IGF 2018 WS #190
Internet Blocking and the Human Rights of Children

Organizer 1: Susie Hargreaves, Internet Watch Foundation
Organizer 2: Michael Tunks, Internet Watch Foundation

Speaker 1: Andrew Puddephatt, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Malcolm Jeremy, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Subramanian Uma, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Susie Hargreaves

Online Moderator

Mike Tunks


Susie Hargreaves


Panel - 90 Min


The five speakers (including the Chair) will be asked to speak for 5-10 minutes each addressing the key policy question. Our speakers are from El Salvador, India, United Kingdom and USA. They represent a wide range of sectors – law enforcement, industry, digital rights, a children’s NGO and human rights.

The panel session will be Chaired by Andrew Puddephatt, who is widely regarded as a global expert in Human Rights. In January 2018, Andrew took up a new position as the Chair of the Internet Watch Foundation, an international NGO which exists to remove and disrupt the distribution of child sexual abuse content from the internet and provides tools, including a URL list to block people from accessing known illegal content. Andrew brings a unique perspective as an advocate of Human Rights and freedom of expression combined with strongly held belief that accessing child sexual abuse violates the Human Rights of the children concerned and they should be protected using appropriate technical tools.

Uma Subramaniam, is the Co-Founder of Aarambh India, which provides the first online safety portal in the country. Official statistics in India state that 50% of children are sexually abused. Children are also accessing the internet in increasingly large numbers. As a person who believes in the power of the internet as an empowering tool, she is passionate about finding ways to educate children and young people to build their own digital resilience online, However, she recognises, at the same time that many of the most vulnerable children in India are unable to protect themselves online and need support and intervention.

Jeremy Malcolm is the former Senior Global Policy Analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is the leading non-profit organisations defending civil liberties in the digital world. The EFF works to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as technology grows. Jeremy has recently taken up a full time position with the Prostasia Foundation, which he founded as Director. The Foundation is committed to upholding the three values that it needs to in order to ensure that child protection laws and policies are effective, fact-based, and constitutional. These are (i) Human Rights: ensuring that the work is grounded in respect for universal human rights including freedom of expression, privacy and due process of law; (ii) Child Protection: there is no justification for adults to sexual contact with minors and (iii) Sex Positivity: private sexual behaviour between consenting adults is not harmful.

In addition to the three provisionally confirmed speakers identified we have also invited:

Bertha Nayelly Loya Marin, Jefa de Oficina- Adjunta, Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito (UNODC).
Nayelly works for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime across Central America and will bring her experience to talk about how Human Rights of children can protected in the context of dealing with major organised crime issues. (remote participant)

Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft
Microsoft created PhotoDNA, a hashing technology which is now used widely by industry and law enforcement across the globe to prevent the upload of illegal images and search for duplicates. Jacqueline will talk about how a global giant balances freedom of expression with the need to protect children and other vulnerable people across the globe.

The workshop facilitator will be Susie Hargreaves. Susie is the CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation is regarded as a global expert in child online safety. She is a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and sits on many committees and Boards including the WePROTECT International Advisory Board, The UK Council for Child Internet Safety, the UK National Crime Agency Strategic Governance Group and UK IGF. Susie has attended the last six IGF's and has spoken on panels at each event.

Mike Tunks will be the online moderator. Mike is Public Affairs and Policy Manager at the IGF. He recently joined after a career working in Westminster as a Parliamentary Assistant, Westminster Council and most recently Northamptonshire Police. This will be Mike's second IGF, having attended 2016 in Geneva.


The session will feature five speakers who represent a wide geographical base - El Salvador, India, UK and United States. The fifth speaker will talk from a global perspective.
Three of the five speakers are women. One is from Central America and one is from India.
The five speakers also represent cross sectors and include representatives from industry, digital rights, human rights, child online protection and law enforcement and bring a wide range of perspectives.
The Workshop Moderator is a woman from the UK.

The session will be a panel chaired by Andrew Puddephatt OBE and there will be five speakers in total representing a wide range of views from five different geographical perspectives. Each speaker will be asked to speak for a maximum of ten minutes. This will then be followed by a Q&A session from the floor and a Chaired discussion between the audience and the panelists. The tone of the workshop will be to invite a diverse range of views and opinions, to identify areas of consensus from which to build a positive working environment.

The session will directly address one of the 8 themes and also a number of sub themes, specifically:
Child Online Safety - How to tackle child sexual abuse and harmful content and build young people's resilience online
Cybercrime - Whilst child sexual abuse is clearly illegal, what's the status of 'harmful content'?
Digital Citizenship - what's the responsibility of the key players and citizens to ensure the internet is safe for young people?
Freedom of Expression - does blocking and filtering affect people's rights of free expression?
Gender Equality - 80% of all the illegal images that the IWF takes action on, are of girls who are the most vulnerable to be sexually abused and have their pictures posted online.

Some of the questions the Chair will pose will include:
• Who is responsible for ensuring that children are protected online?
• How different is ‘illegal’ and ‘harmful’ content and how is ‘harmful content’ defined in law?
• Are digital rights activists defending the indefensible or simply ensuring that children deserve to be protected by laws and policies that are effective, fair, and constitutionally sound?
• Under what basis is blocking justified?
• Are there any unintended consequences of GDPR: are hashes personal data?

10 minutes Chair Introduction
40 minutes 4 x speakers (1 remotely)
40 minutes Q& A from the floor followed by Chaired discussion

The Chair is highly experience and regularly runs sessions at IGF and other international fora. The workshop moderator, Susie Hargreaves, has also chaired many events and has chaired and facilitated sessions at IGF in the past. Both are highly experienced facilitators, able to ensure participation from the floor and have the ability to prompt and develop interesting discussion.

The aim of the session will be to reach a consensus position of the following question:

“Does using technology to block and filter illegal and harmful content protect the Human Rights of Children”?

The question builds on many previous workshops at IGF where the legality and efficacy of blocking and filtering has been debated, sometimes in the context of protection children and sometimes not.

The session also addresses one of the key themes of IGF 2018: Human Rights, Gender & Youth and also the sub themes: Child Online Safety, Digital Citizenship, Freedom on Expression, Gender Equality and Cybercrime.

The starting point for the session, is that although panel members and audience members may have different approaches to child protection on the internet, we are all committed to finding acceptable ways to protecting the most vulnerable in society including children. The session will, therefore welcome, an open discussion where all points of view can be shared, listened to and discussed.

Online Participation

The session will have an online moderator who will monitor all online interactions. Any remote participants will be invited to submit questions and also comments. Online participants will have a separate queue and microphone and we will rotate with the roving microphone in the room. Both the online moderator and room moderator have worked closely together on a number of international events and will be in close communications throughout the session. The workshop moderator will also work closely with the Chair to ensure that the discussion is not dominated by the panel but that there is equal participation from the floor and remotely.