IGF 2018 WS #152
Gaps and opportunities in rights based cyber norms


Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 4: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Matthew Shears , Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Eileen Donahoe, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh, Government, African Group
Speaker 4: Camille François, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 60 Min


The speakers represent civil society, academia, business and government, as well as a diversity of views and global perspectives. We will be calling upon a range of discussants in the Roundtable to present a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities for developing rights based approaches to digital security. The speakers have significant experience in cybersecurity policy and human rights, from developing cyber security strategies in Ghana, to building rights based approaches to cybersecurity in multistakeholder processes such as the Freedom Online Coalition, to researching and exploring the fundamental threat that societies and institutions face by nefarious states or non state surrogates. The goal will be to reinvigorate the discussion of and need for global rights based norms and cybersecurity.


The organizers and speakers represent a diversity of gender, geography, stakeholder and policy perspectives and expertise. This diversity will be augmented through engaging broadly with the audience, onsite and online, and identifying specific discussants. We will work to incorporate the fullest geographic and policy diversity so as to ensure an engaging, stimulating and fruitful discussion.

Roundtable discussion on the state of play of shrinking of civic spaces, the securitization of the online world, the impact of disinformation and how stakeholders can mitigate these forces and rebuild the role of rights and trust in democratic processes and the rule of law through agreeing global rights based norms. The Roundtable will explore the need for a rethink of the relationship between human rights and security, particularly cybersecurity, and reflect on norms developments to date through considering a range of approaches including multilateral processes such as the UN's Group of Governmental Experts, business initiatives such as the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, as well as other approaches, including the multistakeholder https://freeandsecure.online/ initiative. The Roundtable will discuss the merits and downsides of these various approaches and explore how greater progress can and needs to be made in building rights based cyber norms to enable all stakeholders and users/citizens to fully benefit in their shared digital futures.

The discussion will be facilitated in such a manner as to bring about the fullest onsite and online engagement. Speaker comments will be brief, questions will be to both speakers and audience, discussants will be prompted to ask challenging questions that should encourage robust discussion, online questions will be given priority. The goal will be to simulate the audience onsite and online to think more broadly about the need for rights based cyber norms and the opportunities and challenges that they present. The session should contribute to informing the ongoing discussion on cyber norms in the BPF on Cybersecurity.

In a world where disinformation and securitization increasingly shape the political and governance landscape, the lack of progress in developing norms to frame the online behavior of stakeholders threatens the full realization of economic and social progress and opportunity. While norms development to date has largely focused on state behavior (through for example the GGE), there has been little focus on the imperative of a rights based approach to online behaviors and in particular as they relate to cybersecurity. Governments are using cybersecurity to justify inhibiting the enjoyment of human rights, particularly free expression, association, privacy and personal security. Disinformation is being used to erode a citizen's trust in public institutions, the rule of law and democratic processes. The need for rights based norms that address both the relationship between human rights and cybersecurity and frame the online responsibilities of stakeholders has never been greater.

Online Participation

The Roundtable will ensure that online participation in the session is fully open and the room is responsive to online questions and discussion. The onsite moderator will be in close communication with the Roundtable's online moderator who is fully aware of the focus of the Roundtable and has performed this role previously. The moderator will ensure that there is the fullest engagement for online participants - bringing a range of perspectives to this discussion on rights and security is essential.

Reference Document: https://freeandsecure.online