Protecting Human Rights Online: The Freedom Online Coalition

20 December 2017 - A Open Forum on Other in Geneva, Switzerland


The Freedom Online Coalition is a group of 30 countries, from all regions of the world, committed to coordinating efforts with each other and with other stakeholders to advance Internet freedom. At this IGF Open Forum, as incoming Chair of the Coalition Germany will outline the FOC’s plan for 2018. The FOC’s new mode of multistakeholder-engagement, the Advisory Network, will be presented and officially launched at this year’s IGF. Coalition members will further give updates on the work of the Coalition since the IGF in Guadalajara, including the outcomes of  its strategy meeting on the margins of the Stockholm Internet Forum hosted by Sweden on May 16 and notably explain key provisions of its revised Terms of Reference and the work of the Digital Defenders Partnership to support  civil society facing online threats.

We invite the IGF community to engage in a discussion on the  work of the Coalition in 2018 and the state of Internet freedom in 2017, in light of the member’s commitments—reiterated in the San Jose Statement in October 2016 to mark the Coalition’s five-year anniversary. This Open Forum will be a platform for all interested members of the IGF community to participate; members of all stakeholder groups are encouraged to attend.

Tag 1: Multistakeholder Cooperation
Tag 2: Human Rights Online
Tag 3: Freedom of Expression Online

Name(s) of Speaker(s):

Ambassador Thomas Fitschen, Director for the United Nations, Cyber Foreign policy and Counterterrorism, Government of Germany

Piret Urb, Counsellor (FOC, UNESCO, UNAOC, CD, OGP, Internet freedom issues), Division of International Organisations, Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia

Katharine Kendrick, Former co-Chair FOC Working Group 3 “Privacy and Transparency Online”; International Public Policy Manager, Airbnb, Inc.

Matthew Shears, Former co-Chair FOC Working Group 1 “An Internet Free and Secure”; Independent policy consultant; ICANN Board

Name of Online Moderator: Aditi Gupta
Background Paper:
Past IGF Participation: Yes
Report Link:
Name: Mr. Seth Bouvier
Organizational Affiliation: U.S. Department of State