Human Rights, Multi-Stakeholder Approach Are European Priority For Internet Governance18/09/2009 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.Stakeholders gathered this week to discuss a European approach to the governance of the internet in the lead-up to the next global forum on the issue. The second European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) took place in Geneva on 14-15 September and brought together some 200 representatives.Access to the internet, online privacy, social networks, cybercrime, and the future of internet were among the issues discussed over six workshops and four plenary sessions. The debates were supposed to feed the European contribution to the UN-organised Internet Governance Forum, taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on 15-18 November.Coming from the private sector, governments, parliaments, and civil society, EuroDIG participants agreed, according to a EuroDIG press release, that all stakeholders should be involved in policymaking and regulation, that the internet should be accessed in an equal way by all users, that privacy and data protection should be considered primary and that legislation preventing cybercrime should rely on existing instruments.The event was co-organised by the European Broadcasting Union and the Swiss Federal Office of Communications, with the support of the Council of Europe.According to participants in a Monday workshop the ability of users to access the content services applications of their choice is related to their fundamental right to freedom of expression, freedom of communication, and freedom of information.One workshop summary called upon “countries to adopt and enforce data protection laws covering all sectors, both online and offline, based on international privacy standards that are built on the rule of law, that support democratic institutions, and safeguard human rights like the EU Data Protection Directive and the Privacy Convention 108.”There is the need for a user-centric legal regulation so that the users are in control of their privacy, said Virginia Paque of nonprofit DiploFoundation aimed at stakeholder participation in diplomacy, who was the rapporteur for the workshop on personal and professional privacy. Data protection and self-determination must be included in the concept and design of applications and information technology projects, she said, adding that “increasing vertical consolidation between search engines and online advertising companies gives them unprecedented control over large personal information databases.”It is important to provide fair and equal access to the internet, said Jean-Jacques Sahel of Skype, summarising a workshop on net neutrality. Most panellists found that the openness of the internet should be guaranteed, in the interest of both users and providers. “Content is worthless if users are prevented” from accessing it, he said.A European forum on network management bringing together internet service providers, regulators, users, and applications providers should be initiated to work on latest trends, as well as on the implications for the market, network investment and innovation, said Sahel.Strategies against cybercrime should take into account human rights, including data protection, democracy and the rule of law, said Alexander Seger of the Council of Europe during a workshop on cyber security. “Our data are wanted by many,” he said, like financial services, search engines, social networks, governments for security, and criminals for cybercrimes.A key issue, he said, is anonymity on the internet, the lack of traceability and security should be enhanced through authentication. To tackle cybercrime, rather than devise new legislation, using existing ones would be preferable, such as the international standards against cybercrime from the “Budapest” convention on cybercrime and the guidelines for the cooperation between law enforcement and internet service providers against cybercrime adopted at the global Conference on Cooperation against Cybercrime in 2008 at the Council of Europe.Alun Michael of the United Kingdom Parliament, moderator of the workshop, said that a new model of “cooperative regulation», including all stakeholders participation, should be developed.In a workshop on what the internet will be like 2020, participants said that it should be different, with denser communication networks. Innovation will have to be fostered and policymakers provided with better guidelines. The European Commission has issued several documents on the issue, like the information and communications technology policy agenda for 2015.A key topic is trust and awareness in the context of the internet 2020. Concerning copyrights, “The younger generation does not believe in the regulatory regime anymore,” the rapporteur said. However, some copyright protection seems to be necessary even if the system of collective licensing might prove the most appropriate, he said. Session participants predicted that public media likely will lose market share and said it should adapt its activities in making content available.Social networks like Facebook and Twitter might become more prominent and peer filtering and peer reviewing might play a larger role but a stable legal framework, addressing privacy and human rights should be implemented. Information technology policies need to encompass a multi-stakeholder approach, said participants.The human right approach is fundamental for EU stakeholders as this theme was constant throughout all the workshops and plenary, said Lee Hibbard of the Council of Europe.The public service value in term of universal access was also a major issue. “We depend very much on the internet, it is no longer a luxury” but participants see it becoming a necessity, he said.The Council of Europe is working on those issues and on users’ empowerment. “Users need to be fully informed before making a choice,” he said.There will be a common drafting of a document based on the EuroDIG conference by all stakeholders, collecting the main issues and listing the main points of discussion as the European perspective for the IGF in November, Hibbard said.Summaries of the discussions of the workshops can be found at: www.eurodig.orgShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Human Rights, Multi-Stakeholder Approach Are European Priority For Internet Governance" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.