APC's priorities for the 11th Internet Governance Forum, Guadalajara, 2016

 

Publication date: 
December 2016
Publisher: 
APC

1. Preamble

The 11th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 5-9 December 2016 with the overall theme of “Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”. This will be the first IGF after the Forum’s mandate was renewed for another 10 years. This document provides a roundup of key internet-related policy developments since the 2015 IGF; the Association for Progressive Communications’ (APC) priorities for IGF 2016 in the areas of access, human rights, gender and cybersecurity; our reflections on strengthening the IGF and related institutions; and APC’s key activities at IGF 2016.

2. Key internet-related policy developments since IGF 2015

Since the 2015 IGF in João Pessoa, significant developments in internet governance and policy have taken place, which are impacting, or have the potential to impact, on how we access and use the internet, as well as exercise our human rights, online and offline.

2.1 Developments at the United Nations and other fora

World Summit on Information Society 10-year review (WSIS+10)

Just weeks after the 2015 IGF, in December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convened a high-level meeting to conclude the 10-year review of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS+10). The WSIS+10 outcome document largely reinforced the WSIS vision of a people-centred, inclusive, development-oriented internet, and identified progress made, areas for continued focus, and new challenges in internet governance. The outcome document highlighted the need to address the digital divide, both between and within countries, with a particular focus on the gender digital divide; it reaffirmed the centrality of human rights to the WSIS vision, and the importance of the internet for achieving all human rights, while expressing concern over the serious threats to human rights in the online environment; and it noted the growing uses of information and communications technologies (ICTs) which threaten security and development benefits, and recognised the leading role for governments in cybersecurity matters, while at the same time acknowledging that cybersecurity measures should be implemented in cooperation with all stakeholders and international expert bodies.

For information on APC’s engagement at WSIS+10 see: https://www.apc.org/en/projects/wsis

Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation

The WSIS+10 outcome document recognised that there are divergent views with respect to the process towards implementation of enhanced cooperation and established a multistakeholder Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) to develop recommendations on how to further implement enhanced cooperation as envisioned in the Tunis Agenda. The first WGEC failed to reach consensus on the meaning of the term “enhanced cooperation”, much less agree on recommendations. Central to the success of the discussions this time is recognition of the difference between enhanced cooperation as a vehicle of multilateral cooperation solely among states, and a vision of enhanced cooperation as more effective and inclusive policy making involving all stakeholders. In our view, for this WGEC to succeed it is important for there to be recognition that there are real imbalances in internet related policy-making processes with developing countries having less influence and access.

APC was a member of the first WGEC and has also joined this second WGEC, which is just getting under way. The second iteration of WGEC has met once in 2016 and developed a questionnaire for input to its work. APC would like to see IGF 2016 serve as an opportunity for broader community input into the work of the WGEC. The Working Group is mandated to finish its work and report to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development by May 2018.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Also at the end of 2015, the UNGA adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, and committed all member states to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While there is no standalone goal on the internet, SDGs 5 on Gender Equality, 9 on Innovation, Industry and Infrastructure, and 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions include specific targets that relate to internet access, ICTs, enabling technology, and access to information. In APC’s view, the internet is critical to achieving all SDGs, and we believe that states, with the involvement of all stakeholders, must prioritise extending affordable, quality access to the internet and all ICTs for all people, ensure that they have the skills needed to use the internet to improve their lives, and ensure that relevant, multilingual content is available.

The adoption of the SDGs has spurred renewed energy around access initiatives, such as the US government’s Global Connect Initiative and Facebook’s Internet.org. While renewed interest in connectivity efforts is encouraging, such efforts risk deepening inequalities within societies if they are not paired with efforts to address underlying economic, political, social and cultural barriers, while taking into account the needs and lived realities of the people whom they seek to address. IGF 2016, with its focus on the theme “Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”, provides an excellent opportunity to bring together the internet governance community around the critical question of how to harness the renewed international interest in increasing access to the internet in such a way that advances sustainable development and human rights.

Human Rights Council

2016 has been an eventful year at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) with respect to the internet and human rights. In July, the HRC passed its third resolution on the internet and human rights, which addressed critical and timely issues, like bridging the gender digital divide, attacks on people for exercising their rights online, ending intentional disruptions to internet access, and improving access to the internet and ICTs for persons with disabilities. A resolution was passed in September on the safety of journalists, which recognised the importance of encryption and anonymity tools, and called upon states not to interfere with the use of such technologies. The resolution also elaborated on the specific threats faced by women journalists, both online and offline.

UN Special Rapporteurs have continued to explore complex internet-related rights issues with their reports to the HRC. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression’s 2016 report focused on freedom of expression and the private sector in the digital age, and the new Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy presented his first report to the HRC, which laid out his plans for his mandate, and reflected on some key challenges around communications surveillance and encryption. In the last year, we have also seen more Special Rapporteurs begin to explore the internet-related rights issues that fall within their mandates. For example, a new expert has taken on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and she has identified online violence against women as a “new challenge”. The Special Rapporteur on the right to education dedicated his report to the right to education in the digital age.

United Nations General Assembly

UNGA’s Third Committee adopted a resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age last month. The resolution “addresses the role of the private sector”:https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/apc-welcomes-unga-resolution calling-effect..., which poses a risk to the enjoyment of the right to privacy in the digital age because of its increasing capabilities to collect, process and use personal data, and examines the gender dimension of the issue. The resolution will be adopted by the full General Assembly before the end of the year.

Regional human rights mechanisms

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted its first resolution on the internet and human rights, which calls on state parties to respect and take legislative and other measures to guarantee, respect and protect citizens’ rights to freedom of information and expression through access to the internet. The groundbreaking resolution marks the first time the regional human rights body has called for the promotion and protection of human rights in the online environment. It recognises the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms as providing “the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the Internet, and to cultivate an Internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.”

At the Inter-American level, Brazil organised a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on cultural rights and the internet in April 2016. Both the Brazilian government and civil society organisations, including APC, highlighted the role of internet intermediaries in limiting cultural expression and diversity online. Brazil, which called the hearing, called on the Organization of American States to conduct a study on cultural diversity and the roles of internet companies. As a very important step towards developing Inter-American standards for the promotion, defence and respect of freedom of expression online, the IACHR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression is preparing his 2016 annual report focused on the challenges related to freedom of expression and the internet and its relationship with other rights.

IANA transition complete

After over a decade of delay, the US government transferred responsibility for oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the internet community. This was after an intense multistakeholder process to determine the proper modalities for the transfer. The transfer occurred on the first day of October. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues, however, to discuss ways in which to increase its accountability to the internet community.

2.2 Concerning trends

Legalising the violation of rights online

We observe that threats to free expression and especially to privacy are on the rise due to pervasive surveillance. Laws are being proposed and adopted to fill legal loopholes in order to codify practices that had been ad hoc or even illegal previously. This is weakening the democratic system as a whole – with implications yet to be seen. But it does raise alarms. The rule of law is often seen as the basis for actualising and enforcing human rights. While this remains the case, the trend being seen is laws that are more repressive and which constrain freedoms further all the time.

A year of shutdowns

Internet shutdowns, which can be defined as “an intentional interruption of the Internet by state or non-state actors which renders the Internet inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population and for the purposes of exerting control over the free flow of information” and to limit political participation of people, have been on the rise. With 15 documented shutdowns in 2015 and 51 in the first 10 months of 2016, they have nearly become commonplace. While awareness of this threat is on the rise, and there is no shortage of arguments – be it human rights, economic, or public safety – against interrupting access to the internet, more effort is needed in order to make doing so an unacceptable move by governments.

Major breaches in cybersecurity

Since IGF 2015, there have been a number of high profile cyberattacks with major consequences, ranging from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks conducted using a huge botnet of unsecured “internet of things” devices such as home webcams and broadband routers, which caused widespread disruption of internet activity in the US, to the biggest bank robbery in history when thieves got away with USD 81 million from Bangladesh Bank. The confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of information and people are at risk due to daily data breaches of firms and institutions small and large, affecting millions of users, some many times over. At the lowest levels of the internet, protocols and standards do not sufficiently protect user privacy. And the security protocols that are sound are not uniformly adopted and applied by service providers and software developers.

Human rights crisis in Mexico

The serious human rights crisis that Mexico faces severely impacts on both online and offline realities. The high levels of violence, especially against journalists and human rights defenders, pose a grave threat to freedom of expression online. Administrative and policy-related decisions and actions by public authorities (such as the removal of links to information of public interest and the attempt to include the “right to be forgotten” in the National Constitution) compromise the free flow of information and access to public information on the internet, and set the conditions for censorship online. The lack of necessary safeguards to prevent abuse and independent measures to guarantee transparency and accountability around surveillance legislation and practices in the country, and the illegal use of malicious spyware by state agents, are matters of key concern for civil society organisations around the world.

The IGF is a privileged space for addressing these concerns and reinforcing the call to the Mexican government to fulfil its international commitments regarding human rights online and offline. APC is supporting a number of activities organised by national actors to draw attention to the human rights situation in Mexico.

3. Priorities for IGF 2016

3.1 Access

Without reliable access to affordable and high-speed internet, or without relevant content and skills, achieving sustainable development and the full exercise of human rights is not possible. While internet connectivity is on the rise in absolute terms, the way in which connectivity is expanding is increasing inequalities between and among countries. For further details see: https://www.apc.org/en/news/ending-digital-exclusion-why-access-divide-persist.

APC’s access work, which is described in our contributions to IGF intersessional work on connecting the next billion, and reflected in our participation in the many access-related workshops (see section 6), prioritises:

  • Disaggregating the data on the digital divide: Making access inequalities more visible is a critical step for addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups – particularly women, the poor, rural populations and the less abled.

  • Looking beyond mobile: Meeting the needs of those not yet connected, and those with limited connectivity, requires improving the affordability and coverage of fixed services, along with the technical and human capacity to ensure reliability, the ability to deploy low-cost locally owned networks, and the ability to use the applications and content effectively.

  • Reducing cost: Expanding competitive open markets, public investment in backbone infrastructure, infrastructure sharing and dig-once policies, and improved access to radio spectrum are important steps to making connectivity costs affordable.

  • Raising the bar: Implementing policies to connect the unconnected will also vastly improve the connectivity of those who are already connected but are constrained in their use of the internet by slow speeds, high costs or other barriers, including limited access to content where zero-rating strategies are in place.

  • Infrastructure alone is not the solution: Increasing access to infrastructure should be coupled with efforts to address political, economic, social and cultural barriers that prevent people from fully accessing the internet.

  • Enhancing public space: Addressing the connectivity needs of the unconnected requires more investment in public access facilities, such as in libraries, telecentres and multi-purpose community centres.

  • Making the link: Understanding that policy is interdependent and indirect factors also limit access to the internet, including limited energy supply, lack of basic ICT literacy, insufficient applications and content of local relevance, and high import duties or other taxes on ICT services, must be taken into consideration in formulating internet policy.

  • Making a plan: Addressing policy barriers, focusing on human development, and promoting bottom-up approaches to solving connectivity problems should be part of comprehensive and up-to-date national broadband strategies.

  • Combating rights violations: Accessing the internet should not expose users to censorship, surveillance, harassment, or any other form of violation of human rights.

  • Setting goals: Measuring effectiveness and monitoring progress require clear and easily measurable targets based on up-to-date data.

APC sees particular promise in community-driven connectivity initiatives that promote local ownership of small-scale communications infrastructure. Built by rural communities, local entrepreneurs and municipal authorities, this is an important means of achieving better and more affordable broadband access while helping to meet the needs of the four billion people who have been unable to obtain connectivity through traditional commercial access models.

APC is engaged in a number of activities at the IGF focused on community networks. For example, to shed light on the practical work of connecting communities by civil society groups in many corners of the world, we are hosting Disco-tech, a peer-learning session, together with ISOC and IFEX. We are participating in a General Assembly on Community Networks Analysis, during which a “declaration”: on community networking will be made, and participating in a number of sessions relating to the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity, which was launched at the 2015 IGF.

For a full round up of community networking-related activities see: https://www.apc.org/en/news/better-connection-%E2%80%93-community-networks-igf-2016

3.2 Human rights

Human rights will continue to be a priority for APC at the IGF and we are encouraged to see workshops organised around pressing and emerging issues, like countering radicalisation and violent extremism online, internet shutdowns, surveillance of vulnerable groups, online harassment, and algorithmic decision making, among others. Our priority for IGF 2016 will be broadening the debate on human rights issues, which is the theme of the main session on human rights (which we are co-organising). By broadening the debate, we mean both on the scope of issues discussed and on the experiences that different groups and individuals bring to the discussion.

APC’s human rights priorities at the IGF include:

  • Economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs): The internet is increasingly becoming an important enabler of ESCRs, such as the right to education, to cultural expression, and to the benefits of science and technology. Yet the role of the internet in realising ESCRs has received little attention when it comes to recent internet rights advocacy, with many choosing to focus instead on the importance of civil and political rights. APC is organising a two-day closed workshop to deepen understanding of the impact of the internet on ESCRs and to strategise on how to improve internet policy to contribute to their realisation. We will also host a public workshop to launch the 2016 edition of Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch 2016), which features 45 country-level reports and 10 thematic reports that frame ESCRs and the internet and serve as practical and lively examples of the relationship between the internet and ESCRs. GISWatch authors will be presenting their reports for discussion at the launch.

  • Sexuality and the internet: The regulation of online content and behaviour is being used to limit sexual expression and access to information online, particularly for women, gender nonconforming people, and trans people. From ICT regulations to specific laws that touch on regulation of sexual content and expression, like obscenity laws, states are increasingly passing legislation to ensure that online spaces mirror the offline world in terms of limiting sexual expression. The private sector’s weak terms of service and community guidelines on content can violate privacy, or can be misogynist or transphobic. They also ban content that expresses sexual agency and autonomy, which gets flagged as obscene. We are also concerned about the role of big data in “dataveillance” to restrict sexual and reproductive rights. Ongoing development initiatives that seek to harness big data to close the gender gap run the risk of algorithmically reproducing past discriminations, creating new exclusions and digital discriminations of already marginalised communities. APC is organsing a workshop on sex and freedom of expression online, during which we aim to discuss the right to freedom of speech for LGBT and sexual rights activists, looking at case studies of violations from around the world. Together, we plan to unpack why and how these violations take place, as well as discuss the strategies and policy recommendations to ensure that freedom of sexual expression is protected online.

  • Freedom of assembly and association online: The internet has become a powerful tool for enabling people to come together around common interests to build associations and networks. Yet the use of the internet for this end is facing multifaceted challenges, from communications surveillance and internet shutdowns to distrust of privately owned platforms, and more. APC is co-organising a session to discuss coping with challenges to freedoms of assembly and association online and offline and to strategise on possible solutions at the policy, technical and community levels.

  • Diversity of experiences: Human rights defenders, journalists, labour organisers, political, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and other people whose work or existence poses a potential challenge to existing power structures both face particular threats when using the internet and rely extensively on the internet for their work. APC’s participation in the IGF will prioritise giving space to discuss the multifaceted and intersecting ways that different forms of inequality and discrimination (based on race, gender, caste, ability, etc.) impact the ability of people to exercise their rights online.

3.3 Gender

A third priority for APC at the IGF is to bring gender and feminist analysis to internet policy and to point out structural exclusion – both in terms of access to and use of technology – on grounds of gender, and therefore includes women, gender nonconforming people, and trans people. To provide a framework for analysis and advocacy, APC brought together members of the internet rights, women’s rights and sexual rights movements to develop the Feminist Principles of the Internet (FPIs). A feminist internet works towards “empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy. This integrates our different realities, contexts and specificities – including age, disabilities, sexualities, gender identities and expressions, socioeconomic locations, political and religious beliefs, ethnic origins, and racial markers.”

We are looking forward to engaging with the IGF community around the FPIs, and to bringing gender analysis to the various workshops we are participating in, particularly around the following areas:

  • Access: The International Telecommunication Union estimates that 12% fewer women than men are able to benefit from internet access worldwide (rising to 15% in developing countries and almost 29% in least developed countries). The UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development projects that the gender digital divide is growing rather than shrinking. While investment in infrastructure and digital literacy programmes may help to improve women’s access, APC sees the need for more research around barriers for women’s access on the basis of culture and norms. This is one of our conclusions from participating actively in the Best Practice Forum on Gender and Access, which investigated “women’s ability to access and benefit from the Internet (or the gender digital divide), with a particular emphasis on how we can also ensure that access is meaningful to women and able to help support women’s empowerment.”

  • Online VAW: Related to the point above, violence against women that is committed, abetted or aggravated, in part or fully, by the use of ICTs (or online VAW) is a significant barrier to women’s ability to access and benefit from the internet. Beyond a barrier to access, online VAW poses a significant threat to women’s human rights online and offline. Threats to privacy and the disclosure of personal information, such as the malicious disclosure or distribution of private sexual content through ICTs without consent, can particularly subject women of diverse sexualities and gender identities to significant threats, including violence, harassment, intimidation and silencing both in the offline and online contexts. We will also be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Take Back the Tech! at IGF 2016. Over the last decade various campaigns have taken place in different parts of the world, in different languages and idioms, that not only push back on the growing amounts of online harassment and online violence against women, but actively claim the internet as a space, a forum, a playground and a hope for women and gender nonconforming people, and also queer and trans people.

  • Governance: Discussion of gender in internet governance often occurs as a set of stand-alone topics. Rarely are these issues discussed in terms of their intersections and their interrelated nature. It is often hard enough to get the standalone issues on the agenda. More involved topics are often shunned as being too complex and too difficult to understand. Even more rare are the occasions when issues are discussed in terms of the intersection of gender issues with other forms of social disadvantage, discrimination and oppression, such race, national status, age, or hetero and cis normativity. To address this, APC sees a distinct need for increasing the participation of women at all levels internet governance (policy, technical, corporate) and at all stages of decision making.

As with previous years, we will be working with the IGF secretariat to carry out the Gender Report Card to monitor and assess the level of gender parity at the annual global IGF. This year, the gender report cards were also employed at regional, subregional and national IGF processes. Since the Gender Report Card was first introduced in 2012, we have found that while there have been more “women in the room” (38% of participants were women at IGF 2015), more effort is needed to ensure that women are present as moderators (only 31% were women in 2015) and panellists (37% were women in 2015) and not simply as participants.

3.4 Cybersecurity

A fourth and final priority for our work at the IGF is engaging in cybersecurity policy making and supporting capacity-building initiatives. Our approach to cybersecurity is from a human rights perspective and is intimately linked with our priorities on human rights and gender. Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring that cybersecurity policy making be opened to all stakeholders at all levels to ensure that security – human security – can be achieved.

We reject the framing that puts security and human rights at odds. Policies that strengthen the mutual reinforcement of security and privacy are not only compliant with both international human rights and humanitarian law, they are indeed necessary to achieve both. A norms-setting project by the Freedom Online Coalition working group “An Internet Free and Secure”, of which APC is a member, asserts, “Cybersecurity and human rights are complementary, mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Both need to be pursued together to effectively promote freedom and security. Recognising that individual security is at the core of cybersecurity means that protection for human rights should be at the center of cybersecurity policy development.”

Our priorities in cybersecurity at the IGF include:

  • Promoting multistakeholder approaches in cybersecurity policy making: APC will be highlighting our work in the Freedom Online Coalition working group along with the Best Practice Forum on Cybersecurity in a Day Zero session titled ”Creating spaces for multistakeholder dialogue in cybersecurity processes”. Additionally, we will be helping guide the BPF session’s questions to identify tensions in the space, particularly around multistakeholder participation in cybercrime policy norms.

  • Our interventions will aim to shift the dominant paradigm of security versus privacy towards a human rights-respecting view of security that necessarily reinforces protection for the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and other rights. We will also continue to build a complex view of the right to privacy that expands to incorporate a plurality of meanings and practices around the exercise of individual and collective privacy.

  • Lastly, we will build capacity of civil society to protect themselves from cyber insecurity through support of practical and user-centred solutions to improve digital security through our Disco-tech exhibition booth, which will cover technical themes related to cybersecurity.

4. Capacity building

In the last year, APC in collaboration with other civil society organisations, governments, and private sector and technical community actors, has invested considerable resources in linking our capacity-building work in internet governance to regional IGFs, guided by the belief that such efforts are needed to enable stakeholders from developing countries to participate effectively in internet governance processes and debates at the national, regional and global level. We held our fourth annual African School on Internet Governance ahead of the African IGF (AfIGF), which gave alumni the opportunity to immediately try out the skills they gained. AfriSIG alumni participated actively in the AfIGF in Durban and delivered a statement on internet shutdowns, which was developed as part of a “practicum” that participants completed during AfriSIG.

In recognition that there is a gap in participation by women’s rights advocates in internet governance policy processes and development nationally, regionally and globally, in every sector and stakeholder group, APC began a new initiative – Gender and Internet Governance Exchanges (gigX) – in 2015 to strengthen the capacity and confidence of women and girls to participate in internet governance processes. In 2016, APC held a gigX ahead of AfriSIG and is holding a condensed version ahead of IGF 2016. We are pleased that a large number of AfriSIG and gigX alumni will be at the 2016 IGF.

5. Institutional strengthening (between and within)

In its first 10 years, the IGF has evolved significantly, from being largely an annual meeting, to facilitating year-long work and dialogue with other institutions. A remarkable number of self-organised national, regional and sub-regional internet governance initiatives have taken root, modelled on the annual forum. The IGF still suffers from institutional weaknesses, including chronic underfunding, which deserve serious attention.

There are valuable lessons extracted from the NETmundial process that can be applied to other global internet governance processes, particularly the IGF. In Guadalajara, we will disseminate lessons from NETmundial in various languages as a contribution to achieving bottom-up and multistakeholder outcomes from global internet policy governance discussions.

5.1 Carrying forward the discussion on improving the IGF

The 10-year renewal of the IGF presents an excellent opportunity to put in motion steps to strengthen the IGF as an institution, such as those recommended by the CSTD working group on IGF improvements. In particular we see the need to increase the involvement of governments in the IGF, particularly governments from the global South. We propose that the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) initiate discussions with these governments very early on in the preparatory process for the annual IGF. More broadly, there is a need to increase participation from all stakeholder groups from the global South in the IGF. Stakeholders from developing countries should be encouraged to be facilitators of sessions and funds should be secured to support their participation. Beyond ensuring participation from the global South, there is a need for diversification of participation to ensure that the IGF agenda responds to issues that matter to under-represented groups. The range of internet-related public policy issues is constantly expanding and the IGF should find a way to engage new actors who can share their knowledge with the IGF community. Finally, we recommend strengthening the capacity-building dimension of the IGF and establishing closer relationships with the internet governance schools – the European Summer School on Internet Governance (EuroSSIG), the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG), the South School on Internet Governance (SSIG), and the Asia Pacific School on Internet Governance (APSIG).

APC participated in the IGF retreat in July, which sought to foster dialogue on ways to improve the IGF and advance its mandate among experts, policy makers and practitioners. We look forward to continuing this discussion with the broader IGF community in Guadalajara.

For APC’s input to the IGF retreat, see: https://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/igf-meeting/igf-2016/takingstock/779-apcinputtoigfretreat-july2016/file

5.2 Links between the IGF and other institutions

APC has long seen the value of the IGF’s role in facilitating discourse and dialogue between bodies dealing with different cross-cutting international public policies regarding the internet, and we are pleased to see the increased participation of global and regional intergovernmental and technical bodies at IGF 2016, including key actors from the UN human rights system, specialised agencies like the ITU and UNESCO, and regional institutions like the Organization of American States, African Union Commission, European Parliament and Commission, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. We are especially encouraged to see the special rapporteurs on freedom of expression from the UN and Inter-American system using the IGF to conduct regional consultations for their work. This is exactly the type of inter-institutional dialogue that the IGF should be facilitating.

Following IGF 2015, we saw increasing linkages between the IGF and other bodies dealing with internet-related public policy. For example, the outcome document from the inter-sessional work on “Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion” was shared with related processes such as the UNGA’s Second Committee, the ITU Council and UNESCO. The output from the Best Practice Forum on Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women was referenced in a report of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development Working Group on Broadband and Gender on “Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls”. In addition, a main session at the 2015 IGF which focused on WSIS+10 emulated the NETmundial working sessions, with stakeholders lining up behind their respective mics. This process facilitated input from the IGF community into the consultations being held by the co-facilitators of the WSIS+10 overall review at UNGA. We plan to continue bringing outputs from discussions at the IGF and IGF intersessional work to other bodies because we see the unique value of the multistakeholder dynamics at the IGF to inform internet policy making elsewhere.

5.3 Strengthening the impact of regional and national IGFs

APC has been participating in IGFs at all levels based on our view that stronger and more sustained national-level multistakeholder participation will in turn inform regional and global processes and help address the current gaps in participation and influence between stakeholder groups, and between people from developing and developed countries. We will strive to use IGF 2016 to more effectively integrate regional and national perspectives into the global dialogue.

In 2016, APC helped organise and/or participated in the following regional and national IGFs:

  • Asia-Pacific IGF, held in Taipei July 2016

  • Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) IGF, held in San José in August 2016

  • Africa IGF, held in Durban in October 2016
    West Africa IGF, held in Niamey in November 2016

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina IGF, held in Sarajevo in October 2016

  • South Africa IGF, held in Johannesburg in September 2016

  • Ecuador IGF, held in Manta in November 2016.

(The list does not include national IGFs that APC members helped organise.)

6. APC’s presence at the IGF

PRE-EVENTS – 4 December 2016

Global civil society coordination pre-event
8:30-17:00 | Holiday Inn Express Guadalajara Autonoma, Av. Patria 999, Jardines Universidad, 45110 Zapopan, Jalisco
APC is co-hosting | more here
[Public for registered participants but registration closed now]

PRE-EVENTS – 5 December 2016

Community networking meetup and planning session for the week
15:00-18:00 | WS Room 5
APC is co-hosting with Getulio Vargas Foundation and ISOC, member organisation Pangea is speaking | More here

Latin America in a Glimpse
14:00 | AC Marriott, Avenida de Las Americas 1500, Country Club
Member organisation Derechos Digitales, IFEX-LAC, Coding Rights and APC are co-hosting | More here
[Event in English]

Disco-tech
“Disco-techs” are informal evening events designed to bridge the gap between technical and political solutions to attacks on internet rights and freedoms. The topic for this event will be “Community Networks: Civil society’s efforts to improve connectivity in local communities”.
20:00-22:00 | Restaurant El Mexicano, Calle Morelos 79, Centro
APC hosting with IFEX and ISOC | More here
[Public – by registration only]

DAY 1 – 6 December 2016

WS266: The right to access the internet in Latin America
11:30-13:00 | WS Room 6| APC is co-hosting | More here

DAY 2 – 7 December 2016

WS86: Reality of the answerability of the multistakeholder model
12:00-13:30 | WS Room 7 | Individual member Rafik Dammak is organising | More here

WS238: Community connectivity: Empowering the unconnected
15:00-16:30 | WS Room 2 | APC is a co-organiser | More here

DAY 3 – 8 December 2016

WS164: Sex & freedom of expression online
9:00-10:00 | WS Room 6 | APC is main organiser with EROTICS Southeast Asia partners | More here

Main session on Human Rights: Broadening the Conversation
10:00-13:00 | Main meeting hall
Member organisation Internet Democracy Project/Point of View co-moderating and APC co-organising as MAG member | More here

WS91: The power of the noncommercial users on the Internet
10:45-12:15 | WS Room 7 | Individual member Rafik Dammak organising | More here

WS 138: Solutions for countering online abuse against women
12:00-13:30 | WS Room 6 | Member organisation Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) organising |More here

¡FemHackParty contra la violencia en línea! (Femhack party against online violence)
16:30-18:30 | Cuerpos Parlantes, González Ortega 531 (between Hospital y Juan Álvarez)
Take Back the Tech! and many members and partners involved: Derechos Digitales, Colnodo, Fundación Karisma, Coding Rights, Luchadoras.
[Event in Spanish]

DAY 4 – 9 December 2016

WS90: The internet and ESCRs: Working from experience to policy
9:00-10:30 | WS Room 5 | APC hosting
GISWatch 2016 will be launched at this session. | More here

7. Follow APC online at IGF 2016

We will be sharing updates on:

8. APC members and staff at IGF 2015

APC members at IGF 2016: Anja Kovacs (Internet Democracy Project at Point of View, India), Anabella Rivera (DEMOS, Guatemala), Anne-Sophie Letellier (Alternatives, Canada), Arturo Bregaglio (Radio Viva, Paraguay), Asad Baig (Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan), Ashnah Kalemera (Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa, Uganda), Bishakha Datta (Point of View, India), Carlos Rey-Moreno (Zenzeleni, South Africa), Eduardo Rojas (Fundación REDES para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Bolivia), Elizabeth Kasujja (Women of Uganda Network, Uganda), Erick Huerta (Rhizomatica, Mexico), Gisela Pérez de Acha (Derechos Digitales, Chile/Mexico), Grace Githaiga (Kenya ICT Action Network, Kenya), Hamada Tadahisa (JCA-NET, Japan), Jaime Villarreal (May First/People Link, USA/Mexico), Japleen Pasricha (India), Jeanette Hoffman (Germany), John Dada (Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria), Julian Casasbuenas (Colnodo, Colombia), Kazumi Torii (LaborNet, United States), Lebogang Mpofu (Women’sNet, South Africa), Liz Probert (GreenNet, United Kingdom), Leandro Navarro (Pangea, Spain), Mariana Calvo (Sula Batsu, Costa Rica), Masbulele Siya (Zenzeleni, South Africa), Moses Owiny (Women of Uganda Network, Uganda), Nicolás Echániz (AlterMundi Argentina), Olga Paz (Colnodo, Colombia), Osama Manzar (Digital Empowerment Foundation, India), Pearl Sekwati (Women’sNet, South Africa), Peter Bloom (Rhizomatica, Mexico), Rafik Dammak (Tunisia), Renata Aquino Ribeiro (Brazil), Ritu Srivastava (Digital Empowerment Foundation, India), Serge Daho (PROTEGE QV, Cameroon), Smita Vanniyar (Point of View, India), Stéphane Couture (Canada), Steve Zeltzer (LaborNet, United States), Valentina Pellizzer (One World Platform, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Wilfredo González (DEMOS, Guatemala) and Yunusa Yau (Centre for Information Technology and Development, Nigeria)

APC staff and volunteers at IGF 2016: Adolfo Dunayevich, Alan Finlay, Anriette Esterhuysen, Avri Doria, Chat Garcia Ramilo, Deborah Brown, Erika Smith, Flavia Fascendini, Gayatri Kandhadai, Jac sm Kee, Karen Banks, Mallory Knodel, Mike Jensen, Roxana Bassi, Sara Baker, Shawna Finnegan and Valeria Betancourt.