September 29, 2011 - 11:00 am
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.
>> BEN WAGNER: Okay, I think we're going to get started. So, as you can see, we're a workshop that very much likes remote participation and also remote speakers. Hopefully during the course of this meeting we'll have three remote speakers and for this reason we also have a crowd of technical people here who are trying to help us to ensure that these remote speakers will also be able to speak and to be seen and to be heard. Hopefully that will work.
Thank you very much for coming. This is the workshop on Exporting the Internet Technology and Human Rights. So I hope everybody's in the right room and not half of you suddenly decide to leave.
This is a joint project that has been organized with Internet Rights and Principles Coalition who are here. We have Hivos over here and with the European University Institute who I'm from. And without further ado, I'd like to start with (saying name) from the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, look forward to your statements.
>> Good morning, everyone. My name is (saying name), I am an independent consultant currently based in Nairobi working on government issues, particularly with regard to the Internet. Over the past year, I've worked with the Dutch Government, with U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right of freedom of expression, Mr. (saying name) and with American digital rights and (inaudible) access.
Today I am here on behalf of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalitions which is one of the dynamic coalitions under the banner of the Internet Governance Forum. It consists of individuals and organizations who believe that human rights should be the basis for all conduct on the Internet both advancing human rights and making use of the great potential that the Internet has for that as well as making sure we recognize the pitfalls involved.
To this end the coalition has a dual purpose. Developing principles and creating strategies, mainstreaming human rights on the Internet. That is a considerable challenge because the Internet as we all know, is a quickly evolving medium and it is transboundary. That makes it difficult for Governments, businesses as well as private individuals to realize the impact of their conduct.
With regards to these principles, on Monday (saying name) of the Council of Europe was talking in the other room and said we should translate human rights standards to the Internet by adding the word "Internet" to it. So we tried to do that and came up with sentences like everyone comma Internet comma has a right to life which didn't really work, it sounded awkward. So we did something else, we developed a charter on human rights on the Internet. This charter consists of a list of principles drawing from the key human rights documents such as universal declaration of human rights, ICPR and other documents to delineate what human rights standards should apply online. The charter is still under development and we very much welcome your feedback and your ideas for it so we can develop it even further. So please see the Web site of the charter for that which is www.irpcharter.org.
We also developed principles in the form of the 10 instant rights and principles which are these, and you can pick them up here if you like. They're short, brief and very clear on how Internet should be governed.
Now we are here today because we're concerned not all are acting under all these principles when dealing with the Internet. Under the name of protecting national security, business interests or other seemingly legitimate objectives, governments and private actors conduct themselves in a way that violate the rights of Internet users. This can take various forms, whether from censoring forums to the open Internet or using, for example, surveillance technology to detect human rights defenders, arrest them, use the information obtained through surveillance technology, torture them, et cetera.
Private actors, as we all know, play a key role in the Internet's infrastructure. They're susceptible to regulatory pressures, intervention by police as well as positive influences, and we're here today for the positive influences to see in which way we can encourage private actors to conduct themselves in a way which advances human rights rather than the opposite. They're all private actors, especially highlighted where the extra censorship and surveillance technology is concerned. The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition is concerned about how private actors have been and are continued to be implicated in egregious human rights violations around the world, for example, by abuse of their technology to detect human rights defenders or retain political position. We are eager to find ways in which we can develop principles and implementing strategies online and we look forward to hearing all the panelists' view as well as the audiences' input for that. Thanks very much.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. I think that was very interesting. And for people who don't know or aren't familiar with the 10 Internet rights and principles there are several more cards that can be handed out and which I'm sure other members of the audience might be interested in viewing.
Next I'd like to introduce one of our most distinguished speakers who we're grateful to have here, Mr. Lionel Veer from the Dutch Foreign Ministry who is their ambassador for human rights. The floor is yours.
>> LIONEL VEER: Thank you, Ben. Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words about how the Dutch Government is looking at human rights and the Internet. We just issued a new human rights strategy in which freedom of expression is one of our key priority and of course, for us freedom of expression also means freedom on the Internet, uncensored noninterrupted access, free Internet. And I think human rights, in many respects, have to deal with the relation between the state and the citizens. And when you talk in these modern times, the Internet, of course, say one of our major challenges, say great progress but also great threats when you look at the relations between the states and the citizens. Through the Internet the state can say become even bigger, broader, and that's something that we think should be prevented. We think that the Internet freedom is ‑‑ we try to have several approaches to further this idea of freedom of expression on the Internet. By that, we support bloggers, cyber dissidents and we also politically discuss cases where governments have arrested say people who have been critical on the Internet.
I myself, and I was in Egypt a few months ago discussed with the minister of justice a few individual cases of people who were put to jail for what they've written on the Internet. Multilaterally, do the same, we share the knowledge and expertise and try to say have input in all the meetings that are going on on this issue and try also especially within the European Union framework for more joint statements, more say political strategies on the Internet freedom. And we also have identified practical sense that through our embassies we have a special budget of about 4 million Euros which is part of our human rights budget to have actually very concrete projects on the ground. This involves training of online journalism because say freedom doesn't mean that it has to have no quality. I think it's very important that we also, if we want to use Internet as a means of communication, say where all the media like the papers may have lost out, it's important to have quality also there. So we do invest in training on online journalism. We try to create more awareness in cyber dissidents on security, secure online behavior. We also try to guide them through using circumvention tools. We actually organize already more than a year ago in the Hague bloggers and cyber dissidents how to better protect themselves, how to go around these intervention tools. And say offering strategic hosting support. So also say when governments do try to intervene we try to say to balance that by making available this hosting facilities. With regards to the restriction, for us we want to focus on two approaches. Encouragement of self‑restriction and restricting, say, by states. I think first and foremost encouraging self‑restriction is a very important tool where we don't want to say to become overregulatory when we're speaking at the same time of not restricting the Internet. But, of course, every now and then you need to act as a state to make sure that especially technology that can be used to monitor, to limit the freedom of Internet users that we should then act as states and in that sense I'm happy to say that this week the European parliament adopted regulations or took the position to include as a further regulation of this. First about self‑restrictions, we encourage say, first of all, a debate with companies involved. We've spoken, we've addressed companies and criticized them for their actions, what they've done in Iran, what they've done in Egypt. And, on the other hand, we try to engage with them to discuss the roles of what they can do themselves to be self‑restrictive and to be aware of what they're doing and there we see that companies in the Netherlands are willing to, when they are on the brink to export certain technologies, to look into international human rights reports. We ‑‑ they can also come to us to have informal inquiry into what is the situation in the country concerned. And then we see that the internal coach, coach of conduct try to develop, but not well defined enough, they need to be sort of, they need to be more specific. And we also hear from companies that they would like to have maybe something like a framework provided by the Government, a sort of checklist that they can use when they want to export whether or not they're on the right track. And I think the Global Network Initiative in this context has provided very good guidance.
So we want to speak, address other governments to follow themselves within their borders to start up these dialogues with companies concerned. And we want to say in the European framework bring a broader context of more companies together and to provide a forum of exchange of experience in these kinds of exports. Restrictions on exports of course follow more or less the same model that we used to have for what we call dual‑use goods. This was more in the military sphere. But I think ever since the events in 2009 in Iran, the Dutch Government has looked into this and say, okay, some goods have a dual use in the sense that they can be very positive for the Internet users but they can also very say negative when they're used by these authoritarian regimes to monitor their people. In this sense the European parliament decision is very encouraging because basically there's a list of products that's on the list that you cannot export without, say, prior approval by the Government, but many of the projects we're talking about now are not on this list so we want to see that there is some ways of limiting these goods, especially when they touch ‑‑ they can be seen in connection with human rights violations by using interception technologies, digital transfer devices for monitoring mobile phones and the Internet use so I think this is something which is ‑‑ needs further attention and we need to work on and it has to be done in a very balanced way, of course, and that you only use it when it's really necessary and try to not make the business in this field totally impossible.
So I think we'll leave it here for the moment and then Q and A discuss it more, thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much, I think that was a very powerful statement and also had the pleasure in participating in the conference you organized for 2010 and that was equally extraordinary, thank you, again for mentioning this. I believe now that we have remote participant, I'm not sure whether it's possible. It's not possible. In that case we can move directly to the next speaker who is Martin Fleischer from the German foreign ministry and look forward to your statement, thank you very much.
>> MARTIN FLEISCHER: Thank you very much, Ben, good morning to everybody, I'm very pleased to be here, it's my first IGF and I'm pleased with the atmosphere by the multistakeholder environment and the very substantial debates. I'm, as you said, from the German foreign ministry and I'm holding a position which is new in itself, it's called international cyber policy coordination staff. What is that I'm often asked and we are still in the process of defining what cyber foreign policy is. It ‑‑ let me start this way. German foreign ministry (saying name) said recently that German foreign ministry is committed to freedom and self‑determination and that this is no different in regards to the Internet. This, of course, has implications not only for Internet governance but also for our Government's development cooperation, our foreign policy, human rights policy and not least our dialogue with partners who have different values. As to Germany, ICT is the fastest growing sector of our economy and thus, Germany, as a leading vendor of Internet technology, shoulders a special responsibility to ensure that Internet technology when exported conforms with ethical standards. This is a principle that is easily said but it's not easily translated into a concrete policy such as export control lists. And it requires a multilateral approach for instance in the framework of the [inaudible] arrangement and Mr. Veer has made some very pertinent remarks in that regard.
So freedom, availability and security of the net and mainstreaming human rights into international cyber policy call for multilateral cooperation and thus the Internet has become a subject of foreign policy, not just a means of foreign policy in the sense of public diplomacy but a subject or a field of foreign policy. This, again, is easily said. But it is more difficult to define first which issues lend themselves to intergovernmental approach and secondly which are the appropriate forum. There is definitely great potential for Europe to develop common policies in this area and so I look forward to hearing from a member of European parliament Ms. Schaake who will be speaking in a few mince. I think we should engage others in the European Union some who have a different approach to human rights and with regard to the Internet quite different priorities recording cyber security, free exist information ‑‑ access to information and free expression. I myself was posted in China until a few months ago and I was living in two different cyber spaces, one in my office where I had unrestricted access to the Internet, and the second, cyberspace was just a few hundred muters away in my apartment where I had the Chinese Internet provided.
So as to the appropriate fora for Internet corporation I find the works of the Council of Europe very encouraging which in both cyber security and human rights and also because the conventions of the Council of Europe are open for signature to nonmembers of the council. Equal interesting are ongoing efforts within the OSCE to develop confidence and security building measures and within the first committee of the United Nations General Assembly to agree on norms of state behavior. The recent G‑8 summit has underscored the commitment of key governments to work on cyber issues and I hope this impetus can be carried on into broader frameworks, for instance, the G20 in particular in order to engage threshold countries.
Some next steps will be the London Cyber Conference, early November, and a cyber security conference that my Government will host in mid‑December in cooperation with civil society and academic organizations. Thank you very much for your time.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. I think it's very nice to have different statements from specific different actors within the room and we were hoping to have both civil societies and governments involved. Now we've had two Government actors, so now I'd like hand it over now, again, to civil society. Ms. Monique Doppert who is from Hivos and has been very helpful in coordinating this would like to say a few words as well.
>> MONIQUE DOPPERT: Thank you. A group of European researchers has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking cosmic speed limit, the speed of light which was set by Albert Einstein in 1905. Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with longstanding notions of cause and effect. We can only dream of the implications for the Internet as we know it. What would happen, for instance, if you could send an e‑mail to the past. If you just think about it, it's mind‑boggling.
For now let us stay in the present. It's important to know how exactly ITT tools are used because they can used for the good and bad. We need to know direct connection between repression and individual freedom, so transparency and accountability can be assured. Therefore, we need to have more knowledge and more transparency for the part of the Government but also from companies. The private sector definitely has an important role to play. I want to mention a good practice from company side. Several IT companies including major search engines have shown how seriously they've taken their corporate responsibility. One good example was Google's and Twitter's joint efforts during the Egyptian uprising this spring. They provided voice mail field to help Egyptians speak their minds when the Internet was down. They converted these voice mails into tweets so could learn the outside world what was going on. Such spontaneous corporate initiatives to tackle the Internet censorship are exemplary. Knowledge is what we need so we can act, more deep knowledge of technology that's developed, researched, exported and used. More knowledge of the facts on the ground which are not easy to acquire. With more knowledge, policymakers and NGOs and activists have a better idea of what's going on and they will be able to put more pressure on companies and hold them accountable. Especially when they're exported to repressive regimes and state companies of which we know they violate human rights like Burma, Iran, Syria. We should not be slow or naïve in this. There's no lack of ability to do this work. We should continue to access how the ICT technology and telecom services have an impact on the lives of people for good, sometimes even in a tragic way. It's like a guerilla war, it can be a matter of life and death. We need to constantly update our knowledge in this world, therefore, Hivos is open to suggestions and ideas regarding research studies like the research of Ben Wagner and projects and programmes that can contribute to this issue that is developing so rapidly though not so fast as the speed of light. And in that way we are lucky. Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much, Monique, that was a beautiful presentation. Because we have so much speakers and because there are so many people who are desperate to participate in this workshop and we wanted to integrate them all, the amount would almost allow for no audience participation at all. So at this stage I'd actually like to open up the floor and give some of the members of the audience who aren't on the speakers' list just a few minutes to ask questions of the speakers, add additional points or additional ideas of their own into this. I would be very sad if this was a workshop where we were only preaching to the choir, at the end of the day we'd have heard own voices and that was it, please. Please.
>> Excuse me, bad voice. In listening to our Dutch interlocutor, I thought I heard a general tone which favors regulation over freedom, I mean, more and more I'm getting concerned at this IGF over the tone that regulation should come before freedom, and when we talk about self‑regulation we seem to ignore that that is also regulation and it also is a danger that it's a means for governments to transfer their own responsibilities to other persons or to other groups. So I think we need to have a better balance between perceptions of what the problems are, there are legitimate governmental concerns, obviously, and governments have rights to access data for perfectly fine enforcement means on the one hand and, on the other hand, we, obviously, need to be vigilant that that's not abused. But I'm hearing from both sides a tone that I don't really appreciate. That is to say, on the one side, (inaudible) overregulation and on the other side a feeling of almost paranoid fear of Government. I think ‑‑ this is a democratic world, we need to come to a better understanding of what our relationship is. Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. Would anybody on the panel like to respond to this?
>> LIONEL VEER: Yes, thank you, thank you for your remarks, you gave the answer yourself, your intervention, mentioning the certain worries that Government rights we have and also at the end when you said in a democratic world you need some ‑‑ you need to leave things as free as possible. But we're not talking about regulation, I'm exactly aiming at nondemocratic countries. When I talk about [inaudible] it's to prevent companies without second thoughts exporting technology which then can be used by totalitarian to limit the freedom of people. It's not that I want to limit the freedom of democratic world, that's why dual use, like Monique said for the good and the bad. What we're trying to do to prevent being used for the bad in a way that would only limit say the development of democracies. Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you. Just to add to that a small point of my own which I think it's important in the context of these workshops to keep in mind that there are many different types of companies as well and while we're very grateful for those companies which are particularly helpful for supporting and promoting human rights this may not always be the case and the goal cannot be to stop the Internet industry or to end exporting of any technologies but provide incentives companies to continue what they're doing and more companies to be more responsible in what they're doing I think that's relatively clear. Moving forward, are there any further comments, questions from the floor, questions of the panelists, anything unclear the things that they've said. Seems you've already answered the questions that were there. So I'd like to continue with the next speaker, again, one of our very distinguished case Mr. Moez Chakchouk who is from the Agence Tunisienne d'Internet.
>> MOEZ CHAKCHOUK: I'm glad to be hereby. Listening to our distinguished panelists I want to say exporting the technology I say Tunisia has been a good importer for those technologies because more than 10 years or 13 years exactly the Agence Tunisienne d'Internet has importing censorship equipment, blogs, different equipments from different developed countries and fortunately those companies opposed to the ITI, for the [inaudible] articles, to not mention their names, or to not mention their affiliation with their countries so we tried to tackle that with a lot of ‑‑ with a lot of ‑‑ carefully because when you mention that, we could be in the court, and not in Tunisia, in the different countries. So what I want to mention today because of all the censorship ITI was hated by all Tunisian users, it was [inaudible] 404 as liable to say that there is a person behind the Internet that is carrying or blocking sites on Tunisia so it's a name of the person, 404 is a 404 error when you try to access a censored webpage. So during all those years ITI was not a transparent agency because all those techniques were not well‑known by the community and as I was ‑‑ I was working also in the minister resist, we don't know a lot about all of the equipments. And something important to say is the cost of those equipments. Because I ‑‑ today I'm in charge of ITI, I've been trying to transform ITI, really unbelievable to say is that the cost of those equipments is really unbelievable for an agency like ITI that want to be an Internet exchange point and all its activity has to be [inaudible] so how to tackle all those costs, and before the regime just subsidized, all those equipments, so money is available, money is provided by Tunisians to be censored so today I think ITI is doing a lot and now we're refusing censorship and we mention that a lot of times and if you Google today you'd say we find a lot of articles ITI is doing a lot to make Internet as free as possible and also to build a new framework, a new framework to promote an open Internet in Tunisia because we are aware that Internet, there's a lot of opportunities that could make the country brighter and also to promote democracy. As you know in the 23rd of October we'll have the election, the first democratic election in Tunisia so I also Internet ITI is hosting, as a neutral agency the Web site for the authority in charge of the election. And ITI is trying to make today a lot of work within the community in order to be open and in order to find solutions to how to transform those agreements, it costs a lot, we can find solution how to transform those equipment. And, as I mentioned, Ben before when he visited my office in Tunisia we are looking for from European countries and countries export the equipment to us and to support us, to transform those equipment. If you look for [inaudible] equipment, for example, they could be look for traffic analyzers, if we say there is also equipment for caching, we could cache other Web sites or other things available for Tunisia. We have a lot of ideas regarding that but what we need is support because those companies imposed a lot of money, it requires a lot of money to do the transformation work so I think that's ‑‑ I will end there. Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much for coming and also for making that extremely open and direct statement. I think it's extremely valuable in this context not only to have governments from the west or from Europe or the U.S. but also to have other countries especially those countries that have been negotiating these equipment previously and very aware of the difficulties and problems that it causes. And the first analogy that springs to mind is the Tunisian Internet at least from what I've seen is at least from a human rights point of view often like a barren field, and now we're starting to sow some of the seeds that eventually might grow and would make it slightly greener and slightly less restrictive of human rights and other rights citizens may have.
I'm not sure now whether we have the possibility of getting somebody else involved, that would be wonderful. I believe we'd like to have a remote participant now, Mrs. Rebecca MacKinnon, from the ‑‑ oh, God ‑‑ New America Foundation will be speaking now. I believe she's also a fellow at Princeton and with a bit of work this should hopefully work, Rebecca can you hear us?
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Yes, I can hear you, can you hear me?
>> BEN WAGNER: Yes.
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Wonderful. Ms., not Mrs., by the way, and I'm actually no longer in Princeton, I'm just at the New America Foundation here in Washington, D.C.
And I guess I've been asked to talk about policy responses. I think originally the plan was before I spoke Jillian York from the Electronic Frontier Foundation would have given a brief presentation about the specific countries and specific technologies that are being exported by western companies for use in censorship and surveillance in authoritarian countries. Apparently she was not available. So I would certainly recommend a report that she was involved in writing when she was at the Open Net Initiative called Net Censoring East in which she and other researchers documented the extent to which filtering software that blocks Web sites that is developed by western companies is being used throughout the Middle East to censor political content and just the extent to which that's happening and, of course, there have been a lot of reports about various western companies whose technology has been used for censorship and surveillance in Egypt. We've just heard about Tunisia. And elsewhere around the world. So in terms of the policy responses, we heard from several speakers from Europe about the responses in Europe. And the global network initiative has also been referenced as one of the policy responses and I know there's been some discussion already at the IGF about the Global Network Initiative and there are some representatives from the Global Network Initiative at the IGF but just briefly, of course, it's a multistakeholder initiative built around a code of conduct for free expression and privacy that companies sign on to and then there is a set of accountability mechanisms through which the companies work to ‑‑ work with human rights groups with socially responsible investors, with academics, these other stakeholders to figure out how to comply with the principles.
And one of the ideas with the Global Network Initiative is that because ‑‑ and the intervention from the floor I think talked ‑‑ concerns about Government regulation because every company and every technology is so different and because technology changes so fast, it's very difficult to prescribe good and bad behavior of companies through law and really keep up with reality and also not to be counterproductive because so many of these technologies can either be used for good or for bad and you don't want to prevent people in countries from using these technologies in liberating ways. And I think, as we heard from the speaker from Tunisia, how they are now hoping to use some of these technologies that used to be used for control for other purposes.
So the idea is that companies sign on to basic principles regarding free expression that ‑‑ that when encountering requests or requirements from Government to censor that they would do it in a very nimble way and a very transparent way that when encountered with requests for user information companies would also be transparent about this kind of relationship that they are required to have with Government. But companies would also carry out human rights risk assessments so that when they ‑‑ before they go into a particular market they would take into account the human rights impact of what they were doing and be, again, accountable and transparent about the impact that they are having. And the idea really is that just as companies manufacture goods are expected not to pollute, are expected to be responsible about contributing to a sustainable environment, a sustainable planet, the companies are also expected to think about sustainably how do we ensure that the Internet remains open and free and is indeed conducive to the kind of world that we all want to live in.
Now, of course, the problem with a voluntary initiative is that companies need to sign on and right now only Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have signed on to the Global Network Initiative and thus far other companies have been reluctant to join. I think as we've seen from other initiatives and other industries like the extracted industry or manufacturing, you know, with labor practices, conflict diamonds, conflict minerals, these types of things, I think oftentimes for the multistakeholder initiatives to really gain traction you need a great deal of public awareness and we're still I think at the beginning stages of investors understanding the human rights and privacy angles on what they're investing in, and the public understanding what these different companies are doing and how their consumer choices may be supporting certain kinds of behavior by companies that if they understood better they might not want to support. So there needs to be much greater public awareness, there needs to be much greater investor awareness and that will certainly help. And support by Government is also very helpful.
But there's, of course ‑‑ because so few companies have joined the Global Network Initiative, growing pressure for legislation in the United States, there is a proposed piece of legislation called the global network ‑‑ I'm sorry, the Global Online Freedom Act and it is actually, I understand from staff members in Congress, currently under revision at the moment and that a major component of the revised bill will involve export controls and as I understand, that if the U.S. company exporting hardware or software that could be used for surveillance or censorship is going to be exported to a company designated as Internet restricting, then, a red flag would be raised with respect to exports of this technology and all exports to law enforcement and end users in Internet restricting companies would require an export license with the presumption of denial of that license and it would have to be reviewed. So it would become much harder for companies to do let's say Cisco or NokiaSiemens or many other companies to sell technologies to governments for ‑‑ with the knowledge that this technology would very likely be used perhaps not only for legitimate law enforcement purposes for child protection purposes or security purposes but also for political control. So it will be interesting to see how far this legislation goes. It would also require that technology companies carry out human rights due diligence, a kind of human rights risk assessment in that they would be required to report on their human rights risk assessment to the Securities and Exchange Commission which regulates investments in the United States and also would potentially be required ‑‑ at least there's discussion that they might be required also to disclose the extent to which they are complying with censorship and surveillance in countries listed as Internet‑restricting. Again, it will be interesting in the coming year to see whether this legislation gains more traction in its revised form than it had in the past. This legislation has been kicking around the U.S. Congress really since 2006 or even earlier in various forms. And obviously there's a lot of corporate resistance to it. And also a lot of resistance from people in Congress who just feel Government should not be involved in regulating industry any further. So, again, if, in the absence of legislation that would be calibrated appropriately, voluntary initiatives are necessary but, of course, there's the problem of getting companies to sign on. And I think that if companies are not signing on and we don't have the appropriate legislation, then it's really up to consumers, it's really up to civil society, it's really up to socially responsible investors to turn up the heat and raise awareness about the role that some technology companies are playing, which is not positive, and try and create more disincentives as I think over time have been created for other negative behavior in terms of environmental or labor or human rights so we can make it more difficult for companies to assist with repression. I'll stop there.
>> BEN WAGNER: That was wonderful. Thank you very much for that overview, especially from an American perspective which we wouldn't otherwise have. Are there any questions from the floor specifically related to ‑‑ Rebecca is our key U.S. expert and I'm sure there might be other questions or suggestions.
>> Thank you, Ben. I have one question to this particular issue and to what Rebecca said. Export controls, yes, but export controls you said should aim at certain countries where the Internet is not free or is used for oppressive purposes. So what about those people in those countries we want to support? My Dutch colleague mentioned the online journalists or dissident groups. They may need advanced technology to protect themselves, to have secure communications amongst themselves or with their partners abroad. So my experience from export control is that it's very difficult to ‑‑ you ‑‑ you can define companies who are entitled to receive or not receive technology but it's very difficult to say who in this country will be the end user of the equipment so that is my question.
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Yeah, that's very true and actually the way in which export control law currently is configured in the United States has created some problems in that it's actually difficult for users in countries like Syria, for instance, to ‑‑ not Government but just activists in Syria to access certain online products because of U.S. export control with Syria. So the entire regime certainly needs to be updated. It's not working particularly well. And, of course, there is also, on the other side, you know, with some controversy U.S. Government support and there's been, you know, Congress has allocated funds to support the development, circumvention technology to help activists to get around surveillance and censorship and support training and so on. The problem is at least in some countries basically you have governments funding activists to counter technologies that are being sold to the repressive regimes by companies from the same country. So it's, you know, we're spending American tax dollars to counter some of the behavior or some of the consequences of sales of American technology to certain countries which is certainly bizarre. So certainly there are a lot of issues there.
And there's also the issue, too, and a number of people have pointed this out and I myself have written on this, just how do you ‑‑ how exactly do you define an Internet‑restricting country and where do you draw the line and what happens when suddenly you have a country that was not particularly Internet‑restricting and you have a coup or you have somebody censoring the Internet and they're not on the list. This is one of the many ways in which legislation is not always flexible enough and why ‑‑ we are trying some other approaches with more voluntary multistakeholder models, but unless the companies recognize they have a responsibility and that they ‑‑ just as they have a responsibility not to poison the planet with pollution or to exploit 12‑year‑olds, they have a responsibility toward the state of human freedom on the earth. And until companies recognize that core responsibility and agree that it makes sense for them to be held accountable and to commit to uphold this responsibility, you have a lot of problems.
>> BEN WAGNER: Wonderful, thank you very much, is there another question in the room, please.
>> This is (saying name) I'm a policy director at access [inaudible]. And I really sort of like the ‑‑ I agree a lot with the ethos of the global and freedom act and I think it's doing a lot of things that my organization has been advocating for but I think that as Rebecca rightly noted that there are some ‑‑ there are some ‑‑ is there an echo? Are we good now? Okay. I think there are a couple of, you know, questions around definition of how do we sort of define Internet sort of restrictive country and how especially from the U.S. perspective do we differentiate between U.S. allies who might be Internet restrictive and those countries who are Internet restrictive and not U.S. allies and sort of the differences and sanctions. And I think that part ‑‑ again, we see this as Rebecca mentioned Syria which has long had one of the most repressive U.S. ICT sanctions regimes and especially one of the biggest things hurting people in Syria is sort of the ban on encryption which is a dual use technology and some of us have seen news as the EU moves toward banning the export of dual use technology. And I think that's something that we need to think hard about. Designing sanctions that sort of hurt sort of the regimes that we don't like versus the people in those countries. And this is something that we ‑‑ that my organization has said to the state department as well and to treasury and commerce. But I think that part of that is Rebecca talks about the need for corporations to do impact assessments and I think there's also a need for governments to do impact assessments of export controls on a very regular basis and I think that might speak to some of the concerns and headaches that some of the Government representatives in the room might have had with export controls in the past as well. That's at four ‑‑ now my shameless plug ‑‑ four corporations that are interested in sort of learning more about how to conduct these kind of assessments and the human rights impacts of their technologies my organization with the generous support of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Mozilla, Skype, the Ford Foundation and others will be holding a Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference at the end of next month. I'll pass out our little cards here if you want and so this will be a very low stakes outcome event to have very candid conversations amongst corporations with a few select governments and civil society folks about sort of these issues and sort of getting into that conversation. Thanks.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. Rebecca, would you like to respond to that or should we take another question.
>> Rebecca will also be speaking at the event.
>> Hello, comment than question. (saying name), I won't do any [inaudible] just a general concern. We are totally concerned about exploitive technology and maybe would like to see something similar happening with our traditional arms control. Yes, we [inaudible] certain technologies and we make it simply a crime to produce or to trade in such a thing so the companies are more pushed not to do so but the problem we see is how to define that in a digital sphere. We might see deceptive technology being mutual or even positive in certain contexts. Like filtering we do not support Internet filtering at all but we recognize there are private commercial services people can buy for their own use which is not something we could forbid while filtering applied as an obligatory system run by the state it might be extremely dangerous. So we see the subtle threshold between the use of technology which makes the export laws or even the law prohibiting the user but the production of the technology extremely difficult, so that's my comment, maybe Rebecca would have ideas how to solve it. Second thing is financing that. We know that private corporations develop this kind of software that is difficult to prevent but we also have public funding going into the business especially in the EU we have currently a few projects devoted to surveillance. My suggestion would be let's start with prohibiting the public funding for that. It's difficult to control what commercial entities do, but certainly we can say we do not allow our tax going into that sort of development. Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. Rebecca, would you like to respond to that briefly?
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Sure. These issues are really tough and you're absolutely right. A lot of these filtering software suites that are used by governments in the Middle East and elsewhere as Jillian York's report points out were originally designed for schools or homes or businesses to conduct filtering at that level. They weren't originally designed for nation state level filtering but they are used that way. And there are also issues and I hear this from companies, you know, so, for instance, you sometimes hear from companies like Cisco but other companies, well, if you prevent us from doing business in a large part of the world, then our competitors from China and elsewhere will just get even more market share and whatever you think of what we do, those companies are going to comply with, you know ‑‑ are going to be doing things that are much more damaging to the free and open Internet than the western companies or the companies, I should say, that come from democratic countries. And so this is also an issue that is in the mix and one of the arguments that are made against overly broad regulation is how do you not create a situation where just in large parts of the world the technology being used by repressive regimes is developed and sold by companies that are based in other repressive regimes and that, you know, then where does that leave you.
So it's very difficult ‑‑ it's, again, why ‑‑ in an ideal world, if companies adopted a more flexible accountable framework where they're working on a case‑by‑case basis and being evaluated on a case‑by‑case basis, Nick, is this technology, is this business deal, human rights‑respecting or not, what you can do in a multistakeholder accountability framework but which is almost impossible to do in sort of a Government regulatory kind of situation, could you help deal with some of these problems. But, again, if companies won't participate then you're just left with regulation.
>> BEN WAGNER: Okay, fantastic. Thank you very much, again, for that, for those statements and those comments, I think it was extremely valuable not just to have a European perspective but also an American perspective especially from somebody who has been working on these issues so long. I think it's extremely valuable. Before we come to (saying name) I want to mention a few words, we've been discussing, again, and, again, about the quality and the nature and how much do we know and don't we know, I had the same discussion with Monique a year ago, we decided in order to know more we are going to do academic research. The research will be here in a few minutes, the publication is on the way, and there will be printed copies outside. Briefly so you have an idea of what's going on, there's ‑‑ in all of these arguments about dual use technologies, what I found surprising is often what is actually sold is not a specific box or technology as an overall system. From the research I've done so far these systems tend to be very obviously used for a certain purpose. You typically look in the handbook and you can read what it's been used for. The systems are not sold once. Very frequently these are systems that are sold with a support contract that goes five, 10 years, 15 years and the support contracts over a period of time are not necessarily inflexible. So there's ‑‑ suggesting there's a lack of knowledge in companies that are providing these systems and suggesting there's a lack of ability by these companies to in any way influence them after they've been sold is not exactly correct from the research I've done so far. Rebecca already mentioned the excellent report by Jillian York and (saying name) which was published in the Open Internet Initiative. It's also cited and listed in the publication which will hopefully arrive in a few minutes, so you can look it up there and make sure you read it because it's very much worth reading. Based on that I tried to develop a little bit further, while there is a very, very close investigation especially of the software elements it's a little bit light on the hardware elements. There's a lot of space discussed to look further. As Moez mentioned, I spent some time traveling in Tunisia speaking to different ISPs but also speaking to people who were selling these technologies in Europe. And what I found quite extraordinary in this process is that many of the people involved in these technologies are quite open about their own concerns and feel the burden of exporting these things as well. These are not emotionless people who export purely for profit although such people may exist but my typical encounter was people who were concerned, who were of course trying to make a profit based on a certain business model but still recognized there were concerns and difficulties, I think simply when we hear that confidentiality agreements are enforced, this is a first and simple step that can be taken in this direction to ensure we have more knowledge about these issues. I think I can leave it to Moez, right after Marietje finished to mention a few more points specifically about Tunisia and some of the issues there. I think the overall human rights impact in Tunisia but also beyond Tunisia of these technologies is significant. Over the last few months, following the Arab spring there have been reports in almost every news organization that I can think of, about Iran, technology that is used there, that's very well known, but also in Egypt, in Bahrain, beyond Bahrain, Libya which also had these technologies and then there's been lots of suggestions that other technologies have been exported to different parts of the Middle East and to many autocratic regimes in other parts of the world without us knowing exact more details. There's certainly need for more research and more information there so we can build stable and durable policies on this.
It's notable although the argument is made and Rebecca mentioned it again there would of course be concern if we were in a situation where autocratic states produced their own autocratic technologies, this is frequently mentioned as great concern. In all the countries I've been do, people I've spoken to, things I've seen so far, this is almost never the case. I found one example in Libya where a small part of the system was developed, I believe, by a Chinese company but in all other cases we're talking about European and North American companies, we're almost always talking about countries you wouldn't typically expect to have a certain perspective on human rights and Internet freedom and I think as a result of that there's also as Martin Fleischer from the German foreign ministry mentioned earlier as we're good at producing these technologies there also comes a certain responsibility. I don't want to go too much into detail the report will hopefully be available in a few minutes so you can take a copy. I think from the corporate governance there have been some you solutions and ideas. I'm unsure whether pure self‑regulation has been suggested here will be sufficient to deal with let's say the worst or the most difficult companies whose sole business model is to follow activists to surveil people who are directly involved in certain types of human rights defense and I think that might be extremely difficult but at the same time there's all sorts of public policy solutions that have popped up in recent months, years even, mainly since what happened in Iran and I think at this point it might be particularly useful to hear more from Ms. Schaake, the Dutch MAP because she's been at least to my knowledge right at the forefront in the European parliament and we'd be grateful to hear a little bit more from her.
Marietje, can you hear us? Marietje, can you hear us? You may be muted, your microphone may be muted. But we can hear the echo which is strange. But we can hear the echo, which is strange. In the meantime, it would be helpful (sound distortion) I've done a little work in Tunisia and seen some things there but, of course, there are people here who have far more experience on the Tunisia situation so I would like Moez to mention concerns that extend from the Tunisian context, be helpful for us to understand the difficulties with these technologies.
>> MOEZ CHAKCHOUK: Those countries also experience during all of those years the technology before they brought them to Middle East countries. So Tunisia was a lap for the major of those companies and after the revolution, as you know censorship equipment was disabled [inaudible] but unfortunately by May, by the end of May there was two cases, the first is brought by two lawyers in saying that okay we have to censor all pornography sites. And we appealed that decision to the court and now we are working on it and it's something that we ‑‑ we don't agree that censorship have to be done without a legal framework, a clear law in Tunisia and we don't have any law regarding censorship so that's why we are pursuing those cases with the court and now it is in the highest court.
The other cases is one Government or company that put a case against ATI, censor one Facebook page, it was strange, because we are two governmental companies, one is we're working under ‑‑ there is a webpage ‑‑ Facebook page dealing with some information regarding a company and saying we have to filter it. It's strange but now we're going to court and hope that we again for that ‑‑ the judge can do whatever. So I just want to mention that ‑‑ about those cases that ITI is really having a lot of pressure from the court, from also the community, the Internet community, and since all those equipments are there I think that we'll have more problems in the future because the Government maybe have laws and ask the ATI to filter again so this is very bad for us because we don't want to be a centralized agency or Internet exchange point for dual censorship in the future. We want ISPs in the future, if there is some parental control software, for example, or other filtering, filtering Internet it will be done by the ISPs and not by an automatic exchange point as ATI.
>> Thank you.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you, Moez, as I mentioned in Tunisia, thank you for making a bold and encouraging statement. It's beautiful to see what's happening in Tunisia at the moment and I can only hope both within this room and beyond it Moez and other people in Tunisia find the support they need to continue on this path because I think it's an extraordinary path. Thank you. Are there any direct questions to what Moez says? If not, we'd like to try with Ms. Marietje Schaake again if it's possible to correct with her and get her participation. Marietje, can you hear me?
Okay I'm very sorry to say that that doesn't seem to be working. We would have been very grateful to have that and it would have been very helpful to have the statement. I'm not sure ‑‑
>> BEN WAGNER: Unmute it. Unmute me. Dixie's been dealing with this. Can we hear Marietje? No, we can't hear Marietje. That's a shame. If you hit unmute you may be.
>> I did.
>> BEN WAGNER: Okay. Then thanks for trying. It would have been great to hear this statement. We have a short clip if we can put it in later, Marietje did a fantastic interview with Bloomberg touching on the important issues related to the topics we discussed here about a month ago, if we have a few minutes at the end I'd like to try and show this video as a type of statement because I think it's very important to see, especially as the parliament has started this initiative on Tuesday and has been very active in this field, this would be very valuable and I'd like to give the floor to Luca Beli from better ICT just to describe his initiative for a few minutes, I think it would be very valuable in the field. The floor is yours.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you, Ben. It's an honor to be a part of this high‑level panel. I'm Luca Beli, I am a Ph.D. candidate at (saying name) University in Paris. I'm an ambassador but here today I'm speaking on behalf of better ICT, so better ICT is a new group of researchers, scholars, and Ph.D. students as well as also some young Ph.D. students, we are also young scholars for better ICT, ICT global. We deal mainly with ICT‑related issues from an ethical perspective and so, first of all, when one speaks about ethical perspective one has to highlight what could be ethics so ethics is from one standpoint the kind of idea, goal, that every regulation should strive from and from another perspective a kind of set of moral standards that are rooted in responsibility and accountability. So speaking about the ICT exportation one has to ask itself are the ICT ethical per se and the answer is pretty obvious ICT are neither ethical or unethical, they are neutral, I think they are kind of double use technology so what is ethical or unethical is the use that has been done to date of these ICTs. So speaking about exportation of this ICT one can think that as they are neutral tools, the exportation could be a neutral activity. But the issue here is that when companies export this ICT they can reasonably expect a authoritarian regimes to use them for violation. In this case it is not a neutral activity but it is an unethical activity because it has no consequences in terms of accountability and responsibility. So here ‑‑ when we deal with these issues we try to give some suggestion for a possible path and let's say that there is a sort of grid weighted approach to this issue that is based on let's say two phases. The first phase is based on corporate social responsibility and we can say there is a corporate ethical responsibility. So companies should be pushed to adopt some self‑regulation to offer a sense of global principles operated by Global Network Initiative and ‑‑ but that is just a transitional phrase, self‑regulation could be seen as a way to pass the buck and to let private sector regulates. But let's say the second phase, the final goal is to create a legal framework that could ‑‑ that could be based on incentive for ethical companies and penalization of unethical companies. So this kind of legal framework could be seen as the ideal of ethics that becomes real. So as a conclusion I would say that this is the right place to try to think about and this kind of legal framework to interact with different natured stakeholders. And finally, I think that we should urge European regulators and North American regulators to give an example and to try to create such a legal framework. So, well, I'm done and thank you for your attention.
>> BEN WAGNER: Wonderful, thank you very much again for this, I think it's very helpful from different parts of civil society, we've had the U.S., the European perspective but perspective from young scholars who in many cases have worked on this not that long but have incredibly new and refreshing ideas, I think that's very valuable as well. I believe we're going to maybe think about trying Marietje again or if not there may be comments or questions from the floor. If there are immediate questions I'll be happy to take them now otherwise we'll try to switch to Brussels.
>> (saying name), BCS. I'd like to support what the last speaker said. I think the most practice way forward for dealing with dual use technologies is to have them included in the CSR statements of major companies because this at least gives transparency and enables people to know if they have knowingly given them to a state as a whole system for suppression as opposed to the technology such as encryption or filtering which has a good use being used by individuals or indeed the state for a valid purpose.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much. I think now we'd like to try, again, for the third time and hope that this ‑‑
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Can you hear me through the phone?
>> BEN WAGNER: We can and we can also hear your video which we're going to pause. I'm sure it will be fine.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Okay, because it's now going text, I think.
>> When human rights are violated with their tools and at least we need to know what's going on in order to make the right policy decision. The bigger picture is absolutely important. Iran has been the focus of attention for many of us but there are so many ‑‑
>> BEN WAGNER: Can we try, again, now? I think we can hear you properly.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Yes, I can hear you all just fine.
>> BEN WAGNER: Wonderful, thank you for taking the time to make this work.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Can you see me or no?
>> BEN WAGNER: We can see you, yes.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Okay. So perhaps I can start off with a few brief words of introduction because this has already been such an interesting panel and I would of welcome questions from the audience. We've heard about exports in a more literal sense such as in the case of dual use items which have been highlighted by the previous speakers. I do work on this in the EU when it comes to export and trade. The turnaround has to be proactive which is reactive which we are now. It's understanding that policy making is slow especially compared to the speed of technological developments but we should therefore consider human rights assessments also in the R&D phase and demand more transparency on the part of companies to see what is actually developing. Rebecca MacKinnon discussed due diligence, codes of conduct and self‑regulation which I think are very important but they do need to be monitored and enforced and democratic oversight is a part of the equation, I believe, and we must ensure a separation of powers and oftentimes unfortunately we also see that existing laws are not even really enforced or stuck to.
On the other hand, there are companies who are proactive and these are most often companies who have a reputation to care about so companies that do sell consumer goods, for example, in the west, they care if they are called out on their respect for human rights but there is, of course, also companies that sell merely to governments or state owned businesses or state security services which don't have such a reputation to lose or to maintain and don't have a direct relation with consumers and these are the kinds of companies that are mostly described in the report that was highlighted west sense soaring east. We see these companies actually refuse to disclose any information at all, they do a good job to hide their spinoffs, their shareholders and when asked the argument is often that the privacy and the confidentiality of their customers is most important to them.
To that end and to get more transparency I'm working on an [inaudible] on the EU level. I asked for this formally after what happened in Egypt when Vodafone was a part of the total shutdown of Internet and mobile services there as a western company but there are many, many more examples of which we don't know enough and I think there's part of an EU [inaudible] and if it can't be do through the European Commission we'll do it in the European parliament. Besides export and these trade issues I think there's more sort of subtle notion of influence, responsibility and accountability online. Countries but also companies have these responsibilities when it comes to the freedom of people and we often hear a so‑called distinction between open and closed societies where there's a notion that there are dictatorships on the one hand and democracies take place and repression takes place in dictatorships and democracies are open but that line is blurring. We've seen a number of examples in the United Kingdom after the riots but also in the United States when it comes to copyright enforcement where it's really questionable what kind of measures are used for enforcement purposes for national security arguments. And the line between open and closed societies is actually much more blurry online. And so our credibility, our centres in Europe, in the United States are increasingly important. We see responses from countries like China and Iran, when we, in the west, when our governments invoke national security to take certain measures through technologies or, actually, in the streets. And I believe that this credibility should be considered more extensively. On the one hand we hear policies support the Internet freedom while, on the other hand, it has been mentioned western made technologies are responsible for the limitations to that freedom. And, yes, companies and decision makers as well as NGOs and people on the ground have to work together to share experiences, concrete complications on the ground to share knowledge as well. I have to say unfortunately on part of decision makers the knowledge about technologies and the consequences of the use against people and their rights are often unknown. At the same time, the realm or the territory of responsibility and law making is still in the nation state or sometimes in multilateral fora but it's very much based on the territory of countries and that doesn't overlap with the territories on the World Wide Web and there are some challenges and I think we'll see more of those. There are discussions in the United States about the developing IP act is an example. Where some are proposing the United States would have the responsibility or even the authority to take down Web sites outside of its territory. And now that may make sense to some people in the entertainment industry or others who seek to enforce copyright, but when you turn this equation around and you would imagine that Chinese lawmakers would adopt a law that would make it okay for China to shut down Web sites in the United States for several reasons then we're opening a Pandora's box which I think can have a number of very dangerous consequences so all in all I think we must expand the space of freedom on the Internet both in sort of a wider sense or to make it more inclusive to more people but also in‑depth in our own societies and I was very happy that Frank LaRue, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression highlighted these rights aspects of people's fundamental rights in his most recent reports because although technologies are changing our lives and providing us with both opportunities but also challenges and threats we must remember that it's after all people's human rights that don't change regardless of these technologies. I'll say two more things and then I'll end. One I want to highlight a trend that I think is worrying, it's an overemphasis on cyber security which means a lot of different things to different people and it may well be used to be the next sort of blanket excuse to enforce all kinds of measures and while it's only been recently that we commemorated the 10‑year anniversary of 9/11, I think we have important lessons to learn for how the war on terror spun out of control and eventually under the premise of security, which is important, we all think terrorism is dangerous, we did conclude after 10 years that actually some of the freedoms were limited in the course of rolling out these measures and I think we should never make the same mistakes when it comes to the cyber security discussion. So what I'm trying to do here on the EU level is to streamline and mainstream Internet treatment in trade, foreign and defense policies, on Europe's digital agenda when it comes to copyright online and free speech issues, so I think the EU level in this globally connected world makes a lot of sense and I hope all the Europeans who are present there in Kenya will also consider joining efforts and working on the EU level. We need your leadership to expand this space to the EU, 500348 citizens ‑‑ 500 million citizens. I'm committed to an EU global online freedom policy or EU GOFA, you can contact me if you're interested in working together on that. Let me end there and take your questions, thank you, and I'm glad that the sound connection was finally established.
>> BEN WAGNER: Wonderful, thank you very much. I think that was both inspiring and extremely interesting and I'd like to ask if there's any questions from the audience who would like to comment or ask questions specifically regarding the last presentation. People from the EU, of course, please.
>> Louise Bennett, BCS. Several times here, myself and other people from the U.K. have heard people suggesting that our Government shut down the Internet and social networking sites during the riots and that is completely untrue. All that happened was that in the riots in August this year, there were a lot of criminal gangs who were organizing looters through social networking sites. And the police and others considered how to deal with this. The sites were never shut down, there was never any suggestion that it should be and I think it's very important the record is set straight.
>> BEN WAGNER: Marietje, would you like to respond to this?
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Hello?
>> BEN WAGNER: We can hear you.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Yeah, but I'm afraid I couldn't hear the question, I only heard the last two words.
>> BEN WAGNER: That's not particularly helpful ‑‑ could you repeat what your question was, that would be helpful.
>> It wasn't a question, it was a question of fact. The U.K. Government never shut down social networks and the Internet during the riots, they merely looked at the best way of dealing with criminal gangs who were organizing looters to steal things and they concluded very quickly that shutting down social networks and so on was not an appropriate response.
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: Well, good, I'm glad that that's agreed that that's not appropriate.
>> BEN WAGNER: Are there any further questions of Marietje? Sam, please.
>> Sam Gregory from Witness. Marietje, is there a way in which we can be engaging with governments like China or Israel that also have, you know, significant technology industries that may be developing types of dual use technologies like this, what is the way to engage that, is there any mode of engagement or does this exclusively have to come from the EU and the U.S.?
>> MARIETJE SCHAAKE: No, of course, it would be great if we can expand that ‑‑ that space but it's, of course, more difficult for people like myself to have influence in different countries but I do think that trade agreements can be a way to set a rough framework for values. Oftentimes when the EU has a trade agreement with a third country there are requirements for adhering to democratic standards, labor practices, human rights and other kind of fundamental freedoms in that agreement and the only problem with those is and I mentioned that briefly in my introduction that sometimes these conditionalities as we call them are in place but they're hardly ever enforced so I think it would be great to explore what options we have vis‑à‑vis like China and I don't think it's that many but we should engage on the subject and discuss because I did recently speak with some visitors from China who did mention that social media and the connectivity and the access to information through new media has been revolutionary in China and it may be a slower process than we would like but a lot of people see that despite the censorship which is worrying and despite centralized access that new technology does have eventually a progressive impact on freedoms.
>> BEN WAGNER: Thank you very much, Marietje. Because we were just quickly discussing the British Government and setting the record straight a short point I had the displeasure both of being in London during the riots and experiencing a week later a speech by the British prime minister. And for all of the many interesting and good things that were said in the statement he also used the words "phoney human rights" which I found in the context of the statement that he made quite difficult. And I had a very interesting experience while I was here with the IGF coordinating a dynamic coalition of freedom of expression of having a Chinese delegate in the room who informed me and was very open to me about the sympathy that the Chinese Government had for this statement because they were sympathetic to these ideas and they very public about the sympathy. I think we may need to set the record on the facts but as Marietje was saying it's not just about the precise lines of the policy and not about the exact paragraph but also a statement to the outside world of the values we hold dear and if we're not prepared to commit to holding these values dear both in how we do things and also how we speak about them then these are very likely to be misinterpreted and there are many countries in the world that would be grateful and be happy to go on the bandwagon. I think we have a statement from Rebecca MacKinnon who would like to add a few words to what Marietje said.
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: I would echo what Marietje said. Internet freedom really does begin at home and if we really do aspire to having a regulatory framework that will promote global Internet freedom we need to start by making sure that in our own democracies in the United States and Europe in India, in South Korea, you know, everywhere that, you know, it's very easy for legislators to promote legislation that will help promote freedom abroad but then when you have some of the same legislators calling for the Global Online Freedom Act which are also supporting things like the IP act and cyber security matters that would make anonymity much more difficult, dissent much more difficult, measures that will erode the accountability of the relationship between Government and companies at home, it becomes much more difficult and much less credible to enact any kind of legal framework that's going to have any meaning.
>> BEN WAGNER: I think that's a wonderful final statement. Are there any further last comments or words? In which case I'd like to wrap up the workshop. Thank you, everybody very much for coming. There will hopefully at some point this worth developed. As it's here not now I assume it will be placed at the APC stand down stairs and you can pick it up there. Thank you very much especially to our remote participants. For Rebecca and Jillian who couldn't make it they got up in the middle of the night in U.S. time to be able to speak here. Thank you very much. Thank you, Marietje from Brussels and the speakers here who took time to give extremely valuable opinions on the topic, so yes.