IGF 2022 Day 4 DC-CIV DC-CIV: Geopolitical neutrality of the Global Internet

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.



>> MODERATOR: Let's get going. Apologies for this delay.  When you do hybrid meetings, you have to find the room locally and online.  Welcome, everyone to this year's session of the DC‑CIV. This session is dealing with Geopolitical neutrality of the Global Internet.  How does it relate to core internet values?  For those not aware of our coalition, we have spent several years looking at technical architectural values of the Internet.  Technical identifiers of the system by which the Internet runs today.  This means primarily the technology and invariance the Internet was built on.

We have quite a number of papers published on this, but this includes things like the Internet being decentralized ‑‑ free of any centralized control, apart from the coordination of the Domain Name System, of course.  The Internet being end‑to‑end.  Traffic being able to travel from network to network.  And the Internet of course being open for everyone to connect to.  And I get some of these values really have been eroded over time.  With network neutrality and some of the values are high‑roaded.

Recently there is a bit more emphasis due to several conflicts around the world with the network being accessible to everyone and actually some calls by some countries to actually disconnect some parts of the network.

Now, technically speaking, it is already a challenging thing, because as we know it is a network of networks.  And with this being architectured the way it is, it is pretty hard to disconnect specific parts of a network that is completely interconnected by several links to other parts of the world.  Especially when one looks at the geography of it.  As we know, the Internet is not limited by countries, but actually by networks, which sometimes span several countries.

So the real‑world limitations of nation States often doesn't apply, except in the places where nation‑states have established strict control over what is coming out of the country, we'll touch on these issues on the call.

This session was triggered among the organize errs by the request of Ukraine.  A certain while ago at the beginning of the war, where Russia invaded Ukraine.  This conflict when the Ukrainian representative and Government asked for first ICANN to somehow put a block on top‑level domains, dot‑RU and dot‑SU the two Russian domains.  Asked for ICANN to do something about it and block it.

Asked other network providers to effectively block the Russian Internet and cut Russia off from the Internet.

The story goes the request was received and kindly declined.  Because the organizations that today run the technical identifiers, like ‑‑ well, IP address distribution like RIPE NCC and ICANN that coordinates the global system identifiers of domain names are not political organizations, are not the United Nations with Resolutions that get voted and the General Assembly, et cetera.  These are technical organizations that are there to make sure the Internet works.  Therefore, disconnecting the Internet is not something that is in their mandate, as such.  Specifically when it comes down to anything that is politically included or triggered by real world items. 

So we have some kind of an empty space, if you want, in that.  Aside from that, of course, the question is, who would, if there was such a possibility to turn some parts of the Internet off, who would have the famous kill switch?  Who would have the possibility to turn things on and off? 

It is not unknown that some parts of the world have ‑‑ some countries have turned off the Internet in their part of the world, but usually they have done it as turning it off in their own territory.  From whom they have jurisdiction.  But for international organization to do that, it is completely unchartered territory.

Yet leading members of the Internet community signed a common statement also back a few months ago, toward the multistakeholder imposition of Internet sanctions, and that opens the door to the Internet community having some kind of means to decide on whether sanctions, such as disconnection or other kind of coupling would be appropriate or not.

There is a statement that is actually published and linked to our agenda.  If you haven't read it, I would strongly advise that you have a look at it.  In fact, we have several panelists to speak about this, too.

I don't have a full view of who is in Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.  I welcome you in the room and participants online.  The speakers include Bastiaan Goslings, senior policy and governance advisor with RIPE NCC, the organization that distributes the IP protocol addresses throughout the European and mid-eastern region.  They cover a wide Region, and other regional Internet registries.  

Bill Woodcock joining us online, the Executive Director of packet clearinghouse.  Bill has been one of the signatories of this statement regarding multistakeholder imposition of Internet sanctions.  Hopefully, he will be able to shed light over this. 

And we have Iria Puyosa an international research advisory Council member and advisor on social media and peace building at Toda Institute in DC

And Veronika Datzer is joining us, a policy advisor in the German Parliament, but previously a researcher with NATO.  With the current conflict in Ukraine, NATO being one of the incumbents, somehow not being directly related to the conflict, but with all the countries around it, she will probably be able to shed light on the network side of things and that situation.

And we have Vint Cerf who is joining us, the Internet Evangelist from Google.  Vint has to leave in an hour's time.  I'm speaking too much and impeding on his time.  I will be (speaking non‑English language). 

Joining us online is Alejandro Pisanty and Sivasubramanian Muthusamy and Joly McFie.  We are the four co‑organizers of this session.

Moving forward, the first thing that would be helpful, if Bill Woodcock take us through this statement of the multistakeholder position of Internet sanctions came up and what it proposes.  We can take it from there and look at whether it is appropriate for the Internet to be turned on or off with those kinds of situations. 

The Internet technical infrastructure is currently defined able to impose sanctions as such.  Is the Internet management and administration currently defined willing to impose sanctions?  In fact, if it does, isn't it breaking core Internet values?  Quite a number of things to discuss here.  But let me stop right now and turn it over to Bill Woodcock.  I think Bill ‑‑ Bill is joining us online, I think as well ‑‑ I know he is.  Welcome to you. 

I see Alejandro Pisanty has made it.  Excellent.  Welcome. 

The question is ‑‑ has Bill joined us actually online? 

>> Alejandro Pisanty: Thank you, everybody. 

(Overlapping conversations)

>> MODERATOR: Go ahead.  Alejandro Pisanty you have been following closely. 

>> Alejandro Pisanty: I was a signatory on the statement and invited by Bill and others.  I saw it before it was finalized and drafted.  Briefly, there are parts on the Internet management who believe that there should be a response to the request made by the Ukraine authorities, but there was a request from Ukraine to ICANN and RIPE NCC to shut down a number of functions for Russia on the Internet.  Such as blocking CCTOP, blocking some sets of IP addresses and so forth.

Some of these requests are not within ICANN's authority at all.  Such as dealing with certificates.  And others would require a process that has to be equitable and has to be bottom‑up.  And has to be (?) in order not to be arbitrary.  I can decline ‑‑ ICANN declined the request.  They did give ways to keep the Internet functioning in Ukraine.

And a number of ISPs and others (?) (background noise) and key operations of Internet decide to work on whether there is a scheme on imposing the equivalent of sanctions on the Internet.  It has to be a multistakeholder process and bottom‑up and has policy development and has to be equitable and fair.  It has to be protective of the functionings of the Internet as a whole, as a global, interoperable influence.

There is a number of criteria for the equivalent of sanctions.  That would be to blocking certain traffic from certain origins or certain destinations, which is considered harmful.  And for deciding what this ‑‑ how to choose or designate traffic to block.  It is a voluntary process.  Not imposed by any law. 

The criteria are very similar.  They have a precedent for traffic management on the Internet against spam, phishing, and malicious activity.  That is basically what you get.  You have to have a criterion that is similar to that, established, based on real risks.  And that also reversible and minimally damaging or at least potentially minimally damaging for other operations.

One of the things opposed when you try to block dot‑RU, the domain for Russia.  You would preclude Russian citizens from getting information outside.  You have work, internal Governmental control over the communications.  You would be reinforcing that by isolating the population.  That is the considerations that went into the statement.  Now being a few months around, you have to see who enacted it and what the assessment of the consequences are.  Thanks.  I hope that serves as an introduction so Bill can provide more up‑to‑date information about this. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Alejandro Pisanty.  It is very good to have you being able to stand in.  I just got a note from Bill that he is stuck at the moment and has a problem joining.  But he will be hopefully joining us in a short moment. 

The next speaker I would suggest perhaps would be to start with Vint Cerf, because I know that Vint Cerf has to leave at the top of the hour.  Then we'll go through the panelists and have their opening statement and angle on the topic.  So let's have Vint Cerf please.

>> Vint Cerf: That is kind Olivier Crépin‑Leblond.  I don't have to leave until 10:30 my time local, I will take advantage of an open microphone as you all know.  It is vital to appreciate that the Internet is nothing, if it isn't connected.  So it is connectivity is vital to maintain to the extent we can, at all times.  The notion of somehow sanctions and things of that kind are not unreasonable especially for bad behavior in the online world.  This is a topic of continuous discussion, certainly within the leadership panel and other parts of the IGF.

We do need to take into account doing something about bad behavior.  But my strong view is that the something that we should do should not be to shut down the Internet.  Now, you all already know that some parts of the world are capable of shutting down their pieces of the Internet.  And this is perfectly okay from the engineering point of view.  We may not like it from the policy point of view, but it is technically possible to shut down pieces of Internet.

     There are several ways to do it.  The first one is turn off all the electricity and let batteries run out.  The second thing is to shut down the underlying communication system, which carries the packets, which is the typical way which some countries turn off access to the Internet.

We can't do anything about that.  But as long as that behavior doesn't leak out of the borders of the country that chooses to do that, to shut the Internet down domestically, I think it is well within their territorial rights to exercise that prerogative.

We can all object to it, look for ways of helping citizens get back into access on the net.  But I don't think we should take a position that countries aren't allowed to turn off the Internet.  We don't like it, but I don't think we can stop it.

On the other hand, we don't want the entire Internet to be shutoff.  What we want to do is make sure under all circumstances that our notion of universal connectivity is maintained.  Basic Internet infrastructure is apolitical and insensitive to the kinds of traffic that flow.  That is both a benefit and hazard. 

It is a benefit because we don't care what applications flow in the packets.  That makes the Internet an extremely flexible system.  When new applications come along, as you know, you get to reinterpret the bits in the packet and that allows to happen without changing the network.  That is an important property much the design.

At the same time, because it is so neutral, it will also transport really bad stuff.  We all recognize we have to do something about it.  But we need to do something about it at the right layer in the architecture.  And it is not the right place to do it, is not to shutoff the routing system. 

Now, there are certain situations where actions are taken for bad behavior that are down in the closer to the core of the Internet.  Some of you will remember that there was a global Council on the flow of cyberspace.  They had norms for the online environment.

One much the first norms was to have an agreement, a norm, not necessarily a Treaty.  That we would not attack and undermine the basic core of the Internet.  That means you don't attack routers, domain name servers or the underlying communication systems that link the routers to each other.

That is ‑‑ was a norm they recommended thinking that if we adopted a norm that it might later even become something that could be Treaty material.

I agree with that basic idea.  But now let me remind you of things that take place which I think are legitimate.

In the domain name ‑‑ in the browser system ‑‑ let me get this right.  In the browser system up in the application space, it is possible that you will detect a badly behaved certificate authority, and we're relying on the certificate authorities for DNSSEC.  And if the certificate authority has issued a false certificate that would cause us to believe that a particular domain name goes to an IP address where it really doesn't belong, the browser people, including ours at Google, have taken it on themselves to shut down their belief in that particular certificate authority.

They will not give credit to a certificate coming from a sanctioned certificate authority.

That sanctioning takes place at the level of the browser operation.  So I consider that to be a very reasonable response for protecting users from harm.  Though that is an example of that. 

What about a denial of service attack?  Suppose you are an Internet Service Provider and operating a piece of the Internet, SMN launches a denial of service attack against a target.  We should not close our eyes.  We should not say it is okay for that continues because we don't want to touch the operation of the Internet.  In fact, a responsible ISP will try to divert that denial of service attack.  One way to do that is black hole the traffic from a particular source.  Another way is to divert the traffic so it doesn't hit the target.

There are going to be situations in which a kind of sanctioning takes place in the operational Internet or in the application space.  I don't think that violates our basic notion that the Internet should continue to operate as much as possible at all times.  We do have to accept that bad behavior has to be dealt with.

I would draw your attention to the various ways in which bad behavior is dealt with in other contents.  One is to impose sanctions in a different name.  For example, financial sanctions.  You will see companies fined for bad behavior.  You will see in the case of Russia today and in the course of the Ukraine war that a number of financial sanctions have been taken again Russia.

Those are examples of ways in which you can introduce sanctions that don't necessarily undermine the basic operation of the Internet.

So you can imagine considering sanctions, but I don't think they should cause the Internet to malfunction.  Olivier, I will stop there.  I want to say one other thing.  Whatever you have to say on this subject is important to me.  Because I want to be able to convey your views back to the leadership panel, which I will meet with at 10:45 today.  This is just an example of the important opportunity for you to deliver information to me and other members of the leadership panel.  So we can assimilate that into our thinking.  I'm eager to hear your view of how we should deal with bad behavior.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your views Vint Cerf.  Thanks for relaying this over to the leadership panel.  I know there are a number of questions as to how the leadership panel would be fed with the bottom‑up process of the IGF.  It is great to see that one of the effective participants is actually completely practicing the bottom‑up model.

Bill has made it.  Bill Woodcock, I would like to turnover to him.  And to expand on both what Vint has said and also on that letter that he co‑signed. 

>> Bill Woodcock: My apologies for being late.  I walked over to the office to join from my office and found that the building management changed the door code overnight without warning anybody, because this is crazy early for anybody to be at work in Paris.

So ... I was one of the GCSC Commissioners, one much the authors of the norms that Vint just mentioned.  So I of course agree with those and agree with Vint's agreement with them.

The problems with sanctions are in two areas ‑‑ hang on just a moment.  Sorry.  Also time for kids to be off to school here. 

So there are basically two problems.  One is on the side of the Internet Service Providers that do the blocking.  The other is on the side of the Government.  The problem on the side of the Internet Service Providers is typically overcompliance.  There is also undercompliance.  But undercompliance is the default state.  Right? 

If people don't do anything to comply with sanctions then the sanctioned entity gets away with whatever it is that they were doing that was bad.  But, you know, they're probably going to get away with it.  The point of the sanction is to add friction to them, to increase costs, decrease society's cost in subsidy of them.

On the side of Government the problem is harmonization.  What we found in implementing all of this is that there are many Governments and Intergovernmental organizations that define sanctions like United Nations and European Union and United States and the UK and Japan.  Each have their own sanctions regime.

Of all of the sanctions regimes in the world, the only one that is machine readable and published in a single predictable location is that of the United Kingdom.  Their system for doing so was broken last time I checked.  So they're doing the right thing.  But it is not always available.  And it is not harmonized with any other Governments.  They're doing the right thing from a unilateral perspective.  What is needed is a harmonization.  That doesn't mean every will sanctions regime needs to cover the same entities.  What it means is when two cover the same sanctioned identify, it is identifiable that it is the same one.

And right now, that is not possible.  Most sanctions are in the term of hey, you, intern type up a memo and throw it on the stack of other memos last time we did that and hopefully it is disseminated somehow.  They're all published in different formats on paper that is mimeographed and scanned and faxed somewhere.  And they all transliterate the names of the sanction entities into the local governance language without leaving the original for comparison.  And each of these transliterations winds up being completely different.

You get things like ‑‑ I think we found 23 different renderings of the Russian phrase "joint stock corporation."  If there were 23 different sanctions regimes, you would find as many as 23 different renderings of the name of the same organization.

So as a network operator that input is garbage.  It is almost impossible to work from that input.  The amount of harm to the Internet of someone blocking a sanctioned entity is very close to zero.  Right?  You know, or it is a large net positive in many cases, right?  The troll farm.  Sanctioned.  If the troll farm were actually blocked from the Internet, we would have far less disinformation and, you know, things would be better.  There is a lot of online crime that would go away if sanctioned entities were blocked from the Internet.  If north Korean military units there would be less cybercrime around crypto currency theft.  A lot of the policies for implementing sanctions, but when network operators are faced between a choice of trying to figure out the garbage input and doing you know ‑‑ failing and either doing nothing with it.  Or overcomplying, that's what they do.  Either they do nothing or overcomply.  Both are bad outcomes.  Neither helps the Internet.  Neither embodies the spirit of the law that applies to the ISP.  But fundamentally, if the input is not garbage.  If Governments can harmonization and render sanctions in the native script in canonical form in the name of the sanctioned entity, then the detective work to figure out what Internet resources are associated with the sanctioned entity is actually surprisingly well in hand.

There are people who like doing Internet detective work.  Much of it is subject to automation really way.  It is not that big of a deal.  We're already very good at doing this because we already block lots and lots of Internet resources for antimalware, antiphishing, and antiterrorism.  There are lots of reasons that there is blocking.

At quad 9, we're blocking four million resources at any given time with a daily turnover of 400,000.  And a false positive rate of I think 0.06%.  And a removal time ‑‑ I can't remember.  The removal time is in the minutes.  So in the very, very infrequent instances in which something gets blocked by accident, the Internet is really good at fixing that problem also.

There isn't a technical problem with implementing sanctions, once the sanctioned entities and resources are identified.  You know, we have sort of the implementation project that is, you know, largely done.

The work at this point is really all about Government harmonization.  And there is a fairly substantial effort underway there but harmonizing anything between many Governments is inherently slow project.  That is where things are right now, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.  I'm sure there will be lots of discussion and time for questions later.  I will stop here. 

>> MODERATOR: Thanks very much for this, Bill.  Very interesting angle on the topic.  I'm going to rearrange things a little bit, because the speakers as listed in our agenda were listed in first name alphabetic order.  You mentioned sanctions and sanctions obviously in many cases are things that happen at the United Nations with Member States.  And Veronika Datzer the policy advisor in the German Parliament, Germany is one of the countries that could impose sanctions.  I want to turn over to her and get her angle on the topic.  Veronika Datzer, please, you have the floor. 

>> Veronika Datzer: Wonderful.  Does it work now?  Okay. 

>> MODERATOR: We can hear you, thank you. 

>> Veronika Datzer: Wonderful.  Thank you.  Thanks so much for having me.  As mentioned I'm a policy advisor so my views are very political.  Before I go into the German or European perspective.  Two quick words on NATO.  NATO itself doesn't sanction.  And this was actually never really discussed.  The focus is how we can become more resilient in A, supporting Ukraine and B, supporting all NATO allies in case of cyber attacks.  Sanctioning by NATO as an act, so to say, wasn't really in the room.

I would like to start with sanctions generally.  They don't work when it comes ‑‑ this is seen in regimes from the 1950s to 2000s.  I would say.  Sanctions only work when targeted.  They have the possibility to work when they're targeted.  Sanctioning the Internet is different from a targeted sanction.  In Germany and Europe, everyone was shocked by the events and are still horrified by it, sanctioning or cutting Russia off the Internet as such wasn't on the tables.  It would harm not only the regime, but the people living there.  And that also includes people that might want to protest against what is going on in terms of unjustified.

As we see with cyber attacks, we never quite understand why the consequences can be, often actors are impacted by Internet shutdowns or cyber attack that we don't see as the primary or central actors to be sanctioned, targeted, et cetera.  We call for it, but I believe the political point of view the effects would have been dramatic and averse across the entire world.

Nevertheless, I think we need to look at the Internet as ‑‑ from a political perspective.  That is why I am here.  It is no longer a neutral place in the world.  And as just mentioned, we need to find ways to tackle the harm that is going on there.  The Internet is so much part of international relations as well as domestic politics because it simply defines every part of our lives at the moment.  It is not just the economy, society security, military security.  We need to find solutions.  We can no longer see the Internet as a neutral place.  Because it is geopolitical and has an impact on every part of our life.

I would like to go more from sanctioning the Internet towards ‑‑ because I don't think that is a solution that we can do.  That we can work on.  But I would like to make two points on the other side of it.  I think we do need to make the big tech companies more responsible.  And for them to take up more responsibility in keeping the Internet open.  And free and in my point of view, also democratic.  That is a political view.  But bear in mind, that is why I came here, I guess. 

And I think the other thing, apart from a more political view that we expect from the I guess infrastructure of the Internet and the companies connected to that is an approach that helps to prevent nationalization or fragmentation from the Internet.  We see not necessarily Internet sanctions as the challenge or driver of Internet fragmentation, but more nationalization.  Because when the debate on Internet sanctions came up, also came up the debate that Russia wanted to shutoff the entire Internet from the rest of the world.  We see that in countries that Internet infrastructure can become more nationalized, for example, in China. 

I think this is something we need diplomacy, we need big tech, but we need all of us to kind of work against, because that is also a challenge that we need to look at.  And that we need to fight against for ‑‑ in terms of Internet fragmentation.

For me, Iran is another example I would like to add here.  We see that the Internet is shut down there and demonstrations are made increasingly challenging by that.  And I think it is our duty to react as a pro‑democratic perspective.  I think not only Iran, but what is going on with regards to Twitter, for example. Elon Musk for me is a political issue.  Starlink, deactivating or activating is a political issue.  We can no longer think the Internet is neutral.  This is my call to think of it as a political space, think of it as a space that is democratic, open, free.  If we work together and if we keep it open.

Of course, in terms of the infrastructure, neutral.  But to find political solutions to the harm that is done. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for this Veronika Datzer.  I see a couple of hands up.  What I want to do is give the floor first to all of the panelists and indeed, when you put your hand up, we will be able to go through questions and comments on the different interventions we had.

We have spoken of sanctions and we have a participant that has been subject to sanctions.  That is Iria Puyosa from Venezuela.  There have been other interventions on the Internet itself.  Let's hear from Iria Puyosa.  Welcome.

>> Iria Puyosa: Thank you for inviting me to be part of the panel.  Yes, it is personal individual sanctions for Government offices have been going on for ‑‑ since 2014, as I remember. 

More recently, since 2018, '19, get some economic and financial sanctions going into the industry mostly.

Because we have been being sanctioned on the Internet resources and actually some issues about people asking about Internet entities, ICANN, Internet Governance Forum, had that conversation about issues and censorship and blocking of the content on the Internet in Venezuela.  It never moves on, so the answer in this bodies in general is we are not political bodies, we're not going to discuss the political situations of any specific countries and we can't act on that.  That was always the answer every time that issue came out.  As I see was similar ‑‑ was specific to other countries, where the regimes had issues with human rights relations and issues directly effecting freedom online.

Even though as a person working on the policies related with the human rights and freedom of expression online.  We work in the Latin America the area I work and actually globally.

I really understand that principle of the technical infrastructure on the Internet and the technical bodies wanting to be neutral fruit.

A long way in the process, that process until we are now.  Now I started to see in Forums like this, the IGF and other discussions.  People are starting to move to where we shouldn't be that neutral.  We should tackle some harms.

I cannot see that with concern.  I'm concerned about where it is going to stop that involvement in political issues.  Where we are going to draw the line on what is something a body like irk can or IGF as an advisory space or place to dialogue and can intervene in political issues.  We're talking about here, like imposing sanctions to bad actors.  What is the criteria and rule, process, rule of law to apply.  First, what is the law, what is the process, who are the actors, what are the criterias?  All of that seems to be very confused.  I feel like a lot of pressure from both authoritarian Governments, trying to impose their view about sovereignty Internet and democratic countries trying to establish some restraint for those authoritarian countries.  I have mine own political views but I don't see how a body like ICANN can make a decision for the right political stance.

We have an interesting situation in a complex space.  Talking from the point of view of kind of Civil Society, I think the only way to get out of that is to take a very political stance, but centering human rights.

So instead of deciding what is the majority of the countries in this particular political Forum decided they wanted to sanction the other country and the Internet technical bodies, it is occurred, they do the technical work to make happen what the political actors have decided.  I don't see that happening.  I see the integration of policy advisory body who can oversee with all of the political actors are respecting human rights online, protecting data, protecting freedom of expression and protecting action.  That should be the role of ICANN organization and multistakeholder system and Government should be taking that role.

Centering human rights instead of being executors from decisions from groups that happen to be the majority in a specific conflict.

Otherwise it will be a very controversial space.  And a space for growing conflicts.  And I don't believe that is where we want to go there. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for this Iria Puyosa.  We therefore have a proposal on the table for how to judge on those decisions using a human rights framework approach.  How do we implement something like this?  Let me turn to Bastiaan Goslings from RIPE NCC.  Is RIPE geared for this sort of thing, imposing sanctions?  Actually turning policy into actions on the Internet? 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Thank you, Olivier, nice to see you all.  I'm Bastiaan Goslings, representing RIPE NCC.  You briefly mentioned in your introduction, those not aware RIPE NCC is a network coordination center is the regional Internet registry for the region Europe, Central Asia, Middle East including the Soviet Republics.  The core service we provide, we do many things, but the core service we provide is the allocation of IP address space, previously IPP4 that has run out and IPP6 space to our members which are currently 20,000 entities that run their own networks and require these resources across an entire service region.

The RIPE NCC itself the organization is based in Amsterdam.  In the Netherlands.  It is an association, nonprofit organization.  And it abides by Dutch law.  Law is not initiated within the Netherlands coming from Brussels, European Union. 

From that perspective ‑‑ we talked about the request from Ukraine earlier.  It was put eloquently, the risk if we get the underlying infrastructure, core of the Internet involved in these types of matters.  Our response was also toward the Ukrainian Government as unfortunate and tragic as this situation is in Ukraine, we really sympathize with the need, you know to act upon the aggression inflicted on them we could not follow up on the request.  The request to withdraw all IP address base from Russian members.

It is not in our mandate.  It is not within the policies that determine how we run our organization, which are set by multistakeholder community across our entire service region, which includes many jurisdictions.  It is also something like, from a sanction’s perspective, I think that needs to be decided ‑‑ I don't know if that is the correct English word, with public authorities.  Due process, democratic fashion demonstrating that the sanctions is proportionate to the goals to be achieved and effective.  The request from the Ukrainian Government as potentially following up on that, which we couldn't do and we argued why not.  I would not consider that as such a sanction from an actual public authority that has you know the authority actually to impose sanctions. 

But just so you know, there are other sanctions set in the European Union.  In our case, economic sanctions.  A list of entities, private persons that are put on a sanctions list, in this case also from Russia.  And potentially ‑‑ and actually some of those are also related to members that we provide services to.  We're impacted by the sanctions.  A number of the members we have to freeze the resource for.  So they can't transfer IP resources can't get additional ones.  It is good to emphasize the fact that while the resources are frozen, they can still continue to use them.  The Russian ISP can offer services to customers, businesses and end users. 

Besides the fact that based on not having the mandate to respond to the request like the Ukrainian Government came up with, it is important to mention that the fact this entire system and services we provide is basically based on trust.

We don't have any God given authority actually to enforce what we're doing.  It is only because people actually believe that we are a trusted, neutral authoritative entity in this case, that we provide those resources and related to that we have a public database that everybody can check and actually see who is provided which resources and is actually allowed and entitled to use those.  Networks use those resources to base routing decisions on.  It is only based on trust. 

Someone says I don't trust this, I will set up my own registry and own resources, that is technically speaking an option.  From that perspective it is a vulnerable system.  We already see ‑‑ I don't know if I'm allowed to or not.  I noticed a Russian Governmental official on the Zoom call.  We already see like in certain areas that Governments will respond to the fact, you know, if they're affected by sanctions and if in case in a private entity operating in the Netherlands in Amsterdam offering a critical service in terms of running Internet.  In that jurisdiction when impacted by legislation, that body can act upon that and has an impact on another jurisdiction.  That should not be the case.  Maybe this should be embedded this functionality within an international multilateral organization.  We see the tensions and discussions rising.  Just to emphasize the vulnerability of the system and trust that is fundamental to it. 

I believe you know it is important to continue the discussion.  Any other questions, I am happy to follow up on those.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for this Bastiaan Goslings.  I'm well aware that Vint Cerf has to leave in a moment.  Before opening the floor and going on with our discussion, I wanted to give the floor to Vint for him to comment on the various interventions heard so far.

>> Vint Cerf: Thank you, Olivier, first I value this discussion.  Second I want to ask you to distinguish between the technical operation of the Internet as a communication system and the way in which it gets used in the applications especially.

So Veronika Datzer and I are not in disagreement, except that I say the underlying core communications functionality can be and should be thought of as neutral.  The application space is a whole other story.  I see she's nodding.  We are in agreement about that.  And that is our challenge.  How do we maintain this important underlying infrastructure while at the same time finding a way to discipline bad behavior?  Part of this discussion is to discover ways in which we might achieve that objective.

I do have to leave now, but I will look forward to any summaries you might produce from today's meeting and other summaries coming out of the IGF 2022 in general.  I will see to it that gets to the leadership panel.  Thank you all for your time.  Please keep working on this.  It is a very hard problem.  But it is important that we find solutions.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks very much Vint Cerf.  Good luck on the leadership panel coming up.  Bill Woodcock, you want to respond to Iria Puyosa's intervention? 

>> Bill Woodcock: There is a useful debate to have here.  I want to engage in it, not out of the need for disputing or disagreement with anything she said, but a number of the things that you said Ms. Iria Puyosa allow, you know, further exploration of this idea. 

One thing you pointed out.  Scoping the problem, I think very correctly to targeted sanctions which are what actually happen now and are actually you know at issue.  The question becomes who is to decide who is a bad actor?  And I believe you posited the possibility of a multistakeholder organization of some sort that would ensure that sanctioning decisions are made with respect to human rights.  While I agree with that statement, the role of such organization if it were to have any effect would presumably be to decide whether or not Government mandated sanctions should be implemented by private parties who are governed by those Governments.  Which puts it in the position of encouraging legal noncompliance.  Now, from a moral perspective, obviously there are many cases in which one would wish to encourage corporations and individuals to not comply with applicable law when applicable law is not aligned with human rights.

However, that's a difficult position to create and maintain structurally.  Right?  And if you are talking to a national incumbent phone company which may be in part owned by a Government, telling them not to comply with applicable law in the jurisdiction in which they are operating is a really tough call.  So that's one thing.

The second thing I would like to bring up is we kind of can't have our cake and eat it too, in the sense that if we want to talk about this as multistakeholderism and is say, well, you know multistakeholder ‑‑ because the Internet is global and it is inherently multistakeholder, multistakeholder governance processes should be used to make consequential decisions, right now who decides who is a bad actor is the Internet community purely.  There is no other to make that decision.  It is a decision one organization is making 400,000 times a day.  Taken collectively looking at maybe 10 million times a day that decision is being made.

Governments have essentially no input to that right now.  Governments are a stakeholder, right?  They should have some input to this.  Also they're a stakeholder with collectively 2000 years of historical experience working in this specific area.  The Internet technical area is under no illusions it has any expertise in the area of sanctions, per se, right.  Blocking malware?  Sure.  Sanctions?  Not so much. 

Those are a couple of points of ... you know potential rebuttal or something.  I would love to see this discussion go further.  Because it is something that I am fascinated with and have to deal with.  So I want to do it well. 

>> MODERATOR: Thanks, Bill.  Iria Puyosa, I see your hand up? 

>> Iria Puyosa: Yes.  Specific point, I agree basically with everything.  We are in agreement in principle.  One point I want to call attention to everyone in the panel, you mention difficulty of not complying with the legislation in the matter.  Talking specifically about national legislation because there is the matter.  We will have different legislation in national level treating this problem, you cannot posit that work.

All of the countries are working their model of sovereignty and Internet are taking an approach that is completely different than that model we're used to, the open, free, Internet. 

So that is going to eventually clash.  How we are going to decide whether it is applicable the law for those countries that decide we will have our own Internet and when is applied the countries that say no this is the only one global Internet.  You can't splinter it.

So that is going to be an issue that is going next.  So we don't ‑‑ you see we're not prepared for that issue.  It is going to explode.  This is going to be ‑‑ it is exploding in our hands.  I want to ‑‑ I don't have the solution.  But I think it is something we need to start a conversation with that and to anticipate whether we move toward having a more active role in making this kind of decisions we're going to face that problem sooner than later. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for this Iria Puyosa.  I'm now going to open the queue to the wider all participants in here.  I will ask also, since I only have a very small window into the room, if any of my colleagues are in the room and notice hands up, they notify me via the Zoom so I can also slot them in the queue.  At the moment I have Sivasubramanian Muthusamy and others in the guy go to Sivasubramanian Muthusamy.

>> Sivasubramanian Muthusamy: It is well understood that there are geopolitical interference in politics.  And politics is seeping into the matters of Internet governance.  We can respond to that two ways.  One, politics are countered by politics.  There can be reactions and responses from one side to another.  Which is I think not the way to go for the Internet to protect the Internet.  The way to protect the Internet is to isolate the Internet from politics completely and emphasize to the parties that are geopolitical that this is a geopolitical ‑‑ this is not a geopolitical space and politics has to be out of Internet governance in order to protect the Internet. 

What we need is a seal against politics around the core of the Internet.  That is all ‑‑ that is an approach we have to cultivate and something every organization has to do.  Emphasize it is a nonpolitical space rather than respond to politics.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for your intervention.  Next is Haddia. 

>> ATTENDEE: Hello, I work for the Egyptian regulator.  I attend the IGF and I speak in my personal capacity.  So when it comes to technical issues or technical harm, I guess from a technical point of view, it is easy to spot something going wrong or to spot harm.  And stop it in a way or another.  And then the issue becomes, you know, how do you punish those who initiated this harm?  But the other ‑‑ but if we're talking about Internet fragmentation, I think Veronika Datzer raised a very good point where she spoke about nationalization.  As being a threat to the one global Internet.  And as a recipe for fragmentation.  And my question here, how do we ‑‑ Veronika Datzer also mentions, you know, we need to fight this.  We need to stop it from happening.  But how?  How can we do that? 

I will just ‑‑ I have a quick comment on what was said where the Internet should not be political space.  Well, that is not possible anymore.  The Internet now is a tool used by politicians.  To think that we can say, you know, we are not going to make the Internet a political space, that is not realistic.

I go back to Veronika Datzer and ask, how do you think we can do that?  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Haddia.  Veronika Datzer? 

>> Veronika Datzer: I can quickly go.  Thank you for that comment.  I would fully agree with you in the point that we need political solutions because we're in a political situation here.  One thing that Government at some point have agreed on is the United Nations.  And we see for example, with the cyber diplomacy negotiations that there is possibilities to find solutions on the Internet.  On making it more peaceful.  And this shouldn't be a process where ‑‑ I fully agree with points that have been raised with regards to who decides how the Internet should be regulated.  I think that is a really, really, really big part of the problem we have right now.

Because it can't be Germany.  It can't be the European Union.  And it also can't be Google.  We all have to be included in it.  That is why the IGF is so important.  To come back to my point, I think the U.N. could be a first Forum to try to find solutions with inclusion of multistakeholders, of course, because we are no longer in a situation that we can exclude them.  And that should ‑‑ that has to go through a process that is completely inclusive to all states and big companies, at least, I would say.  Because otherwise we find with regards for example, to the Declaration on the future of the democratic Internet States that haven't been included in the process and therefore reject the process.

We need to find an inclusive process.  I think the U.N. could be a first solution in achieving that. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Veronika Datzer.  If I could take you up on this?  Because you mention here the U.N. framework.  And yet, when one looks at IGF that really is advisory and discussion Forum.  The U.N. General Assembly is usually the assembly that takes positions and actions things. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Can you hear me?  I can imagine you don't have a clear picture of who is here and people not in Zoom would like to contribute to the discussion.  Do we have room for people here to ask questions. 

>> MODERATOR: I was going to give the floor to Alejandro Pisanty first and then pass the floor to someone that can assist with the contributions.

>> Bastiaan Goslings: I can assist with this.

>> MODERATOR: Alejandro Pisanty.

>> Alejandro Pisanty: Thank you, Olivier and Bastiaan Goslings and others for taking up the on‑site coordination part.  As said in the chat, the Internet is not a monolith.  It is a conjunction of networks globally.

As it was said, it is not possible to consider the Internet as exempt or purified from political intervention.  It is one more part of humankind's shared space.  We have to think hard on what this Internet is going to be now that we can have events like war or war‑like events in the core of the Internet.  It can affect the more centrally and more densely connected parts.  We will still be able to route around any damage or congestion or censorship, but there was very interesting discussion about a week ago regarding implementation held by Bill Drake and others from ISOC, made it clear that there is no such thing as a splintered Internet.  Once it is splintered, it is not the Internet.

We have to deliver to the Government and leaderships (audio skipping) that we can't splinter the Internet.  If you start imposing a sovereign law, you will start actually removing functions of the Internet, totally or significantly.

The Internet Society and myself, others, have created frameworks, when used as a seat, you can see how different policy proposals and Treaties that work with the Open‑Ended or Governmental experts in the U.N., it shows how the proposals can be commensurate with the Internet or not.  With that knowledge, we have to work on a multistakeholder basis first.

Here Veronika Datzer I'm glad to see joining as well as Haddia, the new generation of scholars and doers, people that are simultaneously scholars, policymakers and operators.  It is remarkable that actually the multilateral framework has been very slow coming behind a multistakeholder.  It is more like let's bring in the multilateral and multistakeholder than the other way around.  Thanks. 

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for your intervention Alejandro Pisanty.  I will turn to Bastiaan Goslings to give the floor to the people in the room, the participants in Addis Ababa. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: I see two, three hands.  I will start with the gentleman over here.

>> ATTENDEE: Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Please introduce yourself and the organization that you represent, if any or if you represent yourself.  Thank you. 

>> Alejandro Pisanty: Unless there is a reason to be anonymous.

>> MODERATOR: Unless there is a reason Alejandro Pisanty.  I hope people introduce themselves.  We certainly have so far.  (Chuckling).

>> ATTENDEE: I am Julio and I represent the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs.  I would like to bring the perspective of the Global South.  First of all, from the scientific point of view, we consider the Internet an obviously complex system.  So from a system dynamics perspective, the Internet does follow a stochastic behavior, in which any dramatic intervention can lead to unintended consequences including in the food and supply chain.

From the Global South perspective what we need the international community to do is actually work on the basis of humility, empathy, solidarity rather than punitive approach, which could actually be prone to bias or to political and economic agendas.  Because always when we have a political and economic agenda rolling the dice, the reality that we have on the ground is that those that are the most vulnerable and that are least responsible and least involved in great power competitions, they're the ones that suffer.

So we do understand that there is now a dynamic in which the Internet is being used for politics.  But this is highly concerning.  What we need to do is actually prevent the Internet from being weaponized for goals related to international security and to recover the Internet Society and information society enshrined in the WSIS framework.

Therefore, we have now the Sustainable Development Goals and need to be the priority of the international community.  We have very little time to achieve and leverage Internet for those goals.  And if we fail to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, then again, from a systems dynamic perspective we'll have a lot of instability and political situation in which social and economic instability drivers may lead us to prohibitive and fragmented cooperation environment that may in there our priority of leaving no one behind.

So we very much understand that there are some trends related to the use of Internet for political and international security and geopolitical issues.  But this trend must stop.  And we must use the Internet to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  Thank you. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Thank you.  The gentleman over there, please.  Introduce yourself.  

>> ATTENDEE: My name is benedict from ... okay.  Can I proceed?  I am from information network ‑‑

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Closer to the mic, please.  Closer. 

>> ATTENDEE: Can you hear me?  Okay.  It is okay.  It is wonderful presentation about the geopolitical neutrality of the global Internet, but I have a couple of questions.  The first one is as you know, the global Internet is user is 4.95 billion.  And what the current status of the domain name conflict?  ICANN and multistakeholder, what are they working toward this IP address designation.  As you can say, it is ‑‑ the space is not a political space.  The Internet is global international space. 

The second question is ICANN and multistakeholder toward this policy, to the unique identifier, what are the progress ‑‑ what are the progress of the policy regarding to the designation of the unique identifier?  Thank you. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: I saw more hands.  I suggest we take all of the questions and give people the opportunity to respond.  Please go. 

>> ATTENDEE: Thank you very much.  I'm from Minister of Innovation and technology Ethiopia.  I'm with policymaking.  I have a few questions about these sanctions of the Internet especially when the making a sanction to geopolitical country.  It is very dangerous to make usual business.  It is in a good way.  Especially in small business and startups will be very hard to these sanctions.  And it is linked to in another way, innovation and technology developments. 

So what will make this possible to the best policymaking or policy sources to these sanctions?  Thank you very much. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Thank you, I see a hand.  Is it the lady next to you.

>> ATTENDEE: I'm from Bangladesh and speaking on behalf of myself. 

If we think to make the Internet a void to politics from the Internet then my understanding is we can enhance the political standard, moral standard of the user and understanding ‑‑ the mental state of the user of the Internet.  And I think the only way to make the Internet free of politics is to make the user mind free of politics and make the minds of the users more global and more acceptable for each other.  Thank you very much. 

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Olivier, if it is okay, I propose ‑‑ I don't see hands here, but to close the queue here.  We have I think seven minutes left.

>> MODERATOR: Yeah, we have seven.  Thank you very much for this.  Thank you for all the interventions.  I would like to see if there is any reaction from panelists on what they've heard.  I also note a discussion going on in the chat, which often happens.  Life on the chat and life in the room and online.

So I'd like to hear from our participants.  I see Sivasubramanian Muthusamy has put his hand up.

>> Sivasubramanian Muthusamy: I notice something interesting in one of the panelist questions.  He said this trend must stop.  If you respond to two countries playing politics and more countries respond by playing politics, then it becomes more and more splintered and that must stop.  I don't know if there is not ‑‑ there has not been a precedent, but we have to make a precedent by declaring this a space completely free of politics.  That is when the geopolitical harm that is happening to the Internet will stop.  That is the only way to preserve the Internet. 

 Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your contribution, Sivasubramanian Muthusamy.  As noted we have very little time before we end this session.  Let's turn to each panelist on their points.  One more person that hasn't spoken. Mokabbri.

>> ATTENDEE: Hello everyone, distinguished panelists it was a very interesting discussion.  First of all, I should thank you for organizing the timely session.

I would like to say that the issue, the important issue of geopolitical neutrality of global Internet should be reflected through Global Digital Compact.  This approach is very useful for global community.  My suggestion regarding this issue that could help the global community is ‑‑ the first one is development of internationally legally binding (?) from cybersecurity based on the international law.

The suggestion is establishment of framework, rules and norms and accountable behavior of digital platforms and serve provider in data security and content and law.  And defining ‑‑ the suggestion is defining a common region for Internet as a peaceful and development oriented environment for public good.  Not as a new battlefield and militarized environment.  Through signing a global Declaration by all members.

The last one, internationalization of Internet and public core as a trust building measure could help global Internet to be geopolitically neutral.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, sir.  That's taken into the record.  Let's then go through each one of our panelists.  We'll start in alphabetical order.  We'll start with Bastiaan Goslings.

>> Bastiaan Goslings: Thank you everyone for participating and making relevant and interesting comments.  I especially want to comment on the input from the Brazilian delegate.  Very useful.  You know, I think we will find an ally in us.  As a technical community we don't have direct access to the U.N.

In terms of longer term solutions, maybe related to that, I think it is very important.  It is not new as such.  But that for us as technical community, it is very important to continuously engage with public officials and public authorities.  They're the ones that we refer to the fact that is the Internet neutral or not?  I don't think it is.  Governments are going to do whatever they want to do or feel the need to do within their own jurisdictions.

What we can do is contribute with regard to knowledge, to exactly, you know, convey the message how does the Internet work?  What are the underlying technical functionalities in order to create this global, unique interconnected network of networks.

I am Dutch.  I definitely see that from the Dutch policymakers, like this demand, please, help us in order to determine legislation and what also ‑‑ especially when it comes to unintended consequences, what is the impact?  Is it effective.  I see the same on European levels.  I see it as positive.  We have to do that.  It has to be on the agenda to continuously help the public officials to give them knowledge and help them determine what they think from a public interest perspective they have to do.  From that perspective, I also think ‑‑ it has been mentioned a couple of times, it is useful to distinguish the core of the Internet, the functionalities, the numbering, naming, routing systems as opposed to everything that happens on top of the Internet.

Close to five billion people are on the Internet and what happens offline more and more happens online.  Sometimes even more you know ‑‑ the effects become strong early because of the network effects and the specificities of the Internet.  I think this dialogue has to continue all the time.  It will not stop.

You know, whether it is appropriate to actually determine exemptions for core Internet functionalities either within the European Union or maybe confidence building measures on the U.N. level, I think there could be definitely worthwhile considering and maybe also within the IGF.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Bastiaan Goslings, I'm concerned about time.  Let's go to Bill Woodcock.

>> Bill Woodcock: I think at some levels this is a very practical matter.  There is the Intergovernmental harmonization size getting Governments to agree what sanctions are.  And that is being coordinated in the OECD.  On the other side, there are 20,000 Internet networks that have to decide what it is they are going to block and what laws they're going to comply with, so forth.  That work is being coordinated at sanctions.net.  I would encourage everyone who wants to participate in this conversation ongoing to either work within the OECD framework.  There is for instance, the business constituency, if you want to work from the Private Sector there.  Rather than through Government.

Or you know participate in the sanctions.net coordination process. 

>> MODERATOR: Thanks for this Bill.  Clearly the beginning of a discussion and a dialogue, rather than reaching the end.  We still have a lot to cover.  (Chuckling) next we have Iria Puyosa. 

>> Iria Puyosa: Following what Bill say is another matter of concern is sanctions being discussed by the OECD and the rest of the world is in what part of the table.  That would be another issue.  For this to work, have to be a little bit more discussion.  And it is not going to be easy.  It is not going to be fast, but it is important.  So I think it has to be mechanism for including different Government for different part of the world and having a system that is more robust and more stable on political change internal to the countries.  So otherwise, this is going to be ‑‑ well, we had this rule with this kind of political parties are ruling.  We had this other rule when other political party of ruling.  That is not something I think we should expose the Internet to that.

So we need to have something more stable.  I agree, the Internet is political because we, the users are political beings.  But we need to have some criteria for making this more table.  The regime to be used to make a decision have to be more stable than our varying political views in different events. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Next is Veronika Datzer. 

>> Veronika Datzer: Thank you so much and to everyone that contributed.  It was incredibly insightful.  I want to just reemphasize what Bastiaan Goslings said.  Policymakers need the technical community to understand what is going on.  That is why the discussions are so important for both perspectives because frankly speaking, we need the technical expertise to understand what is doable, what is achievable and what is sensible.  I also want to understand what was said, I think the conversation is just starting.  That is why I am grateful for the IGF and the institutions or Forums to bring people like us together.

To prevent the Internet from being weaponized we need regulation.  That is what we will try to achieve best.  I believe in a multistakeholder approach in this regard.  I also do believe we need to find a decolonial south to north perspective.  We need to include everyone at the table.  We need to include companies and policymakers.

If there are any systems, please ‑‑ any suggestions, please reach out.  I'm welcome to comments, feedback from all perspectives.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, closing words from Alejandro Pisanty.

>> Alejandro Pisanty: Thanks everybody.  Thank you for the laws making this panel possible and to every participant.  We're not going to do away with politics of the Internet.  That cat is out of the bag.  It has been out there since before the Internet was built.  The choice of the policy preference is for an open Internet was already a political choice.

So let's start again.  What we need is a space where politics can take place forever without destroying the structure, the Internet itself.  The Internet is not one monolith as Bill emphasized.  There are lots of networks.  There is a great incentive to recover for the Governments the mantras which we had forever on the Internet side.  Like connectivity is its own price.  You lose more than you gain when you lose connectivity.  Despite against you may want to achieve.  So let's start pushing more for outcomes at the multilateral level that are compatible with what has been happening under technical and multistakeholder side for so many years.

It is not doing away with geopolitics, it is preserving it as much as we are working on preserving Antarctica, the oceans, or space.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  First, thank all of the panelists for the insightful points.  And the people that intervened and participating in the discussions.  Clearly, there will be further discussion.  I think the only thing I can add is this was a session of the Dynamic Coalition on Core Internet Values.  We have more events going on in this ‑‑ regarding this topic.  It is really something that we need to do. 

So thanks to everybody for having participated in this session.  I realize we're a bit late.  But we will be publishing takeaways from this.  If you are interested in the work of the dynamic coalition and to take part in our work and continue the discussion with our community, then the details are on the IGF website on how to get in touch.

We are not elitist at all.  We accept everyone.  We're very varied people as well.  So sometimes we disagree on things.  Quite often we disagree.  And sometimes we find consensus.  This is what this dialogue helps us achieve, eventually at some point.  Thanks, everybody.  Have a very good rest of the day.  Safe travels since this is the last day for those people that are in Addis Ababa.  Have a safe travel back home to wherever you are.  Thank you.