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2015 11 12 WS 120 Launching UNESCO Internet Freedom Series Publications Workshop Room 2 FINISHED
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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. 



>> GUILHERME CANELA: Good morning, everyone. We are just waiting for the cue outside to be solved, so we have other people arriving, so we'll wait a few minutes, okay. Thanks a lot.

So, good morning. We will start the session. So we are here gathered for 30 minutes to learn some very interesting UNESCO publications on the issues. There are several issues that are you discussing all over this IGF meeting, not only UNESCO session, they are touching other sessions organized by different organizations.

I'm Guilherme Canela, regional advisor for Issues on Freedom of Expression for Latin America and the Caribbean, and actually my colleague, Xianhong -- that is the person behind this effort -- will introduce you to those publications. I'm just responsible for sharing this session and guaranteeing that we'll be out of here when the next colleagues arrive for the next sessions.

But before giving the floor to Xianhong, I must share with you a nightmare that I had last night. I was -- during my nightmare I waked up, and then I opened the window of my hotel room, and this tree from the "Lord of the Rings," those trees that speak, the end, you know that they go to defeat Saruman. He was looking at me, and I opened the window because I was curious, and he had lots of UNESCO publications, and he started throwing the publications at me and said, you’re incompetent people, you start killing trees to produce those things that no one reads. And I said, Oh, my God! Of course, I will discuss this with my shrink later.


But I will urge you, especially the people who will share the session with us that how we can really make those things useful, and I will be more comfortable in discussing this issue with my shrink next week in Montevideo. So Xianhong.

>> XIANHONG HU: Thank you so much, Guilherme, by starting session by laughter. I'm so happy to be here, particularly because some of authors of this year's are also here, like Andrew, who has done the book on privacy and free expression, and Rebecca has done an interesting one on the intermediaries. Actually, you know, the history sometime came from accident. We started the first book in 2009. At the time it's just a pilot exploration into the online free expression, which had to look at the broader context since there are so many challenges in the traditional media world. We couldn't stop because Internet evolving so quickly and so many issues intertwined, they are changing every day, so eventually we're producing a series. It's really very spontaneous but also very relevant because our member states, our stakeholders, policymakers, they're urging that they need a quick update on what's happening on the ground, so the first book, although it's 2009, still, I mean, the framework it has shaped is still valid.

And second book, this one I'm very proud because we joined the team to write about it far early before the Snowden revelation. We looked at the issue between privacy and free expression, which was very well cited by UN special rapporteur in his report and also stakeholders.

And the third edition is Baker and her team has done for us because the intermediaries became new in the Internet and it's also our first time seriously to think about a strategy to work with the companies.

And the reason why is digital safety, you know, UNESCO is leading an action plan on journalists.

This is a digital pilot.

The most recent one is online free speech, which I can see IGF is also becoming more and more discussed as a unique thing that we are really recommending more soft -- more social approach rather than a very hard counter-strategy to deal with speech writers and compromising free expression. And this one's really hard. It's just printed. It's the most recent copies. We have reviewed 55 Internet governance principles, and also, we assess our new concept Internet Universality and initiative, and the good news is that yesterday UNESCO General Conference, the CI Commission, has endorsed this concept of universality, which is good.

All of this contribute to this UNESCO Internet study, and we have a process by organizing a CONNECTing-the-Dots conference in March, and you were there too. We are having new additions in the pipelines. The day before yesterday we organized a workshop on balancing privacy and transparency. Transparency is part of free expression in our concept, and we're also going to publish a new research about the source protection of regionalism, so here I think -- yeah, I think the -- I have one minute. I will have 30 seconds, so I would like panelists and participants to give us suggestions, both for the current versions and also for the future subject of what do you think deserve to produce a new edition on the UNESCO Internet Freedom Series. Thank you.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thank you, Xianhong. And just to let you know that the Internet study, we are ready with support with our center here in Sao Paulo. We already translated that document into Portuguese and Spanish. It's just passing through final revisions, so it will be soon available in those two languages. And the first two publications of the series, Freedom of Connection and Internet Privacy, will also be available in Spanish quite soon, so just warn you on the -- another of the multilinguist function of UNESCO is also operating in this process.

So according to the instructions I received from Xianhong, the next speaker is Eduardo Bertoni, who will have three minutes for trying to let me be less afraid of my nightmare.

>> EDUARDO BERTONI: Thank you very much for letting me make this invitation. Let me start saying that for me it was a pleasure to contribute in some of these papers in different ways, and I only have three minutes. Maybe I will use less than three minutes because it's a very short session, and I wanted to highlight the importance of these kind of reports coming from particularly UNESCO, not only for the activism that is working for more freedom of expression, more freedom of expression online privacy, safety for journalists, but also for the academic sector, and this is what I want to highlight today.

I am now a law professor in Buenos Aires University and NYU University, and also a director of an academic research center in Argentina, and these kind of reports that not only provide information but also provide guidelines are very useful for my classes, particularly all of the topics that were touched in this report are topics that it is not always possible to find literature, new literature, and literature coming from an organization like UNESCO. You can find, of course, a lot of academic papers, but when you start digging on soft law, international standards, and these kinds of things, of course, there are reports coming, for example, from the special rapporteurs, that are also very useful, but this kind of information that UNESCO has been publishing during the last years proved to me to be very, very useful.

So Guilherme, don't worry about the trees. Students are benefiting for this publication.

Let me say one thing coming up to my mind when we discussed with some colleagues or with some students one of the topics that has been touched here in one of the last reports, which is the online hate speech report.

This is one of the most sensitive and complicated issues to solve, and in my view should be very welcome that UNESCO decided to include this topic in the publications.

I have 30 seconds, so the only thing that I want to raise about this report is that it's going to be under huge debate because, as I said, the topic is complicated, and when we are thinking about implementation of Article 20 of the ICCPR, it's complicated to make this article compatible with freedom of expression standards, and UNESCO and other organizations tried to do that in this report, so congratulations UNESCO, and thank you very much from my academic perspective.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thank you, Eduardo. So one way for us not feeling guilty for killing trees is that those things can be used in universities or teaching students, and this is one good use according to Eduardo.

So Rebecca, your perspective, perhaps you could also share with us in doing the work you do, building indicators, how these kind of standard setting publications could be useful also to dialogue with the kind of work you do. Thanks.

>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Absolutely. Well, thank you. I think it's great you were dreaming about Ents last night because they're my favorite character in "The Lord of the Rings," and there's one thing that the Ents said to the hobbit, "Just don't be hasty," and that in winning the war, you know, against the evil forces in the "Lord of the Rings," it's about laying down roots, it's about digging deep, it's about sort of permeating and laying down a foundation, and in a way I think this kind of evidence-based research and recommendations and indicator development -- I mean, we're facing real challenges to freedom of expression and openness around the world.

You know, the Internet, just by existing, you know, we found that we really need to think hard about how do we promote, protect, and shore up and expand freedom of expression globally in the Internet age, and it requires a lot of hard and deliberate work if we're going to, I think, get the policy understanding and changes that we want.

And so I was really thrilled to be involved with the Internet intermediaries' study and that UNESCO for the first time is looking at the private-sector actors, which are a new sphere for -- creating a new sphere for speech and also a sphere for governance of speech and how that interacts with government sovereignty, and so in our report we looked at it as a framework of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, where governments have the primary duty to protect human rights, but corporations, companies, have a responsibility to respect human rights, and it was within that framework that we looked at how states are influencing Internet intermediaries and shaping what people can and cannot say and access online, and then what sphere in which the intermediaries have their own control in shaping what people can do, and we came without a set of recommendations that people can read, but they're really sort of recommendations that I think apply, both with the hate speech issues and various solutions that people are trying to apply to the online sphere that policies and legal frameworks need to be developed in a context of multistakeholder consultation, need to be consistent with human rights' principles, that self-regulatory frameworks need to be accountable and transparent when intermediaries are asked to regulate kind of in an extra legal fashion, that both government and companies need to maximize transparency about what content is being restricted. There needs to be adequate grievance mechanisms and so on.

And so the indicators -- the work for UNESCO actually helped inform this other project that I've been doing ranking digital rights where we developed indicators to evaluate companies on free expression and privacy criteria, and it's really looking at these very types of questions, do companies have grievance mechanisms, how transparent are they being about what they're restricting, what requests they're receiving, how they're processing, how they interact with government, and how they control their own spheres of influence over companies.

And so I think it's -- we're in, I think, a phase where there's quite a number of different groups working to develop indicators and figure out how to institutionalize them and find ways to get international sort of credibility for them, and so I'm very much looking forward to working with UNESCO on that. One final point, and this is one of the recommendations for further work that we made in our own report. It has to do with the need for more kind of user studies, user surveys, and this is, of course, not easy work to do and is always resource-intensive, but one of the things that we lack I think enough empirical data on is how intermediaries' choices are affecting individuals on the ground in different types of jurisdictions and legal regulatory cultural contexts and how regulations of the Internet are affecting individuals and to do some really in-depth studies of users in different places and how law, corporate practice, and individual experience intersect.

And I think that might help bolster arguments in support of certain types of standards and indicators, so that's my suggestion.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thanks so much for the suggestions. So it's not only useful for academic work but also for other stakeholders, so the regulators -- because made recommendation to those, but also to the private sector, so we see here it's a kind of guideline, and I don't know if you note the difference with other UNESCO publications. There are very short books. The idea exactly to work like policy papers because another part of the Ents nightmare is when we publish those 400-page books that no one reads and then you enter a room in Paris and all the colleagues have those below their monitors just to make their monitors higher, so I said, Ooh, my God, what is our intellectual production going to?

So Andrew, you also work with several stakeholder's foundations and science organizations, and I would like your comments on how those publications could be useful for these kind of stakeholders as well. Thanks a lot.

>> ANDREW PUDDEPHATT: Thanks, Guilherme. I would say I was part of a team that put together UNESCO's publication on privacy and freedom of expression, and I think it's probably fair to say when we worked on that, we didn't have an idea of how topical and dominant the issue would become in the subsequent months following the Snowden revelations.

The paper itself tries to look at how -- I mean, first of all, the premise and something I found quite interesting when I began to look at this in detail is that privacy's always been shaped by technology. The idea that there is a notion of privacy that endures throughout human history and unchanged fashion is actually not the case. Privacy itself is hard to define. Everyone has some sense that it has to do with personal integrity and dignity, but the way in which we think about it and articulate it and desire it definitely changes over time.

So the very first paper that actually discusses the right to privacy is actually pretty recent, it's the end of the 19th Century, it's the Warren and Brandeis paper, written for the Harvard Law Review, which I think was because one of the two author's didn't like his family's pictures appearing in the local newspaper. He was from an eminent Boston family, which was the subject of great interest to the local media, who were always photographing people coming to and fro. He took offense that his photograph was taken and put in a newspaper, so that's a right to privacy. Which is now very extraordinary. If you look at Facebook, Twitter, or newspaper, the idea that our pictures appear in newspaper would be unproblematic to anyone in this room, unless they're on the run or a criminal, and that was seen as a lack of privacy to the individual at the time.

We tried to look at how the Internet is reshaping the abilities to collect, store, process, and analyze information. We look at the individual legal regimes in a contrasting range of countries, from the U.S. to China to Nigeria to Mexico, to see how different countries think about these things, and insofar as there are international standards, which are probably most developed within the European Convention on Human Rights and the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, we look at international and transnational standards.

I think the conclusion we came to is firstly, if you think about what the intelligence services do, they do probably about 1/10 of the information processing about people that companies do. The whole business model of the Internet currently and how it makes money is based on the collection, processing, storage, and sale of our personal information, so if we really think that's a serious issue, we will need to think, I think, conceptually very differently about the ownership of our data, so instead of our data being owned by companies who we give it to them as part of our value of their service that we retain ownership of that data and we license companies to use it for explicit purposes that we agree to. That would be a fundamental paradigm shift in the business model of the internet and that would also shift the way that personal data is held and stored by governments if it was seen as the personal property of the citizen and the citizen consented through a series of agreements to the licensing of that data or use of that data, that, I think, could take us some way forward.

But we are some way away from that situation, and I think our conclusion is that the current national systems for regulating privacy and the outdated regulations we have around data protection aren't really sufficient to tackle the problems of privacy in the modern world. I think what the UNESCO publication does is it's a very good base analysis of the current situation, it sketches out the problems, but in a sense it does no more and can do no more than set an agenda for future discussion and future policy debate.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thanks a lot. And indeed, as Andrew said, the publication was launched before the Snowden scandal, and they produced the research before that. This is also related to another area of UNESCO functions is that it will be work as a laboratory of ideas, trying to see problems that are not well defined yet but how we can introduce these kind of debates in the international academic community and others, so Amalia, your comments, please. Three minutes.

>> AMALIA TOLEDO: Thank you very much. I think I can help you also to deal with your nightmare because these applications are actually quite useful for Civil Society, as the organization I work, it's an advocacy organization, and it's not the same for us to say that all that is in these publications with the name of UNESCO because we can say it, but governments are not going to listen to us, but if we have the backup of the UNESCO with this publication, it makes our voices stronger and make them to listen to us, but I specifically wanted to talk about the publication on bringing safety for journalism as in the last year or a little bit more, I've been working specifically on digital safety for journalists in Colombia, and this publication, I can say that it came after what I was doing at that time in Colombia, doing a diagnosis on what's the situation for journalists in in Colombia in terms of digital safety or digital threats or violence, and I can say I confirm whatever is there is exactly the same things that we observed in Colombia with journalists, but later on we wanted to deal with the women journalists, what is happening with women journalists in Colombia, and this publication gave me the insight that I needed to start looking at that problem, so it was actually really, really helpful for us in Colombia to have this publication to understand the issues from a global perspective and just bringing to our local context situation and make everyone, all partners, all stakeholders, and the government to listen to us with more strong support from these kind of applications, because I'm going to be very short because we're short of time

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thanks, Amalia. So Eduardo started saying about the connection with the academic world and Rebecca mentioned two important stakeholders where the publications can help hold regulators and states accountable with the things we are concerned about, and the influence on the private sector, for instance, with the intermediary publications, and Andrew mentioned this role in anticipating some issues, and now Amalia how Civil Society can take advantage of UNESCO, seal of UNESCO logo to use those publications to also make some advocacy and to discuss those issues with different stakeholders, particularly the governments when very complicated issues like journalist's safety and security are at stake.

So as you note, the APC chair was here from the beginning to gate keep and warranty that we were going to respect the time, and we are most glad that UNESCO delegation team that is here, not only myself, Xianhong, you have our regional director, Lidia, that if you need to discuss some things about the publications and follow-ups, we can do that later, but I think that we shouldn't -- you want? Okay. So the next session is authorizing us to at least take two questions that are very urgent, are if you also had some kinds of nightmare, you urgently need to discuss these things like I did, but, I mean, so two questions, perhaps, and then we close. Please.

>> JOHN CARR: John Carr from the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online, a coauthor of a report that came out last week from the Chatham House and the Global Commission on Internet Governance, which established one of three of every Internet user on the planet is a legal minor, that's to say a person under the age of 18, and I wondered to what extent any of the publications that you've referred to recognize the different position that minors are in relation to the whole range of issues that you've raised because they enjoy all of the human rights that adults enjoy, but in addition, they have an extra layer of legal rights and protections, which are human rights of a different kind, which impacts on privacy and free expression and things of that kind. I just wondered to what extent that specific angle had been acknowledged or taken up in any of the different wonderful publications.

By the way, I'm glad because I'm one of the old-fashioned guys that still likes to read books, and I will do so on my flight back to London tomorrow.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: If we have another question, we'll take it, and then back to the panel for replies. Any other pressing doubts, questions, comments? Okay. So I will ask Xianhong and others if they want to comment, but to also mention that particularly in Latin America, with our colleagues of the UNESCO Center of Information Society, which are there, we are investing and relaunching representing a model of kids online along the scope of economics implemented in Europe for Latin America. So they did the research in Brazil, and they are representing Argentina, Chile, and other countries. I think it's also interesting to touch bases with them, and this is the work we are doing in the region.

If I were a common and international bureaucrat, I would answer this is a question for UNICEF, but since we are not, I'll turn the floor to Xianhong so she can comment.

>> XIANHONG HU: Thank you, Guilherme. If I understand the question properly, actually the focus of this publication, the policy report, I think that one's the interface between online/offline Office of Human Rights, because any rights online are impacting also because the border is really blurring.

And second, you know, UNESCO just endorsed the Internet Universality concept. We reaffirmed the universality and interdependence of all the human rights, so our focus not only freedom of expression, not only privacy, but all the added rights that are interchanging with this fundamental freedom, so we're looking at the speech, we're looking at the utilization which touches upon the child, children, but now the children are the most Internet savvy people, there's no basis we don't look at them, and we have a forum at UNESCO. We look at how to empower young people to better practice their rights online, so it's a comprehensive approach, not only a policy, not only legal, but also we talk about capacity building and awareness building.

>> GUILHERME CANELA: Thank you. And I will add on kind of a self-criticism, you are right, we should do more on this particularly age group, especially from 0-12 because youth is quite covered and teenagers, but what we are basically doing, is insisting in several, including some of those publications, in the idea that media information and literacy are quite important as a public policy to solve this, but we should be more specific in the future in some of those challenges, particularly in connection with the child convention. Thanks a lot. Thank you for being indulgent and offering some time for questions.

Now I hand the floor to them, and now we will be around if you have comments and needs on our publications. Thanks very much and thanks for the panel. Bye.


>> XIANHONG HU: Last word. All the publications are on-line free for download. You can have a link. Thank you.

(Session concluded at 0937)