Freedom of Expression on the Net: Current Threats to the Internet’s Architecture That Undermine Citizens’ Rights and the Free Flow of Information Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Center for Technology and Society at Getulio Vargas Foundation

28 September 2011 - A Workshop on Security in Nairobi, Kenya

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Full Session Transcript

September 28, 2011 - 11:00AM

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The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. 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 session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

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>> Hello?  Shall we start our panel?  I'm Joana Varon from the Center for Technology and Society.  Our workshop is entitled freedom of expression on the net.  Current tracks to the internet architecture that undermines citizens rights and if you want information, it is being organized with EFF as well.  The table just introduce table.  Elvana, Pedro Less.  Let's just start briefing the tradition of the respective organizations and then we go to our brief presentation and then to our set of questions.  Kurt?

>> KURT OPSAHL:  Thank you.  I am Kurt Opsahl.  I am a staff attorney, which is a non‑profit civil society organization dedicated to protecting privacy, innovation and free friction in a world.  We have over 15,000 dues paying members in 69 countries and they all have a strong interest in helping policy makers develop a future we would want to live in.

>> PEDRO LESS:  My name is Pedro.  I also coordinate the team of the infernal government.  We are, ah internal company search engine and mainly ‑‑ and also other services.  We are very, very concerned how the different allocation of protecting in the net.

>> DESIREE MILOSHEVIC:  I am Desiree Miloshevic.  I am with the Internet Research Institute.  It is a 10‑year‑old company to manage info and top level domain name.  We power above 15 including countries that are developed and in developing countries.

>> Thank you.  My name is Elvana Thaci.  I work in the media and protection division.  I would like to say a few words about the counsel and my representation.  For the moment, I will just say that the organization, um, seeks to promote values such as democracy, human rights and rule of law.  Thank you.

>> So just the introduction of RCTS, there is IP law and Internet regulation.  Folks are balancing IP protection and public interest as assisted knowledge and bring those issues to the Internet.  We are very close to, ah, Brazilian policy making.  We work like a think tank in those issues.  So, if ‑‑ I wonder if ‑‑

>> So again, I'd like to say a few words about the organization.  The counsel of Europe has 47 members, 47 European member states representing 800 people.  The organization was founded in 1949 and since then, it has engaged in activities to promote its core values.  The activities are primarily center setting activities, developmental policies and standards in the areas of human rights, democracy and technology.  Monitoring of the implantation of standards on these areas and corporations with member states in different projects.  Um, I would also like to mention the, un, the jewel in the crown of the counsel of Europe, which is the European core of human rights.  All Europe own citizens can go to the court, file complaint against their states for failure to protect fundamental rights and freedoms.  And we're proud of this institution.  Um, I understand that you'd like to, um, the organizers would like me to say a few words about the activities that we do in the area of freedom of expression particularly.  So, um, I won't waste much time, but I the go directly into that.  I will mention some of the standards that we have developed throughout the years on the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of the medium.  As they related to the Internet in particular.  For example, there was a declaration freedom on the communication of the internet as adopted by the 47 member states and the counsel of Europe which states though priors state control Internet on content that is made available with the Internet.  And that applies to public authority section.  Then another standard that I'd like to focus on is the public service value of the Internet.  The counsel of Europe has developed this notion which has basically two elements.  First is, um, citizens legitimate expectation that the Internet will be accessible, affordable and secure and their reliance on the internet for everyday activities on the internet.  So it's legitimate expectation and reliance.  The conservancies of that notion, which is embedded in the policies on the counsel of Europe is that there are roles that the states should plea to security, accessibility of the Internet, the openness of the internet and the diversity in particularly the diversity of content on the Internet.  Another recommendation of the counsel of Europe is about the use of Internet filters.  What that does is provides guidelines to member states on how to properly use filters and to monitor the ice of fillers.  For example, users should be given information on when fillers are used and they're fully aware what is happening.  Countries should take measures to make sure that the use of filters is reviewed periodically.  There should ‑‑ countries are encouraged to raise awareness on corporate and social responsibility on interference, um, with content on the Internet for the use of filters.  Recently, the counsel of Europe has been looking at, um, the intersection of Internet infrastructure and the way the Internet is managed with the protection of freedom of expression and access information.  There was a declaration on network neutrality, which was adopted last year and that encourages first that the member states of the counsel of Europe commit themselves to the principal of network neutrality and then it is encouraged to take measures to insure that principal in their domestic policies.  Another area in which, um, we had been involved is the cross‑border Internet.  In the counsel of Europe, the stability, the intake grit and the universality of the global nature of the Internet are considered pre‑conditions for people's possibilities to have access to the internet and to content of the internet.  And the consequences of that have been included in recommendations which was adopted only recently last week as a matter of fact on measures that states should take to, um, protect and promote the global nature of the integrity and openness of the Internet.  Another instrument that I'd like to mention is, um, a set of Internet governance, principals.  It's Internet governance principals that have been developed and the first principals is protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The second is multi‑state holders and then it goes on with principals such as open network, centralized management cultural diversity.  Um, I think I will stop there.  I'm looking forward to the interaction with the other panelists and the audience.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Okay.  Thank you.  I believe I was the fourth speaker earlier on your list.  I'll take the mic.  So thank you again for inviting us to be here today.  What I'd like to is really limit my vention and just set up the ‑‑ the picture, the broad picture of what we're discussing in addition to freedom of Internet.  What are the current tensions and political threats and did our politically motivated to sensor to the internet and what are the tensions that intermediaries are currently experiencing in the managing the Internet infrastructure.  We can see that some of these threats are economical and others could be a critical nature.  But nevertheless, they're present and, um, in order to understand the nature of it, I think it might be useful to say a few words on what an intermediary really S. we all think those are the Internet service providers or those are the go between third party that is there to provide access between two parties to a chain of good ole services.  In those roles, the intermediary is high speeds and web hosting companies, ready straws and registries are really there to not interact and not interfere with the free flow of information to connect people to that data.  So, um, ah, we have, however, um, seen that interpretation of intermediaries has been approved so that intermediaries are not rightly indemnified from the role that is to be the intermediary and we can see in various legislations including European ones that can suffer from very serious financial and legal damages.  To quote, maybe just one example is the court case that is still not finalized and that might be interesting for discussion later on is the [INAUDIBLE] and scholars where Belgium locating society has actually filed the court case against colleagues with regards to copy right infringements and has the intermediary to filter all the traffic and, um, has also tried to cut down all the P2 P network.  With regards to the court ruling of the Belgium court, um, we have found out that the technical expertise have proven that there are a quite a few things that one should be able to question here and primarily, um, whether the ‑‑ this ‑‑ this professionally in order to filter the peek to peek and also quiet ad complete effectiveness of being involved in such an activity.  So as we know that, the European court of just sis yet to have a final say on these two findings and on the preliminary ruling and it may take up to two years to find the questions.  Nevertheless, it's an interesting example from to actually share here and to see that [INAUDIBLE] or I speak and it can be a lot for damages.  Taking that further, we can also think how ‑‑ what kind of consequences that would have for intermediaries that are set up in developing countries whether it could be legally and financially responsible for the traffic that it carries or with Internet infrastructure.  And when, um, dealing with the unknown financial responsibilities and legal liability is not a good position to be in.  And to carry out business.  So one other notion that I would like to introduce before I stop the notion of intermediary and the difference of being an intermediary and a publisher.  The minute you start regulating and returning them is go a publisher.  So, for example, we have an example that, ah [INAUDIBLE] operators do not edit the ionas on group file.  They are merely distributing the content of the roots on file.  Therefore, they're not publishers.  And similarly intermediaries are, um, should be publishers ‑‑ should not be publishers of information and they should be intermediaries and I think it would be good have more discussions there.  In Europe, we have the e‑Commerce directive in 2000, and we have the main conduit article 19 which describes that position of ISBs where they're there to conduit information; however, the ISPs are currently not free from financial built as well as they're not free from legal liability.  And, um, we have other issues, I think, that would be useful.  They touch upon the discussion about unclarification of personal data, definition on the data.  The directive.  So just touch base on the copy right laws and some of the major affluent trying to regulate the infrastructure, but I think we'll hear more about that panelist.  So I will stop here now.  Thank you, Desiree.  Pedro?

>> PEDRO LESS:  Well, I've seen it's very important to be in this forum and also to ‑‑ for the different stake holders of the Internet human rights community to stand up jointly in the professional line.  An Internet company, we can ‑‑ I would like to share with you some experience on what happened to us in different countries in terms of how we have been fighting to basically support free expression online.  Currently, many governments around the world more control over the net.  More or less, 40 ‑‑ more than 40 governments are in some way interfering with Internet services or content.  And it ranges ‑‑ there are different behaviors here from strictly they're looking to strictly political content and/or there are [INAUDIBLE] to really big deal [INAUDIBLE] that could be different to the mind and handful content on that online content.  In terms of Google and Youtube services, we have been subject to censorship in at least 25 countries around the world.  We ‑‑ if you would like to learn more about that, we have a transparency report that you can get all the information about the different requests from government that we receive.  And also the blocking of our services in almost realtime because we can check in the different countries how is the level of traffic of our service in the different products.  So you can be able to identify some.  If a drop of our traffic happens in the different products, this could be on us to.  Technical failure sometimes could be related to a political or government decision.  I will give you a very res make example that happened in Argentina about a month ago when all the Internet service providers received a notice from the national commission of education that is the telecommunication regulator to come play with a court order that the orders that are blocking of street websites.  What hand is that many ISPs proceed with an IP block in because in one of the court orders, an IP has been stated in brackets next to one of the domains.  The consequence of that is that more than one medium block possibly blogger has been blocked.  Just because the ISBs block the better than the domain name.  This ‑‑ this case has to do with the order has response to a request from the government to relate it to a website.  That exposes military and political secrets.  Fortunately, we have been able to work around this issue with different holders, internet chambers and also we ‑‑ we address this issue with the communication.  And the judge issues a new order that will find the measure should be done in a way that does not affect content, which is ‑‑ or his website, which is not the option of that such court order.  We are not discussing here if the ‑‑ how sometimes it is very important for the different legal operate office to be very specific on the way that they present a court order, for example.  Sometimes the ISPs are caught in the miss and say I have a court order that says I have to block this IP address.  It is difficult to measure the consequence.  It was for almost three weeks that one medium block was not available in Argentina or the major ISPs.  I would like to make a recount of really, really important things that happened in the human rights arena in this past year.  I would like to start with some remarks first human rights committee of the united nation.  They do national and political rights applies fully in their online world.  For example, bloggers should receive the same protections as journalists.  Another highlight of this year is the report and special reports of United Nations.  Frank is around here.  Frank Laru.  His report to the U.N. in general assembly.  He emphasized that restricting the glow of online information all the violates human rights.  The report opposed to initial initiatives like three strikes Internet las we have been seeing in different countries like France for example.  This three strikes loss aims to ‑‑ or the signs bite government that are discouraged fair share and was cigarette Internet users a block presently from the Internet.  I think we really look forward for the approval for the report, ah, prepared.  But Frank Laru encouraged to you address this with your countries to get support on this initially.  This would be very, very important for the protection of friction on the Internet.  Finally, the CERT, this is a very, very important document it's a joint declaration.  This happened, ah, a couple of months ago and it's a joint document signed by the U.N., the organization for security and corporation in Europe.  And the African commission on human and people's rights.  This is signed by each of those organizations.  My view of this is one of the most important and comprehensive documents that's been written on this subject.  It will be very important to encourage that option.  The option of the principals that are set for this declaration at national and regional level.  Just to give you an overview of this exploration, it sets out important principal that includes free expression and let me read you some.  Freedom of expression applies to the Internet as it does to all means of communications.  And any restriction are settled only in the various occasion.  One prescribed by law and compliant with national standards.  Internet service providers that provide the platform of expression cannot be held liable.  Mandatory blocking of websites or IP addresses.  The single publication rule to be respect host the damage can be recovered only once for any single piece of content.  So, these are really, really good developments that we have this year on terms of free expressions and the internet, but also I would like to drag your attention to a very, very new document that come up.  I see that this will be a very interested fallen and it has to do with international code of conduct for information and security that this has been submitted by permanent representative of China, Russia, Dashikis‑tan and Uzbekistan to the U.N. in secretary asking him to Vin University this international code of conduct.  Physical moor my document on the 66 session of the general assembly and it's calling upon countries to fight for the discussion of this document within the framework of the U.N.  I think it is important to internalize this proposal.  I have seen very, very alarming wording in this proposal and actually, we need to analyze this in the principals set forth in this joint declaration and also, ah, on the international and covenant on social and political rights.  So I leave this open for further discussion during this session.

>> Thank you, Pedro.  Now, I change from hat from moderator to speaker and bring some inputs to the discussion.  I want to talk a limit bit about research.  We are doing about 50 practices in Latin America and how it impacts freedom of expression.  So, it relates way lot with what Pedro was talking.  The goal of the research was to analyze legal provisions that open space for filtering practices in the region assessing how ‑‑ if and how hey can treat freedom of expression.  But in, that we look at not neutrality provisions either laws or draft builds, content regulations and ISB liabilities and the countries focus the research where Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Venezuela is being made an initiative or propose bite central studios and the [INAUDIBLE] of Palermo University of Buenos Aires.  What we saw and what was our hypothesis is that even though Latin America was being present the as a region of the Internet enemies in terms of Internet region.  If we look to researches about freedom of press like reporters that wrote board rinse, we can see the region had problems on the offline environment the importance is that if we seem too concerning, this is the conclusion and improving access and we can pass to problematic situations to the online environment as well.  As we could see, ah, for instance Venezuela has just approved the proposal for the content regulation that restricts information that could be seen as medium manipulation to public order and all regulation sets that, ah ‑‑ regulation that this regulations blocks content that is to national security and also traffic managing it and ISP liability for the content that is being posted on their platforms.  So, it's a very threatening provision.  The same happens to Mexico.  With our proposal to monitor social networks N. Colombia, in Mexico, the excuse is to monitor drop dealing.  In Colombia, there's a project content regulation allows this piece to block and access to contain after notice mechanism.  We felt it was ordered.  So it had [INAUDIBLE] alike provision that was being discussed and it was in the topics.  In Brazil, now we're moving to a best situation wasn't civil rights reached congress.  Until now as we don't have the law approved, the environment is uncertain.  So it's quite common that we face blockings.  We are in the top of the list of content removal from Google transparency report that Pedro just mentioned.  So, ah, let's see how it goes after the approval of the law.  For the research, we took into account the requirements that was highlighted and presented in a part of Frank and freedom of expression that says if filtering moves happen like in child pornography, we must take into account that it must be provided by the law.  It is clear and accessible to everyone.  You must pursue one of the purposes set out in the article 19, paragraph 3 of the international and know political rise.  It is only in case to protect rights and reputations and others to protect national security and public order, health and the second requirement is that it must be proven as necessary and proportionate.  The second requirement that I just mentioned on the article 19 is still opening room for a lot of provisions and might be threatening.  What we were trying to do is look at those countries if they are uses extensive manner.  And just to conclude so we solved it.  Even though only child pornography in this country has a specific regulation for the online environment.  Other content regulation are being used for filtering and excessive filtering and blocking.  Mostly in Mexico and Venezuela and Colombia under information and cope rights provisions.  Brazil is also the case.  Mostly in copy rights and information was the case during the elections.  That was interesting because, of course, during the elections, with the debates, I think it's part of the political process to ‑‑ to comment and bring inputs and a lot of those, um, comments were like considered defamation and content has been blocked.  This was the case of report of a page that was talking about corruption against a Senator and it was blocked in a clear case of infringement, freedom of expression in which law was used to take the content off.  So, on the other hand, those countries that we analyze are talking about not neutrality laws and neutrality las are not specifically focused on in terms of Internet freedom or freedom of expression, but it's a technical law, but it has some lines and it can be used to balance improper removal of content.  Those countries are debating this by now.  What we saw also was that with other intermediaries, interset service providers has been targets for reaction.  Mainly those who deal with social networks and is they were in Argentina and they have domain examples of that.  And finally, ah, after those legal action, what we saw was that they had orders and they're not specific about how the filtering should happen and they don't talk about transparency so you have entry website.  It has been filtered and you won't know about it and so, those are the inputs.  And just to finish about this problem owned on judiciary orders.  So, [INAUDIBLE] for removal off content.  Do not set those tarps for future.  What happens is like a vicious cycle.  They do not set standards.  So international are set to set those standards.  The this issue has to be made under a public interest issue which is assisted knowledge and assisted content, but also, the private, um, setter, the intermediary is still deciding.  We found a proper clarity or judicial order.  This is suffering the risk to be questioned again if it's implement ‑‑ if it is implementing a mechanism is not enough for the damage.  There is an environment of legal uncertainty of both ‑‑ for both.  Intermediaries and users.  Ah, this environment becomes an incentive for the adoption of more future mechanism.  We found acknowledgment of users and on the other lands, we don't see in the law incentives for protecting, um, freedom of expression and protecting users and the right to access this content.  So that others to the debate on implementing and trying to implement principals that protect users rights, ah, on proper legal provisions.  That's why coming back to the debate on principals it's very important for this.  I will wrap up here and pass the word.

>> KURT OPSAHL:  Thank you.  I started talking about what kind of future we want to live in.  That is sort of the question that was trying to be answered with the thing about Internet governance and how we should structure the Internet moving forward.  We have a choice between the future of robust and open communications and a closed society filled with locks and restricts where the basic tools of expression that are necessary for expression are being used for political ends.  Notice, the Internet has ‑‑ has become one of the most vibrant platforms the world has ever seen.  User generate content has democratized media allowing anybody who has access to a computer and Internet connection to publish their views to the world.  Instead of it having be restricted to put out their view points.  This allows people to diverse view points to find light mind communities.  Even if they are a minority in the particular geographic area they're in, they can find people throughout the world they can find solidarity with.  They have reviews by great cross border and flows of information.  And Internet intermediaries are a special concern because they're essential for the seek and receive impart information.  They facilitate communications.  They can protect freedom of expression if they have policies.  Is they provide Avenues for democratic participation which again is vital for a future that will respect human rights and human values.  But just as intermediaries are vital for communications, they also provide points of failure.  For an online communication to succeed, they need to be a provider on both ends.  They need to be a service provider and they will need to be domain name server that is helping to rout that message and probably several other server providers along the path.  Each one of them has a possibility of being [INAUDIBLE] and blocking the communications and interfering with the expression that's contained.  Each is critical for this opening remarks.  I wanted to focus on domain names because domain names are necessary instrumentalities of speech and lately, the integrity of the domain name system has come under attack.  In June of 2010, ah, the immigration customs and enforcement of the U.S. department of home land security or ICE launched its operation there our sites, which was seeking an executed warrants against domain names associated with websites that were allegedly offering unauthorize move downloads and then in November 2010, in February of this year, the government continued operation and our sites to combine 92 additional domain names alleges they were revolved and linking to sports and broadcasts streaming.  Take a moment here to seizure is kind of a misnomer.  What I did was obtain judicial orders requiring service providers to lock domain names and direct traffic to a new address.  In this casing, a government web page announcing those websites had been seized.  Where will University Nation headquarters?  They would say 750 united nations plaza in New York City.  But after this order, they would be required to give a different address and give false information about where that is located and say 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or some other location that would be set bite government.  So highway can this process go wrong?  There are a couple of examples that I wanted to use to eliminate problem.  One example was just sort of a misunderstanding of the system that caused a lot of collateral damage.  And that was MOO.com.  And in February of this year, I see the moo.com.  But thing is this seeder temporarily blocked over 84,000 different sites.  This was because MOO.com is blocked that allows registers to use a subdomain.  It would be user name.MOO.com.  They don't host any contact directly on that.  Neigh close it out to the subdomains and have small business sites and sites where academic researchers ever sharing inform.  84,000 different sites that were engaged and protected, but due to allocation regarding one of those subdomains, I seize the MOO.com and all the subdomains were taken down.  Another example coming out of the February seeders which has profound implication for freedom of expression is ROJA director.  Two domain names which I seize without prior notice.  They remember owned by a Spanish base 84 puerto and they have hundreds of thousands of users discussing issues, posting hills from various sporting events and other topics and included some links to streams of sporting events that could be found elsewhere on the Internet as well.  What makes ROJA directa very, very interesting is after multiple year legal battle, it had been determined by Spanish courts to be operating legally and not infringing copy rights.  So, this was a site owned by a Spanish company operating some Spain.  But nevertheless, it was ceased by ice.  This was a terrible precedent by that.  It is a prior restraint on the free expression who are using this form who are having discussions who had nothing to do with cope right infringement.  The seizure of the entire domain is not focused.  It's not tailored to address the alleged large, but instead it's a broad squat that took everything with it.  And also, I think importantly it fails to report judgment of the Spanish court.  And it is imposing outside rules upon something which would determine legal in the Spanish court.  This is something which is an ongoing legal case in the United States.  The decision to seize that domain has been appealed.  They will try to frontier foundation.  It is in support of puerto 80 and in effort to gain control of the domain.  Ceasar powers and there are also some proposals to institutionalize this method of an attack on freedom of expression through the domain name system.  A while back, there was a professional called the COICA.  In was a proposal in the U.S. congress, a flood proposal that would allow the government to essentially breaking Internet one demand at a time requiring domain and registries ISPs, DNS providers to block them from websites and the initial incarnation was particularly nefarious because it would have create black lists.  The first am be a censorship, but at least it has some court involvement.  And the second one more troubling was a list of domain name that's government determined without shoulder review who were indicating infringement activity.  COICA was a censorship deal that was run over freedom of expression.  Now, fortunately, it failed to pass congress, but that was not the end and more recently, there was another proposal following along the same lines.  Protect IP Act or Pipa.  It was still riddled with problems on the Internet.  Pipa expands some of the capabilities and now includes a private action for intellectual property owners which they can proceed directly on their domain name without any governmental actions.  This is increasing the opportunities for this blocking to occur.  And it has expanded to include additional category of third party providers that can be sent to these court orders.  And it requires targeted DNS servers and ISPs that identify domain names to the domain IP address and preventing users from accessing those sites regardless of what information is on them.  There are many problems with them.  I want to highlight them in particular which is security.  If the government ‑‑ government begins to use the control of the critical DNS structure is very likely that a large percentage will start to shift to DNS systems.  This will not be an effective tool in the long run.  You can find a third party that provides DNS services, but they will become targets for security attacks.  It allows for competing DNS mechanisms and this did make fishing and attack and redirect someone to the wrong website much more easy.  If you have a system where redirecting users to resource does not match with the actual requested, this is incompatible with end to end DNS security.  And DNS security is something which ask really vital to the continued function of the Internet.  So, to conclude, I would like to draw from the view expressed by coalition of engineers who wrote open letters and engineers were active participants in the construct of the Internet and they wrote we can't have a free and open Internet without a global domain name system.  It settled above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry.  So, thank you and with that, time to turn the discussion and program as a starting point, I want to take a lead of what Pedro was saying and this recent proposal from China, return and [INAUDIBLE] Uzbekistan code of conduct for information security.  I wanted to highlight one aspect of that which seemed interesting in the context on the Internet.  And that was, um, that provision 3 allowing for the curbing dissemination of information which incites terrorism and extremism or undermines other countries of economic and social disability and spiritual or cultural environment.  So the question I have.  S. is that overly broad?  Would that allow them to engage in censorship?  Sir?

>> Thank you very much.  I am Eduardo.  The answer is yes.  This is against any human rights standards.  And I also want to highlight are the ‑‑ I mean, Pedro said that one of the problems of this proposal of resolution for the general assembly is the [INAUDIBLE] is very vague.  But this is problematic citizen number 1 because, ah, it ‑‑ it introduced this idea to respect for this 70 territory integrity and political dependents of all states.  I have been, you know, do something research on the [INAUDIBLE] in the Internet and the additional problems and this idea of Sorense.  I read a paper that somebody says ‑‑ I think it was you.  That this idea of ‑‑ that the internet is destroying the westfallia notion.  I think so.  (no sound) because of the prohibition, the prior.  It is complicated.  The prohibition is very high standard and it is only one possibility related to child's 13.4.  But, I mean, in some way, we have a solution in the American system, but it has more problems because now we need to armorize this regional problem with the regional system with other international system.  Thank you.  Would you like to respond to something?

>> It is one of the elements I wanted to highlight.  It is the national diplomatic and I do not speak here on behalf of the I can board.

[Laughter]

Of which I'm a member.  A clarification of what I said in the paper.  It is to challenge the base exclusively on boarders.  Sovereignty is an extremely important element.  I want to say that on the record you cannot contact if you're not free.  If you're foot sovereign, you cannot participate in other things.  However, with the internet, sovereignty and get asked brings responsibility because what you do at national level as an impact on the international level and one of the things that the counsel of Europe has allowed to explore in the working group that was set up is a notion of responsibility for states regarding the acts they have on other countries.  And the analogy that is underlying this is something that goes close to what happens to waterways and the fact that when you are off in the line of a water way the upstream is a responsibility for the down stream.  And you take an action at national level, it has an impact and this is infringing the sovereignty of the other country which, leads to the second point.  It is extreme Lee pre‑occupying to see that in the case of the director, the Spanish sovereignty is being infringed and all government are fighting and should be carrying very much about.  Misuse of the domain VRS to extend the sovereignty of one specific country to another region.  This is a Ruth sort that doesn't impact.  So this notion that we are seeing today is not a battle, but this is an ongoing battle and obviously in the case of virtual director, it is going a bit too far.  And those case are very useful and it doesn't have anything to do with the contempt I don't care in that case.  If the EMEA fact of having bought a domain name from the ridge star in the country is sufficient with the standard jurisdiction, this is automatic.

>> Thank you.

>> Just a point of clarification.  Is the European convention of human rights doesn't the altern have an explicit expression saying no prior state control on content.  But it has a number of conditions that should be met with any kind of interference and those are problems and interference has to be prescribed by law.  It has to be necessary the democratic society and it has to be proportional.  The European Court of Human Rights goes through a very strict test to see whether those conditions are met.  The no prior state control language is actually introduce other standards of the counsel of Europe.  I was mentioning a declaration of community.  There it is said no prior state control.  Another point I'd like to take is the domain names.  Last week the community of administers of the counsel of Europe on domain names and freedom of expression and there it said exclusively that, um, the standards, the international human rights standards apply to domain names.  Freedom of expression should be guaranteed in connection with domain names.  And that there should be a strong presumption in favor of expressions included in the domain names.

>> Thank you.  You had a question?

>> Yes.  Just a short comment.  I am from European university.  From what I've seen so far and from what I've noted of this panel, I am actually slightly concerned and the thing is I've just come around, which he's talking about finding ways of, um, norms blocking and dealing with the mains and regulating content and they were quite openly and explicitly talking about measures to insure that legal question of the contempt can be removed from the internet.  Many of the great statements that are made here sounds like preaching to the choir.  With all do respect, the people that were in that room were all to a great extent local people discussing considerable real problems that they had with issues that were related to content they didn't like and they wanted to know dent with.  So I think it's important to remember that when we discussed freedom of expression and the different articles and frameworks to improve it, that might not be sufficient to convince everybody.  We might also need to passionately talk about what we really care about and a deep belief that the value of expression will improve the societies we live in rather than simply suggesting that, um, article 10 might be use envelope certain circumstances.  It's this passion that might help convince the people in room 13 around corner that content blocking might be a useful tool and have massive negative implication.  Please keep that in mind.  I am sure there are lots of wonderful people in this room who have very interesting things to say to them.  Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

>> Thank you for that reminder.  Maybe it's not too late.  Maybe we can get some volunteers to go there and invite half of the room to come here some exchange a little bit of opinions if somebody wanted to do that, you are more than welcome.

>> The problem I am having with what I'm hearing in this session and the previous section regarding expression is that it works bilateral relationship in governments and relation.  Sometimes codes are invited or now.

Universal keys, but codes in European.  And I'm having ‑‑ I'm failing to find ways for individuals, actors or citizens to support either way.  How can we as individuals support more freedom of expression?  Again, its people have more interest in the government regulations whether they're Google or Facebook or Microsoft.  And without access to codes, we don't need to have access to codes.  Should we start thinking about sanctions again as code puts them.  I don't think we can give up on use Google or Microsoft or Facebook, but I think they're going to ‑‑ I love them, but I love Google and everything.  I need have a way to influence my position when Google removes the Youtube video that shows torture in, um, in a police stayings in Egypt because they got compliants from the government.  Then I have to have a way to retaliate.  The same thing goes for Facebook shutting down pages because we don't have any clarity or how we can confront the decisions.  How citizens and how individuals can influence the debate that actually it's really between governments with their interest.  So the government would support or encourage them to be available in Iran because it has problems.  But when it is shut down, it is not very much game to react.  It was [INAUDIBLE] and we have to have a way to counter that and influence that more than simply fight a code case we cannot afford.  Thank you.

>> I know there are many people, but I would like to address some of his concerns.  What happened when it is right in the middle of the situation.  For us obviously, I would probably ‑‑ primary sponge is to our users.  Users are ‑‑ it's much more important accessing information on freedom of expression than environment regulations.  We ‑‑ I know how hard is that.  Ah, in terms of, um, in terms of dealing with this kind of request, what do we come out?  There's snow one only solution for each of the problems because we need to assess different issues.  We need to assess local implication if we are present in a country or not.  Critical implication at that moment and what we do is be totally transparent.  We show every request we receive from the government.  We have terms and conditions of what is the contempt that we are accepting, which is not.  For example, in the case of torture, we face different cases like we are another content that is stressing for command in Youtube and that can be shocking, but sometimes there is content that is shocking, but it reflects a reality and this happened with a case I can't remember which country it was, but at beginning, it was taken down because evidently, it was something shocking.  But when we got the reply from the poster, then we pulled it up again because it has a value for society.  We have been suffering for this.  And we have different scenarios here.  For example, I don't recall [INAUDIBLE] in Malaysia.  We have to complain with a lot of citizens that cannot say anything against king, for example.  And this is a local law.  And in Turkey when there were [INAUDIBLE], the Turkish government asked Youtube to hold this from showing this on Youtube and we draw the line and say no way.  We cannot take this action because it affected whole world and it's not proportional.  Even if under local law that might be illegal.  So those are ‑‑ you know, the challenges that we face and for that is really, really important to have a very strong framework on safe terminology.  This is also that would report different countries to have look up developments because otherwise, you only will have companies that maybe are based in another country and they deliver these kind of service, but you need have local ones and local developments.  I would like to start a new pat form on the use of exchange and content freely.  You need to do an analysis of what is your legal exposure.  You have safe harbors and you don't have to this limitation of it.  You will see there's a lot of free engaging with this activity.  Sorry to take too much time.

>> There you.  We have a number of people, but I wanted to invite a special repertoire to say any comments you may have.

>> I refuse to think that there is an unbridgeable difference between what states wants to do and the protection of human rights.  I think both are perfectly feasible.  I said in the report as well that some concerns of the states are absolutely ledge it May.

Terrorism is a reality.  One cannot deny that.  The terrorist activity is a legitimate activity the same way that compatible organized crime is a legitimate activity.  The only problem is to act within the communications world against terrorism or against organized crime or child pornography, which for me is part of organized crime affecting children's rights means it has to be denied by law.  The principals being stated bite friend in the EU.  It's not the states cannot act blocking a website.  There has to be a very specific procedure.  And in an open society, these procedures have to be seen as the exception and not the rule.  The problem I have is the state find the temptation whether on intellectual property rights, protection on children, cultural values.  But this is the right to know the right to truth the victims have annoying what happened.  [INAUDIBLE] was seen differently from Washington than it was in the rest of the world or every other issue that concerns any particular.  We can't decide freedom of expression on the basis of visit concerns or governance or on the interpretation of international corporations.  There has to become a standards.  That's the principal I'm thinking.  They have to be established limitations and have to be strong and concrete, but have to be established by law.  They have to be clearly defined.  They have to beers in to uphold other human rights and very clearly defined and they have to be proportional.  And that, I think, solves in a way the problem.  I believe that this even avoids the prior censorship.  Probably old governments are doing monitoring everything by now whether we know it or not.  But it's not the same thing to allow governments to do the filtering or to actually have governments transfer the responsibility to the ISPs, which that should not happen either unless on an administrative political decision, unless there is a court order or some authority based by law.

>> Thump.  I believe we have a remote participant, Paul.

>> Yes.  We do have a question from a remote participate act.

His name is Yusi from Moscow State University, Russia.  His question is to any member of the panelists, he wants to know how do you seat role in the process of expanding and maintaining free flow of information on the Internet?  Thank you.

>> Journalists or amateurs, they internet information by collating it and putting it into an understandable form and then presenting it.  Journalism is a vital for people's understanding of the world the question for all professional journalism and I think that in this monitored democrat used media, there are journalists and yes are still providing important flows of information.  I wouldn't make it a much differentiation between them.  There is great value in having the resource of an investigative journalist.  So there still is a very important role for media to be able to bring some sources to bear and do a greater investigation.  Jeremy?

>> Thank you.  Jeremy is the co‑founder of first base advocacy group.  I won't ‑‑ we have a perspective here and the measures to defer further infringement that are being pushed that are also part of the GA conclusions and the OCD and youth commissioner for market commissioner on the IPL guidelines.  So under the pressure of ones that act out, we see them turn more and more into a private copyright place.  And I would like to hear Google explaining about the user and so on.  But Google was one of the first companies to implement those volunteer measures with Youtube.  They have lore rights holders and especially interface where it would define what kind of content he mentions, et cetera.  It would be automatically sensed out.  It's on Youtube that thousands and thousands of the down fall, the wonderful movie where it was extremely intense seeing that what was iced for political purpose.  Hundreds of videos at once were removed.  The notion I want to add is given this threat on the global fabric of the Internet, this threat on the very nature and architecture of the internet can we deassociate any longer the question of freedom of expression from the question of owning the infrastructure and citizen‑based owning of the infrastructure which means using free software, hosting your own did centralized services, providing your own network access whether wireless using mesh technology or doing your own ISP was a bunch friends.  Are those questions related anymore?  And I'm a bit concerned when I hear activists saying I love Microsoft or when I see the number of activists using Apple software or Google forcing their e‑mail.  I think those questions are deeply linked and we have to address them together.

>> Thank you.

>> I'd like to thank the panelists.  It was a great overview particularly in places that were democracies that thoroughly enjoy some rule of law, but in countries that don't enjoy these sort of rule and law, they're additional threats to freedom of expression and give you a look at a number of press countries.  In addition to filtering and blocking some other things, you are also seeing governments take offline actions and tracking what people are doing or harassing them offline as well.  You see same registration requirements.  You see track of content in the middle on popular services and I wonder if ‑‑ and certainly this has a chilling affect on people's rights.  So I wonder if any of you have looked at proposal being made to erode anonymity and to change the infrastructure that would make it easier for governments to track and identify content exposed to real human being and what affect that has had on freedom of expression places such as Syria.  I know it's notable that when the Arabs begin, they stop blocking.  They turn Facebook and Twitter back on in order to capture that sort of information.

>> I will respond briefly to that.  So absolutely anonymity and being able to protect your privacy is fundamental to freedom of expression.  A view point that is unpopular in the home region of the speaker, ah, places that speaker at risk at what ends of an intolerable government and being able to communicate anonymously is something that without which you can't have true freedom of expression.  One of the ways that EFF has encouraged people to help protect themselves is through tore, the tore project which a technical method to help people communicate without having it easily tracked back to where they are.  We're very much opposed to legalistic requirements that require people to do ridge decision before they go online.  And fortunately, you also mentioned things like Facebook and this is something, you know, one of the reasons why we'd like it ask all the social networks to not require true names.  Both Facebook and Google plus have a requirement that people use their real names online and this has some issues for activists.

>> Thank you.  I think ‑‑ this is really a fascinating panel because we're having a wide debate about freedom of expression pinned to use a broad range and policy areas.  We've been discussing it for and they have a tendency to have several political speech.  You told us about individual property and copyright is property increasing and infringing rights.  I wonder and you have any thoughts about any other particular policy area that was worrisome in that area.

>> in that regards, it's all the another area.  We see increasing privacy regulation around world that focused ‑‑ that could target a speech because some published something about someone could retreat infringement of privacies.  That is another focus that passed.  A clash against the free expression.  Sometimes portion related to competition is another issue.  For example, chilling effects.org has [INAUDIBLE] about how sometimes the requests over the DMCA are aimed to have a competition, for example.  So, we saw that a lot.  Those are all areas that we need to keep an eye on particularly we've seen developments in the privacy fund.  In order to give a gentleman some explanation on the Youtube on the down fall, there is a block posted from us and here explaining why this happened and in fact, the use of that is always the option.  So they have any claim that is preferred copy right holder.  We tried to get the best solution possible for all.  It's ‑‑ there is, ah, the amount information that is unloaded to Youtube is unbelievable.  Any meaning we have more than 40 hours of media Youtube unloaded.  So, this is something that is impossible to keep track.  Different steak holders to exercise the right.  So content ID is technology that allows you to do that.  Analyze the purpose of any parity of any publication.  So it's up to the ice that is unloaded.  When they receive a request, they could down that content to also corporate claim that and the user do that.  The content is up again.  And this is because we are a company that is incorporated in the United States and we have a set of regulation that basically says this is the regulation.  Copy with that.  We have to do that in order to not be liable for use of generating content in is what happened.  We're fortunate.  This is what happened in Chile for example.  If was a revision of the copy right law and it says that any take down should be ordered by a court order.  So it's no private of note take on the system.  So it's a judge that could be in charge of deciding a given content on infringement and cope right.  It's up to the judge also to wait not only the cope right infringement, but the impact on other things like access tool.  They analyze and maybe expand to other countries.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  My name is Ania Covich.  I'm also a fellow with the Center for Society in India.  I just wanted to respond in part to Ben's point about the importance of strengthening coaches of freedom of expression.  I think this is something we are very strongly experiencing in India.  There are ways that even civil society has dealt with the enormous diversity of the country and a very big difference, disagreements that exist which in mean other countries would come as a surprise because they do include censorship.  That means there is a broader culture that accepts that and perhaps it would not be acceptable in many western countries.  I do think that many of the strategies has had to deal with these kind of conflicts are kind of blown up by the Internet.  If we want to keep that open empowering potential of the Internet, we have to deal with these issues.  I think we are also trying to work that and trying to change this capture, which is a very long‑term thing.  Very tilt cut challenge, but I think civil society and government is taking that up.  But it would be nice to get some help.  Unfortunately, I think intermediary is there.  I've played a very worrisome rule in the sense they think they are often a little too proactive.  If you take the example, if you search for the word sex on three different search engines in India, what you get on Bing is only a little message that says because of the safe search settings of your country, this content is not available.  Something‑like that.  If you look on YAHOO, you get a mix of search results, but they're kind of filtered out and there was more emphasis on educational aspect.  With Google.  It is really a mix.  Even if you talk about business mods and insecurities in terms of the clock, Bing clearly did not have to go that far.  Society will believe releasing.  It's not released yet, but a research studdie in which a person has sent big requests to 7 major intermediaries.  Five of them [INAUDIBLE] immediately without answering questions.  So, I would be very grateful if some people respond to suggestions on how perhaps in consultation we can strengthen these things.  Thank you.  I'm.  We've running low on time.

>> I hope my question is not stupid.  I am from the communications in Nigeria.  I ‑‑ I like to believe that we're always on top of global news.  Then I expect everybody in this treatment hear about the situation.  So they were going through with the U.N.  You know they're the one that bumped the U.N. in Nigeria where about 30 people lost their lives.  They've had a lot of problems because of the situation in Nigeria.  There was a time somethings published about Mohammed and we immediately got information from the SSS, national secured immediately telling the regulator to get all ISBs out because in a country that's vola till, then, of course, you know you have the a lot of debts.  As a result, the regulator was forced to do that.  When you talk about freedom of expression, like I said, I hope my question is not going to be stupid.  But my question is:  Who's the freedom?  Who's freedom?  Is it the frame of a few?  Or a freedom of the larger?  Today we have a situation where our independent comes up on the first of October and they put up a lot of threats.  They have threatened to bump so many places.  Now, it's gone down to [INAUDIBLE] and some places.  Everybody was afraid.  You had [INAUDIBLE] and everything.  These people are nameless and they're faceless.  Right now they're using newspapers.  We don know how the articles are coming out, but they're using all these kinds of made jumps.  It is clear they will start using the Internet.  So, if they put up something on the Internet threatening the whole nation, what is the government to do?  Are we meant to take that down?  Are we meant to live it?  There's a good possibility they wouldn't do it on the national space.  They might go on to twitter.  Nigeria can actually get that thing taken off of gritter, which is an international domain space.  It does not belong to us because that is a threat.  Another thing is that today the meeting in Nigeria, it is too, too sense pave because thank you speak about it, they'll kill.  They have freedom of expression or where the IP address is coming is so secure.  These people can't find it.  As a country, is it to say let's put in the regulation and have the process.  You have been forced to do an approach and that's the regulator for telecommunications.  We're finding now the government is putting emphasis to track, you know, get the risk of these people.  So I wondering if we start to ‑‑ either put things up in international space, is that an instrument that a government can do to try and block?  Is there any way to block the IP addresses and go again people want to speak up against them.  I hope that's not a stupid question, but I don't have the answer.  Thank you.

>> We're almost oust time.  Thank you for the question and this is one of the great tensions that comes up.

>> Okay.  We have Philip from the remote.  He wants to ask his question.  Philip?  You can please mute your speakers so that we don't have a loop back?

>> This is ‑‑ it might actually bed question.  Can you please mute your speakers so we do not have a feedback?

>> Okay?

>> So, this is the ‑‑ we have two questions from the panelists.  Please choose the questions you would like to answer.  Television of all, you have sustainability next to the question.  U.N. is a body representing government.  This is the most appropriate form for discussing matters and given the best interest of government.  Or is their another body that it is at all possible.  Ask then we have to all panelists.  How do you address the challenge now with commercial companies like Google.  What is valuable from this society?  What happens to share holders that decide a profit is more important in society to find either way.  Isn't there a greater risk of staying on the function of freedom of expression and there's a reason why this is responsible in the states.  You have news and which you decide which question you would like to ask.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.

>> Um, we've had a number of questions that have come from the last three or four speakers that have addressed the panel.  We are almost out of time.  I thought what we can do is give my co‑panelists here to do some conclusion remarks and if you can address some of those questions.  Let me just begin by addressing a couple of the points that just came up.  One is the question about whether or not the U.N. is the appropriate body.  One of the important things is the state holder body.  One thing that appreciate is it brings together a lot of stakeholders.  We were talking a little earlier about blocking the domain name.  There maybe 84,000 sitings on move.  And one of them is one which is actually problematic is making a threat or doing something criminal, but then you have 83,899 that gets swept up?  The same process.  In order to protect freedom of expression, we need to make sure they're narrowly tail order so we do not overly restrict freedom of expression.  With that, I will turn it over to my co‑panelists for any closing remarks.

>> Thank you.  My concluding remark is staying in the standards.  Fundamental freedom ends equally and without distinction.  There is no such distinction as human rights supply.  This way online and another way online.  Um, this would be ‑‑ this principal should be in our view a reference for all state holders for states, for private sectors and for society as well.  And as regards, freedom of expression in particular then it's protection.  This is not a one‑time effort.  It requires continuous efforts by all state holders and keeping an eye on developments as we have seen on this very interesting discussion from threats to freedom of expression emerge as body as technology evolves and as more people will come alive.  So, it is a continuous effort to protect freedom of expression and access to information.  Thank you.

>> I will briefly add to that.  I think we had a very rich discussion and I took a lot from all the coms people have made about doing further research and, ah, and also in how, you know, using technology and especially cryptography and other technologies could help to somehow maintain some aspect of freedom of expression at the moment.  We do not have an ideal system and lastly, we do know that Jeanie is after the bottle.  Stopping ‑‑ trying to stop people from freely communicating is stopping people to print after the group and has been invented.  So I want to end on a positive noted that we really need to be vigilant of all the systems that governments and oppressive regimes may be able to build and we need to be vigilant of the other uses that are also corporates may build being coerced or notched by certain systems to do so.  But no person or organization should be deprived of their ability to connect to others and, um, without a due process of law and in developed countries, this due process of law works much better than other regimes and with the presumption of innocence until found guilty.  We'll pass that on to another.

>> Closing remark and the address and some of the concerns about the relationship with companies and human rights activists.  I see that internet is not only a nature, but also a neighbor of the dialogue on recommend rights.  So we need toes the tool and also to have a greater discussion around this.  So try to faulter more companies with the freedom of direction and human rights.  What happened with the glow net works, we're members of this.  We would like to see more companies joining this kind of code of conducts in order to be totally respectful of human rights and free expression online.  In terms of some of the concerns about this balance between illegal behaviors online, threats and crimes, I would like to draw a line here and differentiation.  The medium doesn't changed crime.  We are facing terrorist.  We're using criminals.  That is not to be punished or investigated.  I've seen that.  It's just another medium to do this.  I don't knowledge it's logical to say this is an issue of Internet.  I remember that bee have ‑‑ this kind of discussion happens when the books appear.  So it's not ‑‑ question of the mediums.  It is copies in terms of crime and terrorist, but it has nothing to do with Internet.  Sometimes we see the discussion on terrorists going into cyber terrorists and it is not like that.  It is terrorists.  In terms of, that I think it has to do a question we received from Austria.  It needs clear rules and how to proceed with illegal content.  This is very important because Internet doesn't want to get caught in the mid and become judges or executors of our users.  Even from a, point of view, it's crazy that you block and [INAUDIBLE] on your user.  It's not the position that the intermedia wants to have.  So, this is very important.  If we have clear rules and also, you know, it's a big difference between a big company that has the resources to hire ideas, to depend herself.  This small online platform that really don't have the resources and I'm going to scare very easily because they are not able to access their right.  It has to do with accessing justice and the different jurisdictions.  We have to work on this and all global standard.  Maybe this will be very, very important to learn expression.  Thank you.

>> Hi.  I would like to say it was a very interesting panel.  Very glad about the inputs.  And for last remark, just to say that now especially in the national America, we are in an important and very challenging process of crafting his loss.  It's crucial to be to all the stakeholders.  I would like to highlight one and trying to address the questions and companies.  I would like to highlight initiative from our colleagues on easy is now, which is a seminary on human rights at the silicone valley.  I think the goal is that to approach other companies that maybe them be aware of the fact that they're dealing with human rights issues now.  And I think that's it.

>> All right.  Thank you to all of my co‑panelists.  Thank you for all you participants and remotely for those who are here having a great panel.  We'll be around, I guess, I will be available if anyone wants to talk after the pan panel.  Otherwise, thank you very much. 

     (End of session)

 

 

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