Taking Stock and the Way Forward

(No.175) Regional and Country-level IGFs: What's at stake and who's involved?

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

Questions 1 and 5

Concise Description of Workshop: 

Regional and country IGFs have the potential to serve as critical venues for decision making at the local level and for informing policy making at the global level. In convening these forums, it is essential to preserve the IGF model of multi-stakeholder participation through broad representation. Some existing regional and country IGFs mirror this model, while others heavily favor one stakeholder to the detriment of other voices.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Freedom House, NGO stakeholder
 

Previous Workshop(s): 

Freedom House has not organized an official IGF workshop in the past. However, our staff and delegates have participated in over 15 IGF workshops as panelists. In addition, Freedom House has participated in IGFs in Egypt, Lithuania, and Kenya, and has sponsored the participation of large delegations of internet freedom activists from around the globe. We have also helped to organize and/or participated in national and regional level IGFs including the US and the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF.

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Moderator: Ms. Radsch - Courtney Senior Program Manager for Freedom of Expression, Freedom House, NGO stakeholder and Academic stakeholder, MENA, Confirmed
Panelists:

Confirmed: Riley - Chris

Confirmed: Rabinovich - Eleonora

Confirmed: Koubaa, Khaled

 

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Danilo Bakovic, Internet Freedom Director, Freedom House
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised
Report
Reported by: 
Courtney Radsch and Melanie Dominski
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

The primary objective of this workshop was to present diverse perspectives from academia, civil society, government and the private sector about the current trends, opportunities, and threats facing the multi-stakeholder IGF model at the country and regional levels, and to think about how this might impact the international IGF.
This session was designed as an interactive roundtable that included panelists representing each stakeholder group from five different regions, three of whom were women, as well as about 35 audience members and remote participants, who actively contributed to the discussion. National and regional IGFs are not formally connected to the international IGF and are organic in nature resulting in differences in form and substance, and thus the goal was to understand different experiences of those who participated and what they felt worked or did not.  Since formal approval is not required to host a national or regional IGF, these IGFs are entirely independent from the UN and the international IGF and this workshop was an opportunity to discuss best practices, challenges and emerging issues.
Although there was a debate about whether the IGF format should be a template or just inspiration, panelists and audience alike agreed that the national and regional IGFs should maintain the integrity of the UN methodology as it pertains to the maintenance of a multi-stakeholder forum.  In order for an IGF to be effective, it must create a space that is open and includes all stakeholders – representatives from civil society, academia, private sector and government. 
Multistakeholderism:
The Arab IGF was described as a good example of an inclusive, mulitstakeholder regional IGF: it included an open call for participation in the MAG, which received 60 applications and resulted in a multi-stakeholder MAG including 12 representatives from government, six from civil society, six from private sector and six from the tech community.  As a result, the level of discussion at the Arab IGF was perceived as productive. However, despite the overall success of the Arab IGF, some felt that civil society was not adequately prepared to participate at full capacity due to the new and technical nature of the Internet governance field. 
The under-participation of civil society in national and regional IGFs is also seen in other regions, which illustrates that additional training on Internet governance for civil society and awareness raising campaigns regarding the potential impact of the IGF are needed globally.  For example, in South Eastern Europe, discussions on Internet freedom only included representatives from government and the private sector; while in Latin America, civil society actors are only beginning to engage on Internet issues and, thus, treat the regional IGF as a learning forum instead of a forum for action. All agreed that it is essential that civil society actors become more active and knowledgeable IGF participants, not only to ensure that their voices are heard on the national, regional and international level, but also to ensure that their input is taken into account in the process leading up to each IGF during which the themes are decided upon. 
As human rights issues online are becoming more significant, it is becoming increasingly important to discuss human rights issues at the IGF and in the context of internet governance.  It is easier for the private sector and the government to come together and consolidate their positions on issues of Internet governance than it is for civil society.  It is important to make sure that all stakeholders are represented. Other observations included:

  • A national IGF was held in Tunisia in 2011.  It was very hard to organize since the level of understanding about the IGF format and process was low among civil society. There was no indication that this national level IGF fed into either the Arab IGF or the Africa IGF. Tunisia will hold another national IGF in 2013.
  • There is a healthy civil society presence at the IGF USA, but most are from within the Beltway (from the Washington DC area).  The IGF USA includes discussions on new topics, such as big data, moving to the cloud and intermediary liability, and, thus, makes a substantive contribution to the theory and field of Internet governance.
  • There is a lack of private sector involvement at the LAC IGF.
  • The multi-stakeholder aspect of the India IGF is coming to fruition.  Representatives from academia, civil society, youth (YouDIG, youth debate on Internet governance), and the tech industry all actively participate in the India IGF.
  • At the international IGF, the academia stakeholder group is under-represented.

The issue of funding
There was a debate over whether and how funding for IGFs enables multistakeholder participation, especially by civil society and academia. Several felt it was difficult for civil society actors to engage in the IGF in large numbers due to a lack of funding needed to support travel and lodging. Some of the issues, and potential solutions, raised included:

  • Remote participation vs. physical participation: Some felt funding is not an issue because those who cannot afford to travel to the IGF can participate remotely. Others noted that remote participation does not compare to actual physical participation, which is about far more than the workshops.
  • The LAC IGF has a couple scholarships that help civil society actors attend, but they are limited and usually sponsor different individuals each year.
  • Should funding for the IGF be public?  Some in the audience felt that all IGF funding should be public, while others (including the panelists) did not see a problem with private funding.  Many IGFs are funded through a combination of UN and private money; others are even funded by governmental money (Tunisia) and private sponsors (Kuwait).  Currently, there is not one funding model for IGFs, however, it is essential that they funding source be neutral.

Learning from IGFs
Those present at the workshop agreed that the IGF forum should be bottom up.  Since national IGFs bring together a high concentration of individuals who know the local context, that knowledge should bubble up to the corresponding regional IGF in order to make the regional IGF a more effective and focused forum.  In the same way, knowledge coming out of the regional IGFs should bubble up to the international IGF.  However, because no database or central clearing house exists where outcomes from each national/regional IGF are codified (or at least none that any people in the room knew about) or where specialized knowledge coming out of these fora are housed and shared, this process of systematized information sharing is not happening and much of the knowledge gained at national and regional IGFs seems to be getting lost or at least is not accessible to an average participant. In order to get the most out of the national and regional IGFs and to make the international IGF a more effective forum, an easily accessible platform housing information and lessons learned from all IGFs could be developed and used to as a starting point to share best practices, how-tos and outcome documents. If such a clearinghouse exists then far greater efforts should be made to ensure that IGF participants at all levels and those interested in internet governance are aware of and have access to it.

(No.171) What is the Geography of Cyberspace?

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

Question 2: How would it be possible to coordinate and to harmonize the current plurality of developing principles for Internet

Concise Description of Workshop: 

The technical architecture of the Internet is not based on the geographic frontiers of nation-states. It is therefore usually labeled as technically borderless. However, cyberspace is not a natural and uniform space like the high seas and the extra-atmospheric space; it is man-made and far from uniform, let alone without regulation. Physical geography, technical standards and national legislations do imply the existence of elements similar to those encountered in the definition of political geography.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE, Director, Internet & Jurisdiction project, International Diplomatic Academy, Paris. The project addresses the tension between a technically cross-border Internet and a jurisdictional system based on geographically-defined national territories. It actively engages more than 50 participants from governments (from Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific), private sector (ISPs, content providers, social media platforms, cloud services), technical community (including the Internet infrastructure), civil society (NGOs, academia and advocacy groups) and international organizations.

Previous Workshop(s): 

Neither the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, nor the International Diplomatic Academy have organized or co-organized workshops in previous IGFs. But Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE has in his previous function (see links to reports below). Rio de Janeiro : Multi-stakeholder Policy Development (http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/rio_reports/WS_27_Short_Report.pdf) Hyderabad : National multi-stakeholder processes and their relation to the IGF (http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2008-igf-hyderabad/event-reports/72-works...)

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

• Vint CERF, Google (confirmed) • Erika MANN, Facebook (confirmed) • Marietje SCHAAKE, Member European Parliament (confirmed) • V.C. VIVEKANANDAN, Director, Institute of Global Internet Governance and Advocacy, Hyderabad (confirmed) •  Wolfgang KLEINWACHTER, University of Aarhus (tbc).
The workshop will be an open discussion on the basis of a brief input paper and will involve several participants of the Internet & Jurisdiction project. Moderation of the workshop will be done by Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE, Director of the Internet & Jurisdiction project.

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Paul FEHLINGER, project manager, Internet & Jurisdiction project, International Diplomatic Academy
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
Report
Reported by: 
Internet Jurisdiction Project
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

 
About
 
All stakeholders acknowledge the tension between the vertical nature of national jurisdictions and the horizontal nature of the cross-border Internet. The resulting complex and multi-layered interactions are difficult to picture. The workshop explored the legal geography of cyberspace and how it relates to the Westphalian international system and its patchwork of legislations.
 
The discussions scrutinized the concept of national sovereignty in cyberspace and highlighted potential options for future frameworks or mechanisms to govern the cross-border Internet.
 
Main Take-Away: Managing Commons, not separating sovereignties
 
Connected via the Internet, 192+ national jurisdictions co-exist in one shared space. However, the Westphalian concept of jurisdiction is rooted in the separation of territories, while the Internet was designed as a cross-border space. The Internet’s topology nevertheless interpenetrates the physical space, leading to a meshed geography of overlapping layers of technologies and jurisdictional competences. The panelists highlighted that the main challenge for mankind is to find frameworks to manage these new commons, to enable peaceful co-existence of billions of users on the Internet. Failure to do so could result in zero-sum power redistributions and the gradual re-territorialization of the Internet, which would undermine the value that this common infrastructure created for mankind.
 
Discussion Highlights:
 
Internet Layers: The Internet is built upon a separation between a logical layer (naming and numbering) and an application layer (including content). In asserting their national jurisdiction over online activities, states should not tinker with this separation to regulate content.
 
CyberspaceS: The Internet consists of multiple public and private cross-border spaces, each of which subject to rules that come from national laws and/or private Terms of Service.
 
Sovereignty in Cyberspace: The assertion of sovereignty by one country can have extraterritorial impacts over other states and their Internet users. A no-transboundary harm principle and the notion of collaborative sovereignty were discussed. It would be useful in that regard to distinguish between intended and unintended cross-border impacts. 
 
Multiplicity of competence criteria: States assert national jurisdiction based on the location of the user, the domain operator, servers or where cross-border online platforms are incorporated. Therefore, cross-border online services can be simultaneously subject to various jurisdictions.
 
Digital Territories: Users of cross-border online platforms and services become subject to the Terms of Service of these “digital territories”. Their national and digital citizenships can be analyzed as different forms of stakeholdership.
 
Global Constituencies: Parliamentarians in one country become subject to requests by people in other countries because of the potential extra-territorial impact of national legislations.
 
Renationalization: Recent trends of geo-IP filtering and assertion of jurisdiction based on TLDs indicate the danger of the re-territorialization of the Internet. Turning the Internet into a collection of national intranets would destroy the benefits of this global infrastructure.
 
Cybertravel: Is a user performing a form of cybertravel when he/she visits a site located in a different country? Should this be protected as a right of free circulation? Has this user a right to choose a different – virtual - location than the territory he/she is physically in, in order to access content blocked in its jurisdiction?  
 
Power redistribution: There is a competition between jurisdictions (national laws) and platforms (Terms of Service) to define a new power equilibrium for the governance of cross-border online spaces.
 
Possible regimes to manage ccross-border commons:
·       Existing International Law
·       International treaties
·       International Organizations
·       Self-regulation of companies
·       Private regimes (companies and civil society)
·       Multi-stakeholder regime(s)
 
_____________________
 
Video recording of the workshop is available at:
http://www.internetjurisdiction.net/events/past-events/igf-baku/geography/
 
The transcript is available at:
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2012-igfbaku/transcripts
 
For more information about the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, please see the web site: www.internetjurisdiction.net

Conclusions and further comments: 

Please see formatted report attached

Additional documents: 

(No.141) New Trends in Industry Self-Governance

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

How are the rules for the Internet set?

Concise Description of Workshop: 

Informal rule setting still plays a significant role in Internet governance. Non-governmental governance can occur at two levels: by shared rules negotiated through bodies like ICANN, and via private ordering by individual firms with significant market power.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK [academia]
Centre for Internet and Society, India [civil society]
Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ, University of Zurich, Switzerland [academia]
Nominet, UK [business]

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

All speakers confirmed

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Desire Miloshevic, Afilias
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised
Report
Reported by: 
Ben Zevenbergen
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

Main theme of the workshop:

• What lessons can we draw from some of the existing cases of - to some extent – self-regulation about protecting and enhancing the public good that complements (replaces to some extent) the legislative role.

Max Senges (Google):

• Uses Google Books case as an example to discuss the opportunities and problems of introducing new innovation quickly.

• Disruptive innovation with Internet based information means by definition that something that is a current state of play is being disrupted. Usually that also means the current legal system is not 100 per cent able to grasp the new processes.

• To innovate quickly, it is best to test new services in the field and to receive criticism and feedback from users.

Jeanette Hofmann (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung):

• Addressed the topic of Google books from a perspective of a changing cultural market.

• Previously, we would either buy tangible copies of books and/or we would buy access to cultural content such as buying a ticket to see a movie or a play in the theatre.

• When cultural, tangible goods turn into services, the relationship changes between sellers and the customers. Customers lose a lot of the rights that they are used to. For example if you buy a book you can read it several times, you can share it with your friends, you can resell it, you can do all sorts of things with it because significant parts of copyrights are exhausted with the transaction of buying the book.

• And this is no longer the case when we buy licenses, where there is no exchange of property rights. Here we notice a real shift in the power balance between sellers and buyers.

Fiona Alexander (US Department of Commerce):

• Spoke about the US experiences with self-regulation to accompany the slow moving legislative process.

• The US is trying out evolving models, where for example the White House issued a framework for a white paper for a commercial privacy framework. This contains some interesting key components, such as the creation of multi stakeholder processes to develop codes of conduct, including the ability for the Federal Trade Commission to enforce these codes of conduct once they were actually developed by stakeholders.

• The US have realized that domestic legislation is slow to move, so have thus started their own multi stakeholder codes of conduct process, the model and experiences of which could be useful for the other multi-stakeholder forums.

Emily Taylor (Independent Consultant):

• Industry views self-governance and the multi-stakeholder process as a cost, rather than a useful regulatory tool.

• She questions whether the multi-stakeholder process may actually be serving another public interest, other than ICANN’s initial experiment.

• The multi-stakeholder model may just be a model to legitimize certain decisions, which would be under heavy scrutiny if taken otherwise.

William Drake (University of Zurich):

• Supports the evolutionary process of internationalisation, but is also pragmatic enough person and an evolutionary enough person to recognise some things take time and have to be calibrated and so on.

• Unless you were to go through the AOC (Affirmation of Commitments between US DoC and ICANN) and strike out all the bits where there is an agreement between the United States and ICANN, then Internet governance is not a fully self-regulatory or multi stakeholder process. Drake supports the AOC.

• Many aspects of the AOC model are useful, such as periodic reviews by the communities, reflection, learning, adaptation, tweaking, experimentation and thus making it better over time. These are all very distinctive and obviously very different from other forms of governance.

• One of the challenges with self-regulation, co-regulation, multi stakeholder regulation or governance is that actors come into the process with very unequal power capabilities. It would take an extraordinary amount of really transparent open process developments to constrain, which translate into influence in ways that often are not obvious. One thing that is quite clear is that the ways in which those unequal power relationships manifest themselves is you know you have to actually be inside it to have the full sense just how many forms it can take.

(No.154) Internet & Jurisdiction: What frameworks for cross-border online communities and services?

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

Question 1

Concise Description of Workshop: 

This workshop addresses the growing tension between the technically cross-border nature of the Internet and a traditional legal and regulatory framework that bases jurisdiction on the physical boundaries of national territories. Conflicts of jurisdiction regarding personal data, freedom of expression, consumer protection, intellectual property and security are proliferating. But the development of a patchwork of uncoordinated national regulations could threaten the universality of the Internet as a global network.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE, Director, Internet & Jurisdiction project, International Diplomatic Academy, Paris. The Internet & Jurisdiction Project addresses the tension between the technically cross-border Internet and a jurisdictional system based on national geographic boundaries. It actively engages more than 50 participants from governments (from Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific), private sector (ISPs, content providers, social media platforms, cloud services), technical community (including the Internet infrastructure), civil society (NGOs, academia and advocacy groups) and international organizations.

Previous Workshop(s): 

Neither the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, nor the International Diplomatic Academy have organized or co-organized workshops in previous IGFs. But Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE has in his previous function (see links to reports below). Rio de Janeiro : Multi-stakeholder Policy Development (http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/rio_reports/WS_27_Short_Report.pdf) Hyderabad : National multi-stakeholder processes and their relation to the IGF (http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2008-igf-hyderabad/event-reports/72-works...)

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Marilia MACIEL, Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil (confirmed), Constance BOMMELAER, ISOC (confirmed), Brian CUTE, Public Interest Registry (confirmed), Patrick RYAN, Google (confirmed), Lee HIBBARD, Council of Europe (confirmed), Fiona ALEXANDER, NTIA (tbc)

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Paul FEHLINGER, project manager, Internet & Jurisdiction project, International Diplomatic Academy
Report
Reported by: 
Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE, Director Internet & Jurisdiction Project
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

 
About
 
The workshop explored the tension between geographically defined national jurisdictions and cross-border online platforms, which span across multiple countries, as well as domain operators, which register and manage domains that are accessible worldwide. Recent cases including the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ YouTube video or the rojadirecta seizure by US authorities were analyzed to highlight the shortcomings of the existing system and discuss possible ways forward. In order to preserve the cross-border nature of the Internet and its services, the workshop confirmed the growing need to develop, in a multi-stakeholder manner, appropriate procedural frameworks to ensure due process and increase interoperability between cross-border online platforms, DNS operators and national jurisdictions.
 
Main take-Away: The importance of Due Process
 
Panelists emphasized the importance of the principle of due process. In the absence of universal norms and harmonized laws for takedowns and seizures, due process emerges as a high level principle that could be incorporated into interfacing multi-stakeholder procedures to manage state-state, state-platform and in-platform procedures. Concretly, this requires clearly defined rules and well documented processes to guarantee openness, transparency, accountability, proportionality and appeal mechanisms.

Conclusions and further comments: 

 
Discussion Highlights:
 
Jurisdictional conflicts: States increasingly assert their jurisdiction over cross-border online activities. However, what is legal in one country might be illegal in another. This can, in the absence of universal standards, lead to jurisdictional conflicts, if more than one country asserts its jurisdiction over platforms, servers or the DNS.
Respecting 192+ national laws: Cross-border platforms face the challenge to incorporate multiple national and sub-national laws and norms into their Terms of Service. In order to respect lawful requests from different jurisdictions, platforms develop new technologies for content localization based on cc-TLD migration and geo-IP filtering.
Extraterritorial Extension of Sovereignty: Some countries can extend their jurisdiction over foreign countries and their Internet users, due to the incorporation of cross-border online platforms (e.g. US or Ireland), the location of the domain name operators (US State of Virginia) or the location of servers.
Ex-Parte jurisdiction: In some countries, including the US and Belgium, courts can rule in the absence of the defendant, who can be a foreign citizen, according to their national jurisdiction. In the case of cross-border activities, this constitutes a major challenge to due process.
Censorship: In order to enable a clearer debate, a distinction is necessary between legitimate take-down requests and censorship (when due process is not respected).
Layers: There is a distinction between actions targeted towards the DNS layer operators (impacting the routing system) and requests made to platforms hosting content.
Forum Shopping: Plaintiffs seek to file lawsuits with courts that have in rem jurisdiction over cross-border online platforms or domain name operators.
Granularity: More granular approaches to content takedowns based on interoperable procedures between countries and platforms might decrease general nation-wide platform blocks.
Long-term sustainability of rules: It is important to make sure that principles are established at a sufficient high level to ensure they can withstand the test of time and the rapid rate of evolution of technology.
Terms of Service as community Guidelines: How can the users be associated with the development of these guidelines?
Minimal harmonization: We encounter at the global level issues similar to the classical harmonization debate among the members of the European Union. Total harmonization is not always required; sometimes a minimal set of rules allowing mutual recognition can be enough.
Jurisdictional arms race: The unbridled application of national sovereignties on a cross-border infrastructure can actually harm the exercise of sovereignty, in particular to the detriment of countries without Internet operators on their soil. 
Responsibility of States: A corollary of the recognition of sovereignty is the responsibility of States for potential transboundary impact of their national decisions.
Multi-stakeholderism: Appropriate frameworks for cross-border online platforms and DNS operators need to be based on a multi-stakeholder consensus.
_____________________
 
Video recording of the workshop is available at:
http://www.internetjurisdiction.net/events/past-events/igf-baku/frameworks/
 
The transcript is available at:
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2012-igfbaku/transcripts
 
For more information about the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, please see the web site: www.internetjurisdiction.net

Additional documents: 

(No.145) Threats to multi-stakeholder internet governance – is it worth protecting?

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

IG4D Question 2; Taking Stock and the Way Forward Question 1 and 5

Concise Description of Workshop: 

"Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet." Tunis Agenda for the Information Society
 

Organiser(s) Name: 

Dixie Hawtin, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition and Global Partners & Associates.
Marilia Maciel, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

(All confirmed)

  • Jeremy Malcolm, Consumers International  (Civil society, Malaysia)
  • Bertrand de La Chapelle, International Diplomatic Academy (Academic, Austria)
  • Theresa Swineheart, Verizon (Business, US)
  • Franklin Silva Netto, Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations (Government, Brazil)
  • Bitenge Ndemo, Permanent secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communication (Government, Kenya)
  • Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communications (Civil Society, South Africa)
  • Philip Verveer, US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy (Government, US)

Moderators: Dixie Hawtin (Global Partners and Associates) and Marilia Maciel (Fundação Getúlio Vargas)

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Marianne Franklin, University of Goldsmiths
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was mentioned briefly in the presentations and discussions
Report
Reported by: 
Dixie Hawtin
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

Moderators: Dixie Hawtin (Global Partners and Associates), Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza (Fundação Getulio Vargas)
 
Panellists: Philip Verveer (US Department of State, Benedicto Fonseca Filho (Ministry of External Relations – Brazil), Bertrand de la Chapelle (International Diplomatic Academy), Anriette Esterhuysen (Association for Progressive Communications), Jeremy Malcolm (Consumer International), Theresa Swinehart (Verizon),
 
Multi-stakeholder governance is a central value of internet governance - beginning with the evolution of engineer-driven bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, confirmed in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society and practised in a range of institutions and processes where internet governance and policy occurs. The multi-stakeholder approach is based on the idea that those who will be affected by decisions have a right to be involved in the making of them, and that a diverse body of viewpoints will contribute to better decisions, and more successful policy implementation. Arguably this is especially important in the realm of the internet where traditional regulatory tools do not work as effectively and power is intrinsically distributed.
 
However, multi-stakeholder governance of the internet faces a range of threats. Both intrinsically  - who participates? What legitimacy do they have? How are decisions made?  - and externally as governments and businesses, for example, increasingly look to processes which are not adequately multi-stakeholder to make internet governance decisions, be it the International Telecommunications Union or multi-lateral processes such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 
In the context of these existing and growing threats – and the WSIS ten year review beginning this year – this workshop sought to unpick the concept and practical challenges of multi-stakeholder internet governance.

Conclusions and further comments: 

Some key findings:

  • Multi-stakeholder participation is necessary due to the trans-border character of internet issues. The involvement of many different viewpoints allows for better, and more legitimate, decisions. In an environment where there are no clear separations of jurisdiction, shared governance norms are crucial. There should be work to develop a set of global multi‑stakeholder principles for internet governance at the Internet Governance Forum.
  • Multi-stakeholder governance works well when it comes to the functional aspects of the internet, the challenge is to develop the appropriate tools for multi-stakeholder governance of what happens on the internet.
  • Brazil’s national multi-stakeholder process to develop the Marco Civil was pointed to as an example which should be studied and applied in other forums and processes. Governments in general need to make more commitment to implementing the multi-stakeholder principles.
  • Multi-stakeholder governance is a developing concept and it is important for governance structures to include mechanisms which will allow for the structures to develop and improve.
  • While there is widespread support for multi-stakeholderism in theory, in practice it often seems to be just lip service with new laws and practices being formed without consulting all stakeholders. This is a problem both at the national level (e.g. SOPA, PIPA, the new laws on cybercrime in the Philippines and Malaysia) and at the international level (e.g. ACTA and the TPP). It is also a problem with corporations – for example Google’s response to the Innocence of Muslims video was unilateral.
  • The Internet Governance Forum is the only global, multi-stakeholder internet governance forum which deals with internet governance (beyond functional governance). However there are many problems which need to be overcome. The IGF is lacking leadership at present – a special advisor and executive secretary should be appointed as a matter of urgency.  The Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group has proved resistant to evolving the IGF’s processes, and there is a lack of adequate funding. 
  • At the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications there is a chance that the ITU’s mandate will be expanded to include more of the internet. There appeared to be consensus that the ITU was not the appropriate forum for this due to, for example, a lack of transparency and of adequate civil society participation. The US is going to oppose an extension of the ITU mandate and while Brazil has not yet finalised its position the ambassador announced that he does not anticipate Brazil supporting an extension of the ITU mandate.  
  • Both the Brazilian and American government representatives agreed with the idea of creating a multi-stakeholder working group on enhanced cooperation.
  • The upcoming WSIS +10 Review was identified as another potential threat to multi-stakeholder governance (alternatively, another opportunity to promote better implementations of multi-stakeholder governance). The WSIS review process is likely to look at how policy decisions are made, the ability of stakeholders to engage and gaps which need to be filled.

(No.85) Quo Vadis IGF – or Evolution of IGF

Go to Report
Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Theme Question: 

Taking Stock and the Way Forward in general, but not to the specific main theme questions.

Concise Description of Workshop: 

IGF is now in the second phase and “improvements” are mandated by the UN General Assembly. To fill this mandate, CSTD Working Group to the Improvement of the IGF was established in 2010 and tasked to publish its report by March 2011. The WG came up with the final report in March 2012. This report was presented and adopted at the CSTD session in May and ECOSOC session in July . Further discussions are scheduled to take place at UN General Assembly.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (CS IGC) [Civil Society]

Consumer International [Civil Society]

Diplo Foundation [MSH]

Government of Finland

Internet Society [Technical Community]

Institute for InfoSocinomics, Tama University [Civil Society]

IT for Change [Civil Society]

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Mr. Peter Major, Chair, CSTD Working Group on IGF Improvement, Special Advisor, Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations in Geneva [Confirmed, Government, WEOG]
Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor for International Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus [Confirmed, Civil Society, WEOG]
Ms. Mervi Kultamaa, Counsellor, Information Society & Trade Facilitation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for External Economic Relations  [Government, WEOG, TBC]
Mr. Markus Kummer, Vice President of Public Policy, Internet Society  [Confirmed, Technical Community, WEOG]
Mr. Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Coordinator, IT for Change [Civil Society, Asia Pacific]
Moderator: Izumi Aizu, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for InfoSocionomics, Tama University [Confirmed, Civil Society, Asia Pacific]

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Ms. Avri Doria, [Civil Society, WEOG]
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised
Report
Reported by: 
Izumi Aizu
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

Peter Major, the Chair of the CSTD Working Group on improvements to the IGF, reported the process and the summary of the recommendations.
 
He first described the mandate which was for the CSTD to establish an open and inclusive manner a Working Group which could see, compile and review imports from all UN Member States and all other stakeholders and improvements to the IGF with the aim to give recommendations for improvements without changing basic features of the IGF, that it is multistakeholder and director and it is not a decision taking Forum. The original members of the WG were only governments, but representatives of Civil Society, Business, Academia and International Organizations were added to make it a multi-stakeholder composition.
Following five main points were presented in the final report as recommendations:
 
I  Shaping the outcomes of the IGF meetings
II Working modalities including open consultation, MAG and the Secretariat
III  Funding of the IGF
IV  Broadening participation and capacity-building
V   Linking the IGF to other Internet governance-related entities
 
The report was submitted to the CSTD Annual Session in May and accepted. It would be discussed during the UN General Assembly this year.
 
Peter then described the substance of the recommendations as follows:
I Shaping the outcomes of the IGF meetings

  • Develop more tangible outputs
  • Improve the visibility: IGF outcomes and accessibility should come with enhanced communication strategy and tools to making available the relevant documents to all the relevant stakeholders and the media.

II Working modalities

  • Improve the overall preparatory process of the IG
  • Improve the structure and working methods of the MAG
  • Strengthen and expand the Secretariat with all the implications it may have

III Funding of the IGF

  • Encourage and increase voluntary financial contributions,
  • Enhance accountability and transparency
  • Acknowledge the host country's support and in‑kind support from other countries, organisations and the UN.

IV Broadening participation and the capacity building

  • Expand and diversify participation
  • Enhance broader participations
  • Improve accessibility of the IGF
  • Enhance all stakeholders' understanding of the IGF and Internet Governance issues.

V Linking the IGF to other IG related entities

  • Ensure the relevance and inclusiveness of the annual IGFs,
  • Support enhanced communication
  • Empower the MAG and IGF Secretariat to consistent outreach.
  •  

Peter added that the WG had no provisions for implementation and he personally regrets that the WG had not thought of it or had not dealt with it extensively. He then proposed to the MAG to create a Working Group to translate recommendations to actions. He concluded in stressing the importance of the implementation.
Wolfgang, Kleinwacther, one of the members of the CSTD WG, echoed with Peter that the WG was a very good experience and innovation for the United Nations because it is not easy for an Intergovernmental body like the UN to deal with a multistakeholder group. He told producing 39 recommendations was very encouraging and we are on the right track, but it is only the first step and much more has to be done.
 
He emphasized that the IGF is in a competitive environment with the forthcoming ITU conference in Dubai in December, the World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Geneva in May 2013. He also added the WSIS+10 process as another competitor to IGF. He cautioned that if IGF does not produce what people expect, then it would lose the momentum and would go to another place. He also mentioned about the outcome of IGF and suggested even though IGF is not a negotiation body, there is a need to produce concrete outcome. Wolfgang also suggested giving greater role to the MAG, including the creation of a Working Group for implementation.
 
He also emphasized the MAG’s legitimacy from the UN Secretary General and its multistakeholder nature, and suggested to put IGF and MAG for the discussion about the enhanced cooperation than the second Committee in the General Assembly.
 
Mervi Kultamaa, another member of CSTD WG, from the Government of Finland, shared her reflection. She emphasized that the amount of contributions the WG had received from across the stakeholder groups was huge and said it really reflected the interests that people had on the IGF. She then mentioned about the dynamics of the multistakeholder participation as her second take-out of the WG. While there was some mistrust among WG members in the beginning, which stemmed from the fact that the nongovernmental participants were just “invitees”. However, she said that finally it was accepted that everyone would work at equal bases.  The different stakeholders didn't work in their own silos. She pointed out that it was the nongovernmental actors that brought the government members back to reality. She concluded that the multistakeholder approach is definitely the way to go if we want to achieve something in the future.
 
Markus Kummer, CSTD WG member from ISOC, provided his observation as follows. He first took a step back to 2009 when there was a broad based consultative process on the IGF and the extension of its mandate. He noted that the result of the consultation was overwhelmingly positive.  However, he continued, that some Governments put the finger on the identified weaknesses and questioned the outcome of the consultative process and wanted to change the nature of the IGF.  He told that the CSTD WG had historic merits, kept the fundamentals of the IGF as a platform for dialogue with nonbinding outcomes in a multistakeholder setting.
 
He said the recommendation No. 1, Shaping the Outcome, was the essential recommendation.  Funding is the core of the matter. He agreed with the report that the Secretariat is extremely small.  So the idea to give more responsibility to the MAG is extremely welcome. He also cautioned that we should not forget that MAG is a voluntary organization and the members have their own limitations.
 
Markus then recalled the very beginning of the IGF from WSIS Tunis Agenda as shaky, Dynamic Coalition did not work that well, and some were opposing to the setup of Working Groups to carry out intersessional works. He said that the times they are a-changing and IGF has matured: Issues that we could not discuss at the first meeting can now be discussed; a meeting on enhanced cooperation was considered impossible in the early days, which we had this time. Markus pointed out the works of Secretariat depends very much on funding. He sees that industry on a whole has not come up with adequate funding for IGF.
 
Parminder Jeet Singh, a civil society member of the CSTD WG from India, shared his diverging views. He first agreed with other speakers that IGF is a path-making innovation. He considers it as a new innovation in democracy, IGF should be able to inform policy and also act as checks and balances.  
With that framework, he expressed his disappointment to both the achievement of IGF itself and also the substance of the CSTD WG report. He first pointed out that the representation of underrepresented and marginalized people to IGF had been a big issue, but the WG failed to address this adequately.
 
He continued to the issue of IGF funding and argued for making it as UN regular budget, though his organization and India, among others, made this proposal at the WG, others maintained the current framework of donor-based model. He pointed out the risk of relying on private funding for public policy process as possible capture and the WG’s recommendation as a wrong model in going ahead in democracy. He mentioned that not going for the public funding at UN is the reason that there is no executive coordinator, strong secretary to support IGF.
 
Parminder said it is his duty to say very unpleasant thing because he brings it from the people who feel strongly about these, and these kinds of duties have not been filled up. He also expressed his disagreement with the WG report that the linkages with policy making spaces were not strong enough.
 
 
Disucssion
After the presentations from the panel, the discussion with the participants followed.
 
CSTD members from business, Jimson Olufuye from Nigeria and Marilyn Cade from USA endorsed most of WG report including the funding model and disagreed with the shift to the UN regular budget system. They explained that private funding is encumbered and putting it through the UN donors fund provides safeguards. Marilyn expressed she was not in favor of MAG for implementing the improvements, but suggested the Secretariat to be in charge.
 
A gentleman representing the United Nations, who was one of the cofounders of Arab IGF, a joint umbrella with the League of Arab states, shared his reflections. He shared part of the pessimism with Parminder. He asked what is hindering the public funding of the IGF?  He asked to think about where is the missing link from the point of view of Governments that might be filled and therefore bring them in to the bandwagon. He also shared his view with Marilyn on the need to empower the Secretariat. He called for UN GA to institutionalize the IGF and provide regular budget mechanism for long term financial sustainability.
 
Markus replied, out of his experience of IGF secretariat for the first five years, while having regular budget and contract for the secretariat is very much welcome, making it as regular budget requires the UN GA to change the mandate of IGF which is a political decision. This means shifting the priorities of the UN which would be a big battle with little chance of success in the current UN situation. He therefore showed his support for current trust fund as being more practical and well-established in the UN context. He also added that MAG members can influence on these issues.
 
Parminder, being a civil society member, cautioned the problem of capture by private sector. He also pointed out the chicken and egg situation: if you don't become effective, you don't attract funds and vice versa, that's the disjunction we are facing for the policy making process.
 

Conclusions and further comments: 

There was general consensus view that MAG should play stronger role for improving the IGF including ensuring diversity on panels and other IGF activities. The specifics, to have Working Group within MAG or not, did not reache consensus.
 
For funding, there was no single direction agreed, indicating that though “multistakeholderism” has gained most, if not all, support, it is still long way to reach the stable, sustainable framework in practice.
 
That is the task for all, not only with MAG.
 

Additional documents: 
Syndicate content