came out highly in the discussions, and there was another one that came, it was access, universal access, meaningful access, inclusion, ways that ‑‑ why is that, and the perception, I'll give examples from the participants that to join online we had to do because of the pandemic, as many other, the fully online version of this discussion, and some of them did have to travel some hours to get to a point, to a church, to a telecommunication center where ‑‑ to a public center where they could get connected.  Some of them even had to travel from boats and the connection, it was ‑‑ from ‑‑ in their hometown, it is non‑existent, they have to take to another city, another village to get through.

When talking about fact check, critical thinking around disinformation, it is interesting to see if they have a few hours to get connected, even minutes, if they have a very short amount of time to get connected, it is a different way to deal with the data that they receive than those that are fully 100%, 24 hours connected.  Then you can take the time, I can do the fact checking, I can ‑‑ because I'm connected.  Those who are not, they have a different way to manage this data.  That's why access and inclusion as an example came up also in terms of how to build this healthy environment.

The third one, it is around the education, and Antoine, if I'm doing the time ‑‑

>> MODERATOR: Just one, and then we can go on.

>> RAQUEL GATTO:  Education, that came already, you mentioned that.  Education, it is a high priority for all of the actors for Civil Society, for the public sector, for the private sector to use the tools to get ‑‑ to fight better disinformation.

The only thing I think it is interesting to show in the preliminary results, it is that the impact changes.  While they all agree that education is the way to go in terms of priorities, they don't feel ‑‑ at least in the results ‑‑ the response, they were ‑‑ they are a bit skeptical, they were not sure that the impact on the private sector would be done.  This is not about companies are evil, all of those things, but this is about the perception that they have in terms of influencing and the power balance to influence the decisions and really how this would happen.  It is a bit on the trust also.

The last one, regarding the law.  I should mention this, it is not only the legal appetite for having a law, but it is also how this law is going to turn into reality.  It is how we'll have the implementation around it, the follow‑up processes around it, and Brazil, as you all know, there are examples, we have for example the multistakeholder advisory board, that's since 1995, we have had the principles around the internet used in 2009, we had the internet in 2014.  Right now, the reality, it is that we're also fighting ‑‑ or not fight, we're debate, right, in terms of where is our regulatory response also to this disinformation and fake news.

This has been a very divided environment while you do have the concerns for the society as a whole and you also have the technical concerns behind it and this all came up in terms of this is not only the law, but it is about the processes that we build.  I hope ‑‑ sorry for taking more of your time.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

I would like to jump to Simon.

>> SIMON KREYE:  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on this distinguished panel.

Congratulations for conducting this online dialogue, the citizens dialogue, the biggest we know about so far and these challenging circumstances.  I have to say, joining this journey with you over the last I believe year or so was really exciting and very inspiring.  The reason why the German foreign office joined this endeavor, I have to say, it is exactly to look at the digital public sphere and the online disinformation.  That's something that obviously we experienced that every day and we wanted to get a clearer picture of what citizens think about it and what possible solutions they would favor.  I should add that we have made very explicit decisions that we as a foreign ministry wanted to join and maybe not another ministry within government because we understood and still understand disinformation as a phenomenon that happens also in the international arena and can be part of the hybrid net and for interference.  I believe some results we have just seen, they speak to this understanding quite a lot, when we look at this charge where people have been asked whether they personally or maybe their country, other countries, they're mostly effected by disinformation and many, it is mainly the country, another country, and we understand it as a confirmation that the disinformation, it happens between border, maybe with misaligned misintent from other actors.  We know that this happens inside of borders, we have a lot of examples in our minds, and this is, again, then sort of confirmed by the answer that people give or gave when asked what tool can best be used to tackle this disinformation and they answer education is actually the primary tool.  I wouldn't have expected that answer from a personal point of view, I thought maybe it was too ‑‑ too soft of an answer to disinformation, I see awareness raising, media literacy activities, it has a huge impact.  That's maybe why I say, this why we're implementing such activities in third countries and hopefully quite successfully.

I also saw in the results, people see a very strong role in Civil Society to act against disinformation, and I assume it means things like fact checking, journalism trainings, so on.  I also saw a very strong role for regional bodies and government and this obviously is a call for legislation for regulation, and I would just like to very briefly mention that as a regional body, E.U. is preparing to document in that regard, the European Action Plan on Democracy, which is about to come out I believe on the 2nd of December which will contain elements of dealing with disinformation and the other one is the so‑called Digitalizing Services Act, I believe that's a longer shot and the first draft will come out towards the end of this year and the beginning of next year.

Together with E.U., Missions Publiques we'll use the results, especially obviously from Europe, but also from across the world in order to inform the debate at the European level and to try to make sure that the results will be taken onboard.

Thank you again.

Having seen this last figure, that 80% will be more cautious on using online information, it gives me a lot of optimism.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Simon.

Thank you for your support and what you said.  It is all good in discussions when you say it like that.

We're now going to go to the question of governance.  Before that, I would like to share with you the answers you have given to the question on freedom of speech.  You seem to have the kind of same priority that ‑‑ yes.  No.  You have a different view.

For you, the context, it is more important.

Citizens, they had more priority on harm and harass and rules should be the same.    The numbers are not the same, of course, but it is a way to have this interaction.

Governance, a reminder, we have been running together with our partners a stakeholder dialogue, not citizens, but stakeholders involved in internet governance and we have asked for their feedback to assess three models of governance for the future of internet.  This was part of the work done by Germany and the United Arab Emirates providing information to the United Nations Secretary‑General on the future of digital cooperation, it is a discussion going over two years.  A piece was to ask for feedback from stakeholders on how they see the future of internet governance, what architecture it should have.  We ran a dialogue in over 80 countries in the world online.  I would like to play again with you, and the game, it is find the differences. 

What you see on the screen, it is on one side and you have the titles of the recommendations of the stakeholder dialogue that we have been running since June and on the other side, you have the titles of the options paper that's been submitted to the United Nations and I would like to see if you can find which one is which so I give you a few seconds.  You can bet left or right for the stakeholder's dialogue report or the options paper.  I'll give you the answer.

On the left, it is the title of the options paper and on the right, it is the recommendations of the stakeholder dialogue report.

What I want to say with that, it is we're convinced that constructive, deliberate informed discussion, it can be very valuable for a governance process at a global level and particularly for the future of the internet.  That's one of the proofs of that.

With that, I would like to go back to the citizens dialogue and ask you the last question, the last question, it is should citizens' dialogues become part of the normal way of making decisions on the future of the internet.  We can see what citizens have answered.  Citizens have said ‑‑ 87% say yes, that's it's the normal way.  What it tells us on governance, it is more than that.

What they say, it is the strong support for multistakeholder process.  If we ask them following institutions, organizations, they should be part of the discussion and decision making process in the future of the internet, you see overwhelming support for multistakeholder process, all actors should be involved.

What you also see, it is that when we asked them for which kind of topics, challenges, which kind of level of decision making should be implemented we say there is a strong support for a global discussion on artificial intelligence on internet governance itself, on access, so access, it is for citizens for global discussion, on environment, and a bit less on disinformation and data, we have talked about that.  For citizens, it is also something that has to do with more local, regional, national developments.

What are your thoughts on that, Livia.

>> LIVIA WALPEN:  Thank you.

I congratulate you and the whole team at Missions Publiques for the very important and successful initiative that you did.

From the Swiss government side actually, we really have supported the initiative from the very beginning.  I think it was back in 2017.  We are convinced that the discussions on the future of digital governance can and actually must be enriched with the informed opinions of ordinary citizens from all over the world, particularly also from the Global South.  It is our strong belief that decisions are better when they're taken through a sound process of participation.  I think also that capacity is an important precondition for meaningful participation and particularly also when it comes to the world of complex, abstract issue of digital governance, and with this initiative, Missions Publiques made a valuable contribution in this regard.  Also I'm very satisfied with the results of both the global stakeholders dialogue in June as well as the citizens dialogue in October, particularly with regard to the issue of digital governance.  I think, just to outline the results, they clearly confirm the multistakeholder approach towards digital governance so the citizens that you ask, they have clearly stated that all actors, government, international organizations, the private sector, academia, the technical community, Civil Society, and also ordinary citizens should be included in the decision making process in their respective roles and I very much agree on this, of course.  Moreover, the results of the dialogue also say that cooperation coordination needs to be improved as the current digital policy landscape is complex and sometimes lacks efficiency and I think it is interesting, this really is also very much in line with what the UN Secretary‑General says in his roadmap on digital cooperation and particularly with regards to strengthening the IGF towards an IGF Plus and from the Swiss side, we fully support the intentions to involve the IGF into a more inclusive, responsive, effective instrument of global digital cooperation.  I guess in a world that's becoming more and more complex we really urgently need inclusive participatory and innovative models of governance that's ready for the challenges we have faced in the 21st Century.  I'm convinced that deliberate citizen dialogues as Missions Publiques, as it just conducted, they can and should be part of such new forms of global governance and particularly also with regards to the internet which is a global common good and against this background, I can say that we fully support also further establishing and institutionalizing citizens dialogues, maybe also as a permanent feature of the IGF framework and probably we cannot conduct a worldwide citizen dialogue every year, as you know, but perhaps we can start with having representative selections of citizens from different countries in all regions of the world participating in annual dialogues to express their views on the main thematic tracks of the annual IGF as well.  I mean, this would definitely help make the IGF more inclusive and this is also very much in the spirit of the IGF Plus.

Yeah.  I'm looking forward to the future developments in this regard and from the Swiss side, of course, we stand ready to further support digital governance with and for the citizens.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you for your support.

Before I give the word over, we have 4 minutes on the clock.  I don't know when we'll be cut.  We can be aware of that, that maybe ‑‑ I don't know, from the secretariate, when you cut the session, if you cut the session, but I hope not so directly!.

>> ERLINGUR ERLINGSSON: I'll try to be as brief as possible.

I quickly want to echo what others have said, congratulating you on the dialogues and saying at least we are supporters of this so far.

The multistakeholder approach, it is at the heart of internet governance and it is essential to realize the benefits of the internet and those benefits are not con trained to any one particular area.  This conversation, that you organized, it is very important contribution to that.

Looking at the takeaways, the one that jumps out for me, it is this emphasis on multistakeholderism, one of the good isms, if I can say that, that tells us that the diverse group of stakeholders should have a voice when it comes to making decisions on the future of internet governance.  Also noted, the emphasis on a role for the research community and academia, not being a statistician, that tells me that the citizens want to inform transparent, evidence based decisions on internet governance and it is an approach we would agree with, pointing the way towards a collaborative approach to policymaking where many different stakeholders provide evidence and information that helps governments or regulators to have regulation and making choices for the internet.

I think it is also understandable and welcomed that the outcomes tell us the role of the private sector is to be a part of the considerations, but not to lead it or to solely decide the rules of the road.  That's appropriate and aligns well our fundamental approach, supporting a consistent multistakeholder approach to developing the future of the internet.

We have cautioned in the past the benefits of the open internet and have argued in favor of collaborative approaches to regulation.  This is why we're keen to work with governments and to engage with multistakeholder dialogues like here at the IGF.

Taking a slightly wider view, I think it is also important to recognize that we're in a moment when the future of the global internet as we know it, it is far from assured.  There is a rise of what some termed a Chinese model, and that's segregated from the rest of the internet, subject to surveillance, limits on privacy, this definitely presents significant risk to the open, accessible internet that we have gotten used to and have enjoyed in the past.

We see other countries, Russia, Turkey for example making similar moves to build digital walls around citizens and expert data sovereignty.

The traditional approach is to internet governance, it has been rooted in values like free expression, privacy, transparency, the Rights of individuals and as we move forward, to decide on the rules of the internet, it is important that these values are protected.

I think I'll close by saying that decisions that are made now about the future of the internet, including internet governance, will have a great impact on society and our economies for a long time.  We hope that multistakeholder is at the heart of that conversation.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  Thank you for your feedback.

>> OLGA KYRYLIUK: Thank you for inviting me to be here and thank you for the opportunity for my organization to act as a national partner in Ukraine for the global citizens dialogue.  

 

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