Internet Blocking: When Well-intentioned Measures Go Too Far

3 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

Original Proposal

IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Enhancing Digital Trust


The economic and public policy impacts of Internet blocking by state actors has been well studied. Receiving less study to date are the economic and public policy impacts of Internet policing by third party non-state actors. The systemic impossibility of a common definition of “due process” or a common policy framework has led to occasional collateral damage that undermines the security and stability of the internet. This is a form of “digital culture clash”

This workshop will explore the state of play in third party Internet blockades and boycotts by non-state actors such as Internet reputation systems, whether commercially motivated or not. Examples of collateral damage will be drawn from the record, including the impact of SPAMHAUS’s blockade of Sweden in early 2014. We will engage leading experts from both the technology and policy arenas to debate and discuss questions like “at what limit does a blockade or boycott do more harm than good to the organizer’s own values, due to foreseeable collateral damage, lack of care, or lack of investigatory resources?”

The panel hopes to reach a common understanding and brief set of recommendations for those who might organize Internet blockades and boycotts, for those who might participate in such events – perhaps by subscribing to an Internet reputation system, for those who might be targeted by such moves, and also for policy makers and shapers who need to know the powers and risks of collective third party action in Cyberspace.

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Robert Guerra
Academic & Technical Community
ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
Citizen Lab & Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Paul Vixie
Private Sector
Farsight Security

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session


Duration of proposed session

90 Minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#security,#blocking,#censorship,#ddos,#spam, #intermediaryliabilty

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Ms. Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder
Technical Community
Chief Information Security Officer, .SE (The Internet Infrastructure Foundation)

Ms. Yurie Ito
Technical Community
Director of Local Coordination Division for the Japan Computer Emergency Response Team (JPCERT/CC)

Ms. Cristine Hoepers
Technical Community
General Manager at, the Brazilian National CERT

Mr. Moez Chakchouk
Chairman & CEO, The Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI)

Mr. Shazad Ahmad
Civil Society
Director of Bytes for All, Bytes for All, Pakistan

Name of Moderator(s)

Paul Vixie

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Robert Guerra

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The workshop will be organized as a facilitated dialogue. Led by the moderator, subject experts will debate and discuss the key questions and issues. Subject experts will give opening comments, after which the moderator will turn to those attending the session and invited experts in the audience to engage in facilitated dialogue.

In addition to the background documents and papers that will be prepared ahead of the IGF, additional articles of interest, commissioned blogs, reference materials and social media conversations will be published and distributed ahead of the workshop.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

The workshop organizers will encourage workshop panelists as well as technical experts on the topic to post blog articles, as well as background briefing materials on leading social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, as well as on key Internet Governance sites such as before, during and after the IGF in Istanbul this September.

We will strive to identify and recruit engagement from remote participation hubs. We anticipate participation from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Given past experiences with remote participation modalities, contingency plans will be created backup options prepared so that recorded video statements and mobile to conference call bridge can be used if venue internet access is not optimal.

Background paper

background paper