SEEDIG - Internet governance processes in South Eastern Europe

7 December 2016 - A Workshop on Other in Guadalajara, Mexico

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Full Session Transcript

>> MODERATOR: I start with thanks to our technical support. Thanks a lot. Hello, everyone. We know most of us. I'm being a member of the executive committee of SEEDIG. We are supposed to have a session about Internet governance practices in the region but looking at the room I guess we will only be discussing about SEEDIG. So we can kick start that discussion. Maybe we can start with a short round of introductions so we actually get to know each other, if we don't. Chris, maybe you can start. Thank you.

>> I'm Chris,. Registry for the Europe and the middle east and central Asia. We're also an organization that does a lot of coordination of technical community in that region beyond just that registry function and so these kinds of discussions, these kinds of activities are something that's very much something that we're focused on and interested in making sure the techno community and others are involved in those discussion. SEEDIG is a good example where there has been cooperation and something we want to see continue and happy to keep participating.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks, Chris.

>> Hello, my name is Felix, I work in Mexico City. I know nothing about Internet governance so I believe knowing the case in South Eastern Europe would be a great chance to learn. Thank you.

>> Hi, everyone. My name is Anna and I'm from Bosnia originally but I work for the area with the national regional and SEEDIG is one of probably the most outstanding initiatives that we have within the 79 initiatives.

>> A round of introductions because I have to leave soon. Anna, quick questions for you, first of all there are several initiatives in our region. If you can tell them a bit about them and what you know what they are doing around here and about the idea of support of SEEDIG, how do you see the initiative? Thank you?

>> When I joined the last year in August SEEDIG was probably the most outspoken initiative within the IGF. Now the things are different so we work as partners and the 79 initiatives that we have so far probably 50% are regularly calls we hold twice a month. SEEDIG region, I can say they are emerging. There are more and more of them and regular -- and seeing some familiar faces here, there are many of the IGF that are information which I think is critical. So Macedonia IGF is one of them. I spoke to some colleagues three weeks ago. Serbia IGF I spoke to one focal point, Romania IGF joined us two or three weeks ago. There is a progress. I also spoke to a colleague from Bulgaria and I think soon we will have news from Bulgaria. There are a lot of things happening around. I know they support the hubs for our region, which I think is very important because it keeps us all up to date with the things that are happening in the region. In any case, I think we should all be proud of the things that we are doing within the region as partners all together and I think we should just keep going like that.

As for the support that will come from the secretariat, it is not because I need to leave only, but it is because on Friday there is a really important session and I would love to see you all there. It will be dedicated to all the NRIs, critical figures within the global IGF will be there starting from the secretariat and U.N. and what I would love to leave this question for that session and I would love to invite you all to come with concrete proposals, what are the issues and what should we change and how and what do you want from the IGF? Especially because as we have the next 10 years ago and I think IGF has already proven there is DNI are so important for the IGF and the action is about to be put on the work.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes. You can go.

>> I'm Aiden, I work for purpose international. We're based in London. I'm new to Internet governance issues as well. We work mostly on surveillance. Just from the personal level coming from there and also we did a report earlier this year on the wiretapping scandal in Macedonia.

>> Hi, I'm Lana from Armenia. I'm a part of the executive committee for CDI and the other hat I am coordinating for the arming of IGF. Thank you.

>> My name is -- I am from Armenia.

>> MODERATOR: Welcome.

>> I'm -- I'm a Macedonian diplomat and head of the Macedonian mission in Geneva and I will try to skip acronyms for -- called the MAG. The organization that organizes the Internet Governance Forum. It is one of the aspects of organizations. And I guess the country that will be hosting the next SEEDIG on the 25th of May of next year. I think perhaps this room, although some of us know each other, we don't know each other, it is -- this is very important as an image to understand what Internet governance, how it manifests. We're now in Mexico. Unfortunately South Eastern Europe people cannot come and this is a key thing in considering when we're talking about Internet governance issue is that most stakeholders and especially the new ones that need to come into the Internet governance ecosystem as it's called, are unable to for many different reasons. One of them is this -- you have now been to the Internet Governance Forum.

Like you said, you are new to it. It is overwhelming. There are so many things going on, just to wrap your head any one of them, if you start taking it you start going deep into it. There is so much. I can't. They had a session on generic top level domains. They've introduced 1200 generic top level domain. What was .Com there are 1,200 more just this year. Such a big issue and it needs to be kind of dissected and I think that this is one of the good ways. By this, I mean what was referred to as the NRI. The NRI is the national and regional initiatives on Internet government issues. Mexico can have one. Macedonia has one. Etc., there can be the next level. What is important is what is developing right now with this global Internet Governance Forum and the national and regional ones are the slow start between a flow of policies and solutions to problems. So I think that problems always are local and they can be at least determined what a problem is at the most local level. Either an Internet service provider or something like that can -- a user can define it. This is the NRIs are a good way to define these problems and this kind of a meeting like this one is a good way to present it to the world. We have identified this problem in our region. We've tried to address it this way or that way or haven't addressed it. It is new. Can somebody think of it. Just a little overview of how at least I see things in terms of this meeting today.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. We will come back to most of those issues. Roxana.

>> I'm Roxana, and I work for dip low  -- Diplo Foundation. We are spearheading a few processes. I am basing the Geneva office. We are running a global hub initiative. Come to our session today from 5:00 where we discuss the global hubs initiative.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks, Roxana. Patrick.

>> I'm the head of the information society department of the Council of Europe. We are two persons here, Lee has been around the IGF for 10 years, Lee, a long white beard not to be confused with Santa Claus nor St. Nicholas. But we're from the Council of Europe. We are interested in the Internet all together. First of all, because there is a strong connection to all of the work that we do. Whether that is on human rights, rule of law or democracy. And all of these elements are connected to issues that are also present on the Internet. And one of the key things that we also try to do is to ensure that this is not only taking place at the global level, but we are also giving support as Council of Europe to ensuring that these national and regional initiatives take place. SEEDIG is the only regional initiative, I believe, that we support, Lee. But at least in Europe it's the only initiative that we support on a regional level but we support quite a bit of the national IGFs and that is in the south caucuses, in southeast Europe, in Eastern Europe all together. We participate regularly in the IGF in Russia, for example. The setting up of a multi-stakeholder forum where we can transmit concerns that we may have concerning the human rights, use or abuse on the Internet and therefore we support these initiatives.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

>> Hello, I'm Ada I will get it very short. A member of SEEDIG executive committee and here as a MAG member and also I'm here to take notes. Lee.

>> Thank you very much. Lee, Internet governance coordinator for too long in the Council of Europe. Just to build on what Patrick has said, we've already -- the member states of the Council of Europe including the SEEDIG region have got a strategy of the Internet governance that encapsulates all the issues we're dealing with from a democracy, rule of law and an interesting document to see the picture of the issues and the challenges ahead. It is worth  looking at that. Internet citizens, democracy issues. IGF and also working the Council of Europe is becoming more mature and shifting from basic issues of freedom of expression and privacy to accessibility, to issues of discrimination, gender issues, etc. And it's worth taking note. Above all I think what I'm learning from this IGF is that beyond the legal frameworks that should be robust with human rights safeguard and beyond the implementation in terms of practice at the level of practitioners of the people who are here, for example, there is also a need to have access to the right information so that we can navigate and understand the issues, the concerns, to make choices which are informed. Which really is information that we should all have. I think that could help respond to many of the issues. Many of the technical issues need access to information, which is actual, which is correct and balanced in order to address like net neutrality or other things. That's something I'm learning from this IGF and I think it's common and we should build upon it.

>> MODERATOR: I know you have to leave soon and I will ask a follow up question shortly, Lee. Any advice for SEEDIG from the experience how can we strengthen our process in the region?

>> Thank you, that's a good question. If you learn from the model, it grew out of an initiative between different stakeholders like SEEDIG, it had the support from the Council of Europe at the beginning. That gave you a foot of credibility. So you need some trusted actors in the region who people know are the right actors who can ensure the quality, who can ensure the seriousness of the activity. So it's built upon a small group of actors. Some institutions and people in the region who are Internet governance  centric from a civil society point of view and others and with that support of individuals with partners at its core it is able to function. What it does it is a microfinanced setup. It doesn't take large donations from one particular entity to spread risk and avoid capture. It has microfinancing from a few thousand Euros from here and there and allows it to maintain and reinforce its independence and for it to grow. On that basis with the goodwill and support of all these different actors it is learning to grow. You need a mixture of stakeholders and some trusted known actors in the region for it to move forward and then you need presence. If you're not present, it doesn't help. So all the major events, at least some of them it is good to have people there present or colleagues, for example. We're here, these -- we have been the voice at different events. There are lots of little tips that need to be thought about moving forward. But if there is good faith between the actors here it can move forward positively. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: And on this note I would just like to thank our supporting organizations which are actually helping us raise awareness in the region and attract more disability for SEEDIG. Saying that you have the support of the Council of Europe, of the IGF and the European Commission counts in our region. It is a bit more that saying we have SEEDIG join us. Thank you for that officially. We have new people in the room if you would like to--

>> My apologies for arriving late and moving out early, I have another appointment at 2:00. I think you are all used to that yourselves. Allow me to just say a few words about the IGF SA. You mentioned us as a supporter and we were happy to support you during the first and already the first event you held last spring in Belgrade. I attended both of them and I was impressed with the quality of the event and also at the energy of the participants. And clearly it validated the concept of having regional and sub regional meetings because the issues are different, and if you just joined the very big region, you may have the feeling that your issues get a bit hidden away or not given enough attention. So this is clearly worthwhile initiative to pursue. I have a flyer here which is also the map of all the events. The IGFSA supported last year. Thanks to two testimonials from SEEDIG, we don't give much but consider it is seed money, $2,000 to national and $3,500 to regional and sub regional events that we are told that it can help a lot. And credibility, but you will help us also gain more credibility by joining as a member if you have not done so yet. We have a booth in the IGF village. Please visit us and you'll be most welcome if you join us as a member. Annual membership year of $25 we decided it was useful and it is not so much that we need the money, but it is also to give the members some sense of ownership. If it's for free it isn't worth much. If you pay something, then it is worth much more. My apologies if it sounds like a commercial. I think you have a very good return on investment if you join. The more support we have, I think the more credibility and strength in numbers we have as well. And again, congratulations for an excellent initiative and keep up the good work.

>> MODERATOR: Olivier.

>> Thank you very much. Olivia, the chair of the European at large organization, the at large is the part of ICANN that brings the ICANN being an organization that coordinates the domain system around the world. There is a European branch of at large involved with EuroDIG and activities in Europe and SEEDIG is something that we have also been involved with. My colleagues and it's been a real pleasure to do so. I'm here also to try to see if there are anybody in the South Eastern Europe part of the world that are interested in taking part in ICANN processes, end users and so on. We have the ability to have -- because Marcus did an advertisement, I think I should do one as well. We have the ability to take in both organizations that -- so they can be like computer clubs or even university departments or we have organizations like Internet Society chapters and any organization that deals with end users. And so we're looking to actually have more of these organizations from this part of the world so that we get your input into ICANN processes. I'll beat Marcus and say our membership is free. Beat that one. Hopefully you aren't going to turn around and say we pay people to be our members. But it is organizations that can join or individual users that can join as well through our individual users association. That's pretty much all I have to say on this at the moment. Thanks very much for letting me do an ad. Back to your regular programs now.

>> MODERATOR: Any more ads? Thank you Olivier.

>> Hello, everybody. My name is Marcovich and I work as ITC policy and work at the Serbia Register -- I am also a MAG member and really have been involved in Internet government projects in Serbia and southeast Europe. We co-hosted in 2011  EuroDIG, that was the first DIG event that was affiliated with the registry and after that we also supported SEEDIG and also we have a good cooperation and we co-hosted the RIPE's regional event in Belgrade last year.

We also support and promote cooperation between the registries in the region of Yugoslav -- we have a mailing list of informal communications between the registries of -- next March we're organizing the third regional gathering of CCDLD registries in Belgrade. You're all welcome to attend, of course. And we will continue to support SEEDIG initiative and actively participate in it.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for hosting our meeting earlier this year. Megan, do you want to say a few words? Thank you for joining.

>> Thanks for inviting me. I'm Megan Richards from the European Commission. I want to say that first of all SEEDIG seems free dynamic and active and enthusiastic group which we're pleased to see. It has also been very active in contributing to the European dialogue on Internet governance which is very important and EuroDIG itself is a big contributor and participant in the IGF. To the extent that we can see this expand and develop and continue to grow, I think this is a really very good initiative and we want to encourage you and continue to support you in every way that we can. And to give a plug for the European dialogue on Internet governance. Perhaps someone has done it. It takes place in Estonia next year, the 10th anniversary of EuroDIG and we hope that the SEEDIG participants will be able to come as well. And one small thing but this is entirely up to you, of course, to determine how you do it. One thing I thought was particularly useful is when the SEEDIG meeting and discussion was in parallel with the EuroDIG discussion. I thought that was particularly useful. It doesn't always work and sometimes you have to do it in different places and different times but when you have one day SEEDIG and the other days EuroDIG, as you did. I thought it worked well. To the extent that's possible that's an added advantage to consolidation and working together. Thanks.

>> MODERATOR: This is something we're considering from EuroDIG is happening in our region. Thanks. Anyone else around the room who hasn't introduced himself and would want to?

>> Good afternoon, my name is -- I'm working with the -- which is maybe a little bit organization of Diplo Foundation where I'm involved in our training and capacity building programs amongst others in terms of Internet issues. That is one of the reasons being here. The other reason is that I'll be hosting a workshop on Friday morning related to the global forum on cyber expertise which you may be fam I area with or not. Where I'm leading a project dealing with the implementation of open Internet standards and what I'm in the process of doing is trying to identify where are certain needs and which kind of platforms organizations or countries would be willing to join that initiative and I'm curious to listen to what is happening here and to see whether there is any scope for cooperation as well.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

>> I'm Eric Salzman with the United States Department of State, Office of International Communication Policy and I cover the IGF and ICANN for that organization.

>> MODERATOR: Welcome to our sub regional meeting. Anyone else? Okay. I see no hands. I'm guessing you wouldn't want to. At this point SEEDIG is an initiative for South Eastern Europe and the neighboring area. We do not define what is South Eastern Europe. Whoever considers himself or herself part of South Eastern Europe are welcome to join. We cannot tell people they are or are not. We had our first meeting as it has already been mentioned two years ago back-to-back with the EuroDIG meeting and the second meeting was this year in April in Belgrade and now we're planning our third meeting as already has been mentioned in Macedonia. It will happen again on the 25th of May. And that's it. So now what we can do with the remaining time is try to think a bit about how we can improve this SEEDIG process so it becomes more than just an annual meeting when we all gather together once a year and we see each other a year after. We have started this activities using the word the IGF is using, this year we did a survey on Internet governance in the region. It didn't have too many responses but not surprising for our region. But we did see a bit how people around our countries seen Internet governance.

What is the main challenge and what we hope to be doing for the next year is to do another survey but this time on a specific topic. So input from you is welcome what topic do you think we should be addressing in this survey and see how people in the region see it. That's one thing. The other joint initiative we're doing for the Diplo Foundation the monthly summaries of development in our region. Every month we try to gather information about what happens in our region, Internet governance related. People from our community contribute and send us updates and we put them together in a short summary and distribute at the end of the month. When we also call it the South Eastern European hub with the Geneva hub where it gives an overview of Internet governance developments globally. After the global meeting with meet for discussions about what happened in our region.

Will do my best. Thank you. Yes, let me know when I'm doing that again. So these are the two things we have been doing so far in addition to the annual meeting but we think we can do more so kindly asking for your input. What would you want SEEDIG to do in the region? How can we help increase collaboration and cooperation in the region?

>> I'm wondering would it be useful to have an Internet governance school for southeast -- southeast Asia -- I haven't got very much sleep. Wherever you are, southeast Europe, to increase awareness and make sure that people are even more aware? And you could do it intercessionally as people say. Is that something that could be useful?

>> MODERATOR: I can follow up on that. Thank you for this question. Actually, this initiative already started but we are expecting end of the year to formally announce we will have a Balkin school on Internet governance. We're looking to expand it to the South Eastern European region.

>> Sorry if I ruined the surprised.

>> MODERATOR: Now it is a bigger surprise for you here. Thank you, both. The floor is open.

>> I think one of the things to help Olivia in solving his problem in terms of having the problems from the user community rise up properly to different bodies that are dealing with different Internet governance issues. Among them ICANN and engineering task force, WC3, whatever the body is, is to see what the local. Just today's meeting for the new GTODs, a lot of issues arose that are best addressed or discussed at the most local level. National or regional level. Internationalization of domain names and the use of languages locally. The use of different alphabets. We have different alphabets. The Greek alphabet. There are a lot of different issues that -- it's an issue actually of people knowing about what they can do and how they can use these tools. The tools are there being created by the different organizations, ICANN and the other ones. But most people don't know how best to address their needs within this environment. As we've said already, it is such a complex environment. The whole Internet governance. Issues around it. I think this is a good way for people to have a starting point to understand where they stand and how they can start looking at their problems. Just a quick.

>> MODERATOR: Anyone else? If not. I see two new faces in the room.

>> Valentina, IGF -- for the time being I think this is important. I think that there is a very positive synergy that started two years ago when the SEEDIG started and I'm happy we were among the organizations that were, you know, doing this and started a very positive I would say encouragement. And so several national initiatives started. Working at the national level is very different from working at the global or even regional level. The dynamics are completely different. In a small country as Bosnia the bigger corporation, the Microsoft have no interest. Their main office is regional relocating other areas. The registry alone, so to attract all the different components of dialogue, it asks for a different dynamics and also asks to have the players of the global stakeholders to be there. For a local registry that is fighting with so many bureaucracy, it can be an organization doing this globally. An organization to whom should belong. For business it is also important to talk about different business. And so the national authorities come in power with legislative framework. We have many individuals that use technology and working technology and don't have any legal framework to pay their own taxes because there is not a new -- the legislation is not following. It is more complex, sometimes four million people compared to India or China but important if we want to build and Internet that belongs to everything. Synergy, national is when we can access more people. Regional we can create learning and then we can go to the global and coming to the global with all this diversity.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.

>> I will have to leave a little early I'm afraid and thought I would make this point. I think something that SEEDIG has actually done quite well is the coordination with other events, other sort of stakeholder groups and things they're doing like the technical and operate or community. They organize an SEE meeting for operators for the techno community and we've had coordination between that and SEEDIG. I think it's important when you have a one day or two-day event you can't cover everything. I think we wouldn't necessarily -- we can't have every stakeholder group saying we need to have our issue discussed in one of the sort of six sessions of that period. It doesn't scale.

But by having a bit more coordination and sort of maybe co-locating or having them adjacent to each other you provide more of an opportunity to have stakeholders who wouldn't necessarily come to just a technical meeting still have the opportunity to say maybe come in a day or half a day earlier and get a taste of it and get a chance to interact with those people in that other stakeholder group that they might not otherwise have. So I think that kind of coordination to facilitate better communication, better contacts between stakeholder groups is something that SEEDIG can do and has done but should certainly focus on in the future.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. While Chris is still here I would like to thank RCC to be one of the first organizations to support the school that will happen next year. Thank you, Chris, everyone is also very much invited to support. Marcus. Just for a bit of clarity.

>> He is speaking about the summer school on behalf of different organization. SEEDIG is not part of it yet officially just to clarify things.

>> MODERATOR: Yes, thank you.

>> Thank you, Chris.

>> Hello, everyone. I have a few words of the Georgia challenges. It was just for September.

>> Can you speak a bit louder?

>> The last one was done in September, is like communities, there are certain members and at the last event there are 20 requests from -- sector. It is what seems a little bit better for the next year and for the challenges. A little bit difficult to involve technical guys. There is some kind of lawyers or policymaker guys even. I don't know why but it's true except for Georgia and it's a problem for us. Thanks.

>> MODERATOR: That's interesting because at SEEDIG we have the technical community and civil society. What we miss is the private sector mostly and a bit of the governments. These are the two sectors we need to reach out a bit more as SEEDIG. Ideas are welcome here as well how we do that and how we reach out a bit more to other stakeholders to get them engaged into the processes. Back to the room with suggestions. What else can SEEDIG do and how can we make the meeting look really good?

>> One of the things -- I'm looking at here from the European at large organization perspective. People feeding into a policy that will affect everyone at the Internet. When ICANN comes up with a policy it will affect everybody. You have a say but you need to reach the certain level of knowledge on this. I think the regional and local IGFs do have a part to play in that as well. There needs to be information sessions at the same time as sessions that are there with experts that are able to talk about issues. You need to be able to speak about local issues and also global issues and there needs to be a balance between the two. Because if you don't talk about local issues, I don't think you might get much interest from people. They will say I don't care what goes on in the States. I want to find out what goes on on my doorstep. If you talk about the local issues and not the global issues, you are really not part of this global community that is there to grow the Internet into the Internet that will be there tomorrow. And you will end up being affected by things that you will have had nothing to say about. You will wake up one morning and policy will have been implemented and you'll say this will be bad for our region. Why were we not involved? That's one of the reasons why you need to constantly look out for these issues that you can treat very early on at your local level in SEEDIG. That's what I was going to suggest. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: We have been trying to do that. At least at our annual meeting trying to combine local and global issues. It is always place for improvement.

>> I've seen several IGF's grow slowly. I went to five Ukrainian IGF's five years in a row. The first one talks about basic issues and no one knows what to talk about, what they can talk about, what they can't talk about. There was even a question mark as to whether the governments or police would come in and arrest everyone because we're talking about the Internet. Okay, so the second year the people started getting better marks about what was going on and by the third year you start talking about those issues, the local and global ones and it is interesting. We now have people very active in global policy and who have influenced, for example, on ICANN the policies around the international domain names. We have had people involved in the various aspects of the scripts and the technical problems associated with it. I do agree regarding the difficulty involving the technical community. You have a government person that will turn up with a suit. I'm not a government person. I still wear a suit. I would like to be one day a government person. I would like to be important. Kidding. You also have a guys that turn up with a T-shirt and I can tell you I turned up once in an ITF meeting with a suit and there was only one person allowed to wear a suit in that meeting, Vint Cerf. Three-piece suits and he wears it very well by the way and everybody respects it. Everybody else is wearing a T-shirt and if there are holes in the T-shirt it's even better.

>> MODERATOR: How do we bring more stakeholders together?

>> I just have a small question about some kind of recommendation about IGF initiatives because I'm talking about the trust. When you create our own some kind of rules of play inside of national IGF, not all of these guys are enrolled in this. It is impossible to enroll all of them. How about some kind of -- commendation for national IGF's. Most countries are new democracy. And maybe we need some kind of more accommodation for our State. Players in our State.

>> MODERATOR: Globally speaking the IGFs have strength to put together guidelines. This would be globally applicable. I don't know if there is something we can do regionally if we have specificities and things we can look into.

>> The conversation about bringing other stakeholders and specifically  ones that you mentioned. When government is mentioned, government is not one big thing that there is government, diplomats in the government and parliaments and courts and I think that one stakeholder group that hasn't been properly engaged in all these years is parliamentarians. The issues that we're discussing are policy issues and those policy issues very often have to find themselves in some kind of legislation for them to be effective. Not always but very often. And I think that's a stakeholder group we need to involve and perhaps the next SEEDIG is something that we can start thinking about stakeholder group specifically. How to bring different stakeholders together, I think the best way is focusing on one or a few problems.

Whenever you focus on everything, you come out with nothing. If there is a theme and I've been saying this for the IGF as well. We need more specific themes that we focus for the IGFs themselves but I would say the same thing about regional and national ones. If every year there is one problem that is addressed and you bring the different stakeholders to bring their own views on that problem and how it can be solved it is -- that's already an effective dialogue that can -- and a dialogue should be structured. There should be some kind of an hourglass structure where you start with the most general and you ask the most general questions and you get to the most specific questions preferably to the key question that everybody says that's the key question that needs to be addressed now and from that one question you go into the next stage of trying to answer it and see where there are answers. Very often there are answers not used. Tools there not used. And sometimes there are -- the answer is we need to do this and this and this and already you have a roadmap. So I think that's a good approach and I would recommend it as much for SEEDIG and EuroDIG and also for the global IGF and by the way, I have a theme for next year's IGF. We need to focus on Internet of Things a lot more. That's the key thing that we should next year should be IOT.

>> Just to mention this year we've had the biggest delegation of European parliamentarians ever. 18 who had originally signed up for it. For one reason or another five or six dropped out. We're now down to 13 or 12 -- no, last Italian dropped out of the because of the Italian referendum. We're down to 12. But still that's more than we've had before. Last time we had nine. This time 12. Each time there is more and more interest. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to see what's going on. They can go to all the different sessions that are of particular interest to them. And I must say they have become more and more interested all of them and they've participated at SEEDIG. We had a Romanian member and they also go to EuroDIG as well. They're very active.

Where we see there is less activity and it used to be even more but it has gone downhill over the last years is the national parliamentarians. One used to pay for at least four British parliamentarians to come every year to the IGF. They stopped doing it a couple of years ago because money is not growing on trees, etc. The FINs used to always have national parliamentarians, etc. At European level this is probably a good option because it is very expensive for every single member state and even beyond for SEEDIG to send their own national representation.

In the SEEDIG case not all of you are members of the European union and don't necessarily have members of the European parliament. There is a place where they have contact with the local authorities and national interests. They can start disseminating the information.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Megan. Michael.

>> First of all, I'm Michael, I'm an ISOC ambassador. Sorry I am late. I want to follow up on something that you were talking about. Sorry, I don't know your name. I wanted to follow up because actually a lot of what you were saying is -- has been something that I've been personally dealing with over the past -- addressing over the past couple of months and I wanted to share a small case study that we have been working on over the past couple of months and it really resolves around identifying problems and after that allocating -- identifying which stakeholders can help fix that problem.

I'm probably the newest -- I'm probably the person here with the newest -- with the most new experience in the western Balkans. I just moved to Belgrade in September. When I first arrived I was speaking to some people that work in the startup scene and my zeal for Internet governance especially in the Balkans they were talking to me and I was asking what are some problems you deal with? One person who works at a startup was saying well, we have a big problem with the fact that we can't use ad words. I said really? Why not. We started trying to talk about why it was. So then I started asking other people that I knew in the Internet governance community in Belgrade. I asked ZORAN from the Internet exchange. You should probably talk to Slobadon about this. We met and started talking and realized it has to do with the local ISPs and it could be a Google problem, it could be the local ISP. More communication, more research. We discovered that it is not actually a Google algorithm issue. It is having to do with the fact that local ISPs in Serbia are not registering their sub IP allocations. By doing that, basically I'll get to the point, sorry. The point is that we discovered that actually what we need to do is start working with the network operators, we need to work with registries and RIPE and if Google can help to solve an issue that is hindering potential economic development in this country because of lack of access to the service.

I just think that after we identify the problems, actually then the stakeholders can become very more apparent. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Michael.

>> I would like just as you mentioned before the toolkit. I think this afternoon there is a main plenary. I think this is a good at least acknowledgement that the national and regional level has a role to play and the more local the more you look at the local problem. So I think that what is really important is that we contribute from the different perspective. A policy of small steps.

>> I'm from code for Mexico. So about the issue of how to involve the technical people. I'm in civil society. I'm also a technical person so I can tell you that we technical people have to meet up. This is our way of life. Technology advance so quickly, so if we don't do meet-ups we get obsolete very quickly. How we articulate here in Mexico, government officials, especially here in Jalisco, they get involved our events. We have technical officials going to our events and seeing what we're doing and asking what -- how they can help and they reach us for decision making. They reach us for maybe content and for advisory. A cost effective solution that you can do. There are a lot of meet-ups of technical people. Reach out to them and I think that will be it.

>> Thank you, Olivier speaking. We spoke earlier about the need to involve parliamentarians, Euro MPs, local MPs, politicians, etc. I'll say something that might be controversial and that you might disagree with. Politicians are smart. Most of us think they are probably not. That's what I mean.

It's very controversial to say that. I hope I won't be tweeted on this. Please, off the record. Politicians are smart. When something happens somewhere, they will immediately catch on to this and go wait a minute. There is something happening here. I need to be part of that or I don't need to be part of that. They'll immediately check on this and want to be part of it.

The sector you will have the most problem with is the private sector. The private sector has a main role to make sure their company will make money and will work and grow, shareholders, etc. And the whole dialogues around Internet works on. A legislation or something that could come against them at some point. Many of the private sector think we can lobby the government directly. We don't need to go through this big dialogue. We have to work on private sector and we've seen the weakest representation at the IGFs has been unfortunately private sector. There are some really good organizations and companies behind the IGF and that have been here for many, many years. But we need to get a heck of a lot more in there because the Internet is affecting everyone and their business, too.

>> MODERATOR: Anyone else in the room wanting to say anything on what has been said so far? If not, a bit of advertising again. We have a call for issues.

>> I was going to add one thing. Civil society is the moist most nimble of all the groups. The world of civil society knows about it six minutes later or before it has been announced

>> MODERATOR: We seed that as SEEDIG as well. We have a call for issues for SEEDIG and EuroDIG which is until 31st of December if I'm not wrong. Anyone can confirm? I guess I'm right. So if you have suggestions for topics that you would want to be discussed at both SEEDIG and EuroDIG or either of them go on the SEEDIG or EuroDIG website. You don't have to write a session description, just say I'll talk about the Internet of Things. That's a proposal. Help us create the program. When it comes to building the program for the SEEDIG meeting it is an open bottom up and it will start in January, we will have online planning meetings, everyone interested could contribute to building it and putting the program together and in addition to the actual day of the SEEDIG 25th of may we will also have a pre-day where we'll try to do more capacity building and Internet governance issues. You are all welcome. Okay. Do we still have time for decision or should we wrap up with some notes? Can someone -- we have 20 more minutes. Should we look again into what SEEDIG can --

>> Again connected to the earlier one, which is another way of looking at government or countries is courts. I think that one issue that is very complex that has been to some degree addressed is jurisdiction and that is such an important issue. And each -- our region and every region has its own specific but all similarities as well. Different to the rest of the world. So that's something that I think that is worth looking at. The role of courts and how sometimes global problems are interpreted by the courts locally because that's also goes back to what I said earlier is that sometimes there are already solutions to problems and you never know until you test them and sometimes a good testing ground are the courts. So I think that that's something that could be a topic. It's a hard one to look at. It is really a hard one, I know, but it's worth looking at.

>> MODERATOR: Please go online and submit the topic.

>> I will.

>> MODERATOR: We have the Internet of Things and jurisdiction. Already to topics for SEEDIG and organization work. That takes me back to your point again about SEEDIG being a platform where we can gather together with practices from the region. Should we try to do a bit of brainstorming and think what topics we want to address in this compilation of good practices maybe? I will go back again to the survey we did at SEEDIG this year. We asked people what are the main challenges in the region that the region is basically sharing? And the top three if I'm not wrong, again you can correct me, were digital divide, cybersecurity and privacy and data protection, right? These were the three topics people in our region said are shared concerns and the most pressing challenges. What else around our region? What can we work on trying to see what -- how people are working on these issues and putting them together?

>> Freedom of expression, it's dying desperately.

>> MODERATOR: We are taking notes. Thank you. And --

>> Freedom of expression, dying democracy. Never actualize democracy.

>> I can add that's the case in Turkey especially since last year. As many of you know, I used to live in Turkey one of the reasons I wanted to leave was because of the increasing State of affairs there.

>> For the topics that you've mentioned, sorry. For the topics you mentioned, I think we have to challenge ourselves if we were brainstorming to be more specific. What about the digital divide? What exactly are we talking about here? Let's formulate specific questions. Digital divide was the biggest topic in Geneva in 2003, right? Before Internet governance became the key topic. Digital divide was the biggest thing and we're talking about it. Let's be specific what we're talking about here.

>> Mobile. People accessing the Internet mobile. Small provider versus big telecoms and pressure to do filtering and blocking to resolve the issue of -- people are not equipped to resist and understanding and blackmailed by the main telecoms or also depend on the regulator. If the regulator is open and wise they will have someone on their side to try to counter, not counter react. If the regulator is not open and wise and under political control. The small business are dying and they will become the policemen of the day with no ability whatsoever to make differences and we enter into the culture what are they policing? Who is policing to and which criteria? I think mobile versus broadband be provided if we want to be specific.

>> I do appreciate that question and I will say that we did -- we have already done quite a lot of foundational work on this question at the previous SEEDIG. We worked for months trying to basically what's it called, operationalize what it means, how it exists and how it manifests across the region? We have a corpus of knowledge to go from that I hope we can continue to build upon in the coming SEEDIGs and in the coming regional intercessional work.

>> MODERATOR: That reminds me we had a contribution to the IGF intercession work on policy options and building on that. The various dimensions of the digital divide in the region and what recommendations were made to overcome those at the SEEDIG meeting.

>> I was going to add to what he was saying on the blocking that ISPs are asked to do. In the UK there is the next level. They have to listen, they have to provide ways of whatever agency to be able to go into your own computer to be able to hack you. It is called equipment interference. You'll hear a lot about that very soon. There has been a discussion in the UK network operators forum, the technical community had no interest in following any of this and suddenly they're put in front of the question how are we going to get all of this information to GCHQ, the main UK surveillance agency? Do we have fiber that will go to GCHQ and I started having this vision of the big brother thing where every email will go via the central point. A guy reads it. Do we forward it or not? Not like that, but that's an issue that will come up. One country has done it and others are going to want to think this is one way to do it.

In the UK there was very little pushback on this. You frame the issue in a certain way. Do you want to be safe from harm? Safe from terrorism and do you want a child safety? Do you want all of these? Or do you want to have absolutely no surveillance whatsoever? It was framed in such a way of course they also added this accessory thing called Brexit. That's a side issue. There was no outrage about it. If it will make the Internet safer and protect my children and me, then, you know, I have nothing to hide. You wouldn't believe the number of people that have said really? You are making so much noise about this. I have nothing to hide. Okay.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Any follow-up on that? If not we only have 10 more minutes. You want to say something?

>> This is not -- I think that especially this issue is such an important issue to start addressing in a proper way. I think that governments have been made the bad guy for many valid reasons for, you know, many governments have wire tapped. Many governments have -- I would say most governments wiretap. It's one of the things that governments do, right? And the matter is not whether they do it or not. The matter are there proper Democratic controls to make that suitable for the valid reasons the government should be doing that and that is to prevent terrorism, to prevent things that could undermine statehood. There is a lot of global organizations that have been doing this for a very long time like collecting information on their users, Google, apple, Amazon, all the big -- any big company that is right now working at the global level is working with a lot of data about their users. It is not just a matter -- and I can't -- if I don't like what Google is doing I can't vote them out, right? Why is government such a bad guy when it does it if there are valid reasons for doing it? I think for this especially reason I think we need to open it up and really address it in a completely different way to -- because this old way of addressing it government is bad, eavesdropping is really old.

>> MODERATOR: I will put the light right on you because you have just joined us. You have supported SEEDIG over the past years, say a few words and introduce yourself.

>> I work with affiliates, a registry originally from SEEDIG country and happy to support all SEEDIG initiatives. Also very active there in international society chapter of Serbia and Belgrade and happy to coordinate with all the SEEDIG participants on various issues. We have a lot of projects coming up for 2017. A lot of education across the region, education between Sarajevo and Serbia in terms of privacy and exciting times. But I don't know what you are discussing right now. I had trouble finding you. Sorry I'm running late.

>> MODERATOR: SEEDIG issues. We were trying to see what topics we can address on SEEDIG and from what kind of  view. Trying to be more specific and ask the right questions. You don't need to--

>> No pressure. I think -- I do have an opinion I think on this issue. Just mention some of the projects that I think are very valuable for the region and I listened to the last part of the conversation that we were just talking about. How to reframe the conversation. I think it is really important to -- we have seen a lot of movement from a regional IGF in some of our countries and there is now a lot of acceptance of why these conversations and multi-stakeholder approach is bringing value to the conversation. I do think that each of our regions, the countries as well have specific issues. And SEEDIG is trying to address what is I think really lacking. First of all, it's really one of the issues is certainly accessibility and the region is still poorly connected, especially in the poorer areas. So that is one of the issues that has not been -- have not seen many programs that are addressing in particular SEEDIG as a region and South Eastern Europe participants. So all the other issues that are particular to the region, you know, really stem from a different kind of background of what we think the governmental system is and how the policy is currently made. And some lack of participation.

In those discussions, I'll just give you one example and that is that recently we had a strategic session on intellectual property in Serbia where there was a framework that has been brought up for the acceptance and bill almost passed through without any public consultation. So we have a lot to learn as a region and I can only speak on behalf of Serbia here. But I don't know if that issue has been mentioned and what issues you've actually tabled of how you deal with human rights and I.P. rights.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. We are reaching the end of the session. So now I would ask if you have questions for us as SEEDIG, the three of us here. Any questions for us? Recommendations? More than what has been said already? Michael.

>> I would like to know if there has been any update on the email that was sent about basically the support association or the financial aspect of it.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Michael. That's a very good question. For a bit of a context SEEDIG for two years worked as a non-existing legal entity. We had to rely on support from our local supporting organizations. This year it was Serbia who helped us with raising the money and managing them from their point of view. This has proven to be a bit more difficult than we expected when you cannot manage your money, things are a bit more complicated. What we're trying to do from now on to is to give structure to SEEDIG. Create a support association for SEEDIG open for anyone in the region or beyond to join and give an institutional home to make things a bit easier from a planning point of view and when it comes to running the whole process. At this point we're working on association 0.1 which would have a basic statute with only the basic things so we can prepare the meeting which is happening really soon. And then we will open this up for more complex statute when everyone will be welcome to contribute to the drafting process. So we make the association open and all the practices are clear and all the decision making are there from the start at that point.

I'm hoping this will happen starting next year. The community working on the statute. But it is all volunteer work so it takes time. Any follow-up on that? Anyone would be welcome to join the association from that point on. Anything else? I guess not. Then I would thank everyone for having joined this session. Please contribute to SEEDIG as well EuroDIG. Go propose topics. And yes, Ida has just mentioned again we have the monthly briefings on the last Tuesday of every month except for January, because it is just before new year. But for December, sorry, from January on we resume the monthly hub meetings. Please join us and we discuss what happens in the reason and contribute to the summary. Send us one sentence about what happened in your countries we will elaborate on that and put it in our summary. Thank you.

(Applause)

(Session ended at 2:30 PM CT)