Opening keynote: Ms Mona Keijzer

19 Jun 2019 10:15h - 10:30h

Event report

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In the keynote address, Ms Mona Keijzer (State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Netherlands) reminded that the Netherlands was the second country in the world after the USA to connect to the Internet in 1988. And since that time a lot of things have changed, especially the increased presence of the government on the Internet. She stressed the importance of updating rules and agreements related to the Internet to ensure their sufficiency.

Since the main theme of EuroDIG 2019 is digital co-operation, Ms Keijzer showed several examples of co-operation between the government, companies, and civil society in the Netherlands. First, she mentioned the Secure Software Alliance where market players, universities, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy are working together to build a framework for agile software development. This alliance is aimed at developing software that is safe at every stage of the product’s life cycle. The second example is the Digital Trust Center that was set up by her ministry last year. The centre provides large corporations, as well as small entrepreneurs with advice and alerts to help them make their online business more secure. The third example is the fight against online child pornography. Public and private partners are working together in the notice and take down procedures for removal of child pornography. The Dutch child pornography reporting centres allow the companies to check their own servers and remove the videos or images within 24 hours after a report is made. If they fail to remove the content, there are administrative and criminal law enforcement options. These examples show the Dutch principle of protecting a secure and open Internet via self-regulation where possible, and legislation when necessary.

Finally, Keijzer compared the Internet with the open sea and the ideas of Hugo Grotius about free travel and free trade since the sea belongs to everyone. She concluded her speech wishing success to all participants in debates about open and secure digital waters.

By Ilona Stadnik