Welcome and opening 2013
20 June 2013 | 9:00-9:30
Programme overview 2013
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>> ANA NEVES: Good morning. It’s our pleasure to welcome you to the 6th edition of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance, known as EuroDIG, in this beautiful City of Lisbon. Welcome.
So it’s time now to open the session with a welcome addresses from the co-organizers: ISOC Portugal and FCT and GMCA. I’ll start by introducing Pedro Veiga, President of ISOC Portugal’s chapter. Please. Come here.
>> PEDRO VEIGA: Good morning. On behalf of the Portugal chapter of the ISOC, I welcome you to EuroDIG 2013 and to the beautiful City of Lisbon. The main reason that ISOC Portugal is a cohost of the organisation of EuroDIG is because we believe in the stakeholder model for Internet Governance. And this requires participation of the local Internet community and we want to bring these communities to be active in an area, the area of Internet Governance, and that’s one of the reasons why the chapter has been created.
Since the creation of this chapter, we have been trying to look at topics for the Internet, the openness of the Internet. And to achieve these, we need permanent attention to the topics happening at the global scale.
Here are some of the areas that we need attention. Some of them will be discussed during these EuroDIG meetings.
We believe that the Internet best be kept open and technologically neutral, since this is the only model that will keep the Internet as a source of innovation. For example, it is not acceptable that some Internet Service Providers block voice over IP traffic just because they want to make profit of the much more expensive voice services that they also sell. Or because they want to sell premium services to some customers, leaving the others with poor quality Internet access. I’m not saying that this happens in my country, but this is a big problem that we must take care will not happen in the future. We believe that we need a unified and global Internet. And until that, companies are not the only actors to be heard.
On the core, specifically the Internet users must have an important voice in defining the future of Internet.
We are aware, of course, that the Internet is using as a platform for several types of crimes, financial crimes, corporate, child abuse, using the Internet, but this cannot be an argument to limit the civil rights of the majority of the population. This is not acceptable on what is public – no censorship is acceptable on what is published on the Internet. So a declaration was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on fundamental rights stemming from digital presentation and other technologies.
The Internet of Things is coming to our daily life. We are starting to have a lot of Internet enabled devices with us, and that will increase in the future. And we must discuss impact of all these dimensions. This is a topic that we expect will be discussed here, but we believe in the future of the events it will be discussed in more detail.
But time is short in these sessions, because even we started a little late. So to finalize, I would like in first place to thank our co-hosts, FCT and GMCS, but especially I want to thank our sponsors. It was very crucial and very critical to have sponsorship of our sponsors. Their names were there. Because especially in the economical context that we are facing, it was very crucial that we have a good event.
In second place, I want to thank you all for being here and wish you a fruitful dialogue with all the other participants. Yes, do not forget that the letter D in EuroDIG stands for “dialogue,” so we expect that you remember that during all the sessions; be active.
Thank you very much.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: Now I will call Pedro Berhan de Costa, Director of GMCS. Please.
>> PEDRO BERHAN de COSTA: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you all to Lisbon.
I would like to start by expressing my personal appreciation for having you with us today, shaping the Internet for tomorrow. The importance of this European Dialogue, and in particular in this 6th edition, is reflected not only on the impressive numbers of registrations but also on the overall excellence of its participants.
we are all here to discuss how to pave the way for the Internet to better serve the public interests. It is, however, clear that the concept of public interest is neither precise nor concentual. But as it happens in the offline world, we need to agree in some minimal set of rules and of goals to the public policies that deal with the online world.
In short, that’s our task for these two days, to come with a European approach, contributing to the global discussion on how to govern the Internet in order to maximize its potential to the common welfare of the world’s people. Easier saying than doing it, of course.
Often when we meet in fora to discuss the Internet, the technical dimension tends to take the centre of the discussion, leaving aside other essential matters for society. It is, therefore, with special satisfaction that I call your attention for other themes that will take the central stage of EuroDIG and in particular in this 6th edition, such as protection of minors, accessibility for disabled people, TV and Freedom of Expression.
Discussing Internet is reflecting about citizenship and life in society. Therefore, being 2013, the European year of citizens, the overarching theme for this EuroDIG, “Internet for society, how to serve the public interest?” couldn’t be more timely.
Having in mind the importance of this event, I urge you to take part on the discussions, contributing with your expertise. EuroDIG is supposed to be a dialogue, not a scholar event. Therefore, the intervention of all of you is more than welcome. It’s essential.
Let’s not be afraid of admitting it, the future is in our hands to decide. Let’s do it in a Democratic and participatory way.
Thank you very much.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: The last co-host, Pedro Carneiro, FCT, we will talk later on from the Secretary of State of Science and Technology. And, unfortunately, he is in an official meeting out of Portugal.
Now it’s time to give the floor to our guests of the Council of Europe and Ambassador of Sweden and Portugal. I’ll start with Jan Kleijssen, Information Society and Action Against Crime, and then I’ll pass it to the Ambassador of Portugal. Thank you.
>> JAN KLEIJSSEN: Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. It’s exciting to be back again at EuroDIG. And let me start to thank our hosts, organizers and sponsors for making this event possible.
It seems we have a record number of participants here, made up almost equally it would seem of EuroDIG veterans and EuroDIG rookies, and I think that will lead to interesting exchanges of views.
As you know, the Council of Europe has been supporting – or some of you know the Council of Europe has been supporting EuroDIG now since its creation in 2008. And we very much are attached to the open dialogue it promotes.
The theme this time is how to serve the public interest. There are 47 Member States protecting Internet freedom is the best way to do so. We have tried to set up a number of standards to protect the various dimensions of this freedom, the architecture, the free flow of the Internet, and at the same time respect privacy and avoid arbitrary interference on Internet content.
You find the standards, as most of you will know, of course, in the European Convention of Human Rights, in the court, and in a number of other instruments.
Now, one would think that Mr. Snowden follows the affairs of the Council of Europe very closely, because when he leaked his information about the PRISM surveillance to the press, this was almost on the same day or actually a day before the Council of Europe adopted its declaration on the risks of tracking and surveillance. What a coincidence.
The declaration, namely, warns Governments against overly broad surveillance that challenges privacy and can have a chilling effect on the media and, of course, on Freedom of Expression in general. It is clear that the PRISM controversy, and the next people will say what happened in Tunis a few days ago, it sparked a very necessary debate and I think it also raised awareness of the risks that exist.
A second development that was much in the press was the closure of the Greek public broadcaster ERT. The matter has since been brought to court. Of course I’ll not comment on the judicial, on the Greek legal elements or dimensions. But it is clear that it raises issues under the Convention on Human Rights, the right to information, television and radio, and of course also online.
And in this context, I would like to refer briefly to our recommendation of the public service value of the Internet, which States clearly that people have an expectation that Internet service be accessible, affordable, secure, reliable, and ongoing.
Dear friends, Churchill once remarked that the civilization of a country is measured by the way it treats its prisoners. I think similarly one could say that the Democratic health of a country can be measured by the way it protects various dimensions of Internet freedom.
The PRISM debate has shown that security and freedom apparently, and I say “Apparently,” do not always go together. I say “Apparently” because we very much believe that they do go together, that there is not a balancing act, that they are mutually reinforcing. Because of course people want to feel safe on the Internet. But they also need to trust the Internet and make sure that cybercrime issues of the Internet is combated. That’s why in addition to our Convention on Human Rights, we also have law enforcement Conventions that deal with the Internet. For instance, against the sexual abuse against children, fighting cybercrime, and protecting health against falsified medical products.
You will be discussing, no doubt again during the sessions here, the Internet Governance principles, and I just remind you that we adopted in Strasbourg ten of these in 2011. I won’t read them aloud, since we are short of time. But the key element in those is for us human rights. And users need to understand their rights also more effectively. This is why we’re currently preparing a compendium on rights of Internet users which we hope will be adopted in the course of this year and which we really hope will make a difference for users to understand better what they are entitled to on the Net.
You see I’m skipping bits in order to stick to the time.
The final word, a final message I would like to or thought perhaps I’d like to share with you, freedom and security have to go together. This is now I think the fourth or fifth EuroDIG I’ve had the pleasure to attend. I’ve been to IGFs and other various meetings, and I have to say that I was struck by the fact that the freedom and security constituencies do not always seem to be in the same room. The “D” rightly stands for dialogue, but it was sometimes my impression that at certain workshops the law enforcement people liked to gather, where in other workshops the freedom, Civil Society people liked to gather together. I hope at this EuroDIG there will be a meeting of the mind and I encourage you also to consider going to a workshop where people will be speaking who are not your normal friends or the normal people who you speak to all the time to have the same ideas, but perhaps attend an event where people have a different view or have to cater to different interests. Because I think ultimately we have to reconcile the freedom and security dimensions of our Internet.
On that hopeful note and wishing you a very successful conference, I thank you for your attention.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: Now it Will be the Ambassador in Stockholm.
>> AMBASSADOR OF SWEDEN: It’s great to be here in Lisbon and that Portugal has taken over the baton from Sweden, who arranged EuroDIG last year. Coming from a not too big country in the other corner of the European Union, having gone through this several times 20 years ago, you should know that we appreciate that you arranged this EuroDIG and also that we know how important it is to look into the future in the midst of – or in the times of crisis, and the future is actually here in this room.
The digital agendas that were formulated by the Europe Commission, by Portugal, Sweden and many other countries in Europe and around the world contributes to an open and free Internet and globally to innovation and creativity.
However, the openness of the Internet freedom online for Internet users are challenged in different ways in countries around the globe. Unlawful censureship and blocking, tracking and surveillance, give rise to major movements and rights related concerns in countries who lack Democratic institutions, rule of law, and guarantees for human rights, as they are set down in the declaration by the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
Therefore, many European Governments as well as our common European institutions during the last years have been focused on defending human rights online, in general, and in particular the rights to express ourselves freely and to gather information freely.
Let me in particular highlight the groundbreaking resolution on enjoyment of human rights on the Internet adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year, more or less exactly a year ago. This resolution was adopted by consensus. It was initiated by Europeans. And it confirms that human rights including Freedom of Expression apply online as well as offline.
The resolution provides us with an important platform to promote universal values and not rules on the Internet.
Restrictions on the rights of expression online have real and concrete consequences for people who should – we should never forget that. And as pointed out in a recent declaration by the Council of Europe, I quote “These practices have a chilling effect on citizen participation in social, cultural and political life, and in the longer term could have a damaging effect on Democracy.”
This chilling affect, which should be added thus, also means concrete negative implications for innovation and creativity, for the creation of new jobs, and consequently in the final end on the public resources needed to improving important public goods, such as infrastructure and social welfare.
It is, therefore, arguable that this is good economic sense to ensure an open and free Internet and to respect rights online as well as offline. Doing that leads also to added values that are for Government as well as people.
Along with access to high speed networks and openness, to this end there was an agreement on principles for Internet policy back in 2011 in order to help and preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet, to meet important policy objectives, and to reinforce trust in the Internet.
Freedom and others are now collaborating on finding ways to promote these principles. These are among the many reasons as to why we arranged EuroDIG in Stockholm last year with great commitment and engagement. It’s important that we continue to discuss the issues of entered freedom in Europe and globally. In Europe we have to consider these issues as well as we discuss what kind of European Internet policy we want to have. We need to consider these issues as an envelope for a single European telecom market is pushed further, and as we discussed, regulations on issues like Net Neutrality.
It has been now a year since we met in Stockholm for the last EuroDIG. During this year the world moved forward. Digitalization on many aspects of social life and other life has continued. The Internet continued to create value. The Internet delivered new jobs in the face of unemployment. It has led to strong economic growth, often double digit growth, in the face of a slow economic recovery. And the Internet has provided new opportunities for countless individuals and entrepreneurs.
The importance that the Internet plays for job creation and growth in developing countries was further discussed at a Stockholm Internet forum a few weeks ago. We have to engage more deeply in this debate, with the developing world, on the importance of creating free and secure Internet also in low and middle income countries. It is in those aspiring countries where we will find the next billion users, so this discussion with them is crucial.
Ladies and gentlemen, the theme for EuroDIG in Stockholm last year was “Who sets the rules for the Internet?” and among the takeaways was the stakeholder model. Governments have a legitimate role, but this should not mean having complete control over the Internet. And that new measures taking to developing the Internet should avoid duplicating existing work. During the past year, Internet Governance has been divided on several occasions and the stakeholder model has been challenged. Some countries have looked at the role of Government on Internet Governance. The temperature on this issue was high during WCIT and later at the WTPF. The debate was lively, but the results from them were good and the temperature on the Internet Governance issue significantly lower.
Let us remember that it will be of increasing importance to connect the dots between the various forums to be – or fora to be able to preserve the stakeholder model. Freedom is and will continue to be an active partner in these discussions and I can assure you that our commitment for universal, open, and free Internet will be our most important guidelines in that work.
These acronyms will be mentioned today and tomorrow, and the temperature on Internet debate will continue to fluctuate. Even here in 2013, in Lisbon, I expect the temperatures will reach highs and lows. That is good. Because it will fuel the discussion and it will be an important input to the Internet Governance Forum in Bali in October. And I look forward to taking part in the continuous discussions here at EuroDIG in Lisbon.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: The President of the European Commission would like to be here today, but as it was not possible he decided to send you this video message.
>> JOSE MANUEL DURAO BARROSO: I regret not to be able to be with you in Lisbon today. But I’m grateful to the organizers of EuroDIG, a pan-European dialogue on Internet Governance, for giving me this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you.
The Internet is increasingly important to our economy. In 2010, some 3.8 percent of European and GDP was attributable to the Internet, and this share is expected to grow to 5.7 percent by 2016, outpacing the Internet economies of the U.S. India and Japan.
The Internet is the backbone for countless other sectors, from commerce and entertainment to new areas like education and energy. So the Internet is essential for assuring strong sustainable economic growth and securing the job prospects of Europeans.
We have fundamental problems of unemployment in many Member States and it’s an issue that particularly affects young people. But we are still too slow to put that unused talent into action by building up our digitally skilled workforce. And if you don’t act now, we will be short of nearly 9,000 skilled ICT workers. Thereby, the European Commission is leading a stakeholder partnership for the grand position of jobs. I am very grateful to all the companies, employment services, education providers, and other stakeholders who have plans to help us in bringing young people into digital jobs across Europe.
We have proposed that these efforts will be supported by Member States as part of their youth guarantee schemes. The Commission is also proposing a youth employment initiative that will earmark 6 billion Euro for helping for use in employment.
But in addition to just job creation, the Internet is about values. It’s a forum for exercising freedom and fundamental rights not just here in Europe but to liberate across the world. The Internet affects us all and we must work together to ensure its benefits.
The EuroDIG conference itself is a good example that working together can ensure a better online world. The Internet owes much of its success to how it has been governed, especially the approach that we call the multi-stakeholder model, an approach that is bottom-up and inclusive, for contributing, transparency, and for respect of rule of law.
The European Commission believes this is the best approach. We have put forth the idea of a forum for observing and discussing developments in the Internet policy. It is a simple but effective way for stakeholders to engage with a complex Web of policies relating to the Internet. And I’m delighted that so many stakeholders have expressed an interest in joining, from Governments to Civil Society, from Europe and across the world.
We have already taken action in many areas of Internet Governance, from cybersecurity to Consumer Protection, and will continue to take a wider strategic look at our approach to Internet related policies.
With this approach, we can ensure that whatever the topic, we remember to think digital, so that the Internet we enjoy here in Europe continues to benefit people across the world.
I thank you for your attention.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: Now I will give the floor to Pedro Carneiro, who will convey the message from the Secretary of State of Science of Portugal.
>> PEDRO CARNEIRO: I welcome you in Lisbon to the 6th edition of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance.
The Internet was a remarkable revolutionary idea of scientists. Initially, it was only acknowledged in academic and different circles, but very quickly it impacted all areas of human activity. It radically transformed communications, even if it caught the telecommunications industry which took some time to react.
But more important, it deeply impacted in all economy and society affecting the way you all live, how we learn, research, interact and even how we use leisuretime.
Basic research has frequently opened new economic and social avenues, often in unexpected ways. The Internet is one of the discoveries with the highest impact. It has provided new economic and social opportunities, and it has the potential of sustaining further growth at a time when it is mostly needed. In particular, with new developments related to big data and mobile applications and smart sensor-based networks in cities, and environmental management.
The open character of the Internet and its end-to-end communication principle enabled science and technology-based innovation ventures to develop and it continues to sizably impact business.
It is essential that these basic principles that allowed such impressive developments is sustained and no disruptions come from attacks to restrict openness and free secure data flows. Besides, the Internet has substantially enlarged the public space of social and political discussion, based on Freedom of Expression and impacting on the expression of human rights and Democracy.
The high impact and the speed of change of Internet-related matters are permanently challenging existing frameworks. Openness, innovation, enabling fairness in the access and provision of content, free flow of speeches and ideas, privacy and big data and mobile applications, and the associated issues are some of the essential topics recurring at your attention. The universality of Internet and its global character affecting all sectors of economy in social life challenge the current traditional frameworks and require inventive solutions.
The world presently relies on the well functioning of the Internet as we have experienced it so far. The Internet must continue to function well and to provide new opportunities for business in society, but there are unsolved problems and obviously complex challenges to be tackled. An effective and open involvement of stakeholders in Internet Governance is of essence. Namely, technical community, academia, Civil Society, business and Governments, especially in the context of knowledge-based economy and globalisation.
The Internet Governance Forums in national, regional and International settings have proved to be appropriate places to bring the relevant stakeholders together and to forge views on Internet-related issues.
People must always be placed at the core of the debate, what people really want from and for the Internet and how people’s best interests should be served. The overarching theme of this year’s EuroDIG conference, it’s more than appropriate to consider from a human perspective, bearing in mind the current and emerging points of issues that impact worldwide on a general interest and for the Internet to contribute to a better world.
It’s certainly a valuable occasion to further the European Dialogue on Internet Governance, to better contribute to the global debate taking place in a plurality of instances, including at the forthcoming Internet Governance Forum in October and under the United Nations auspices.
I would like to express my appreciation to the EuroDIG organisation team and the national host, FCT, ISOC Portugal and GMCS, for the organisation of this event in Lisbon, a city with a tradition of discoveries. I’m sure that new ideas will flourish in these forthcoming two days.
I wish you all a very productive and fruitful debate. Thank you very much for your attention.
>> ELISABETE PIRES: I would like to thank to all of our speakers that intervened in this welcome. A big applause for them.
And now it’s time to open the dialogue with the plenary 1. Thank you.