European Commission The Internet Compact: the essentials for the Internet of the future

29 September 2011 - A Open Forum on Other in Nairobi, Kenya

Session Transcript

September 29, 2011 - 16:30 PM


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.


>> And, of course, there are now these kind of IPSA proposals, and I think that everybody is discussing also what is going on in the UN, when I say China, Russia and a couple of other countries have been tabling their ideas.

And, of course, I think there's a proliferation of different kinds of principles and that was perhaps one of the reasons why I think that our Commissioner Kroes wanted to define her way of overseeing these kind of basic principles or categories, the fringe where we have to work.

And, of course, when we are speaking both the kind of Internet essentials, as well as the Compact and the Compact, the Compact for the Internet.  First, C is civil responsibility and O is one Internet, that is M for multistakeholder, P for pro democracy, A architecturally sound, C confidence in inspiring and T, transparently governed.

Then very much, I think that whenever you have received this paper for discussion, where they have been listed, I think that the six principles or six kind of headings under which she has tried really to clarify her thinking.  And I guess at the moment, this Compact on the Internet Essentials are two of her commissioner's speeches one in the OECD, the Internet economic discussion in June in Paris, and I think that then whatever she could specify her thinking and here in the opening session of the IGF, but I think very shortly to tell these are reflecting also our work internally in the European Union. 

They are not only meant to be kind of our input for global discussion, but I think that this is whenever we started to ask our colleagues, and this information society and media that all what kind of work streams we are having around the Internet.  I think there are a lot of things that are going on as a ‑‑ I think what you are thinking of are the European Union policies or the Member States are doing on their own and then things that are coordinated together or then we are already seeing that the certain work streams are by more or less from the outset international or global.

But I guess that first, if you are thinking of one Internet.  I think there are many questions rising in this respect and I think that one can be easily identified is whenever I think we are reviewing our data protection legislation in place in Europe, and I think that then you are ‑‑ so think about what kind of impact it might have for cloud computing and I think that this has been discussed with all different kind of legal requirements on data protection and personal data protection, especially privacy.  I think that you can easily see that there might be kind of situations where certain kind of legislation is becoming an obstacle for certain types of business models or even certain types of kind of technological developments.  And I think that that's why we try to all the time reflect our internal, say, legislative and regulatory approach, as well as the actions that what kind of impact it's going to have on globally.

Second essential is that the Internet where we are not atoms.  I think this is very much a question of ‑‑ it's not only a question of our human rights but it's very much a question of the civic norms and social youth and what kind of behavior we can expect from all behaviors on the online world.  I think that's very much trying to identify what kind of ‑‑ kind of code of conduct or what kind of behavior is tolerated and are there any kind of reasons how we are really then making the massive public policy issues.  I think for example, one thing is, say, the Internet or how we protect minors or that kind of thing.  And, of course, there are very many different ways that we can either identify that there is a harmful behavior, also on online world.

Then perhaps a third issue, we are saying that architecture matters, that ‑‑ I think that whenever we are also running that kind of research innovation projects and one of those has been future Internet, where I think the big European companies together with different kind of research institutes are really trying to look at what is the next phase of our technology development of Internet that ‑‑ what does it really might imply?  And I think that that's also in the context of our cloud computing and I think that very many other research innovation and I think we know very well that that's exactly the same type of the projects are going on in US and Japan and China and I think that's where we should really see that ‑‑ where this kind of, let's say technological parameters are leading us, and I think even we see something is leading to some other type of solutions that one Internet and one single platform and I think that that's very much a question that we should really address.

And then fourth is that I think it has been identified you can call it cyber security or you can call it Internet security or safety, but I think that questions why people are still hesitating to use Internet for their, for example, online transactions or whatever, I think that there are many issues that relate to these kind of issues that we are now very much, I think, deciding to set up our own Internet security strategy and I think that this is something that we are very closely now discussing with our US counterparts and I think that's the issue with whomever we are now dealing with our, let's say policy dialogues.  And I think the question is how we really make them more operational.

Perhaps the fifth essential is then let's make the Internet pro democracy.  I think there are many ways to understand this, that, of course, it's the freedom of expression.  It's clearly powerful tool, really to share information in all different kind of data and I think ‑‑ but I think at the same time, the Internet is, perhaps any kind of pro democratic instruments and such.  I think it can be used for totally contrary types of purposes and that's why we should try to identify whether there are ways and means to make sure that it's not misused or abused and that's where we really try to find out whether we are having certain actions.

And the sixth, the final, we have really supported the multistakeholder policy.  We would like to see it as transparent and open as possible.  That then covers what are the Internet Governance models and I think we have been strongly advocating the stakeholder nature and the nonbinding nature of the IGF and I think we have been supporters for the ICANN.  Of course, there are lots to be improved but I think there are the issues that are ongoing, the discussions also in this respect, but I think the multistakeholders is something that Vice President Kroes in her speech was saying we really should make sure that we understand the world in the same way. 

And I think she was making reference that even if being true liberal, I think coming from the Netherlands that she is always taking her hard law instruments as kind of an ultimate/resort.  I think whenever we now discuss these questions, we should not start with the idea that we are starting to regulate Internet, but I think that at the same time, we should also say that it's not totally out of the question that we one day identify certain issues that we think might be to think those regulatory messages.  I think there's a code from her speech yesterday, or ‑‑ it was on Tuesday, yes.  Not yesterday.  That is for the moment ‑‑ now I don't ‑‑ my old eyes cannot catch the word.

I think she say a few people question the need to regulate the offline world in pursuit, to protect fundamental rights or to defend markets from monopolies and there's an equal need online.  As the net becomes an ever more structural economic and social framework, so grows the case for public to facilitate the role.  If the Internet is to fulfill its glorious potential, we must protect it, not kill it.

Regulation is only ever a last resort and even then, we must in particular recognize the global character of Internet and keep it from fragmenting.  Because I knew there was a lot of open questions on that couple of two days ago immediately after what she was actually meaning.  I think, of course, I leave the interpretations to each and every one, but that's why we circulated the speech that now there is a modest word‑by‑word, what she ask.

I think I stop in here and I think the intention was really to ask ‑‑ (No audio).

In materials of these questions around the Internet Governance.  Thank you, and then I would like you to stay the floor, whoever would like to start.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, I have a question, my name is Rolf.  We run a Dutch site.  I heard in the speech, that she's working on a security Internet strategy.  Could you tell us more about the contents of that strategy?

>> I think it's still very much on the drawing board.  So it's not yet adopted by commission, and I think that ‑‑ even I think that it's an interplay between commissioner and then her service so that it's her ‑‑ but I still, we are having nowadays two different conversations on infrastructure protection.  I think that's more or less the scope.  I think now in two states in 2009 and last year, and that was the kind of action plan that was adopted.  It's trying to identify a bit more broadly, in terms of the traditional cyber security basis, but thinking of what are the elements here that we should have in place in Europe, that we could say that we are doing the most that we can.  And then, of course, there are the issues that we are thinking what kind of issues are related to public authorities and then especially to private kind of sector players on the field, but I guess if you have read the CIP communications, that's more or less the main core of this.

Another thing, it's trying to see, what are the next steps to be taken and I think then how much it can be widened.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it's security more in the sense of protection of the infrastructure and the services and not protection of the user?  Not security to the user?

>> Yeah.  That's right.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Anders from the Swedish government.  Neelie Kroes has mentioned the multistakeholders at IGF global level, and in many Member States, we have national IGFs.  And ‑‑ and at European level, since we have three years we have the dialogue on Internet Governance and this EuroDIG is growing and we believe it's very important that we can strengthen the European level of dialogue and that ‑‑ and one of the things is that also having other institutions actively involved as partners.  Today it has been well quite a few, but Switzerland and the Council of Europe and a few others have done most of work so far.  So we think we have to strengthen this, and so ‑‑ I wonder if you have any comments on the European dialogue and Internet Governance and what say you on this?

>> Of course I think that, as perhaps been observed in here, that there are more and more kind of preparatory phases between these annual IGFs and, of course, the kind of regional outreach for IGFs or, let's say, perhaps on the other way around, that the regional IGFs are feeding in the kind of discussions that we are having in here.  I think definitely we are supportive and then being of course, whenever Europe was in the early stages not that long time ago, then, of course, it was the Council of Europe who took the modest kind of leading role and giving support, but, of course, I think we have been very supportive and, of course, we are ready to consider how we intensify as a commission, but I think the commission in this respect is still only one stakeholder in the European scenery.  I think we are really having the full recognition of its role and I think the increasing role and I think that we continue to support and I think ‑‑ I know that then there are also the questions that ‑‑ like, in the IGF, what kind of support in concrete terms can be provided.  And I think we are ready to consider that as well, so that if we are having possibilities, I think that we are definitely thinking that in a positive sense.


>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.  (No audio) since I'm a member both of the ‑‑ (No audio).

The European Union, that you really should work ‑‑ we all should work together as we are sitting in this European institutions for the European perspective on the Internet freedom which can be also transferred to the rest of the world because courts, authorities and so on, more and more needs and understanding of a transversal understanding what are really the values when they have to interpret especially fundamental human rights.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Perhaps I don't have to comment on that, but, please.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much.  Yes, Philip Metzger from the Austrian government.  He literally took my own words out of my mouth.


>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, I won't repeat what has already been said.  I think we are appreciative of the fact that you plan to intensify these relations with the Council of Europe because I think the EuroDIG is in need of significant resources in the future.  I was present at the last year DIG in Belgrade.  I was representing our minister who could not attend.  I launched a call to stakeholders to support with resources that process.  So we are hopeful as to the future that there will be those sufficient resources and I think the fact that you plan to intensify your cooperation there is very welcome.

I would like to add a second point, which in a sense is related, referring to the handouts that we have received.  Mrs. Kroes was referring to convergence it terms of visions ‑‑ (No audio).

>> And I think austerity measures here and there, but I think that we are working positively and then I think let's hope that we can end up with a positive results, but ‑‑ but don't take my works as kind of a promise that you are then going to ‑‑ at least we are testing the ground in a positive sense and then we will coming back when we find out what our possibilities are going to be in concrete terms for the EuroDIG.

Then on the convergence and I think we had the discussion, I think already on Tuesday, it's organized by the administration of our Council of Europe on the bases of their resolution on Internet principles and I think then it was identified that there are very many having commonalties and for the same kind of directions and being of course, those could be easily, perhaps been compared together and then see what could be some kind of common lines out of there.  And, of course, part of the Neelie's speech in Paris, it was that other initiatives were out there and trying to beat the frame kind of for discussion and I think trying to put a bit of unconditional headings on these, so we don't have easy bogs that you are putting them, but I think that then we are having some other initiatives now around that we were discussing today, for example, and the kind of IGF 2.0, on what are the kind of improvements for the ‑‑ and I think they are divergent that are not that easy to put in the same kind of paper.

But, of course, discussion is very intensive and very many different ideas are there, and then I think that it was ‑‑ proposing it in a Tuesday session and let's get it to work and using the regional IGFs ‑‑ (No audio).

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: And the main goal seems to be to make parents feel safe and I'm a bit alarmed because making parents feel safe may actually decrease actual safety, after all, one of the best safety measures is for parents to actually look what the children are doing and the best way to achieve that is to not to feel too safe.  So generally, I would suggest that as far as security initiative, especially, it's extremely important for it to be architecturally sound and the best way to achieve that is really to put it out in a multi stakeholder environment.  The draft for discussion, before it is agreed and decided so that you can get input from all kinds of stakeholders from various perspectives to achieve something that really ‑‑ (No audio).

>> Please, yes.

(No audio).

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Really sharpen on the political observations and concerns we are visiting on.  And since we have seen this little bit call it movement or whatever we want to call it, we are actually thinking of EuroDIG to kind of integrate that ‑‑ (No audio).

>> And I think those are the issues that are very well known under the cyber securities but I think the cyber security is perhaps two ‑‑ immediately you are having the feeling that it's something totally out of our reach and I think the Internet is more common to us and I think it's more, but all in all, I guess that definitely, I think this relates very much together and, of course, I think that we have been doing quite sometime, I think kind of safe Internet program that we have had, and I think that we have been doing both a bit of the research work, as well as then cooperation with the stakeholders and especially with the kind of Internet companies that what kind of a self‑regulatory approaches might have and there are certain technological solutions that are either architectural or you are asking certain kind of permissions but I think something where it's ‑‑ it's not that public authorities are trying to really impose certain kind of security or kind of safer Internet type of arrangements, but I think that really ‑‑ (No audio) that they are taking it with full seriousness and then providing that kind of ‑‑ (No audio).

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Perhaps in a more suitable group but the main thrust is in my very strong opinion, it's not enough to discuss this just with the ISPs or the kind of companies that could potentially be involved in some kind of self‑regulation regime, but you really need to include also the technical community people who are thinking deeply about Internet architecture, principles to make the system able to grow and evolve in a sensible way in the future and you also need to get civil owe site involved in a very active manner, I would suggest very strongly.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  And then, of course, I'm ‑‑ well, as I say, the same people who, I think are actually responsible management of our safe Internet program, they also kind of research those who are doing the research in this respect, but I think perhaps then ‑‑ I don't know whether there's a state of art type of technology available that you are speaking or is it something that we should really start to, let's say, based on the research and innovation activities, really design from the kind of based on the new research results.

But, okay, we can continue whenever I'm having more technologically able colleagues around so that they can then give you answers perhaps better than I can do.  Please go ahead.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hey.  My name is Carmen, I'm from Estonia, and I'm an attorney with the university.  Since I also listened to Mrs. Kroes' speech, I heard the comment from other people in this room, I got the sense that in child pornography, that due process and the rule of law would not be ‑‑ (No audio).

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: So this is the question, does this Compact, Compact, this thing, does it also embody the changing of the existing principles around intermediary reliability that are within the directive today?  Thank you.

>> First, I think that wherever we think that regulate Internet or not, I think that perhaps there is clear rule, I think like data protection that it applies both in online and offline world.  I think that's kind of the online world is not totally without regulation.  I think ‑‑ and I think that you are right.  I think that it's definitely wherever it's defined and I think then it's measures wherever we find it, then it's very much up to the law enforcement to try to find the ways, but then, of course comes the question that you were raising, the kind of liability of the Internet in the intermediaries and the ISPs and so on.  That's definitely the discussion going on in Europe, all over.  I think that's where we have to really come back to this issue and then see what can be done, what not, and then I think ‑‑ no easy solutions are available, I guess.

Please, if you are still having something in mind, feel free otherwise we can start to plan next coffee break.


>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Justin, I think somebody has ‑‑ (No audio).

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