Access Now events at Internet Governance Forum 2015

Access Now has sent six staffers to participate in this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa, Brazil.

The IGF invites diverse communities, including government, civil society, companies, technical, academic experts, and more to discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance. By participating, we work to strengthen the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, and other users at risk to create an internet ecosystem that better respects human rights with more open, transparent, and accountable institutions.

Here’s an overview of our approach to IGF and what we hope to accomplish. Below are details about the sessions we’re participating in.

The title and overarching theme this year is “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development,” supported by eight sub-themes:

  • cybersecurity and trust;
  • the internet economy;
  • inclusiveness and diversity;
  • openness;
  • enhancing multistakeholder cooperation;
  • the internet and human rights;
  • critical Internet resources; and
  • emerging issues.

Here are just a few of the events we will lead and take part in. Come see us and say hi!

Zero Rating Showcase

Location: IGF External Auditorium

Time: Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Access Now and PROTESTE will be hosting a Zero Rating showcase where researchers from different stakeholders will have a chance to show their latest research on zero rating and add data to enrich this important discussion. These are the researchers who will join us and the subjects they will cover.

  • Pilar Sanez (Fundacion Karisma): Commercial offers of zero rating services and their regulatory context
  • Andy O’Connell (Facebook): Internet.org and Free Basics
  • Flavia Lefevre (PROTESTE): Zero rating with relation to public interest, development and digital inclusion
  • Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood: Zero Rating: what can we learn to help mobile adoption in developing countries
  • Pedro Ramos: The effects of zero-rating through a developmental perspective
  • Chenai Chair (Research ICT Africa): Zero Rating services on the supply side in African countries
  • Dhanaraj Thakur (Alliance for Affordable Internet): The impacts of mobile data services in developing countries
  • Jochai Ben-Avie (Mozilla): Mobile for Development: approaches to local content creation
  • Carolina Rossini (Public Knowledge): The definition of zero rating and its implications
  • Arturo Carrillo (George Washington University): The Human Rights Response to the Zero Rating Conundrum

Our Zero Rating showcase will prepare participants for the plenary session on Zero Rating and Net Neutrality on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2-4 p.m. in the Main Hall.

Digital Security Clinic

Location: IGF Village

Time: Nov. 10-13, 9-5pm

Access Now’s Digital Security Clinic offers all event attendees the opportunity for on-site assessment of security and threat evaluation, with high-quality professional assistance and live malware tests. At our clinics, anyone can engage Digital Security Helpline staff, free of charge, with questions and concerns they have about their current digital security practices, needs, and capacities.

Our staff will be ready for one-on-one consultations in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, and English. Stop by to chat and level up your digital security!

Joao Pessoa WSIS+10 Review Civil Society Strategy Meeting

Location: Workshop Room 10

Time: Nov. 9, 2-6 p.m.

In December 2015, a WSIS+10 Overall Review High Level Meeting of the U.N. General Assembly will assess the progress made in implementing the World Summit on the Information Society outcome documents and decide on the way forward for the next 10-15 years. As the 2015 IGF takes places only shortly before this meeting, and the co-facilitators of the WSIS+10 Review process attending the IGF, we will take stock of where we are in the preparatory process, as well as strategize about how we can make sure that civil society’s main concerns are appropriately reflected in the final outcome document.

Access Now and other groups are co-sponsoring a civil society preparatory session in order to update participants on the process and the main issues at stake, share information from earlier regional and global civil society events on the WSIS+10 Review, outline the content of the latest outcome document draft, and strategize on joint messages, priorities, and advocacy processes. Find out what’s at stake for the rules around development and tech issues, including cybersecurity, Net Neutrality, network shutdowns, encryption, and more.  We’ll also prepare participants for the plenary session on WSIS+10 Review at the IGF, on Nov. 10, 9-12:30 p.m.

Benchmarking ICT companies on digital rights

Location: Workshop Room 7

Time: November 11, 11 a.m.–12:30 pm

More research and data about different companies’ policies and practices can encourage competition in respect for users’ rights. The purpose of this roundtable workshop is to bring together a geographically diverse range of NGOs and researchers to share experiences and perspectives on creating projects to rank or rate tech and telecom companies. The goal is to create a “how to” guide on launching such projects as well as a collaborative network of organizations and researchers. Company and government stakeholders will also provide feedback on how such projects can most effectively influence corporate practice and government policy.

Participants include:

  • Rebecca MacKinnon — Director, Ranking Digital Rights
  • Parker Higgins — Activist, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Carolina Botero Cabrera — Director, Fundacion Karisma
  • Cecille Soria — Activist, Demoracy.Net.PH
  • Kelly Kim — General Counsel, Open Net Korea
  • Peter Micek — Access Now
  • Luca Belli — Terms of Service and Human Rights Project, Center for Technology & Society at Fundaçao Getulio Vargas.
  • Ankhi Das — Public Policy Director, Facebook – India, South & Central Asia
  • Marcin de Kaminski — Policy Specialist, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)

This discussion will follow on from a civil society strategy meeting on the results of the first Ranking Digital Rights “Corporate Accountability Index,” taking place Monday, Nov. 9, 2-6 p.m. in Workshop Room 8.

#AfricanInternetRights: whose rights are these anyway?
Location: Workshop Room 7
Time:  November 11, 09:00am – 10:30am

Initiatives such as the African Declaration are example of how a
rights-based Internet policy environment can be established. Using the
Declaration as an example from the African continent of how this could
be achieved, the roundtable invites participants from all stakeholder
groups to present their perspectives on digital human rights and their
impact on policy, the digital economy and innovation. The roundtable
will open with a brief summary on the rights and principles that the
Declaration covers, and the policy gaps that it seeks to address.


  • Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), based in Lagos, Nigeria.


  • Mr. David Kaye, clinical professor of law at the University of California and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression
  • Mr. Makane Faye, Chief of the Knowledge Services Section at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Ms Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), based in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, Africa Regional Coordinator, The World Wide Web Foundation
  • Ms Lillian Nalwoga, President of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) in Kampala, Uganda
  • Mr. Ephraim Percy Kenyanito, Policy Fellow, Access Now/ Affiliate, Internet Policy Observatory

When Governments Hit ‘Like’ on War on Terror”.
Location: Workshop Room 1
Time:  November 11, 11:00am – 12:30am

In this roundtable, experts from governments, civil society, industry
and academia will be invited to address three types of measures that
gained ground in recent months:
1) Online provisions of recent anti-terrorist laws for example requiring
Internet Service Providers to take down terrorist websites without court
2) Efforts to encourage ‘counter-speech’: governments and civil society
using social media to advance alternative narratives to reduce impact of
terrorists online.
3) Proposals to ban end-to-end encryption.
The goal of this roundtable is to narrow down and update the debate
about freedom of expression online and other human rights. The
participants will also help to identify best and worst practices and
present them on a form of a report that can be used as a guide for


  • Ahmed Ghappour, UC Hastings College of Law, United States
  • Miriyam Aourragh, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Ephraim Percy Kenyanito, Access Now/ Internet Policy Observatory
  • Ndesanjo Macha, Global Voices, Nigeria
  • Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship
  • Mohammad Najem, Social Media Exchange, Lebanon
  • Dorota Glowacka, Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights, Poland
  • Ebele Okobi, Facebook
  • Matt Zimmermann, Twitter
  • Frank La Rue, UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression (2008-2014)
  • Jason Pielemeier, Special Advisor, Bureau of Democracy, State Department, US
  • Adam Bye, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
  • Pascal Rogard, Quai d’Orsay, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

A dialogue on “Zero rating” and Network Neutrality
Location: Main Meeting Hall
Time: November 12, 14.00-16.00
Together with fellow MAG colleagues, Susan Chalmers and Ginger Pague,
Ephraim from Access Now is organizing a main session on zero-rating at
the IGF2015. The goal of the session is to provide all policymakers with
a broad base of considerations on the topic, in order to assist their
own policy formation in their respective jurisdictions.


  • Jochai Ben-Avie, Senior Global Policy Manager, Mozilla, USA
  • Eduardo Bertoni, Professor, Universidad de Palermo, Argentina
  • Igor Vilas Boas de Freitas, Commissioner, ANATEL, Brazil
  • Dušan Caf, Chairman, Electronic Communications Council, Republic of Slovenia
  • Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood, Research Fellow, London School of Economics, UK/Peru
  • Belinda Exelby, Director, Institutional Relations, GSMA, UK
  • Bob Frankston, Computer Scientist, USA Has been added
  • Helani Galpaya, CEO, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka
  • Anka Kovacs, Director, Internet Democracy Project, India
  • Kevin Martin, VP, Mobile and Global Access Policy, Facebook, USA
  • Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director, Center for Internet and Society, India
  • Steve Song, Founder, Village Telco, South Africa/Canada
  • Dhanaraj Thakur, Research Manager, Alliance for Affordable Internet, USA/West Indies
  • Christopher Yoo, Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Engaging youth in a multistakeholderism practicum
Workshop room 7
November 13, 11.00-13.00

As part of efforts to enhance the awareness of young people regarding
internet governance processes, the coordinators of the Youth Coalition
on Internet Governance will be launching an Internet Governance
practicum at the IGF 2015. The practicum aims to provide youth with
practical experience and will especially be beneficial to young people
with little to no knowledge on Internet Governance matters.


  • Martín Silva Valent, Global knowledge Partnership Foundation
  • Wisdom Donkor, ISOC Ghana Chapter
  • Bianca Caroline Ho, NetMission.Asia, Asia
  • Ephraim Percy Kenyanito, Access Now/ Internet Policy Observatory
  • David Ng, NetMission.Asia, Asia
  • Yannis Li, Civil Society, Secretariat of APrIGF, Asia
  • Oarabile Mudongo, Digital Literacy and Open Source, Mozilla Foundation
  • Julia Reda, Member of European Parliament
  • Lorena Jaume-Palas, German Youth IGF
  • Farzaneh Badii, Academia & Persian Youth IGF

We hope to see you in person, or you can follow along online live at http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/igf2015-cast.