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.
>> Welcome, everybody. Good morning, good evening, good afternoon, wherever you happen to be. Thank you for joining this workshop 405 at IGF 2022. This workshop is called splintering from the core up, fragmentation and standards. It's organized by Oxford Information Labs. My name is Emily Taylor. I'm CEO of Oxford Information Labs, editor of the Chatham Journal of Cyber Policy, and founder of the DNS research federation. A couple of housekeeping points before we get started. Sadly, our panelist Mehwish Ansari is not able to join us today, so we'll miss her excellent contribution from a civil society perspective. We welcome any participants who have that background. Please make yourself known to Roberto in the room or raise your hand. We would very much welcome your input today.
We are very fortunate, and thank you to Roberto Sambrana for agreeing to our moderator on site in the room today.
Roberto, would you like to just introduce yourself to the participants so that they know who you are? I'm sure everybody does anyway, but if you just introduce yourself and let people in the room know how to ask for the floor when the time comes.
>> Roberto: Sure, Emily. Hello. It's great to be here today. I am Roberto Sambrana. I am together with my dear colleague, Amada Espinosa. We're going to support this session. Any time you want to ‑‑ as Emily was saying at the beginning, we want to have this session very interactive, so please just if you have any comments or questions, just raise your hand, and we will be able to give you the floor. We will alert Emily. That's the idea in our sides, ready to support you. Emily, back to you.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Roberto, thanks again for that support today. It really is fantastic.
So avoiding internet fragmentation is, of course, one of the key components of this year's IGF theme. Resilient internet for a shared sustainable common future. Technical standards and protocols, of course, have enabled interoperability that has made the internet such a successful global platform. Historically standards have been made by experts from the private sector engineers primarily from democracies in the U.S. and Europe who had one goal and one goal only. To solve practical problems through rough consensus and running code, but things are changing as geopolitical pressures and conflicting visions for the future of technology manifest even in these expert communities.
So what we're going to do is take today's session in two parts breaking after about three‑quarters of an hour to introduce our second wave of speakers, if you like. Our first speakers are going to give an overview of what's happening in the world of standards and how that affects internet fragmentation, how we can maintain interoperability, which has been a success factor.
In the second part we will look ahead to strategies and enhancing inclusive standards‑making. This can be a technical area. The terminology can be rather confusing and excluding for newcomers. It can feel almost like learning a new language, so to guide us on this journey we have a wonderful panel of speakers to kick us off with very, very brief five‑minute remarks. That's a huge ask for the panelists to condense everything that they know into five minutes, and it won't be nearly everything they know, but we've asked the panel to be brief just so that we can, as Roberto said, include as many voices in this session as possible, whether on site or remote participation.
So let me turn to our first panelist, my dear colleague Carolina Caeiro from Oxford Information Labs. She's a senior policy and government specialist with us.
She's also the lead author of a paper for the DNS Research Federation on standards, "the new frontier for the free and open internet." Carolina, you've been tracking a set of standards called new IP. Can you tell us what this new IP is and what the latest developments are? Thank you.
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Thank you, Emily. Yes, of course. And good morning, everyone. So I think in new IP there's a concrete example about why it matters to consider internet standards as a potential driver for internet fragmentation. New IP, as you mentioned, Emily, is a term used to describe a series of standard proposals used at ITU back in late 2018 that brought about a new internet that sought to reinvent the internet's core architecture. The central idea behind new IP was that the internet was unfit to meet the needs of future networks and emerging technologies and, therefore, that we were in need of new internet protocol. Hence, the name new IP.
In practice, however, the new IP proposal sought to introduce a series of transformations to internet addressing and naming. It sought to radically transform the internet's network layer or to borrow the language from colleagues from the internet society. It sought to transform the internets way off networking in ways that would threaten the internet's interoperability and introduce new potential forms of tracking users and content online. Therefore, fragmenting the internet. Now, the original proposal was not successful in moving forward for standardization, so many considered new IP a done deal, but in the paper, Emily, that you mentioned we provide evidence of how new IP has indeed not gone away.
We highlight how as recently as of this very year we continued to see the introduction of standards, policies that seek to do precisely what new IP set out to accomplish. So, again, you know, to transform the network layer by incorporating greater information and contents and users into the networking process and generally to transform addressing and naming all in ways that would hinder interoperability and introduce new forms of online controls.
In particular what we are seeing is that instead of being presented as sort of an entirely Newark technical tour, new IP has been broken down into sort of smaller pieces tied more closely to alleged use cases and sort of introduced across multiple standard organizations and under different names.
So I think when we speak of internet fragmentation many people think of internet regulation. Say, internet shutdowns and how this sort of generate different experiences for internet users across the world, and I think there is a group of technical experts, researchers, standard participants, some of us participating in this very panel that also want to raise awareness about the fact that internet fragmentation is also playing out at the level of standards development at the level of sort of the technical specifications for the technologies and protocols that establish, if you will, how the internet works.
I always like to say and I'll wrap up with this, that standard proposals that seek to transform the internet as oppose to evolve the internet like new IP might feel like a non sort of immediate risk or threat because standard proposals have to go through a process of vetting, approval, effective adoption or implementation, but at the same time if successful, they can be a very powerful way of transforming the internet because standards have the potential to reshape how the internet functions from the core up.
I think I'll leave it at that for opening remarks, and back to you, Emily.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Carolina. I hope you can hear me a little bit better. I'm just going to try and make sure that my audio is a little clearer. Apologies for my audio.
Thank you very much for that introduction, Carolina. I know that you know a lot more about new IP, but that just sets the scene for us. You know, this was a set of professionals. It did get pushed back, but what we have observed and you have observed in that paper is that it's reshaped being represented in different forms in smaller slices and has the potential for fragmentation. That's a nice scene setting for our next speaker, Tommy Jensen, who is a senior technical manager at Microsoft and a regular participant at a leading technical standards body, the Internet Engineering Task Force.
Tommy, internet standards have always evolved, right? And to avoid fragmentation, I guess the network and those protocols will have to evolve with them to support emerging technologies. So if you are thinking about ‑‑ from your technical point of view can you tell us whether new IP will actually solve the use cases that it claims to solve and support those new waves of technology? In other words, do we need to evolve the internet architecture in this way in order to be ready for the next generation of technologies?
>> TOMMY JENSEN: So ‑‑
>> Amada Espinosa: Just one second. Emily, questions will be at the end of all the presentations? This is Amada Espinosa.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: We're going to hear from Carolina and Tommy and Carl, and then I would like to take questions until the quarter past the hour, if that's all right. Sort of halfway through the session. Then we'll move to the second wave of speakers. Does that make sense to you?
>> AMADA Espinosa: Perfect. Thank you.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you for clarifying that. Tommy, thank you. The floor is yours.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: The short answer is, no, the IP doesn't need a new version to evolve. We have IPV4 and IPV6. IPV6 is fully capable of meeting the needs that are set forth in the new IP's stated use cases, or the stated use cases present problems that are not solved at the IP layer.
For example, ultra low latency at long distances, some of the numbers being requested, it's really not the IP protocol's fault. It's more electrical engineering's fault that we can't move that quickly. The speed of light has a factor here. So, no, I do not think that it is necessary.
For the most part I agree with everything Carolina said already, so I don't think I'll elaborate further on that.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much. You know, so perhaps you could just in a word or two explain for people who aren't familiar with the internet engineering task force how it works. I know that's a big ask to ask in a small amount of time. Also, maybe you could tell us what your internet engineering task force colleagues thought of you appearing here at the Internet Governance Forum.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: So the IETF in a nutshell.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: For dummies, right?
>> TOMMY JENSEN: Heavens no. You mentioned the phrase "rough consensus and running code earlier." That is the one‑liner summary of the IETF to me. It's a place where we get together and try to solve the technical problems that we're all facing, but, A, rough consensus, which itself is an interesting governance feature because it isn't majority, and it's not a democracy. It's intended to be an engineering‑based argument model where consensus is not gained as long as there's an engineering issue surfaced that's proven to be an issue that is not addressed yet. So everything has to be addressed.
That the point you may have 10% of the participants who are very enthusiastic and 90% who don't care. Maybe because we don't own products that deal in that space or for whatever other reason. That can still be rough consensus because the people who are impacted are the people who are in favor.
Conversely, you can have 90% of people support and 10% of people really opposing and not have consensus if the opposition has arguments that need to be addressed. So how would I describe the IETF? A lot of fun and a lot of back and forth. But I've found that good ideas have found their way forward, and distractions don't. It's just a very tedious process, like most open organizations are.
What do my colleagues think? My colleagues at Microsoft are definitely supportive of me being here, and I'm blessed to work with a lot of talented engineers and policymakers so that we can stand with one voice here. I'm sure my colleagues are happy as well. Certainly all of us want to see policy, governance, technology, prevent splitting of the network of networks.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you, Tommy, and you're very welcome here today and delighted that you have joined us. We'll be coming back to you with questions both from the audience ask from me in this first part.
Let me just now introduce our third speaker, Carl Gahnberg, the director of policy development and research at the Internet Society. I hope that's your accurate title. Is it, Carl?
>> CARL GAHNBERG: That is correct, yes.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Good. Carl, how do we insure that future standards preserve interoperability and don't fragment the internet? You know, sort of leaving aside that the specific case of new IP that there's something to learn from there, isn't there, that we will need to keep evolving. So what sort of factors do we need to bear in mind to ensure interoperability?
>> CARL GAHNBERG: Thank you, Emily, and good morning, everyone. I regret I couldn't be on site, but I'm happy that I can join from Geneva using the internet. So to your question about how we can kind of consider standards going forward and avoiding fragmentation, I wanted to offer kind of a practical approach to this, and I would say specifically for those of us that have a policy background where we assess new standard proposals. I think the best way of doing that is to consider that all standards proposals basically have a problem side, and they have a solution side.
So that is due because you don't standardize just for the sake of standardizing. You standardize because you are trying to figure out a solution to a problem. Starting on the problem side and trying to figure out what is the problem here that is being thought to be addressed is a good starting point. That can be as simple as asking the questions to ourselves as the problem is clearly stated here. Are these problems that are in effect being dealt with somewhere else already, says and does the proposal include, for instance, a rational for why existing solutions are insufficient and so forth?
Asking the questions about the problems that a proposed standard is sought to address I think is a good starting point for getting kind of a high level sense as to whether or not this can be an issue for the internet.
To give you a very basic example of how you can think about this problem side as helping identify flags comes from the new IP proposal, which argue that one of the problems that it sought to address was to support the interconnection of heterogenous networks, radio and satellite networks, what they refer to as mini‑nets.
The reason I think this is a good example is because this problem of interconnecting a heterogenous network is precisely what the internet does. It's precisely what the internet was designed to do in the internet protocol. Purely from that problem statement, it gives us kind of a hint that either this is a problem with an existing solution, meaning the internet protocol, or at minimum it is a problem that is best discussed in the forums that have been dealing with the IP layer and dealing with interconnection of heterogenous networks for approximate had years, and that would be the Internet Engineering Task Force.
There's benefits of starting on that problem side because what you want to avoid, especially from a view of fragmentation, is to avoid overlaps and duplicative work. Duplication in and of itself could create a form of fragmentation where you have one problem, but you have multiple different varying solutions to that problem. That means that you cannot have interoperability between them.
The second part of this is to look at a standards proposal from the solution side, and I think that the way to do that for those of us that are coming at this from a policy point of view is to think about it ideally with the help of a reference point that you could think about a systems criteria. What is the system that we want as a community when it comes to the internet? What are the technical properties of the internet that we value and that we want to preserve? Carolina hinted to some of this in her opening statement and does a really good job at this in her paper. We've created at the Internet Society over the past couple of years a framework to this end where we're trying to describe important technical properties of the internet, what we call the internet way of networking.
It's a very simple framework where we try to describe what we see as these critical pieces of the internet. So, for example, that it's a networking model where you make use of a common protocol, IP, you make use of a common set of identifiers, the IP addresses, the domain names, and that the general purpose network that is meant to support everything and nothing so to speak. It's not designed for any particular application. It doesn't give preference to voice or video.
So by having something like that, it gives you kind of a systems criteria that you can access against, ask that is quite helpful because, for example, in the case of new IP, as Carolina mentioned, they had solutions in there that would strictly deviate from this idea of networking where they included, for instance, quality of service guarantees into the protocol stack or into the protocol, which would deviate quite significantly from the systems criteria that we have today in the internet, which is based on best effort.
Now, finally on that sort of solution perspective on assessing new standards proposals, I think it's also useful to take a kind of economics perspective because inherently when you make large changes, they need to be implemented, and this could be costly deployments when you new Ed to replace a full protocol stack. That in and of itself could create a form of fragmentation where you could have parts of the world that, for instance, doesn't have the ability to make these changes because they're costly. This is something that to what Tommy was mentioning we've seen this, for instance, in the case of IPV4 and IV6.
One of the challenges in getting through the transition has to do with economics. So taking an economics look at these status proposals and looking at, okay, from a technical specification point of view might not be sufficient to consider what the fragmentation impact is because you need to also consider how this is going to be deployed, how it's going to behave in an existing architecture and so forth. I think that also connects a bit to the questions around governance, which I know the second half of this workshop will look at. I think in that area kind of important question to ask when you are looking at a standards proposal which goes to this governance structure is to the extent everyone that needs to be included is actually included in these discussions and are allowed to participate in working on the solution.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Carl, and you make a very important point about inclusion at the end, which I'm sure we're going to come back to.
Carolina, can I just ‑‑ well, first of all, Roberto, if you just let me know if there's anybody in the room who would like to make an intervention.
>> AMADO ESPINOSA: Yes, we have an intervention here. Would you please introduce yourself? Thank you.
>> Audience: My name is Mirja. I'm the chair of the Internet Architecture Board of the IETF. I thought I would speak up because we're talking about the IETF a lot. Good morning, Tommy. Good morning, Carl. Good to see you.
I would like to add a few points because I think we've been discussing a lot about the technical means here, but I see a much deeper problem.
So, first of all, the new IP proposal is based on a very wrong assumption that the internet is broken and it can't be fixed. So that's just completely wrong. The internet is not broken, and it's also not the same internet that we had 40 years ago. The internet is continuously evolving. That's why we in the IETF meet three times a year and have more than 100 working groups because we keep changing the internet all the time. We look at new IP and the new challenges. These are the same new challenges we are also discussing in the IETF and that we are trying to address and that we can address because the way the internet is designed is very flexible. None of the designs have to stay forever. It has the same name, but it's a very different protocol. We just recently designed a new transfer protocol, which is called quick, so in future we will see much less TCP traffic and much more quick traffic. The internet is continuously evolving and changing, and we have the tools and the structure to address these problems or these challenges.
The thing that I want ‑‑
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Sorry.
>> Audience: The thing I really want to add is I think the problem with the new proposal was it was taking technical arguments in order to try to change the internet governance structure, also making a point that it doesn't work well, which I also totally disagree with. We have all these organizations which work very well together to keep the internet running to make the internet better and trying to make an argument that it's broken in order to change that and change the control about how the multi‑stakeholder model is working at the moment, that's the part that is really concerning to me.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much for that intervention. Anybody else from the room?
>> AMADO ESPINOSA: Anybody else? No.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: It struck me as we heard her speaking and Tommy as well, you know, from a technical point of view purely the new IP proposal should never get off the ground, right? So why are they being addressed to different organizations in this way, and do you see any other aspects that could explain why they're being put forward?
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Thank you, Emily. That's a tough question. Thank you, Mirja. I will share the paper that was written on the chat. It's a point we're also making in the research report that many of the sort of use cases, the new IP claims aren't solved are actually addressed by existing standards or are being worked at spaces like the Internet Engineering Task Force.
I think there's sort of agreement on that front. One aspect we haven't mentioned that I think is relevant, if you will, is the geopolitical aspect to the new IP proposal. So the new IP proposal was originally put forth by private sector by Huawei and sort of the recent new iterations, if you will, of proposals. New IP‑related proposal that is we're seeing come up across various standard organizations. We're seeing a more active role from Chinese ministries, universities, and sort of a stronger role, if you will, from the Chinese government in terms of sort of pursuing or putting forth this vision for the internet.
I think there's also that sort of political component that these are efforts that, again, sort of reflect specific countries' vision for the internet and more sort of comprehensively China's road map for technology ‑‑ for the future of technology and standards for geopolitics is also in there as well.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Taking that aspect, the sort of the geopolitical aspect and also Miriam's point that inherent in the new IP proposals is a restructuring of internet governance. How well do you think the current structures enable that sort of geopolitical contestation and recognize it and are able to cope with it? Maybe if I could bring in Carl and Tommy, but also Stacie or Pablo, our other speakers, even though you haven't had your introduction yet. Feel free to pitch in on this point. I think it's a very relevant point in the context of the internet governance forum about how we're governing technologies and how we evolve multi‑stakeholder organizations and processes to cope with very different world views.
Does anybody want to have a go at that one, or is it too early or late? Tommy, go for it.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: Certainly. I just want to call back actually something that Mirja said earlier. The scope of the IETF is pretty massive these days thanks to the evolving nature of the internet. We colloquially, the IETF, in which I am a fairly minor participant as you look around the room here at the other participants there, create and take down working groups multiple times a year. The working group that I participate the most in, the adaptive DNS discovery working group, was only created because of the deployment of DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS causing what I'll describe as a kerfuffle among the global stage of how should encrypted DNS work.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Could you just, Tommy ‑‑ there was a bunch of acronyms in what you just said. Could you just sort of dial it down for people for more of a social science type of background who might not be familiar with these acronyms. What are those protocols doing?
>> TOMMY JENSEN: So there exists this protocol called the DNS. We're going to say that its purpose is to translate a domain name like Facebook.com, into an IP address that your computer can actually use to connect to that web server. The DNS is the phone book.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: It's the domain name system, correct? Domain name system.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: Yes. I don't think about all those words either. The acronym is its name to me.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: It becomes its own language, but it can be very baffling. I know we have people like Mirja in the room who many experts on this. Apologies on stopping you on the acronyms there, Tommy.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: Quite all right. Happy to accommodate. The DNS is the phone book for the internet where you know a website by its name, Facebook.com or Google.com or Microsoft.com, but your computer can only address other computers in IP addresses which are large numbers. More commonly, a DNS server that your ISP or your internet service provider who provides internet in your home will give you and say where is Facebook.com? It will come back and say Facebook.com is at IP address whatever.
Then your computer can speak with it. That protocol has been in plain text forever. Actually, literally as long as I've been alive. Because that blocks everything. You can't connect to anything online give or take without a DNS query happening first. So it's been plain text because that's faster than encryption generally, and it uses some other protocols. It uses UDP instead of TCP. I'm going to gloss over for the moment. I'm just going to say it was designed to be very quick and dirty. However, that traffic is very valuable in terms of privacy as well as security where essentially anyone who can listen on a network connection and see all of your DNS queries can really see a rough form of your browsing history because any time you need to go somewhere online, first, you're going to send a DNS query to figure out where it is. Whoever is listening to your DNS traffic knows where you are going.
So there have been efforts to encrypt it before, but there was really momentum in 2015 onward where standards called DNS over TLS, which TLS is transport layer security, and it's actually the form of encryption that's underneath HTTPS. So in your browser you see a little green padlock and a link that starts with HTTPS://, and it's happy. It's because it's using TLS and an identity that your browser recognizes. Putting DNS straight over that same protocol, we call it DNS over TLS.
There is another protocol called DNS over HTTPS, and that's putting DNS over HTTP in turn over TLS, and it treats DNS as if it were web traffic. That's its own topic, but we'll skip past that.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you. Just want to bring in Carl and Carolina now, Tommy. Thank you very much for that.
Carl, as somebody who participates in both intergovernmental and multi‑stakeholder standards bodies, right, and the same for you, Carolina, you go across ITU and IETF. Can you give a flavor of how they differ. Stacie, Pablo, also a very 101. How do they differ? What sort of risks do both kind of forms of making standards pose to fragmentation?
>> CARL GAHNBERG: I'm very happy to go on what Tommy was saying. I really appreciate that you had the go.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Really appreciate that.
>> CARL GAHNBERG: One of the things to keep in mind here is what we're trying to resolve is effectively engineering problems when it comes to standards. While technology can have political consequences, I don't think that the politics should be governing the technology in the sense that we shouldn't make engineering decision on the basis of politics even though there could be political consequences from technology.
And I think that's the biggest difference between different forum. In different forum, mainly governmental ones, decisions are made on political ‑‑ it's politics that is driving what the outcome is. In a forum like IETF, it's engineering outcomes that is driving what is being worked on.
To that point, I think the case that Tommy was illustrating I think is a very good one to think about how different forum deals with controversies, if you will. So one of the impacts from this new protocol that Tommy was describing was that it changed who could look at traffic, and that could have an impact on network's ability to manage their security, what resolver was being used and so forth. That created some controversy. I think that the working groups that Tommy is a part of in sort of working on finding compromises in how to deal with those issues that arise I think is a good example of how a forum like the IETF addresses these problems that emerge. So when there is a sort of redistribution of power, if you will, as a consequence from a protocol, it isn't just dismiss any criticism, but they're trying to figure out how do we find a good compromise here and work together? I think that approach collaborating for the sake of systems working versus an approach that is highly political where it is for basically private gains that is at the center of driving the process, I would say that those are the main differences between the governmental and an open forum like the IETF where the IETF is very much focused on trying to solve engineering problems and figure out solutions when they emerge.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you. Carolina, as Tommy and Carl are speaking, it does occur to me, though, that technology does create policy issues. Tommy was talking about the ability to track people and the privacy and security risks inherent in deploying or making certain technological choices. I mean, isn't it the reality that standards are both, right, and how do we recognize that? Is it okay to just sort of go, well, we're just doing the engineering here, we're just ‑‑ can you draw the bright lines around it?
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Yeah. It seems I believe getting the tough questions. Spaces like the IETF is sort of driven by technical expertise and should continue to be that way. I mean, it's sort of obviously the value added that community of engineers and now increasingly other folks from different sort of policy spheres as well of offering that technical expertise and really going after solutions. I do think, however, that there needs to be sort of space for sort of Frank conversations about the implications or the impacts, if you will, of standards and technologies, and I think this goes to the heart of the question and participation actually which is the point that I wanted to raise. I think there has been an increased obviously attention from policymakers about developments unfolding at, say, IETF or ITU. This could be internet standards. It could be other sort of technologies that are being standardized from facial recognition to the meta verse. I think those are sort of valid concerns. Human rights impacts deriving from sort of the development and deployment of technologies are important to consider. I think there is a need clearly for sort of closer conversations between sort of technical communities and policy communities. When I say policy communities I don't mean just governments, which is sometimes what people sort of first think of when we speak of policy perspectives, but also sort of involving the voices of people from civil society, the voices of ‑‑ I always say non‑technical academia and so forth that have a lot to sort of contribute to the debate.
I know Stacie Hoffmann has done plenty of work on this subject, so I'm sure she'll be able to answer that a lot more eloquently.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you. I can see that Stacie has raised her hand and also Mirja as well. Stacie, let's go to you first and then Mirja.
>> STACIE HOFFMANN: Thank you, Emily. Thanks for the panel. It's been an interesting chat. I thought I could come in briefly just on the participation and the difference between the different standards bodies as well. If we just take kind of ITU as one example and IETF as another example and realize that there's a whole number of bodies, ISO, IEC, IEEE that lay ‑‑ W3C that lay on this kind of this line or in this space. I think it's a good way to kind of explain the different bodies and what we mean by participation as well.
So the internet ‑‑ the internet engineering task force is, of course, an industry‑led body. It's open to any stakeholder to participate, but historically it's been very technical. A lot of engineers going to the body, and there's been less kind of policy discussions. Not only by policymakers. I think Carolina's point is a really good one. There's a lot of policy expertise that's outside of government that sits within civil society within industry within different areas. I think there's something there about how we better link up those policy and technology discussions in a forum like IETF. That forum is the barrier to entry in irrelevant IETF is not the ability to attend because it is open. It's more about knowing how the body works. It's more about being able to have those discussions with technical experts.
Then you have a body like the ITU, the international telecommunication commission, which is a specialized agency of the U.N. The member states have kind of the final say in what happens if something goes to a vote, those are the bodies who vote.
If you are not a member state, you can access the standards body through paying quite a steep membership fee for some, and that's primarily for industry, slightly for academics. Where civil society lands is a bit unclear. It's not as straight forward.
Now, a way of joining the ITU, of course, is by joining a national delegation. So the U.K. has a multi‑stakeholder delegation to all of the kind of meetings that we attend. That's a key element for us to have that range of expertise. So there are ways to do it through that national delegation route, and it doesn't require then purchasing membership on your own as a body, which can be ‑‑ help in terms of those barriers to entry.
Of course, those discussions there will have a slightly different kind of flavor, if you will, because it is a U.N. body. There will be more geopolitics involved. There are more governments involved. So just to show that there are these different types of standards bodies. Sometimes that barrier is knowing how to engage and also what's being discussed there, but then critically this is why we are very keen in making sure that we're reinforcing those existing bodies. If you are looking to work on internet protocols, the IETF is where to go. If you are looking to work on this telecommunications related technology and I'm not a telecoms expert, you know, the ITU is a place to go as well.
So I think that that's just something that for people that are kind of joining the discussion, that can help to kind of get your mind around the landscape a bit.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: That's really helpful. Thank you, Stacie. I'll introduce you properly with your job title and everything in a few minutes. I can see Mirja's hand up. There's also a question from Joyce Chen in the chat. If we can make Joyce a co‑host, then she can take the floor after Mirja. Then after these two questions I'm going to move on to the second phase of this. This doesn't mean that we're not going to hear from Tommy, Carl, and Carolina again. We'll just continue to bring them into the discussion. Just to flag that up to you.
Mirja, thank you. The floor is yours.
>> Audience: We talked a lot about how to engage in the IETF or how to have a discussion with the different stakeholders, including policymakers, and I just wanted to make a few points.
It was already assessed the IETF is more open than many other standardization organizations. You don't have any kind of membership or any kind of fees. You can come and contribute. You can come to the meetings, join the mailing list, just join the discussion straight ahead.
However, it was just said, of course it's not that easy to get up to speed because compared to this forum, for example, the IETF is really continuously working on protocols, so our meetings are not forums for exchanging ideas. Our meetings are working meetings where we discuss tiny little gritty details about the protocols and we try to find solutions.
So even with a technical background, if you come to an IETF meeting and you don't know anything about the ongoing work, you will not be able to access any of the discussions there.
However, I would still like to invite people from different backgrounds because it's really important for the process. Just because the IETF is open, of course, doesn't mean that everybody is showing up and everybody is involved in discussion that needs to be involved.
I would like to invite everybody to come and at least look at the IETF and understand how it works. I think that's very important because people ‑‑ it's a very open multi‑stakeholder model, but because we are so technical, people have a little bit of a barrier to understand it and then rather go to other forums, but at least we in leadership, that's why I'm here, we're trying to engage with policymakers. We're trying to have a conversation, and we're trying to explain. Please come look at how the IETF works. Please come talk to me, but also, the other thing that is really important is that if you are a policymaker and you are working on regulations and you make regulations that are technically impacting the technology, then I think you also make a commitment to understand the technology because as we just said, the technology is continuously evolving. Then you have to put the resources and time in to get a little bit deeper into it.
There's definitely more discussion needed, and I hope this is actually where we can have this discussion. Thank you.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much for that. That's a very helpful and ‑‑ the openness, the fact that you're asking for that engagement and also recognizing that there is a difference between openness and also the ability to engage effectively and access and sort of that reaching out.
So I have got several people now who want to take the floor. Joyce, I have Jorge. There's a discussion going on in the chat with Olaf. I need to bring in two more speakers.
Can we do it like this? We could hear from Joyce now and then I'm going to go to Pablo and Stacie to sort of just bring in more future‑looking aspect.
Then if I may, I would like to bring in Jorge's point when we open the floor. Delighted see that people are kind of warming up and asking questions.
Joyce, if you can, open your mic and video, the floor is yours. Please pose your question.
>> Joyce chen: Thank you very much. I'm Joyce Chen, for the record. Just to repeat my question that was on the Zoom chat, which is setting aside the ITU as a platform for discussion and since we're on the topic of the IETF, what has been the opinion of the core concepts and IP. Is the community also exploring the viability or the soundness of some of those concepts? Just curious to know if there's been any movement or process on the IETF side. Thanks.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thanks for such a direct question. I wonder if we could just quickly ask our panel just for two or three words on this. I know it's a big topic. Tommy, can you just give us in a nutshell.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: I have seen a few working groups working on the actual use cases presented. Not the protocol itself, but some of the use cases. I recall one of them being remote surgery performance, right? Telepresence being able to control things. Very exciting topics.
I can think of one specifically working group where one of the techs that Mirja was mentioning earlier, our quick transport is being expanded and explored as how can we solve these other new problems, so yes.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much. Thanks for keeping it so brief, Tommy. Right. Just in the interest of time and also to bring in our two remaining speakers with great thanks to both of you for joining us today, Pablo, I'm going to turn to you first. Strategy AP director at AP Nick, which is the internet registry, or the IP address allocation registry for the Asia Pacific region. Pablo, you've been a long‑term member of the technical community, but also a policy person by background. Taking on Mirja's last intervention as well, how can we do better at being inclusive in the way that we do standards and avoiding fragmentation?
>> PABLO HINOJOSA: Thank you, Emily. It's very nice to be here, although I'm in Brisbane, not in Ethiopia where the action is happening. It seems that the discussion here is more focused on the internet protocol side of things. While there are many other layers and standards on the internet that could be also good to address or discuss because on those layers as well there might be an intended or unintended consequence of more fragmentation.
I would like to recap a bit of where we are in this discussion, which I find very fascinating. Carolina threw the first question whether to transform or evolve. I do feel that we can all agree that the internet has been extremely successful. In that sense in terms of its growth, in terms of how it has scaled up, in terms of its flexibility, in terms of certain characteristics of its design in that sense if we wanted to continue to be successful, we would say that it makes more sense to evolve rather than to transform. But I also would like to think that that is also subject to perspective and subject to the things that we see that we find successful, but others might not necessarily share that point of view. So I just want to put a light on that sense how successful it has been in one sense and also receive some sort of there are things that require more transformative and lessee involving approach in order for it to improve.
This gives me a second point to reflect on in this conversation because Carl said politics should not be the rule or ruling technical decisions, and I do feel that politics are always ruling technical decisions, and it's not possible to actually sort of not be political about certain things. Even if the engineers would say, no, we don't deal with that. Even Tommy, I really like your phrase when you said engineers and policymakers at Microsoft were speaking the same voice, and I think that is an interesting reflection.
Also, at the same time I want to trigger a discussion with Carl because I do feel that a lot of the work that you do in terms of the internet way of networking in terms of the critical characteristics of the internet, they are in a way political and not necessarily technical. In a way I think most of us share an ideal of where we want the internet to be, and that is what determines sort of whether there are gaps, and toes are the problems that you mentioned, Carl, and then through the standardization process, we determine how those problems can get some solutions. I do feel that it is difficult to frame those problems and to address those solutions to deviate from a certain political ideal or where we're coming from.
Now, I do want to address finally some of the things that many have discussed, but Stacie also mentioned in terms of the decision‑making process, how standards are developed, how standards are agreed. The differences in the different bodies of how you reach those agreements.
The ITU standardization process is different from the ISO from the IETF, et cetera, et cetera. Then I do feel that is why this is very relevant to the IGF because we're talking about a government's problem. We're not talking about technical standards problem or we're not talking necessarily about the internet fragmentation problem. There is a situation of how we arrive to those decisions and whether all perspectives are being considered, and we have agreed in this panel that not all perspectives are always considered because there are biases in terms of barriers of participation, in terms of ‑‑ for example, it's very difficult for a person that is not technical like me to influence a process in the IETF because there is a huge expectation that I need to speak a very technical language.
So on those grounds we also need to be conscious about all those biases and politics that actually affect the way that we think.
Notwithstanding that, from my perspective, I do feel that there is a history of certain agreement of things that have worked very well in the internet that we should preserve, that we should defend, that we should work for, and in a way I do feel that we can depoliticize that argument by being more understanding and being less focused on particular sides of the world, and that perhaps can also bring sort of a debate of the new IP in terms of those problems and solutions in a more welcoming participatory and less exclusive and more towards the success of internet to continue.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Pablo. Thank you for those challenging remarks. I can see that we've already got Carl and Mirja wanting to come back in. What I would like to do is to go first to our final speaker, Stacie Hoffmann, and I think this is ‑‑ Pablo's remarks have set the scene very well. Stacie is the digital standards strategy lead at the U.K. government, Department of Digital culture media and sport. Therefore, inherently a policymaker. You've been engaged in standards, haven't you, for about six years, both from the private sector and government.
From the perspective in your role as in the U.K. government, maybe you can reflect on that sort of how easy it is to detach, easy or difficult it is to detach technology from policy. Also, how back to our what are we talking about standards as a driver for fragmentation, how does this happen? And looking ahead, maybe you can pick up some of the points that have been made about inclusion in standards making both by Pablo, Mirja and others. Thank you.
>> STACIE HOFFMANN: Thank you, Emily, and thank you for having me today. First, I'm going to talk about the fragmentation and kind of follow Pablo and almost zoom out a little bit and look at how we have kind of developed our thinking around fragmentation and that kind of very much leads into the future looking and the engagement part that we're ‑‑ the big question, you could say.
So I think, first, it's really important that at least we acknowledge that there are different layers of fragmentation. Fragmentation is not binary either. Fragment ‑‑ it currently exists, right? The internet is a network of networks. So for my team that works on technical standards, for us fragmentation means that technical core of the public internet could be fractured into competing systems. If we want to use the framework from the IGF policy network, I know there's been a lot of discussion this week about the work of that group. This would be in the bucket of technical fragmentation rather than (lost audio), rather than user experience.
We also see worrying trends. Sorry. My internet has gone a bit slow. Hopefully I'm still there.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Your audio just broke up, so if that happens again, I'll let you know. You're back.
>> STACIE HOFFMANN: Thank you. Good. So we also see worrying trends towards more internet traffic being routed on private networks, so Jeff Houston actually from APNIC has done a lot of work. A lot of good public articles that you can read. That shows a different type of fragmentation risk where there are companies that are driving the direction of the internet's infrastructure, and that might be driven away from kind of open standards and public inoperability internet.
As you can see, fragmentation can be both facilitated, but also prevented through standards development, and we also acknowledge, of course, that's not the only vector of fragmentation that there is, but it's this idea of unchecked fragmentation for us, which could be really damaging to the internet ‑‑ to internet resilience, but also really counter productive for our aims that are related to development in closing the digital divide.
So within my team when we start working on fragmentation, we really had to query what do we mean by fragmentation when we talk about it and when does fragmentation become a problem? Well, to that end, we identified a few elements that we think are key to avoiding detrimental fragmentation of the internet.
So, for instance, this includes ‑‑ there should be a single domain name system, the DNS that we talked about earlier. There is a core internet protocol speech that shouldn't be fractured. Then, critically, its governance as well.
So the systems, the bodies, the forums like IGF, ICANN, IETF. There are institutions that work in this space, and if they're competing for control or design over these elements, of course, that can easily lead to fragmentation of the technology itself.
If you go to the IEGF policy network frame World War I that would be fragmentation of governance and coordination. Then we're starting to talk about how do we avoid this? What do we do to address this? We think early identification of potential issues, discussion of these issues in the right bodies during the standardization process, these can really help avoid problems down the road when we get to that deployment stage that kind of Tommy was picking up the difference between the deployment and the development. In the end we are working to develop global standards, so we need those ‑‑ we need global participation if we really want those standards to work for everyone.
So from the U.K. government's perspective, we support an industry‑led and multi‑stakeholder model for development of technical standards. We oppose top‑down approaches, standard‑setting or internet governance control over the internet. We really try to reaffirm that as much as we can.
We see government as one part of that wider multi‑stakeholder community, and I think that's very clear, for example, this week at the IGF. What we're hoping to do or trying to do is help integrate those policy and technical debates. So there is, as you said, a bit of delinking those conversations, but I think we need to bring this much closer together in the first instance.
Where we see the most value for policymaker engagement is where there is significant and real world implications of the kind of the standards being developed that could affect our citizens. That could be a variety of things. It could be impact on our values as a Democratic society. It could be upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. As you can see, the fragmentation can create problems and impacts across all of these different areas.
So how we encourage engagement will look very different in different standards and organizations. This is a bit what I was getting to earlier when we were talking about the difference between the IETF and the IETU. We need to take different approaches and understand those forums.
We are increasingly seeing different visions for the future of the internet and its technical architecture. So within these forums, we really should be reinforcing those institutions that we have, standard bodies like the IETF or government organizations like ICANN to turn those positive goals that we agree for the future of the internet into concrete actions. I think it's not enough just to talk about kind of what our vision and our volumes are.
We as government can use their convening power to help empower and enable stakeholders and other experts to engage in standards development. Those that are maybe less represented in the room. Really, as stakeholders here at the IGF we are at the center of these debates, and we can do a lot more to bring back these discussions to our local communities. We can do more to encourage capacity‑building and collaboration at the local level, which can feed up to the international level and help overcome those barriers to entry.
I can give just one example, and then I'll have a few ‑‑ I'll kind of conclude. In DMS recently teamed up with ISOC, and I'm happy to see ISOC for a program ahead of IETF115. We focused on building awareness and knowledge of IETF among policymakers, so what it is, how it works.
Then at the IETF meeting in London we hosted an open side meeting, and we were able to discuss with the attendees how to better engage policymakers in the standards development process. We also engaged with article 19's event at IETF115. It had a very similar aim for the wider policy community, the community that Carolina was talking about earlier. We thought that was a really great discussion as well. It's too bad that Mehwish isn't here and able to talk to us more about that.
I think these kinds of events or forums, they're helping to build the relationship across the wider community, whether policy, human rights, or technical experts and helping us see these kind of different views.
I think in conclusion we really need to be working within our communities and within the standards system and with SDOs to improve outreach and engagement. There's a lot of technical community at IGF this week, which is great, and I think we need to do more of that integrating so that we can meet each other halfway.
The U.K. government we've long had technical experts in a lot of the SDOs, the standards organizations, but worry actually looking to bring in more policy expertise now. We're seeing that gap to be filled.
Just to bring it back to fragmentation, I think if we take these small steps to be more inclusive and to reinforce these mechanisms that we have now, that will reinforce effective governance of the internet and then ultimately this should also reinforce kind of the institutions and guard against that fragmentation that might be really detrimental to the internet.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Stacie, thank you very much for those comments. I can see that Carl and Mirja want to come in. While I've got you there, can I pose a question that Jorge asked in the chat. I'm just scrolling up. There's so much going on in the chat. It's about the recent elections that took place at the U.N. International Telecommunication Union and what Jorge is asking is, you know, do you anticipate any changes of approach, any opportunities? Does this present a sort of change in direction or a moment in time? I'll ask you, Stacie, but also Pablo, Carl, when I give you the floor, Tommy, Mirja, whoever. Please do feel free to contribute to that. Stacie.
>> STACIE HOFFMANN: Happy to come in first. We congratulate door even Martin who has been elected as the secretary general for the ITU. We're really looking forward to her tenure there.
I think it remains to be seen what change that has for the ITU. The secretary general and kind of the leadership of the organization, they do have some input and setting direction for the organization, but ultimately it is a membership organization, and that membership does help drive the direction as well.
So I think it's an interesting time, and we'll have to wait and see what exactly happens when the new kind of leadership take up their roles.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much. Pablo, anything on that?
>> PABLO HINOJOSA: I prefer to hear others first and then perhaps commence. If not, I will go into a train, and I don't want to ‑‑
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Got it. Thank you. Carl and Mirja have been patient with their hands up for some time, and I think that they wanted to respond to some of your remarks, Pablo.
Let's hear from them next. Carl.
>> CARL GAHNBERG: Thank you. So, yeah, I wanted to initially respond to Pablo and then I can comment on the ITU as well.
Just in response to Pablo, I think what I meant is not that policy is void of politics. I was trying to say that there is politics involved in technology, but it's a difference of what's driving the technological development. That's what I wanted to highlight. This is go goes to what Stacie was describing where you have one forum where effectively you have voting by member states, and you have negotiations among those member states about what the outcome is. You can compare that to a forum like the IETF that has an extremely open participation model and where you have solutions being found through rough consensus and running code to Tommy's point of view.
Those do create different sort of dynamics in terms of what is driving the development process is the negotiation among states, or is it a technical community trying to find solutions to problems and putting them to work, finding engineering solutions? That was something I wanted to have an initial reaction to.
The second one was ‑‑ and we could probably dive into the depths of what is meant by politics, but if you look at the internet way of networking model that we're trying to describe, it's not intended to be a political statement. It is intended to describe what has been successful engineering principles in the internet to date, and I think something that is useful to highlight in the internet model of networking is that it's an extremely decentralized model. It's a voluntary model where you participate because you see benefits of being part of that model. There's no one dictating that you become part of the internet or do things in a certain way. It's a voluntary model where you deploy things on a voluntary basis, and you make decision as close as possible to the respective networks.
Finally, I wanted to also say and this links to the question around ITU. I think Stacie is right that it's to be seen what this change is, but what it comes down to when you talk about a forum like the ITU is that it is a member state driven organization. What the ITU will eventually do will be linked to what the member states want to do.
Finally, I also want to flag, and I think this discussion becomes very centered around some kind of conflict between ITU and IETF, and I think it's important to highlight that there is a lot of collaboration between those two networks. There's liaisons between, and they are doing complimentary work.
The challenges emerge when things are being proposed at the ITU that are being worked on at the IETF. There's actually a collaborative nature between the organize organizations, and I think we're doing a disfavor as describing it a conflict between the two. It's much more collaboration than conflict that is actually happening.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: So everything is great, is that right, Carl? Everything is great?
>> CARL GAHNBERG: No, not everything is great. There is always things to work on, but I do think that there is a risk of framing something as politics when there isn't always politics. Politics is sometimes what we make of it, right? You create politics where there isn't necessarily politics, and that's what I wanted to highlight that we should also look at how these institutions compliment each other and actually collaborate on things because they do serve different needs. I think that's important to highlight.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Yeah, and that's sort of ‑‑ that kind of polarizing narrative wherever it finds its expression is really unhelpful, isn't it, because, in fact, what needs to happen is that sort of all of these various groups need to sort of evolve in some way that hopefully is including.
Mirja, thank you very much for waiting for the floor. In addition to the points that you would like to raise, maybe I can ask a question to you, to Stacie, and to Carolina as women in standards about the impact of gender on inclusion and standards and how easy or difficult you personally find it. You don't have to speak for your entire gender, but your personal experience as a woman engaging in standards. I would really like to hear from you about how you found it and any of the challenges, but also any of the good stories as well. Mirja, thank you. The floor is yours.
>> MIRJA: Now I have actually a bunch of points I would like to make.
I just want to quickly agree with Carl here. So the IEB is responsible for management, and I think this is actually one of the things that new IP has shown is that this process is working. Like we talked a lot to people in ITU when these proposals were made because they were purposely made in the wrong forum, and so we try to figure out to resolve this correctly. That's just a good example that there are challenges, yes, but the structure that we have is working.
So the actual point I wanted to make is going back to this point about deployment a little bit because the IETF really measures a success by a stakeholder deploying the protocols. We are not controlling the deployment, so it's important for us to design our protocols that they actually address technical needs and consider the deployment scenarios so that protocols actually get deployed because otherwise, our work is useless, right? While we don't control the deployment, we will understand what incentives and deployment and considerations are, and we have to discuss them.
Connected to that there was an earlier point saying basically you have to be very technical in order to make a point in the IETF. I think that's not true. You can come to the IETF, and you make a statement, and it doesn't have to be technical. People will listen to you, and they will understand it, but it doesn't mean that your point gets addressed because if you come to the IETF and you are not trying to understand also the technical implications and the technical requirements, it might just be that comparing to all the other points we have to address in standardization that your point will not be addressed in the way that you would hope for.
So if you actually want to impact standardization, you have to engage as everybody else in the standardization process, as all the companies and all the other stakeholders. If you want to impact standards, you have to invest, and you have to engage.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you just very quickly ‑‑
>> MIRJA: It's important because ‑‑
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Very quickly, if I can ask you to conclude your remarks in 30 seconds and also address the gender point because then I need to come to our panelists.
>> MIRJA: So you want both points? Okay. It's important this is where regulations come in. If we see that deployment doesn't go in the right direction, then regulation is important and then regulation should bring deployment incentives and not try to change technology. That's the really important point I wanted to make.
About gender, we have very ‑‑ we only have about 10% of women in the IETF, and this is something we try to address. In general we try to get more diverse because as I said already, just because we're open doesn't mean everybody comes. To be honest, I had a very positive experience. That's why I'm here, and if anybody wants to talk about this, I'm happy to do it.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much for that. Carolina, I think you recently attended your first IETF meeting.
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: That's right.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: And first ITU meeting. It's all sort of fresh in your mind. Can you share a bit about your experience as a woman participating in standards?
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Yes, absolutely. I also wanted to say, I greatly appreciate us reflecting on the gender perspective when we discuss participation. I think the sort of technology and internet community in general, as we know, is quite male‑dominated, and I think sort of standard‑setting bodies that sort of trend is even more pronounced. You know, it's interesting to hear. I was going to sort of point out my impression that IETF was that there is, you know, a female participation more than what I was expecting, and that's just this 10% that Mirja was referring to.
What I will say and having worked for the technical community in the past, I worked for the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean is that there are sort of some interesting initiatives to sort of transform or improve, if you will, the gender balance in standards‑setting organizations and also if organizations that deal with policy development related to internet resources, like ICANN or the Regional Internet Registries. At IETF there's the sisters program which I think that's sort of a great job of bringing female colleagues sort of together to sort of share experiences and empower one another and strengthen participation. Another aspect that's very important is the existence of codes of conduct that seek to render these spaces as safe and friendly as possible for women and also for other gender diversity groups.
I'll leave it at that.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you.
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: I guess I'll end on a positive note as well.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Stacie, you've got the experience also of participating as a woman from government as well. I don't know if you have anything on that. Pablo, did you want to come in on this as well? I'm going to come to all of the panel. We've got, like, nine minutes left, so I wanted to give those last minutes to all of you as the panel to come in with your final remarks, if I may. Did you want to just come in now, Pablo?
>> PABLO HINOJOSA: Yeah. I will use the segue, and I'll also do my closing remarks. What Stacie and Carolina were saying and also Mirja, I do feel that there is a noticeable and growing trend of a change of demographics. It has been really good to see, for example, at the ITU a massive change, more diversity, more women delegates, more younger delegates. Also, the news about the leadership in terms of the secretary general and also the Deputy Secretary General, a young guy and women and how those perspectives can help to build what Carl also mentioned. This is mostly about collaboration. Collaboration of organizations with different structures, with different governance mechanisms, and the need for those collaborations to happen in order to have better products, better outcomes in terms of either standards or policies around it.
I also would like to take very good point from Carl in terms of criteria, developing of criteria to assess things against. That criteria can be economical or technical or both. Talking about standards and fragmentation. How to evaluate impact. This can be done, as Tommy said, either in the outset of standards development or at the outset in terms of standards deployment or implementation. As more sessions and fragmentation happen at the IGF and other places and as we agree more what fragmentation actually is, probably we can develop those ways to measure things against what was Carl's point. I think those analytical tools are the way to go, and probably we can add them as a way forward in the report of the session because there is the need to put some actions and take‑aways. I will close here.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much. Tommy, we haven't heard from you much recently. In closing, as you look ahead, can you just give a sense of easy wins? What's the low‑hanging fruit or a single step that could really make the difference in strengthening multi‑stakeholder participation in standards and avoiding the risks of fragmentation? I'm going to ask everyone. I'm not just picking on you, Tommy.
>> TOMMY JENSEN: I was, like, sure, no pressure.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: You're up for it. You don't have to solve everything, but just one thing that would make a big difference do you think?
>> TOMMY JENSEN: So I think one of the biggest things that can happen is creating an expertise bridge between our worlds, right? Mirja was correct earlier. The IETF, in my experience, has been welcoming to feedback, as I'm not ‑‑ I've been there for about three years myself. Not a terribly long time. My first year, I took a while. I was a technologist before I joined, and I spent the first couple of meetings pretty much not contributing because I was just learning. Yes, I know the protocol. No, I don't know the lay of the land, right?
So one easy win, maybe each of our groups have sessions for the other. London at the last IETF I think there were some discussions about that. Buddy systems, whatever, ramping into each other's worlds because at some point at least some participants in both places need to be experienced in both or we're going to continue running into those.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: One more thing in closing.
>> STACIE HOFFMANN: I think on the gender point there has been over the years I have seen a change. I have been in this for six years. There's definitely been a change. There's more women coming in, which is great, and I think there's a great community of supportive women there as well. I think lean into those if you are new. The other point, how do we solve this problem? Look, if you think that there's an issue that's bringing up fragmentation or other issues that are threatening the internet, look around the room and see what voices are missing, and then start thinking about how you reach out to those people, those voices. How do you get that expertise in the room into that conversation? This will change depending on what's happening, what's being discussed, what forum you're in, but I think that we all have kind of a collective duty to make sure that the right conversations and the right experts are in the room.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much. Carl, one thing that would make a difference because we're going to be leaving on an uplifting note.
>> CARL GAHNBERG: Well, I mean, I think it comes back a little bit to my previous remark. It's almost like a different starting point. I think we should start from the point of collaboration rather than assuming that there is conflict, and I think that's a good starting point for all of these. To Tommy's point, that gets to making sure that we have those bridges for involvement. It's been mentioned in the call today that at the internet society we'll revamp our program for having policymakers or enabling policymakers to come visit the IETF and have those exchanges because usually it's a matter of having those conversations and understanding each other's perspectives. I know that IETF community is very interested in having those discussions with policymakers, understanding what is it that they see as an issue that they might want to have the conversation about? I would say that is a good place to start, to start from the assumption that we're going to collaborate and not the other way around.
Finally, something just on a remark on something, and I think it's to being acknowledge what we have today with the internet because the internet is designed to evolve. It's literally kind of in the model itself that it's designed to evolve, and Mirja pointed to this with new transport protocols coming up. We should take ‑‑ acknowledge that the internet isn't this static thing that is just meant to run. It's meant to evolve. In that involvement it's important that we collaborate and just make sure that it evolves in the direction that we want.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you. Carolina, one thing that would make a difference, and also, yeah, well, there's not enough time for anything else.
>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Thank you, Emily. I think I'm actually quite aligned with the previous speakers. I did have a chance to participate in the policy engagement session organized by GDCS and ISOC at the last IGF. I've been thinking a lot about how to make sort of multi‑stakeholder participation more effective, and I wanted to sort of leave everyone with a proposal that was raised actually in that activity. The right MCC organizes one specific event for technical people to actually meet and have a conversation with policymakers, and I think that creating these spaces. Tommy referred to expertise bridges, but actually sort of facilitating and creating those spaces for a conversation giving them sort of structure and sort of properly sort of coordinating them as opposed to expecting those articulations to happen on their own is a way perhaps forward.
>> EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you very much, and thank you to our amazing panel for guiding us through this topic and for your final remarks. I think, Tommy, there was a lot of resonance in that sort of the idea that, you know, to be more inclusive, to avoid fragmentation, we do need to build bridges between these different areas of expertise and recognize their value in participating in the next generations of how the internet evolves as well as thanking our speakers, can I also thank the session organizers from Oxford Information Labs, especially Georgia Osborn and Carolina, of course, herself. Thank you to everybody in the room physically. Sorry we were not able to be with you side‑by‑side, and thank you to all of you who have joined online and to your excellent contributions. I'm closing the meeting now with thanks to you all. All right. Bye‑bye.