The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Okay. Hello this is the Open Forum of the Council of Europe. I'm Mathias Traimer. I will be the moderator. I'm currently in the Austrian Federal Chancellery. Thank you for coming and showing interest in the Council of Europe's work, especially in the recent efforts in enabling an environment for Internet freedom.
We have one hour, so we will have hopefully a very concentrated session. I have a wonderful panel here with me, and this is an invitation for you to look at the Council of Europe's work, this organization, which in Europe sometimes is not only in Europe, but worldwide it's a mix of the European Union, but the Council of Europe has 47 European countries, and it brings together 820 million people and organizations, the guardian of the European Convention Human rights. Its aim is to defend and promote human rights.
So this is to learn what Council of Europe has recently done, is actively doing, and I just may start with my panelists, and I really also want to invite, of course, you to interact with us and that we have, let's say, a most fruitful discussion.
Ambassador Dirk Van Eeckhout sitting here on the right side, he's not only the deputy to the minister of foreign affairs in and the community of ministers in bell gum, so the community of ministers and the -- Belgium, so the community of ministers is the highest body in the Council of Europe, and he is also a very special fact which is highly interesting. He's the coordinator of information policy in the committee, and Ambassador, may I ask you why is human rights and the democratic value on the Internet such an important topic in regards to political level, and to you have also the feeling that the context between human right and Internet policy already is understood by your colleagues in the community everywhere?
>> DIRK VAN EECKHOUT: Thank you very much for this interesting question. First of all, -- first of all, the Council of Europe being the guardian of the European Convention for Human Rights, has, of course, a long history, and its history is one with the court is the most important instrument is being the guardian of these human rights and freedoms.
Why do countries attach importance to that? Well, for a very simple reason. They have no choice. They signed up to it. It's their obligation.
And then if you think about how much time young people but everybody is spending offline and online, more and more of our activities, not only commercial ones, not only social ones, but also political ones, are actually in the virtual world.
Now, for a state it is an obligation to make sure that its citizens are safe offline and also online, so that's, I think, one main reason.
And the second reason is by doing that, by attaching importance to the rule of law to democracy and human rights online, it is also looking into the future. It is preparing the future, and I would like to add a second thing.
The Council of Europe has always been a staunch supporter of the IGF and has been present since the beginning. It's my first time, but institution was there in the beginning, and why? I think the institution understands very well that its traditional role stretches from the past to the future, and it is important to engage with people from the tech community, people from the academia, people from NGOs, Civil Society, and governments, and most recently -- and this is also, I think, a point worth stressing, most recently the Council of Europe, through its Committee of Ministers, in which I am present as representative of my Minister declared its full support to the IGF and the continuation of its work.
I think these are the three main elements why the Council of Europe is here, and I must say this being my first visit here, I'm very much surprised that the Council of Europe comes up in other sessions, so we are having here this special forum, but I've heard the name of the Council of Europe before, and to end my intervention, quoting from my Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users, why are states interested in this topic, you can read in the first sentence, because they have the obligation. Thank you very much.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Very good. Very good. Let's have a look now in specific topics, the Council of Europe has been dealing with and is actually dealing with, and while no surprise, the surveillance topic, of course, is a topic for the Council of Europe and was already mentioned many times at the IGF as well.
There is an interesting resolution recently in April published, it was published in in April by the assemblies and other policies of Europe and the parliamentarians talked about things that have evolved in Europe that have accountability and threaten the free and open character of our societies.
We have the Secretary of the Community on Legal Affairs and Human Rights responsible for this recommendation, Gunter Schirmer. Gunter, could you maybe inform us a little bit about the background and especially what you would expect now from member states when you have this nice resolution, but which is really full of content and which is really worth reading.
>> GUNTER SCHIRMER: Thank you. Well the parliamentary assembly is made up of national parliamentarians, as the Americans like to say, lawmakers from the Council's 47 member states.
>> AUDIENCE: Could you speak up.
>> GUNTER SCHIRMER: In a way, the assembly is a body that represents the parliamentarians who have a double hat of being national MPs and representatives of their parliaments in the Council of Europe, and they have in adopting the resolution which our Austrian friend seems to like, the assembly sees mass surveillance of the kind exposed by Edward Snowden as a serious threat to human rights, and it advocates a strict legal framework to be adopted in in each country, which allows surveillance only by court order based on legitimate suspicion, and to enforce such a legal framework, parliamentary and judicial oversight must be strengthened and -- to match increasing national cooperation between surveillance -- security services, and this legal framework that needs to be created can best be implemented and best be protected by providing whistle-blowers protection for disclosures of wrongdoings, which is a deterrent. Interestingly, our assembly has had this idea from an expert who participated in one of our hearings in preparation of this report the former head of the German -- Professor Geiger. He recommended if you want to control the likes of us, protect whistle-blowers, it's the best way to deter abuses.
So the assembly recognizes that it will take time to implement such a framework on the national level, the laws reining in on surveillance, and on the international level, the kind of -- well -- gentlemen's agreement kind of surveillance -- a kind of codex between like-minded states services. This will take time, and in the meantime, the assembly promotes mass encryption as a protection against mass surveillance. I'm very pleased that you took the point of the -- the fear of the assembly of the development of spinning out of control over surveillance industrial complex. That was one of the three points I wanted to -- to stress here.
Another one, very important one, is that the assembly has shown or has in its research in preparation of this report that mass surveillance has not contributed to the terrorist attacks, contrary to things by intelligence sources. It gobbles up resources that could have prevented attacks by snooping on -- collecting everything on everyone, like in an American partitional, so as they said, if everything is a target, nothing is a target.
The last point is that the promotional encryption is the message that we're sending, and we are worried now that some member states of the Council of Europe in the last forum just an hour ago, a British colleague described how the UK as one of our member states actually discusses prohibiting encryption, and that is a very serious matter because encryption was waiting for proper legal framework to be implemented nationally and internationally is the only protection against abusers, and it will effectively force the authorities to target their resources on a legitimate high-value targets where there is some suspicion in order not to waste their resources on breaking codes, breaking encryption of you and me in order to collect everything. Okay.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Highly interesting, but we have to go on a little bit, but we'll stay with the topic. If you have followed all the discussions within the last weeks, as regards mass surveillance, of course, all of you have heard one name. This is Max Schrems. Max Schrems is with us today. He is really the living maybe also whistle-blower, but not only whistle-blower but also taking steps. Max Schrems was fighting with all these legal ways. He tried to do but was fighting successfully against an Irish data protection authority, and the outcome was after preliminary ruling at the European Court of Justice that the court invalidated the Safe Harbor regime, so saying there is no adequate data protection level as regards European situations in the United States. Max, first of all, congratulations. We are -- as Europeans, I think many are proud of you, especially you are my Austrian fellow citizen, so --
>> MAXIMILLIAN SCHREMS: Get the Austrian flag out.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Although, you are not a sportsman, but we're, of course, proud of you. Yes, maybe not so much about the case as such because I think we could read a lot about it, but if you have a kind of future look, what would you now expect on the first hand should happen, but secondly what will happen, do you think, and I mean, with all your initiatives, you're actually also fighting again in Austria with a case against Facebook. Could you just give us a little inside view from your point of view as regards to further development?
>> MAXIMILLIAN SCHREMS: Yeah, I think what you had in the question before was mass surveillance today is only possible if you have private companies. We have that with data retention where you have private cell phone operators keeping the data and the government is tapping in, and we now have this with Facebook and Google and whatever in the Prism scandal, and that was interesting from a jurisdictional point of view because with the U.S. mass surveillance we had no means as Europeans to do anything about it, but if you go after the individual companies that are necessary for the mass surveillance systems, you actually have jurisdiction, you can do things about it. Also for national security in Europe, the Europe Union would have jurisdiction with respect, so that was kind of the interesting part I think where a lot of things can be done. The judgment was interesting for the future, I think, also from a European perspective because it was done under Article 7 of the charter, which is the Article 8 of the convention earn and Article 8 applies to national security. I think it will be necessary to see if Strasbourg is following Luxembourg. This is the same argument on the UCLA parliament, so I think that is my big hope that something can grow out of this judgment. So I hope that this will kind of set a couple of lines.
In the long run, I think currently we'll see a new Safe Harbor, apparently because politically it's just wanted. The big question will be is it a stable Safe Harbor, a stable system to transfer data to the U.S. or is it something that's going to be taken apart by the court in two years again?
And as far as what I hear from the U.S. and from Europe, we're trying right now to get some political solution that will very likely not be very legally stable, so that's my fear in this respect is that we should probably have a real agreement between the U.S. and Europe, at least for this form of data transfer, but of course, globally in the end on how mass surveillance is done online, but I don't see it coming. I don't just -- the thoughts and the ways things are done in Europe and in the U.S. are the basics of how fundamental rights are protected are so different if you look into the details that it's going to be very hard to come to some compromise that everyone can agree on, so I think it's going to be complicated for the companies that are involved in it, especially the --
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Costs a lot of trouble for them, you know.
>> MAXIMILLIAN SCHREMS: And it's unfortunate in a way, because with all the complaints, I like to bring a solution as well, but in this case there's only political solution, so I could only bring up the issue that now has to be solved on the political level. The companies themselves that are involved in mass surveillance will have a problem because whatever the law is that they will change in Europe because of political pressure, this judgment was done on the fundamental rights, and you can't change them that easily, so I think we'll see a lot of ping-ponging now between the courts in the next couple of years until we'll really see a final solution. Unfortunately, because I just don't see them getting a political solution that's long-lasting right away.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thanks a lot, Max. Before we turn to the next topic, I want to ask you are there any remarks on this mass surveillance topics. What we have heard so far are questions to the panelists, also to the ambassador as the coordinator, which is expectations. Who of you has followed the case of Max Schrems? Is who is aware of the case? Is there anybody who is not aware?
Okay. So are there any questions, maybe, to him, or only John's. Sir, you look at the micro? You want to ask something? Yes, do, please.
>> THOMAS FITSCHEN: Yeah. Thomas Fitschen. I'm working on cyber forum policy issues. I wanted to take this -- your personal experience a little further and ask about -- because that was kind of a red thread through many of the discussions that we've had, what are you -- if you break down the concepts on which we all agree, what are the practical remedies that we offer, what are the procedures we can offer to people because you have just tried out one, but there may be more procedures. What can we offer to those who fear or have are sure that the violation of the online rights has happened? Where can they take their case if it is a case? I know that the Council of Europe has done a lot of work on this. You have written up a list of possible things, so maybe someone from the panel could elaborate a little more on that because that -- I know this is of great interest of many IGF participants.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Does anybody directly -- I mean, we have people here from the Council of Europe mostly but also from other organizations. Max, do you maybe also want to say something on that? I mean, you did already a lot, so it's more the question -- as you said, it's a political question what could be another follow-up, what can be done.
>> MAXIMILLIAN SCHREMS: We were happy we went against commercial actors, we could act within the European Union, and the judgments that were there for a good opportunity to do that. I think for all the national security, this case will end up in Strasbourg, and I hope our case sets up the ground for that to a certain extent.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Can we maybe ask also colleagues from the Council of Europe? Yes, please.
>> PANELIST: We've had a look at the existing remedies. As far as state intervention against residents in Europe is concerned, there is the usual legal path where you exhaust national remedies in courts, and then if you lose at the last instance in your own country, you go to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and there are actually some cases in the pipeline right in different countries, and there's a good chance the court will the opportunity to follow up on the Luxembourg Court's decision in our friend's case.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: I think this is the added value of the Council of Europe. This is an international organization which has a court where, really, the cases of the court, the decisions of the court are obligatory for the member states, and they have to pay high fines if they do not, let's say, follow the court, so it's maybe -- yeah. Pan
>> DIRK VAN EECKHOUT: Thank you for your question. Of course, as Max Schrems was saying, the judgment of the court that's the rock-hard case law of the court and it will influence future behavior of companies, of governments that is a fact, but of course, these are processes which Gunter was explaining that take a long time, so don't forget that one should not wait for a court case because a court case means something went seriously wrong, and sufficiently enough to devote time, energy, and money to it.
On the other hand, you have a lot of initiatives from a Council of Europe that are soft law that are recommendations like the Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users where from the beginning, from the design into the immediate action one can already take a kind of a default position of protecting individuals, their fundamental freedoms and human rights, and I think this is the way where the multistakeholder approach of the Council of Europe is very important, engaging with government but with Civil Society to -- with business and with the developers, with the geeks so that least there is kind of a consciousness, an awareness that this has a huge impact on our democracies, on our societies, so these two things I would like to stress. We have the hard case law, but also the preventive measures, I would say.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you Dirk. Let's go to connect it topic, because we also know -- any attack of privacy as such is detrimental to what we call Internet freedom. What is Internet freedom? That's one of the big, big question? Is it a special freedom? Is it a special form of freedom for expression? No, it's much more. The Council of Europe is actually working on the question on, let's say what are indicators of so-called Internet freedoms, and they are offered to the government and the Council of Europe. I have here -- sorry, Karmen, you're on the right side. She is one of the experts on Internet traffic and Internet Freedom Committee, so you have worked out these indicators. It's been to the steering committee and hopefully the Committee of Ministers. Can you give us a background what is Internet freedom, what are indicators, and how did you find the indicators?
>> KARMEN TURK: Gladly. Hi, everybody. The Council of Europe has done very works on the field of Internet freedom before. As well, we have guide from the -- like Internet users and we have Internet governance different recommendations, but during the last two years it has been mainly two recommendations, and one is transport of global information. That recommendation really aids at the issue that in one state you need to manage the traffic, then it wouldn't hinder the flow of information in another state, so this is the main purpose, and I think it has a very good perspective because it focuses on due diligence.
So if a state needs do it because of the national law, then there are due diligence obligations you need to follow, so I think this one recommendation is going to have an impact, but the other one, the exact one that you asked about, was about Internet freedoms, so this is a very different approach, I think, for the Council of Europe that this recommendation has taken, so it is actually a set of indicators.
I think when I tried to count it, it was 58 different small indicators, and --
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Let's give some examples that we know.
>> KARMEN TURK: I could answer to the audience about remedies. There are indicators on remedies, so they are stating the principles, like the benchmark, the minimum standard and the best practices what should be the available remedy, how a personal user can really use it. For example, these remedies are mainly derived from the convention as well as the Council of Europe earlier wrote. This certain paragraph comes mainly from the Human Rights Guide for the Internet users; however, the recommendation itself, it has five, like, really big ones. The first one is about the general environment that should enable the free Internet in one state. The second one is freedom of expression, then we have peaceful assembly and association, private life including surveillance, data protection, and the remedies.
So it really looks like convention in a very good sense being applied online, and this is the main idea. We are trying to get the rights and say this is how we should assess them or see them online, and so these are the five sets, and I think the -- for me the -- and I think for the committee and for the Council of Europe and I think it should be for the 47 member states, it's actually an option to really self-evaluate in a multistakeholder model what your own status of your country and the Internet freedom within it and the start of the recommendation, the Council of Europe, of course, it's very strictly voluntary, it's not that member states are obliged to submit any kind of reports, but it is a voluntary basis.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: How -- what do you think --
>> KARMEN TURK: They will voluntary evaluate themselves, and if they would submit a report to Council of Europe, I think this would really give the Council of Europe the basis to see how the standards that have been developed from the convention for so many years, how they are actually applied, so it's not going to be rating one country against the other or anything like that. It's not going to be Freedom House all over again, but it's going to be just to assess how the 47 member states are actually applying the human rights standards being developed by the Council.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: So, for example, in Max's case, it had a very good evaluation result because finally it was due to the Irish court who did the preliminary questions to the court.
>> KARMEN TURK: That is true.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: And the interesting instrument to have a look because I think really is also one of the topics at an IGF is really what do we mean by this kind of Internet freedom as such, yes, and we all know -- we have all, I think, various different definitions on that, but the substance could be found in these indicators, right?
>> KARMEN TURK: Yes. For example, I'm talking to the members of my government right now, really trying to push that. Estonia would be one of the first countries to publish this, give it to Council of Europe, give it to everybody to read. We are saying we are E-country, but are we really? So it would be nice to find out and those who share.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Let's have a perspective. You are younger than me, but it happens from year to year again. From a business perspective, and especially from your house from Google, what do you say about that, what have you heard so far, and the way how that school exercise, their social corporate responsibilities to respect human rights and freedoms?
>> MARCO PANCINI: So thank you very much for having me today. For those who don't know me today, I'm Marco Pancini from the office of Google. A couple of points on the topic. I would like first to start by something that was said before around encryption. I've heard a lot of things around encryption during the IGF. Some of them are positive, some of them are negative. There are still people that believes that encryption could represent a problem for investigation. There are still people that actually think that the industry could do more from the panelist point of view. Encryption is the starting point for this discussion in order to make sure that the trusted relationship with the user on one side and with the governments on the other side, the kind of relationship that you put in place and the kind of process that we put in place in order to on one side, the government, to look after security encryptment and crime online, and on the other side, the user be consider the Internet companies to the partner in services, again, encryption is the key. Encryption means to ask the governments to not pass through the back door but pass through the front door, which means follow the rule as law, come to the Internet service provider, in this case, to obtains the encryption key with a valid code in order to get the information that they need in a way which is fair and also proportionate. So again, encryption as a technological solution to try -- technological solution to try to look at the problem that we discover, this problem -- these are all the platform of public-private partnership on surveillance, which I -- I tend to resist as a Google employee, and I don't -- I told my company in this description.
Second point, when we talk about the decision of the court, I think it's very important, and when we talk about Internet rights in general, I think it's very important to look at this in a realistic way. I know Karmen doesn't like to talk about this decision anymore, but last year we had another important decision.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: The right to be forgotten decision? About Max's case?
>> MARCO PANCINI: No, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the data case. May I?
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Of course. But you didn't inform about what decision you're going to talk.
>> MARCO PANCINI: I talk about Karmen because we were in this together, and it took us six months. We were working a lot with the Civil Society. We were putting a lot of energy on a case that was not on the first pages, it was not object of a lot of discussion and was not even the final decision subject to a lot of discussion, which makes me feel very personally upset since I'm working on Internet liability a long time. Maybe Karmen can say much better than I can what this is about, but basically the main concept coming from that case is the intermediaries -- in this case, even intermediaries that are actually news service provider -- are responsible for content that they host on the platforms. This is very bad. It's bad not just for commercial companies, it's bad for all of us as a citizen because it means that this is moving not just the responsibility, because all of us as, you know, players in this ecosystem, we need to be a responsible system, but it's about moving the liability of platforms, news aggregators, in the direction of exercising more control over the content, and exercising more control over the content is creating a serious problem for freedom of expression, so sorry --
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Sorry to interrupt you. So you say the situation is very unsatisfying, of course, for the intermediaries after the case. That's your main point now that you would also say how to take our self-responsibility if we have this unclear situation? Is that what you're saying?
>> MARCO PANCINI: No. I said two things. I said encryption is extremely important in companies that are active in the criminological fear needs to regain trust, and the second point I say when we look at the Internet rights and we look at what the companies can do, I think that one area that -- where the companies can focus on all of us or the community can focus is the intermediary liability -- discussion on intermediary liability, and in this case, they are awarding precedent because, again, moves the situation of the intermediary liability for news aggregators and for us as service provider in the direction of reducing the space for freedom for user to publish their opinion online.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Okay. Anybody want to take the floor or question or do a contribution, especially to this intermediary liability and its consequences, whatever? Anything you want to -- it's quite dark. Would you please -- thank you. And also introduce yourself, please.
>> GIOVANNA DE MINICO: Yes. I'm Giovanna De Minico. I'm a professor of constitutional law, University of Naples, and I also belong to the committee, the committee where they elaborate the declaration of right on Internet.
I agree with the speech of Marco. Okay. Marco. And my opinion, we have two problem, and the first is a contradiction between all the European government and also American government to make more secure the net with the policy and a lot of money invested in the cyber security. One hand. But on the other hand, the same government, European government, American government, ask as Marco -- not ask, oblige the Internet service provider and also other company who work on the net to create the back door, and one or the other one, we could not put -- we could not combine the devil and the holy water. It is a question to combine devil and holy water. When hand, money to make the Internet more secure. On the other hand, the government, European government and American government oblige to let the back door open for the government, but if the back door -- I am not an engineer, I am just a simple lawyer, but I think if the back door is open for the government, it is more simple to open and to catch our data.
Second point, I agree that when the Internet service provider who has to balance two right, right to be forgotten and the right of everyone to be informed, we are moving the liability on the private -- on the private subject -- and I am secure that my rights are balanced by Google or by someone. That's all.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you very much. Yes.
>> PANELIST: To respond, the assembly has had the advice from a technological expert, a professor who asked second-year students of computer science to look for back doors, and they found lots of them, and they could use them like any -- like any criminal, like any cyber terrorist. These back doors maybe make life easier for snooping, but they make life a lot easier also for cyber criminals and for cyber terrorists. I can really underscore and you'll find a whole chapter in our report on this risk for our security, a weakness and a fight against terrorism by obliging companies to leave back doors for the services. Thank you very much for that -- for that remark.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Okay. We may come back to this issue, and I now want to jump to the third field, also interlinked a lot, and this is the situation of those who are working for the media and who are -- often have to really defend their freedom of expression, so it's the situation of the journalists, and the Council of Europe for several years have now been working intensively on the question of the safety of journalists. We also heard about the specificity and importance of whistle-blowers already, and there is an interesting project, the Director of the Policy planning is Matjaz Gruden, who is with us, and you recently put in place, very successfully as I saw, an Internet-based platform on safety of journalists with NGO partners where they can submit an alert to it. Can you give us some information about that and what kind of alert have you got so far?
>> MATJAZ GRUDEN: One of the things we're really proud about this platform is that it is Internet-based, it uses technology, which is not a very usual thing for Intergovernmental Organizations, and that makes it fast, it makes is transparent, so it would make it -- I invite you to Google, it's CEO media freedom, and it's there on the -- on your screen, so I would all invite you to check it.
It's really, I think, novel in the sense that it's not only about protecting freedom of expression, including on the Internet, but it's using Internet for protecting freedom of expression. The second reason why we think it's novel and important is this partnership with Civil Society. It works in a way that seven partners now all major international associations with journalists, associations working on the freedom of expression are partners and they have the exclusive rights to submit alerts to serious threats directly to the platform with a mandate of governments on the platform hosted by the intergovernmental organization. I think that is a very important fact that is very much appreciated by the partners because I think it increases the visibility and therefore the pressure on the governments to respond to these alerts.
We've been operational since April. We have 89 alerts so far. I'm not going to go into it because it's all there. I would just like to use this opportunity, perhaps, to inform the Belgium that while we were talking I received another alert concerning Belgium, so we have early information that will make it three.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you very much, Matjaz.
>> MATJAZ GRUDEN: There will soon be 90 alerts concerning 21 countries. We'll talk about it later.
The way it operates --
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Bilateral basis, please.
>> MATJAZ GRUDEN: Yes, absolutely. The way it works, when the alert arrives is first we informed the country concerned, which I have just done, but also inviting the second, of course, it starts organizing the follow-up, dialogue with the country concerned and the follow-up both by different parts of the organization, Committee of Ministers, Secretary Generally for human rights, parliamentary assembly, but also outside partners. We're working with the EOC, with the European Union, and to come back to what was discussed earlier, one of the alerts that we received concerning France was about mass surveillance, and I cannot predict the future, but I may expect that other similar legislations that are in the pipe that are coming up may also end up on the platform. And cut back to the remedies. While we all expect that the European Court of Rights will rule on that, the purpose of the platform really is to bring visibility and give political dynamism in order to organize an immediate response to it, and when we have a similar alert concerning a systemic, our recommendation to the committee of ministers will be to respond immediately to this in a clear and effective way by offering member states clear guidance on what to do and what not to do to be short. Thank you very much.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you. I think it's really a great thing. Thank you also to the -- my colleagues in in the Council of Europe. It was a hard, a hard-fought struggle, but it's really worth looking at that and especially making use of it if you're a journalist and feel that you have to do an alert.
Well, that's -- of course, it is open for the international community, but really the global question of the safety of journalists is, of course, also handled on the global basis by the UNESCO, and there is for a long time also the issue of safety of journalists at the agenda of this organization, and Lidia, she's the director for the office of UNESCO. Maybe have a look, for example, at Latin America, what are specific issues and problems you encounter as regards safety of journalists.
>> LIDIA BRITO: Thank you very much, and thank you for the invitation to be here. If you allow me, I will step a little bit up in framing Internet freedom, also from a point of view from of the four principles that for us end of being really what Internet is all about, and clearly the first one is about rights and it's about privacy, it's about freedom of expression, it's about the possibility and the space that individuals and the communities have to really express themselves there, so that's the first point that for us is very important. Internet is about rights, and therefore, we need to frame our interventions in that direction.
It's also about being open and that -- we talk about open standards, avoiding really -- be it Internet media and broadcasting and so on, it's about really making sure that also the information, the knowledge is available for people, and people can, indeed, contribute to the better good by putting their knowledge and information there.
It's also about accessibility, and accessibility, then you go even further on rights because it's about do I see myself reflected there? Am I E-lit rated, can I read and assess the knowledge that is there in my own language, can I express my culture and by doing so being respected and having my culture being respected and also how to respect others, so accessibility goes beyond infrastructure, goes really more into rights again.
And of course, a multistakeholder process because as we have seen, these are quite complex issues. There is no single organization that there's the right.
So clearly, freedom of expression and Internet freedom are very linked, of course, to safety of journalists, and more and more we see that journalists are now moving more to the Internet, and therefore, there are also challenges there.
UNESCO indeed have the mandate in the UN system to deal with freedom of expression, safety of journalists, and also the issue of impunity, and that is why we have the plan to guarantee the safety of journalists and push forward the issue of impunity. What really do we do there? The first thing is that we try as much as possible in a multistakeholder process define standards that can be used by countries, by regions to make sure that we are at the same page in these issues.
And also we use these standards to produce and monitor always the situation, and that's why we produce the world trend on freedom of expression and media development that try to look every two years how are the different regions faring on that, and what are the key issues. You mentioned Latin America.
For instance, one of the key issues in Latin America is, for instance, the fact that media is concentrated in the end much use, and you know that in a long time will be a threat for freedom of expression. Of course, there are also old issues that we do about capacity building and so on, and again, in Latin America, what we are doing, our regional office, we are working with the Supreme Courts and the judges and prosecutors of Latino-American courts for them to understand the issue of Internet freedom and freedom of expression because these are new things. It's not part of their training, it's not part -- but the cases are coming and they don't know how to deal with that.
So what we have been doing is to develop these online courses for judges and prosecutors where freedom of expression is one of the issues, but also, freedom of expression in the Internet because it does have another, let's say, complexity than in traditional broadcasting.
We are also working with the schools of judges because they are the ones that sustain the capacity of the judicial system to really address these new cases. We are trying to bring together a bank of good examples and bad examples or good decisions and bad decisions from a perspective of rights and from a perspective of freedom of expression so that judges also can compare their cases.
So basically our -- and we are working on indicators, by the way. We have now the mandate to start a process, a consultive process, to define indicators that can indeed ensure that rights, openness, accessibility, and multistakeholder consultation are part of the building up of Internet in the different countries, as an assessments tool. A little bit more complex, I would say, than what you are doing in the Council of Europe because I think you are just concentrating on the are, but we would like to have indicators also on accessibility, on multistakeholder consultation, and on openness. So basically this is what we are doing at the moment. I could go further, but let's see the questions. Thank you.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Karmen? You wanted to comment?
>> KARMEN TURK: It does have accessibility to infrastructure as well as content, so it has all those very different angles that could come to the mind when you talk about Internet freedom, so it does cover all of it as well, and also the surveillance and so forth.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Right. And exactly from this last remark and those of your question, everything is interlinked.
>> KARMEN TURK: Yes.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: And that's also why we have the multistakeholder results. They may differ very much, but the discussions have so much interlink. It's not that we talk out any topics here at this forum, which are -- I'd say the actual works, just examples of the actual works, but you saw all the participants also said, well, I also want to say something on this and that, and I want to come now to a final round and maybe ask, especially the panelists, but especially also you to maybe just to sum up a little bit from that. Do you want to add something what you have heard here in the discussions, what would you say is happening now from the Council of Europe, what would you expect also from the Council of Europe in the special theme you have been talking about? For example, want to look at Gunter, what will you really expect from member states. You already did a lot of resolutions, so on, but do you think there might be some kind of effectiveness, and also on the other side, I want to speak -- I want to reaffirm for Marco, as a company that we daily use as we -- I mean, there's nobody who hasn't Googled today or maybe yes. What would you also expect from the future, especially also, like, in organization, like the Council of Europe?
Okay, so maybe first Gunter and then Marco.
>> GUNTER SCHIRMER: The assembly has worked as think tank as the Council of Europe as a whole, and the Council of Europe has functioned as a lab for good practices which have been later followed also by countries from other continents, and we've -- this is mutual. We have learned from the practices of the Inter-American Court, we've studied in a totally different human rights field, practice in Inter-American court and had had a resolution on persons who take their cases to the court, and then our court, the Strasbourg Court has taken this up to apply the same principles developed by the Inter-American Court, also to cases in certain -- some of our member countries where applicants of the court have been strengthened and so this is a mutual learning process. I'm happy we also have a representative from the continent which has us -- which extends this hospitality to us in our panel, and taking this back to Strasbourg, and we -- the parliamentary assembly has a long breadth, a long patients. Even the convention on human rights itself is based on a proposal by the assembly at the time. Sometimes it takes time, sometimes it goes more quickly, but we are confident that with the Committee of Ministers also showing openness for some of the proposals recently that we can get things done a little more quickly than in other cases in the past.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you, Gunter. Marco.
>> MARCO PANCINI: I have a respect for the work of the Council of Europe and respectful for the protection of journalism. I think what you're doing there is remarkable and it's great that the Internet can help to -- and we all as a community, we can help to raise these issues. Just a quick thing. Three years ago we were in Baku doing the IGF. I can read from them on their social media, on their website online the struggle that they are having in keeping alive freedom of expression in this country, so I think they're all over the country, the particular jurisdiction over these countries is extremely important, and we actually would like to know what we can do more to support the Council of Europe on the principle and the freedom of journalists.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Matjaz.
>> MATJAZ GRUDEN: Briefly just to respond what could be done more in order to find remedies or encourage governments to accept remedies to the problems that we're seeing also through the platform. I think the key element is visibility, so more it is visited, more it is concerted, more talked about, more effective it will be, more pressure we can put on the governments who are reluctant for these remedies, so I would encourage everyone to do so.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you. Lidia.
>> LIDIA BRITO: Also, on this topic, we are now applying also indicators for the safety of journalists. We have carried out assessments for three countries, and we are ongoing on that, and basically we are measuring what are the safeguards legally and in terms of, you know, reaction that really protect journalists, and also the question of impunity, what are the procedures at national and international level that guarantee that there is no impugn, ty on that, and for you it would work well with your platform because you know what the country can offer in terms of following up some of the things that you have. Thank you.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you, Lidia. Karmen, what would you take from that, what's the takeaway, and what would you expect also the further development of your work and the indicators?
>> KARMEN TURK: I think taking up from what is the really, really great thing for the journalist protection, I think it should be the same that in order to put pressure in a multistakeholder model, to put pressure on states to actually see themselves, evaluate themselves, so we could recall everybody to just push their countries to be fearless and be a bit different because it's very hard for a state to start evaluating themselves in maybe some places that are lacking, but I think the indicators are actually drafted in that way, that no country would be perfect because you can't be perfect in human rights, so I think ask your countries, ask your states to submit and evaluate regardless of the knowledge that, yes, you are lacking in one remedy and the other on the indicator and share it and open it, and I think this is the way to pressure the governments to move forward, so I think this --
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Okay. Max, you are not only an activist, if I may say so, but you're also a young lawyer, finished not too far your law studies and put it into practice. What would you say is your impression of forums like this, like the IGF and such, as regards -- is it supportive to the kind of work you're doing for -- or what would you expect?
>> MAXIMILLIAN SCHREMS: You changed the question, so I have to change my notes. I was prepared for pretty much what could be expected by the Council of Europe, and I think that is probably where I can give more meaningful input. What's kind of interesting is the update on Convention 108 and the Data Protection Theme, especially how it plays out with the European Union, that's the whole deal, and the big thing has got to be enforcement because that's the key issue with data protection is we have all these fundamental rights, but we're basically not enforcing them and pointing our fingers at the U.S. and saying that's the people who don't uphold our law. That's my impression there, where it would just be easier to enforce it. The other thing that's interesting is how cases get up to Strasbourg on this mass surveillance thing. That's the two issues I see kind of the most upcoming interesting things could come out of it.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: You perfectly managed time to answer both questions. Ambassador, do you have the final word? What do you take here from the Community of Ministers for the work also and what can we expect for the next, let's say, future?
>> DIRK VAN EEKHOUT: There are two things that I will take back home to Strasbourg. First thing that is clear to me is that protecting and supporting human rights on the Internet is a responsibility of all stakeholders, meaning state and nonstate actors. I think this is, for me, very clear.
And second, as regards to my responsibility as coordinator for the Information Society, I think it is very important for state actors to have openness, to listen and learn, and this is where -- and this is the third element, the discussion that we're having proves that multilateralism where governments talk to government actually doesn't exclude the multistakeholder process and that the multistakeholder process is actually appreciated by governments and by the nongovernment actors and is very essential.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you very much. So I come to an end. Yes, sir, one very, -- very brief, please, because we ran out of time.
>> Could I add one thing that I would recommend because I'm working in the field, and my impression is that very few people know about the things that the Council of Europe was doing, so the third point that we should be taking home is really that your own, let's say, PR but also member states, even stronger to promote and to disseminate what you're doing. Very interesting are wording, very interesting concepts, your guidelines, your governing strategy contains very valuable language, so it needs to be promoted more than currently.
>> MATTHIAS TRAIMER: Thank you very much for this final remark. It's well, I think, heard, and appreciated by all the colleagues here, and I think we all will try our best. Thank you very much for this session. Thank you.
(Session concluded at 1307)