Online Freedoms and Access to Information Online

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


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Internet and Human Rights


The paradox of the internet for advancing human rights is well known: it has created new vistas for citizen mobilization and knowledge-sharing, yet also created new means for governments to monitor, censor, and harass. As the internet has grown, the technical means have gone from obvious methods like blocking sites to more nuanced techniques such as DNS re-routing and use of DPI to monitor or redirect traffic. In some cases these efforts are couched within national legislative frameworks; in others they are ad hoc and sub rosa. More and more they also include political attempts in some countries to “de-legitimize” the internet and online media as sources of information, and to control the internet as a discursive space through spamming and trolling, or through direct pressure on private sector media or internet companies.

Providing the tools for users to share information and protect themselves technically is an important part of preserving online freedoms, but no less important is making the normative argument for their right to use those freedoms. This interactive dialogue will take a multi-stakeholder, comparative approach to discussing the changing environment for online freedoms and how activist, media, technical, and private sector communities can work together. By bringing together various stakeholders from civil society, media, and the private sector, the session aims to spark cross-disciplinary conversations that would encourage participants and audience to think about how the Internet can be preserved as a platform that facilitates participatory democracy.

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

Burcu S. Bakioglu
Civil Society
Internet Rights and Principles Coalition

Nate Schenkkan
Civil Society
Freedom House

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

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


The link to the workshop report (IRP) (Freedom House)

Type of session


Duration of proposed session


Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#humanrights, #accesstoinformation, #FoE, #security, #blocking, #censorship, #netrights

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

Karl Kathuria, Psiphon, Business, confirmed
Sami Can, Açık Demokrasi, Business, confirmed
Aslı Tunç, Bilgi University, Academia, confirmed
Serdar Paktin, Kadir Has University, Media, confirmed
Shazad Ahmad, bytesforall, Civil Society, confirmed
Serhat Koc, Lawyer/Civil Society, Pirate Party Movement of Turkey, confirmed
Anna Karefelt, Programme Manager for ICT and Freedom of Expression, Swedish International Development Agency, Government, confirmed
Selin Kaledelen, independent lawyer, Business, confirmed
Ben Blink/Ross LaJeunesse, Google, confirmed
Gonenc Gurkaynak, ELIG law firm, Private Sector, confirmed

Name of Moderator(s)

Nate Schenkkan, Burcu S. Bakioglu

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

No information provided

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

Invited participants will be asked to make brief introductory statements indicating the context and circumstances for their own groups, focusing on specific cases and examples of how censorship and surveillance on the Internet has effected freedom of speech and civil liberties online. They will suggest ways in which these situations might be improved through the application and investment of relevant stakeholders. After a round of audience input and responses the panelists will sum up by making 2-3 concrete recommendations that can be carried forward to relevant working groups in the IGF and beyond.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

Remote participation will be encouraged through outreach on listservs, social media outlets, and comments will be solicited before hand through advanced notice of the workshop. A remote participation moderator will be present to facilitate comments and contributions from remote participators.

Background paper

background paper

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