National debates on Internet governance – 2010
29 April 2010 | 12:00-13:00
Programme overview 2010
Dialogue between the audience and representatives from existing and emerging national IGFs. The dialogue will discuss inter alia the similarities and differences in national priorities regarding Internet governance and discern. Who are the key actors in national debates and what lessons can be learned?
- Laurent Baup, Forum Internet, IGF France
- Martin Boyle, NOMINET/IGF UK
- Anders Johanson, Swedish Regulator PTS
- Prof Luis Magalhães, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
- Siv Mørch Jacobsen, IGF Denmark
- Wolfgang Kleinwächter, University of Aarhus, IGF D
- Jorge Perez, IGF Spain
- Vladimir Radunovic, DiploFoundation, Serbia
- Leonid Todorov, CCTLD.RU
- Stefano Trumpy, IGF Italy
- Lee Hibbard, Council of Europe
- Ana Olmos, IGF Spain
- Giacomo Mazzone, EBU
Remote participants moderator
- Anna Orlova, DiploFoundation
National Internet governance platforms are important for sharing information and experiences, and offers spaces for interaction with policy makers. EuroDIG provides a common European focal point, in particular for their coordination and promotion.
National IGFs are multiplying in Europe with various operational models and origins (civil society, institutions, business sector etc) all of which are based on a multi-stakeholder approach to dialogue (i.e. not top-down approach) including strong interaction with policy makers (i.e. via a bottom-up approach and the involvement of parliamentarians in certain countries).
In Western Europe, dialogue regarding the Internet is focused on the regulation of markets. In Eastern Europe, there is more attention to telecommunications, in particular market de-monopolisation and telecom market liberalisation (re: incumbent telecoms versus dominant providers) and to problems regarding rights and freedoms (e.g. privacy, freedom of expression, child protection etc).
There was discussion on the perception of Internet governance: what the IGF is and what it could be in countries. The need to convince citizens that this dialogue concerns them more that this is relevant and important for them was highlighted.
Sharing experiences and information between national Internet governance platforms was considered important. The transmission of national messages to a common European focal point and better coordination of these platforms via EuroDIG was considered to be a next step in promoting national dialogue, especially in more fragile countries.
It was suggested that the capacity of the Internet to self-regulate could be coming to an end which, if so, would require a EuroDIG network of national Internet governance platforms to unite.
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Welcome back to the next session.
Okay. It works.
Welcome to this session on National Internet Governance Debates in Europe. And we have remote participants and Oliver is going to take the remote feeds from different remote hubs.
So welcome to this session. It’s very short. We have many people from different national IGFs here. So we have – we have to be very brief. And – but first of all, I want to find the camera and to say hello to all of the remote hubs who are with us, too. It’s not just you in the room. We’re connected. They’re connected to you from Armenia, Belaruse, Georgia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, France and Hungary and others. Not all of these countries have national IGFs, so who knows what EuroDIG will bring in the future. Maybe some of these remote hubs today and tomorrow will transform into national Internet Governance discussions tomorrow for next year. So maybe we will have more on the panel next year.
But it’s quite clear – and to finish before we go to the panelists – it’s quite clear that national, international governance discussions are happening all the time. They have meetings, they are discussing at the national level what the Internet means for their country, which is not the same necessarily in all countries across Europe. So, that’s what we’re going to try to explore a little today in this quite short session.
And I’m going to ask the panel to start and introduce themselves, very briefly, who they are, and to give us some information about the motivation behind their national IGF, why it happened, what brought it about, and what were the challenges.
First of all, let me start from left to right with the first speaker, Martin Boyle. You have a couple of minutes, please. Thank you.
>> MARTIN BOYLE: Thanks very much. Well, UK IGF really started with a consultation that was hosted by the Department for Trade and Industry Ministry in January 2006, about a month and a half, two months after the meeting of the world summit that agreed to set up the IGF. And why did we do that? We did it very firmly because we wanted to be able to have some credibility, some reason for what we brought into the IGF itself.
And since that initial meeting, the whole of the UK IGF, and it has only been really called the UK IGF fairly recently, has evolved, because very quickly we realized that if you’re going to have an IGF meeting, people are going to bring lots of good ideas to you. And you’ve got to find some way of getting that information out to your constituency, the people who should be involved in the discussions.
Because if the IGF is going to work it should be helping you make the decisions that you need to make in your own sphere. So that thrust again was quite important.
And we did focus particularly on the idea of best practice. And so about – well, in fact, for the IGF in Rio, we launched what was then called the best practice challenge. We have been running that now every year. Last year, Sharm El Sheikh, giving the winners of the best practice competition. We have had record inputs of that. It will give us ideas and examples of things that people are most keen about.
The approach, though, started developing an additional thread, and that was the IGF itself is a model for how you address some of the difficulties and issues that are associated with the Internet. And we have at the moment an eCrime reduction partnership, which is being led by a parliamentarian. And that really is aimed at applying the basic principles of the IGF on an international context to see whether we can do things for addressing eCrime in a more effective manner.
The other thing I suppose would probably be worthwhile saying about the UK IGF as being one of our main drivers is I mentioned parliamentarian engagements. One of our partners, childs net, has been working closely with young people, and by young people we mean people under 20, teenagers, late primary school children getting involved. Because these people are actually focusing very clearly on the things that they see as issues and bringing those up on a national agenda.
And the issues that we are looking at in particular are priorities on – our priorities for this year are access, getting people online; addressing eCrime and security and bringing parliamentarians and young people as well as the normal multi-stakeholder environments to bear in those discussions.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Let’s move on quickly. We have very little time, so Wolfgang from the German IGF.
>> WOLFGANG: The idea of IGF in Germany started in the year 2006, when we had the first IGF, and in 2007 we had, like in the UK, a consultation, which was organized by the Ministry of Economics. And in this consultation I think the nongovernmental stakeholders in Germany realized it’s better to take the leadership. And, in particular, got the German Association for Economy, and really a huge trade union representing civil society and the private industry, agreed to push forward for a first Internet Governance Forum in Germany. Later, the German Association for the UN joined us and also DENIG, and we collected some other organizations around it and we organized the first IGF in Germany in the year 2008.
And the forum in Germany has two components. One, as you know, is we want to draw some lessons from the big IGF, including the European IGF, and we want to prepare the German community for the forthcoming IGF. So it means looking backwards, what we can learn from other discussions and what the Germans can contribute to the general IGF. The next IGF in Germany will take place on June 7. And I hope we can learn something here from EuroDIG, which we can introduce into the German debate.
Thank you very much.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you Wolfgang. I’d like to know about some of the hot topics in Germany, but we can talk about that later.
>> SIV MORCH JACOBSEN: Thank you very much. First of all, I think that it’s important to know that in Denmark we were several entities, actually, organizing the Danish IGF, Danish industry associations, Danish Media Council, Industry of Human Rights. So there were probably as many reasons for setting up the IGF as there were participants in the process.
But I think all of us have been to the international IGF and what we wanted to do was to create a platform like the international IGF, but in a national setting. And, basically, to combine all of the different discussions going on in businesses and academia and of course in government as well, so that they could actually enlighten each other, being stronger by being brought together.
And I think one of the things that was special to the Danish IGF was that there wasn’t really any other event taking place that focused on the Internet in general. Usually events were more automatic, like open Internet, use of public data. So for that reason, we had attracted quite a large crowd.
I think also because we actually used each other’s networks for inviting people. So, definitely I can recommend everybody else to get together with other IGF participants to organize national events.
Another reason I think for the event being so successful was that we had the topic of piracy. As we have seen today, it can cause quite a discussion and a lot of people wanted to come for especially that reason.
Also, a lot of people wanted to – they wanted to discuss the issue and it was a new crowd compared to the usual faces that turn up for IT debates. So it was very, very effective in that way. Thank you.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you very much, Siv.
And before we go into Laurent, I wanted to called on Bernard. Not yet – we have a video clip from the Ukraine, which is relevant to what is happening in the Ukraine now, regarding a new national IGF growth starting now. And I’ve also heard recently that there is a Finnish IGF being set up.
And Laurent Baup, please, from France.
>> LAURENT BAUP: Thank you. Well, strangely, concerning France, the IGF creating a regulation body is not directly linked to the IGF process, because it was created way before Tunis. It was created in 2001, and after a report from the French Council of State on the Internet and digital network.
So the Internet was created in 2001, and it became of use that the French legislative impact was not sufficient to address all Internet-related issues, and that we needed to have a partnership, to create a partnership with the private sector and with the civil society. So it is now a unique place where public authorities, private sector and societies can work together and try to manage Internet complexity.
Basically, we are using working groups. We hope to have well balanced working groups, with these people from public authorities, Internet company, and civil representatives, and the idea is to reach a consensus.
Since 2001, we have gathered around the table more than 300 people and published 34 recommendations. And what is quite interesting is that all of these recommendations have been implemented, even if not fully, but they have all been implemented. Whether it was a change in the French legislation, or a code of conduct, or other tools. But now what we are trying to do is to gather all of this work that we have done and try to promote it within the IGF process and to exchange with European countries, and to understand if the result that we had could be shared and if we can have the report from what has been done in other European countries.
So that’s why it’s really interesting to share these debates. And I think that it really can be a great part of it.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you very much. And I want to know how we can create more of a network between these national IGFs. Maybe that is part of the future of EuroDIG is to try to bring them in a much more consolidated fashion together here next year and the years after.
Jorge Perez from the IGF Spain. We’re here in your home country, and you’re part of the setting up – you’re part of this year’s EuroDIG, a big part. And thank you very much for that and for other things. You’ve been very supportive. Thank you.
So tell me, I mean, maybe the Question is, you know, the issues in Spain of course, you know, Spanish’s new law on the access to the Internet, which is quite pioneering, and you helped with the EuroDIG process. What is your feeling now about the whole thing? What does this mean for IGF Spain?
>> JORGE PEREZ: Well, I think that IGF Spain is a rather peculiar case in point because of its origin. It arises in 2006 as a result of the Tunis summit. What cropped up was something that was unknown to us before; I’m talking about Internet Governance. And a few professors from different areas wanted to find out what this was all about, because we thought somehow, as has turned out to be the case, that something would happen in the Internet that would be similar to what has happened with the other telecommunications. In other words, that we had to – we would have to order things somehow.
So we came to governance. And as a result of that, there was a publication through which we broadcast the idea of the global IGF in Spain. This is a rather unknown issue; it was at that time.
In 2008 we decided to create a Spanish IGF. But in addition to creating it – all right, I think that this is an important feature of the Spanish IGF. What to do, strictly speaking? We called private agents, government entities, and we set up a committee composed of 35 members, where all the satorial aspects are covered. And, in fact, as of that time, what we have done is that we have had meetings on – practically on a monthly basis. We have distributed the publications. Not very different from the activities that go on in other national forum. But what we have done is we have maintained – we have kept to a very important issue, the particularities of governance, which resulted in having a round table with nine or ten persons.
So, I would say that this is the interesting aspect of this forum.
It’s the only forum where individuals who are participating in different aspects, different issues, can get together with other colleagues, looking at other aspects of the thing. What problems do we have? They are not very different from the problems that other countries are seeing.
Of course, we’re interested in new business models, copyright law, et cetera. Everything that has been referred to before, these are the hot issues.
Of course, the Question of children, social communication media Internet, of course, electronic crime, this is something that we’re seeing on a daily basis.
And another issue that we will launch and I suppose all of you will launch is the issue of neutrality and how can we make the – how can we sustain this issue? Because if the governance forum has something that is interesting, it’s the fact that they don’t really have to query or Question themselves as to what issues to deal with. Actually, what happens is that the Internet generates these issues that come to the IGF. These are recurrent issues. We analyzed them maybe two years ago and they come back to us under a different aspect.
But I think that the global nature of the Internet results in debates being quite similar in all the different countries, of course, with their own differences. And not only are they similar but they are recurrent.
>> LEE HIBBARD: I want to know more about the differences. What are the particularities of your different countries, from other European countries? I want to know more what is particular in your country. But before we go to the Swedish IGF, Bernard – who is doing the connectivity and all of the webcasting for this event. Thank you – how many people are connected now with us online?
>> BERNARD: 24 between people in hubs.
>> LEE HIBBARD: We have 24 people online at the moment, with each hub having between 10 and 20 persons. So that is a lot. Thank you.
Spain reached – it seems to have reached a level of maturity in its discussions. I’d like to go to the Ukraine now. We have a video clip about – from the hub, which is listening to you now, and has a short message for you. Can you play it?
Please? Thank you.
We thank you for this opportunity. As a part of the Internet community, we share the importance of the formal development of the information society with the Internet community. It’s essential. But we are also worried about the necessity of the international governing and the basis for the economic, social and scientific projects. So we support the right of users to privacy. But we have to remember about such problems as children, pornography spreading, or terrorist group activity in the Internet. That’s why we are interested in the mutual cooperation and we will be so glad to present our ideas and projects.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you very much.
So, do I understand rightly, that we have a Ukraine IGF information now, is that correct? Briefly?
>> AUDIENCE: You can see the message from the president of the Ukrainian Internet Association, which has to announce the organization of the Ukrainian IGF in September. You’re welcome. We are very happy to see you. And I would like to thank Lee for his consolidation efforts in the Ukraine. He helped a lot with it.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you. EuroDIG helped. EuroDIG helped the Ukraine understand the importance of this dialog. So we’re helping each other.
Sweden, what is particular to Sweden regarding national Internet Governance debates? Is it the same everywhere? Is there a trend in Scandinavia?
>> ANDERS JOHANSON: It differs to some extent. But in my country, and I’m employed by the telecom regulator authority, in our country this is, I would say, an evolutionary process that has been ongoing during the last two decades. As an example, in the mid ’90s, we launched at that time I was Director of The systems development. And we launched the first eGovernment Internet based applications and they were very successful to the citizens; much more successful than we expected. And at that time we had in Sweden the interoperability problems, as many people saw earlier, the technician people, that this was a developing technology. So, they created a forum back in 1999. Later, it became obvious to many of us in the Internet field that we needed to have societal aspects on this.
And, for instance, we had the domain name debates in our country, how to handle this in a more stable way. And then a new organization was adopted and later followed by law concerning the top level domain issues.
And when we – today can say the Internet Governance Forum are of great importance in our country and were set up in the year 2000. And it’s called the Internet base. And it has gathered every year for a couple of days between 500 and 800 people, discussing all of these different topics that we, for instance, are discussing here in Madrid now.
So, and also, since a few years, we have a multi-stakeholder group to discuss national positions. And this is very important to develop further, to be able to give quality input for decision makers in many institutions in the country, before the decisions are made, on how to go further on Internet Governance issues. And, for instance, the telecom regulator authority is very interested in having this multi-stakeholder approach, to benefit them, making us doing better in our job.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you, Anders. And I’ll – we just received a question from the remote. We will not answer it now but we will answer it later, from the remote hub in Strasbourg. They said it’s the first time they heard about the French IGF. We will not answer it now, we will answer it later, and they want to know how they can join. But this is just an example of how it can create outreach to your IGFs. We hope that is the case. Thank you, Anders.
A couple of minutes, Vlada. But is the IGF working? We will come to the challenges later. But two minutes, please.
>> VLADA: Well, when the French people are surprised that they haven’t heard about the IGF, I’m certain that the Serbian folks back in the IGF hub are astonished. But that is because we are just starting. The first mentioning of IGF sometime ago was basically in 2006 or 7, a long time ago. Why didn’t we do anything at that time? Basically, and I think that is the fact in most of the eastern Europe, is that ICT is present on a political agenda, on a level of infrastructure and partly on the level of business, the sense of digital signature and enabling business to work, but not really on the Internet Governance set of issues, specifically not on privacy, copyrights and so on, the social dimension of Internet. And that has been a challenge thus far.
The other challenge was also the lack of political support, which is now slightly changing in these days. We have noticed, for instance, that by organizing several meetings in the past two years, which we cannot really call IGF in Serbia, but meetings related to IG, we noticed that there is a huge pool of people that know much about privacy, copyrights, cloud computing, IPV 6 and so on, but they just didn’t know that IGF existed. They didn’t know that there is an international debate on this level.
When we introduced the first meetings, we started like networking between ourselves. So, there is a good potential and it seems like things are moving. Now, the Question is why we have started it now. I would say that we simply felt now, after two meetings, in the past year in Belgrade, that we have a critical mass, that we have people that are interested, that we have even a bit more awareness of this from a political structure, not much, but a little bit.
And just to showcase the interest of that, the updates are that we are waiting for a new loan on an eCommunications, basically, based on the European guideline, new media and so on. And I just received what has been discussed this morning on the hub in Belgrade, and now I think they are with us this morning, to showcase the interest of people and the knowledge.
They have been mentioning the notion of new media and the role of new media, social networks and the impact of social networks, cloud compute, privacy, child protection, which means that there is a lot of interest and knowledge and I think this is the right moment to move IGF in Serbia and I think also in the region of southeastern Europe.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you, Vlada. We have 15 or 20 minutes left.
Stefano Trumpy, the Italian IGF has been around for a few years, so it’s quite mature, if I’m right, the national IG discussion in Italy. Is that the case? Where are you now, briefly?
>> STEFANO TRUMPY: Thank you. I’m participating in two organizations that were instrumental in Italy to start the IGF. The Izo chapter of Italy, and then the Institute for infomatics for the National Council of research. These two institutions started to participate in the world summit in Tunis, and so in the first global IGFs.
And I have to say that at the beginning, for a couple of years, personally I had to try to convince my interlocutors that IGFs, global IGFs are not talk shows. Because this was something that was perceived by the industrial sector and also by parliamentarians at the beginning.
But, we launched the IGF Italy in 2008. And now we are going – organizing the third edition. And so now the main value, I would say, that is to have convinced the industry sector, the parliamentarian, politicians in general and then the nongovernmental organizations and so the civil society, let’s call it like that, that it’s important to discuss together and to confront different angles, different views.
We have in Italy, for example, so many meetings discussing privacy, intellectual property rights, economy of the Internet and so on. But, so many are organized by class of people, that are homogeneous. And the value
Of IGF is to let all confront their views, also if they are very different. And every IGF in Italy, it’s to prepare the global IGF and to try to have an opinion, and a global consensus, if possible, with the motto that is “think globally, act locally.”
>> LEE HIBBARD: So the value of trying to convince people of the importance of Internet Governance in the country, so one of the roles of the national Internet Governance is to convince those in authority that it’s important and they do listen.
We have two more speakers, and then we will pass to Ana to talk about the tipping points, at what point things actually happen and things are created.
Leonid, a brand new Russian IGF about to start; a big one. Tell us more.
>> LEONID TODOROV: I feel robbed because Vlada just rubbed all the things that I was to say about the Russian IGF.
We are to start from scratch. There were no IGFs in Moscow, in Russia. And I just would like to add a few words about the Russian culture. Because we have been living for some good seven decades in kind of a monolog society, which has just recently been Epitomized by the speaker of our parliament, who said that the Russian parliament is not the place for debates. So was the arena for discussions about the Internet.
So the result was that so far the major stakeholders in Russia were deliberately or subconsciously reluctant to cooperate on major challenges or tackling major challenges. So it’s high time we started the IGF in Russia to address these challenges and to start a nationwide debate on those.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you, Leonid. I ask you the Question: Can the EuroDIG help in your setting of your national IGF? If so, I hope we can say that is sort of one of the conclusions at the end. If the Russian need the assistance of the national IGF discussions, we are here to help. That is the same for all of the national IGFs.
The last speaker is Luis from Portugal. And apart from the other speakers and what they said, maybe you can think about what is particular to Portugal in this discussion. What is different?
>> LUIS MAGALHAES: I’m the president of the Knowledge Society Agency that in Portugal is responsible for coordinating information society policy within the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
Well, it happens that Portugal has a long tradition on involving multi-stakeholders in discussing information society issues. It was something that was started in 1996, 7, so this is a peculiarity that already I liked. It was part of preparing the strategy for that, and that actually what then was seen at the European Scene in Europe is very much related to that preparation that was done before. And, the fact it was very broad. It produced a rather comprehensive roadmap that kept up to date for quite a long time, and within that discussion it considered Internet Governance issues, but not with specific sessions for that purpose.
Now, I already said that it was very much multi-stakeholder. It involved a lot of business from the very first day as well.
So, for this early stage, I think it’s also interesting. The reason to create that movement at that time is the same that we are pursuing now, and that is to have bottom up influence in policy setting by sharing with a lot of participants the concerns and issues of the Internet actually involve the world society.
Well, after that, every now and then, the format frequently with particular teams, certain times with very broad agendas, and beginning in 2006 it began meeting every year, with special agendas. And we will have this year, so in July, the first one that will be specifically dedicated to Internet Governance and only talking about that. So these issues before were being talked in the sessions that were happening with broader themes. This will be in the 8th of July. It will be back to back with the public session of the world Internet project, that many of you will know about, and of course you are quite welcome to come for the two occasions.
The other thing that – well, in the meanwhile, we will have very soon, so the 10th of May, a session of the – information society forum especially dedicated to future Internet issues, where the governance questions related to future Internet will pop up as well.
In terms of main concern, and the telegraphically and not discussing it in detail, to save time, well, not surprisingly our concerns have more to do with people and society with creative environments, generalized freedom and use and access to these means of interaction and communication. It’s not different from what happens in other countries, I think, maybe with a slightly different emphasis. And the topics that are not now more important in the agenda are openness from all of the shades that we have already seen talked about in the beginning session, that we certainly will have time to discuss in other sessions as well. The questions of access, accessibility, and use.
So, it’s an inclusion concern, it’s an equality opportunities concern, it’s a democracy concern. It has to do with central urban areas having the same opportunities as rural, remote areas, where people with education have the same opportunities as people who are not educated, and have more difficulty in accessing and using these schemes, like the elderly and the middle generations and the young.
Future Internet is in our agenda because our belief is that it will change completely. Society, it will not be a sharp transition, but it will bring the same issues that were considered from the point of view of governance in society before, but with different shades. And that requires quite a lot of thought.
Another area of concern is the public policy aspects regarding new economic models and new social models, social interaction and public participation models. And also the questions of preparing people for new media to understand it and to use it effectively. Thank you.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you very much. We have very little time on this. So the tipping point. The users expectations, over to you.
>> ANA OLMOS: In terms of expectation, we talked about key issues. Here I would like to have a little bit of input from the audience, those people that don’t have an IGF yet, or anybody that does belong to one, give their vision. What have you identified? What are your expectations? How would you like to transform this? Stefano said it was a meeting of friends to have a chat. What do we want from the IGF meetings? What are your expectations?
>> JORGE PEREZ: Maybe I’ll begin. I think that the IGF do have expectations and they see this as a huge opportunity in all countries.
We can’t expect the forum to join together every – all of the different problems, automatically, from the Internet. The problems that have surfaced here of children and so forth in each country, there are debates. Each government has their concerns. And there are many debates on these issues. The Question is, and the Question we have asked frequently, is what is the contribution of Internet Governance?
And it’s a reference to EuroDIG, the global forum, which sets the stage. It’s the reference point. It kind of gives us our homework. It gives us some global perspective. And then a very important point is that in each country things are done differently. That’s what my Italian colleague said. The key issue is, when we talk about children, we find that people, some people don’t know how to deal with that problem. But the same thing happens in other situations as well.
So, I don’t think we should be asking so much of whether Internet Governance is of interest. I think that it’s clear that it does have interest.
And I think it’s okay if we do things differently in each country. And we have to also bear in mind, we have to maintain the spirit of Internet Governance Forums, whether it be at the regional or international level, we should always approach issues, the government, private sector, civil society and so forth, you have to involve all of them. That is the basic issue. And that’s not always easy.
In Spain, we’re lucky that the Telefonica Foundation and other private players, I don’t really know why, but they seem to think that this is interesting to make this open. The government is supporting these initiatives and all of the different acts without any problem. But I don’t know if that is – if that model is sustainable across all countries.
Because that is the specific situation here in Spain of IGF. But that is the real value.
>> AUDIENCE: I am from Bosnia. I wonder if inside the IGF forum there is a gender cross-cutting perspective. If there is an awareness or if you have a way of empowering at the international level the presence of women. Because this is the third panel and the percentage is one out of all. So if we want to build from the bottom, what are the mechanisms for having women? Because women are youth, women are children, are disabled. And as far as I know, the majority of the world.
>> Microphone please.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Go on.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning. I’m from the European Digital Rights. And I’m also a French academic. This session is very interesting, because it showed the diversity of the models of the national IGFs. I suspect that there is no two same models in the national IGFs. And also, they are different from the European IGF.
So my impression, and being French myself and based in France, I know probably better the Internet rights forum than the other organization. My impression is that in France what is called the National IGF is simply one organization like many other organizations. It could be a think tank. It could be one Lobby like many other lobbies.
So my Question is how do you, all of you, do you really reach out to your population through public debates and not staying inside one organization, which is called a forum? But I’m not sure in all cases it’s a real forum. Thank you.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Does anybody want to take that Question? Ana?
>> LAURENT BAUP: Lee, I think I can answer. Even more because you had a remote question area. First of all, it’s true that there is a difference of models. Considering France, as I said earlier, the creation of the Internet Rights Forum was way before the IGF processes. That is one of the reasons why it might be very different.
One of the other things that is quite true, what the previous speaker said, we have to find a way to get out of the walls and to gather the opinion of people. That is something that we try to do with the working groups, before the working groups, by asking the opinion of people and by going to ask them their feelings on the topics that we’re going to work on.
But probably we should do more. That’s why it’s interesting to be here. That’s why it’s interesting to share and to understand what – how things are done in other countries. Because even if we exist for a lot of years now, we might still learn a lot of things and we might still learn how to do things differently.
So, if you have any ideas on how to work and how to respect the French model while extending it and bringing a new way of working together, opinions, well, I’m okay with that.
So I think it’s quite interesting and that EuroDIG can really be a place to do that.
>> ANA OLMOS: Vlada, please, and Martin.
>> VLADA: I just wanted to briefly reflect. This was a good Question, or at least the way I got it, how to stop anyone from monopolizing the IGF role on a local level. IGF is not a decision-making body at all. And that’s the value. So, you can’t monopolize something that is an open dialog. If you’re not doing a good open dialog, then someone else will create a better open dialog. And that’s the way to do it. So I think there should not be concerns about if someone is monopolizing. It’s a decision-shaping body, not a decision-making body.
>> ANA OLMOS: Thank you. Martin?
>> MARTIN BOYLE: Actually, thank you, I think that probably said an awful lot of what I wanted to say. Really, I see the role of a national IGF as an enabler, a how can you help people get engaged in the process? It certainly shouldn’t be a gatekeeper. And so I see the role of the UK IGF very much as providing a federation, a platform that allows the different groups to come in.
My own organization, NOMINET, we have focused very heavily on solutions rather than coming at issues from the problem side.
Simply, we have got groups who work on child protection and obviously they come at things very much more firmly from a problem direction.
And then we have got people who are engaged in talking to children and provoking and encouraging the children’s voice. And so, once again, you provide that framework that allows those to come together and that then helps people go away better informed because, you know, otherwise what could we get? Well, it’s just another meeting.
>> ANA OLMOS: Anders?
>> ANDERS JOHANSON: I think it’s a very good Question. How to reach out in the society, the discussions on these issues. I think it’s good that we have different models. But there are some basic principles, I think, that we all share. And that’s the multi-stakeholder approach. I think we all have recognized the situation. You meet some friends, new friends maybe at a dinner party or something, and they ask you what’s your work? I say I’m working with the Internet Governance issues. Well, that sounds philosophical, I think, and they want to speak about something else. But if I continue on and say well, it’s a question of, for instance, openness, freedom of expression versus copyright protection, or it’s a question of privacy on the Internet, versus crime protection, and give examples on that, more or less everybody’s interested. And they say how interesting? How long is this? How does the society in our country and in other countries, how do you deal with this? And they might come here.
So, we have to speak about this with all kinds of people. But it’s a real challenge, yes.
>> ANA OLMOS: Anybody else? Please? Stefano.
>> STEFANO TRUMPY: So the point is that this is an exercise bottom up formation of opinions on the so vast area that is the Internet Governance. Internet is so important in our life and it’s increasing its penetration, not only as numbers, but also as quality of services that we get, and so on. So this moving people to talk on these different aspects is very, very important.
And then there is a discussion going on that someone wants to know is Internet able to self regulate, to grow up and continue to self regulate? And that the opinion is that this is no longer possible. There is some guidance, some correction, some need of some rules, but which rules? Then the point is: Is the present legislation good enough to protect the citizens or the intellectual property rights, privacy and all of these things or not? Or do we need something more?
And then talking to the government and saying, hey, government, look, that since the name is “Governance,” it’s not only your business, it’s the business that has to involve all of society. And then perhaps if some regulation is needed then we have to talk about the core regulation or that helps the autoregulation of the Internet.
So this is just to give you an idea that these discussions just started with – after the WSIS and some countries already started to discuss this before. But the process is long. We have to make this cohesion of ideas. So that’s the positive sense of the IGFs.
>> ANA OLMOS: Thank you. Please. Leonid.
>> LEONID TODOROV: I just want to get back to that Question. Because while getting ready for this session, I checked at the ICANN blog on the Russian Internet Governance Forum and was surprised to see just six comments on the future forum. And the authors were Sardonic to say the least. Well, let me quote. “It’s high time we start negotiations with the government. They just do whatever they want.”
Number two, “The sole objective will be a debate on how to rob users and tax every single webmaster.”
That’s what rationed users think of the future IGF. So, my understanding is that the IGF is also an exercise aimed at – to raise awareness within the community at large, and change the public perception, which might be wrong in a sense, and bridge the gap between the community at large and what they perceive as an alliance between the Internet, bureaucracy, in a sense, and the government. So, that’s number one.
And number two, of course, is the educational role. Because by, let’s say, transplanting or extrapolating overseas experiences, experiences of our peers in Europe, on to Russian realities, we can teach people how they can launch some bottom up initiatives so that to build a robust Internet community, nationwide.
>> ANA OLMOS: Please.
>> LUIS MAGALHAES: Well, I’d like to highlight one point. So, – well, we actually need to have on these settings a social and multi-stakeholder involvement to react to change, actually, to very fast change that is happening in this field. And it is influenced, the way people live and the opportunities that they can have both socially and economic. And this requires quite a lot of sharing of opinions and establishing of consensus about different things.
For an example, that requires a lot of debate to understand, but I don’t find a better example to put this point than a discussion at the beginning, about copyright. And the most dramatic and short sentence, I listened about that coming actually from Larry, from the creative comments, that was this: Under the current law system, if we stay strict on the application as it is, we are making of our children proscripts, and that’s not sustainable for the society. And this is the kind of issue, that when put on the table, if you don’t achieve very broad consensus, if policymakers of society at large involving nongovernmental, governmental, business, civil society, and so on, will not be solvable.
>> ANA OLMOS: If you allow me, I have one last Question that I’ll ask you to – one last Question for you to answer in two words. What was the tipping point? What got you started on your platform forum debate? What was it? Two words. Very quickly. Please.
>> MARTIN BOYLE: I missed the last port of that Question.
>> ANA OLMOS: I’m asking about the tipping point, the inventive, what got you started? What was the single event, the main thing that actually got the UK IGF started, each of your platforms, started.
>> MARTIN BOYLE: I think what got us started was very clearly a recognition that if we all stayed in our silos, we were not going to be able to address the problems that were coming our way.
And therefore we did need to find more effective ways of understanding the issues, understanding the ways that people were addressing those issues, and using that to help inform our own policy decisions.
>> ANA OLMOS: Thank you.
>> WOLFGANG: Nothing to add. In Germany it was more or less the same. There was one point in the debate which was important to say okay, you cannot leave it to the government alone to decide the future of the Internet. Yes the government is needed as a partner, but as a partner in a multi-stakeholder corporation. And I think one big difference is really normally policy is done still in a traditional way, mainly top down. But here we’re talking about bottom up, and these are two different directions. And I think we are still in the early days of experiencing how might the stakeholder – how the multi-stakeholder cooperation is done in practice.
This means a lot of changes on the interaction of the stakeholders. It means that you have to give away a lot of privileges, as position, because you have to share with other stakeholders, which normally, you know, we are regulated in a different way by an order system.
Now it’s a communication system.
What Leonid referred to for the past in the Russian parliament, so I think this is a challenge probably for a lot of Europeans, not only for Russians.
>> SIV MORCH JACOBSEN: For us, it was meeting of the IGF and discovering each other there, and not having seen each other before.
>> LAURENT BAUP: As I said earlier, what triggered the decision in France was the report of the Council of States in 1998. Because it was really obvious that the government alone had not all the cards in its hand and that it needed partnerships with private companies. But also it needed the opinion of civil society. And that to create and to build a consensus, this report asked for the creation of a co-regulation body. So that’s it.
>> JORGE PEREZ: I also agree with what has been said here. I really don’t know exactly what was that turning point. We were trying to do something new, and this came from that world summit on the information society. So this was kind of a natural transition that we said let’s try. So I think that was the real interest of this whole thing. We were looking for a forum where we could jointly analyze issues, all of the different stakeholders, together, to look at all of those. And to see how we can put some order into the Internet, the new governance. So how we could dominate the beast. How we could tame the beast.
>> ANDERS JOHANSON: Ten years ago, at that time, the rapid growth of Web applications in our country showed to many decision makers that it was a complex issue to balance different challenges in the usage of the Internet. And that I would say was the starting point to create what we today can call the Internet Governance Forum.
>> ANA OLMOS: Vlada?
>> VLADA: It was stubbornness of the Serbian national crowd and proud. When you have no one really caring about it in Serbia, and you have a lot of people that are interested in it, and you have all of these people here in the IGFs that think that it’s important, and then you say well we are going to figure it out and we are going to know about it.
>> STEFANO TRUMPY: Okay. In the direction of the motto, “think globally, act locally,” the point is to attract people on the teams that are in the attention of the community at the moment. Especially this happens with the new design of law or things happening, cybercrime versus freedom of expression, and local cases, then you can attract more people and convince them that we are not talking in a vacuum, let’s say. Thank you.
>> ANA OLMOS: Thank you.
>> LEONID TODOROV: Exactly the date when we applied for this really, IDMTLD. We found ourselves in the epicenter of a real storm, in a good sense of this word. Because the government has got infused, and the society – the community at large was pretty interested, and academics started some debates. So all of a sudden we realized that we can pool our efforts to successfully complete a very ambitious project.
>> LUIS MAGALHAES: Well, basically, I would pursue on the lines that Stefano raised. It’s basically dealing with issues that have to do with the concerns of the majority of people, and also the idea of having open environments that are conducive to both creativity and innovation, let’s say, economically and socially. I think these are the main points to highlight.
>> ANA OLMOS: Thank you.
>> LEE HIBBARD: I have one point to mention. We had a couple incoming remote Questions which we can’t answer right now. We have to wrap up.
We have had questions regarding the neutrality of the platforms, are they neutral? Are they legitimate? Have they been incorporated in some respects? And if so, how have they been incorporated? How have they been set up? Is there a structure or law that creates them? Maybe we can ask that in the break.
And also the other Question from someone from Spain was the interface between the platform and the government. How does that work? Now, unfortunately, we can’t answer those questions. We are running out of time. We have to respect the interpreters. We probably will have to start slightly later after the break. We have a video clip from Belaruse; we can’t show it.
I apologize. But it will be put on the Web site.
In a few words, can you wrap up, Giacomo?
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: In a limited number of words, yes, I can try.
From what I have heard from you is the realities that there are many national IGF models, with different origins, some pushed by the civil society, private institutions or the business sector, but they all have in common some points.
The multi-stakeholder approach, somebody said you cannot accept a top down approach on the Internet. Strong interaction with the policy making. This is the case of the UK IGF, where the MPs are involved since the beginning and giving a big contribution, but also for many others.
But there are also big differences from what I have heard between, if we can generalize, between western Europe, where the discussion is focusing on regulatory topics of the market, and eastern Europe, with the main attention on focusing with basic problems relating to the basic rights of citizens, child protection, privacy, freedom of expression. So we have a lot of work to have a common European approach.
There is a problem of changing perspectives, on what IGF could make in some countries. So there is a problem of building a new perspective of the governance of the Internet. And also as the Portugal colleague said, to convince citizens that this debate concerns each one of them very strongly and very deeply.
There is, it seems to me, there is a strong demand to have exchange of information among the IGF. At the moment, there is a lack of transmission of the messages to a common focal point, because at the moment the communication is from the national IGF to the world IGF, and the EuroDIG is not at the moment the place where all these messages are discussed among them. And trying to have a common basis. So, probably there is a need for a better coordination of national IGF in Europe, in order to have really a European message at all. Mainly a European that would be forwarded.
There has been a question that has been launched, how EuroDIG could help the national IGF process, especially in the countries where there is a lack of civil society or deep roots of this debate. And at the end, I think that what Stefano Trumpy said, the capacity of the Internet to self regulate could be a route to an end. Probably this is the main reflection on which we have to work, and how to go over and to be credible in proposing a solution that is not only top down, as we said at the beginning.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you Giacomo. Thank you. We’re running out of time. I’d like to wrap up there.
Thank you to the panelists. I hope you enjoyed it. I think we did. And we have a – we will stop the session and we will close for the pause now. And a technical announcement, Ana?
>> ANA OLMOS: Yes. I’m sorry. We do have a technical announcement. Several, actually. Probably by now you’ve noticed that there is WiFi. You have the Web information that was given to you at the reception. And you know how to connect. If you have any problems with that, please find someone within Telefonica, someone from the organization will help you out.
As for lunch, that paper also contains information on the cafeterias, the different options, and where you can go for lunch.
And there is also a remark I need to make regarding the reception tonight. Unfortunately, there is only capacity for 200 people at the reception. So, it’s going to be first come, first served. So, I encourage you all to hurry! And however the reception is being held in Sol. So if you get there – and it’s a really nice area, and there are lots of places – so if you get there and you can’t get in, you’ll have lots of options and surely other people in the same situation, you can go have some beers, have some fun. So that’s it. Thank you.
>> LEE HIBBARD: Thank you very much. Please be back here at 2:30 or 2:45. Have a look at the Web site. There are more video clips being put online from different remote hubs, if you are interested to know more. Thank you.