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IGF 2020 Theme TRUST

Trust online is essential for the Internet to reach its full potential as a tool for empowerment, a channel of free speech and an engine of economic development.

At IGF 2020, the thematic track on trust will consider and discuss:

  • How all aspects of trust, including security, stability, and resilience of the infrastructure, systems and devices, and the need for people to be safe and secure, are vital for enabling a healthy and empowering digital environment, beneficial to all.
  • Strategies and best practices for protecting both systems and users.
  • The appropriate roles and responsibilities of governments, industry and other stakeholders, as well as the need to take into account multidisciplinary perspectives.
  • The relationship between security and people’s fundamental freedoms and rights, including possible compromises needed to respond to the growing range of threats to the global Internet and to Internet users from all age groups.



This list includes both MAG-suggested sub-themes as well as sub-themes proposed by session organisers.

Business models
Capacity development
Child online safety
Child rights
Confidence-building measures
Content blocking and filtering
Content moderation
Cybersecurity awareness
Cybersecurity best practices
Data governance
Decentralised identities
Digital identity
Digital safety
Digital sovereignty
DNS abuse
DNS security
Domain Name System
Extremist content
Fake news
Freedom of expression online
Global routing security
Hate speech
Human rights
Inclusive governance
Internet protocols
Internet shutdowns
Routing security
Safety by design
Social media platforms
Tech nationalism


Related Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 3. Good health and well-being
SDG 5. Gender equality
SDG 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions


Overarching Policy Questions

The following high-level policy questions have been developed by the IGF secretariat based on an analysis of all IGF 2020 sessions under the theme of "trust". The high-level policy questions reflect overarching concepts and trends reflected across all data sessions at IGF 2020:

High-Level Policy Question 1


One of the fundamental requirements in the online world is that things work: the infrastructure, as well as the systems and devices using it, need to be secure, stable and resilient.


What building blocks are essential to ensuring a functioning, stable and resilient Internet and online world both now and, robust enough to continue working well into the future, regardless of the constantly evolving environment and changing threat landscape?

High-Level Policy Question 2


For everyone to be able to access the benefits of the Internet and digital technologies and not be at risk of harm, the online world needs to be safe and trustworthy. Risks and opportunities have to be balanced, while abuse needs to be prevented and banded. Respect for human rights and the protection of the marginalised and vulnerable, provide, across different sociocultural backgrounds, fundamental signposts to create a safe online world for all.


What can stakeholders do, ranging from government models to concrete initiatives to create an Internet that is a safe and secure online space for all, supported by the respect for human rights and the protection of our children, minimise the risks and potential harm to users, and eradicate discrimination?

High-Level Policy Question 3


As in the real world, policy answers to safety and security challenges in the online world are often a trade-off between the wish for absolute security and the will to protect all kinds of freedoms and rights. Stakeholders are guided by their own concerns, but ultimately need to support or at least acknowledge the value of a chosen approach, if not, measures risk to remain contested and ineffective.


How to create an environment that fosters a stakeholder dialogue, where mistrust, fear and misunderstanding makes place for mutual trust and recognition of each other’s role, and players collaborate on holistic answers to the safety and security challenges of our online world?


Previous Discussions on Trust at the IGF

Trust related issues have been discussed at IGF in various forms dating back to 2005, where “Security” was one of the original main themes of IGF. Below are links to high-level messages created on the theme of trust over the past few IGFs::

IGF 2019 Berlin Messages on Security, Safety, Stability and Resilience
IGF 2018 Cybersecurity, Trust & Privacy
IGF 2017 See Chair's Summary


See also:

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

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