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IGF 2020 - Day 9 - WS324 One size fits all? Global norms as a threat to inclusion

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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   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Hello.  Just wait a few minutes.  Take your seat.  There is coffee in the corner if you would like.  We will start soon. 
    (Pause).

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  If you like in these meetings in the chat you can introduce yourself to the other participants, know who is in the room.  That's optional.  If you haven't joined an IGF session yet you can check how the chat works and how the interaction goes.

   >> JAN GERLACH:  I am just hearing from Agustina, she is not receiving the e‑mail with the link. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Mine went to Spam.  I'm trying to think what's the saying of Spam in real life if you were in IGF in a building.  It is like when you put the problem inside of a bag and then you search the bag and you cannot find it.  You find a pen, a notebook but you cannot find it until you click somewhere and you get the problem in another room. 
    Just two more minutes with one participant having technical difficulties to find the room.  Just one or two minutes more and we will start. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Is it the academic four minutes?  Four minutes.  All right. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  For questions people should use the Q and A function. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Yes, questions ‑‑ for questions to the panelists.  There is Agustina.  Hello. 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Hello. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  One more to go.  Good morning.  Thanks for joining us at this early time for you. 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Oh, my God, my face. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Experience of jet lag. 
(Laughter)    

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Just one more person to join us. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  We already have a question in the Q and A. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Alex, are you here?  Yes. 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Hi. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Hi. 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  One link and then I realized the process. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  You are breaking up for me a little bit.  Can everyone else hear her okay?  A little garbled sound from you.  Not sure why. 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Let me close some windows. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  But glad you are here.  I think we can get started.  Here. 
    If everyone's ‑‑ yes.  Seems like we have a quorum.  Lots of attendees as well.  In the spirit of a productive session let's get going.  And it is for me to welcome everyone.  Hello and good morning, goof afternoon, good evening, and thanks for joining us at Workshop No. 324; One Size Fits All, Global Norms as a Threat to Inclusion.  I made this joke the last time in the session, you are probably not in the wrong room.  But if you are, welcome anyway.  Please stay.  We are going to have a great conversation here. 
    It is my pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the group of co‑organizers.  My name is Jan Gerlach.  I'm a led public policy manager at the Wikimedia Foundation which is a non‑profit in San Francisco that hosts Wikipedia.  I am joined by Fabro Steibel.  He is the director at the Institute of Technology and Society.  And also joined with Allison Davenport.  And we are joined by a wonderful group of speakers who will be introduced shortly.  I want to thank everyone who is watching this session and encourage you to help make it a success by asking questions in the webinar feature. 

Let me take a moment to frame today's conversation.  In a nutshell this session really explores the ways that in 2020 still rules for the Internet are shaped in some parts of the world and brought to others.  The Internet today seems boundless and inexhaustible as a resource for speech and knowledge and activity that continues to expand every day.  The child Internet was heralded as a great equalizer.  However as more nations see potential for harm on the Internet and struggle to cope with the volume created by content, by users every day, we are seeing increasing rules and regulations to pin the Internet to a shape that's recognizable and manageable. 

Unfortunately what is recognizable does not mean the same thing everywhere in the world.  And also not on every platform or for every community.  This results in a race to export one single revision for the Internet which to threaten inclusion online.  While a certain platform may band certain kinds of speech that discriminates based on sexual orientation in terms of service, a nation where that operates may pass a law that "promotion" of a homosexual lifestyle. 

Also conflict between the laws of multiple nations when it comes to what be and should be allowed on the Internet.  In practice, this can lead to a hierarchy of rules that must be followed online, which have the capacity to and interest in setting the tone of regulation for the Internet.  Similarly online communities from wealthy regions are often defining on platform norms for other regions.  Think of a sub‑Reddit or a Wikipedia.  The Internet is a tool that has great power to bring individuals and groups from across the globe.  There is a risk that those meeting places are all beginning to look the same in a way.  Meaning that many users do not see their identities or values reflected in the modern online world. 
    On the other hand, national or local standards set by governments or local communities often fail to reflect the interests of all in those locations as well and can be used to suppress access to information or critical speech. 

In this session we will examine the various sources of globally applied standards and discuss the benefits and real world consequences of local and global standards on various online communities.  From a policy perspective the most pressing questions that arise are the following:  For public policy and community standards but also local content how can we ensure that communities around the world can develop their own set of norms instead of being governed by rules that have been shaped in Developed Countries only.  And from a perspective or jurisdiction but also access to knowledge what is the role of extraterritorial jurisdiction. 

I'm very excited about this conversation today.  And also the perspectives that we will hear from our fabulous speakers.  I want to say a few sentences about the format or the structure of the conversation today which is hopefully interesting to you.  And will also help you engage if you would like. 
    We want to first in the first part of the conversation take stock, assess the state of play of exports of norms and rules and standards from one region to another. 
    Panelists will be asked to help contribute and think what kind of norms are actually shaped in one place and then applied elsewhere.  Allison and I will be taking notes during that part of the conversation.  And then respond to the ‑‑ to the panelists by sort of identifying patterns and really identifying the findings.  Based on those findings in a second part we will ask the panelists to assess the impacts that those norms have and what this means for inclusion online. 
    And we want to ask you to also contribute in the webinar feature if you are able to do so.  And we'll also use those, take those questions in to account as we report back. 
    And with that, I will hand over to our Moderator, Fabro, to introduce our fabulous speakers and kick off our conversation.  Thank you. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you very much for the introduction.  Hello, everyone.  We have at this moment more than 30 participants, around 35 and growing.  If you haven't been in a session like this before, you can make questions in the question and answer box below.  And there is a closed caption if you need. 
    So I will kick off with some findings that we have in the Latin American region in international jurisdiction.  And the GRULAC report that says four out of five stakeholders that think about regulation in local contexts do take highly relevant international context when creating the rules. 
    It sees that we have international, that is global and global norms do matter for most of the stakeholders.  At the same time we have local context that are quite particular and they do matter.  We do have this effect what this panel is all about.  We have three speakers.  We have Frane Maroevic, Alex Walden, Agustina Del Campo.  A lot of them have different hats.  I will ask them to introduce themselves. 

I would like to kick off with a discussion.  What are the norms we have?  What are the global norms that we have at the local?  Is this about regulation?  Is it about law?  Is it about terms of use of private sector?  Is it about broad framework like the GDPR?  What are the norms that we see from the point of view.  In the next session we start to think about why it matters and please ‑‑ so please introduce yourself.  Alex, do you want to start?  Please introduce yourself.  And what are kind of the norms that we have that have this effect? 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Sorry.  Thanks.  And can you hear me all right?  Even though my connection was not great.  Okay.  Great.  Well, good morning from Washington D.C.  My name is Alex Walden.  And I lead the Human Rights work at Google.  So I work very closely with colleagues across the company that are focused on sort of data governance.  We are focused on access to information on various topics.  And my lens across all of that work across, all regions where we do business is to ‑‑ is to provide a lens of focus on Human Rights.  And so that's really kind of how I enter the conversation from Google.  What I'm doing is helping to provide a lens that's based in international standards on Human Rights.  That means that we are also informed by regional standards as well.  But fundamentally because we are a global company we try to start with the most global of baselines to ensure that what we are doing in terms of developing standards for our products is something that works everywhere. 
    An important aspect to our approach to thinking about how we create standards across our products, like our terms of service, but then each of our products have specific rules for what is and is not allowable. 
    Things like Youtube's community guidelines are an example of that.  In creating those community guidelines what we do there is try to create a foundation for the principles that we are applying globally but, of course, what we have to do is like in reality what's happening is that there are people in particular countries who are users of our services.  When we are looking at what is hate, what is harassment, what is all of these categories, where we prohibit content, how do we ensure that we are taking in to account the local context when we are ‑‑ when we are applying those principles and that's something that we are very reliant on on external experts.  We have regional experts internally, but it is something that's a constantly evolving conversation for us. 
    And then the last piece is the law intersects with that.  We are a U.S. based company.  And so that, of course, you know, with a lot of U.S. trained lawyers who do the work here but, of course, we have lawyers everywhere, and that ‑‑ U.S. framework underpins a lot of the way that the company thinks about norms and standards and legal obligations. 
    And so the framework that we developed sort of deals with conflicts of laws issues as well is about how do we ensure that we are respecting the law where we do business.  We have created a framework that allows us to do jail blocking and ensuring that what's governed in one country is not determining what is available in another country.  I will stop that.  I know that's a teaser for a lot of other things.  But just some of the core pieces that are integrated in to the way that we think about this. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Agustina, do you want to take next?  Please introduce yourself to the audience.  And what kind of norms are we talking about, norms/standards from your point of view? 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Hi everyone.  First thanks for the invitation.  It is an interesting panel.  My name is Agustina Del Campo.  I direct the center for studies on freedom of expression and access to information.  It is really early.  If I don't articulate, please forgive me.  But I'm due to wake up in about an hour and a half.  So it will be around there. 
    So the center for studies on freedom of expression is an academic center that is grounded in the law school at the University of Palambo.  What we do is provide legal analyses on different aspects of freedom of expression.  And for most of the time that we have existed we focused on freedom of expression online and what's happening there. 
    I guess there is two points that I would like to make that I think can contribute to framing the conversation.  I agree with what you said Fabro, first with the results of the Internet and jurisdiction and the Glad report.  That Latin America at least has a lot of ‑‑ it is not direct imports of norms or regulation from other countries.  But it is a lot of permeability to what's happening elsewhere in the world.  And I mainly see this as probably the conclusion of an ecosystem that has very little formal regulation worldwide and very different countries with very different bandwidths to regulate this. 
    So what I'm seeing at least from a comparative perspective is that few countries are taking the lead on regulation conversations.  And a lot of countries are being ‑‑ are playing very reactively to what happens. 
    Particularly during the last four or five years maybe which contributes to create maybe more permeability to forming norms for different countries.  And for more direct exports of laws that may not make literal sense in other regions.  And I'd like to refer to two examples on regulation at least.  One is the right to be forgotten that has been exported worldwide. 
    And in a lot of times while the concept is interesting, the frameworks for the dynamics between privacy and freedom of expression are very different in different parts of the world.  And that dynamic has not necessarily been taken in to account in debating this kind of thing.  The other one also coming from Europe and it is starting to be exported worldwide is the European directive on copyright.  And some of the rules on norms that that directive either directly proposes or indirectly implies or recommends.  So that's one of the points that I wanted to make. 
    There is a lot of ‑‑ I think there is a lot of room for rule exporting at least from a legislative point of view.  Basically going back to the first point, because I think there is very different bandwidths between states to regulate these kinds of things.  And that bandwidth is related to a number of different things.  The size of their markets, the influence they feel they may have on the regulation itself.  Issues of formal jurisdiction where they have offices of main Internet actors or big players within the country, that contributes to a sense of whether they can regulate these things or not. 

The other things has to do with institutional aspects.  A lot of countries are being very, very reactive to a lot of these issues that Alex was mentioning and not necessarily proactive.  What legislation do we want is not something that a lot of states can seriously think about.  Because they don't have the bandwidth to do that. 
    Just a quick point I would like to make additionally, I think there is a main expert in this conversation that it is not necessarily accounted for in every conversation.  I think there is a false sense that tech alone can solve the social issues that arise online.  And that's a big northern idea.  It is a very U.S. idea.  Very framed by the First Amendment and Section 230.  And I think that's being exported in different ways both formally through very different means, but also informally through ‑‑ through somewhat social norms.  I feel the Civil Society around the globe has sort of bought in to this idea that tech issues are tech solutionible sort of.  I will leave it at that.  And then we can continue the conversation. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you very much.  So Frane, we already have some ‑‑ lots of interesting topics.  Added to what Alex we have the right to be forgotten, copyright directive.  We have this tech alone cannot solve the problem from a U.S. perspective that in my view organizations such as Civil Society, I'm thinking here about myself as well.  This is really interesting. 
    And you have wonderful data because I talked at the beginning the regional report and we certainly have the global report and the evolution of it.  So please welcome, please introduce yourself to the speakers.  And what kind of norms/standards do you see happening?  And how do they take place?  If you are participating and you were writing in the chat, we are writing and following, it is easier to reply if you use question and answer.  If want to say something to the participants, please use the chat.  If you want to ask a question, please use the Q and A chat. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  Thank you.  Welcome to all the attendees.  I am fortunate to be in Europe.  So for me it is normal time to be awake and alert. 
    So all my colleagues who are having the conference experience of having jet lag, enjoy it while you can.  We are all missing I think the conference coffee as we alluded to earlier. 
    But as you mentioned, Fabro, we are just about to release a regional report on the Latin American and Caribbean and looking at the European Government.  Thank you for preparing this report which will launch at the Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Latin America and Caribbean on the 24th of November. 

I would like to take a step back because at this time last time year we launched a global status report looking at Internet and jurisdiction issues and challenges across the globe where we combined best research from over 150 stakeholders or companies, technical operators and Civil Society and academia.  I just realized, I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself properly.  I am the director of content program at the Internet policy network.  It brings together over 300 stakeholders to look and discuss and find practical solutions to issues and problems of Internet jurisdiction across the globe.  How they impact on the global experience on the Internet.  And that's what we are focusing on.  

So when I look at the global report which was produced last year and some of the key findings are around 80% of the stakeholders consider that there is insufficient international coordination and coherence to address cross‑border legal challenges of the Internet, and a vast majority, almost everyone who was surveyed, 95% agreed that cross‑border legal challenges will become increasingly acute over the next years.  And essentially one of the conclusions is that we do have the right institutions to address these challenges. 
    And to take a step back to what was said by Jan at the beginning but also by the other speakers as well, I think one of the challenges that we are looking at here in terms of regulation is that the framework and structure that's being created we have the regulation of Internet or the platforms.  We are looking at the regulation by the companies.  So essentially in many cases the terms of service, so‑called community standards are regulating our experience of the Internet.  So this is the regulation of the ‑‑ by the companies themselves and then there is the regulation on the Internet where different Forums, different spheres of the communities are bringing their own rules in different rules and communities.  And this is a very interesting example and the development. 

The bit I would focus on is much more on the legal and divergence of standards across the Internet which are preventing in a way all of us having the same experience of the Internet.  It is clear that we are seeing a proliferation of abuses on the Internet and the Government and the authorities are taking actions, some in good faith but some are taking action in order to stifle freedom of expression and freedom of the media.  And this absence of coordination which I mentioned in terms of bringing together legislation is creating that divergence of standards across the Internet.  So we have a possibility of legal interoperability programs on the Internet where one user will not know whether the content is legal.  They may know whether it is legal in their own country but they will not know if it is legal across the globe.  It may be taken down in different areas.  It may be subject to legal restrictions on those areas. 
    So they won't know which rules maybe apply on the Internet which could be one of the serious problems.  We are seeing jurisdictions within states where some countries are creating legislation, which goes beyond their own borders.  So they are trying to regulate the global experience of the Internet.  So which problem of this could be hampering digital innovation and growth that we don't all have the same experience of online that we have.  And in a way it favors the strongest, those who are setting the rules and creating those rules are setting the standards. 
    Agustina mentioned two very good examples of rules that have been exported from Europe to other parts of the world, right to be forgotten, the right to be indexed and the copyright.  The example that's very important in this area is the German NetzDG legislation.  It put the responsibility on platforms for regulating what is illegal according to the German criminal code. 
    And a think tank, I think earlier last month published a report where they uncovered 24 such pieces of copycat legislation across the globe of copying the NetzDG.  It did have certain problems and implementations in Germany.  It was already subject to amendments.  We can all agree that the law itself did not result in widespread censorship in Germany itself.  But when you take such a piece of legislation and try to apply it in different legal frameworks with different traditions with different institutions that help implement the law and protect fundamental rights I think that problem can quickly appear.  You cannot blame Germany or other countries for copying the legislation.  It is clear that legislation which is copied can result in negative effects and negative structures.  If you look at the list of some of the countries which have copied this legislation you can see how diverse the legal frameworks and structures have made certain variations of this NetzDG. 

I don't believe they have created concern institutions.  What I have found very interesting, for example, in the German NetzDG is the link that law created to a self‑regulatory mechanism which is very little known and actually took me quite a long time to figure out how this part is going to work.  But in order to determine whether something is illegal according to the German criminal code the platforms can turn to self‑regulatory body that is specialized in protecting youth and children to give them binding advice.  And this is an interesting element. 

So it is not always a platform decided what is illegal which is one of the fundamental difficulties I would say with this law.  I don't believe it copies all the elements and the aspects of this particular law which are important when it comes to this implementation.  So I think this is the problem that we have in transferring legislation and legal standards across the globe.  It requires different elements and different aspects in order to protect our fundamental rights to be also exported together with the ‑‑ with the legislation itself. 
    So that's I would say are the key things.  And I think if I would try to answer these things, the problem and the challenges that we are posing I think we need to find ways of strengthening cooperation and coordination of rule making on the Internet if we want to preserve the Internet as a global resource, that we all have the same experience of the Internet whether we are logging in from different parts of the globe.  That's the key challenge for the next period of Internet Governance and Internet development.  And I would be ‑‑ this is something that the organization that I'm working at, the Internet and jurisdiction policy network is working on trying to find a practical solution.  But I think it would be interesting to hear if there are any other suggestions in this area, how we can do this better and how we can ensure that the Internet remains a global resource and not splintered across different countries or different regions.  And I think it has been referred to as a splinter net, as a potential problem.  So that's from me to kick off this discussion. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you very much.  This is very interesting.  So there is concern here about institutions.  And then I think about data protection agencies, Telco agencies to courts.  I like the comments you make about regulation of the Internet by the company, by the Internet and the Internet, and all the Internet to think about these broad spectrum. 
    Yesterday I read a good measurable report on Wikipedia.  So the interview with the seven editors who are most responsible for climate change and that brought in my mind the drastic law bill of Fake News.  When you think about the seven editors are working, they have this fact check, which is related to the guidelines of Wikipedia and how you edit and so on.  At the same time they are working as a news company would do, like a television or a newspaper would do. 

And at the same time there is a constant moderation issue here that is to help platforms leave content or remove content.  A simple case can bring to different types of regulation and draft bill of law in Brazil.  We have all these conversations; should we regulate them as Google and Facebook and other big companies.  Should we regulate television and journals or traditional media.  Should we consider we have different a profit.  All of that comes as a regulation.  And we look for inspiration elsewhere on who has done that and how to regulate. 
    So let me move to a second type of question which is why it matters.  And the panel is about inclusion.  So I will look around for other comments from each one of you and try to think about the first question discussed what are the norms and how do we design them and how do we see them happening.  And then we have all the examples about why it matters.  What are the opportunities here for expanding inclusion and what are the threats or challenges for restriction or limiting inclusion. 
    I will leave you to accept the order, wherever you want to join.  Alex, you will be the first because we started.  Feel free to ask questions which are as much as you like. 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Sure.  I'm happy to jump in and I think, you know, I alluded to this in my initial comments, like why this is a challenge for platforms, potential conflicts in country base and regional norms and how those might ‑‑ how they may conflict, is because we continue to try to create a global standard for how we are operating the platform.  And so companies end up in a position where we are trying to comply with laws that have different requirements for us.  And so we continue to be very focused on how can there be a global standard for what companies should be expected to do.  So that we can best really reach that balance of ensuring that countries can create their own lives and make sure that the norms that are acceptable in a particular place are able to be managed and that we can enforce that technically. 

But also that we are Google as a company has Human Rights values.  So that means that we do want to make sure we are being rights respecting in a way that we are engaging with Governments, engaging with our users and citizens of countries all around the world where there are different norms.  So it is a challenge, but at the same time as you said it is an opportunity because really having ‑‑ having a mode for people to communicate around the world is the benefit of exactly what we do.  That's the thing we are trying to preserve.  And we are part of all those conversations about regulation everywhere around the world and trying to figure out how those things can work for us and what ‑‑ define what the principles are that ‑‑ that will lead us in to what Frane, how do we figure out how it works.  And we are continuing to be part of the conversations because we recognize there is room for us all to evolve our thinking in the way that this is all playing out. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you, Alex.  Agustina, do you want to go next? 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Yeah.  Sure.  So I'm going to mention three.  One of the things ‑‑ one of the problems with exporting legislation has to do I believe by what Frane was mentioning, the different institutional cultures that exist in different countries probably will ‑‑ will formally make it look as if the rules may be the same across borders, but the implementation of those rules will be severely different.  And probably as Frane was mentioning with important threats to diversity and inclusion.  Particularly in countries that don't have strong institutions to protect fundamental rights, like data protection, privacy, freedom of expression. 
    The second point I want to make is I remember when David Kay was preparing the 2018 report on content moderation, regarding terms of service and in discussing whether global norms or regional norms and what the differences were.  One of the concerns that I had and it is in our submission to David in 2018, was that this becomes a sort of race to the bottom where in looking for common ground globally you start going to the ‑‑ instead of following the Human Rights principle of always an interpretation in favor of the individual, you end up with a lot of common language on Human Rights that does not really reach the level of agreed regional Human Rights protections within the different places. 
    I was particularly concerned for the way freedom of expression protections are drafted in the inter‑American system versus the European system that has very different views.  So if adopting global standards means taking away from the protections that we regionally have negotiated and agreed upon, I find it ‑‑ I find a huge potential to lead to a race to the bottom sort of. 
    The other one, the third point that I want to make is diversity and inclusion is very often interpreted differently in different countries and in different cultures.  And adopting a one size fits all kind of policy may a lot of times perpetrate the exclusions that exist in certain places. 
    I will leave it at that.  I'm sure that Frane will address the legal implications and challenges for inclusion.  And I don't want to overlap with his comments. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  Thank you.  When you were talking to sort of build on that in terms of restrictions and versus one size fits all, it is also an interesting element in the development, how different issues are understood differently across the globe and a different interpretation.  And if I come back to my favorite example of the NetzDGs when the countries which copied that piece of legislation many of them introduced sort of vague categories of content that they would like to be restricted in the ‑‑ in that context.  So false information, blasphemy, hate speech are notoriously difficult to define and implement.  Excitement to generate anarchy or issues of privacy rights.  The question comes how do you ensure that these things are understood in a similar way across the globe.  And I think for platforms it becomes very difficult and challenging who are being tasked to implement this legislation.  And maybe that's something for Alex in terms of how do you ‑‑ how would you understand this across different parts of the globe, where the interpretation could be different.  When we talk about the inclusion, there is another sort of coin, another side to this coin which is very important to think about which is the Internet needs to be also a safe space for people to feel that they can communicate on it.  So inclusion for me is also it is very much about freedom of expression which is an area that I work a lot on and area that I'm very personally keen on.  But also there is understanding that we do need certain rules of conduct and behavior in order to create a safe space.  I mean after all in joining this webinar we agreed to something by the UN to be part of this IGF.  I admit first one I did not read it.  I just said accept like most of the other terms of service community standards and all the other requests that I have ever applied for. 
    And that's one of the ‑‑ that's one of the challenges as Fabro mentioned when it comes to trying to find the right kind of rules and regulations on the Internet, that we have the old model of media regulation.  And we have models of different aspects of regulation such as privacy rights and so on.  And it is blatantly clear that they don't actually all fit to the Internet in terms of how the regulation has been applied in the traditional offline media. 

We do need new formats, but what we must ensure that we ‑‑ when we are creating new pieces of legislation is that we don't throw out all the good work that's been done in order to ensure our protection of fundamental rights and values when we come to apply new rules and the new legislation of the Internet of the platforms.  The point that I mentioned earlier, an interesting element of trying to develop this new framework for rules of the Internet I think it needs to take in to account different levels of responsibilities by the different actors online. 
    When I talk about regulating of the Internet, on the Internet and by the Internet, by the platforms, of the platforms on the platforms and by the platforms, I think it is not as simple as just creating different rules.  I think we need to understand the different relationship and different responsibilities between all the actors.  Because what I see quite often now in terms of legal development is that many countries are looking at the big tech platforms and saying okay, you can do this.  You know how to regulate this area.  You know how to police your content online.  So therefore you should just do it.  And that takes away from the responsibilities that Governments and the authorities have in order to ensure that they also protect our fundamental rights and values online.  And they have a responsibility in order to ensure good regulation online.  So it is not just about handing over to one particular entity.  It is a relationship between the users as well, users who have a responsibility.  And I think, Fabro, you mentioned sort of sub‑Reddit groups and Wikipedia editors.  And there is a responsibility by the users, by the groups to implement the new rules.  It is a new framework that we need to look at which takes in to account the clear understanding and the responsibilities between all the different actors to create good rules.  I don't think that we can find a one size fits all but we need to find a one size that ensures that information online and the benefit of a global Internet is available to all and to everyone.     

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you very much.  So we are on schedule which is great.  Sharp on time.  We finished the first part of the session.  We are going for the second part which is good.  Allison, Jan, do you want to summarize what you find interesting so far and maybe give some challenges for the speakers? 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Absolutely.  Thank you so much for the conversations so far.  I found it super interesting.  And I have taken a few notes.  I'm going to try to ‑‑ we have taken a few notes.  I'm going to try to distill sort of what we have heard in to maybe roughly three patterns or so.  So one is I think the obvious, that some countries are taking the lead in regulation, right?  And others follow them. 
    And sometimes they do that even if the regulations do not make sense for their legal context.  And then they lack certain safeguards for free expression, fairness, et cetera.  Also privacy, for instance.  Examples for this is the right to be forgotten and also the European copyright directive and the NetzDG and the "strongest" nations are favored.  And sometimes however that law doesn't actually lead to censorship in the say original cry.  But it may have bad effects in other places where the same context doesn't exist yet.  Or the culture isn't a good fit for that law.  So the problem here really is that laws are sort of transferred arbitrarily in a way and many aspects are left out. 
    The second big pattern is that terms of services and guidelines topdown are built by companies with the aim to work everywhere.  U.S. companies often think ‑‑ their thinking is underpinned by U.S. legal framework as Alex has confirmed.  And that doesn't mean that they are not trying to think in local contexts or even regional norms.  But it means they need help on the ground and they need to listen to people who understand local frameworks and local contexts who develop those rules that may work everywhere. 
    And now the third pillar that I think Frane has eloquently described as regulation on the Internet or on the platform is starting to stand out for me, of course, also with my background working at the Wikimedia Foundation.  Here it is not really ‑‑ it is not really clear to me yet how this will work with a sort of one size fits all approach.  But we are seeing sort of this notion that there is a shared responsibility that users can share responsibility for good rules for enforcing them and certainly developing them in the first place.  And here it will be important to not throw out good work.  I think I also want to paraphrase Frane, good work has been done around regulation of media and promoting Human Rights there.  And I think also community rules that are set by the users themselves will probably have to look to those standards as well. 
    Now I think that's sort of like where we are and what has struck me in this conversation.  And maybe I'm just slow to realize that and everyone else has already, is the following.  I'm seeing sort of two emerging trends.  Free speech and intermedia liability expressions were originally exported by companies.  They brought their work, their terms of service elsewhere around the world.  On the other hand, restrictions that countries are now applying to the Internet are basically imported by themselves from the EU.  Of course, using the NetzDG examples and the copyright directive example again.  So these are sort of like two conflicting trends that I'm seeing here.  I'm not sure whether the speakers would agree with that or even the attendees. 
    And then the final point I want to make is that while we have heard very interesting interventions here, one thing that we haven't discussed yet and maybe we are also not the right Forum are technical standards.  The technical protocols underpinning all of what we are discussing now haven't really been brought up yet.  I'm not a technical expert.  And I think it is probably best to like take a note for later or maybe even for a later discussion for other people but I think it is interesting that we shouldn't forget that, right?  The Internet and its protocols have been largely built in the global north.  And while there is a multi‑stakeholder approach in the many standard setting organizations nowadays it is still difficult for people from other regions to contribute in a meaningful way.  Yeah.  So I think that's where we are right now. 
    And I'll hand it back to you Fabro, to dive in to the second part. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Yeah.  Thank you very much.  The reason why I dislike what you said is just because the frame you did is more interesting than my next question.  So I will give you all the speakers the opportunity to relate to what Jan said and how he understands this conversation so far.  But I lead you out with another question, we said might be of interest, which is the standardization of standards.  And then GDPR plays an interesting role here.  GDPR as this adequacy decision test which will save your country is kind of like EU countries. 
    And two interesting stories about that, is when the decision was made by Japan with Japan and with Uruguay.  Uruguay is very much like EU.  So kind of I took two years but they did it.  When you look at Japan, Japan is a completely different setting and the consent of privacy doesn't have a proper word for that.  So the regulation is not about that.  What's really complex is to find the standard in some context that was really different.  In the end it works out.  But it was a challenge. 
    So how do you think about the standardization of standards?  It might be GDPR.  It might be NetzDG.  It might be other things that we consider highly valuable.  But how do you see the standards of standards as playing a role in this Internet regulation.  And if you want to address to what Jan said it is of great interest, particularly the technical standards which something that we haven't touched base yet.  Alex, do you want to start as well or should we reverse the order? 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  I'm also happy to jump in if Alex ‑‑

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Sure.  You go first. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  I mean I'm very much interested by this idea that you have sort of posed in terms of standard or standards, to immediately say I'm not a technical person.  So while I have been an early adopter of the Internet in '90s I can't claim by any means that I know how it works.  But there is a point in the chat which I will read in a second.  For me an interesting element, Fabro, that you pointed out is the GDPR example.  And I see the example of standards in two ways.  One is what we are discussing is a standard that's been exported where other countries are looking at standards saying okay, we would like to do something like that because it is useful for us.  And they copy it one way or another and adapt it hopefully to their legislation and their framework.  And as we already discussed it has problems in terms of are there right institutions and structures in place for proper implementations of such standards in other countries. 
    So I think that's an interesting example.  And I think for me on that sort of note, there was an interesting ruling by the European Court of Justice on the case of privacy.  It was a decision against Kanel, the French privacy regulator, whether was asking decisions should be exported globally or only within the EU.  The European Court of Justice looked at this particular issue, it should only be applicable in Europe because the legislation in itself was designed for the European continent.  But there is certain harmony and standardization of what privacy means.  There is coherence what is privacy.  The European Union has decided that that's how it should be.  And therefore it should be applicable there.  And should not be applicable extra‑ territorially or extra jurisdiction outside of Europe.  What we are seeing is through the copying of legislation that's being applied. 

The second principle which is also interesting and important here, I only have anecdotal evidence as a user, but it becomes a standard for companies that want to operate in the EU.  So I have come across a number of websites and I think news websites coming from the U.S., which when I try and access they give me a warning because of GDPR.  Your content is ‑‑ the content is not access.  We are not providing content in Europe.  They have decided it is too complicated, too difficult for them to apply a particular standard.  Therefore they are not going to enter in to that particular market.  We are seeing the fragmentation from that perspective.  So that companies cannot operate in the same ‑‑ on the same terms and on the same basis across the globe.  That becomes a challenge of how do we tackle this as well.  So that's from me on that. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Agustina, do you want to do the reverse round? 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Yeah.  Sure.  So standardization of standards, I think this is not necessarily new and this is not necessarily something that only impacts the Internet.  I feel there has always been a movement towards standardization of standards.  And when we speak about Human Rights, there is already a standardization of standards. 
    I think the main challenge with this standardization of standards is sort of what happens when you propose the direct application of the Human Rights framework to a lot of these issues, where really the more granular interpretation and implications of the same language means different things to different cultures, to different people, to different legal regimes. 
    So I don't think it is necessarily a new issue.  I think we should look at ‑‑ I think there is very little exercise of looking at how we resolved a lot of these issues in the past as we ‑‑ as we look at the challenges that we have towards the future.  Just I want to go back to the point that I briefly mentioned before, which is the ‑‑ my fear there is that this literally becomes a race to the bottom in every sense. 
    So in standardizing the standard we started relitigating a lot of the Human Rights standards that we fought for for a long period.  Particularly in regions that had a harder time with some of these rights.  Latin America has a heavy history of censorship.  And it took awhile for us to get to the conception and definition that we have in Article 13 of the inter‑American Convention on Human Rights. 
    And it is a different solution from the global framework and from the European framework.  Not radically different but slightly different.  Enough that it makes sense to look at it in a more granular way and make sure that in ‑‑ in adopting a global standard, we don't lose the ‑‑ the individualities that we fought for.     

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Alex, do you want to go next?  

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  Sure.  And I honestly I think Agustina and Frane have already raised so many important points that I don't know that I have a ton more to add on the question.  But I will say that I'm not a technical person.  But there are many folks inside of Google and other companies who are focused on the technical standards and how those relate to some of the legal standards and the regulatory frameworks that we are oftentimes looking at.  So I will make sure those folks get back with you, Jan.  I think ‑‑ and maybe I'm a broken record because this is where companies are.  But we are I think ‑‑ one thing that somebody touched on earlier is about the ways in which ‑‑ so companies are focused on how we can comply with the laws where we do business.  Fundamentally we have to figure out how we can respect those laws and comply with them so we can do business in each country where we hope to. 
    And so that means that where regulations, like sort of those who are first movers, a few other folks have said have an outside impact on the way that companies are going to implement those standards everywhere else. 
    And we are oftentimes trying to figure out if what's happening one place is now a trend because it is technically difficult to shift everything every time a different country attempts to create a new standard, whether it is just for that nation or if it is something that appears like it is going to become a greater baseline.  And so that's just to say that the companies are also trying to really follow what are the things are outliers and what things are trends and how do we respond in a way that is meaningful to both, what's happening locally and what's being expected of us everywhere we are doing business. 
    And another thing I will add is about smaller companies and that much of the regulation that's happening in content regulation but also with respect to data governance are regulations that are not simple for big companies but certainly having more resources makes it more possible to comply, to creatively comply.  And I think, you know, that in terms of having a diversity of platforms in the market and making sure that users have choices in terms of making sure that every platform doesn't have the same standards, but if you want a particular kind of conversation you are able to find it somewhere. 
    And we run in to challenges when the regulation favors the platforms that have more resources and makes it difficult for others to continue to operate. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  It is really interesting.  So housekeeping here, we have 23 minutes left.  So probably have another round of questions.  And then wrap and close up.  If you have questions, if you are listening if you have questions, use the chat, use the question and answer.  I would just mention the previous question and I will address the final question for the round of participants, speakers to do. 
    What about the standardization of governance of standards?  One thing that IGF has brought to the debate, for example, is multi‑stakeholderism.  Now we understand that when we talk about Internet Governance cannot have one stakeholder only.  We have to have several of them.  When we think about how ICANN defines practices for stakeholders is different from IGF which is different from other players and other Forums.  When you think about what governance means some will stand with a duty to consult.  So you make the decisions and ask and do whatever you want.  You might have a test that you have to share how the process is framed not only consulted.  When it comes to technical aspects we see a strong play on that.  Internet interoperability depends on technical standards to be governed with multi‑stakeholderism.  ICANN might be an example of, Internet infrastructure clearly depends on that.  We see the private sector when we ‑‑ oversight boards and other things. 

So what about the standards of Internet Governance?  How do you think this plays a role and how do you see these evolving in the debate?  For example, mentioning UNESCO members, this is one of the things that has a huge debate on how we define the features and measure them.  How do you see this governance of standards and using Agustina's word, is this a race to the bottom or a lift to the top?  How do you see this process of governance and standards?  Please the floor is open.  This will be the last questions.  Please join the debate.  Do you want to start this round, Agustina? 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Yeah.  Sure.  So governance standards, that's interesting.  I think multi‑stakeholderism is maybe the common factor that I see as clearly established everywhere as you mentioned but not necessarily other factors.  About multi‑stakeholderism, what I see is that while the concept is interesting.  And it has been pushed heavily in global spaces, there is a lot to do to actually bring that kind of a structure to the local level, to the region levels.  The ‑‑ the few instances for multi‑stakeholderism that we see locally in different countries.  And there is a number of different studies on this, they kind of show that it is not ‑‑ that the ‑‑ the proposal doesn't cascade down.  Decisions locally are not being taken based on a multi‑stakeholderism approach. 
    Not all the multi‑stakeholders are willing to go to the local level with this kind of a model.  And that ‑‑ that I feel has a direct or may have a direct impact on the issue of inclusion that this session tried to address and discuss. 
    As long as ‑‑ I mean multi‑stakeholder governance of the Internet being a global thing needs a global multi‑stakeholder approach.  But that global approach cannot be detached from the local and regional structures.  And right now I see serious challenges to that, to that proposal.  I think if we look at the ‑‑ if we look at least at the last ten years, there is very few places where you can ‑‑ where you can point to for successful implementations of multi‑stakeholder approaches.  And that may have somewhat of a broader impact than we are giving it credit for it.  I think there should be a bit more research as to how much of the standardization, how much of the standardization of standards, how much of the exporting may be attributed to a lack of ‑‑ to a lack of a multi‑stakeholder approach locally and regionally and a lack of a dialogue between the different actors involved. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Interesting.  Alex, do you want to follow? 

   >> ALEX WALDEN:  It is hard to follow Agustina.  I think that everyone that you just said is fascinating and I couldn't agree of somebody who sits on a global team at a company.  While I am participating in IGF, I do Freedom Online Coalition; I do GMI.  I do less today but I have done some work in ICT and what it looks like and how that pulls from and doesn't pull from some of those models.  And I don't see that necessarily ‑‑ that sort of forcing function to have a multi‑stakeholder dialogue which oftentimes slows down the process for kind of reaching the results that policymakers and regulators are interested in.  I don't see it happening at the country level most often.  And so it ‑‑ it creates attention that is where at the global level we are trying to all be in conversation together.  And drive forward norms that can be useful everywhere. 

While at the country level, things are moving fast and it is not always ‑‑ it is not consistent how much cooperation and collaboration and multi‑stakeholderism is happening as national level laws and regional norms are being created.  That's to say the way that you expressed it is very accurate with my and consistent with my experience.  But I don't know what the Resolution is to kind of help at the national level conversations slow down to ensure that we are engaging all of the stakeholders in a way that incorporates those perspectives, to reach the best outcomes when regulations happen. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Frane, you want to join? 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  I can first start by agreeing with Alex and Agustina with what they said.  Absolutely I support the points in terms that we have important discussion on a global level about multi‑stakeholder approaches, discussion debates, IGF and so on. 
    Now to what extent is this being translated when it comes to legislation being develop on a local level, I would question that.  If I think about my previous work where I worked for in the Governmental organization on a freedom of expression where we did a lot of analysis of legislation that can impact and concern media, one of the key demands that I would say was always made is that any piece of legislation that impacts freedom of the media, freedom of expression, there are fundamental Human Rights needs to go through a thorough consultation process. 

This is a standard procedure when it comes to adopting these laws.  I don't see that to the extent being done when it comes to laws which are impacting our online freedom of expression.  There is not the same multi‑stakeholder engagement.  Not the same kind of engagement of all the people that are important.  This conversation shows discussing technical standards.  And in our panel we don't have the technical people involved.  So we need to bring the technical people in as well.  We need to bring the academics.  It is about ‑‑ it is about getting everybody who has a stake, I mean a stake in this process, a multi‑stakeholder approach is essential. 
    And I don't see any ways of going around it.  I mean your question Fabro, this is a race to the bottom or lift to the top.  I I'm afraid at the moment we are having more of a race to the bottom rather than a lift to the top.  I think the lift to the top are the internationally agreed standards that we have on Human Rights that have been developed.  And I think we need to keep that top very firmly based.  And ensure that the race starts moving up rather than towards more less restrictions and more regulation.  We started off the conversation with a report that we are just about to publish where it is quite clear that we don't have the institutional mechanisms for this kind of coordination of regulation of the Internet on a global level. 
    And that we don't have the institutions in order to ensure that there is no legal arms race in this particular field and this particular area. 
    And I would sort of go back to the point that I made earlier, that it is important to think about the distribution of responsibilities of the different actors in this space and that's something that I think we need to see much more of as we develop standards in Internet Governance, that's something that the organization where I have been is trying to do.  We are trying to do this on a more practical level to try ‑‑ transparent practical solutions because we are not an Intergovernmental institution that can set standards.  We are trying to find places where different actors including the Governments, including the technical companies, including the Civil Society, including the academia and Intergovernmental Organization can find common language and cooperation in order to ensure functioning and workability of the Internet across the globe. 
    And this is I would say to the extent lacking on an Intergovernmental level which I think there needs to be a more constructive approach in order how to preserve our fundamental rights and values online as well as ensuring that the Internet is a safe space as ‑‑ for all the users. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Jan, we have around 10 minutes left.  You did a wonderful summarizing of the first part of the session.  You want to join ‑‑ jump again and do kind of a summary of the second part?  And then we move for the closure? 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Yeah, I hope I can do this justice.  I think this section of the conversation was really deep.  And I was actually having a hard time sort of parsing all the patterns here.  But I think what we have heard is really that there is a first mover advantage or maybe a follower or disadvantage more actually.  Both for countries and companies.  If you are early on in regulation, if you are early on in ‑‑ as a company expanding to other regions, you really are setting sort of the standards.  The challenge there is to really keep this open for everyone else.  How can you actors move in to the space.  How can you stakeholders actually engage and help with sort of the development of standards that work for their environments, for their contacts, for their regions. 

And then to your question Fabro, is there a standardization of standards and how does that look.  I think it was really interesting to hear it is not just a phenomenon for the Internet but it has been around for other fields.  Human Rights try to do this.  To standardize, to build in, to enshrine a set of rights for all people at all levels for the regulation of law.  This becomes challenging when there is a market fragmentation.  When you have sort of a lot of smaller countries doing similar things at the same time, moving quickly, and sometimes quickly than the safeguards.  Frane mentioned this around I think the right to be forgotten where courts at the European level are trying to build safeguards around this law.  But the countries are copying it faster.  And are going ahead at the country level. 
    What I found super interesting is this notion of standardization of processes, of fora, of Internet Governance as you brought it up, Fabro.  And here I think we heard that the multi‑stakeholder approach is very helpful but it is very different at every relevant fora.  There is what ICANN thinks of multi‑stakeholderism is different from what ‑‑ how IGF defines it and others.  And I think that was really interesting also to see in the report by the high level panel on digital cooperation who identify I think roughly a thousand different processes around Internet Governance, then share some approach to multi‑stakeholderism but not the same one.  You want to make sure that people can be included in governance as well.  Even if there is a stakeholder at a high level process they are hardly willing to go local to ensure that inclusion happens there as well.  This sort becomes a topdown or remains a topdown approach.  And that to me is sort of a pessimistic outlook.  Is there only a race to the bottom?  I hope not.  And then I would hope that there is still sort of room for exportation or exporting positive protections and inclusive policies. 
    And I think what we heard towards the end of the conversation is that coordination really matters.  And then the question becomes who can do this.  And just thinking about IGF right now, maybe IGF+ is where this will happen.  Maybe not.  I'm pretty sure there are various opinions on this. 
    But this role for Secretariats, that is maybe more empowered that can help with the standardization of standards and the meaningful multi‑stakeholder approach seems to be important to me. 
    And I just want to take the liberty really quick to since I work at the Wikimedia Foundation to plug one process that Wikimedia as a movement has gone through over the last three years.  And I will put the link in to chat real quick for you to check out later.  This is the process towards a Wikimedia movement strategy until 2030.  And this was a three or still is actually an ongoing process, three years of consultations with regional groups, with national groups of Wikimedians, with open channels to listen to everyone who has an opinion and valid feedback and input for how Wikimedia should look in 2030. 
    Now I'm not saying this is a perfect process.  And it is I think a very burdensome process for people who wants to give input and wants to be heard.  And it is very burdensome for the people who need to facilitate those conversations.  There have been people literally, and I say this here, burned out by the process who volunteer to do this in their volunteer capacity, right?  They are Wikimedians.  They have day jobs.  They know what the Wikimedia should look like.  These conversations are difficult to have. 
    And to I think Agustina's people to make sure that people feel included in these processes you have to go real low.  It can't be a side note.  It is really a long‑term thing that you have to dedicate yourself to. 
    I think we are really proud at Wikimedia this has worked.  We know it has not been without flaws and it comes with a heavy price tag.  I invite you all to check out the link that I dropped in there or send me an e‑mail later.  I can put it in the description of the session later.  And everyone can see it.  I will throw it back to Fabro to wrap this session up. 

   >> FABRO STEIBEL:  Thank you.  I have three minutes.  Someone mentioned data portability in the questions.  I think this is a great topic to illustrate what we are talking here.  It is something that is real technical.  Something that we don't know much about and deals with lots of jurisdictions and ownership of data.  It translates to content.  It translates to Internet infrastructure.  And one message that the standards we do have a duty to think about two Internets.  This is how it is in Brazil.  We have to talk about the highly connected that can be one part of the movement and 30% is unconnected who doesn't have Internet.  Standardizations may play a role in the two extremes and two worlds that come together.  It is a topic of great concern. 
    Two minutes left.  I will stop talking here.  Thank you very much for all the participants.  Thank you for the speakers.  Thank you for the organizations.  Thank you for the moderation, captioners.  Thank you for the questions and so on.  And it is a wrap.  Please say a few last words if you would like and we are done. 

   >> FRANE MAROEVIC:  Thank you.  Maybe just a point out there is a funny cartoon on this point which is posted by somebody in the chat.  So if you want to end on a smiley note that's a good way to end.  Lovely to see you all.  Bye. 

   >> AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO:  Likewise.  Thank you. 

   >> JAN GERLACH:  Thank you.  Thank you, everyone, for the volunteers who helped us in supporting the technology.  And thanks to everyone who stayed up late and got up early.  Thank you. 

   >> Thank you.

 

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