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Trust Thematic Track Comprehensive List of Illustrative Policy Questions

Policy questions could be structured around any of the tags identified for each sub-theme as part of the validation process. 

Below, an additional set of illustrative policy questions have been provided for each theme, bearing in mind these are examples only and that proposers are encouraged to put forward their own questions. 

Remember: Policy questions are ones that bring together different disciplines or areas of policy research.  A policy question should encourage dialogue, debate and discussion among different stakeholders and disciplines, be worded in an objective way to allow for different answers/views/proposals/solutions to emerge and not presuppose the outcome.

1) Cybersecurity policy, standards and norms

  • How can policy and regulation contribute towards the protection, prevention and defense against cyber threats?
  • What role should different stakeholders play in cybersecurity capacity building approaches? How can they coordinate such efforts?

2) Security, stability and resilience of the Internet infrastructure, systems and devices

  • End-to-end encryption strengthens security and privacy but may impede the identification of criminal activity. What actions could stakeholders take to strike a balance between the need to have secure mechanisms to exchange information vs. the need for the authorities to gather evidence to bring justice?
  • Integrity of WHOIS information is key for the stability of the Internet. How can network operators and other stakeholders effectively contribute to eliminate unreliable or false routing information? What actions can users and other stakeholders take to mitigate the impact of DNS fraud and abuse?
  • Can standards and policy harmonization play a role in improving IoT Security?
  • How can open standards support network resilience and critical servers e.g. time servers and DNS servers?
  • What role could play the adoption of “by design and by default” as a principle for hardware and software manufacturers in the context of human rights and online safety? 

3) Digital Safety to enable a healthy and empowering digital environment for all

  • Governments, online platforms, civil society and other stakeholders as well as users are working to address the challenges of harmful content, contact and conduct online. Which are the policy approaches and responses to support effective and coordinated action? What can be done to model responsible behavior online? How can technology be used as part of the response to such challenges?   
  • What are the responsibilities of the different stakeholders, in particular platforms and government agencies, around content governance? What actions are required to strike a balance between freedom of expression and safety?
  • How can stakeholders better understand the impact technology can have on freedom of expression and other human rights? How can concrete actions such as human rights impact assessments and multi-stakeholder consultations support policy responses to those challenges?
  • End-to-end encryption strengthens security and privacy but may impede the identification of criminal activity. What actions could stakeholders take to strike a balance between the right to privacy vs. the need for the authorities to gather evidence to bring justice?

4) Trust, Media and Democracy

  • How - and under which frameworks - could collaboration among Internet platforms, media outlets and other online content producers be an effective mechanism to fight misinformation, disinformation and “fake news” online?
  • Technologies can be used to support electoral processes through, for example, robust electronic voting while also threatening the outcomes of the electoral process by hacking ballots, concealed influencing of voters, dissemination of political disinformation, among other examples documented. How can stakeholders better understand and address the positive and negative impacts technology has on democracy and political participation outcomes? 

5) Trust and identity

  • How should we address the potential for AI technologies to wittingly or unwittingly be used in ways that adversely impact vulnerable populations or certain groups of society? And how can we identify which groups are vulnerable? 
  • How can we ensure trust in medical confidentiality in an era of digital health?
  • What approaches exist for ensuring the safe and unbiased use of facial recognition and biometrics?
  • What can be done to address lack of trust in some Internet business models?

6) The impact of digital sovereignty and Internet fragmentation on trust

  • What is digital sovereignty? How can stakeholders better understand its positive and negative impacts, e.g. political, economical, geographical, cultural impacts?
  • How are national and international laws applied in cyberspace in the context of digital sovereignty? Can those frameworks be implemented and enforced in cyberspace in ways that avoid fragmentation? What could be the role of international organizations, such as the G20, WTO, OECD?

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

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