>> Okay. Full house is good. Oh, yes, there are. Okay. So good morning. Thank you, everyone for coming. Oh, sorry. Check. Can we do a check with the mic?
>> This one is working.
>> Hello. Yeah.
(speaking non English language)
>> Good morning. Thank you for coming to the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, it's wonderful to be talking about a title when we have entitled, when death threats go viral, defending Human Rights in the face of orchestrated harassment campaigns in the social media was Amnesty International Article 19, and Mexico bloggers Karisma foundation and we're very happy to see we have Google here. I will introduce the panelists but first make a very, very important comment about today. This meeting marks seven years since the Coalition charters or Human Rights and internet. Two copies in front of me are here for viewing. We have it in nine languages and it is being used by different stakeholders to make it clear on not only Human Rights advocacy but also for judiciaries, intergovernment organizations, educational institutions, grass roots organizing. So coming to today.
Considering that Human Rights have been formally recognized at the UN level that all Human Rights existing offline should also apply online, this is the UN Human Rights Council's resolution of 2014, it is now time for concrete discussions on the roles and responsibilities of online service providers as well as regulators to ensure that human rights are protected and fulfilled in the online environment. So this meeting is one of our opportunities to provide a place where we can discuss the local Human Rights issues of we are in Mexico and Latin America, and to work on, start thinking about concrete solutions that will enable Human Rights online to be protected in the same way as they are offline by law. So that brings us to today.
The first two thirds of this meeting will be this roundtable discussion and that will take about an hour and then please stay for the final half‑hour where we will look at work of the IRP Coalition and think about the next step. Invited Human Rights experts and activists and/or online service provider representative from Google and we're going to be looking at issues such as cyber harassment and other emerging forms of techno censorship and particularly, we're looking at how online service providers, regulators in Civil Society can manage these threats to ensure that people can converse, congregate and learn in an environment that is safe but also doesn't impede on the right of freedom of expression and right to information. So these are complex issues, ethical, legal.
I'll turn it over to our members and we're going to look at these trends particularly with respect to Mexico and others in Latin America. Let me introduce our panel. We have a large panel, it is a roundtable. Before I introduce each person in turn, the request is that each initial comment is brief so that we can get as much interaction as possible. We have some slides so we can show you exactly what we're talking about.
So, first of all, we have Tanya O'Carroll from Amnesty International. To her right, we have Alberto Escorci. We have Paulina Gutierrez, Amalia Toledo, and we are very happy to see Marcel Leonardi from Google, and here in the front we have Hanane Boujemi. I'll turn it over to. If you have questions for the audience, first let us speak to the roundtable. Please, for the record, say who you are. Please keep your interventions short so we have time for everyone and if we have remote participation we will see as well. So thank you very much. Tanya.
>> TANYA O'CARROLL: Thank you and good morning everyone. I want to say thanks to the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition for allowing us to have this space because I've been working in Mexico this year for six months with Amnesty International's regional basis. I'm normally based in London and I was working a lot with Alberto and Paulina in particular on what I think is a really striking and very, very concerning new trend that is very, very clear here in Mexico but I think is also rearing its head in many other countries around the world and it would have been a real shame to not share some of their experiences about how they're tackling this issue because I think us in Civil Society but also regulators, governments and companies are yet to really grasp the extent and trail of what this trend looks like and how we can begin to actually fight back against it and what those kind of solutions look like.
So what am I talking about? I'm talking about massive orchestrated disinformation campaigns run by troll farms. I think when we talk about harassment and abuse, we've traditionally thought about it as the troll who spent some time ‑‑ traditionally against women and activists. To me, this is it not what we're talking about. We're talking about a market of misinformation, a commercialization of disinformation tactics, of defamation tactics and of hate speech, very violent death threats an that's something we're seeing here in Mexico. And who are these actors? It's very difficult to know and that's one of the things we'll be talking about today but what we do know is they are small PR companies that have sprung up in the last four years in Mexico and they sell a range of services to whoever will pay them. They're professionalized trolls.
Alberto can talk more about this but one troll operator might be doing over 50 accounts for pay. We can promise to make your topic a trending topic, Mr. Government. We can get your issue ‑‑ they run propaganda much but also spread fake news, they make up ‑‑ they feed lies and scandals at prominent voices in Mexico so activists and journalists particularly, human rights groups as well. It's a whole ecosystem, not just trolls on Twitter, a whole ecosystem of fake blogs that are operating with a commercial background and benefiting people profiting from it. So what can we do about it? I just want to very quickly before I hand it over to you guys, the Human Rights impact of this is serious not only because it has a chilling effect. Obviously this is just a reflection in the online space of what happens offline. Death threats.
Anyone who knows anything about Mexico knows the situation for Human Rights in this country is very grave. It's one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist and now we're seeing that transported into the online environment. Just an example of that, there's a journalist who recently told me she was thinking of leaving Twitter. She said, it's not self‑censorship, it's self‑protection. That really sums it up, that the chilling effect comes from the fact that these spaces, including Twitter, are no longer safe spaces so speak out about Human Rights violation, but at least we can see them and report them to Twitter's process of reporting harassment. What's the more and maybe even more concerning side of all of this is the defamation which is so hard to put a finger on.
I'll give you an example. There were two leaked phone calls. The first made it sound like he was receiving money from cartels. The second made it sounds like he was making racial slurs. He is a prominent Human Rights lawyer in this country, an incredibly important part of the case and getting justice for those families and what happened? Just at the moment when they were about to release a very important investigation, they had done a very huge independent investigation, just at that time, the leaked phone calls were released. What happened? One of the biggest papers in Mexico ran a spread for two days straight on their home page about this scandal. It was picked up across the news.
The trolls went crazy on Twitter and at the time when we should have been talking about this case, it was a huge distraction tactic which took away from his team's ability to do their work, to do their advocacy around the case. In the press conference, people only wanted to talk about the scandal and I think that kind of defamation every day, and it is every day in Mexico. Not just Mexico. In Russia, Turkey. I think in the last few weeks we've seen similar ‑‑ not the same, because they're not yet, the Trump election. Orchestrated defamations where online and social media are no longer independent spaces.
Huge chilling effect and it's a trend we've yet to really grasp. I want to stop there because I don't want to speak too long and Alberto is going to show you how the trolls work no Mexico and then pass on to Paulina. We forgot to mention we hoped there was simultaneous translation and there isn't, so we'll have to do an on the cuff thing.
>> ALBERTO GUTIERREZ: We will try. I'm going to tell a little story about why there's so much techno censorship and where these practices are in Mexico. This is the battle between the pot ticks of the techno politics and techno censorship, what he's calling a battle. Oh, great. Oh, Okay.
People have been organizing since 2009, which began with an ‑‑ and since then, mobilizations and organizations online and media platforms are becoming and have been crucial. The last that had at least 8 million followers, it was ‑‑ it's a hashtag that was assigned to a public official investigating the case in Mexico.
They have to be a really important mobilizing force because the internet was the main way that there were protests organized. Behind our story of how they were using the internet in a positive way was another story, the dark side. So the response of certain interests in Mexico really began to fight back and claim the spaces starting in 2012 where 30,000 bots suddenly appeared on the network. They've evolved their tactics using very complex tactics now. Basically, they appear more like real people instead of spam bots. So then in 2014 ‑‑ did you say 2014? Mexico, obviously, becomes very well known for buying and taking back control of the social networks. And then when he thought it couldn't get any worse, we see another third stage using massive attacks on social media. Your phone would be ringing 200 times with updates showing images of dead people with death threats going viral. Every year they've evolved their tactics. I've just come back from a period in Spain and I don't want to imagine what is going to come next for 2017 and how these tactics are going to keep evolving.
We're going to see these tactics ‑‑ Ashley, can you translate? I didn't get it quite right.
>> Okay, what is happening in Mexico, Alberto said that it is something that's going to evolve and happen all around the world now that with Trump's victory and Russia involved in all these technology on elections because in 2017 and 2,018 receive will have presidential elections in Mexico. It's not just an issue on the anybody. These have real examples in real world, and these going to show examples. The president of Mexico visits London in 2,013. The center is the activists and journalists recovering his journey to London and protesting it.
The red belt around the edge is how many ‑‑ 20,000 bots who were basically trying to sabotage the protests, the organic protest that was happening on the network and suppress it. So now they're using a mixture of the bots. This is the next example, which was already mentioned, this is the wave of protests that handicapped in 2014 against ‑‑ now they're not just spam bots. I'll just add one thing. Spam bots are just empty tweets. Somebody running a lot of accounts sending empty tweets in order to kind of block the channel of the protesters, just to push out and suppress information, get things pushed out because Twitter then blocks them. They've now evolved their tactics in 2014 using a mixture of the bots with these kind of controls which are real people, which are much harder to block.
That's 65,000 bots. So that center bit is where the battle is happening between the bots which are the green bit and the protests who are just organic social movements using the hashtag #llamecanse. So the collective intelligence of the organic network, the people who are just protesting, realize what was happening when they were being flooded with this huge orchestrated attack, so they adapted. They created #llamecansedos, a new hashtag. This was in 2014 when we still thought we could win the battles by adapting. But last year, there was another evolution in 2015. They moved from the internet into the street starting with threats online and then became physical threats. She's a journalist. She received 2,000 death threats through Twitter.
Receiving them on the streets, and people coming to her house, following her. Of course, we're going to keep on adapting and looking for ways to express ourselves online. But, we need everybody to know about this and for there to be a force around the world in order to try and address it because at the moment, we are using the ‑‑ losing the battle. I'll finish with this little ‑‑
Okay, he's asking, I'm calling the international community to put their eye on Mexico and how this is happening and it's going to happen all around the world and he's very thankful for letting him talk in this panel
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: I will now ask Paulina to take the floor on Article 19.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you. I also want to thank very much to the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, Tanya, for letting us talk here because Mexican Civil Society, not only Article 19 as a Mexican office have not had therapy opportunity to talk at IGF so we're really thankful for that and thank you for listening. And I would like to begin mentioning the first paragraph of a public statement that we did these Mexican Civil Society organizations. We want to maximize Human Rights first with violation of women and the murder of 99 journalists. This year, we had the most high number of journalists murdered, we have ten journalists and happening in total and complete impunity and when impunity rules is when online becomes crucial.
In such context, online and offline are connected and in Mexico we're seeing a growing number of additional effects, not only these covering that traditional media is not covering and grass roots. Also online threats against journalists, Human Rights defenders, and this is actually an attempt to restrict democracy. We have documented 30 cases in 2015 of attacks. There are malware offenses, attempts to attack journalists and Human Rights defenders. This has become a category of new norms of violence against these actors, particularly affecting women where physical and integrate violence are interrelated and interchangeable. So these threats that Alberto just exposed are the most common aggressions against journalists and women today.
This year, we are documenting them and we are aware that this is a real challenge because as Civil Society, we need to build a technical capacity because big teams commonly come to us and wish to know what the IP address of the people and they are also attacking their anonymity and it's not that anonymity is a bad thing but also we need the prosecution tore effective and if we're in a country where impunity is the rule, how are we going to manage this. And actually. What we have is where prosecutors think that online attacks are not important. So we really believe in article 19 that a death threat or a rape threat that is becoming viral online cannot be less than any other crime that happens in the offline world and that is something that we have been pushing and trying to raise awareness of. So I would like to end with n, and thank you a lot again for sharing the panel.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you. We're not going to turn to Amalia. Thank you. And I'll give her this roaming mic.
>> AMALIA: Good morning and thank you for inviting me to this panel. Are you listening to me? Yes? Okay. Just a few things we share with Mexico is Human Rights crisis as well in Columbia. High rates of impunities and what is different is we have been ‑‑ for 50 years so this situation makes us different than Mexico although we share all of these. This has undermined Human Rights very deeply and one thing are big cities and other thing is where the conflict is still alive, where people really feel the country. So additionally to this context, we have to make clear that internet connection is very different from depending from where you are in the country. So that's made a huge difference with Mexico in terms of we haven't identified this harassment campaign. That goes beyond using bots.
However, in the last presidential election, we suspect that one of the candidates use a service of hacker to influence through bots and fake accounts on social media the public opinion. So in a matter of maybe a few months, we're probably going to see stuff like the ones we ahead here from our colleagues here. I'm pretty sure, because whatever is identified in one Latin American country is going to happen or is already happening in the other countries so I'm pretty sure we're very soon going to identify these trends. But, you know, they are in conflict is affecting especially Human Rights activists and journalists, but now we are seeing happening in Mexico is increasing, that is totally different thing that is happening now in Columbia. This year, more than 60 Human Rights defenders has been killed. The reason on that of human rights violence, on Human Rights defenders has increased while journalism is decreasing.
While we think here is that you cannot say that their activism online is not affecting or not putting more pressure on these groups because it is. But the thing is that as I say, internet connection is different when you go to these difficult places in Columbia. Where you are in an area that is directly affected by the armed conflict, the penetration is very low so activists are not necessarily, we cannot put the fault in a way to internet because not necessarily.
They are not using and grass roots organizations are not necessarily using technology and the internet as a way of doing activism, but those that are doing it are not aware of the risks so they are more vulnerable an those that are not using it. But in addition, we have identified in Karisma in the work we have done with journalists, with women journalists, that the threats for them are way more higher than the ones for male or men journalists and the discourse or the narrative is because they are not only journalists, but they are a woman. So they are getting more threats that are related with their personal relationship, with their appearance, with their supposedly lack of capacity, for being woman. And when someone, when a woman is being very critical to any subject of interest in the country, she is going to be slaughtered, basically, online. But we still haven't identified a campaign online just to attack a person or organization, but I'm pretty sure that it's a matter of time that this is happening because it's already ‑‑ we have the suspect and this hasn't been proved completely but this election as I say was using these of kind of services so we've seen this is going to happen and we have to join forces so look for solutions to this.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Okay thank you very much. Let us turn to our panelist Marcel Leonardi from Google. Thank you very much.
>> MARCEL LEONARDI: Thank you for inviting me. It's very good to be on a panel that is so diverse. It's rare where men are the minority, so thank you for putting that together, as well. Sadly. Now one thing about public policy. I work for public policy in Brazil and sadly the situation is not that different. You may have heard reports of journalists being murdered, websites being taken down and all of the campaigns against specific public Twitter. But we do believe that technology can help a little bit. Not sure how many of you are familiar with a project that we launch in Latin America called Project Shoot. If you haven't visited that, the website, projectshoot.withgoogle.com. Basically it's a program that allows journalists and website users to use Google technology to protect their sites from the DOS attacks.
Basically one tactic we have seen rather than reports or any kind of profit systems we actually see powerful figure trying to censor blogger and websites in general using DOS attack. I specifically remember one case in Brazil where a prominent figure wanted to censor a specific website against his views, his ideals. Essentially, he asked several lawyers how much it would cost, and then suddenly nobody heard from him again. What happened was he actually found a couple of people to actually attack the site with the DOS attacks and he was even caught on press saying, yeah, it was cheaper than that than to go through the legal process. It's a real problem. Anyone can apply as long as you qualify as news or blogger or news organization, harder to identify these days. Something they're willing to identify that exists for people.
The second example from Brazil which we noted addressed the point that was addressed earlier was the issue of self‑censor ship. Basically, a lot of people were afraid for their lives as was mentioned here so people not only just leave social media, they abandon YouTube channels. They stop publishing. You think, what happened to them? Maybe they got tired of publishing. No. They got threats. The threats can be of several different consequences. What I mean by that is what we see is lots of lawsuits being filed by several different people against its same blogger, journalist, Twitter account. And what ends up happening is obviously that person is buried under the cost of the legal proceedings. Basically, he or she cannot really have the means to fight back in Court so we're starting giving support to organizations in the region as well that are able to fight back and actually cover the costs of those legal proceedings for some of these folks as well. So this is something I wanted to highlight real quickly. I know people want to go into the debate so thanks for having me.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much. So we can now open to the floor. Do people have comments or questions from the floor to our panelists or anything that would like to add to the information we're sharing here? Yes thank you. Could you just say your name for the record?
>> MARCEL LEONARDI: My name is Marcel. I work for ‑‑ actually, what Amalia was saying right now was just recently at the peace agreement elections. The campaign spread a lot of misinformation. For example, they said that they get picture where president Santos was with the leader and they put a fake message and that image became viral. Also, with the internet, the low internet penetration, they really know what we're doing because in the towns like, they spread like different message according to the regions. In some regions, they say, oh, we're going to become same as Venezuela and using the accent, and also targeting for example, if the internet penetration were low, they were using like radio stations, local radio stations to spread misinformation.
So we are also seeing that happening very recently in Columbia with the peace agreement. And they won. They won with a lot of misinformation.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thanks very much. So a very strong theme that is coming out is how sophisticated these strategies and tools are becoming and they're in fact using a commercial approach called localization to be very aware ‑‑ globalization to be very aware of global differences and very targeted and very clever. Are there any more comments or examples from the floor? I think it would be very useful today to gather information for the official transcript. Thank you. Please your name for the record, and where you're from.
>> HASMAN: Yeah, it's Hasman from Nepal. I'm an executive board member of Freedom Forum so what I am thinking of is, we have lots of access and lots of technology with internet but when, like a journalist, I am a political journalist, so now we are very scared to spread real news because everybody is threatening us and we have kind of self‑censorship. The self‑censorship gives you a very sad story that they are able to give a real story, real news. Because of the, all the penetration and all the impunity activities throughout the journalism practices. Thank you.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much. Very important point. So this also is happening in Nepal. Any other comments? Thank you from the floor.
>> Hi, my name is ‑‑ I'm in Glascow, Scotland, but now in the center of policy. Some of the thinking has the panelists highlighted a fact that cyber space is no longer a separate space as it used to be perceived. It's very much a part of the real world and what makes it even more difficult from a Human Rights perspective is the control. Actually, 24 hour activity. So just to give an example, bullying is not new. Children have always been bullied at schools but that used to stop, before the internet, when the child came back home. But this now carries into the bedroom. The examples you were talking about from Mexico, that the 24 hour onslaught makes it even more challenging to address and I'm completely with you on the Human Rights implications but the basic point I was trying to make is I think it's time we stop looking at cyber space as a virtual space. It needs to be seen as part of the real world.
>> Thanks very much. Important point. Is my mic on? No, my mic is not on. Hello? Hello? Moderator needs her mic. Okay. Does anyone else from the floor?
>> Yeah, we have another one.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you.
>> Hello, I'm Que Cesaro from Mexico. I'm a librarian myself. The first thing is, thank you for sharing that information. In many case, it's new to me. I would like to make comments. One, it would be great for you to prepare outlines for average citizens on how to identify these attacks because for people like computer specialists, it happens in my own state and from those from Mexico, you know, the situations with the state is going through. So that's the first comment. The second one in regard to journalists in freedom of expression, I guess the greatest challenge that Mexico is facing is the drug cartels. They are the ones killing most of the journalists. In they dare to speak, they do, they usually in great danger. I think in the case of the government, there are legal things to do and count act whatever a government does, but in the case of the drug cartels, I don't see any solution to really confront them or to find a solution. So, conclusion, thank you for doing the job. It would be great if you could educate us on how to identify this. Thank you.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Just yes, go ahead.
>> Okay, is this? No. Okay. Can I use this one? Yeah. Okay so ‑‑
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Does this work?
>> Our table mic is not working.
>> We can just talk loudly.
>> Okay. It's working now.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Okay, thanks.
>> Well, yeah. I just want to add something to what you mentioned about drug cartels. I think we need to also realize in a country as Mexico you cannot find a clear difference between public officials and drug cartels. I mean, if they are operating, it's because they are being allowed to operate. I mean, that's why impunity and prosecution has been so difficult in Mexico and as journalists and linking it with the online world is how are we going to control it? I think it's not that we don't have the measures to control it. It's just rule of law that is not being current in Mexico.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Which is segue, I think we need to consider for the rest of the this discussion for this roundtable is what next, next steps in light of who is legally accountable and who is in effect accountable so the tension between what really is happening on the ground. I think we've had one suggestion about guidelines. Let's hold that and come back to it but before we look at practical solutions to help support and also call to account both the private sector and public sector and to see how the private sector can help, I would like to ask Hanane Boujemi if she has anything to add because we are now considering issues around the world. Do you have any points you want to make?
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Not exactly.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: If you don't mind turning around so people can see you. The camera.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much to the panelists and Marianne for organizing this session and our colleague Linda who is not here with us today. She's in the UK at the moment. I think you bring a bleak picture about how the internet is being used at the moment for various reasons and I think what we try to do in our Dynamic Coalition is to highlight the importance of principles. That's why we have a booklet that we produce with the charter that is translated to different languages, but the charter and the principles are black and white. How can we make them more concrete and how can they be more practically used by different policy makers and organizations in the field. The situation in the Middle East is a little different. We do not have drug cartels, for example, as you have here. We do not have trolling Human Rights defenders on Twitter and deploying bots to make some noise, you know, on these channels where freedom of speech is being kind of trotted.
We do have other issues with ISIS, for example, with violence, extremism, civil war in Syria and so on and intersection between regions but I cannot really relate to the problems that you have highlighting here. And it's good that aware here in Mexico in the context where we can have a completely different overview of what's at stake in this region. From what we've heard so far, there's a lot at stake. It affects professional journalists, women, Human Rights defenders and we should do something about that and definitely principles are there. They can help us set a framework, but to what extent you are in a position to influence policy makers and that's where the bulk work actually is needed. The media is doing its job at a local level but these issues are not really visible at the international agenda and we're very happy that the Dynamic Coalition on internet rights and principles is in a position to speak about these issues.
The solution is along my objective or a long shot, as we say, in Europe, but definitely we should start somewhere so we do have these principles which can help us set a framework. We try to do a lot of work to put them in context. For example, in the Middle East, we led a campaign called click rights. It basically transformed the principles into concepts that people, citizens, you know, people in the Middle East would actually understand and are able to digest.
Now, let's be honest. Knowledge about internet rights is not widespread, so we really have to do a lot of work, background work, to bring people to the picture beyond Human Rights defenders and journalists and so on so you need to have a platform where you can have this course with people who actually understand what you're talking about and that's where the bulk of the work that we've been doing is just engagement and bridging the knowledge gap about internet and internet principles and rights and so on. So I think we are on the right track. I'm glad that this IGF for the first time, I mean, going through all IGFs since 2006, this is the first time I hear a lot of people actually wanting to have a multistakeholder dialogue. You know? If you go back to the transcripts of the IGF in 2006, the first one I've been to, you will see how the discussion evolved.
Now it's really good that we managed to get a lot of people from different backgrounds and platforms who are here and we need to start talking about these things. Now the next step is to get the elephant, you know? Where is the elephant? It's not in the room at the moment, the government. So we need to bring that stakeholder so we can have a candid conversation about what needs to be done practically to solve all these issues. We're very happy that Google accepted to come here so we have very important stakeholder and that is the private sector, and now the work is how to get who is not here in the room to listen to what's going on so we can address these issues more practically. Thank you, Marianne.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much, Hanane. So just to ‑‑ do we have a comment from the floor? Two comments? And then in order to keep us focused after that on what next because as Hanane has said you have to start somewhere and also because she's tools are so sophisticated, then our responses need to be nuanced, sophisticated and diverse. And never say never. So before we round up, we will do that. I have three more comments from the floor. Have I got that right? One, two, three, then the panel can quickly respond and then we'll do a brainstorm for our about next steps, possible steps and ideas. Is that clear? So in turn, the speakers from the floor then the panel's quick response. Is that okay? We'll manage. Can happen. So go. Please, your name for the record.
>> Yes, I'm from Localization. Just to add a quick comment to Hanane, there is an account of a seven year‑old girl whose mother manages her account. Her account got shut down. For two weeks, everyone was wondering, did she die? Did she get killed? She's putting out images and giving stories of life inside Aleppo that are really important. She seems to be okay, but she's been hacked and trolled and attacked and actually, I have, too. Any time I repost something from white helmets or any news in Aleppo. I didn't realize you could get so many tweets with my face, and random information on it in one hour. And it's scary, and it shuts me up and I don't want to talk about it anymore. But yeah, exactly. While it's not cartels, it's a different problem all together.
And I'm going to guess by the Russian Syrian flag in the logo, it was probably a Russo‑Syrian hacker doing that.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Important point about people as human rights defenders without necessarily doing as such. The girl in red at the front ‑‑ no, that's okay. We'll go to you. Go ahead, please.
>> I'm journalist from Thailand. I would like to update some situation in Thailand right now. I think the most important issue in Thailand related to internet right is about citizen being restricted to access for information by censorship. Firstly, the people enjoy the freedom of expression online and then we got backlash, like the slap back into like the legal allegation. Lastly, the level of the sensor is going to ‑‑ if you just click like or to some influence on the social media, the police can come to visit you and have some kind of like interrogation so it's already outlawed by the government.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thanks to remind us that even clicking "like" can be life threatening.
>> Hello, I'm from Africa. Back home, we don't really have this situation at this scale, but social media has been used, obviously, to organize and bring about social awareness in terms of political issues. However, what we're facing right now is a government which is trying to regulate the internet. So, with this type of issue, at one hand, you want to protect freedom of expression, but, at the same time, limit it. So then in terms of going forward, how do we balance the 2n so, because these people look legit, how do we ‑‑ it's a very fine line to even a discussion back home, the government wants to regulate. So what does it mean really? So in this context as well, going forward, how do we approach that? As the speaker said, it's much more nuanced than just saying cut these people out whereas it's also limiting free freedom of expression.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you. Good point. Anyone from the floor? One more from the floor. Our panelists have some responses, really.
>> Hello, I'm from the digital counsel. I have open questions. You were mentioning the accountability of some actors and I was wondering if the platforms used by these actors should be more accountable. More traditional way is to say they can block some votes but more generally, what is the responsibility of the business models which they are built. For example, Facebook, you clearly see how the content is regulated, the emergence of troll farms, they are also benefiting. So I think a symmetrical way of organizing this content where the users have not much power on what they see but where it is only based on private markets is also in a way triggering these kind of deviations.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much. Very important point. I think we will turn to our Google representatives. Marcel, we're not asking to you speak for every provider but it is a burning question about the business itself so just to let them have every mic.
>> MARCEL LEONARDI: That's an excellent question, especially, as you said, the business model is based on advertising in general. So, as you said, I cannot, obviously, speak for other companies in the private sector but what Google has done, for example, with the whole fake news cycle that you may have seen is exactly that. Just as was mentioned, it is a commercial enterprise for some people to create these troll, these bot accounts, it's also a commercial enterprise that happens to organize all these fake news websites so what Google has done is actually change the way that advertising can be shown on these fake news websites, which means they will not.
Basically, the ad revenue has been cut off from these websites which basically since they live off of click, essentially in f there's no way to advertise there, there's no way to continue making money based on fake news so that's one way technology can address this. Of course I see most of the issues have been raised by Twitter. Probably couldn't be here for some reason ‑‑ not sure if they were invited. Don't want to get into that. My point being it's obviously not a one stop solution. Essentially, there's no magical bullet that technology can create and pretty much improve everything. Obviously, without the help from Civil Society to identify these things, companies cannot tweak their algorithms or change things the way they work. Google, for example, does that all the time. Not sure if people with aware of this but on any given year, Google makes changes. People trying to move up and bad results and things like that and the company trying to identify these things but obviously whoever is involved in any given issue will have a much quicker response.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much so in a sense, we have a very clear ‑‑ one clear solution is Google not to allow these click farms to gain access and get revenue. So that's a very concrete, thank you very much. We also had another NG Os how to be careful online if you are a Human Rights activists or journalist but possibly some guidelines on those areas. I'm going to ask the panelists to make a response and if possible to add to those solutions. We're brainstorming at this point so I think that's a powerful moment for us right now. I think, Tanya, you wanted to respond and then each one of you in turn.
>> TANYA O'CARROLL: I think you summed it up very well in terms of this trade off. When we first started looking into this problem we felt very clear that Twitter should be doing a lot more and had a responsibility to do a lot more in terms of changing its algorithm to block the spam bots. Of course that works when they're spam bots. Not when they're trolls. They're quite clear they don't want to be the judges and I agree with that, that would be very problematic if they were to be the judges of what is legitimate expression and who is a troll in a country like Mexico with such a complex ecosystem of actors. Alberto spends his time literally trolling through ‑‑ wrong use of word ‑‑ thousands and thousands of these tweets. You have an incredible expertise, but could Twitter ever have that expertise?
I think it's an interesting question. In terms of solution, one thing that has to be done is putting in more resources in terms of investigating because it's clear there's got to be a regulatory response. It's clear that governments have to respond to this as well. Not only for the actual companies and platforms themselves, and to do that, we need information. Trying to investigate these actors, it has been so difficult because we have such an impartial view and visibility of the network and it comes to questions about, you've had the same thing trying to report cases but IP actors, we can infer things. When you have all of the data you can infer a lot and we need access to that data.
Unfortunately, we can't see the activity and actually expose. I think that's got to be something they can do together. I think it was quite interesting yesterday, I don't know how I feel about it yet, but the recent Google Facebook Twitter combine on ISIS and creating content that in a big database that they agree this video is bad so it can't be reshared afterwards and I think similar strategies that involve multiple companies working together plus governments plus obviously us as actors constantly pushing for this and exposing human rights issues behind.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you. Amalia and Paulina and perhaps Alberto, any comments?
>> When we are talking about public policy and legislation, I think we need to work on how to close the gap between narrative or how to build a new narrative where the positions or point of view of the freedom of expression advocates do not clash with the victims, and the same way, you know, and the other way around. Because we need to make positions to legislators that can put together, I don't know. Sometimes freedom of expression is like, don't touch freedom of expression, but we need a solution for these where acts visits and human rights defenders are a victim of this so we need to go to the middle point on this. I think that's important. And the other thing, one thing that we have identified at least in Columbia with some other Latin American techies is that they are not thinking that the war has to do with Human Rights. We're trying to raise awareness on them and we have to come to discussion, we need you in discussion because you are the ones developing all the algorithms and if you are not thinking on Human Rights, we are not going to find a solution so that's another thing that I wanted to share.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you very much. Paulina?
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Yeah, and I think we also need to recognize a complexity of this ecosystem. I mean, we need to recognize that we all speak different languages and I'm not talking about Spanish or English. I'm talking about how engineers at ICANN or ITF, they are trying to develop things and we also need to go to them and explain why Human Rights are important in their work. The same as private sector. If they are approaching to us and they want to know, but how can we help because our business models want limits and we are also liable for human rights obligations and protections. But we need to keep and maintain these kind of discussions at IGF, too. I know that this year, the framework was enabling the betterment and under the sustainable developmental goals, but freedom of expression is one of the main topics that needs to be still under discussion at IGF. So, thank you again for letting us.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thank you, in Alberto.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Two things in Spanish. Responding to this gentleman here, how do you detect the behavior of on the networks. In 2012, it was really easy because they were repetitive message and it was easy to detect them. Every time they change, now, it's getting more complicated. They change, Twitter adjusts the algorithms, and they adapt again. The only way we've been able to have a strategy to kind of advance is to ‑‑ the people how they can respond in the face of these kinds of attacks and that's been where we can advance. In 2014 rearing, we developed this guide. I'm going to put it in front of the camera. Ten steps of how to defend yourself against an attack by bots or trolls. We could develop these kinds of things, basically. And what did you say ‑‑
The question is, what does Internet Governance have to do with refugees? Twenty minutes lightning session. You have one minute to answer that question. Please join us. It will be very interesting. Thank you for being here today. Please, if you feel comfortable, please stay so we can move into our business meeting, and you'll learn more about the IRP Coalition. I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our wonderful panelists and wish them strength in their work. Thank you very much, everyone.
>> Hello. Okay. Thanks everyone for staying. Business meetings are like this. Please bear with us.
>> I was going to give the floor for people to discuss a little more. I can see that the conversation is really interesting. Sorry, I have a very short bandwidth as well. I'm losing my voice, almost.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Hi, every. My name is Hanane Boujemi. I'm a co‑chair of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition. Thank you for staying. This meeting is going to take us almost maybe 15 minutes. I think it will be very important to maybe address some of the questions that you have about the Coalition and just to brief you very quickly the IGF now includes a number of Coalitions which work on specific topics. IRPC happens to be up with of the oldest ones so it started a couple years back. I think it was 2009 so a little bit head ahead. These are the other Dynamic Coalition recently formed about emerging issues, like Internet of Things or blockchain. You will see in the program, there are so many dynamic Coalitions.
I think 16 or 17, but briefly we have a main session now for the Dynamic Coalitions, and that is, I think on Friday. Thursday? Oh, okay. It's tomorrow. So we are meeting with all the Dynamic Coalitions and I encourage you to go to the session because we'll be briefing the UN IGF and all the Dynamic Coalitions about the work we've been doing this year. The main highlight this year is that we had a group of students from University so they review, well, it's not in a different language but as you know, certain concepts evolve and these principles were formed back in 2009. These students took the lead from lawsuit to produce a guide and put the highlight on emerging issues but also, they code the language of the charter from the legal perspective to give a completely different view on the principles from a perspective. The point is to invite others in the world to feed into the work we're doing.
Because what is relevant in Latin America as we could see earlier is probably not relevant to the Middle East, so it's very important to be able to incorporate all point of views from all around the world so we can all agree on what are really the internet principles that we want on the internet. Because the internet is a network. A network is global. It doesn't translate into specific culture or language. It's a global network. So we would like to have principles that we know reflect the global nature of the b internet.
Now, very quickly, the Dynamic Coalition is ‑‑ we have a group of members. Some of them will have to step down. It is very important to have a group of motivated people who are willing to donate their time to some of the work we're doing throughout the year and that includes our role as an observer in a committee for the council of Europe so we do give advice on all issues related to internet. The charter happens to be also a point of reference for policy makers. A lot of the work that is produced in the charter is being reflected in key international documents. We contributed in many, many processes. If you look at the website, actually, of the Coalition, which is internet rights and principles, you will see all our achievements.
A lot of the work being done in countries, mainly New Zealand, Spain, Italy. Some of the laws are actually inspired from this charter so we do have some kind of under the influence on policy making document all around like in different parts of the world. It would be good to take this experience to other regions, and that's why we're here in Mexico. So our work has a global nature. We've done a lot of work as well in the Middle East whereas I said earlier, we're trying to reach out to the grass roots to build their capacity and knowledge about the issues that are speech to internet rights. So, now we're at the stage where we have to have elections because we have a structure where we have two co‑chairs to help each other do the work. One of us will be going out, and that's Catherine. So I'm staying for another term, another year. So we need a new co‑chair.
Please, the first thing you should do is subscribe to our mailing list. Unfortunately, we can't display that on our website on the screen here but if you know anybody who is interested in this kind of W and would like to be nominated as a chair, please do. We also need new steering committee members and it's good to have fresh blood because it helps us keep our objective sharp and keep our work a little bit more scattered. I would like as a co‑chair to bring people from different regions.
For example, we have one person from the Far East but we would like to have more perspectives because the more regions represented in this kind of work globally, the more we hear about those specific issues so you would be representing your, of course, but also representing your region. You would feed into the discussion. As you see now when we learn at the global level we always learn something new about what's going on in another part of the world and maybe your experience would be very relevant to people here in Mexico. So if you are interested in our work, please do subscribe first to the mailing list and then nominate yourself or anybody that you know can be of help to the work that we're doing either globally or maybe even regionally and locally.
Now, the charter is already translated to so many different languages. I think we could do with more languages if we have more volunteers. It's all done by volunteers, by the way. It's been revised and edited by volunteers. Printed by volunteers. So most of our work as well is actually very noble, we have very noble objectives to make sure that the knowledge is scaled and whatever we do is of benefit to everybody. So if you have any questions, we have maybe five minutes and I hope we can address them. Otherwise, if you have any other recommendations or things that can help us do our work better, it would be great to hear you.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: And just to underscore Hanane's point, if you want to contribute by being a steering committee member, there will also be positions there available. So. Yeah.
Most of the work is actually online. We do organize activities whenever it's possible because financially sometimes working an IG has a lot of problems ‑‑ but our main meeting point is the IGF so most of the members will meet at the IGF. So this is our official kind of DC meeting, but most of the interaction happens on the mailing list. And the activities vary. Like we contribute consistently in the European dialogue on the internet governance.
We organize different workshops. If you come tomorrow to the lightning session, you will hear about the work we do in Europe because the refugee crisis in Europe is quite a topic at the moment and we try to customize the issues we cover according to the regions. Of course we'll be very happy to do activities in other parts of the world and the network of people working in the Dynamic Coalition are well versed and exposed to other environments as well. If their work can contribute to something, we always consider events. We do a lot of events at University, I organize a lot of events related to the program of managing the Middle East so each member actually take the lead locally. We have members in India also doing activities locally and they take the work of the Coalition there, but we don't organize like global events because we do not have funding for that but the IGF is our meeting point.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: And also just to add to the developed point that Hanane brought up, a very important aspect to the governmental portion of our work is not only the fact that the chart is being referred to and used in conversations within governments for national initiatives on digital rights. It referred quite explicitly to the charter but also in the Council of Europe made up of 47 neighbor states, the IRPC is made up of specific observes. We are there to observe, get access to ‑‑ this is very important at the governmental level and the Council of Europe are doing very good work in that respect, so just to outline it.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Okay so if we don't have any more questions, I'd like to thank you for being here. Until next time. If you come to the next IGF, which we still don't know where it's going to be, we'll be glad to see you there. Every year we have a workshop like this where we give a slot to people who don't have a platform to voice their concern, we always do a thematic area. If you don't have any questions, I'll be happy to address them in the hall or over lunch so feel free to reach out to me or Marianne who is also a steering committee member. And I'd like to wish you a great IGF and I'll see you around.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: And sign up internetrightsandprinciples.org. Thank you very much.
(Session was concluded at 12:12 p.m. CST)