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IGF 2020 - Day 7 - WS 81 Overcoming the US-China digital Cold War

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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     >> MILTON MUELLER:  We're all here.  We all know the organisation.  The panel has four sort of areas we'll discuss.  Peixi and I will make introductory comments, about three minutes.

     We'll start with the first question which will feature Stephen Anderson, Feng Guo and Charles mock and we'll go to the rest of the world where we go to Joanna, Iginio and Jyoti and then questions about technical and economic infrastructures.  We will have more open discussion and the next question about proposals, practical proposals.

     The Secretariat of the IGF wants us to also ask for voluntary commitments.  Anriette, if you're still paying attention, do you want to explain more about what voluntary commitments are?

     >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Milton, I can say this is an initiative, not from the IGF MAG, but from the UN.

     And it is the idea to make some kind of commitment towards taking an action forward.  And this will be documented in a database and one can then come back and reflect.  It is really quite open.  You can propose to continue research or in this area, or build partnership or have a follow-up session.  It is really quite open.

     The idea is that it gets participants in the process to think about what they can do, post IGF, to build on whatever content was discussed during the workshop.  I hope that helps.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  It does.  So people can be thinking about that, what they can do, what they can propose.

     It could be anything from a follow-up session, which I would certainly be interested in, to particular proposals or ideas that they can take forward in their own country or institution.

     We'll set aside some time for that.

     It's ten after.

     >> IGF SUPPORT STAFF:  I would like to say a couple of words to congratulate everybody to be here and remind everyone that this meeting is being recorded and will be available at YouTube.  We are under United Nations regulations and rules and IGF code.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  All right.  Well, thank you very much, everybody, for attending.  Today we are discussing, I think, an issue that is really at the centre of Internet Governance worldwide.  That is the conflict that is evolving between the world's two biggest economies, the world's two biggest sort of Internet powers, and of course it is affecting the rest of the world as well.

     I am Milton Mueller, a Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and I run a project called the Internet Governance Project, a long-standing project in IGF and ICANN and other Internet Governance institutions.

     I believe that the US-China relationship is extremely important.  It has been particularly painful and difficult to watch the deterioration of the relationship between the two over the past really more than the last four years.  The past ten years I think things have gone downhill.

     Now, we are on the cusp of a somewhat new situation, of course.  We have a new president-elect in the United States.  We don't know exactly how that new person will change or maintain existing policy.  We still have an unresolved trade war.  We still have a blockade on chip technology between the United States and China.  And very recently we have a very interesting conflict between a major Chinese, Jack Ma of Ant Group and the Chinese Communist party that indicates that not all is similar and uniform in China itself.

     It seems like maybe the platforms in China are in some ways as disruptive of government as they have been in the United States and are becoming as controversial as they are in the United States.

     Of course, the US has just had a major hearings attacking the platforms for antitrust purposes and some mentions of Section 230 which are mostly domestic US issues.  Again, they show a general global trend.

     What we are going to do today is foster a dialogue, a reasonable and mutual understanding from the US and China.  We want to understand how the rest of the world is affected by this conflict.  We really do want to come up with some practical and feasible proposals for moving forward and making the Internet whole, if you will.

     Those are my introductory comments.  Let me turn it over to my co-organiser of this panel, Dr. Peixi Xu.

     >> PEIXI XU:  Thank you, Milton.  Thank you for putting us together.  This is a really challenging topic.

     Basically I have two points in mind to approach this topic about overcoming China-US Cold War.  The first point is that in spite of the huge differences between the Internet Governance models between China and the United States, I think it is also equally important to pay attention to the similarities.  And I think it seems to be very reasonable assumption or perception to say that the two countries are very different.  However, I think it might be to some extent mistaken, if we really accept this kind of presumption.

     The fact is that the two countries actually face many of the same general challenges and many of the same specific programmes.  For example, in terms of how the digital economy should be governed, the nationality or the central or the federal level of government have some conflicting views with the local authorities of the state level or at the provincial level.

     Also there is a kind of a dispute, also the same challenge that is shared by both countries.  That is building a single digital market or having a very fragmented way of decision making in terms of sharing the economy, like ride-sharing and home-sharing, and also eCommerce taxation.

     I think the two countries have a lot of similarities.

     The first point is that we should start are from the similarities.  By looking at the similarities, I think it can help us to understand the drivers and the people behind the notion of a digital Cold War.  And why did it happen?  Such a way globally that there is a notion of a digital Cold War?

     I think it is true that Internet Governance has covered a lot of dimensions including a military dimension.  But it is more true, or truer that the digital Cold War notion was to some degree imagined or conjured up by politicians or think tankers or security minded personalities.  That is not very constructive in looking at the Internet Governance in such a way.

     And point number two is that we should distinguish higher values from lower values.  I would say that the common narratives are higher values in terms of Internet Governance.  However, the sovereignty narratives are lower values.  So it is happy to observe that beyond the sovereignty narratives, including digital sovereignty or cyber sovereignty or technology sovereignty, there are voices about global commerce or Internet commerce or cyber commerce or digital commerce.

     So all global public good.  In that case I would mention the example of the Cybersecurity Act.  It is at the core of public resources as a public good.  That is a very good practice.  If we can put more things of Internet Governance into such a basket of commerce narrative, it can be more constructive.

     With that I give the floor back to you, Milton.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Thank you.  Yes.  I think that the similarities between the US and China are actually pretty interesting.  Both of us are actually kind of revolutionary countries with gigantic domestic markets.  There are similarity although there are huge differences in values.

     With that let's get into our first question.  That is, do we see the rise of China's digital economy as a threat to the values and standards of the open global Internet?  Or could we say the same thing about the clean networks initiative of the US?  Are we promoting the open global Internet or is the rise of China a threat to it?

     Let's begin with Stephen Anderson of the US State Department.  And he is -- well, I'll let him introduce himself in terms of his exact title.  Yes, let's go for about five minutes, Stephen.  Thanks.

     >> STEPHEN ANDERSON:  Great.  Thank you very much, Milton.  Really it is a pleasure for me to be here with the Internet Governance Forum.  I'm the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Communications and Information Policy at the State Department.  I'm a career official who has been with the State Department since 1994.

     Although I had to launch into my comments, again it really is a pleasure to be here at the IGF.  The IGF is known as open, inclusive and transparent FORUM for dialogue on Internet related policy issues.  It really is great to be a part of that dialogue.

     So for the last three decades the Internet has been an engine of global economic growth and innovation.  In fact, the Internet's value stems from the fact that it provides an interoperable platform for all of us to connect with each other, to do business, share opinions and exchange information exactly like we are doing here today.

     The United States government promotes a vision for the Internet that is consistent with its core values, as were mentioned before.  And we share those with so many of our partners and allies:  Respect for human rights, belief in democratic principles an faith in the power of a market-led economy.  That is we support a reliable and secure and interoperable Internet.  Like minded countries around the world have in fact embraced this vision.  The best way in our vision to govern such a network is through the multi-stakeholder model.  Many diverse voices get their say and no one stakeholder should have the ability to reshape the Internet entirely according to its designs.

     Recently, however, the multi-stakeholder model has come under increasing pressure and threat from those including the People's Republic of China promoting a state centric and authoritarian approach to Internet Governance.

     Detrimental, to prosperity and freedom including those of the Chinese people.  Now, to be clear, picking up on a point already mentioned, we do not consider this to be a conflict between the United States and China.  As secretary of stake.  Mike Pompeo has said, the choice is not between the United States and anyone else.  It is between freedom and tyranny.  The CCP espouses a concept of cyber sovereignty that a State has absolute authority over Internet activity and technical architecture within its borders.  Cyber sovereignty is in our view antithetical to the reality and spirit of a multi-stakeholder Internet Governance.

     It is no secret that the CCP seeks to control the flow of information into and inside of China.  It is well-known how the so-called great firewall inhibits the free flow of data cross borders, stifles open discussion internally and limits the ability of the Chinese people to access outside information.

     However, let's not forget the repress I have force it represents within its own borders.  The CCP censors the flow of information among its own people and curtails the ability to freely communicate with each other.  The People's Republic of China's national security law requires private companies to hand over any data requested by the Chinese government.  They have to do this without regard for due process, little transparency, no accountability or respect for individual privacy.

     Further, the massive state-backed investments like the Belt and Road Initiative and opaque in trade agreements, in our view the PRC unfairly will thwarts champions overseas allowing them to -- a top which our sensitive data runs.  The new information property call or new IP proposal that they've put before the International Telecommunications Union is in our view an attack on the very foundations of the Internet.  Quite simply, the new IP proposal attempts to inject the PRC's digital authoritarian into the very protocols that govern the global Internet.

     If implemented, the Chinese new IP would turn the multi-stakeholder Internet not a top-down model granting significant control to state actors.  This would represent in fact a deliberate shift away from the existing multi-stakeholder model and would disenfranchise non-state actors from the process, even though the majority of Internet infrastructure remains with the private sector.

     If I haven't been clear although I think it is, in the Internet we have come to rely on is penitentiary to be open, interoperability, and secure.  It is for a multi-stakeholder community to assure that it remains that way.  The positive values that the IGF fourth supports and believes in are engineered right into the logic of the Internet's protocols.  A state-centric authoritarian model of Internet Governance represents in our view an existential threat to the current model.  I'm sure we are going to have an exciting discussion now.  I look forward to that.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Thank you, Stephen.  You are right on time and now I will turn it over to Feng Guo, who I know from his position in ICANN as part of the GAC.  Let's hear what you have to say.

     >> FENG GUO:  Thank you, Professor.  Hello, everybody.  My name is Guo Feng from the China Academy of ICT.  I am also a member of the China IGF community.  I would like to thank Professor Milton Mueller and the Professor Peixi Xu for the invitation to participate in this workshop.

     Taking this opportunity I would like to say something about the latest development of China in terms of digital economy and Internet Governance.  From my view, from my observation that most of government officials, industry leaders and scholars in China view that the global digitalisation has made a profound influence on the economic globalisation and establishment of a smart society.  The scale of 47 major countries digital economy hit 31.8 trillion last year, accounting for almost 41.5 percent of the global GDP.

     And the digital economy not only improves the industrial efficiency and the social wellbeing, but also enhances the releases of economic society.  Thanks to the great invention of the Internet, the society has not been fully stopped in the face of the global coronavirus-19 pandemic and the economy has still been running.

     The Internet has played a key role in the operation of society.  The digital economy has become a stabilizer against the downward pressure of the global economy and important engine for the current global economy recovery.

     And I would like to take this opportunity to give you some figures about the overview of the digital economy development in China.  The digital economy is developing and contributes more to the whole Chinese economy.  In 2019, which is last year, China's digital economy scale reached up to 35.8 trillion RMB, accounting for almost 37 of the GDP.

     And China's digital economy increased by 15 in last year.  The growth is about 8 percent points higher than the GDP growth in the same period.

     In addition, I would like to bring your attention to the global initiative on China's on data security put forward by the Chinese government.  As you may know, you will see that the Chinese government launched an initiative on cybersecurity in 2020.  This mainly includes several points.  The first one is approach data security with an objective and rational attitude and to maintain an open and secure and stable global supply chain.

     Number two is oppose using information and communication technology activities to impair other states critical infrastructure or steal important data.

     Third, take actions to prevent and put an end to activities that infringe upon personal information or pose using ICT to conduct mass surveillance against other states or engage in also rise the correction of personal information of other states.

     Number four, ask companies to respect the laws of countries, desist from coercing domestic companies into storing data, generated and obtained overseas in one's own territory.

     Number five, risk factor is a sovereignty and restrict the data of other states.  Avoid asking companies or individuals to provide data located in other states without the latter's permission.

     Six, meet law enforcement needs for overseas data through judicial assistance or other appropriate channels.

     Number seven, ICT products and service providers should not install back doors in their products an services to illegally obtain user data.

     Number eight.  ICT companies should not seek illegitimate its by taking advantage of users' dependence on their products.

     According to Chinese government, these initiatives will serve as the basis for international consultation on data security and may mark the start of a global process in this area.

     The Chinese government looks forward to the participation of national governments, international organisations and all other stakeholders and co-owned states to support the commitments and layout in the initiative through the bilateral or regional agreements.

     So thanks for your attention.  This is basically what I would like you to know at this stage.  So I stop here to move to the next speaker.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Great.  Thank you very much, Feng.  And that is I think interesting and hopefully we can come back to some of the issues on your initiative on data security when we get time.

     Right now I want to turn to a different perspective, you might say somebody in between China and the US in the sense of western values and Chinese values.  So Charles, tell us what this conflict looks like from the perspective of Hong Kong.  We know that some of your traditional freedoms have been compromised recently.  We would like to hear about your perspective on this.  Thank you.

     >> CHARLES MOK:  Thank you, Milton.  I like you saying that we are somewhat squeezed in the middle.

     Well, my current capacity for however long it will last is legislator in Hong Kong.  But my previous life, I had been an Internet service provider more than 20 years ago.  So I was in industry.  I also started the ISOC in Hong Kong more than ten years ago.  I have been in different capacity, industry, government, and civil society.  I hope I can give you somewhat of a rounded view of what has been happening photograph using Hong Kong maybe as a case to look at what is going to happen for an Internet conflict between the US and China.

     Well, for Hong Kong, we have had a free Internet.  No censorship, no filtering of website or IP addresses no Internet services being banned for any reasons, Facebook or Gmail or whatever.  It is all here.

     However, as some of you might have heard, we had recently an implementation of a national security law in Hong Kong.  I am not going to be here to discuss or to argue for or against the law.  The law is the law in Hong Kong.

     But basically the law would grant vast power for the authorities to seize servers and records of any online service providers or virtually any corporate or individual entities without any scrutiny or gate keeping by the judicially, with global jurisdiction.

     So to be fair to the Hong Kong authorities I have to say that to this stage to my knowledge the authorities have not used these powers against any of the global platforms or even local companies.  Now, that might be because of the fact that they would be able to gather evidence through other means without going to the servers of each companies.  But anyway, that is the fact.

     So part of that might also be because of the sensitivity towards if they go after the some of these servers of the big American companies, will it cause yet another political stand-off between the two countries?  Maybe that is something that they are sensitive about too.  It hasn't happened yet, to be fair to the government in Hong Kong.

     For Internet users here, however, there is already an overriding climate of chilling effect and self-censorship.  A lot of people are deleting their Facebook posts or their whole profile in the last several months.

     While we haven't seen the implementation of a China style firewall in Hong Kong yet, maybe because it is because of the economic past of doing that.  For Hong Kong is a financial international centre, just too large.  Maybe there are other means to search the kind of assert the kind of control that the authorities would like without having to go that far.  There are talks that, for example, will the government here implement somewhat like Singapore's fake news laws that will allow the government to take down certain messages that they don't like.

     On the other hand, I think it is inevitable that Hong Kong's digital economy is moving closer to the Chinese digital economy.  They are talking about extending the experiments for the digital currency to Hong Kong.  There are, unfortunately, the one that has been canceled for financial.  In one sense that might be one of the areas of the common interest and similarities that Professor Xu talked about in the beginning that I like, if we can find some of those.  Maybe making money is one of them.

     So maybe, you know, Hong Kong's digital economy in some ways moving closer to the Chinese digital economy may not be a bad thing by itself.  But the problem is if you look at it from the angle of if we in Hong Kong have to make a choice and go one way or the other, that might be a problem.  In the past we used to enjoy the best of both worlds.  Now are we going to say likewise for the global Internet we have to choose one or the other?

     So I think the question is are we going to end up with two Internets, two infrastructures, two standards or more than two standards or infrastructures and so on?  My answer or my guess is yes and no.  First, some of these conflicts as far as the Internet is concerned between the west and China, isn't anything new.  For anybody who has been to IGF or ICANN meetings or so on they have always been there.  On the other hand they might be enhanced firewall that will happen or all over the wall because China is also going to be influencing many countries in the rest of the world as well, in addition to those traditional American and western influenced parts of the world.

     There might be -- this kind of an enhanced firewall that I'm talking about may be extended to ideas such as using hardware platforms and software platforms to identify or carry out surveillance and so on that will be enabling these platforms to capture data and provide back doors and so on.  Of course, to be fair, there are also a lot of western companies and western governments who try to tell their companies to put in firewalls as well which I personally would oppose.

     These are the kinds of trends that you see.  Also I'm very glad that Mr. Guo mentioned about the digital cyber sovereignty laws and so on that has been recently put on the table or legislated in China.  I think the key that we should look into these laws in addition to the features and protections that Mr. Guo mentioned is also about local jurisdiction.  I think that is a new concept for many people outside of China.  And then again, I have to say that China can only say that they learned from the US law, they learned it from the European laws such as EU's GDPR and so on.  Global jurisdiction is going to be another issue that Internet players in the world will have to face.

     Finally, I do want to address the point about the US clean network initiative.  Is it going to become a threat to the global Internet values and standards.  Now, personally I don't think it will make a lot of immediate difference right away because in principle, in reality it is simply the US government or US using China's past great firewall tactics back on China.  In principle, we disagree with the great firewall of China, we should probably also disagree with the clean networks as well.

     If you look at it as simply a form of trade retaliation, as China has been banning many of these services from the US like Facebook and Google and so on, you could consider this as a reciprocal trade measure.

     In closing instead of one world, many Internet and all separate on their own we may end up with pretty much one Internet but a lot of Balkanisation and each trying to influence and control the other.  So that might be the new normal of the Internet that we have to face.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  I want to follow up a little bit and get more engagement between Stephen and Feng before we move to the next topic.

     So let me just recall that Stephen was really attacking this notion of cyber sovereignty and, of course, if you know me I have a lot to say about cyber sovereignty.  I'm not a big fan of it.  In fact, I think it's impossible.

     But isn't the US moving in that direction, Stephen, with the Trump Administration's bans on apps, its chip export controls and so on?  And if the new IP -- by the way, I think you have misconstrued the new IP.  I don't think it's a new IP and I don't see values engineered into the Internet protocol, that is a fallacy.  But if in fact there is a new IP coming from China at some point, wouldn't it be better to just have a technical competition over the merits of the standard rather than damning it because it is from China?

     And before Stephen, to Feng Guo I want to get some direct engagement.  So the global initiative on data security does indeed emphasize the principles of cyber sovereignty again and again.  I have read them and there are some good things in them but they are very much focused on drawing national boundaries around data.  How does that work in the global Internet?  Don't you see why the US would be a little bit worried about Chinese assertions of sovereignty in cyberspace?

     Okay.  Let's start with Stephen and then go to Guo Feng.

     >> STEPHEN ANDERSON:  Thanks.  You gave me a virtual smorgasbord of issues to comment on there.

     I'm going to start just by highlighting one of your own points, which is that my comments were really focused on the threat proposed, or posed by the digital sovereignty and the digital authoritarianism that exists within China and that China has been trying to export through a variety of ways that I explained during my opening remarks.

     Then, of course, my Panelist from China in his remarks specifically outlined a proposal that is exactly that which I criticized, focusing on sort of giving states all of the power.

     Despite the rhetoric about not wanting to, about protecting Intellectual Property rights and so on and so forth given the history that we have with large Chinese companies operating in the United States who have either stolen IP or the forced technology transfers that we've seen for American companies operating within China, I find it euphemism is particularly ironic that those exist in the proposal.

     Regarding the clean network, it is a very different concept from the GDSI or any of the cyber sovereignty proposals that the Chinese government has put forward.  It is based on the simple concept that when you have as you pointed out or one of the other Panelists pointed out, we have two large economies in the world and one of them has shown through behavior over the last several years that it cannot be trusted.  Xi Jinping recently said we must build a backbone of private business people that is dependable and quote usable in key moments.  Adding to that the various national security laws that we've seen, it is quite simple from our perspective that a lot of these Chinese companies that we found fault with are untrusted operators.  What we concluded based on our analysis is that they should not form the backbone of basic infrastructure, especially 5G, given the whole range of attack surfaces and present in that new technology.

     The clean network is really just an initiative that the United States is putting forward to ask countries that have the same concerns that we do about the security of their networks, problems with having companies beholden to a regime that as was mentioned recently, where there is no judicial review.  That is not something that we would want in our networks.  It is not a trade action.  It is not a retaliation or attempt to gain leverage.  It is quite simply the belief that the economic consequences and the national security consequences of including untrusted vendors in our networks or the networks of our friends and allies, that it is a cost that the countries need to keep in mind.

     I'll go ahead and stop there so we have time for conversation.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  All right.  So Peixi Xu, you want to respond to that first an we'll go to Feng Guo if he wants to respond.

     >> PEIXI XU:  Thank you.  A moment from my past, I have to say a few words about what Stephen has said about his understanding about the Chinese Internet Governance model.  So it is about this very old debate about multi-stakeholder model and China has repeatedly expressed its support about multi-stakeholder model from the low officials to the presidents, the multi-stakeholder has been read the same way as multilateralism in official documents.  Though these voices are not very well heard.

     By the way in terms of cyber sovereignty we had a debate, in the digital sovereignty session.  We argued last year that it is actually the United States that the United States is the big cyber sovereignty instead of China.  The United States is the biggest supporter of multi-stakeholder.  That doesn't mean the United States is not the supporter of cyber sovereignty.  It is the biggest supporter of cyber sovereignty.  The result will be decided by the cyber sovereignty and the multi-stakeholders in the United States, is actually a domestic issue.  China is somehow a supporter for both.  But I would say that the military extension into the cyberspace is the kind of symbol of cyber sovereignty.  So that is a kind of feedback to what Stephen has said about cyber sovereignty.  And multi-stakeholder.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Okay.  Feng Guo, did you want to come in and respond a bit to Stephen?

     >> FENG GUO:  Okay, thank you.  I would like to comment very briefly.  But before my intervention I would like to say that in this workshop, in this discussion I am not representing the Chinese government.  Because indeed I am a representative of the MIT in the Governmental Advisory Committee in the ICANN.  But in other location I am not representing the government.  So I would like to comment totally in my personal capacity.

     Just perhaps in responding to the intervention by Stephen, I would like to talk about two points.  The first one is about whether there is a cyber sovereignty.  I think in the cyberspace there does exist the concept or the cyber sovereignty because in the real world we have the sovereignty.  Because each state, each country claims it has its own sovereignty.  In cyberspace in the era of the Internet, because the country or the state doesn't vanish, it still exists in cyberspace.

     So I think it is a proper, perhaps a proper claim by the country that it has a level of cyber sovereignty.

     And another point is that no matter a country or a government stake or not, the term of cyber sovereignty it does exist because perhaps from my personal view there is a clear evidence that the clean network initiative is a clear evidence of the cyber sovereignty.

     Also the GDPR from the European, Europe initiative on the GDPR, the law, European law is another evidence of the cyber sovereignty.  So this is my observation.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Okay.  So Charles, you want to jump in quick?

     >> CHARLES MOK:  Yes.  I just want to add a word or two saying that I wish all these barriers would go away, as a user.  I mean, I probably am an idealist and old school person as far as the Internet goes.  I was the first to use the Internet in 1982.  We believed at the time that there was a network of networks not run by any government.

     Unfortunately the cyberspace of today is not the same.  I do still wish as a user all this censorship and surveillance would go away by everybody.  It hurts me as a user to see the powers of both sides pointing fingers at each other and saying you are better than I am.  That is not finding common similarities, right?

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Right.  I think that's absolutely true.  I really want to get the last word here.  When Stephen said that he doesn't trust China and can't allow their equipment into the network and China says they don't allow Facebook and Google into their market they are pretty much saying the same thing and they are both in my opinion upholding some notion of territorialisation or cyber sovereignty.

     Like Charles we are not so enthusiastic about these barriers.  We have to move on.  We have some interesting commentators who are not from the US or China.  We have Iginio Gagliardone who is a professor from South Africa, we have Jyoti Panday from India, and Joanna Kulesza from Europe, Poland. 

      They are going to grapple with a question for four minutes on what the US-China conflict has on the rest of the world.  I was astounded by the degree of interest in the US election that I saw happening and now I guess the issue is this conflict between the US and China does affect the rest of the world as much if not more than the election outcome.

     We'll start with Iginio and then go to Joanna and then to Jyoti.

     >> IGINIO GAGLIARDONE:  Thank you very much, Milton.  Thank you, everyone, for a fascinating, a bit of a heated conversation and that's what makes it interesting.

     Since we have limited time, I will wrap my remarks around three points.  This is not off the cuff.  This emerges from like ten years of looking at different countries in Africa that resulted in a book published last year.  I don't want to promote it. It is a book that is a result of that kind of engagement.  So being on the ground, right, and having this kind of rhetorical battles between standards and ideals, speaking with a lot of African leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers, computer scientists, and so forth.

     My first remark, it is often a fear that China is going to promote its own model of the Internet as was mentioned.  In my research I have seen that that is very much not the case.  And China has developed their different relationships and approaches with different countries from authoritarian Ethiopia where they received the largest loan in telecommunications in Africa, more than $3 billion from, to democratic Kenya where China played a very small role in a liberalized market.

     To point to one of the remarks made by our colleague from the State Department, when authoritarian states decided to promote legislations or policies or interventions that have constrained the Internet, it is often the securitisation agenda that stems from the United States after 9/11 that was used to justify those kind of initiatives.  And the fact that the Chinese model is not put on users, government and so forth doesn't mean that China's spread is not relevant.  We referred to the market, China tended to help governments in developing their own digital Information Society.  So empowering one actors over, and this has consequences for sure.

     My second point based on more recent research is that interestingly Chinese company, mostly Huawei and CD developed a different approach when they marketed their own projects, projects like Safe CD and Smart CD, combination of IoT and different models of surveillance to help like traffic but also to improve control over crime and so forth.

     And it is interesting to see how these companies have actually marketed their stemming from China as a reason from a country that is doing well with surveillance and maintaining public order to convince African cot to prepare their economies compared to others.

     This introduces an interesting contradiction when we say that Huawei are not in the Chinese face.  The Chinese face has refrained from imposing or suggesting its own models.  Actually, companies for commercial gains eventually said we are from China.  We are good at it.  Why wouldn't we look at ours compared to our Japanese competitors or American competitors?  This is an interesting point to disentangle.

     The final point that I want to make is that like with Charles, I was, when my modem was cracking in my house I was so empowered to feel part of the global Internet where I could hide and be free and so forth.  This was taken politically to frame these freedom of technology and we unfortunately saw how they did a -- they did it for a while and power was brought back in the case of those who had it before.  Egypt is one case.

     Kind of like expectation that where technology of freedom has failed, technology of unfreedom will succeed.  Like because of their more like secretive evil natures and so forth.  In research that stems from Pakistan, so not my area but also from Uganda and Kenya, we have seen that ZTE smart cities or Huawei's smart cities have failed miserably.  The idea that Chinese coming incoming in and going to produce surveillance in the totalitarian regimes, we don't take into consideration the different technopolitical regimes that exist in these countries.  Chinese and clean and consistent, the last technology to work in certain ways for social norms, but the technology in Mombasa, it is going to mess up as the technology of freedom has done in the past.

     What I am suggesting we have to be more nuanced and like from this part about freedom, if we look at things on the ground, the picture that emerges is very different and more nuanced allows more room for maneuvering and conversation from different actors.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Very good.  Thank you, Iginio.  Very good points.  Let's move quickly to Joanna from Europe.

     >> JOANNA KULESZA:  Thank you, Milton, thank you for having us here.  Fascinating discussion.  Four minute, I'm going to be very brief and start with the conclusion just to try to join in the discussion.

     Thank you very much for those controversial statements.  They kind of make my job much easier.  If I was to say where and how Europe finds itself in that global discussion, I would use an old Polish proverb, we would be, we would be saying this face-to-face.  The proverb translates to two actors fighting and a third one taking the cake.  This is the position that Europe is currently trying to play.  When you look at this essential Cold War between two very different approaches, what Europe is trying to do is, it is trying to offer a third way.

     Now, we heard this said very clearly from Stephen that either US or the highway.  The US way or the highway.  Anything else is nondemocratic.

     Let me go back to the speech by President Macron in 2018 where he clearly emphasized that there is indeed a third way.  One that is based on human rights, on co-regulation and open markets.  That is more concerned with individual rights including privacy, with consumer protection, more so than would be the case in the US  But at the same time prioritizes the multi-stakeholder model of governance.

     So I would view the impact that this discourse has in Europe in that context.

     If I was to give you a very brief recap on what happened in the last three years since that speech, since the Paris call that incorporated these principles, I would say that what is happening currently in Europe is a very intense process of testing what this means in practice.  I will add links to the chat.  The key term if you want to research it would be strategic economy.  It is not cyber sovereignty.  I'm fascinated with the notion.  I love having discussions around sovereignty online, but I agree with Milton, it is tremendously challenging.

     What we are looking into in Europe right now would be strategic autonomy.  What we must do is we want to take the principles you have seen in the NIS directive.  We want to see how the GDPR and the NIS directive translate on to individual national decisions that still, for example, would buy IT equipment.  I strongly support Iginio in supporting that these projects come from highly nationality politics.

     Europe is a wonderful testing ground because we are so diverse.  The coherence of the decision making is the highest of anywhere in the world.

     I would argue that the take-away from this battle, from this potential Cold War for Europe would be a unique opportunity to push the discussion forward in a third way, one that is based on a human rights friendly approach, protecting individuals.  We have an intense history that has led us to GDPR.  I would argue that the GDPR was not so much be an example in the boundary of law making but rather a spillover effect.  Look at what is happening in the US in California where the GDPR has had a very strong and yet voluntary effect.

     I know it's just four minute and I could go on to four details.  I will add a few links to the chat to give you more reference.  But I would view this specific discussion as an opportunity for Europe to move on at a very steady pace that we have done in the last two years in going forward in finding the balance between those two contrasting approaches.

     I will stop here.  I'm looking forward to questions and further discussion.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Thank you very much, Joanna.  That is a very stimulating perspective.  I wish we -- I hope we do have time to follow up.

     Let's turn to Jyoti Panday, a researcher at the internet governance project.  She has a unique perspective on this because of the relationship with India and other large national markets and something that has some tensions with both the US and China, but seems to again exist in some kind of state of its own.

     I'll turn it over to you, Jyoti.

     >> JYOTI PANDAY:  Thanks, Milton.  I think the state that best describes India's stance at the moment is swinging because it certainly hasn't found its legs, whether to support the US or to support the Chinese model.

     In terms of what is the back of impact of US-China conflict on India's internet governance, two effects that this conflict has added to.  The first is that India because of this US-China conflict is moving away from the multi-stakeholder model.  We could see that in 2016, 2017.  It came forward in support of adopting a more open multi-stakeholder approach to participating in Internet Governance processes.  But as it has seen the US-China trade war pick up, it started focusing more on the securitisation of technology governance issues and using national security as a justification to reign in foreign firms.

     What is interesting in the Indian context is that while we are seen as two of Chinese hegemony, Facebook and Google are viewed as American hegemony, India, although it has not adopted that particular term but with keeping with what Joanna pointed out about Europe, a lot of India's response to this conflict is about retaining its strategic autonomy.

     The entire debate on Internet Governance and technology governance is also really shamed by the fact that India and China share a border.  The national security issues are transfer trumped up within the domestic politics a lot.  We have seen that play out with the recent bans on Chinese apps in India.

     But again there is another aspect to it where Chinese investment in Indian tech startups is actually quite significant and the Indian government has not tackled that aspect yet.  We see the Indian government moving towards the recognition that we probably want to be very careful about who we, which country is being allowed to invest in our growing ecosystem.  India is also adopting tactics from both the US and China.  They haven't entirely given up the idea of an open Internet and globally connected world.  But they are also really emboldened by the Chinese approach of creating national champions.  You can see this in efforts such as data localisation or making changes to the foreign direct investment policy where they specifically target countries that they share a border with, which is probably in China.

     Another issue that I think is worth pointing out, it is usually -- in most debates tech nationalism is called out as grandstanding.  From the Indian perspective there is growing consensus that it should also be viewed as an acknowledgment that the current status quo doesn't work for nondominant countries.

     The US is a leader and the US companies, for the US companies India is a huge market.  But India views, wants to move beyond being just a huge market for either China or the US and wants to participate and shape how -- and play a greater role in Internet Governance.  A lot of this move reflects the shifting tendency towards this.

     Again, like Joanna, I can add a lot more.  On 5G specifically there has been, following the recent border clashes, I believe the Indian government was not really clear about the participation of Chinese firms.  It was in a confused state for a very long time, but following recent border clashes there is some sort of consensus developing there where we have had state telecom operators closing off contracts with Chinese companies.  It is likely that India will keep china way from its 5G ecosystem.

     Then this is not limited to just -- you know, we have seen India be wary of Chinese influence and it walked away from the Belt and Road Initiative, away from the international partnership, the trade policy with China is making India choose sides at the moment, but India's stance is more geared towards retaining space for itself to take decisions for shipping its own markets rather than choosing the US model of Internet Governance versus the Chinese model of Internet Governance.

     Happy to expand on any of these issues.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Okay, good.

     So I am going to quickly scan the questions here.  I wonder if anybody wants to follow up on what was said by the others or answer any particular question before we move on.

     (Pause.)

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  In that case we will move on to the next question.  This is where we will allow comments from anybody willing.  This question is, does the conflict between the US and China actually threat to create separate economic infrastructures.  We touched on this a little bit at the beginning when we talked about a new IP.  I want to say we have been following new IP very closely and would reiterate it is not a new protocol.  It is not a protocol yet.  As it was described by one study, it is a list of desired features and what kind of requirements might be needed to attain them.  It is not a standard.

     The concept of new IP or the label new IP has been backed away from by the people in Huawei who promoted it.  I think the more interesting question here is the chip war, the export controls on integrated circuits which, for example, does not allow Huawei's smartphones to use the Android operating system because they cannot -- Google and others, the entity list prevents them from doing any kind of an agreement with the Chinese providers.  So Huawei is forced to develop its own operating system.  China is forced to develop its own integrated circuit technology.  So we see what could be the beginnings of a serious split in the very technical underpinnings which could eventually lead to a new IP or alternative IP that could be incompatible with the one that we have now.

     So who wants to address this issue of technical fragmentation or technical evolution?

     Stephen?

     >> STEPHEN ANDERSON:  I'll jump, although the smart move on my part would have been just to wait a little bit, but I am going to go ahead and address your comments about new IP.  First I'm going to wholesale endorse your characterization of new IP.  You showed a sophistication in your description of it which I would also call a criticism of it as well.

     The most important concept about new IP is that it is an example of forum shopping.  Huawei took it to the place where it should.  The engineering task force, it was not considered a viable option there.  So they tried to bring it to another forum where they thought they might have a better showing.

     Again, I don't think that what the United States, I wouldn't characterize this as a conflict between the United States and China.  This is, as I said before, it is about the United States trying to defend a system that has worked so well at all layers of the stack, from the infrastructure layer up to the application layer with the protocol layer in between.  We want it to remain as interoperable, reliable, secure and we have concerns about the use of Chinese vendors, untrusted vendors within the stack.  And the decision that we've made is that we want to exclude that because we don't believe that it can be trusted.

     The entities list is an extension of that tool.  We don't believe that untrusted vendors should be able to benefit from our technology in order to continue to purvey their product.  And as Iginio pointed out, in Africa they used that technology in order to create smart cities which are unsafe cities in terms of Chinese propaganda and efforts to export their technology and de facto standards by creating facts underground.

     I'm going to stop there and just sum it up by saying the United States is about defending the current system, keeping it open, keeping it interoperable but also perhaps more than we would have a couple years ago weighing the reliable and secure component.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Go ahead, Iginio.

     >> IGINIO GAGLIARDONE:  Just two points.  One in response to Stephen, that is not what I was trying to say.  I'm saying there is a lot of fear in think tank reports about the Chinese are coming with their authoritarian technologies.  These authoritarian technologies are going to enslave people.  These technologies, it just not working very well.  They are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.  They are sold for a lot of money and places in Nairobi or Mombasa as a they don't work and crime doesn't go down.  It goes up.

     As much as like other technologies before haven't worked.  I am not saying it is because of the authoritarianism.  It is the opposite.  There is fear they will work.  So far they get stuck in the mud.

     The second point is, this policy needs to be short-sighted because the chip war affects Huawei, but in Africa, the largest producer of handsets is Transient, is Techno that passed in 2017.  Now almost like 50 percent of the handsets used by African users are produced in China and by Techno or Transient, Transient is bigger.  Huawei represents like five, six, 7 percent of the market, maybe in some the cans it is more.

     At the end of the day, the battle that attacks the bigger most visible players but if the Chinese government wanted to reach out and to Transient to develop the same policies, it would be able to do so because they are not part of the ban.

     Again when we get into closing a tap, there are so many holes and things happen anyway.  You leave everything open it is much easier to just all look into it and try to fix it together.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  So I think some discussion in the chat and elsewhere is about the nature of these barriers.  Are they trade barriers?  Are they something else?

     And I think this relates to something that Stephen said.  So the chip war I think is very hard to make a case that that is a trade move.  I think it is fundamentally an attempt to cripple Chinese manufacturers.  I mean, this is basically saying we have an essential technology that sort of the US dominates it in terms of the intellectual property and the manufacturing capabilities.  And we are going to use that leverage to essentially disable Chinese manufacturers.

     I view that as a move that does lead to fragmentation, a kind of sovereignist fragmentation which is based either on some kind of national security or military competition, but it has nothing to do with trade.

     We are hurting ourselves, the US leads the world in chip technology.  We are doing nothing but hurting our market share and our sales and our exports by this chip war.  So the only goal must be to somehow cripple the Chinese manufacturers.  But of course, the long-term result of that is simply forcing them to develop their own cables, which instead of buying them from us.  I'm not sure I get it.  Charles?

     >> CHARLES MOK:  Yes.  I want to follow on on that point that you just raised, Milton.  To be honest I'm not a chip person.  I don't really know that industry as well as I would probably for telecom and software and so on.

     But we do see a lot of commentary here in Asia, in Hong Kong and China that this chip war is actually helping China.  It helps them to expedite their internal development of these standards or technologies that they are way behind the US.  But now in areas such as the basic technology to the supply chain they are convinced that they can no longer rely on foreign, especially probably US suppliers.

     So whether or not they can accomplish it in a short period of time or even in the longer period of time, that I don't know.  I don't think anybody knows.  But there is, of course, one school of thought that would say that this is actually helping them.

     Then again I have to say what is the alternative?  How do you deal with these suppliers that the US would consider to be unsafe and so on and you continue to sell them chips.  What are the alternatives from the American point of view?  I don't know.  But there is a possibility of a actually helping our competitor in that sense ultimately.  But yeah.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  I would say the alternative is that you sell them the chips.  You continue the interdependence of the Chinese and American economies and I mean --

      >> CHARLES MOK:  But you can sell them the chip, but they will continue to make the equipment and this equipment has other features such as surveillance and so on.  How do you balance that?

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Well, surveillance is a social phenomenon and legal and political phenomenon.  You are not going to stop surveillance by denying any vendor chips, right?  And the people who buy and make European equipment will be creating surveillance capabilities as well.  I don't think I need to remind anyone that the US is kind of the world champion when it comes to Internet surveillance.  Europeans have some problems with that, which is leading to some barriers to data flow between the US and Europe as well as problems between the US and China.

     So the idea that if somebody somewhere is going to make a piece of equipment that enables surveillance is true, but it is not something that is going to stop with an economic sanction on American chips.  I don't think that is how it works.

     So I don't see a lot of discussion here about the separate technoeconomic infrastructure.  I'm going to go on and now we are going to move to what I hope will be the constructive part of our conversation.  I'm going to actually cycle through all of the Panelists now.

     How do we get the trust needed for China, the US, and Europe to open their digital economies to each other?  Do we have specific practical proposals?  Maybe some first steps?  Maybe some more comprehensive visions of how this could be accomplished?  So let's start and kind of reverse order here.  Let's start with Jyoti and then go to Iginio, Joanna, Peixi, Charles, Feng and Stephen.

     >> JYOTI PANDAY:  Thanks, Milton.  I think we definitely need global rules for data governance.  I think in the absence of some sort of agreed-upon standard between countries and how they are going to treat data, you know, these conflicts will continue to play out.  Tellingly, there doesn't seem to be any sort of movement to create global rules for cross-border data flows.  I think in terms of practical first steps that is something that countries should definitely focus on.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Global rules for data.  Where do they come from?  Who enforces them?  Not to ask too easy a question.

     >> JYOTI PANDAY:  The Indian bureaucracy would probably argue for situating it under the UN or creating some sort of convention for data.  But again we don't know if this is the most multilateral order for Internet Governance is most appropriate way forward.  But certainly the status quo where every country is drafting its own rules and closing off markets because it is not trusting other countries to handle its citizens' data properly can't continue either.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Okay.  I saw somebody in the chat suggested a new data ICANN.  We'll have to take that up later.

     Iginio, let's go to you.  Practical proposals, solve our problems for us.  We are counting on you.

     >> IGINIO GAGLIARDONE:  It is over optimistic and very impractical.

     One suggestion would be to root the debate more radically on user.  I think there is a lot of finger pointing.  And we are like excited about it, but at the end of the day if we root, if we ask whether or not, no matter who is doing it, the users is more surveilled, its liberties are more constrained and we protect the users, things will happen from the users upwards rather than impinging, imposing restriction or standards or one or the other.

     For example, I am going to go back to the case of Ethiopia.  There was a lot of anxiety because of China coming to Ethiopia and so forth.  Because of China Ethiopia is doing this and that.  But it is such a complex landscape.  Because of this relation, we know now it was the Americans that trained Ethiopian spies in the digital surveillance.  It was Europeans that sold technologies for surveillance to the Ethiopia Indian government and the Chinese built the infrastructure.

     You're trained by the Americans on equipment made by the Europeans to send the information to Chinese.

     The Europeans are not fixing to their own standards and the Chinese are doing their thing.  So let's consider the user as the starting point and bring the development from that point onward.  And I think not everything is -- hopefully something will fall in line.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  It resonates with an idea I was going to propose.  If we talk about sovereignty in cyberspace, it would be popular sovereignty in cyber state which is Eurocentric.  Joanna?

     >> JOANNA KULESZA:  Power to the people, that's the only way to do it.  If I was to look for a standard for data, again trying to -- I'm wearing my European hat here.  I would say we have the GDPR which seems to reflect the consensus we have around privacy and personal data.  The spillover effect is evident.  But then again as an academic I am aware that it is not the perfect solution.  There are serious concerns.  We have them echo in this discussion here as well.

     If I can give examples coming from Europe, we do have around an IS Director framework.  We are providing guidelines on 5G.  GDPR is another standard we are using.  It is the way that data is being processed and saved.  I believe that there are international laws standards we could fall back on.  That would be the thematic a propose.

     But if I was to give a very pragmatic reply and I am a pragmatic person myself I would say that we would indeed kneeled more transparency and I applaud the discussion that is going on here in the chat.  What about the IGF picking up that job and trying to build global consensus around how we perceive data, whether it is personal or nonpersonal and where do we draw the line and what can be those standards for trust?

     The European experience is with co-regulation.  Not so much the top down but rather working together with different stakeholders, which goes in mind with the idea of multi-stakeholder governance.

     I would say it is more transparency that will hopefully lead us to practical, tangible solutions.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Let's go on to Charles.

     You're muted, Charles.

     >> CHARLES MOK:  Yes.  So setting global rules is a good idea, but it might be difficult especially in an environment when governments are actually pulling themselves farther and farther apart.  It is difficult enough for them to get them to sit at the same table and especially with so much talk about cyber sovereignty.  That means that it is going to be localized.  In the short-term we might be moving a different direction.

     I would want to offer -- actually, I like the idea of user, people's sovereignty very much.  I would add that perspective about using technology to solve these problems, some of these problems as well, these issues as well.

     Okay, it is a great idea for people, users to hold on to their own data and their own identity and their sovereignty and so on.  How do you do it?  In fact, there might be emerging standards in different areas using blockchain, cryptography and so on to do some of those things, like sovereign identity and so on that people are starting to talk about.

     I would probably look also, in addition to what has been mentioned, also possibly using technology to emerging technology to solve some of these problems, to really put the control back in the hands of the users themselves, from data to the identity to and so on.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Very good.  Peixi Xu, a lot of what we have heard is very global, user powers and global rules.  Do you have anything specific to say about what China can do to help solve this problem?

     >> PEIXI XU:  Thank you, Milton.  In terms of the global roles, I think we indeed have a very practical and specific rules already existing.  For example, Joanna mentioned the Paris Accord which has how many points?  Nine points?  And also the global commission of stability of cyberspace has this eight points ready.  About cyber norms.  And also China has also proposed something very specific that my colleague has mentioned.  It is the global initiative on data security.  It is very expect, by the way.  It is not abstract.

     And in addition to that, the US has a new President.  I think there might be a very good basis for, to find some coexisting or overlapping points in terms of cyber norms.

     However, I also, I think it is more important to think about the Internet Governance, global Internet Governance from a world view perspective.  It is important to avoid or reject this kind of really good guy versus bad guy narrative.  The good versus the evil narrative.  I think that is not very constructive.  Whatever the situation or the policy is, the Chinese students are visiting websites in the United States and in Europe.  And the American students don't visit the website in China or in Africa or in Vietnam.  That is a kind of structural problem.  It is not a kind of very much a policy.  Situation.

     I would also emphasize, to summarize what you have said in the background document a little bit, I think it is important to have a kind of initiative to deemphasize technical issues so the governments reduce the ideological kind of supply in this method.  So this is basically what I think, Milton.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Can you give me a specific example of how we would take one of those steps?  Reducing the ideological, as a very practical step?  What would Stephen do or what would Guo do tomorrow?

     >> PEIXI XU:  For example, the paradox about the chip dispute is completely unnecessary and somehow outdated way of dealing with these challenges.  It is not good for the US, not good for China and not good for the world.

     So this is something that should be given up tomorrow specifically.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  That is very specific, very good.

     Guo Feng, your turn.

     >> FENG GUO:  Thank you very much.  For this specific question, my response would be just some initial thoughts.

     My response would be that first perhaps conducting dialogue between each other or among different stakeholders.  And try to understand different positions of each other and be ready to compromise.  Perhaps then take a different position and then take action.

     Perhaps this is the methodology to cooperate.  When we have different views to face a specific issue.

     So with regard to the specific scenario, among China, US, Europe.  So my suggestion would be to host for the three parties to discuss the digital completed issues.  Perhaps we can have, develop a track for governments and also develop a track for think tank and industry.  Perhaps IGF would serve as a good occasion.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  I missed a little bit of what you said about the track.  Talking about tracks for doing what?  For discussing or negotiating?

     >> FENG GUO:  Yes, track for discussion, perhaps we can have discussion among or between governments.  The discussion, that is for the government people and another track for think tank and a third track for the industry.  Leaders of industry.  So this is my suggestion.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Suppose it is Stephen in the next segment totally agrees with Peixi Xu that we should call off the chip war, what would China offer in return?  What kind of concession or step would China make that would give incentive for them to do that?

     >> FENG GUO:  I would anticipate that China company would buy a lot of chips in the future.

     (Laughter.)

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Okay.  Nothing related to opening the market for information?

     >> FENG GUO:  At this moment I don't have a specific comment regarding this issue.  But my hope is that I want to see a more open market in China.  Much more free flow of information within China and from China, within China and outside China.  Within China and outside China.

     This is my personal hope.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Good, okay.  Stephen?

     >> STEPHEN ANDERSON:  I would like to begin by complimenting my Chinese colleague.  They taught us in young diplomat school never to answer hypotheticals.  So I see that I got the exact same training.

     To respond to your question, so I grew up a convinced Trans-Atlanticist.  I believe that when the United States and Europe work together to face global challenges, that is when we work at our best.  The first issue that I actually had to deal with, however, as a Trans-Atlanticist was banana wars back in the 1990s.  For those of you who aren't familiar with that, that was actually a very heated trade dispute between the United States and Europe.  And from the expressions I see on the Panelists' faces, yes, it was absolutely bananas that the Europe and the United States would have a serious conflict over what was a minor irritant.

     What I would say as the first step, what the United States needs to do is we have irritants right now.  That is what I would call them with Europe in the digital space.  Some of those irritants are very expensive for American companies.  And we are more than a little bit upset by them.  But what we need to do is we need to work with Europe and other like-minded nations, including countries like India, I think, a lot of other countries in the IndoPacific region and come together to strike the proper balance between data privacy, national security and economic growth.

     And have that balance be struck within the context of the values that I described at the beginning of my presentation today.  From that basis I think that we can work outwards with very concrete proposals.

     Completely consistent with the multi-stakeholder model, completely consistent with the idea of governance of the Internet that leads to an open, interoperable reliable and secure Internet.  Thank you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  All right!  So I am now going to go fishing for voluntary commitments.  I think it is only fair that I start making a voluntary commitment.  I am voluntarily committing to continue to harass everybody on this panel about addressing this problem.  And I think that I will make a voluntary commitment, provided I get the approval from Peixi Xu and Guo Feng to hold educational sessions on multi-stakeholder governance directed towards a Chinese audience.  I think I need to work on my Chinese language skills to pull that off accurately, but I think we can do some translation.

     And are there any other sorts of commitments any of us would like to propose at this time to make the United Nations happy?

     (Pause.)

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  Joanna?

     >> JOANNA KULESZA:  Yes.  I would like to emphasize the opportunity to advance that end user sovereignty focus within ICANN on behalf of the end user community.  I think that is something we can definitely pick up so we can have a discussion focused on the Internet users.  That is something that can be relatively easily done.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  You would do this discussion within the framework of ICANN meetings?

     >> JOANNA KULESZA:  At large community, I certainly would be happy to.  Reiterate this would be helpful.  With your kind participation.  Those have proven exciting and at the same time informative in trying to identify what the end user interest is.  I'm certain that there is room for that geo political department.  We have host the events before and that's something that we can look into again.  I'm not certain if that is something that they are excited about but I will take it upon myself to have that organised.  Will that help?

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  That's a voluntary commitment.  Iginio had his hand up and then he disappeared.  I don't know if he is still here.  If he is, I will turn over the microphone to him.

     (Pause.)

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  He seems to have disappeared.

     >> PEIXI XU:  Milton, this is not meant to make the United Nations happy but it is some kind of an observation.  I think this High Level Panel on the Digital Economy somehow was led by the Secretary General and there is this notion about digital interdependence.  That might be very helpful for a kind of concept to summarize a little bit.  So instead of digital divisions, we are promoting, the UN is promoting digital interdependence.  It is a difference from coexistence.  It is somehow interdependency.  That might be good to build peace in cyberspace.

     Back to you.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  All right.  I think our time is up.  It is 10:40.  I really appreciate the presence of the government people here who are putting themselves on the line a bit more than the rest of us.  So particularly Stephen, since we have a new administration and presumably he has no idea what the new policy is going to be.  Although I'm sure there will be some continuity.

     And Guo Feng, thank you very much.  You made it clear you don't speak for the Chinese government but you, you know, do represent the Chinese perspective within the Ministry of IT.

     And Charles Mok, again the status of Hong Kong is very risky and shaky right now.  I appreciate you being willing to come here and speak out and not worry about getting arrested for it or anything like that.

     And I think we all have to -- we have to focus more on concrete steps that could be taken.  Obviously this is a very deep division and it is affecting the rest of the world.  I was impressed by the way it plays out in Africa as described by Iginio in which he is going like:  Let's look at what is happening on the ground.  Let's look at how the technology actually gets implemented.  In some ways it looks like some of these global south countries are actually benefiting from the competing systems here.  Hopefully we can keep it at peaceful competition and go forward with a unified Internet in which we do have lots of different states, lots of different users exerting their own autonomy, their own freedom over what they do online.

     With that, would you like any last words, Peixi Xu?

     >> PEIXI XU:  No, Milton.  Thank you so much for putting us together and actually we have some old friends, and some new friends.  There are lots of very good insights.  I am watching this chat and trying to also find some insights in these questions.  Thank you for the kind of brilliant organisation of this workshop.

     >> MILTON MUELLER:  All right.  Good night or good day all.

 

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