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Mr Kenta Mochizuki (Chair) Attorney at Law (New York), Yahoo Japan Corporation started the session by introducing the title and purpose for the session. He mentioned that, social media is widely spread, and young people use social media (facebook, twitter, etc.) to communicate and share other personal information. On the other hand, it has given rise to many negative effects including contents which encourage criminal acts, racism, hate propaganda, etc. He asked about the following:
- What kind of responses would be effective to address the challenges and changes?
- Who should take appropriate measures and help?
Dr Makoto Yokozawa, Nomura Research Institute, and a visiting professor at Kyoto University began with emphasising the importance of the issue under discussion. Her organisation, APEC (Asian Pacific Economy Corporation), whose focus is on protecting the child online, participated in this IGF to contribute to this discussion. She presented on a collaborative framework in youth protection online, and talked about some of the risks that the youth and children are exposed to online:
- Illegal and harmful content
- Inappropriate use or risk
- Privacy and security
The following were some ways for reducing the online risk:
- Collaborative work (including parents, governments, etc.) is required to protect the youth and children online, Japan is a typical example.
- The youth and children can, and should be encouraged to be responsible for protecting themselves, since a study conducted revealed that about 70% of youth have a positive opinion against protecting themselves online.
- Organisations helping to support youth and children including SIA (Safer Internet Association) and InHOPE – an international association for Internet holtlines.
Ms Veronica Donoso from International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), started her presentation on asking who the next billion users are, and added that, it was dangerous to talk about that subject. She saod we cannot talk about the SDG 2020 target - providing connectivity, universal access, and affordable access to least developed countries, without considering potential risks. She expressed the following concerns:
- People are not up to the challenge: a typical example is India where people access the Internet by watching indecent movies, i.e. in an irresponsible way.
- A world development indicator points that, the highest amount of cell phone subscriptions do not match at all to literacy rate.
- International cooperation with governments security agencies, ISPs, etc. is very much required, as well as hotlines so that countries can call in to report abuse contents that were received in their countries and originating from another country; so that they can quickly and easily be taken off their networks.
She finally talked about InHOPE’s commitment in partnering stakeholders in helping to ensure the youth and children safety online; they have 53 hotlines and are present in 46 countries, and work with ISPs, NGOs, Interpol and Europol. INHOPE however, needs governments support to be able to set up hotlines in the countries.
Mr Arsene Tungali, Co-founder & Executive Director, Rudi International, presented on the realities regarding how Internet safety education has failed in his country, DR Congo. The country has a very low Internet penetration (3.6%), more people use WiFi through the mobile phones or hotspots, and cyber cafes to connect to the Internet, and the average price of data is 1%. Other challenging issues are access to electricity and Internet infrastructure. He also agreed with the collaborative efforts by families, churches, schools and the community can help ensure the youth and children stay safe online.
Mr Raymond Yang, Ambassador, NetMission.Asia, talked about how attitude matters when discussing this topic and also changing the style of educating teachers and students. He added however that, through the IGF, they can engage all stakeholders to come up with best ways to help the children and youth stay safe online.
Ms Shirley Wong, Hong Kong Youth, shared her experiences with her participation in the HKYIFG program.
- Honk Kong students are not aware of the IGF.
- They went to an IGF training camp where they learned and communicated with different industries, governments and NGOs.
- They have prepared a promotional video to help raise awareness to the general public on IGF, especially on issues of cyberspace security.
- They could do more than expected by influencing their peers, the community and their future.
The session ended with the following conclusions and recommendations:
- A Safe and secure cyberspace security in a new Internet era for the youth and the children who should be engage and listened to in such discussions.
- If we really want to talk on connecting the next billion to the Internet, it is important to collaborate and educate the future digital citizens (youth and children) and help them create a safer online environment for themselves.
by Ivy Hoetu, Internet Society Ghana