Asia Pacific regional IGF
17 September 2010 - A Other on in Vilnius,Lithuania
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. 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.
>> It's been a pleasure working with Edmon, very forthcoming and helpful and as you know, in Asia, it's kind of a low key way of looking. There were very key supporters. Paul Wilson, director general of APNIC. Please come and see me for some counseling. Of course, we have supporters coming in, Robert Guerra. Robert, are you here? Robert was supposed to be here. He has also been a supporter. Because there was a first meeting ever, we were feeling our way around. So we hope that we can push this forward, bring this forward and make this a more meaningful event.
The first part of our session this morning, we're going to talk about planning. I guess you can talk about some lessons learned. Our format that we will have this session for about 40 minutes because we will devote the bulk of time talking about the future, the lessons learned, the future and the way forward.
I'm going to have Jeremy Godfrey of the Hong Kong government office talk about why he and some lessons that he might share with us. Jeremy?
>> JEREMY GODFREY: Thanks. As Pingma said, the idea came from Sharm el Sheik, which was the first time I had been at the IGF. I came away very, I think, inspired, particularly by the involvement of Egyptian youth in the IGF of that event and reaching out to civil society and to people with disabilities also very well supported. On the long journey back from Sharm el Sheik, there was a long layover in the Amman airport. I said to Edmon that I thought it would be really good just to do something for Hong Kong, to do a Hong Kong IGF, to raise the awareness among young people in civil society on internet governance issues.
Edmon accused me of being sufficiently ambitious. With all the other conversations that have been going on in Sharm el Sheik about an Asian regional IGF, Edmon said to me, we should do an Asian one. I was a little bit cautious of whether that could be done.
I'm very grateful to him and Stephen and all the other organizing committee members for putting together what were three events in Hong Kong. So as well as the regional roundtable, there was a Hong Kong event and a youth camp.
So I think from our point of view, we certainly achieved the objective of engaging more people in Hong Kong and raising the level of awareness. I also felt coming away from Sharm el Sheik that the major benefit of the IGF is that whichever kind of stakeholder group anybody comes from is a great opportunity to meet people, understand perspectives of different stakeholders so that in other forums, other decision making forums, for example, you can do a better job. We achieved that objective in Hong Kong. We were excited to host the regional event which also benefited the Hong Kong people because again, it was a great way to see that, for people in Hong Kong to see that international perspective.
I think certainly as I've had to deal with internet governance issues particularly around the introduction of the Chinese language TLD for Hong Kong, the discussions I've had both at Sharm el Sheik and at the regional IGF were very helpful in steering our way through those discussions. From the government perspective, we've certainly got something out of it. I hope the other participants did as well.
>> Thank you, Jeremy. I think the involvement of the youth, some of them here I'm still a youth yesterday. Yesterday I was a youth. Today I'm just a bit older. It was very imaginative and something to think about. In Singapore, looking at the Hong Kong model to see how we can use that and what we can take away from that, from the Hong Kong experience.
Next I want to ask Steven to get involved. He was a member of MAG.
>> STEPHEN LAU: Thank you. Just to follow up on what my colleagues have mentioned, it was already decided that we would be ambitious and host three events. We only had less than six months to devote ourselves to organizing that. With the support of many that we like to believe that it was really, those were really successful events.
When you talk about organizing IGF events, obviously we have to adhere to and observe the spirit of IGF in particular, two particular aspects. One is the multistakeholders approach. And so I was responsible for the local organizing committee. And adopting a multistakeholder approach, Jeremy being an advisor and myself, it was kind of the private sector. And also the other stakeholders. I will be talking mainly about organizing the local conference.
The local IGF conference, it was then believed that the government, through its involvement in IGF and also ICANN, the industry or the private sector, commercial sector also have been involved in IGF and ICANN. Local conference was more with the objective, first of all, to introduce internet governance issues to Hong Kong.
We thought particularly the NGO sector, the community for the mentally and physically challenged, for the poor as well definitely for our use, that's our second objective, and through the event to be able to enhance Hong Kong's participation in coming to the IGF.
So those were the three objectives. Because of the focus on the community and youth, we have definitely invited the council of social services which is an umbrella organisation of over 300 NGO's in Hong Kong, we have the Hong Kong federation of youth group which is a government sponsored organisation in looking across the spectrum of answers relating to youth. So we went ahead and organised the local IGF event conference. I wish to make a point about the timing or the date we chose. It was actually over a seven day period for these three events. It was from June 12 to June 18th, starting with the internet governance cam, and then the regional Hong Kong conference.
The date chosen was very specific. This is actually to facilitate the attendance of distinguished speakers from various parts of Asia and time for the ICANN meetings in Brussels for seven days. We had speakers coming from north Asia, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, all the way down to Australia and New Zealand. And then some of them would make their headway into the ICANN meeting in Brussels. The timing and, therefore, the number of speakers and all of that would be greatly enhanced.
We have a lot of sponsors, Microsoft, APNIC, SSR, and all of that, through which that we have from planning point of view, I think I'll stop there. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Stephen. Next I want to ask Paul Wilson, the Director General of APNIC, to talk about the involvement of APNIC in this IGF.
>> PAUL WILSON: Thank you very much. It was a great pleasure and privilege for APNIC to be involved with the first Asia regional IGF. And I think we'd be very keen to be involved in future and hope that along with IGF itself that the regional events will also continue. I think perhaps most people know that the role of my organisation, APNIC, is in the allocation and management of IP addresses in the Asia Pacific region. We are one of five regional internet registries around the world who share this responsibility. So we exist and operate in some sense within the narrow definition of internet governance, specifically in the critical internet resources area.
For APNIC and to some extent, we've also concerned ourselves with the broader definition of internet governance and dedicated ourselves and considerable resources to the building and the maintenance of a healthy internet in our regions. So we've been involved for many years, over a decade, in training and education, focused primarily in the technical arena but more and more in areas of policy and education of a broader community of people with interests and influence in terms of internet development and internet management.
So there are quite a few cross overs of issues between the narrow and the broad definitions. We have IPv6, which has huge technical and policy implications. We have various regulatory and policy related matters.
These are all within the scope of concern and interest of not only APNIC but the regional internet registries collectively. We've been involved since the early days of WSIS. We had very active involvement in the working group on internet governance and now with IGF.
(So we see, we've always seen the IGF itself as a very important platform and venue in which many issues have been involved. The internet collective registries is one of the top five financial supporters of the IGF. We've made pretty considerable financial contributions to help ensure the success of the IGF. And APNIC, of course, is one of those contributors.
Likewise, not only is the global meeting important but these regional meetings have become quite important, not only regional but also national meetings. And those meetings have been important mechanisms for disseminating information, the results of IGF processes and also for aggregating influence opinions and inputs at the national level, at the regional level.
So these events all work together in the Asia Pacific IGF was one of and one important component of that whole process. So we were very keen to see it happen torques see it succeed and provide some financial support, also some staffing support and participation, content and promotion. And we're very happy to see the success of the meeting. As I say, I hope that it will it actually will be the first of quite a number of such events. Thanks.
>> Thank you, Paul. For those of you who are not familiar with Paul, he is one of the pioneers in this internet space. And we in Asia Pacific are very lucky to have someone like him heading APNIC. A number of the a lot of the policies and processes that Paul has implemented for APNIC are actually being implemented. So in a very great way, can you see Asia Pacific is blazing a path here for another NIC's as well to follow.
If you know, the internet, the IP address space is a critical net resource. You could say the Asia Pacific is setting a part here, for what is critical intent. So thanks, Paul.
Next I want to invite Xiansheng Shi, who is the general manager of the Asia Pacific top level domain association. Before that speaker speaks, I want to ask those who just came in, if you are not hearing very well, it's your ears. It's acoustics. The headsets in the corner of the room, you plug them into this device, you will hear a lot better.
>> XIANG: Hi, everyone. I'm the manager of APTID, the Asian Pacific top level domain region. We're one of four level country code domains. Our definition extends from middle east to Pacific islands. It is an enormous region. The organisation itself is a membership based organisation. Membership is for the ccTLD managers for the region. And more than half of the country code in the region are members now. Members meet to share general good practice ideas and enhancement to the security and the stability of our own country code operations. With support of multistakeholder consensus based forum from the ICANN provides that we participate in a lot of inputs to ICANN, why range of operations.
APTLD provides an open space platform for managers. Naturally, they endorse the concept of IGF as a multistakeholder, nondecision making forum for awareness raising in the internet community.
Our focus has been in the stability, security internet development, critical resource, international domain names. At CPC, a lot of those topics are heavily discussed here in IGF.
AP region is probably the most diversified region with many culture and language and all kinds of regimes. So that makes development of our internet in AP region has its own character and its own needs. Among that, we have ccTLD managers with all kinds of models. So we really need a forum to discuss internet related issues, especially issues concerned by our region at the first AP regional IGF provided such a platform to bring together major stakeholders together to debate on an equal footing about internet governance and related public policy issues, exchange information, and share good practice, especially related and of topic interest of Asia Pacific. So we're really glad to be one of the sponsors of the first AP regional IGF.
APTLD hasn't been actively involved with IGF as an organisation before this regional IGF, although many members of our members have been engaged with IGF from the very beginning. But we are fully aware of the importance of IGF. And I'm sure we'll be more engaged with national, regional, and global IGF in the future.
So next year actually, we will assist the first Pacific IGF and the ccTLD workshop for 2011. Our chairman will talk more about that later on. So I'm really glad to be here today. Thank you.
>> Okay. Thank you. Our next speaker is Edmon, CEO of DotAsia. I think he needs no introduction.
>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you. DotAsia was actually formed from the community that's actually sitting here. So right from the beginning, I think our mission and mandate really points towards participating and contributing to the collaborative dialogue within the internet community in Asia.
So supporting a regional IGF is really comes quite naturally, especially look back at DotAsia's only history through the ICANN process and through the processes for, you know, engaging the different stakeholders within Asia to participate and then eventually to support us to become a reality. DotAsia ourselves run the DotAsia top level domain.
But we do have a larger mission to promote internet development and adoption around Asia. And I think the IGF is one of the important aspects of which, and we're real excited to be able to I guess we put ourselves out and volunteered to be the for the secretariat for this regional IGF. And I could definitely say that DotAsia is willing to and definitely willing to work with any interested host.
We were able to, I guess, arm lock the Hong Kong government, willing to host this year's event earlier in June. And we would be more than glad to work with any other host to keep this momentum and keep this going because as I mentioned from the very beginning, it is the collaborative nature, the collaborative dialogue between the internet community and Asia has been critical to DotAsia's success and, therefore, we are both thankful to that support when we were going through the ICANN process and we are also excited to be able now, with the launch of DotAsia and some funds coming in from the DotAsia operations, be able to contribute back to the community
I guess with that I wanted to talk about some of the secretariat work for those who might be interested in the future, I think DotAsia will continue to be willing to support not only the regional IGF, perhaps also subregional. I think we'll hear from the Pacific, interest from the Pacific region for Pacific IGF. And I can say that DotAsia would be more than happy to share our experiences and participate and also contribute to that initiative.
I guess when I first talked about it with Jeremy and with Penua and with Stephen, we know very well, the initiative which we really intend to be relatively bottom up process, we understand that we might not be able to reach everyone around Asia. Asia is very diverse and a very large region. And we went in knowing that we might not be able to reach everyone. But I guess DotAsia tried to reassure everyone that yes, we might get some we might end up not being able to reach everyone. But still I think we were willing to, I guess, take the heat, if you will, but continue to work hard in future, in the future to continue to engage and get more people to participate.
It's sort of similar to the history of DotAsia ourselves as well. We know fairly well that when we started, we won't be able to reach the whole community. But I think over time and I think our activities and our work have shown that we continue to engage, we continue to engage and reach out to more and more participants so that we can help in the collaborative nature of the dialogue in the internet community in Asia. Thank you.
>> Edmon, you raised points, issues that were sort of behind the scenes. That's the first issue of course, was legitimacy, who are we to organise this. I guess somebody must pick up the ball and run with it. As Edmon said, prepared to take some of the heat. Fortunately, there wasn't that much heat. A bit warm, but not hot. So we managed to get it running.
The next person I'm going to invite is Robert Guerra. I don't think he is here in the room but I think we're going to acknowledge his contribution. Robert runs the director internet Freedom Project from the Freedom House. He brought in people who would not have ordinarily made it to the regional IGF or in IGF. So we want to recognize his contribution.
I want to pause at this stage and invite questions or comments about planning. Yes, can you please identify unfortunately previously and raise your point.
>> BLOGIE ROBILO: Good morning. And thank you. Robert is in another session, but if you like, I could give a very brief backgrounder.
>> Yes, sure, please.
>> BLOGIE ROBILO: I'm Blogie Robilo from the Philippines. I represent civil society. I was part of the group that Freedom House brought to Hong Kong during the APRIGF. Freedom House, there were 16 civil service society representatives from all over southeast Asia that were represented in Hong Kong. So there were two of us from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia. Help me out, guys. Laos, Mianmar. So it was a significant representation for southeast Asia at the APR IGF. And without their support, our voices would not have been heard.
So before Freedom House brought us to Hong Kong, two or three days before so that we could plan and talk about the IGF and because all of us were newbies, so to speak, in IGF and we had no idea what was going to happen. Freedom House gave us orientation sessions right before the IGF in Hong Kong. And after that, we stayed and formulated our statement, in fact. And Xian, do we have copies here? If not, it's online on Scribe. If you will follow me on Twitter at Blogie, I will post a link to the Asia Pacific I'm sorry, the southeast Asia and civil society statement on the regional IGF. Thank you very much.
>> Okay. Thank you, Blogie. If you can get on to the remote participation, you can also post a link there. And others will get it. Okay.
Any other questions, points for clarification, comments?
Okay. It looks like we are all happy campers here. If not Keith? Okay. Please.
>> KEITH: Just really to make a quick observation, I think, as with all such first time meetings as with the IGF in Athens, these steps and concerns about whether you're going to have the audience and right audience or so on were the concerns going through the organiser's minds at all times. And I think it's with immense relief when you get to the event and you actually see the people in the room.
So for the organisers who took those first brave steps and their nervous moments, I think they got their rewards.
>> Keith, I think you're right. We're all smiling now because yes, at the time we were pretty nervous. Who would turn out? Would we have enough people to fill an MPV? But in the end, yes, things turned out very well. All of the credit, of course, goes to Edmon. Bianca, who doesn't sleep.
Okay. Thank you. We're going to move on now. This next part of our session this morning we're going to talk about the outcomes sorry. Okay.
>> RAVI SHANKER: Thank you for the opportunity to speak. My name is Ravi Shanker. I'm from India. I represent the department of technology, government of India. I would like to thank the organisers who helped host Asia Pacific regional IGF in Hong Kong a few months ago.
It's a vast region, Asia Pacific. As Edmon pointed out, there needs to be a bottom up approach to see that this diverse region would have people from all parts of Asia Pacific participate. A fact that I would like to mention is that India has played host to the third IGF in Hyderabad. We had the opportunity of having a number of participants from the Asia Pacific region also in addition to the rest of the world.
While we are for the continuation of the process of the IGF as such, regional IGF's would definitely fortify our efforts to see that the IGF mechanism gains ground and is able to have its voice, though it may not be an outcome organisation. The initiative of the Asia Pacific regional idea is quite laudable and needs to be inclusive in its ambit. The inclusiveness meaning that while there's a large region of the southeast Asia, which is to my mind perhaps unrepresented, I would like to point out that India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, this is also a subgrouping within the Asia Pacific region.
Inevitably, whenever we are talking Shea Pacific, I have this feeling that there is a Pacific Rim or something which is looked at as Asia Pacific. When we are talking about Asia Pacific, we need to look at inclusiveness. I would ask that while we are from the bottom up, we are from multistakeholderism, we need to see that this inclusive approach really gives a future course of action in regard to planning.
We have a very vibrant civil society in the country. I am a government representative, but I wish to mention that the private sector, the civil society in India, are very vibrant but the fact that during deliberations, we need to ensure that the civil society in India, back stand, bang La owe Pakistan, Bangladesh, they could also be part of the regional IGF process.
I would mention this year because that's the way issues of southeast Asia are quite different from issues of some other countries across the Pacific. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for that comment. We set aside some time at the end, I hope you can stay to the end to talk about your efforts of organizing the IGF in Hyderabad. We did try to reach out to India in particular. My own interest being that I have lived in Hyderabad for a year. Many Indians say, I survived India. Edmon, do you want to clarify, there were some issues
>> EDMON CHUNG: I guess overall, I think as I mentioned, we worked very hard to reach out to as much people as we can. But I take Robie's comments, and I think as a whole, we should work harder in the future to really engage the internet community, especially civil society across Asia. And I actually take Robie's comments as sort of somewhat volunteering for helping us reach those civil society, especially in India in the south Asia region. We should definitely work harder with yourself and try to do better in the future.
>> Moderator: Okay. We're going to move on to talk about outcomes. This part of our session, we're going to talk about events that have come about subsequent to the regional IGF. We have three persons speaking. Samantha Dickinson. Samantha? And then Stephen and Bianca, in that order. So Samantha Dickinson is a senior policy specialist at APNIC.
>> SAMANTHA DICKINSON: I do apologize for the silence. I'm Tweeting at the same time. At the Asia Pacific regional IGF, there were seven main topics. I'll be talking about the discussion that happened on those topics at the APR IGF. The first topic that was discussed was security, subsecurity and network confidence. Many perspectives were included in the discussions. They look at internet users, the vendors, network operators, government, and civil society.
What came out of that was the definition of cyber threats differs depending on what perspective you're looking at, whether you're a government or internet user. Governments are interested in maintaining stability of their country, whereas internet users are interested in maintaining the security and privacy of their information.
Some of the other issues that came out of that discussion was that there has been a convergence of internal and external threats. So previously, you would have insider threats but these are now being so would you have an insider in the organisation providing information to outsiders who will then direct malware within an organisation at a targeted individual. So there's also an emerging of online and physical world threats. For example, pacemakers may now be connected to the internet. So you don't actually have to go up to someone and physically attack them. You could hack their pacemaker.
There is also a balance needed between security, which is about closing vulnerabilities, versus the openness of the internet model itself and the privacy of users. What came out of the discussion was that there needs to be education. The rapid growth of the internet has amplified security issues as new people have come on board and perhaps don't know the dangers. What needs to happen is that online security needs to be treated as seriously as real world security. If you wouldn't leave your front door unlock, why would you leave your internet connection unsecure.
A lot of internet operators actually don't have security as their first thought. So that there is a need for internet operators to understand the needs of security.
One of the issues that came out specific to the Asia Pacific region is many of the threats appear to come from this region. This has implications for network operators. I'm sure many of us have experienced the problem that Asia Pacific domain names or IP addresses may be blocked by people in other parts of the world because we seem to be a threat.
The second session was on openness. And it look at the challenges and criticalness of an open internet culture. The discussion about openness was at all layers of the internet, and technical specifications. On the internet, openness can influence political and societal openness. So it's the online world possibly having an impact on the real world. And it also allows civil society to provide dissenting voices to media and government positions. It also linked back to safety, talking about protecting children on the internet because if you have open content, how do you stop children accessing that sort of material.
There was also a look at the other side, where if you don't have openness, what can happen is if you know that something potentially may come back and bite you, you may self censor yourself on the internet. But one of the outcomes of that is there can be some very creative work arounds.
The third session at the AP IGF looked at the digital divide in Asia. It looks at the two types of digital divide. It look at providing connectivity and providing relevant content and applications that would make people want to use the internet. You can take a horse to wart but you can't make water but you can't make it drink. This is an attempt to make it attractive.
A digital divide can be based on many factors. It can be based on economic, advantage, age, disability, or cultural or linguistic difference. If you have a digital divide, what it can do is those that are not on the internet are further disadvantaged by any real world divide that they have. For example, if you're, say, disabled and can't use a computer, you have enough issues in the real world but you then can't even get a job in an office using a computer.
One of the issues with the digital divide is it's competing with a lot of other worthy issues in terms of funding attention from organisations around the world.
The session also looked at bridging strategies. It looked at how government policies could help. However, there was also a concern, and this links back to the opening session, that if there is too much government regulation, it could actually stifle stifle people's desire to join the internet. Other potential ways to bridge it is to have public/private partnerships or bottom up community initiatives. It was noted that statistics don't always tell the story.
So you may appear to have a low penetration rate, but if there is internet access for free from, say, libraries, why would you need to connect from home if you need to pay for that connection.
So the concept was that you need to understand what the real problem is before you can apply the correct solution.
As this digital divide is bridged, it is bringing the majority of developing world on to the internet. And this will have a significant impact on how the internet operates. There needs to be capacity building for those new users and operators in those regions. And the diversity, particularly the Asia Pacific region, means there's a diversity of needs as those new users come on board. So in terms of multicultural content, international domain names. So that means that often there is not going to be a global solution but looking perhaps for a local or regional solution to specific needs.
The digital divide, it was talked about empowering users, not just business who is could make a profit out of new customers.
There was also a discussion about the comparison of digital divides in both the developed and developing worlds. So there was, in particular, discussion about Hong Kong which has a digital divide between the aged, the disabled, and there is less economically those less economically secure. However, in developing countries, the entire society may have trouble getting online. So for Hong Kong, the issue is getting from about 80 percent up to 100 percent penetration, whereas in many developing countries, 50 percent penetration would be a good goal.
It was also noted that the global IGF has a new mandate to discuss incentives for using the internet. But that didn't stop what was discussed at regional or country IGF's.
The fourth session that was on the agenda was looking at critical internet resources. It looked at the IP address issue, looking at IPv4, to IPv6. Two major areas were identified. One was the distribution of addresses. And it was determined that IPv6 addresses are readily available. However, the primary issue is achieving widespread IPv6 deployment, looking at issues like potential cost barriers, staff training, and funding of business case.
It was also noted that the organisations that manage critical internet resources like IP addresses and domain names use open bottom up transparent processes. And these are the same processes that have been reflected in the IGF model.
One of the food for thought statements that was raised in that issue was that the definition of "critical internet resources" very much depends on your perspective. For some people, it could be a domain name, but if you're in a location where electricity is a problem, that can be a critical internet resource.
The fifth session looked at diversity and the challenge for international domain names. As we probably know by now, it allows non ASCII users to enter addresses on the internet in their nature script. It was explained that many of the issues are still being ironed out. Some characters in different scripts look the same. Some languages use the same script, so you'll have all three, languages using the one script. Some character sets are used by more than one economy, so where do you have clashes. There was also discussion about the intellectual property challenges that this creates. If you have an IDN ccTLD, should that automatically go to the management of the people managing the ASCII version of that ccTLD.
The second last issue that was discussed was emerging issues. This looked at the role of the civil society in internet governance. It was noted that civil society is now firmly in the room, but it's not just about participation. It's about equity of use. There's also discussion about whether you're a participant or a complainant, that you need to be in the room to have your opinion heard. If you're not in the room and your view is not included, can you complain or should you complain. You've got to be there to be heard.
But there was also a discussion that civil society has an awful lot on its plate and it can be very difficult for civil society to keep up to date with all issues including internet governance. So there needs to be a way for newcomers to come into the IGF process and understand the environment and processes being used.
Looking at the benefits of civil society can add to the IGF processes and internet governance. Civil society can challenge authoritarian government views of the internet governance as internet control, and it can argue for human rights and development agenda and internet governance. I think we've seen this at this IGF where we've had the internet governance development session yesterday.
It was also noted that the internet sorry, civil society versus government debate goes well beyond the internet governance debate. It's as old as time. So it's nothing new. The final session looked at the way forward and what the model of the future IGF may be. In that session, there was overwhelming support for the IGF's continuation. There was also discussion about the fact that regional and national IGF's are a very important venue for discussing IGF activities and for challenging regional and national concerns to the global IGF. That session ended with a lot of people being very enthusiastic about holding national IGF's and volunteering for future AP RIGF's.
>> Thank you, Samantha. That's an excellent summary of what transpired in Hong Kong. I'm going to ask Stephen to summarize the Hong Kong IGF discussions.
>> STEPHEN LAU: Thank you. Distinct from the regional roundtable whereby we have a group of very informed experts, various issues particularly pertinent to Asia and Asia Pacific as was reported by Sam just now. I just want to reemphasize that the Hong Kong local IGF conference is actually more an educational one, to educate our community and particularly the NGO community, particularly the youth, in understanding what internet governance is and also the issues as pertinent to Hong Kong.
We have building vibrant community and realising internet possibilities, that is the theme of the conference. It's an educational one. And as an IGF conference, expectedly we follow the format of the global IGF in terms of having sessions on access and diversity, on security openness and piracy, emerging issues as well as managing critical resources.
On access and diversity, we have Dr. Michael Gertstein. Actually the programme was talked, I thought I would highlight a few of those, Dr. Michael Gertstein from Canada talking about the success of telecentres.
We have Mr. Anthony Wong, who was the director of China and southeast Asia for the famous OLPC project, one laptop per child. We're talking about the progress of, in Asia, particularly southeast Asia and in China, for the education of the deprived in terms of bridging the digital divide. We obviously, as I mentioned, the objective was more for the community, particularly for the disadvantaged.
We have a session, web accessibility for the visually impaired. The speaker was a very long speaker in Hong Kong. He was actually visually impaired. He devoted his entire life on enhancing the quality of life for the visually impaired.
We talked about Cybercrime, online threats, privacy, and topics to the audience. We had over 200 plus people in the local conference.
On emerging issues, obviously cloud computing was involved, bridging local and global contents. We also had two very interesting speakers from China on having an open dialogue model between censors and users as well as talking about the internet profile currently in China now being on most internet connections. It's bigger opportunities but even bigger challenges with regard to internet scenario in China.
We also had a speaker from Taiwan talking on the status of development of social media and its challenges in Taiwan and part of Asia.
The last session was a marriage in critical resource, it's managing critical resource, managing critical resource 101. We were talking about, what are top level domain names. What are domain names, what are generic TLD's, what's IPv6, what's cyber squatting and the corresponding dispute resolution mechanisms and also obviously, the hot topic of Chinese domain name, IDN in China.
As I said, it's educational sessions and not really some sort of conclusive sort of actions or otherwise. It was mainly educational. But obviously, we also have two reporting sessions to bridge the three events for that seven days. We have the organisers, the moderators of the various sessions in the AP regional roundtable to brief the local conference delegates on what happened in the roundtable and what were the issues and what were the challenges and all that.
Similarly, we had a reporting session or a panel session as well as a reporting session from the leaders and participants of the youth and internet summer camp in Hong Kong. So therefore, through this conference, local conference, we actually have bridge and report back on all three events for the IGF week in Hong Kong.
Looking at a comprehensive basis, particularly relating to the local Hong Kong IGF, reassessment in terms of objectives. So we like to believe as an organiser and also being affirmed by a survey of the delegates who came to the local conference that indeed, we have reached the objective successfully of the three major objectives. One is the educational aspects of IG issues for the Hong Kong community for the specific segment of the community and understanding of issues pertinent to Hong Kong in IG. So we achieved that.
And we also talk about, one of the objectives is actually also to enhance our participation, at least from the Hong Kong representation, to this particular IGF. And you notice around this table, we actually have eight students from high school and universities who actually are participating in the IGF at this time, eight of them here to enhance our delegation.
Just some food for thought, I think I mentioned that in another workshop is that to encourage youth to participate in IGF I think is a wonderful and necessary objective and necessary goal. In the discretion of our sponsors, as you know that some sponsor, particularly some government sponsors, is they give you a certain amount of monitoring sponsor sort of dollars. And usually accounting wise, if you don't spend it, then you have to return it to the government or to the sponsor.
But in this case, you might like to do, treat it as food for thought, if you do other similar events in your part of the world or your economy, one of our requests was accepted, if we have any surplus, then we would like to use that to sponsor youth activities, including attendance to IGF and other activities. And you find that they're usually that that's usually very, very well received by sponsors with such a respected and noble goal.
So that's my part in looking at the Hong Kong local IGF. I'd like to finish off this short intervention, it's just now earlier we talked about heat and warmth in terms of organising the particular division of IGF. Using a simile, it was a spark, the way I look at it. We took the idea, the challenge and a spark. And a spark in the sense of igniting further aspirations with regard to the organising of various IGF activities in Asia Pacific, a spark that has ignited a constructive dialogue like with India, Sri Lanka, with conclusion, can come in there on sort of inclusion for rigorous, civil society participation. It also sparked off and encourages the aspiration of various economies in Asia Pacific. We would like to conduct a national IGF, and we'll conduct, helped to conduct the regional IGF. And later on, I think we will have other intervention, which would reflect this kind of pursuit as I hope our efforts in Hong Kong have sparked off in terms of such productive activities to come. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Stephen. I think some lessons we can learn from Hong Kong, I will ask you to hold your questions after this session.
Next we'll have Bianca. She is very active in supporting the whole organisation, very amazing. She's going to talk about the youth activities of the IG.
>> BIANCA: Thank you and everyone for giving youth a chance to actually participate in the national IGF and also in the Asia Pacific one. Basically I want to tell you why it happened. Same as Jeremy, we got inspired, we were sent by DotAsia to go to the IGF last year. And we think, you know, there's got to be a better way to engage youth. As Desiree really emphasized, being in a conference room and sitting down for two hours is not really the very engaging way for youth to participate in internet governance. So we decided to do something else, which is having a role play. So we actually have a lot of youth delegates right here to my right. Clement, Haiki, Flora, Ken, they were the youth IGF participants. Basically, they're given a role in the beginning, which is representing NGO, government, civil societies, and even youth themselves. And then they discuss on three major topics of specific interest to Hong Kong youth, I guess.
So we have censorship, privacy, and also digital divide. And we had external and internal meetings, which means internal meetings means establishing a mutual understanding between the other stakeholders within your group. So all the government comes up with a stance. And then an in external meetings, they represent government to speak on the issues, for example, digital divide, what they think they should do. It's more a solution base. It's more for their understanding of, you know, what internet governance is. And it's a place for them to voice out what they think.
We actually have the executive summary here available. We're more than happy to send it to you. Please approach us if you're interested. The timing that happened right before the APR IGF and we had a lot of guest speakers including Edmon and Stephen right here, also Marcus, Cheryl, and also Wolfgang to be at the youth IGF to give us comments on their experience before. That helped us put it in context.
We had another panel at the Hong Kong IGF specifically to talk about what we thought about the issues. So it was really helpful that we could actually input into the Hong Kong IGF.
Another thing I would like to mention and really appreciate all the organisers is that they really focus on having youth on the secretariat and also in the local OC meetings that I personally sit in a couple of those. I think Matthew is another one of our NetMission ambassadors sat in one of those. They actually had input directly into the Asia Pacific or IGF logistics, planning, and all of that. So that really helped, direct participation of youth in the APR IGF.
So here again I would like thank all the organisers for all their help and effort to really put youth into perspective and really listen to them. So yes, that's my report.
>> Moderator: Thank you. Bianca, you are a graduate student?
>> BIANCA: No, I'm undergraduate.
>> Moderator: I think if you can find a clone she is very efficient. Okay. Thank you, Bianca.
Questions for our speakers and the organisers and what they have done with respect to the Hong Kong experience? Please.
>> Audience: First I'd like to congratulate everyone for what sounded like a really vibrant and yes, really cool Asia Pacific IGF. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it because I only found out about it a little bit too late.
>> Moderator: Can you identify yourself.
>> My name is Jaci. I'm from the women's support programme sorry. That's a very long title. Congratulations. I would ask around a process issue. So I find very heartening that specific attention was paid to particular sections of civil society. So for example, the differently abled groups and the youth. I would like to ask also if similar attention was paid to, for example, the participation of women and also the participation of perhaps LGPT groups to talk around issues of privacy, security, and openness because this is one of the topics that we are also bringing to the table and off academia as part of the civil society representation as well.
And how has kind of like the models of multistakeholderism and openness that has been really developed through a lot of trial and error and sweat and blood in the IGF process and how that has also been brought forward in the regional processes and international processes. I'm very excited to see this continue. I think that it will be really great for the Asian region to be able to come together in this kind of configuration to talk about regional IG agendas and priorities.
>> Moderator: I think what I can say is that we did try to include issues that seemed to be most significant given that it's our first meeting. But most significant, I don't mean that other issues are not significant, but kind of the priorities that we face so that, you know, we get people on board, especially this being our first time.
I think that before it was okay on women. I think we did try to do some kind of outreach for women. LGBT was not on our radar screen, frankly. Youth was mentioned. So to the extent that we could, I think that given the time that we had and especially in planning, we did try to include, I guess you would say, the minority groups. Edmon or Stephen, any comment here?
>> Stephen: Thank you, Chair. The organisers, those involved in organizing, we all are aware that we are very familiar with IG issues and the various stakeholding scenarios and all that. I just want to emphasize one thing, we have considered all the issues that actually you have talked, you were talking about. But I just want to say that, one, this is a first attempt. It's a pioneering kind of attempt.
And secondly, given the time we had, as I mentioned right at the beginning, we had less than six months to organise this. And so conscientiously, we would not have parallel sessions because of the additional effort of organizing sessions. So without parallel sessions, whereby maybe some specific focus could be brought to bear in some specific issues. So we were organizing kind of a main session and it's only a two day compared to a four day kind of IGF.
And so therefore, some issues were not significant. It's a matter of choice. We had a post review of the local conference and regional and next time if anybody does it, in Hong Kong or otherwise, we should actually be have parallel sessions as well as to extend to other equally important issues which were limited and restricted for the time we had. Thank you, Chair.
>> Moderator: Edmon?
>> EDMON CHUNG: Just quickly to answer the question, we actually did reach out to those groups. I would talk a little bit more about that, but just to let you know that part of some of the supporting organisations include like a women's organisation in Hong Kong, actually a couple of them, one for island area around Hong Kong, one for another area where a lot of the new immigrants are from Hong Kong and also what is called the life workshop. So there are a number of the groups that we did try to engage. It is very tough to get them to engage. I'll talk more about that in a bit.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: I'm Sala from Fiji. I wear a couple of hats. I'm the group legal regulator, although I'm not here for Telecom Fiji. I'm the national chair for a committee that was summoned by development to develop the cybercrimes policy, slash, ICT policy. I also am the treasurer in publications of the criminal community of the national bar association and cybercrimes is a relative theme that's not really discussed in depth. I can see potential for development.
I'm very excited to be here. I'd like to congratulate the organisers of the first Asia Pacific IGF. It's not easy. I know what it's like to pioneer. I would like to congratulate them on behalf of the 14 island countries that are not here. I'm one of the founders of the professional training forum, which is an initiative with, under the PIF umbrella. It is a privilege and an honour to see you guys finally, and I'd like to congratulate you.
I'd also like to say Kudos for youth participation. I think it's increasingly imperative that we engage the next generation and the amazing partnership is a testament. And it should be sort of a template for all organisations to follow and to model after. And I look forward to increased participation, and I'm looking forward to what Keith has to say.
>> Moderator: Okay. Thank you. Are you commenting? Can you hold it until the end because we're going to move forward a little bit. I'm concerned for the time.
Edmon, do you want to talk now about the survey results?
>> EDMON CHUNG: Sure. I'll try to be as quick as possible. Just a quick summary of the, I guess, statistics and some of the survey results. We did a survey during the APR IGF. As I think we mentioned, there are three component events. The Asia Pacific regional IGF roundtable and the Hong Kong IGF conference and the youth IGF camp. In terms of participants, the youth IGF camp, there were 68 people including students and moderators and guests. There were 200 participating in the Asia Pacific regional IGF roundtable. There were 250 at the Hong Kong IGF conference. And the total unique participants, because some of them overlapped between the three events, so the total unique participants is about 400.
The event attracted participants from over 20 countries, so 25 economies. I'll quickly read through them so you can get a sense of who the participants are coming from. Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States.
So I think we had a pretty good mix of people. We got back almost 25, 30 percent of the forms of those attending the conferences and the roundtable. The survey consisted of 15 questions. 99 percent agreed to hold an APR IGF again. 98 percent thought it was, if they are given the chance, they would try to attend on site again. 76 percent said even if they didn't attend on site, they would try to attend remotely.
Here is a more stranger statistic, more than half think that we should move around different host cities, but about half actually thought we should stay in Hong Kong. I just want to say that this is a biased, probably a biased statistic because a lot of people participating came from Hong Kong.
A lot of people, about 88 percent, thought that about two to three days was just about right. 90 percent agreed that the event itself is important for them. And here is a number of more interesting ones, about three quarters thought that the multistakeholder mixture was good, which also means that about a quarter of them thought that we could do better.
Then the final question was, in terms of the interaction part, about 40 percent felt it was appropriate. About 40 percent was neutral. 20 percent thought there should be more interaction. There again is an area that should be improved.
In terms of learnings, I guess I just wanted to quickly talk a little bit about the learning. I think Stephen mentioned just now, in one of the important learning is that for the first time, we were a little bit nervous about how many people we could actually get in the room and, therefore, we sort of had one main session. But I guess one of the learning, we have enough people so interested, so it's really I think in the future, we should have break out sessions so that more interactions and more discussion could happen and also drive towards, I guess, building more outcomes and perhaps developing best practices or consensus around different issues.
In terms of, another learning that I think was important is that it's very difficult to engage non IT or non internet civil society, which I think was brought up just earlier, women's associations from the LGBT groups, and other groups that are non IT or non internet. It's very difficult, at least from Hong Kong and perhaps in Asia as well, a lot of things on the internet today now relates to those issues. But a lot of the organisations that were formed are not I guess don't understand the IGF and the IGF process enough to be participating, even like elderly, disadvantaged groups or even child abuse groups in Asia are relatively slower and more difficult to engage them.
So there again needs to be more work.
And finally, I guess one of the learnings was that it's four regional IGF's is not as we try to be a bottom up process, it's not as easy to engage participation from governments, especially with the diverse and large region. I think that's an area again that we could try to do better. And in fact, I guess speaking from the secretariat, I think we would it would be we could use some help from the global IGF secretariat as well I think on that point.
So that concludes the brief summary on statistics.
>> Moderator: Okay. Thank you. I wonder who is the one person who didn't support the original IGF. We will find out. I'm kidding.
Okay. We are supposed to have time for some discussion, but because of our shorter time now, I'm going to invite the speakers and then we will talk about other learnings and the way forward. This section, we're talking about the actions that developed as a result of the IGF or kind of subsequent to, whether it's caused by or not. We're going to have four persons. Robert, Yvonne. Isumi Iza, Keith Davidson, Samantha, and Robert. Isumi first. Isumi is a pioneer of the internet, has translated books into Japanese from famous authors. And he's very well networked.
>> ISUMI: Thank you for your kind introduction. My name is Usumi Iuza from Tokyo. Heavily inspired by the regional IGF, on my right from the Japan internet providers association, it's a national ISP association. And the association proposed to hold a Japan's IGF or IGF Japan in two months time or less than so from now, end of October, 29th and 30th, in Okinawa, the southmost island.
Together the ministerial meeting of the APAC countries to take place there. Why Okinawa? There's some story behind that, especially it's sort of relatively underdeveloped economically. They have a unique history and culture between China and Japan, so to speak. But over the ten years, last ten years, they made a substantial economic development utilizing ICT. And starting from the call centre, they have special treatment of long distance calls being exempted. Surprising it's much less, thereby getting a lot of call centre businesses. These are turning into a backup when the mainland gets an earthquake or international lines. They have sort of an interesting strategy. More than 100 ITC customers over the last ten years emerged. And making local economy as well.
There are some of these coming from Tokyo or Japan mainland. The local economic development is quite significant. With that background, the Okinawa government asked to propose some kind of event. And we proposed back IGF. As much as it will be a national event, but also taking the lessons from Hong Kong that we'd like to extend to some degree of our meeting as regional, Asia Pacific, and international, anybody on the globe.
Hong Kong has three months of serious preparation time. We had less than three months from now. But we got a very good support from both local and national government to make it as a multistakeholder. We regret that at this point, we don't have enough funding secured to invite speakers or participants from outside the country. We'll try very hard at least to bring some. But we appreciate if you could participate remotely or physically or sponsor together or propose, you know, the issues to be discussed, it will be a learning exercise for the Japanese internet community and the outside internet community but related to interests, from all the experience of IGF.
Interestingly, American people also expressed very good support. They would like to participate in the context of APAC, but also there is bilateral discussion about internet economy and governance.
So these are the areas that we are looking into. And it's closer from many Asian countries like Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Korea. Basically, if you have anything....
>> I am from Japanese Asia Pacific Association. I don't know why we in Japan we never do such an IGF activities. But when I attended Hong Kong, AP IGF, so we do something immediately. So we'll do IGF kick off meeting in Okinawa. So I hope many people come to Okinawa, not only for the meeting but also Okinawa itself the island. The atmosphere is very relaxed.
>> Excuse me just for 20 seconds. This IGF Japan is not only annual event per se. He envisioned that to be a standing kind of forum as a continuous body to bring in issues, make recommendations in the working groups. But it's largely a non binding group. It's not an annual event per se. Many industry associations, civil society, academic institutions, business associations, are showing an interest to have such a thing so that it will become sort of a mother hub of any issues relevant to the internet governance. That's the kind of idea we have.
>> That is an interesting model. The IGF as we know it but what the group is proposal, therefore, is sending a standing forum where people can come and meet on a regular basis several times a year. So that would be an interesting model to consider
Next we want to get Keith Davidson, chairman of the APD. The organizing of the Asia Pacific.
>> KEITH DAVIDSON: Thank you. My name is Keith Davidson. I'm the external relations director for internet, the operator of the dot NZ ID domain space for New Zealand and the chair, they have to report to me in life. And also amongst some of the heads, I am also a facilitator for a small structure called the Pacific internet partnership which has been running for some six or seven years. And I'll talk more about that in a moment.
I think one of the great learning experiences that comes from participation in events is the knowledge of what to do and what not to do by observing what has happened. And I think the AP IGF in Hong Kong provides a fantastic template, particularly in terms of the resource of the Web site and so on, on how an organisation or a country or territory could run an IGF at a local or regional basis. I think it's a useful methodology. Its commitment to its programme building through an open and transparent consensus based bidding process was very, very good.
So I think in part that gave us the stimulation to have a structure by which we could organise an event within the Pacific arena. And I think also just being the meeting place of many friends, both organizationally and individually, who have had a long term commitment to helping in the Pacific. It was good to be able to meet and have the corridor conversations by which you can facilitate the possibility of an event.
Of course, the Pacific islands are a group of some individual countries and territories. Some are self governing states. Some are in cooperation with the New Zealand, dependencies of New Zealand and Australia and so on; very challenging set of economies involved.
Of course, nothing would be successful in terms of a multistakeholder dialogue without a full government commitment to that concept. And so we took out of the Hong Kong event the need to engage with the Pacific governments. And June and Tong are the ministers of ICT, the Pacific forum, met and resolved that they would support Pacific IGF. To that end, we finally had a commitment from government. And we know that with their contacts within the NGO business and civil society sectors that there is a willingness and a desire and a need for the Pacific to engage in an IGF discussion.
We then set about trying to fine the place that we are in. Next year, there are two quite interesting events, Caledonia is already scheduled. One is the Pacific ministers meeting which runs for a week and then the very following week is the annual meeting of the Pacific islands telecommunications association. So that left us an ideal opportunity for the weekend in between the two to actually stage the Pacific IGF. So that is the 9th and 10th of April. And New Caledonia, it is the home of the secretariat to the Pacific community who assists the ministerial meetings and so on. We have the venue provided courtesy of them.
We have nothing formal in terms of communications at this stage because it has been through the continuing conversations here and the simultaneous Pacific island chapter of ISOC's meeting that is happened in Vinuatu that we have been able to connect the last of the dots. But we will