Geneva Internet Conference – Internet Governance at a Crossroads

wmo-buildingThe Geneva Internet Conference (GIC) will address critical issues, gaps, and future developments in Internet governance (IG) and digital politics. The conference will provide a neutral and inclusive space for debates as it paves the way to 2015, building on the main events and developments in 2014, including announcement of the transition of the IANA oversight of Internet functions, NETmundial and the Internet Governance Forum.


DAY ZERO – 17 November 2014
14.00 ‒ 17.00 Introduction to Internet governance (pre-conference workshop) -Auditorium Kreuzel
17.30 ‒ 19.30 Keynote address by Fadi Chehadé,
President and Chief Executive Officer, ICANN (Auditorium de Mello)Inauguration of Geneva Digital Landscape IG 360° followed by a reception – WMO Attic
DAY ONE – 18 November 2014
The Internet governance landscape
09.30 ‒ 10.00
Welcome and opening remarks  (Salle Obasi)
Amb. Jürg Lauber, Head of Division, UN and International Organisations Division, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Ruedi Noser, National Counselor, President of ICT Switzerland and a initiator of the Geneva Internet Platform
10.00 ‒ 11.00
FORUM: One Internet – many policy angles  (Salle Obasi)
Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General elect  & Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU
Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director General, WTO
Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR
Christian Wichard, Deputy Director-General, Global Issues Sector, WIPO
Preserving one Internet involves different policy processes. More than 50% of global Internet policy is discussed and decided on in Geneva: telecom infrastructure, human rights, e-commerce, digital intellectual property are just a few of the areas. This high-level panel will discuss different policy angles, and ways in which cross-cutting Internet policy can be developed. High officials from the ITU, the WTO, and WIPO will discuss potential synergies among their activities of the relevance for the Internet.
11.00 ‒ 11.30
Coffee break and conference photo
11.30 ‒ 13.00
FORUM: Mapping the Internet governance landscape ‒ actors, processes, and issues  (Salle Obasi)
Moderator: Jovan Kurbalija, DiploFoundation and GIP
Louis Pouzin, expert in computer communications (one of the fathers of the Internet)
William J. Drake, International Fellow and Lecturer, University of Zurich & Chair, Noncommercial Users Constituency, ICANN
Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Managing Director, Compass Rose Sdn Bhd & Member of the Board of Directors, ICANN
Khaled Fattal, Group Chairman, Multilingual Internet Group, London
Internet governance is a highly complex policy space with hundreds of actors addressing more than 50 IG issues through more than 1000 mechanisms (conventions, standards,events, experts groups, etc.). The more Internet impacts all spheres of our life, the more complex and broader Internet governance will become.  Very few actors, if any, have a full grasp of the complexity of IG.  The risk of incomprehensible IG could lead towards the marginalisation of some actors and, ultimately, a risk for legitimacy of Internet governance. In addition, good mapping of Internet governance will increase the efficiency of policy processes and reduce duplicate efforts in various forums. The session will discuss the challenge of mapping Internet governance and ways and means of making it more accessible to all concerned. The panellists will address the following issues:

  • What does Internet governance include?
  • What are the criteria for mapping Internet governance issues and their relevance?
  • How can we create easier access to Internet governance?
  • If a one-stop shop is a solution, what functions should it have and how should it be organised?
13.00 ‒ 14.30
Lunch break
14.30 ‒ 16.00
Same issues, different perspectives: overcoming policy silos in privacy and data protection  (Auditorium de Mello)
Moderator: Vladimir Radunovic, DiploFoundation and GIP
Brian Trammell, Communication Systems Group, ETH Zurich
Nick Ashton-Hart, Executive Director, Internet &Digital Ecosystem Alliance (IDEA)
Amb. Thomas Hajnoczi, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, Geneva
Carly Nyst, Legal Director, Privacy International
The omnipresence of the Internet in modern society makes most Internet policy issues transversal. For example, cybercrime cannot be addressed only as a security issue or e-commerce only as trade issue. Yet, a transversal approach is more an exception than a common practice in Internet governance. This session will discuss ways and means of introducing a transversal approach using the example of data protection and privacy, addressed from standardisation, human rights, diplomatic, security, and business perspectives.
14.30 ‒ 16.00
Legal framework, jurisdiction, and enforcement in Internet governance (Salle Obasi)
Moderator: Jacques de Werra,Professor, Law School, University of Geneva
Rolf Weber, Professor, University of Zurich
Joe Cannataci, Professor, University of Groningen
Mira Burri, Senior Research Fellow, World Trade Institute & Lecturer, University of Bern
Konstantinos Komaitis, Policy Advisor, Internet Society
Xianhong Hu, Program Specialist, Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO
The Internet does not function in a legal vacuum. Increasingly, it is perceived that what is (il)legal offline is (il)legal online. The UN Human Rights Council made this principle explicit: ‘The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online.’ Thus, most Internet issues are already regulated in the offline environment (e.g. jurisdiction, copyright, trademark, labour law).The main challenge is how to apply these rules to Internet transactions, particularly in view of transborder aspects and the speed of Internet activities. At the preparatory seminar for the Conference, the idea of legal innovation with wisdom was suggested. It means that there is a need for innovation for the Internet, which should not ignore  the wisdom of the legal profession gathered over centuries in regulating conflicts and ensuring order in human society.The session will focus on the following questions:

  • Is there any area where the ‘offline/online principle’ cannot be applied and there will be a need for new substantive rules for the Internet?
  •  What are the specific challenges for applying  existing legal rules on the Internet?
  •  How do we innovate with wisdom? What are the possible innovations?
14.30 ‒ 16.00
Inclusion in digital policy: e-participation and capacity development(Auditorium Kreuzel)
Moderator: Pete Cranston, co-director, Euforic Services, Oxford
Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager, Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum
Ginger Paque, Director of IG Programmes, DiploFoundation
Anders Norsker, Head of Information Services, ITU (tbc)
Marília Maciel, Researcher and Coordinator, Center for Technology and Society, FGV Brazil
Anne-Rachel Inné, Vice-President, Government Engagement, ICANN
Inclusive digital policy depends on e-participation and capacity development. E-participation ensures participation of all those who cannot participate in situ. It is not surprising that e-participation in global governance is most advanced in the field of Internet governance.  The session will discuss the four most relevant experiences in digital policy: the IGF, ICANN, the ITU, and NETmundial.
The session will provide concrete input based on the following questions:
  • What  practical techniques are there for making e-participation more effective?
  • How can we ensure proper synchronisation between two dynamics of the event: in situ (in the conference room) and remote (via e-participation)?
  • How do we deal with different time-zones in e-participation?
  • How do we  ensure capacity development for e-participation?
16.00 ‒ 16.30
Coffee break
16.30 ‒ 17.30
Wrap-up and discussion  (Salle Obasi)
19.00 ‒ 20.30
Cocktail dînatoire (Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2)
DAY TWO – 19 November 2014
The complexity of Internet governance: sustaining innovation while ensuring equality
09.00 ‒ 10.30
FORUM: How do actors cope with Internet governance complexity?  (Salle Obasi)
Robert E. Kahn, CEO and President, Corporation for National Research Initiatives (one of the fathers of the internet)
Hon. Helena Dalli, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Malta
Richard Samans, Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change, India
Marília Maciel, Center for Technology and Society, FGV Brazil
With more than 50 Internet policy issues addressed in hundreds of various forums, many actors face difficulties in following Internet governance. Some governments, such as China, the USA, and Germany, have introduced cyber and Internet ambassadors as a way of covering foreign digital policy. Many countries started a national Internet Governance Forum in order to integrate the wider technical, academic, and business communities in Internet policies. For business and technical communities, following IG requires covering non-technical issues such as human rights (e.g. privacy). For civil society, in particular small organisations, covering the IG field is becoming very difficult. At the same time, due to the inter-connection of IG issues, many actors cannot afford not to use a comprehensive approach including technical, legal, and human rights aspects among others. Panellists will present different experiences in covering Internet governance and suggest some practical solutions. The session is planned to end with a list of concrete suggestions that should help various actors to deal with the complexity of IG.
10.30 ‒ 11.00
Coffee break
11.00 ‒ 12.30
Aim for full transparency – accept exceptional translucency (Salle Obasi)
Moderator: Pete Cranston, co-director, Euforic Services, Oxford
Veronica Cretu, President, Open Government Institute (Moldova)
Nigel Hickson, Vice-President, UN and IGO Engagement, ICANN
Avri Doria, Principal Researcher, Technicalities
Kari Tapiola, Special Adviser to the Director-General, ILO
Transparency is essential for robust and effective Internet governance. It is particularly important in multistakeholder spaces that typically do not have procedural mechanisms to ensure procedural transparency and due process. While full transparency should be a default operational mode, in some cases a ‘translucent’ approach could be considered (e.g. limited public participation in deliberation with full publicity of results of deliberations). This session will aim to establish criteria for determining the level of transparency needed (e.g. full transparency with transcription, access to documents, etc.). It will rely on experiences from the Open Governance Partnership and ILO communities.
11.00 ‒ 12.30
Subsidiarity: how to make Internet governance decisions at the appropriate level, building on lessons learned from Switzerland(Auditorium Kreuzel)
Moderator: Thomas Schneider, Deputy Head of International Relations Service, OFCOM
Peter Gruetter, Chairman, Swiss Telecommunications Association
Norbert Bollow, co-founder and co-convenor of the Just Net Coalition
Michel Veuthey, Vice-president of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo
Hanane Boujemi, Manager, IG Programme, MENA Region, HIVOS
While global solutions are preferable for global issues (e.g. IG, climate change), they are often difficult to achieve. After the failure of the Copenhagen summit (2009), the climate change community focused more on local, national, and regional initiatives. The same tendencies are noticeable in IG (most cybercrime conventions are regional, protests against IG policies are regional/national – SOPA, ACTA).
IG issues should be addressed at the policy level which is closest to the cause of the issues (e.g. cybercrime) or the impact a specific policy may have (e.g. access, net neutrality).
The main challenges will be to ensure that ‘policy elevators’ move both ways (up and down) among local,national, regional, and global levels. The session will also discuss the practice of ‘forum shopping’ (inserting policy initiatives on the most favourable policy level). Swiss academics and practitioners will  present the country’s long experience in using subsidiarity principles.
The panel will address the following specific questions:

  • What issues could be addressed effectively at a lower level than a global one (e.g. regional and national levels)?
  • How can we ensure synchronisation among different policy levels while avoiding the risk of ‘forum shopping’?
11.00 ‒ 12.30
Evidence in Internet governance: measurement and data-mining  (Auditorium de Mello)
Moderator: Vladimir Radunovic, DiploFoundation and GIP
Aaron Boyd, Chief Strategy Officer, ABI Research
Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Editor of Global Innovation Index & Senior Economist, WIPO
Eliot Lear, Principal Engineer, CISCO Systems
Kavé Salamatian, Professor, University of Savoie, France
Although the Internet is an engineering artifact, we do not have sufficient technical data of relevance for Internet governance. For example, one of the major problems in cybersecurity is the lack of data about threats and losses. Policy-makers and, increasingly a more engaged general public,  are looking for data such as: the impact of digital innovation on economic growth; the quantity of digital assets and their distribution worldwide, etc. The session will focus on three main issues:

  • Mapping of available data and measurement of relevance for IG
  • Survey of data and measurement for specific issues.
  • Techniques and approaches to improve evidence and measurement of relevance for IG.
12.30 ‒ 14.00
Lunch break
14.00 ‒ 15.30
Lessons learned from other multistakeholder processes (Salle Obasi)
Moderator: Anne-Marie Buzatu, Deputy Head of Operations IV, DCAF
Andy Orsmond, Executive Director, International Code of Conduct Association
Michel Quillé, Vice-President, International Forum on Technologies and Security
Michele Woods, Director, Copyright Law Division, WIPO
The different stakeholder communities remain divided over the legitimate carrying out and enforcement of decisions. Consequently, compliance remains a test case for IG processes. How can we ensure effective implementation and compliance of decisions, in particular those that require the participation of multiple actors with different views on legitimacy and accountability?

  • Why did you see a need to adopt a multistakeholder approach?
  • What challenges were you facing and how did the multistakeholder approach address them?
  • What were the three main lessons learned and take-aways from the process, and what would you do differently?
14.00 ‒ 15.30
Drafting in policy processes: how can we best nurture the socialisation of policy texts in multistakeholder contexts?  (Auditorium de Mello)
Moderator: Jovan Kurbalija, DiploFoundation and GIP
Alex Sceberras Trigona, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Malta and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta
Richard Hill, President, Association for Proper Internet Governance
Avri Doria, Principal Researcher, Technicalities
One of the fathers of the Internet Jon Postel said ‘Group discussion is very valuable; group drafting is less productive.’ The more people involved, the greater the complexity of the process. The drafting process is not individual writing; it is highly social. Thus, ‘socialisation of the text’ is essential for successful negotiations. All involved should be aware of how the final draft was negotiated, what was included, and what was left out. Participants should know that their voices were heard, considered, and adopted… or not, accordingly.The panellists will address the following questions:

  • How do we harvest and harness a wide range of inputs in the drafting process?
  • What types of procedures are needed to ensure that the drafted text can have legitimate acceptance by most actors involved in the process?
  • How do we deal with conflicting situations in the drafting process?
14.00 ‒ 15.30
Funding, accountability and trust in Internet governance (Auditorium Kreuzel)
Moderator: Pete Cranston, co-director, Euforic Services, Oxford
Markus Kummer, Member of the Board of Directors, ICANN
Désirée Miloshevic, Senior Adviser of International Affairs and Public Policy, Afilias International
Jean-Marie Chenou, Lecturer, University of Lausanne
Funding,  accountability, and trust are closely inter-related and are necessary for a legitimate governance system. Funding  contributes to accountability, which in turn creates more trust in IG space. This session will address various approaches to fundraising in Internet governance. It will also discuss the question of accountability and trust.
15.30 ‒ 16.00
Coffee break
16.00 ‒ 17.00
Closing session: wrap-up and concluding remarks  (Salle Obasi)
Philipp Metzger, Director-General, OFCOM

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