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.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Good, I think we're in time. I think there will be more people joining in the room probably as we go, but I want to kick off because you're all waiting desperately for the session to start, I'm sure. Welcome, and I hope you had a good lunch break, if you are here in person, and welcome to everybody online. It's great to see you. We are here for the Open Forum “Future of the Internet: Realizing a Shared Vision.” And it's great to see many of you here. I know we have a lot of competition with a lot of overlapping sessions, but I'm glad you found the time to connect to our session today.
Just wanted to say a few housekeeping remarks, in terms of the structure of the session. We are really keen to get the audience to participate, so feel free throughout the session to drop questions or comments into the chat. If you're in the room, feel free to connect to the Zoom as well, or otherwise, you have the opportunity in the second half of the session to ask your questions or raise comments directly in the room. I'll be taking comments from both virtual and the room.
And just to say that, you know, the way we run the session, we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to talk, so we're going to have the first half with our panelists. We have seven panelists. I'll introduce them in a moment. Two of them you see in person. We're missing one, unfortunately. We're hoping that he will still join while I speak, but I don't want to keep you waiting longer. And then we have also four virtual panelists that I will be introducing.
So, in the room, we're waiting for one to join. We have Yoichi from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan. Welcome, Yoichi. And we have Marielza Oliveira, the Director for Partnerships and Operational Program monitoring and communications sector of UNESCO. So, welcome as well.
Turning to our online participants, our panelists, we have Olga Cavalli, a national cybersecurity director in Argentina and Academic Director of the South School of Internet Governance. Great to have you. Thank you so much for connecting. Hello. I think you can't see me, so I did wave at you. We have Kieren McCarthy, a board member of the UK CLCD registry and author. Then we have Andrew Campling and Dominique Lazanski, both close friends of the UK government, working as a consultant and have a lot of experience working in the ITF and Dominique Lazanski as well in the ITU. Welcome to everyone online and everyone else that joined us today. I see there are more people joining in the room as well.
I don't want to spend too much time taking the floor because I really want you to hear from our panelists. But this session really leads on from a session we had last year, which, unfortunately, I missed because I was on maternity leave, but my team here ‑‑ and I have Russ next to me from my team, the UK department for digital culture. I didn't introduce myself at the beginning. Maybe that would have been a good thing to do.
Ross is here with me looking at what's happening online. Nigel you will see in the audience. I learned that Nigel Hickson is a world renowned Internet governance Forum expert. He knows everyone as we walk through the floors, and I'm sure most of you will know him as well. And we have Marek online and I think Stacy Hoffman as well I've seen online, so she's joined us from the team. Marek will help us online to make sure we're seeing all the questions. So do make sure that you contribute in the comments section, and you will also see if Hamzan's missing, so he will wave franticly to me.
This project that we've contributed to and have really pushed forward as UK government on future of the Internet, there's always a good time to talk about the future of the Internet, and there will probably never be a time where we don't want to talk about the future of the Internet, but we kicked that off last year with sort of a UK‑led vision for the future of the Internet that was much more forward‑looking in a positive way. I think listening to a lot of the sessions here at the IGF, it's very easy to be trapped in the challenges, the issues, what isn't working, who isn't connected, where are the sort of criminal aspects of Internet and how it's being used. And sometimes we can get lost in that and don't really focus on what actually our positive image is and how we're contributing to that and making sure that it delivers for all. And also looking at our successes and how the Internet has been successful, why it needs to continue to deliver on those successes and outcomes and how we can make sure it remains resilient, secure, safe, open and interoperable, et cetera.
We had the IGF last year, as I said, and our minister set out kind of the principles that the UK very much stands for. We also embedded them this year in the UK Digital Strategy the government published earlier this year, and you will also see them reflected in the Declaration of the Future of the Internet, which I believe there is a session later today that will discuss that in detail.
It's a good time to look at this again. You know, we're seeing so many discussions on Internet fragmentation, which is a big focus for the UK as well, but also an increasing amount of conversations on how we can tackle connectivity and really get those that are still not connected, connected to the Internet and benefit. I'm taking some personal reflections home, for sure, also on the challenges that connectivity brings, even if people are connected. How can we make sure that they are able to access it and use the Internet as not just connecting them that is the problem, and that also leads to cultural, educational, language aspects of that challenge.
And just looking at sort of ahead to this positive agenda, we want to make sure that everybody's involved in that. UK very much stands for multi‑stakeholder Internet governance. We want to make sure that everybody has a role to play, understands their role within that system. And thinking sort of ahead, we don't believe that there needs to be a tradeover where you can say, oh, no, the Internet can only be secure, but it can't be open if it's secure. We do think you can bridge these principles that we uphold on secure and open. We think Internet can be safe but still allow for permission of innovation. It can be resilient, but it can still retain its decentralized nature. But it can only do all of those things when all stakeholders are playing their part within that.
Over the last year, just before I close on my own remarks, we've seen kind of a lot of efforts, certainly from our side, to embed this vision in practice of Internet because we understand the vision is one thing. It's great. Good if we agree, but how do we make that operational? How do we make sure that it actually is what we live in the Internet governance world? So, we started that discussion at home in the UK and had discussions on that level. We engaged in regional IGFs, and Ross has been at the African IGF, which is really exciting to see the African community's perspective on that. But also in other fora, like the Internet Engineering Task Force, again, sort of heard that organization's name quite a few times dropped during the sessions, and it's really good to see the recognition of their role within that ecosystem.
And also, looking ahead, we're really keen to use the WSIS process and have our commitment to multi‑stakeholderism and driving that process forward that's delivered so well for so many and make sure that it delivers for more. I will close there. We will move to panelists now. I'll give you a bit of a prompt, but you're very welcome to kind of jump in on other people's points as well. And if you don't mind me starting with you, given you're sitting right next to me. I think that's most appropriate. Maybe some reflections on the last year. I want to start with sort of what happened over the last year before we kind of look into the future of the future of the Internet, as I say.
>> Okay. Hello, everyone. Thank you very much for having me here to start with. And this is a fascinating and important conversation because, you know, in the last year, we came to the realization of the incredibly precious resource that the Internet is. You know, it adds resilience to mankind. We talk about the resilient Internet, but really, we are more resilient because of the Internet. The way we continue to function, the societies continue to function, economies continue to function, education continue to function. You know, of course, not at the 100%, but we continue to function under the pandemic is incredible.
And we realize also that this is a fragile resource that needs a lot of care. But it has a lot of strengths we didn't know about. For example, we added 287 million new users to the Internet in the last two year and our infrastructure held and embraced, you know, almost a billion new users. We're talking 20% of all the users in the world. And we could accommodate them. But of course, we also realized that we have differences in tremendous divides in how we work with Internet in different context and with different work groups. But the one thing that I think it was a major success of the last year is that we made a plan together.
The multi‑stakeholder community actually made a plan together to close some of these divides that exist. And there are two different types of divides. You mentioned them some, anyways. One is the issue of connectivity and what we call meaningful access. Some people are not online. They are not even connected. They don't even have a bandwidth. Others don't have the device or are unable to afford the data packages. And others don't even have the languages. In which to communicate, because literally, about 50% of the content on the Internet is either English or Chinese, and there are 7,061 languages globally, and you know, less than 200 active on the Internet. But yesterday we see ICANN. Yesterday I was in a session and the CEO of ICANN was saying that they are closing the divide, the language divide for 3,000 languages! Can you imagine? This is incredible! You know, this is really incredible, because people will do actually what the Internet is useful for ‑‑ they will access information and knowledge. Because every time we do that, we contribute to the information knowledge ecosystem. That's when we all benefit. Because actually, the Internet benefits, even though they are not connected, you know.
When we have openness and scientists can exchange data sets and knowledge about that, those not connected get vaccines, too, you know, so knowledge available on the Internet benefits us all. And the fact that we are making a plan together to close the divides, in connectivity, number one, and in capacities, which is the second type of divide, not that it's less important, but as a second type of divide is something incredible. And I would like to say that international community should be congratulated about that. And one of the things we are looking forward to is the Global Digital Compact, which sets the kind of principles that we together need to uphold and to take forward an Internet that is open, accessible, multi‑stakeholder led and embraces everyone, leaving no one behind. Let me stop here.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much. I'm going to pick up on a point you ended on there, in terms of capacity. And Olga, I would go to you next online, if you're able to unmute yourself. I hope this works out okay. You've been doing a lot of work in that area. Maybe you have some reflections on this last year?
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Sorry, I couldn't unmute, but I'm unmuted. Thank you very much for giving me the floor. Thank you for the UK government for inviting me. Thank you, Marek, Nigel, and for this very interesting session. I would like to stress some issues that are more related with developing economies, developing countries. And I can say that this session is very much what I like, because I'm always optimistic about the use of the Internet. I've been living with technology all my life since I started engineering many years ago, and I'm always optimistic, and I think technology and the Internet can bring us a lot of very, very good things, apart from the fact that there are threats and some things that we have to look at and take care of.
So, at the regional level, we have seen enhancing the ICT infrastructure. And so, Latin America in general is enhancing the ICTs for infrastructure. This is an important thing. If you look at the percentage of users in the region, it's not that bad compared with other regions. But the thing with Latin America is the huge imbalance in between some cities, countries, or in‑between countries. So, as far as we have more and more infrastructure, we will be able to close that gap, the difference in between main cities or capital cities and other regions, within countries or in between countries.
And the theme of affordability and usability, that is something we have to take care of. Still the technology is expensive to buy and sometimes not so easy to be used, but it's for developing countries, it's complex. Most of the technology that we use is imported from other countries. We don't produce that much. We do produce software, for example, but not many appliances or computers or mobile phones.
One thing important about regulations is that all countries are revising some regulations, like for example, the privacy policies in general, mainly led by the changes made by the European Union that has impacted all over the world. But the good thing that I have seen in those processes that have been led by governments also very much multi‑stakeholder led. So, all the other parts of the community were involved in those processes, so I think that that's remarkable and it was good.
And also, I would like to stress the fact that the technology allowed the government to keep on working during the pandemic, and due to the, some good tools that we have, especially in government, and that has been very successful during the pandemic and has been enhanced over this year, and we hope to enhance it more with interavailability between different systems of the government. So, I will stop here. It's challenging for developing countries to keep on, because technology changes very, very quickly. So, it poses a big challenge for governments. But I'm very optimistic, especially about the importance we saw during the pandemic of the use of ICT, especially for government functioning.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Olga, for the important points there. I'm wondering if I can turn to Dominique online. You have been working with the ITU and IGF and I wonder if you have reflections, not just about the last year, but kind of the back of Plenipot Conference earlier this year, whether there is more that you think we need to do, where the gaps are as well. Dominique, you're still muted.
>> DOMINIQUE LAZANSKI: It won't ‑‑ Ah, there we go. It won't let me unmute, but thank you. Yeah, and thank you. And thank you for having me on this panel. And just a couple of reflections, I think. One is that I just wanted to echo what I've heard from a couple of people over the last couple days. Like, the Internet is doing really well, and we have a lot of positive things that we need to take away and be proud of. And one of the things that I keep seeing that's working really well ‑‑ yes, there are issues, and yes, people need to, you know, negotiate and come to the table ‑‑ but the governance framework, the multi‑stakeholder model. There was quite a bit of discussion about it at the Plenipot, especially from a wide variety of countries that don't necessarily always participate. So, there were two things. First of all, they were talking about governance and how do we participate and how do we do this, and we're not sure it's working, and all of us are sitting there thinking, yeah, it is working, and we want to get you to participate more and we want to get, you know, people in your countries to participate more and people that are users to participate more.
And I think the reflection of quite a number of us at the Plenipot was that, that, actually, when we start talking about it, we realize that what's been happening over the last 20 years has actually worked. And again, in the review that's coming up with WSIS+ 20, we will definitely be reviewing a number of issues, including the mandate for the IGF, and also looking at, you know, the successes and some of the sort of things we need to work on collectively as a global community going forward.
But I think it's really important to take a moment and reflect on the fact that even through COVID, as our distinguished panelist said, the Internet's worked really well and we've had success in investments from both governments and the private sector, primarily, that have been very successful and have been brought forward because of the increased capacity on the Internet. And we've also had a number of different issues and increased, at least from what I'm seeing, in different types of capacity‑building and information‑sharing online through the use of, again, being online and also being able to access people from all over the world, quite frankly, to share information. And personally, I've been engaged in a number of capacity‑building projects and a couple off the back of the ITU, because I was able to engage and talk to different organizations and countries that had certain capacity needs as well.
I think just one last comment. We'll hear probably a little bit more about the IETF from Andrew, because he and I spend a lot of time in there. We know that there are improvements that need to be made. We know that we need to ensure that there's more participation, but the future of the Internet from an IETF community perspective, as individuals, is looking quite interesting, and the changes that the Internet and the changes that the technology is taking on will hopefully increase sustainability, if all of us do our work and continue to try to make relationships, both online and offline, and work together. So, I'll leave it there. I know maybe Kieren doesn't necessarily agree with all that I've said, but I'm looking forward to hearing from other people. Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Dominique. I'm going to give Kieren an opportunity to disagree, if you'd like to. You did a perfect segue to Andrew. Andrew, what are your reflections on the IETF in particular and where we might need to adapt the Internet governance system to respond to challenges and our vision that reflects that as well?
>> ANDREW CAMPLING: Thank you, Eva, and thank you, Dominique, for the helpful segue. It's almost as if we rehearsed that, which we clearly haven't, but anyway.
Let me backtrack slightly and then I'll go specifically on the IETF, because without reiterating things that have been mentioned thus far, just a couple other reflections before I get on to IETF. The declaration on the future of the Internet I think is incredibly important, the fact that that's come out is really helpful to provide an alternative vision for the future of the Internet, perhaps to that being promoted by other parties. I think that's been sorely needed and maybe needs to have provision for non‑government signatories going forward so it can become a true multi‑stakeholder document.
One of the other things I think is really important this year has been the progress on developments in global taxation so that the tech sector makes a fair contribution in the markets in which it's extracting an enormous amount of value, so I think that's tremendously positive. And also, dare I say, there seems to be greater recognition ‑‑ I wouldn't say agreement, but at least recognition about the need to act to address some of the potential harms that the Internet can facilitate as unintended consequences of the Internet, and that's maybe leading to more balanced discussion on things like governance, digital sovereignty, et cetera.
Specifically, getting on to the IETF. I mean, certainly, the fact that they are now meeting again in person is certainly helpful because that was sorely missed for about half a dozen or so meetings, so starting again this year in Vienna in person and that's started to re‑energize the activities of the community. I think, though, there's been some recognition within the IETF. I wouldn't say it's universally recognized but at least some discussion about the fact that decisions that the IETF takes, technical decisions, can have significant policy consequences.
And so, one of the important things we need to do much better is broaden the base of engagement within the IETF because it's not tremendously diverse, be that in terms of geographic input, and it is very highly skewed towards North America and Europe in particular, so it needs to be more geographically diverse. It certainly needs to have a significantly better gender diversity, because that is, and has been for a long time, an ongoing problem. But perhaps more importantly than both of those, it needs to have more input from people with expertise in public policy in civil society, in academia, in industry outside of the tech sector, because all of those voices are sorely missing, and a lot of the technical decisions that are made have impacts on all of those communities. So, having multi‑stakeholder input into the IETF is something which needs action. There are no barriers to that participation, but people need to turn up. So, that's something that perhaps the IGF could help spread the message, so when we meet next in mid‑March in Japan, it will be fantastic to see more people there.
And we are starting to run events within the IETF when it's in a particular region, so, hopefully, we will be doing this again in Japan to help to attract those who perhaps haven't previously engaged but are interested in doing so in the future to help sign post how they might do that, so that's going to be work that needs to be undertaken. But I'll stop there to give somebody else a chance. I'm sure there's plenty more we can discuss. Thanks.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Andrew. I promise, I have not talked to the panelists to set all of this up, but Andrew has very smoothly given me the segue to our Japanese representative. In addition to the IETF, next year, 2023, we will also see, of course, G7 Presidency in Japan and also the next IGF will be hosted at the end of the year in Japan. So, Yoichi, we'd love your reflections on your Japanese plans for that and how you see the Internet governance kind of agenda play out, especially in relation to that positive vision for the future Internet.
>> Yoichi: Thank you very much, Eva, and thank you very much for having me in this very important session. As many of you will understand, Japan is a strong believer in innovation, strong believer in technology, and a strong believer in open and free Internet. And so, as many of you are well aware, Japan is a country where the population is rapidly aging and the population is even increasing. So, if we want to keep the country's economy and society as lively as now, well, we need to make the best use of technologies, and Internet is the essential foundation for the society and the economy.
Of course, we understand, you know, there are many issues coming up from the infusion of digital technology and usage of Internet, and we recognize as government, and maybe as part of society, we recognize the necessity of building up rules to face with those new challenges in the society, but we also believe those rules are not limited to government regulation, and we need to talk with different stakeholders when we design and implement the rules for technology, rules for Internet, rules for innovations.
So, we are always trying to find the best way to building the rules into society and economy, but not in the way to hamper and prevent innovation. So, we have been proposing some discussions, international discussions on digital policy, data, utilization or AI implementation in the society, which are now discussing as data free flow with trust or AI principles, and in many international fora, and our first intention to propose those discussions are always how we want ‑‑ we want to know how we can make best use of innovation, make best of technologies so that we can keep our society and the economy as lively and energetic as possible.
And now as kindly introduced, we are looking at the coming host country of IGF next year, and we are also taking the Presidency of G7 next year. So, we are trying to know how to interact with these different discussions between governmental fora and the multi‑stakeholder fora. Even in the governmental fora, such as G7 or G20, when it comes to the matter of digital technology or digital economy policy, we are always trying to listen to other stakeholders, including industry, academia, and civil society.
So, next year, we are trying to create opportunities to listen to the voices from those stakeholders, communities, and try to make best use of those voices into the policy discussions, not only in G7, but we also try to find the way to strengthen the IGF framework so that the global Internet policy‑making can work even better than now. And we believe that is the way for all of us to build up our prosperous future through the prosperous Internet and that is something we want to work all together. Thank you very much.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much, Yoichi. I think already a very powerful vision there for next year and the agenda. Kieren, last but not least, from our panelists. It would be great to hear your reflections on where do you see sort of very actionable and forward‑looking steps we can take as a community to make that vision a reality? Over to you.
>> KIEREN McCARTHY: Thank you. Thank you very much for inviting me on this panel. I just want to say briefly on sort of the successes we've seen this year ‑‑ because I like the idea of talking positively ‑‑ we spend too much time complaining about the problems that exist. So, positively, there's a new ITU Secretary‑General who is the first female Secretary‑General. I think that is very good. And she's from the U.S. She's offered a very different vision to the vision that was offered by her rival for the role, who was from Russian Federation, so, I think that's a big positive, and I hope that we'll see the ITU spending less time sort of battling with Internet organizations and more time working with them to find gaps. So, that's potentially a huge positive. Another big positive is potentially the new leadership panel at the IGF.
I think there is a big chance there for the IGF to have greater political influence, and that will mean, hopefully, that technical voices and civil society voices will be heard at high level, so I think that's potentially a big positive for the Internet. And there is some new legislation in the U.S. and the UK which I think is going the right sort of direction. The Online Safety Bill is going to come into the UK Parliament next month, sort of in December, so very soon, and that's taking a better line, a more collaborative line. I think it's more sort of Internet real in terms of how to make improvements without trying to ban things, which I think doesn't tend to work. And the other big positive was, back to in‑person meetings. The IETF was in London recently. I'm in London. ICANN was at the Hague and Los Angeles recently, so in‑person meetings is terrific. So, those are all the positives I've seen this year.
In terms of sort of adapting and stuff that needs to be done forward‑looking, I would say my focus would be on the Internet organizations, is how I sort of see it. And I'd say that all of them ‑‑ ICANN, IETF, the root several operators, ISOC ‑‑ they will need to get over themselves a little bit and recognize that the world needs and expects there to be a kind of a body of some form that can take input and give answers on technical issues to do with the Internet. I think they need to recognize that reality. That's where we need to go. And those issues will include political, economic, and social problems. And I think the technical organizations just need to recognize that reality and embrace that reality and provide sort of technical solutions. So, I think that's how we need to adapt.
And in terms of looking forward, again, with the focus on sort of Internet organizations, I think they need to embrace external accountability and external review. I think it's time for that. Everybody learns that at a certain point and I think it's time that the Internet organizations recognize that they don't know the answer to everything and there are a lot of lessons to be learned from other organizations in history, and it's time to start bringing that in. And there needs to be, crucially, strategic direction. I don't think there is a strategic direction right now, and there should be one. That would really help if the technical, the Internet organizations had a direction that everyone agreed on and if it was focused on action and delivery. There's a strong tendency for discussion and disagreement and kind of grinding to a halt. If there was a strategic direction and agreement to move towards action and move towards delivery of agreement, that would be really great.
And then, lastly, significantly improved participation, which would absolutely mean greater diversity on all levels. And I think that's really very much in their interests, those organizations' interests, to be significantly more diverse. And there needs to be sort of a wholesale reform. There needs to be somebody looking at participation, saying, what is the participation and where should it be and why aren't we there and what could we do? Like a really solid look at improving participation. And there needs to be fresh blood brought in, and that would happen, I think, as part of that. So, that's my ‑‑ I think it's been a relatively positive year, certainly better than other years, and that's what would be my recommendations for what we need to do to move forward.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Kieren. I think we heard some really bold proposals there, so I would love to hear from our other panelists, but also the audience as we open up for Q&A. I know there's already been a few questions online, so, we'll go to those first. But if you in the room would like to start thinking about your questions or comments, and I will get to you as soon as we've gone through a few online.
And also, once I reach back to the panelists, feel free to also comment on other panelists' points. I'm not limiting you to the questions that are being asked by the audience. So, turning sort of half to Marek ‑‑ you're online with us ‑‑ who's sort of first in line here?
>> MAREK BLACHUT: Yeah. And yeah, just to second, I think the panel covered a lot of ground, and so, definitely encourage people to put forward your questions or raise your hand on Zoom. I think there's been one request for the floor from Amir. And so, I would call on you to take the floor to make a statement and pose a kind of question or thought to the panelists. Thank you.
>> AMIR: Hello? Could I jump in?
>> MAREK BLACHUT: Yes. Please go ahead.
>> Amir: Thank you so much for giving me the floor. Can you hear me?
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Yes. We can hear you in the room, yes. Thank you. We can also see you now. Do go ahead.
>> Amir: Hello, everyone, distinguished panelists. First of all, thanks for organizing this timely session. I am from academy (?). I would like to talk about the main reason for Internet fragmentation that can endanger the vision of one global Internet. I think the main reasons are, four reasons.
The first reason is lack of respect for national sovereignty and values of all countries and sovereign equality of all nations in cyberspace. The second reason is increasing trends of cyber threats, like cyberattacks, Internet weaponization, and militarization and use of internet for illegitimate geopolitical goals by some states. The third reason is unilateral coercive measures, UCM, in digital environments at all level. We witness the kind of UCM is being applied in many different layers, infrastructure, technology, and so on and so forth.
Fourth reason is non‑cooperation of global digital platforms, the law enforcement of other countries regarding illegal content like content related to incitement of violence, hate speech, and organized disinformation campaign, and also lack of cooperation in preventing and combatting other (?). We also witnessed that some global service providers refuse to cooperate with other governments, even in the establishment of official representative in the country.
My suggestions to solve these issues are: Development of international legally binding requirements on Internet governance based on international law. The second suggestion is establishment of a global framework, rules, and norms on responsible and accountable behavior of global digital platform and service providers. Third suggestion is defining regional Internet at a peaceful and development‑oriented environment for public good, not as in (?) and militarized environments, through signing a global declaration by all member states.
My question ‑‑ my question is that, what could be a contribution of Global Digital Compact to address these critical issues and implementation of this solution? Thank you very much.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Amir. I'll take a few comments. Olga, we've seen that you wanted to come in on that. I'll bring you in once we have the other questions as well. Pablo, I think you have your hand up?
>> Pablo Hinojosa: Yes, I do. Thank you. I'm Pablo Hinojosa. I work for one of the Internet registries based in Australia and working in Asia Pacific. And I have a question following up Kieren's intervention. He mentioned about the leadership requirements also from technical organizations and the need for coordination at the political level, which is also very interesting from your recent paper that you published from the Tony Blair Institute, which offers a very interesting perspective.
I want to follow up around that. And basically, my question is, bottom up or top down? You talked about the leadership and if it is sort of at the Secretariat level or at the community level. So, that's one question. But I want also to compare as well with the situation of the IGF and the IGF's future. We have a high‑level panel recently established, and we have a community of 20 years also participating very actively. So, what insights would you offer about the leadership in both cases, the IGF and the technical community?
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you. I'll give Kieren an opportunity to respond to that in one moment. Just wanted to see whether there's any questions in the room? I don't think we have any at the moment. So, why don't we go back around to our panelists. Olga, I know that you wanted to come in on Amir's questions and comments.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you. Thank you, Amir, for the question. It was quite broad, but I would like to make some comments. One about fragmentation. We have been talking about fragmentation from different perspectives. Internet has changed over the last 20 years, but we have been talking about that for 20 years. And that was one of the main issues of the World Summit of Information Society, like 15, 16 years ago.
I believe ‑‑ I'm always optimistic, and I believe in human intelligence. And as soon as there will be a fragmented part of the Internet, I am sure that it will be overcome by some new technology that will interact with and will make it broad and unique. Again, this is my hope, and it has been happening since the many years.
And about cybersecurity and cyber threats, there are several efforts done at the global level that for the good, they have been more open through the time. For example, the Open‑Ended Working Group, it is meeting virtually next week and will have a meeting next year in March. So, the remarkable thing about this process, for example, that at the beginning, it was closed, now it's open. And it's not only open for governments; it's also open for civil society and technical community. So, I would stress the fact that these processes are happening. It is not easy. The visions are different and they have different perspectives, but it's a good place to interact and to learn.
At the national level, and I would say at the community level, one of the most important things is raising awareness. If we all learn how to protect ourselves, so the level of impact of any cyber threat would diminish in an extremely important way. And also, capacity‑building, not only for technical community and for technical people, capacity‑building at all levels, and especially for children, young people, and older people that have more problems to access the Internet and that don't understand or are not aware or don't know all the details. So, it's our role ‑‑ those of us that are more involved ‑‑ to act locally in our communities. And if each of us do that, that will have a global impact. Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much, Olga. Any of the in‑person panelists want to chime in before I go back to Kieren and Dominique?
>> MA rink ELZA: Thank you. I think the questions raised were spectacularly important, so I just want to touch on a few of those. On the issues of, for example, on assessing the Internet ecosystems and looking at the positives and the gaps and the negatives that exist, I just want to say that, you know, with UNESCO, we've been ‑‑ you know, UNESCO has been working with 44 member states right now to implement a deep national assessment of Internet ecosystems, looking at on the basis of a framework that we call the ROME, the Open Accessibility Multi‑Stakeholderism, and 303 indicators, out of which we can literally identify all of the gaps that exist in different contexts, and this has been applied from, you know, starting with Brazil. Germany did it, you know. We recently have ‑‑ we have 17 African countries undertaking that, so that we can really see, what are the issues in each place, in each location that really, really need to be addressed?
Then we also ‑‑ I hear about the issues of building capacity, which is incredibly important, and I just want to highlight that decision‑makers have been asking us, you know, for this kind of capacity development, so we've been working, for example, with judicial actors. We trained last year 45 ‑‑ well, this year, actually ‑‑ we finished the training of 4,500 judges and public prosecutors from 140 countries on artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and the rule of law, because they make decisions. Well, first of all, they adjudicate disputes that rise out of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, without the deep knowledge that they need to actually do that. And also, they apply these technologies to the justice systems themselves, you know, so they need to know what are the harms, what are the potentials, what are the opportunities and so on.
We just developed and launched with the ITU, which is a very close partner with the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development ‑‑ it's a joint venture, let's say, between the ITU and UNESCO. We just launched in September a competency framework for civil servants that is actually addressing capacities in ministries of IT, you know, so that they can understand and acquire all the competencies they need to guide and lead digital transformation in the country.
We just completed also the Transforming Education Summit, when the Special Advisor of the Secretary‑General was talking about the need to expand access to education and create digital platform for that, so, we are advocating not only for the digital platforms with open educational resources made available but also meeting information literacy. So, we have a curriculum to start building capacities, too, for people to really resist misinformation, disinformation, hate speech, radicalization, cyber bullying and all that, which we know are harms that exist in the ecosystem from the very earliest age, all the way, you know, learning all the way through their lives, you know, to really address these potential harms. And so, there are quite a lot of different initiatives out there that are trying to exactly address some of the tissues that the people who raised questions mentioned. And I think that we are going to see a very transformed Internet in the next, you know, few years, and I really want to congratulate Japan for being the one that will host this, you know, this movement forward, so thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much. I know that we have one more question. Before we go to Kieren on Pablo's question, I might just take another one from the online space. Marek, maybe you can help me point out who that is.
>> MAREK BLACHUT: Yeah. So, I think there's a hand up from the Ghana Viewing Hub.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Oh, great. Please go ahead.
>> MAREK BLACHUT: Yeah.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: We can see you.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello? Can you hear me?
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Yes. Hi there.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes. Thank you so much. We are viewing from Ghana. My question is with regards to the Internet governance issue of Internet shutdown. More often than not, we get to see government and agencies trying to shut down the Internet, especially (?) (audio difficulty) because we feel like it is (?) of people's rights. Lead us to the election of (?) and because of (audio difficulty) government has chosen to shut it down.
Are there policies being enacted or implemented to fight against this? And if there are, can we have answers to the (?) for equal Internet rights? Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much. Okay, I will go back to our online panelists. I have Kieren, Dominique, and then Andrew. Kieren, do you want to kick off? You had a direct question there from Pablo to you.
>> KIEREN McCARTHY: Yeah. So, I think Pablo's question was about ISTAR and IGF and bottom up/top-down leadership. So, where I start, people who are unaware, ISTAR is where the heads of the Internet organizations occasionally get together, and usually around a crisis. And I think that, in theory, that's a good approach.
What I think the problem has been is that there's been just the sort of heads have come together. They've not really built a structure underneath it, and so, it has typically in the past worked on personalities, whether they literally get on with one another. So that's not a really good way of doing interorganizational work. So, I would argue my almost obvious solution is to find the people several stages below that and get them working with one another on topics that everyone can agree that they have crossover on.
And some of the issues raised by some of the speakers are topics I think the technical community could certainly recognize it has a role to play in. So, I'd like to see more of a bottom‑up approach at that and literally having different layers, different people in different layers of organizations working together, and then it be bubbled up to the leaders at the top who help make decisions about how they're going to progress forward. I think that would be a much more effective system than the one we have right now.
With the IGF, the Leadership Panel I think is, theoretically, it could be really useful. It would raise the profile of the IGF in UN circles, and that could only be a good thing. But there is this tendency ‑‑ and it's happened many times in the past ‑‑ people have been following Internet governance for a long time will now that whenever there's a big issue, there's sort of the, well, let's bring in the great and the good and put them on a sort of important group and they'll figure out an answer, and it hasn't been very effective. And I think the solution to this is to find the right kinds of leaders. And there have been a few over the years.
And the right kind of leader is the one that genuinely wishes to reflect what the broad consensus is of the Internet community. And if you get those kinds of leaders, so they end up being voices for what the community comes up with, then I think that's great. And the flip side of that is that much more effort is needed in getting more people participating and agreeing, what is the general consensus, and then to have that reflected by the sort of chosen leaders at the top. So, I think we've got it a little bit upside down. We keep bringing in leaders at the top and expecting them to navigate through this impossible series of problems, and that can't be done until you've had sort of a general consensus by everybody else. It's not easy, but we keep trying to find shortcuts and it hasn't worked yet. So, that would be my answer.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Kieren. I'm very conscious of time. We have a few more minutes. We were just granted that online and in the room as well. But we want to wrap up soon. So, Dominique and Andrew, if you could keep your comments quite short because I want to also give opportunity to have a few last thoughts from our panelists at the end. Over to you, Dominique.
>> DOMINIQUE LAZANSKI: Yeah, sure. I'll be as brief as I can, and I know we're running out of time. So, following on from Kieren, a couple of things. I just want to impress that the IGF is literally the only place that all stakeholders can come and meet and talk about things. So, I agree with the leadership aspects that Kieren talked about, but don't forget, even the ITU, the Council Working Group is still not open to all members or even sector members yet, so it's really important that we try and figure out how to get more participation, whether it's through individuals like, you know, paying for other people or just trying to get more people involved, and that also goes for the IETF.
And I think a lot of it has to be around the fact that we need new ideas and new people. I know a lot of us have been doing this for quite a long time, and I love all of you, but I think we need to kind of bring in the people that are the doers, because there are the doers and the thinkers, right?
And on the other hand ‑‑ and one last thing I want to say around fragmentation is I think another concept that needs to be discussed that's perhaps even a little more important than fragmentation is consolidation. Fragmentation is happening because of regulation or digital sovereignty and other things going on in the geopolitical world. Consolidation is happening on a technical level, on all levels of the Internet, either because of financial or business reasons or technical approaches. And I think we need to think more about that, and I'm kind of cueing up Andrew a little bit to think more about that in order to ensure that the technical aspect, the technical background of the Internet is sustainable.
And thank you for the panel, by the way, and I really appreciate it.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thanks, Dominique. Andrew?
>> ANDREW CAMPLING: Thank you for that. And just on Kieren's point first, without rehashing everything he said, because I fundamentally agreed with it all. The one observation, I think the idea of the IGF Leadership Panel is extremely good. The question I have is whether the individuals that have been appointed to it have the bandwidth, or in some cases, attention span, to actually make it work properly. So, yeah, I think it's a great concept but maybe just needs a bit of fine‑tuning on the participation, if it's to make a real difference. And I agree with Kieren's point about it needs to reflect the views of the community fundamentally.
And very briefly on, again, Dominique cued me up very nicely on the fragmentation versus centralization, which I think is an enormous concern. In my view, centralization's far more concerning in the short to medium term than fragmentation, because we are in grave danger of reverting back toward war gardens operated by major tech conglomerates. I'm not convinced that's the right way to go, and it has significant implications for ‑‑ from an end user perspective, be that for things like privacy, data access, dealing with malicious content, misinformation, and very obviously major, major antitrust concerns as well, and not forgetting resilience challenges that it also poses. So, that needs I think both to be recognized and addressed, not just in the technical community where there's some discussion about it, albeit it is difficult because the dominant players in that community are the same companies that have that dominant market position, but it also needs to be thought about and addressed elsewhere in the multi‑stakeholder world as well. So in my view, that's at least as significant a threat as fragmentation and needs to be a concern. I'll stop there because you'll have to have closing comments from everyone and we're running out of time. Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Andrew. A good reminder, there's a lot of talk of fragmentation and there is also trends to go in the opposite direction and they're not necessarily contradictory as you've pointed out. We're closing the session, but I want to give panelists an opportunity. This will be only one line, but I want to get one takeaway between now and the IGF in Japan next year, one thing you want to see or want to leave IGF audience with that's, hopefully, practical in implementing our future of the Internet vision. Marielza, I'll start with you.
>> MARIELZA OLIVEIRA: One line? I would like to say that UNESCO is inviting our view for conference on the 21st through 23rd of February 2023, in our headquarters in Paris, when we will be looking at the future of, you know, regulation and standard‑setting for Internet platforms to work for the public good, you know. So, particularly looking at how do we defend and protect freedom of expression online. So, please do come.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Fantastically specific thing that we can all take away, so that's great. That's setting the scene for all the other panelists. Olga, do you want to go next?
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Yes, thank you. Thank you very much. And thank you for the invitation. I invite you to the next session of Internet governance. We had 200 students this year, all free offered university diploma if they participate in three stages of learning. And my comment to everyone: Stay tuned, raise awareness. Start with yourself, then with your family, with your colleagues, with your students, and keep on looking at what you are doing with the Internet, not only about security, also about fake news, and be careful about that. Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you so much, Olga. Kieren, can I go to you next? One takeaway or one thing you want to see between now and the IGF in Japan?
>> KIEREN McCARTHY: I just would encourage anybody that has got to the point where they're following the IGF ‑‑ so, we're already a fairly small subset of people in the world ‑‑ to ask a question and to tell people what is the barriers that they have to getting involved more in their participation to literally tell people what the issues are and why they're not more involved so we can start a conversation about that.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: I love that. Thank you so much. Andrew, over to you.
>> ANDREW CAMPLING: Thank you. One thing that excites me looking forward is Twitter, because I think the takeover of Twitter I think is really going to drive a very important debate about the future of content moderation, and that needs to be had. And then very specifically, multi‑stakeholder community, please come to the IETF 116 meeting in Yokohama, either virtually or better still in person. It's 25th to 31st of March, and I put a link in the chat which will take you to how to register. And there is plenty of free access virtually for people that can't afford to pay the entry fee. Thank you.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Thank you, Andrew. Your diaries are filling up very, very fast. I'm hoping you're writing that down. Finally, Dominique, your one takeaway.
>> DOMINIQUE LAZANSKI: Sorry about that. Two takeaways. First of all, I'm excited about the IGF and the IETF in Asia Pacific and excited to be going back to there. And the other takeaway is I'm super excited about all these people who haven't been online yet that are, hopefully, about to come online this year and next year in 2023. Thanks.
>> EVA IGNATUSCHTSCHENKO: Fantastic. Thank you for making that one line. That actually worked out. I expected somebody to rebel against the instruction. Thank you, all panelists. Fantastic discussion. Really, really practical. It's great to have such a positive discussion and focus on successes, but also identify where we can do more, but build on the successes, rather than just trying to scrap the Internet and start over, which I'm sure would not lead to any better situation either. So, thank you all. Thank you for audience members and for sticking around. We really hope to continue this conversation. You have your events in the diary now, so we expect to see all of you there. And I hope you have a good rest of the IGF. Thank you so much.