[Read more session reports and live updates from the 12th Internet Governance Forum]
Ms Maryant Fernadez, Senior Policy Advisor, European Digital Rights (EDRi)), started the first session by presenting the panel and everyone present.
Mr David NG, Co-founder, eHelp Association, outlined the importance of human rights and Internet governance and the interaction of resilience and the empowerment of individuals via the right to the access of information. He also said the cultural and generational aspects also play an important role. He then highlighted the importance of a multistakeholder governance of the Internet. He concluded by stating how this governance links with development and other issues.
During the second session Ms Estelle Massé, Senior Policy Analyst, AccessNow, talked about Internet shutdowns and net neutrality. She explained how Internet shutdowns by governments have increased over the years and how this has caused political instability. She also spoke about net neutrality and the the recent US case and the practice of zeroing or selective access, which is being challenged via regulations globally. She concluded by highlighting the importance of democratic debates around these three issues.
Ms Maryant Fernadez, European Digital Rights (EDRi), spoke about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which outlines European regulations for individual privacy. She talked about the importance of tools for youth digital empowerment through small action such as using browser provided encryption and security tools.
Massé pointed out the origins of GDRP and that it has two components, privacy by design and data protection by default. Under GDPR privacy is recognised a fundamental right but due to ongoing implementation the outcome is still not clear. NG concluded that while the GDPR is a specific case, there are increasing numbers of countries working together voluntarily in terms of trying to come up with data protection legislation and regulations. He concluded by stating that these meetings are usually closed off to NGOs.
During the third session Mr Gustaf Björksten, Chief Technologist at AccessNow, outlined how essential it is to teach a mind-set instead of using tools when it comes to cybersecurity. This is because security is always context-specific in terms of who are you safeguarding, from whom and on what platform. In his opinion the best type of security is one that is just enough and does not cost unnecessarily large amounts of resources or time. As time and resources are limited, prioritisation is the key to achieve highest returns for minimal expenses. Due to context-sensitivity, it is essential to map the threats and which measures to take against them, as encryption varies in degrees and formats. However, he said, that while securing your own activities it is essential to also keep in mind how your security measures or failures would impact others’ security in the same sphere of influence. He briefly pointed out how to approach encryption and that it depends on whether data is at rest or in transit. He concluded with how security support can help via incident response and threat mappings.
At the final session, NG outlined how advocacy involves different aspects, such as awareness raising and behavioural influencing through communications and media while holding seminars and conducting research. However, essential to any type of advocacy is the need to identity the key issues.
Ms Shita Laksmi, Project Manager for Asia at DiploFoundation, pointed out from the start that capacity-building is a central process where individual and/or organisations are improving their skills towards specific outcomes. In the context of Internet governance, content together with processes matter. It is in the processes where young people should remain active and claim their seat at the table through knowledge and understanding of specific issues. She concluded by presenting DiploFoundation’s activities in the field of Internet governance.
by Arto Väisänen