IGF 2018 WS #296
When the wit overcomes the barriers

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 4: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 1: Coyula Regina, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Ramy Raoof, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 3: Owono Julie, Civil Society, African Group


Round Table - 60 Min


he speakers in this session work on internet freedom in their home countries, so they can talk about their first-hand experiences of the different ways in which people are able to circumvent restrictions on internet access and exercise their digital rights. We also expect that the UNESCO's vision will help to provide a political insight into how these ingenious actions can be used for other contexts or to develop policy recommendations to States. Finally, we'll share the collaboration experience of the TOR project with activists from countries in complex political.


The speakers represent various geographic areas (Latin America, Middle East, Africa), in addition to the fact that we considered that roundtable has an acceptable gender balance. As for the stakeholders, we'll have representatives of the civil society, an international organization and the technical community.

The political context has a positive or negative impact on people's experience when accessing or using the Internet. When the political context is complex or becomes complex, it is common to see government measures that limits people's freedoms both online and offline. In countries experiencing complex political situations, the imposition of measures restricting access to the Internet, the emergence of laws limiting online freedom of expression, content blocking, etc. is observed.
Despite this, the population often generates resilience in the face of the situation, looking for ingenious ways to exercise their human rights in digital spaces. This session will then explore, as a conversation between speakers and attendees, the experiences of internet connection that arise when the political context creates barriers to the access, how people find ways to circumvent restrictions, and how some of these ingenious actions can serve other resource-poor contexts. On the other hand, we will aslso discuss the emergence of technological solutions/efforts to facilitate online access and communications in such contexts, as well as collaboration between activists and the technical community, will also be discussed.

The roundtable will begin with 3 minutes of opening remarks of the moderator to introduce the objetives of the discussion and the speakers. This will be followed by 15 minutes of questions proposed by a speaker to another speaker in the roundtable in order to foster a discussion. Afterward, the floor will be open for further questions and comments from the audience and remote participants. The last 5 minutes will be used as a wrap-up.

What is the experience of internet connection in complex political contexts?
Each one internet connection in complex political contexts is different, but also have many coincidences: censorship, survelliance and denied service are common denominators. In non democratic regimes, internet represents freedom speech, free information access and ciberactivism as possible.

Online Participation

Social media and hashtags will be used in order to encourage remote participation and collect comments/questions from remote participants. This will be particularly enhanced two weeks prior to the event so that participants can schedule it accordingly and reinforce it daily the week prior to the session through the speakers's social media. These questions will be forwarded to the session moderator. A pad also will be created in order to reflect the key issues raised during the discussions and will allow these discussions to be available for remote participants.