The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> -- how we can cooperate and share our experiences. Because in, again, in ways for imitating democracy, Russia is really, really ahead of many other countries. In ways of regulating Internet with multistakeholder approach, Russia is ahead of many, many countries so our experience may be interesting for you, and also your experience in how you act and reactivate missing institutions, missing activities is also interesting for us. So maybe a few words?
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Still no captioning. We'll try. My name is Andrey and represent Moscow University and what is Free Moscow University created in 2020 by our colleagues that were actually dismissed from academic position from Moscow and the institution I represented earlier, the IGF background as well and IGF spaces and maybe some of you can know me because of the (?) account affiliation, but since 2020, personally are I'm not actually the participant from the economics because working in Department of Constitutional Law and as you know, in Russia, constitutional amendments happen and major purpose of the amendments were to remain to put in power forever and that's a big problem. And democratic rights and freedoms is not actually really acquainted with this position and that the president must ‑‑ according to the mandate constitution. I'm speaking about the bandwidth of the constitutional law because of the free possible demo and is actually free space of teaching and learning possibilities, and absolutely free exchange of opinions without any censorship, without any restrictions of academic background and without any kind of ‑‑ so one Free Moscow University can teach quarters and students like to attend the courses they like. And it was the time of actually the pandemic and people are ‑‑ it was the University in these particular times and they were using remote participation to attend to these courses.
So, this is the background position of the Free Moscow University so this session is created by students for our course. Maybe in case we have a better connection, some of them will also appear here. Thank you.
>> Thank you very much. So, teaching of Internet governance and some other things, are now missing in official Russian institutions and other institutions are missing in Russia. Really present here, Internet Society, Russia doesn't have Internet Society chapter because once it was ‑‑ it was closed as a foreign agent and it cannot be reinstated freely or without risk of Russian Internet volunteers. That's one thing. Actually, we can unite and coordinate with each other in Russian Internet users, Russian Internet professionals or Russian Civil Society, that's an issue for us. And for the rest, well for usual people, it looks like such institutions never existed. So, they don't feel it.
In other institutions which formally exist in Russia, but does not exist in realities is Russian Internet governance forum. Yes, if you go for a website of IGF, for a list of national and individual initiatives, you will find the Russian one, but it's definitely not like this forum, it's not multistakeholder and it's a forum which is held by ‑‑ because all Internet governance activities are top down, Kaspersky is everywhere and something like that. And where, our students submitted to the session, we're able to speak and I hope they will be also able to speak here on global Internet governance forums. But merely under no circumstances we're able to tell such things we're telling you now, and we are discussing in this forum, in Russia, because it's not.
I just gave an example of two maybe Internet institutions which are really missing and we are unable to even create informal ones because for ISOC chapters are formal requirements, formal NGO in Russia, and it's completely impossible to do now. Russian IGF is completely taken, and global IGF and UN Secretariat doesn't see possibilities to have parallel IGF or something like that.
Maybe you already experience such problems. Maybe you have solutions and maybe you have suggestions. So, it's not a presentation. It's not a speech, so please let's think that we are in a fish bowl mode and join us here or get a microphone from us, and introduce yourself, tell about your country, about institutions which are missing or you think are missing, and how you're trying to solve such things. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wasn't planning to join you here but I was really interested because when it comes to semi‑functioning democracies, it's hard to really regulate them. At some point your action has to really fill what the governments have to do, so my question is about the initial reason that you mentioned that you can't give certain education is that people in foreign nations, right. So how do you contact in societies where there is fear against foreigners and where there is a kind of hate rhetoric, an environment where it is not national, it is not safe.
>> Well, I don't feel that's actually our question, but I can give an impression from Russian academic, and so and from us. It's much more important to tell people that something is unusual for you is actually interesting and not scary. Yeah, most of phobia and other hate appears because people find unusual things scary. Unusual things, not usual for your location, find it interesting, try to study it and use it. Because you said at the beginning that you're from Turkiye, so tell us about your democracy and tell us about, I heard it's a lot of academics also interested in Turkiye, so maybe you have an educational initiative which are not formal and tied to governments. And for sure all of these Internet things, how Internet is being educated and promoted and by passing restrictions in, Turkiye, please.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: So, thank you again for initially inviting me here as well. I come from a center for Internet and society research in Turkiye, which means an observatory. And what we do is we actually look at the things that technology companies are doing wrong to human rights violation, policy violations, and tech workers and (?) Googler is how we were founded. And when it comes to Turkiye, we feel a lot of similarities as Russia as well.
So, in terms of the academics and the freedom of speech, we also have problems here and ‑‑ (feedback) ‑‑ is it safe now?
Okay. So, actually, I mean what I wanted to really discuss here and ask here is that we see there is some fear in the country from the migrants, from foreigners, and that kind of creates a basis for hate, but it's also ‑‑ so when there is a security under question, freedom of speech is under danger. So, any type of security issues, we see that it gives justification among the people. So that was the thing that we also tried to address. And what I was actually wondering is there a way for this, is there a way to help people navigate through dialogue and see that there are certain institutions, certain policies, but a foreign affiliation doesn't necessarily mean it's a foreign agent, and how do you kind of address this underlying cost? I don't know if this is a human rights course that has to be taught. Is there an educational approach that we can kind of address? And when it comes to Internet governance, what we see in Turkiye is a lack of media urgency, a ton of research and nothing against privacy which is free in certain ways, but how do you explain to people how algorithms work, and how do you make people understand that AI is impacting their life, and so that's some of the work that we do. We try to kind of make AI and regulation issues kind of relatable for the people because that's something that we use every single day. That's an approach that we take. We don't do it through a particular official curriculum like you do. We do it through publication and social media. What we say is that AI is affecting every single day.
If you look for a job post, it might be targeted for men only or women only and you might be ranking your financial reporting and credit store might be impacted for those algorithms, and if you don't take a look at those, you might be undergoing discrimination. Those are the stories that we tell to people. But of course, it's a challenging way, because unlike the western world you kind of have to start from scratch and be like what is an algorithm, what is technology? And then kind of buildup governance from there.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Actually, you raised another question, because if another just in institutions, how big corporations talk to the citizens. I think that Facebook talks to U.S. citizens, to U.S. human rights protecting organizations from Access Now and foundations but responsible. At least you can get some information on which decisions to make on censorship in the United States. Actually, I do know that Facebook has a great moderation center here in Africa, which moderates in African languages, but I definitely know nothing about moderation in Russian language and in Slavic languages because working alongside, even working with, we know nothing besides a good presentation. If you are not very well-developed democracy, very well country with human rights protecting organizations not just ISOC, or Internet protecting organizations, huge corporations like Facebook and Google, they won't respond to you. It's also missing institutions which need to regain.
And as a Russian example is Yandex, Google, Amazon, Netflix in one company and it's completely, it's completely, they even don't start talking about human rights. They responsive for presidential administration, direct phoneline from presidential administration, presidential office or whatever else, so they removed content from search like this but not responsible for wider audience and human rights protecting organizations.
Again, I'm sorry, dear audience, please join us. So, if you feel issues and such in your countries, please tell us.
>> I can say a couple of words here as well. I just jumped in by the way, I said we come from Turkiye also and so when it comes to big technology companies, actually, if you even just look at the user agreements that you see on your screen, it's just six Times New Roman which is not understandable at all but it is by design and that technologies do and do not by design and when we look at their responsibilities, we should always remember these are multi‑billion‑dollar‑companies and have the resources to hire a team of people and put a team of 1,000 people and immediately start working. Even go they don't start working, it's also by choice as well. Like you said, in the United States they're quite responsive for democracy and everything because there is a lot of visibility and PR issues at present, right. So, when the news channels are saying there is an intervention to 2016 elections, Facebook immediately put up the policy that, you know, they are going to make false advertising transparent from now on. However, it is quite hard for Russia, to Turkiye, for actually any country to make our issues relevant, to put public pressure, because Turkish doesn't have, any other government doesn't have a say on how they are going to operate. So, there is a huge impact there. There is a lot of militarization. So, the question comes down to how do we make Facebook and Google and those big tech companies accountable for the policies that they're doing?
And I feel like unless we as Civil Society and as academics and other sectors, also we come together, we won't be able to communicate to them what we're saying. As ex‑google employee, I can definitely say at that there is organizational problems or lack of to kind of address these issues because once they start taking responsibility, it means that they have to start taking responsibility everywhere. Of course, the entire government is tough and you can't apply every single law everywhere, but they have to start.
Just one basic example is that, so for example when you give an advertising about employment or your financial records, in U.S. you can't do microtargeting advertising. In the U.S. it's illegal to say that I want to hire a secretary, I want it to be a girl between 20 and 25 years old and I want her to live in this area. You can't do this targeting through advertising in the U.S. And Instagram knows this so they come up with a rule and ban it. They don't ban it everywhere in the world. Instagram knows they shouldn't be doing it. So, I feel like we should push for more, more governance and more implementation; and again, I feel like the big tech companies have to do a lot more when it comes to educating the users, and especially in countries like us.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yes. It's interesting for big companies. Actually, please join us. Yeah.
>> (Speaking off mic). ‑‑ by the way, you know after the start of the War in Ukraine, Facebook was recognized as extremist organization in Russia. So, it's the list with the terrorist organizations like the ISIS or Taliban or something like this, the same line with Facebook. Yeah.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Just a little comment. Yeah. So, I wanted to agree with major literacy, and I think media literacy is much narrow scope than human rights than understanding the good governance and politics. The example which Andres gave of Facebook and Instagram becomes extremist activities. Yeah, a few days ago Meta recognized as terrorist organization, yeah, finally, a few days ago. We have to be careful. If you're from Meta, you have to be careful.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes. Thank you very much for giving me a voice. I think my vision of these topics would be very interesting for you as long as I'm from Russia, I live in Russia, and I face all the issues you have said before like every day.
So my organization, NPO Dialogue is monitoring the Russian media space for almost 3 and 4 years and what I can say is that from them from the beginning of war, or special military operation, anything useful for anybody, I can say that we have analyzed the Russian media space and we have known that it is very hard because from the first day, there are forces who try to polarize Russian society with use of different Internet technologies, and the number one technology they use against us is spreading of fakes and disinformation.
I'll cover this topic on my session tomorrow, but what I can say is that different forces, they are coordinated, they are coordinated and they have a lot of resources for spreading and for generating such fakes and disinformation to make people worry, to make people drop all the things and run, to make people immigrate, to make people worry. This I can say. And feel a lot of stress inside of Russia. It's a big problem because this polarizes our Internet Society and people, and it is not good for any society at all in any country. It is very, I can say, it's extremely harmful for people and for their being. So by the way, there are different forces who try to spread different fakes and disinformation and some of them are from Free Moscow University I should have noted that, but so many forces who do this job, I should do this job because they're on payroll, that your colleagues, not you personally, but your colleagues, but it's kind of say minor thing in my speech because I want to focus on the issue that you raised today and that is the big tech, not like invasion but involvement in some social issues in different countries because we see year by year that they're gaining much more force in accelerating a country. Because, you know, what is Facebook? Facebook is an organization who could make a revolution in a click in some different countries because they control the usage, they control the information with which people are like taking every day through their news and stuff.
So that in Russia we have come to the question of the governmental regulation of what power Facebook and Meta and how other big tech platforms have, and we have ended up in the law because you have questioned before that what should government do to ‑‑ what should society do to make all the things some it is how controllable? Yeah. So earlier I think this year in January, I may be mistaken, but it's not ‑‑ it's not worth details, but anyway, earlier this year in our countries, there was a law presented which obliged big tech companies to open an office in Russia if they are doing some business in Russia to make debt reform for feedback of like usual people.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: For government.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Not only for government but for European. Because if you're a single man and your rights are abused by Facebook, you can't do anything anywhere. You can't mail them. You can't phone them. It's uncontrollable. And this law obliges a company, a corporation, to open or establish a feedback form on their website for the citizens to be able to submit some feedback and claims to big companies like Facebook, like Apple and all the different ones.
So, what about the fact that Facebook and Instagram were recognized as extremist organizations? Why it was done so? I should drop some details on that issue because later in February, we have faced in February and March, we have faced an informational attack of fakes covering our country; literally, there were tons of ads, paid ads with fakes and disinformation for targeting usual people. These ads were saying that, grab all of your cash, leave your country, go to the streets and protest, this was ‑‑ these ads were paid, and these ads were supplied to all of our Russian audience through Facebook and Instagram, and Facebook and Instagram did nothing to stop it. And it is interesting question because we know that Facebook and Instagram have a huge moderation team in their library.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: You can ‑‑
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can I finish. You cannot pass without. All of these ads were from fake page. Once I check. Facebook has interesting page called Facebook et library, and in Russia we have governmental TV channel called Governmental 24 ‑‑
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I believe you can talk in the next 45 minutes of usage in Russia ‑‑
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER:
I found 16 fake pages from Russian 24.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Thank you very much. I would like to introduce the dialogue this person presents has close ties for Russia 24.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: We don't have ties for Russia 24.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: We have online questions so.
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: We have an online intervention. Could you read it, please. Unfortunately, it's in Russian, but well I think Andres could read in English instantly. I think it's about another missing institution. It's about another missing institution in Russia which usually presents another, so please.
>> Okay. I would like to have representative comments in Russia, concisely he said that there is a lot of in years, websites of providers without decision and information is blocked, which is not suitable for us for Russian authority and responsible for that. Also, forced Wikipedia to delete information of the, let's say, fakes on the matters of the Army, on the activities of the Army after the start of, let's say, special military operation.
Also, we had a colleague said there is the evidence of the arrest of the Wikipedia participant from Belarus, worries of participants, and there is some questions of how to protect people, and how to protect the quoting so materials ‑‑ said that actions of blocking of Wikipedia is official individual decision ‑‑ is individual decision of one other person.
Also, we have the foreign agents, and not desirable organizations, and foreign agent law so was created to prevent financing activities of the Russian non‑governmental organization from on behalf of the foreign money and also this law could recognize the foreign agent of any single person on the best desire of the ministry of justice of Russian Federation. That's not a question. It's intervention from remote participant because he was able to ‑‑ no.
Also, there is talking about the recharge of creating comments of Russia and worried about the absence of visa and MasterCard of possibility of financing in Russian Federation, and there he raised ‑‑ so question maybe would be interesting. How to ‑‑ what to do with the coordinating laws, and is it possible to claim the IGF to reduce ‑‑ to cancel this status from the people connected to Internet governance, and so there is the problem.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. Okay. I hope some of the issues will be addressed, but I would like to mention ‑‑ well, from this intervention, it's clear that also other institutions are missing in Russia because Wikimedia NGO has nothing to do with wick Wikipedia and get money from other people and say developing Wikipedia in Russia. They are actually not part of global Wikimedia and not always share their values.
The same thing ‑‑ not the same thing, but it's also missing creative comments global network chapter in Russia, and actually the promotion of creative common license is being done and not by institutional somehow but by some activities, including some courses through Moscow University. I would like you to participate in our discussion. You see even we have Russian opposition. We welcome Russian who is working in the area of Internet governance, but we heard an opinion from Turkiye, but we would like to hear anyone. I see people from Finland definitely here. Everything is good in Finland.
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Please jump in and get a mic and tell us about your country if you have democracy ‑‑ deficits and missing institutions of some kind. Don't be shy. Every voice to be heard. It's usually in ICANN but I think in IGF it's also.
Nothing to do with Wikipedia. No relations. Yes, so even governmental officials doesn't understand that there is missing institutions which allows government to interact with global organizations. While that was the reason, positive reasons for you to come to you to discover this.
>> Thank you so much. Frankly speaking, we see big companies and institutions are cutting ties with Russia and it's not so good because the commenter said that visa and MasterCard has left Visa and all the transactions are stopped, and it's true because I had to come here with like pack of cash because I can't use my bank card here. But it was not Russian decision to kick out Visa and MasterCard.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I object because it's also in line, well somehow this forum, missing democratic institutions, missing Civil Society institution led to those activities of Russian Government program who actually led us to this.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I can sum up that ‑‑
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Again, we want you to speak, please.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: But in general, I think ‑‑
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I see you have interest. Come in. Introduce yourself. Tell which institutions related to Internet governance is missing in your country, and maybe you have already solutions for the ones who have such missing institutions.
>> My name is Velcarm from Ethiopia, and I try to share some experience about the nature of Ethiopia. As you know, Ethiopia experience is in conflict ‑‑ but I want to raise here that there is different kinds of disinformation across the global mainstream media combined with different global networks like Facebook and Twitter and the disinformation even that I try to monitor and we try to monitor especially with Twitter and Facebook, and even those who are supporting the interest of the Ethiopian people and state the contents that are raised in Twitter and Facebook are automatically removed sometimes.
But in the contrary, on the other side, the other opponent side, the Ethiopian opponent, the Ethiopian public opponents raise against Ethiopian interest and sovereignty and such contents that even spread across all social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But the regulation, when we try to report in different way, in different mechanisms, in different context, they ignore the interest of the people of Ethiopia and even different kinds without any social data or disinformation against Ethiopia and especially in the region, in Africa in general. So, such kind of huge high‑tech social media platforms I think ‑‑
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: May I ask a question. Do you have a human-rights protecting organizations here in Ethiopia? So, what do you think about cooperation with huge platforms? Do they cooperate? Do you have special digital human right protecting organizations in Ethiopia?
>> I think there is lack of institutions as you mention, but there are some regional offices like Human Rights Watch, and even the Ethiopian Government Human Advocacy Office there is governmental and UN agencies that are working on this. But generally, there is a lack of civic society working on it.
But what I try to raise is that these high‑tech components must balance all the information despite all the, disseminate all around the world. And the main target must be the information that is based on the rights and important for global citizen, so it must be balanced, this is my idea.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: How is Internet regulation? Because my colleague says about spreading deep fake and COVID, and this instrument was developed at COVID time, so you can officially say and openly say about COVID only what the government says. And now it happens the same thing about special military operation because colleague, not just this war but under great risk, you can't call it war and you must call it as governmental official. Yeah.
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I don't recommend you to go back to Russia. So how it is in Ethiopia, and so how government enforces is only opinion of things which ‑‑ or not yet, how is content filtering and blocking implemented in Ethiopia, and how Civil Society and human right protecting organizations oversee this. Or any job ‑‑ where is special Ethiopian‑like organizations which exist in Ethiopia and does not exist in other countries? Like in the dialogue which is about dialogue in Russia but to promote official position and what such organizations are in Ethiopia?
>> Like human rights organizations?
>> Like ombudsman office?
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Civil Society organizations. You don't know. That's a missing institution in Ethiopia.
>> That's a missing institution, actually.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Thank you. Any others, please join. You may get microphone from colleague.
>> Hi. I'm Mr. Kata from Japan and part of organization called MIO, moderate of office, working for Internet freedom and I think there is kind of elephant in the room here because I recently find out that we tend to think that the people are confused or de-received by misinformation or propaganda, but I think people like misinformation or want to read in authoritarian regime, I'm pretty sure in open Russia there are lots of people that support Mr. Putin, so I'm personally developing censorship technology like I2P or related projects, but I found out that many people actually, you know, Japan is quite good democracy, but I think the situation is the same in the U.S. that many people are actually, you know, doesn't (?) democracy or actually hate democracy.
So, my question is and I don't know I might be wrong, but if you feel the same way, what can we do? So, you know, we can help people who want to, you know, see the truth or something, but we can't help people who don't want to see the truth. So, what can we do?
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: We have to do something. That's about this. But about the elephant in the room, about misinformation, actually, this is the elephant not for this room. In this room, we gather to talk about missing institutions. So, maybe you in this case, talking about how to spread fair information, or how to spread different information, I would like to say well that in Russia, the people who ‑‑ well there are special people and some just behind you who are getting paid for supporting Putin, yes, but numbers of people in Russia just do not have information about other possibilities. So that's what colleague calls fakes. That's all Russian supporting Putin or supporting war with Ukraine. They just do not have other information. Because for tens of years because of lack of Civil Society work or imitation Civil Society work with freedom of information, just now there is ‑‑ for the most of Russian society, there is no possibility to have alternative point of view. There is only one. Yeah. Yeah.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you so much. Because telegram channels and opposition web page and even this and the YouTube channel is alive and making lots of videos, so all of the information is accessible to Russian people and Russian people have a lot of like different point of views through like telegram channels and such, so we can say that this media space is ‑‑ I can say it's fair. I can say it's fair because there are multiple points of view presented. So, what about your question you raise that people actually like disinformation and fakes? It was correct. Yep. We have made a study, and the key problem of this fact is that usually fakes and disinformation provide you with a simple answer to some tough question, and when you're trying to give the right information, you have to make a lot of effort to make it to simple, easily accessible, easily eatable, I can say, format. It's like video, like some picture, or not very long text because it's very important for consuming the information and the way people consume the information. Fakes always give us a very easy answer with some big problem. So, when we are trying to give people some right information, we have to be even more easily eatable. I can say easily consumable for the people to make the information click, to make the right information the quick path to their heart.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Actually, question more is Slogan of Russian 24 because they provide simple answers. I see another one. Please pass the microphone. Don't forget to introduce yourself and location and issues.
>> I'm Harry from the United States. I used to work for the World Wide Web Consortium, a standards body based out of MIT, a university there, and I would just like to make a ‑‑ I mean it's a very interesting with Russia and Turkiye, but I just want to make some quick points about the lack of democratic institutions in the United States itself and in Internet governance in particular.
So, first of all, you know a few years ago in the Internet Governance Forum there were a lot of demands for Internet access, which is a very reasonable thing for people to want, particularly for example, you had the shutdown of the Internet during the Arab spring revolt in Egypt. What most people don't remember is that during a protest against the republican party in 2004, the Internet mobile was also cut off inside of New York City that, you know, people ask about freedom of speech and freedom of press, but the United States prosecutes Julian Assange, currently in jail seemingly forever to be extradited for basically publishing widely human rights violations which are considered true by the U.S. Government. There is no democratic accountability there. And that in general, the United States has a large lack of democratic accountability due to the predominance of the national security apparatus, which in part also controls key functions of the Internet ecosystem. The entire invention of the IGF was essentially a space where people could blow off steam from Civil Society while the United States maintains control over ICANN.
Similarly with financial sanctions and financial programs, the FATF, which runs various sanctions and AMKYC standards, this is undemocratic opaque body ran by U.S. treasury with advisories of 13 or 14 blanks, all of which are based in Europe.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Okay, so which institution is missing in the United States?
>> What I said is that the democracy in the United States from institutional standpoint, it is you elect a president just as you elect a president in Turkiye and perhaps in Russia. But the fundamental institutions, democratic control over on the Internet, for example the Domain Name System, IANA, Internet names and numbers, and freedom of speech and freedom of press, are actually missing even inside the United States. So, I think it's a sort of incorrect dichotomy to put together ‑‑ to distinguish that there are these kind of democratic countries and non‑democratic countries. Because if you go beneath the surface in the United States, anything that involves actual power, you encounter a deep state infrastructure just as do you in Turkiye or Russia. It's just less apparent, and they have much better media and much better propaganda, and you do have some democracy over rules and elections, which are effectively inessential to foreign policy or economic objectives.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: And how do you address such issues in the United States?
>> Say that again?
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: How do you address such issues in the United States when going to well storm capital or what ‑‑ what is your proposition?
>> Well, I mean, it's the same problem that you have in Russia and Turkiye where Civil Society is very weak and the technical people are mostly controlled by a few companies, which are in bed with the deep state apparatus, and there is general, whenever you discuss it it's considered misinformation. Right. It's a problem of popular education and enforcing some sort of real democratic structure, which will probably be multiple generations, if we have it, of social struggle. There is not an easy institution ‑‑ I mean you would ideally just want some separation of autocratic technocratic deep state institution structures from popular structures, but you don't have that. I think it's the same problem in every country in the world.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. Thank you very much. Yeah. It's interesting. Maybe you can name organizations in United States which performs in Russia today or in dialogue like my colleague that imitates media or Civil Society to ‑‑
So like Yandex in Russia has phone line to President, a Facebook also has direct line to FBI, is that what you're saying? Okay. Thank you very much. Please.
>> I just want to resolve a couple of things because I think this is a tough and really interesting panel, to be honest, and but this is exactly what the situation is like in certain societies, and I feel like there is a lot of polarization in Turkiye, as well as that we really can't tolerate each other and we're both right in certain senses, and when it comes to Turkiye, we did elect our President, we do have democratic institutions, but I guess it's quite blurry, like you just mentioned. You don't feel comfortable saying it's war, but he does. So sometimes you just don't know whether you will be under a certain target. So, when we look at laws, these are not implemented homogeneously because there is law and then there is law enforce am, so the police might take initiative to arrest you but not him for quite obvious reasons, I guess.
But I guess if we have someone willing from the United States to maybe bring his perspective. I'm quite interested actually, and these are all American companies, Facebook and Google, and we're just third world I think for a lot of this, that there is an oriental approach and they don't invest a lot in policy, and I don't feel comfortable with a big tech company holding a side in any type of war, and is there a neutral way to do it, a neutral way for content moderation? I would love to hear that discussion.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Again, we're not about content moderation but maybe about institutions which could enforce ‑‑
>> I'm sorry, would just like to note one thing, by the law, but most of the law works actually when the government and NGOs are working under the same rules. But when the government works with one rules and Civil Society has to work on other rules, we have completely different situation.
So we have, for example, we have law in the country but the law is not only written. We cannot rely on this and we cannot protect our life and protect our rights because of this right ‑‑ because of the written law, because of the lack of judicial institutions maybe in the country that protect, because only oi on the side of the government and not on the side of the Civil Society. No one activists, the foreign agent that was mentioned before, he's not judged out ‑‑ so.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: It's called selective law practice. ISOC ration chapter was not able to prove not foreign agents, so that's just ‑‑ please introduce yourself and your issues.
>> Hi, everyone. Can you hear me? Hello? I thank you. My name is Somia from Kenya, which is just like down by Ethiopia. I'm a lawyer by profession but as work for the government and a bit of Civil Society. So, I'm basically in tech policy space, and just to comment on the whole issue of institutions and democratic efficiency, moat countries even in South Africa we have a problem where we might seem to have democracy and of course democracy is a whole other discussion because what we regard as Africans and democracy might not be the same as Russia and the U.S., and I think this homogeneous, we're telling everyone that democracy is popular what is a fallacy, right. But other than that, in our country we've come from, we come a long way in terms of developing institutions, so in the early 200s, we have a standard judiciary and a lot of corruption happening, that was really wiped out. The last 10 years problem with executive with the presidency and structures being put in place. And now recently, not really opposition, but part of the government that became the opposition who was a former flagship President is now the President of Kenya, and what I noticed was key in our country is that the new institutions being developed, such as social media, which are even more active in terms of even in terms of holding people accountable, right. So a few years ago, two years ago Mozilla did research in Kenya and how misinformation and trolls are being literally funded every day to spread disinformation shows and now there has been a lot of, there is more regulation in terms of how the spaces are being handled in terms of how content is being moderated, which again is neither here nor there, but the Internet in our country, we have literally we call it KOT, Kenyan (?) a whole opposition, we chased our President away from Twitter, deactivated Twitter account, we were at him and told him to fix things and that was interesting in our country.
Another development was we had elections in August of this year, and the laboratory that does the intellects is an independent commission, and but what they did this round that really showed their involvement of the Internet, is the fact that they would upload every single result from every single part of the country. That's like around 40 plus counties, and basically thousands and thousands of forms, yeah, because every polling station. So that really helped because every single form was being uploaded online and people could do the individual counts, NGOs do the counts, media would do the counts, and final date that the counts were added up, and despite the fact that there was a sore loser and they went to the Supreme Court and again the judiciary showed the fact that it was a very independent institution and upheld the intellect it's, so I think there is a lot of development also in terms of strengthening of these institutions, generally, so that's on a positive note. A lot of that.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. I may confess, if somebody became opposition being President before you have much more democracies, and in Russia, and you really have a good strong set of NGOs and organizations controlling election. But what about Internet? So, what institutions may be missing? Or you think that in Kenya the Internet related organizations, who for example works with legislators about content moderation or fake news, everything is okay you think?
>> Yeah. I'm sorry. In terms of institutions being there, all of them are represented. There is representations from all kinds of sectors. Now the question is, what is the impact of them being there? Right. Because you see in most of the NGOs and how they're funding, who is funding them is another question, what are their interests in terms what have they want to push, which agenda they push at this time. So, I'm sorry? Okay. So, I think in terms of the institutions being present, they're there. There are representations from all kinds of society. The question is what is the impact and how are they involved in the public.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: It's really a next‑level question. Let's hope not next IGF.
>> On the level just a quick answer. I think that the only solution is possible exchange of the opinions like on international level, so it's possible to get it approximate ‑‑ like to get best practices, so I think that the issue of foreign agents like Russian legislation is absolutely insane thing because of absolutely stops collaboration between or cooperation between NGOs of different countries in the world. So that is a problem. So, the only reason, so these NGOs of these institutions is collaborating exchange and best practices.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. That's different good example with Russian that came with opposition or agent‑organized session. In Russia they will never even speak from me. Okay. Somebody from this part? I've seen hands raised. Gentlemen on the left from group. Everything is okay in your countries?
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you so much. The foreign agent law in Russia is not for muting ‑‑ can I please finish.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: No, actually, you're spreading fakes. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. This is kind of Russian foreign agent law, it's like in U.S., it's actually spreading fake. I'm sorry. Yeah. Please stop.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Actually, what we are ‑‑ what we've changed and what we're focused to and implying this kind of law is to keep the abroad money away from our politics and to keep people not to involve ‑‑ can I finish, please. Yeah.
>> Really, I can't say anything about disinformation in Canada because I'm not studying media landscape in Canada, so please speak about it if you have issues. But speaking about foreign agent law in Russia is primarily to cut off foreign involvement in Russian political issues ‑‑
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I'm sorry, it's really fake news. That's really fake news.
>> Let's see. Why Canada is not relevant example here is because in Canada in case of disinformation, we have relevant ‑‑ I am from Canada, actually, I'm from Canada University and in this case, we can apply to the court, and court will ‑‑ and we can actually rely that court will good decision actually, fair decision. That is in Canada. But in other countries, it is quite different.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Please. Microphone to gentlemen in the back. I hope he has something to add about missing institutions maybe in Canada, maybe in another country?
>> It's on? Okay. Yeah. My point was that on delay, the swift was turned off and Russians couldn't pay through Swift anymore, and at Facebook, 95% of disinformation disappeared from Facebook for Canadians, right. That was all I have to say about that.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. Okay. Which institutions ‑‑ which missing institutions has not fixed this issue before? What's needed to cut misinformation in Canada or stop funding from Russian media outlets and propaganda?
>> The conclusion was really that 95% of disinformation disseminated in Canada through Facebook was made by Russians.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: I feel some of such organizations in this audience, yeah, maybe.
>> Now that I have the mic. I think there is another contingency here that basically you're asking like which institutions are missing, and I think especially well that the Russians and the Turkiye are probably good examples of where you would actually be forbid to make these kind of institutions. It's different to U.S. where you have the EFF and the Internet Society and so on, you have like actually really great platforms for activism. But in maybe I'm wrong be about Turkiye, but in Russia, activism is really forbidden. It's like you can't have a pirate party, you can't have Internet Society. So on. Yeah.
>> Just a final note is that we do have those organizations in Turkiye, and I can definitely say that Russia is way more, I think, concerning than Turkiye Civil Society. We all, of course, have a lot of issues, but we ‑‑ I mean the thing is when it comes to missing institutions and foreign money, I'm quite curious about what you would think about how the government using its own taxpaying money, how the government is using financing for issues about democracy? Is there any institution in Russia that kind of controls what Putin can do or can't do? Or is it just some regulations when it comes to foreign money or can the government just take the taxes and do whatever they want? Is there an institution?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: No. It's like colleague says, it's war in Russia and Putin actually fighting Russians for 20 years and there is no institution which controls it. So, it's like Roman ‑‑ it's like Roman empire statement and then maybe repeated by Mcvale, that everything for friends but law is for enemies. That foreign agent law is for Putin enemy but not for friends. That's unfortunately, unfortunately, we have to grow up Civil Society institutions, and they being cut at the roots, very far, very instantly. The more and more people become foreign agents and more organizations becoming undesirable.
So that is an issue, and I thank you for the question. Again, somebody else? Maybe, yes, please?
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Ruled by friend of Mr. Putin.
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yes. It works. Just start speaking.
>> I'm from Finland and since we were on the topic of money, somebody I think mentioned earlier that Finland is great. Well, not always. I mean Finland still has legislation that organizations like us, should have money‑collecting permit, and we are never going to get a permit. We have been in court once before about illegal money collecting just because we have ‑‑ we used our account number on the web page with the mention that we are ‑‑ we may donate to us, and now we are doing the second round with the courts, but this probably dates back to the czarist era because at that point, of course, everything wanted to be controlled, but Finland hasn't gotten rid of the legislation even to this day, and we did raise it in the United Nations universal process review for Finland because it's both us and extension rebellion for the organizations that have now been slammed with this so‑called illegal money collecting.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Yeah. Okay. Hand over there?
>> United States and Canada and some other countries have some advantage in having relatively functional court systems where like, unlike Turkiye with HDP or in Russia, opposition and party members are not arrested forever just for being opposition party members. So, I do think there is some difference.
But it should also be pointed out that that difference is not maybe adds huge as it appears. So, for example, Canada ‑‑ Canada mining industry bearing gold has been very little doubt, there is lots of murder and torture of Africans and Tanzania and in other places due to gold mining. The Africans tried taking to court in Africa the Canadian gold mining company refuses to listen to the court. Finally, it maybe goes to Canada and something happens. Likewise, freedom of the press is guaranteed inside the United States, but like as the Assange case shows the United States government does not believe that freedom of the press should be guaranteed outside of the United States and should only be guaranteed inside. And in terms of payments, you know, of course, the first ‑‑ some of the first early financial blockades done without any legal blacking, without any backing were the cutoff of all donations to Wiki leaks by PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and entire international financial system. So, I do think there is some qualitative advantages I would rather live in the U.S. or Canada than Russian or Turkiye by any chance, but you can see that the general progress is going pretty bad.
I also just I'm just going to object to the term of misinformation because I think every country has propaganda. Russia definitely has a lot of propaganda; I think it's inarguable. But so does the United States. Look at for example radio‑free Asia, voice of America, so forth and so on. This has been going on since World War II. It's this propaganda is a known problem, and I think it should be eliminated, but every Nation State does it for their own best interest.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Well difference for Canada and United States that you have much more possibility to express yourself and actually one in the United States, you can remember only one Wiki Leaks but the whole opposition and weakly update of at least foreign agents is kind much a really different from western world and what we feel in Russia.
>> I've seen Russian protesters, been there and seen them arrested instantly and been to the United States and seen protested arrested after a few years. There is a difference but maybe not as black and white as it appears.
>> Is it how the United States slowly different into Russia, interesting discussion but not for this location. Yeah. So actually, we are still in United Nations premises, democracy, lack of institution, but lucky for us the United Nations cares about us with their Sustainable Development Goals and now 2030 goals, and actually I would like to hand the microphone to Andrew to well return us to this landscape now from huge companies to United Nations and how they would like to help us.
>> Andrew: Thank you very much. I would like to just mention the ‑‑ actually what we are here about, and the sustainable development goal, first of all, the Goal 16 devoted, the goal for peat, justice, and equitable institutions. As we know, and as we know in the system of the Sustainable Development Goals, could not be achieved ‑‑ so we could not achieve one goal and not achieve another one. So, all goals are related to each other, so even we can see ‑‑ so I can see Internet example ‑‑ or Internet governance track, for example, with the goal. I can see the Internet governance track related to every goal of the SDGs. And so that ‑‑ and also, other feature of this Sustainable Development Goals, so we have to achieve them only in scope of international cooperation.
We're talking here about institutions. In Russia, Turkiye, Ethiopia, and Kenya and U.S. and Canada, we're talking about the whole world facing the same problems, actually, that the humanity of the international community. We have the space here to discuss it, and the joint atmosphere of the global discussion, when it's possible to understand each other, when it's possible to promote best practices, not only maybe ‑‑ we're not promoting the best practices, we're promoting the worst practices for example in some countries, but it's also useful situations when we can exchange opinions with each other and that's why I think that the issue related to Sustainable Development Goals. We should not forget about it. And this goal, goal number 16, is absolutely relevant also, not only in Internet governance issues, but as could be politics for promoting human rights or promoting democracy in countries, so even in governance resolve has very huge potential of doing positive things, positive changes in all societies, but it's not possible ‑‑ as it's not possible as per my opinion to frame the Internet to make it ‑‑ it's not possible to do it ‑‑ explain different networks. The same with the global discussion, it is the puzzle that can result only internationally only with international communities, or discuss first of all about the forum agent. It's good to be forum agent. It's good to represent interests, maybe for an organization, to make a bridge. Not to make a wall but to make a bridge between cultures and between political activities and other things like that. This is the issue we have to achieve, and let's not forget about the sustain development goals in this context and this conversation is important and relevant and it's not the finish of the discussion, it's just the beginning and outbreak of the discussion. I invite you and we share contents of the Free Moscow University and we can continue the discussion in different fields and different spaces, for example, the conference I prefer in‑person format, and so you could also with these issues. I think so we have a lot of places but IGF is the best one. Thank you very much.
>> ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Let's finish on this very, very positive note. I think that the discussion, again, about institution and education and cooperation should continue, and thank you for inviting us at Free Moscow University. On your way to lunch I believe right now. Thank you very much. Differing opinions, even interventions from Russia Government, see you next year in IGF and maybe two years in Russia also. Thank you.