IGF 2023 Launch / Award Event #46 The State of Global Internet Freedom, Thirteen Years On

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (08:45 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (09:45 UTC)
Room C-1

Human Rights & Freedoms
Internet Shutdowns
Rights to Access and Information

Freedom House
Allie Funk, Research Director for Technology and Democracy, Freedom House. Non-governmental organizations, WEOG.
Kian Vesteinsson, Senior Research Analyst for Technology and Democracy, Freedom House. Non-governmental organizations, WEOG.
Elizabeth Sutterlin, Research Associate for Technology and Democracy, Freedom House. Non-governmental organizations, WEOG.


Emilie Pradichit, Executive Director, Manushya Foundation. Non-governmental organizations, Asia-Pacific States.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (representative to be determined), Government, WEOG.
Olga Kyryliuk, Europe Representative at Executive Committee of Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) at Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Non-governmental organizations, Eastern European States.

Onsite Moderator

Allie Funk

Online Moderator

Elizabeth Sutterlin


Allie Funk



Targets: The Freedom on the Net index measures each country’s level of internet freedom based on a set of methodology questions. Freedom on the Net methodology questions particularly relevant to the SDGs include those evaluating internet infrastructure (SDG 9.c, FOTN A1); internet access and inclusion (SDG 1.4, FOTN A1 and A2); freedom of expression and access to information (SDG 16.10, FOTN A3, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, C1, C2, C3, C4, and C7); and privacy and data protection (SDG 16.10, FOTN C4, C5, C6, and C8). The project also evaluates to what extent a rights-enabling online environment is fostered in a particular country and within international institutions, providing tailored policy recommendations that are relevant to stakeholders involved in internet governance (SDG 17.6). The presentation of Freedom on the Net 2023 findings will describe developments of some of these indicators, and well as discussion of policy recommendations.


1. Welcome remarks, Allie Funk: 5 minutes 2. Discussion of Freedom on the 2023 findings, moderators and speakers: 35 minutes 3. Audience Q&A, moderators and speakers: 15 minutes 4. Rapporteur report and concluding remarks, Allie Funk: 5 minutes

Duration (minutes)



Will 2023 mark the thirteenth consecutive year in internet freedom’s global decline? The Freedom on the Net 2023 launch event will provide a first look at the answer to this question and other breaking findings from Freedom House’s annual assessment of global internet freedom. A panel of experts in human rights and internet governance will discuss the year’s trends, cutting across critical issues like advances in technical censorship, the impact of generative AI tools , drivers of internet fragmentation, and interventions to ensure that the internet remains free and open. The session will be moderated by Allie Funk, Freedom House’s Research Director for Technology and Democracy and co-author of Freedom on the Net 2023. A multistakeholder group of panelists will then reflect on Freedom on the Net 2023’s global findings, developments from the 70 countries assessed by the report, and lessons learned for how to protect human rights online. Freedom on the Net 2023 (title forthcoming) will launch at 12:01 am ET several days before IGF 2023, positioning this discussion as a cutting-edge intervention and opportunity for attendees to learn about new research and recommendations. For background: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2022/countering-authoritari….

The moderator and panelists will invite participants to use the IGF platform’s live chat function to ask questions and comments. The online moderator will monitor the live chat, and supply the onsite moderator with interventions to incorporate participant contributions into the conversation ad hoc and during the designated open Q&A. For example, the onsite moderator will alternate between questions in the room and questions from online participations during the Q&A portion of the event. Throughout the session, the onsite and online moderators will work to bring interventions from online participants into conversation with the panelists as much as possible.