Human Rights: Broadening the Conversation
08 December 2016 - A Main Session on in Guadalajara,Mexico
>> Let me share an operational message with you. This workshop will be translated in six languages. You can grab your translation radios outside, also we remind you all sessions are being live streamed and translated. We invite you to go to the IGF website and the IGF YouTube channel to watch and share.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Okay. Good morning, everyone. We would like to welcome you for coming.
Again, thank you for coming to this panel. I am the head of the Digital Program and Article 19, the Mexico and Central America office. I will be co-moderating the session with Anja Kovacs.
>> ANJA KOVACS: Good morning. Thank you for being here, both to the people on the stage and off the stage.
I'm Anja Kovacs from the Internet Democracy Project in India and look forward to being here with you this morning.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: We will have an opening remarks by our Host Country Chair, Ministry of Public Administration.
>> YOLANDA MARTINEZ: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our third day of activities in Jalisco in Zapopan, Mexico.
I'm part of the Digital Strategy Coordination Team, and we're happy to have you all here. Please be welcomed to our third day of activities of the Internet Governance Forum.
The main session of today will address the importance of Human Rights, specifically Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights that we consider to be given the same importance to Civil and Political Rights. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights describes our lives, we communicate with one another and earn a living, the Rights provide us a certain quality of living. This space for dialogue is more relevant in the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Agenda, and it is my pleasure to have all of you here.
I invite you to be active in your participations. The purpose of the Forum is to exchange ideas, to be proactive and assertive in the proposals and be aware that we have a huge responsibility towards our planet and to advance a multistakeholder model in order to find solutions and to generate better standard of living for populations.
Thank you for being here. I declare official opened this plenary session.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Let me introduce the panel and what we're going to discuss today.
The kind of conversation we want to have, it is the opening, engaging, deepening conversation on the interdependence in the ability and disability of Rights. It will engage the discussion on the interconnection between Civil and Political Rights and the Economic, Social, Cultural Rights. Through this to facilitate a deeper dialogue on Internet Governance and it covers a full range of Human Rights.
Anja will give us the format and I'll lineup the session.
>> ANJA KOVACS: Thank you.
We will be dividing the session into three sections. In the first hour or so we'll be looking at Civil and Political Rights, and the key issues of the moment and emerging issues going forward. In the second session we'll be looking specifically at Economic, Social, Cultural Rights as an area that needs to be looked at in much more detail in its intersections with Internet Governance. In the third section of today we will then be looking at the interconnections between these two sets of Rights. Something that's not been explored much so far, and that's a debate that we really hope to move forward in this morning's session.
In each ‑‑ in the first two sections we will ask first a number of discussions that are with us here on the stage to make their interventions. Following that, we'll open in both sections the floor for the audience in the room to make interventions as well. We ask everybody to be short and snappy. We're looking for 3 minutes from speakers on the floor and one and a half minutes from the audience. In the third section, the floor will be opened for everybody to intervene and all interventions will be limited to 1:30. Finally, we'll also be using Slido for the session, you can go to url.com/hrigf2016 where you can put comments and questions on the session directly which will be live streamed here on the screen.
The questions that are asked, we encourage you to focus especially on the interconnections between the two sections of Rights, and we would like to come back to those questions in the third segment of today.
If you would like to comment, the url, url/igf2016.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
Let's begin with section one. We'll focus on Civil and Political Rights.
Since 2010 the U.N. and different bodies had recognized the importance of these Rights on Internet, why Freedom of Expression and privacy specifically are crucial to continue exercising other Rights in the digital realm. Nowadays we have special resolutions from Special Rapporteurs aiming to protect and promote these Rights in the online world. We can also remember how they will developed different and broader interpretations of the Rights and why we need them to continue to enable these communities and different spaces to become more and more democratic and participative.
What I want to invite our discussions in this session, is to answer some specific questions. I mean, you can stick to one of them or try to go deeper on the three of them.
They are on what have we achieved in terms of addressing Civil and Political Rights in relation to the Internet? What, in your work and opinion, are some of the key milestones? What do we need to do to consolidate the achievements and not lose ground in relation to this work? What are emerging key issues in the area that we need to address given the current context? For example, emerging issues around privacy and big data or Internet of Things, Freedom of Expression and association issues on the role of the Internet in shaping discourse and facilitating the mobilization of support and counter‑support around radicalized expression. What are some Best Practices or lessons learnt in this area, if any?
I would like to give the mic to Ana Neves, she's the director of the Department for the Information Society.
Good morning, everybody.
>> ANA NEVES: I'm here to share the work that my ministry in Portugal is doing around this issue.
I would like to pick up on three components: The first one will be work on empowerment of the citizens to strengthen their Civil, Political Rights, second on privacy and personal data, and the third one on the work on content related to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression.
On the empowerment of the citizens to strengthen their Civil and Political Rights, as we all know, the Internet is now our central platform for engaging in dialogue about the most important issues facing a country. It is where we share our views, speak out against injustice and express our hopes for the future. Conversation is distributed online as well as generated. The enjoyment of all Human Rights is interlinked. For example, it is often harder for individuals who cannot read and write to find work, to take part in political activity or to exercise their Freedom of Expression. Similarly, more demanding societies are likely to be where individuals can exercise political Rights such as the right to vote. Bearing in mind the need to empower citizens to exercise Civil and Political Rights we developed a national strategy on digital inclusion, literacy and accessibility for the period 2015 to 2020 which will Democratize knowledge and access which has had some very good results.
The second point, privacy of personal data: With the Internet and growing digital society, it has changed habits, behaviors, aspirations, rules, jobs, fears, prejudices and the citizens' needs. Therefore, the implementation of new privacy standards, as is the case in Europe of the European Parliament and of the Council from April of 2016 on the protection on natural persons to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, it is particularly relevant to the various representatives of the Internet community. The argument the accusers must have full control over their own data implies a better preparation of users and consumers to this process through proper skills and training. This will enhance their Civil and Political Rights and better understanding what is at stake and how to prevent abuses on the protection of their personal data.
My last point, content related to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression: I would draw your attention to the relation between the Civil and Political Rights. There is an example of a recent Portuguese initiative named Legal Office with two concrete goals, docking of websites with illegal content and provision of an awareness platform with a list of legal websites with contents related to music, video, games, books, you name it. The initiative was set up by several private associations, including the ones who represents the national IEPs and from the Ministry of Culture responsible for the rating of movies, video games and related media. The initiative, more than 250 websites were already blocked. The initiative has been subject to a great deal of criticism. First and foremost, because it could undermine the Right to Freedom of Expression, secondly, because we can have here a lack of legitimacy since we don't have a court decision to support the block of the websites but only an administrative decision from that public entity. Civil and Political Rights are being challenged.
In the case of websites that include undoubtedly illegal contents, blocking does not necessarily translate an infringement of the certain right of the Freedom of Expression. There is always ‑‑ there will always be a clear conflict of Rights because political right, free and open access to courts will be limited each time that the website, the content is blocked even if illegal. They're limited by an administrative decision from the public entity.
Here is something that we have to deal with in Portugal in the very short and immediate terms.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you for sticking to the time.
I want to remind you all to please stick to the time limit.
Thank you very much. I think that legitimacy in these measures, it is an important point we need still to address.
Now I want to introduce Hernan Vales. He's a lawyer that works in the Rule of Law and Democracy Section at the Office of The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva where he is responsible for the Democracy Portfolio. You can help us to answer what in your opinion are the key milestones that we're addressing right now. Thank you.
>> HERNAN VALES: I'll focus on that.
The question was about the ‑‑ about what we have achieved, the key milestones. We have achieved a lot in a very little amount of time, a relatively short amount of time. It doesn't mean that we are naive or that there is room for being compliant, the situation is serious on the ground, but it does not negate the fact that there are some very important achievements of the U.N. ‑‑ in the U.N. on Human Rights field.
I think in 2011 there was the first report that Frank La Rue, actually sitting here with us today, issued on Freedom of Expression and the Internet. That's only five years ago. It's very recent. Since that time, there have been many important reports, decisions, and here I would like to mention, for example, the Human Rights council resolution that you mentioned in the beginning on the promotion, protection, enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet. If you think of that resolution, the first time it was adopted was in 2012, four years ago. It was a very short resolution, only two pages and had five imperative paragraphs, it was very succinct, timid if you wish. The latest resolution adopted in 2016, with ‑‑ we have five pages including issues of Human Rights based approach to access, Internet policy, gender divide, access for Persons with Disabilities. We see a lot of progress was made in this regard.
Also in terms of privacy, you know, after the revelations in 2013, that accelerated a lot of developments on the U.N. plane. We had a couple of resolutions from the General Assembly, and the last one is about to be adopted by the end of this year. It will include issues like transparency, for example. All this to say what, this develop ‑‑ this milestones, these decisions, jurisprudence has two consequences, States know they're being scrutinized, particularly on Freedom of Expression and privacy. States, also, governments, they can no longer claim there is not ‑‑ that there isn't a clear international Human Rights law framework when it comes to privacy and when it comes to Freedom of Expression and other Political Rights. I'll leave it at that.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much.
I would like now to give the word to Patrick Penninckx.
>> PATRICK PENNINCKX: Thank you.
I think this panel will go into the records as being the largest panel and, therefore, enter into the Guinness book of world records. It is a session of speed dating it feels like. I'll be short and snappy as requested.
I'm ‑‑ I'm Patrick Penninckx with the Information Society Department under the Girectorate General Human Rights and the Rule of Law at the Council of Europe. They have been strong in promoting Civil Rights, Freedom of Expression, data protection, that's a traditional way of entering into the discussions also in the Internet, the Rights and values, it is not a linear process. What we're facing today, it is that we sometimes feel that we're either going backwards than forwards. You want to link it to present day developments in our societies. I will not focus on any country in particular, but we're facing more challenges with regards to those Political and Civil Rights.
We can question ourselves, whether we still have a judicial security when States delegate, for example, their own responsibilities to the private sector. Let's look at, for example, the takedown of Internet content.
I want to say a few words, nevertheless, about the Social, Cultural, Educational Rights. Our social Rights are based on the industrial relations that date back to the 19th Century, and the instruments that are developed to protect those Rights basically go back to before the digital age. I can tell you, for example, our European Social Charter has many difficulties to ensure that these Rights in the new age link to how work is organized, how surveillance is organized in the workplace, so on. They have difficulties to implement the new Rights in the digital age.
Cultural Rights, I believe we're still at the age of wishful thinking. Unfortunately until now there is some generic reflections about how to integrate the digital culture into the cultural heritage but there is a number of open questions that remain.
I think on the educational part there is also one of the bigger challenges, that's namely to do with everything that we deal with digital education, education to use the Internet today. That would be my key input.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much for explaining that.
I now ‑‑ you mentioned that you feel we're going backwards than forwards, we have a lot of challenges. That's why I want to give the mic to Luis Fernando Garcia who is Executive Director at the Digital Rights Defense Network of Mexico. He will highlight issues related to privacy in Mexico, particularly surveillance.
>> LUIS FERNANDO GARCIA: Despite Human Rights rhetoric has gained space in our Internet Governance Forum, the translation is far away from reality. Companies ‑‑ the users of the Internet privacy in some countries basic principles of protection of privacy have been incorporated in some countries in terms of which authorities and under which procedures can surveil citizens. In some cases not even that is included in legislations, but in respect of basic principles and practice, it has not happened.
In Mexico, for example, we have placed on record how authorities with no jurisdiction to surveil the population have done that. We have records of phone tapping and tapping users' data has been performed without a warrant, we have confirmed that the tap, the telephone company has not rejected any of the requests to access the data of telecommunication service users. Mexico is one of the biggest buyers of sophisticated surveillance malware. Most of the authorities purchasing it do not have the jurisdiction to oversee citizens. It has been used against journalists, Human Rights advocates and Civil Society members.
In the State of Jalisco where we're at, where this Forum is taking place, the government spends 700,000 euros by ‑‑ and the purchase of this equipment, and only report to have requested a judicial request two times in three years. That means each tapping would cost 350,000 euros or the Jalisco government is spying on its population illegally. In a country like Mexico and a State like Jalisco where the difference between the state and organized crime does not exist surveillance out of the judicial control compromises the citizen security and also the dialogue of multistakeholder interested in Internet Governance is compromised.
How do we make sure we're on equal footing? How can we make progress in this conversation? When I point out to this fact, it is perceived as an offense or I'm being rude and that one stakeholder in this panel spies on other members of society and should be neglected, not discussed, I believe if that's the case we won't be able to see this conversation moving forward and this is what I have to say.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you for going to that level of detail.
Now I would like to introduce Will Hudson. He's Senior Advisor for International Policy at Google where his work focuses on Internet Governance, Google's relationships with international organizations like the United Nations and other International Policy issues.
>> WILL HUDSON: Thanks so much for that introduction. It is a pleasure to be here.
I think one of the things I'm excited about this panel is the amount of time we have for the discussion later. I think as we'll go into my remarks an important thing on making progress on this issue really is the kind of multistakeholder engagement that is provided at the IGF.
I want to talk about three things: One, the importance of free expression to Google; two, need for transparency on the issues; and three, the vital role of multistakeholder engagement.
To start quickly, free expression is key to Google since we were founded. As we all know, protecting Rights and promoting free expression is not something that's static in time. Because it was there at the beginning doesn't mean it is there forever. We're always looking for ways to engage and adapt as the world evolves around us.
Google has a belief in the fear of expression, it is a tenant of free societies, but more information means more choice, power, more economic opportunity and more freedom. At the same time there are limits, in some cases as Freedom House on the network highlights which you're aware of, if you're not, look at it, the limitations are without merit or legal basis, but it is generally accepted there are exceptional case where the limitations are permissible. The question is how you work out these pieces of the puzzle. Rather than talk about content ‑‑ we have talked a lot about that over the course of the week in different sessions, we can talk about it later. I would rather go to the question of how we actually use technology and the power of free expression to continue to protect it online.
A promising way we have seen is something called counter‑speech which tries to promote tolerance and understanding by building up new voices to express themselves. The basic idea is that positive voices can and will drown out content promoting violence, hate, promoting fear. We want people in need of community to be able to find helpful messages online, not just harmful ones. A small piece of this puzzle, in September we launched Creators For Change and I think we're providing equipment, education to content creators, announcing a charitable fund, giving grants to non‑profits to build cross‑cultural understanding and investing in local programs which is critical in countries so that this is self‑sustaining in communities.
That leads to the question of how do you know if all of this is working? How do we make progress? That's where the important role of transparency comes in. It is important for activist users, governments, others to understand the many ways that free expression is used online. That's why Forums like this is important so we can talk about it together.
With that in mind, I'm glad we were one of the first companies to do a transparency report, and we have reiterated on it ever since. We have gone further in recent years by doing things like reporting on European requests for removable and the Right to be Forgotten decision. We removed pages from search which is generally sacrosanct, and we do it for a legal order, we post an order on that and we report on the realtime availability of Google products over the world to help us and users track disruptions and shutdowns.
Quickly ‑‑ I'm out of time ‑‑ I would like to mention again the importance of multistakeholder engagement. In addition to the IGF, one important Forum that we found valuable is an initiative Rebecca will talk about later, as a founding company Google sees the benefits of engaging with partners from all sectors on this important issue.
I want to say in close that I don't think ‑‑ I hope you never have the impression that Google thinks I know the answer to this stuff. I don't. I'm looking for further discussion later to see how we can do better.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you for remembering while multistakeholder models are important to continue discussing this kind of things.
I would like to introduce Paz Pena. She's a journalist and independent consultant on Human Rights and Digital Technologies with a specialization on Gender Approaches and is part of the Coding Rights Brazil. For eight years she was the director of advocacy at Derechos Digitales America Latina.
>> PAZ PENA: Thank you.
Discrimination and hate speech have not just increased in the public opinion but, in fact, have got electoral and political results in many, many regions of the world talking about Civil and Political Rights on the Internet is an extremely complex task. As an advocate for Human Rights on the Internet there is no doubt for me and our communities that the Internet has been a powerful tool for political organization and participation for those, of course, who have the privilege to have a decent, affordable access to the whole Internet.
Without a doubt, Civil and Political Rights on the Internet are in critical danger, especially when we think about political participation in a data society that is increasingly shifting to hate speech, xenophobia, et cetera.
Digital technology, particularly Internet today is conceived as a tool for companies and States to harvest irrational amounts of personal data, data they say is not only the key for a business and the digital economy, but also for control and surveillance. A perfect example of that is this State, Jalisco, where the government has illegally bought surveillance hacking software to collect information to avoid the exercise of their Civil and Political Rights.
In this data society we are in a critical point where Internet will consolidate as an enabler for the exercise of Human Rights or will be a smart tool to control subjects through process of documentation, profiling, criminalization according to activism, occupation, gender, health, condition, social class, race. This is the war in fact we have to tackle. This disproportionate impact of the data Society of The oppressive groups, oppressive groups not only suffers surveillance from the States but also social and economical control. From a gender and intersectionality perspective, ask for transparency and accountability to know who has our data and what they do with that data is not enough. Basically because that will only legitimatize a controlled society where Internet is a smart, modern harvest tool. We need to do more than that, we need to reclaim our democratic oversight of a society leaving ethical decisions to data algorithms handled by fifth parties. Today, more than ever, as a community of consumers, users, citizens, we have a responsibility in our everyday life to fight against the model of Internet as a control tool from fighting against Internet monopolies to look at the logics behind the Internet of today.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much for your insights.
Now that you're talking about not only States, but companies, I would like to introduce Rebecca McKinnon. She's Director of Ranking Digital Rights, which evaluates ICT companies on the extent to which they respect Freedom of Expression and privacy. She is also cofounder of the Citizen Media Network Global Voices.
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Thank you very much.
You know, we're in a difficult time right now. As a Brazilian journalist that teaches in Texas, they often say prior to the Internet we lived in an information desert. Our governments, information systems were based on scarcity. All of our government systems have been built around the assumption of information scarcity. Then the rain came, the Internet came, we have a rain forest. Our governance systems, are mechanisms to prevent the abuse of power and the mechanisms for exercising power or holding power accountable are not fit for purpose in this new ecosystem. This ecosystem is crossing borders, it is not something that you can just resolve the problems in one jurisdiction and we have countries, governments trying to address problems within their own jurisdiction and then causing more problems for Internet users elsewhere. We have, of course, companies exercising power globally in various ways.
It is so important that we have this community here at the IGF, these people pointing out where the system is not working, where the government mechanisms and regulatory mechanisms are in some cases doing more harm than good. I have been looking specifically at the role of companies in this ecosystem, but it connects very much to what governments are and are not doing.
The Ranking Digital Rights Project evaluates the ICT companies on their policies and practices effecting Freedom of Expression and privacy specifically. We found widespread incoherence in companies, transparency or lack of transparency, how they inform users about what's being collected, with whom it is being shared, how it is being used, that even companies that do disclose a lot are not disclosing things in ways that people can make decisions. There are efforts of transparency, there are companies making commitments. We have found a direct correlation between company membership in the global network initiative and the telecommunication industry dialogue and whether they're doing Human Rights impact assessments, whether they're making efforts to be transparent about their policies and practices, but there is a very, very long way to go and we have a lot of work to do to get companies where they need to be. I welcome the resolution that's come out of the Third Committee of the General Assembly that we just heard about, which is calling on companies to abide by their commitments, but also calling on governments to abide by their responsibilities to respect and protect Human Rights and not to do things that prevent companies from meeting their responsibilities.
In our research we have been finding that many governments are compelling companies to do things that are not in keeping with a Human Rights norms or preventing companies from being transparent and are not being transparent themselves about what they're demanding of companies. Unless we build a system in which we have much more transparency on all sides, we have mechanisms for accountability, we have Human Rights impact assessments being conducted by governments on how they're policies are effecting Internet users everywhere, not just domestically, and we have grievance mechanisms, remedy mechanisms that work for the people being affected.
We're going to have problems. I'm optimistic with this community we can gradually work towards solutions.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much.
That's a complexity of this ecosystem and why Internet is not finished, something that we have to remember.
Now I would like to introduce Anita Gurumurthy. She's executive director of IT For Change, an NGO that works at the intersection of ICT and development combining practice, research and conscientization for a world that is socially just.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: The first question, what's being achieved, key milestones? First, the span of Digital Rights, it is clearer, and acquired some legitimacy. Second, more recently, we have seen shifts that demonstrate a new phase of Civil and Political Rights that move away from cascading protests and rebellions to experiments it deepening democracy through a public discourse, individual freedoms come together with civic participation for the promotion of the common good in which the Internet is centrally implicated.
I would point to an example, the ‑‑ this is a movement for citizens right here in Guadalajara. The free software companies contributions, the freedom box project launched in 2010, 2011, a critical milestone to reclaim privacy, control over data, freedom to hold and share opinions. What's evident in the practices not only suggests ideas for the appropriation and use of the Internet, but ideas about the Internet itself and the radical and the potential for Human Rights. What to do to consolidate the achievements? Firstly, we need to look beyond the offline, online, violations are in the very real hybrid spaces where embedded life meets the network. The digitalization of governance, for example, has far‑reaching implications for those that don't own any gadgets as they become subjects of a new data‑fied regime. We have to look at the idea of Rights in the different sociality in the digital age. This is about future proofing everything,
David Case talks about the mechanics of holding opinions have evolved, and I would submit that the mechanics of everything, all institutions have evolved in the digital age.
What are issues to address, emerging, first, ethical, political issues rising from the global network data complex? Thanks to the data complex that drives on and the globalization, the Rights and freedoms in relation to the Internet, it is cast in a game where the Right to connect means loss of privacy and public notion. This is ironic given that the paradigm is able to nurture a sound game ‑‑ but even as others have said ‑‑ for more freedom we may have to give up the pursuit of economic value. We get out of data and close the pipes to save our societies and save Rights. The problem is that the globalization is increasingly shaping jurisprudence at many levels. This is paramount. We have to think of how data government regimes promote collective intelligence and collaboration.
The second, the absence of international jurisprudence to look at the Human Rights issues in the digital age; and the third, the issue of emerging development data that's pushing the world on to a new colonial path. With connectivity slowing down, half of the world is not connected and the decisions by the government are not likely to be represented, the loss of sovereignty, it is high for the poorest countries who don't have the capacity to manage their data. The result is a transfer of national governments to citizen leader to transnational cooperation and with that, the duty of the State to safeguard people's Rights and interests. We must bring the power structures to account.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much.
Now, all of your inputs have given us a complete landscape of where are we in Civil and Political Rights. It's more challenging to go to the next section.
Right now I would like to open to the public for the Q and A section. We'll be presenting the Slido over there for the remote participation.
I would kindly ask you to stand up and say your name when you raise your comments or questions, please.
I would like to thank all the speakers. I feel the term Digital Rights went missing from this discussion. The Digital Rights I believe is a new set of Rights, they are Human Rights that will allow people to freely and easily use access, use create and publish digital media without harassment from government or non‑state actors. I have a list of bloggers, others that are in prison just because they post a Tweet or a Facebook post. Now I think it is in the heart of this, especially the IGF, anywhere, to protect the Digital Rights of those people. We have to remember those who are in prison because they enjoy their Freedom of Expression on the net, and I look forward to see how we could protect Digital Rights of people who are trying to use the Internet to promote peace and freedom in their countries.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much.
We have two questions from the floor. There is one.
>> Good morning. I'm going to speak in Spanish.
My name is Fernando, I'm from Guatemala, Central America. The topic, it is of great importance in terms of the exercise of Human Rights.
We often go on at nauseam discussing how governments control the population and society, but I think in countries we have the mechanisms to a greater or a lesser extent to surveillance mechanisms to control society. The question is, what's being done in other countries in Guatemala? We're not sure how this is happening. We're trying to find out, but what is being done to control companies, private sector, where the data is coming from, and the data is used to control citizens.
For instance, right now those of us taking part in the Forum, beginning to get quotations via the Internet for hotels, food services, we open the page, and the first thing that we get is an offering of hotels, Tequila, et cetera, it is almost harassment. What are we doing to control the private sector, the companies, governments at the end of the day are undertaking or using a mechanism for surveillance or supervision.
I would ask if you could perhaps clear that up within your fields.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: He was asking about other practices in other countries and how countries are making it comfortable on how they're gathering data and using it.
I would like to mention one of the remote questions, it has more awareness of Human Rights on the Internet by governments resulted in more respect for those Rights or more laws that legalizes violation of those Rights?
Someone wants to answer?
>> HERNAN VALES: It is a bit of both.
There is more awareness and governments know they know the Rights and how they need to respect them. The framework, it is there, and they know it is there. The thing is that they are more sophisticated in ways to go around it, and we have seen States that adopted the draconian, repressive Internet laws giving an apparent ‑‑ going through the process, it legitimizes the law, it is a law that's bad if it is so ‑‑ I think it is a bit of both.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
We have another question up there.
>> EDUARDO ROJAS: Hello, good morning.
I'm Eduardo Rojas of Bolivia. I'm the author of The Digital Oppression Concept that we have seen in international Fora.
One of the things that we have seen in Human Rights in the Information Society is lack of clarity. If we're going to protect a database that are owned by different owners or the ‑‑ the legal ownership of individuals we have to put at the core the defense of human begins, the concept of digital protection focusing on people, not machines or ownership of infrastructure. Talking about cybercrime, cyberwar we're often emphasizing the assets infrastructure, setting aside the respect and protection of the people which is where our emphasis needs to be. We have to look at the negative impact of the technologies, that's what we're looking at rather but we also need to pay more attention on the negative impact of those technologies on people, on the subjects of the Rights, not on the assets, per se.
I would like to see, for instance, what the opinion is of panelists in terms of creating a standard so as to enable a dialogue at the same level of comprehension of the legal protection of people and not get confused with the protection of the assets, the databases, the infrastructure per se of private memberships.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: I would like you to remember the question if you can answer.
>> PAZ PENA: I'm going to speak in Spanish so as to answer the people who pose their questions in Spanish. In terms of the responsibility of companies, with respect to our data, I think here the work done by Rebecca McKinnon is very important in terms of having accountability, in terms of companies.
I would also like to underscore the responsibility of users, consumers, citizens, the view we have of the tools online. We can be reluctant and resist to a certain extent. We need to think about whether we want to continue to use the tools of companies that are ‑‑ that have monopolies with our data. For instance, we're talking about Google, Facebook, as users we need to be able to decide what tools we use and resist usage of other tools.
Now the importance, for instance, of open software, how open software can be an instance for resisting to the management of our data and control of our data, not just our data but of our lives through that.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: We have another one, it is how does Google draw limitations on sexual speech as a champion of Human Rights and do they take right to sexual health and info into consideration.
>> WILL HUDSON: I should answer that one.
So very briefly, on products like Search where the general operating parameter, the operating principle of those should be an index of all information on the web with few exceptions, we generally don't try to become a filter for information on any content that people might find controversial, may be offended by whatever it is. You know, whether it is information about sexual health, sexual identity, whatever. On Search, you know, that won't be ‑‑ that won't be effective.
On products like YouTube on ‑‑ on Search, I want to say another thing, there was a health component. On Search, if you use Google and you type in a search result about a medical condition or an issue like that, you get results about that condition that's been curated by doctors and verified for accuracy. The idea is to help you ask more intelligence questions of your doctor, whatever. That's an area where this concept comes into play. Back to the power of technology, what I said before, reaching new people, building up voices, a thing we saw on YouTube ‑‑ maybe you're aware of the It Gets Better project. It was a massive project on YouTube basically to help, you know, give voice to people that were struggling with sexual identity because they were being harassed, experiencing hate, being rejected by their communities, friends. We found in that experience that, again, you know, technology, the problems we see online in terms of harassment reflects real world problems ‑‑ that was something that was mentioned earlier today too. You can use technology to start, you know, fighting back and being a part of the conversation and maybe the same on this issue.
That said, on more specific questions on it, it is not my area of expertise, whoever asked it, email me. We'll figure out how to get that information. I'll be happy to follow‑up.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
Rebecca MacKinnon, you wanted to add something?
>> REBECCA MacKINNON: Quickly on a couple of questions regarding company practices and collection and sharing of data and use of data.
One step is obviously you need good data protection laws. One of the things that we have seen in our research is that in countries that haven't gotten around to passing data protection laws, companies tend not to really bother adhering to Best Practices. What we're trying to encourage and we have a whole set of questions in our methodology that we use to evaluate companies and we're actually encouraging groups in Latin America to apply the questions to more companies operating in Latin America, there are questions like does the company allow you to download all of the data they have on you. You can see what they have collected. Does the company allow you ‑‑ enable you to opt out of use of data ‑‑ use of your data that's not central to providing you the service? Does the company give you any control over under what circumstances your information is used. We're seeing particularly in the case of telecommunication companies around the world not very good practice in that. In countries where particularly where the law is not requiring good practice it is ‑‑ I think it is important as Paz said for users, for investors, consumers, you really need to push, and there is a number of NGOs doing good work around Latin America starting to do research to expose, including Luis Fernando Garcia's organization looking at Mexican telecommunication companies and their practices with data and a number of other organizations around the region.
I recommend really pushing companies to do the right thing. Pushing the government to enact better laws.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
We have one question here, and someone is raising the hand there and here.
>> Good morning. My name is Cali from Venezuela. I work on Rights in that area.
I would like to bring up a couple of points, that is that in Venezuela the Internet has been the window that we have had to express ourselves given the huge censor that exists in other media. There are two major challenges: One is access to Internet, because the divestment of technological companies and infrastructures, it is very important and increasingly smaller number of people have access to the Internet in Venezuela unfortunately.
The second point to bring up in terms of personal data. In Venezuela biometric data collection is a very highly used for buying food, medications. We have to provide our fingerprints every time we want to buy flour for instance. We don't know what the companies do with that information nor what the government does with that information, and whether they can use that information to spy on the private lives of people or to use it for any other effect that has an impact on the privacy of our lives.
>> AUDIENCE: I'll speak in Spanish.
What I want to say is access to justice for women, online violence against women and the repercussions this has in terms of the self-censorship that women live and how the authorities and companies are reacting bluntly and effectively and sometimes they don't.
I would like to share that what we have seen is replicated in other geographies like India and that it is a global trend that we can draw from the experience. There is a generalized climate, the generalized climate we see of the women Rights violations in the offline world is replicated online and the lack of mechanisms to have access to justice I believe that we're living the same situation.
My question is, are you aware of other experiences, accommodations, what it is ‑‑ what is the State of things right now and what we can do to react to this, in spite of the fact that we have exchanged ideas with the government, we have had conversations with companies but it looks as though when there is a rape threat for a women in the platforms, they don't act. But when they censor content, feminine, activists, on those platforms, they immediately act on them to block the pages and censor. We see that the online world functions at a patriarchal world.
That's a question for us.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: We have four minutes to answer the questions, so only another question.
The another question from the remote participation, can we put it here too? There are a lot of questions.
I will take one and it is the first one, many of the violations that people face is attributed to social media ‑‑ this is not a question ‑‑ no focus on the people behind it creating using and providing, we have a question, manipulation of algorithms by social media and certainly engines affects our abilities to live outside an echo chamber, what can we do to push back? I'll leave it at that, keep that in mind. I want to take the two last questions from the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: I have two questions. One is about access to knowledge because I have stopped a long time ago to use Google as my search engine since it is clearly profiling me. Maybe I'm dumb. I know that the search in itself is not so neutral as it pretends to be and there are different information. This brings to the fact that we do not have really true access to knowledge because we don't get all of the information, the information that could happen, they happen and they appear in the ranking also related to what the Google engine, the G mail engine conveys as to what I could probably be interested in, that's one question. The second is listed to the harassment online, there is an interesting reflection done a long time ago about the Internet and the amount of money spent in spam, how to control spam. Investing from company to control spam technologically but in moderation. Why the harassment, the garbage that we have against women cannot be considering the same way and invest the money in the moderation and that means a lot of education on the cultural and educational framework.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
We have another one over there, please.
>> Good morning.
My name is Gonzalez. I come from Mexico.
My question is the following: What are we doing to integrate Indigenous communities to Internet and what are we doing to protect the integrity and the Human Rights of Indigenous communities? On the Internet we have seen different activities and we have participated and we have to go beyond real access to the information that Indigenous groups have access to and I believe that Latin America is the continent where you will find more Indigenous communities but what are we actually doing to protect them? Thank you.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Please.
Is there an Association for Progressive Communications, one of the speakers Luis Fernando Garcia talked about surveillance, buying surveillance equipment and how it is being used, this is a global problem. What can be done about that? In my country there are ‑‑ the government actually out sources surveillance to commercial companies. There is no transparency around that, there is no monitoring of that.
Is it actually possible for us? Is it possible to have a regime of oversight at national and global level that can create more accountability and more transparency, or is this practice already out of control and there's nothing we can actually do about it?
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much.
We have responses which ‑‑
>> LUIS FERNANDO GARCIA: A few. I can't answer all of the questions. What I want to say, I need everyone to understand.
First, I think when we talk about different ‑‑ for example, the problem surveillance, we develop the principles to control it, I think that the experience in the global South needs to be understood, it is different to have surveillance in a country that has institutional checks and balances and when it doesn't and just importing the principles from the global north and trying to just put them in your law, everything will be fine, it is not going on. It does not ‑‑ that's not happening and the evidence shows even when, for example, in Mexico, there is a law and there is judicial warrant requirement, the authorities, they just don't comply with it. We need to take that into account.
Also we need to take into account and be weary of legal colonialism. For example, what is going on with the take down of the copyright provisions that are being basically exercising censorship around the world because of the law of countries or one country. That's a problem, and when authorities in Europe are demanding for content to be taken down globally and that's something ‑‑ that's a problem. It is, as I said, a form of illegal colonialism.
Also companies should understand that they have Human Rights responsibilities, particularly those that have the largest share of certain Internet markets that just because they're private companies and they can establish certain rules about how we use your service. This possibility, it is not unlimited. You have limits especially if you have a bigger share of the market. If you make rules about your ‑‑ how the community is going to use your platform, you need to be consistent that the rules that you establish need to be non‑discriminatory and respectful of Human Rights. And I think that's asked, the companies are starting to take and make decisions that impact even more people than the decisions that the governments make, they need to take that into account, that they also need to be accountable about how they develop their rules and how to implement them and how that harms Human Rights, understanding also the local context, particularly of the Global South.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
We have Ana and Will Hudson, we'll close with you, thank you.
>> I thought I would take a stab at the question we had ‑‑ ‑‑
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Excuse me. Can we stick to one minute each, please?
>> STUART HAMILTON: I want to talk about manipulation of information by algorithms, and here it reminds me of being in school. I studied history and you study sources, ask where does this document come from, who wrote this document, looking at the origins of information. It is not a new thing. We need to consider strongly getting to the point of immediate information, literacy, digital skills training we have to use library why is to bring that to people of older ages and move beyond the discussions having here and think about how to rollout big programs on this subject to help people to tackle the sorts of information. I'm not certain there is a technological solution in this, we have to invest in the human capacity to understand the question.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Will. Will Hudson.
>> WILL HUDSON: One, on the ‑‑ the related question on the echo chamber, the data that companies are using to provide results which are somewhat related.
One, on the echo chamber, you know, as Rebecca pointed out, one of the great strengths of the Internet is that you can get more information from different points of view. This isn't just something that I'm saying, there is data out there to show that people consuming online media sources, online news sources are seeking out more kinds of content from different kinds of viewpoints than they were before. Again, this is a historic problem but we're of the belief that more information is better and that the more information you put out the better people will be.
On the data that companies are using to provide things like search results, one, I think for Google at least, we found that the quarry itself is the best indicator of what people want. Searching for today's news, you know, if you're signed in on one account for today's news, signed in on another account, doesn't produce dramatically different results. At Google this goes to the transparency and user trust issue to get online and you can see the pieces of information that Google has about you and you can see how we collected it, what we're using it for and you can delete that information or you can download it and take it with you and delete it. I think that the user trust piece is important.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
>> ANA NEVES: From what I heard, I would like to make three comments.
I think the strategies for digital inclusion, literacy, the accessibility, that's key, number one.
Number two, users and consumers in parliament, it is crucial as they must have full control of their own data.
Finally, it is ‑‑ I think it should be required, greater responsibility and accountability of actors who provide services and products over the Internet so by design and default principles should be the private sector priorities which could reduce eventually government regulation. This is my final comments before I part.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
Any final remarks?
>> YOLANDA MARTINEZ: Okay.
I believe that the challenges are clear. It is clear that these are common challenges, our colleagues who made reference to Indigenous communities, I believe we have two major tasks and that is to be responsible in a multistakeholder Community to fight for the communities and to advocate for them, we need a clear legal framework in terms of what should be done.
In Mexico we have a special act on the protection of data in the hands of private entities and having data is an enormous step forward but we have to make sure we have a clear strategy to educate on the use of the Internet. We need to identify the possible partnerships that can take place with Indigenous communities and in the case of Mexico every year we have 31% more users and in 2018 we'll have 98 million people using the Internet and we have a huge responsibility as a community not only in Mexico but in Latin America, the region of the world, with he have to make sure that in this inclusion process in the Internet, the Rights, they're fully granted.
Thank you very much.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: I wanted to point out that the discussion on data should also account for the fact that you're not only talking about individual data, because to reduce the entire data phenomena to a question of personal content would be incorrect, data is also a social phenomenon and we know that in the nexus between states and corporations, if we allow the data to become an individual question we will lose the whole idea of the democratic social ownership of o you are communities and societies.
>> PAULINA GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much to the public, remote participation, for all of your answers and insights.
Let's continue with our second section where Anja will be moderating.
>> ANJA KOVACS: What this section made clear, the questions are back on the Agenda, what we wanted to do in this second session was to look in more detail at how the economic social and cultural Rights are already addressed in Internet Governance or not and how they should be.
What it would mean to have a Rights‑based approach to Internet Governance specifically from the perspective of Economic, Social, Cultural Rights, what are some of the key issues in this field that we need to look at. Some have been mentioned, there is more. What are the practices and lessons we have learned in this area and that we can draw on going forward.
We'll follow the same format as in the previous section and I'm going to ask, again, everybody to try to stick to time as closely as possible so that we can have a rich discussion.
I would like to ask Juan Fernandez, a senior advisor in the minute is it industry of communications of Cuba and a MAG member to share what's going on in his field on this subject.
>> JUAN FERNANDEZ: Good morning.
Madam Chair, dear colleagues, first of all, I would like to say how satisfied I am to set foot in Mexican land. Mexico and Cuba are neighboring countries that are united with deep historic cultural, friendship ties.
I would like to thank as well the organizers of this session for having invited me to participate in this section devoted to Economic, Social, Cultural Rights and also to point out the pertinence of carrying out this debate in Mexico since it was one of the first nations in the world to enshrine such Rights in its Constitution in 1917.
Before moving on to specific questions raised by the moderator, allow me to express some general considerations.
In a few days, the 50th Anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations of the international covenant on economic, social and cultural Rights will be celebrated which commits the parties to work for the concession to persons of these Rights, including labor Rights, the Rights to health, the Right to education and the Right to an adequate standard of living, also two days ago, the 30th anniversary of the adoption in the United Nations of the declaration on the Right to the development took place which enshrines the Right to development as an inalienable Human Rights by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in an economic, social, cultural and political development in which all Human Rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.
The reality is that in today's world it is far from achieving the goal of addressing the economic, social and cultural Rights and also the Right to development on equal footing and with the same weight as the Civil and Political Rights.
In the case of the latter, today virtually no one questions its rightness and there are international mechanisms for examining individual grievances.
However, in relation to economic, social and cultural Rights some even question their own existence and refer to them as ideals for the future. . I therefore con great late the organizers of this session for having granted a great importance to the principles recognized by the international communities on the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all Human Rights. Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that the effective implementation of these principles constitutes a challenge not yet surpassed in the allocation of resources by the international community, in the existing international instruments on the subject and in the performance on the United Nations Human Rights machinery itself. I turn now to address some of the questions raised by the moderator. From previously expressed remarks it is clear that are economic, social and cultural Rights and the Right to development have not been incorporated with the pre‑eminence they deserve in the debate on Internet Governance. On the other hand, I believe that the adoption by the international community on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development constitutes an opportunity to put the attainment of these Rights at the heart of the Internet Governance. In this sense it is necessary to recognize that Internet, like any other technology, it is not an end in itself, but it is a means to the satisfaction of the needs of persons and peoples.
We must reject the concept of Internet exceptionalism and begin to treat it as its fair value within a set of necessary and enabling technologies for the provision of basic services such as drinking water, electricity, food, housing, education and health.
I would like to conclude by emphasizing that if