Access Now at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum

Access Now will be at the 14th edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations initiative hosted by Germany from November 25-29 in Berlin. The IGF is an opportunity for actors from governments, business, academia, civil society, and the technical community to convene and discuss key legal, political, social, and technical issues relating to the internet.

This year, Access Now will have the opportunity to take part in the event and discuss some of the most pressing challenges — and solutions — with regards to the next generation of internet governance, network disruptions and cyber attacks, 5G, transparency, and control for Internet of Things, digital trade, and more. Our Digital Security Helpline staff will also be available throughout the event to provide in-person consultations on all your digital security needs.

Below is a snapshot of our program at this year’s IGF. If you cannot attend IGF in person, remote participation is available via webcast, and you can follow Access Now on Twitter to follow the discussions in real time.

Monday 25 November – Friday 29 November

Digital Security Clinic
Access Now booth in the IGF Village
Booth #2, Foyer 1

Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline will hold a Digital Security Clinic throughout the conference. Participants will be able to seek assistance to improve their digital security practices, share concerns, or assess their needs at the dedicated booth in the IGF Village. This service, available at community convenings throughout the year, builds on the Helpline’s 24/7/365 work with individuals and organizations around the world to keep them safe online.

Monday 25 November

Next Generation Internet Governance book launch
Brett Solomon
9am-9:45am – Raum Europa

We are honoured to have contributed a section in the upcoming book Towards a global framework for cyber peace and digital cooperation: an agenda for the 2020s. Our Executive Director Brett Solomon wrote about the essential place of civil society in the future of internet governance, despite its vulnerable position when it comes to cyber attacks or scarcity of resources.

Tuesday 26 November

Protests in our digital age
Raman Jit Singh Chima
08:00am-09:00am – Room 30612 – Wing 3

With the rapid expansion of the internet and telecom networks, connectivity has become enmeshed with all elements of social life – including many elements of our rights to free expression and association. Recent developments have seen technology play a critical role in civic engagement, democratic mobilisation, and peaceful protest.

5G, IoT and Zero Rating Challenges for Net Neutrality
Verónica Arroyo
11:30am-1:00pm – Estrel Saal B

The convergence of emerging technologies raises critical questions about how to effectively defend human rights in the digital age. Technical developments in how we share and receive information impact everything from our personal communications to the way we work to the integrity of our elections.

Human rights and digital platforms – contradiction in terms?
Fanny Hidvégi
10:45am-11:45am – Convention Hall I – D

Recent data breach scandals and concerns over micro-targeting of people on digital platforms have raised key questions about the compatibility of the business model and practices of digital platforms with human rights, especially privacy and data protection. Potential solutions to ensure the respect of human rights principles are all the more complex when they need to be applicable and enforced in different jurisdictions, where the concept and level of protection of those rights vary considerably from country to country.

Digital Rights Litigators Network
Peter Micek
12:00pm – 2:00pm – Room 30612 – Wing 3

The Digital Rights Litigators Network includes legal professionals from various civil society organisations and law firms. By strategically engaging in these sessions, participants are provided with the opportunity to exchange insights on the judiciary’s power to hold governments and companies accountable on human rights in the digital age. 

Contract for the Web Launch
Melody Patry
6:30pm – 9:30pm – Europa Saal
Access Now has joined the Web Foundation and more than 160 organizations and companies to support the Contract for the Web, a global plan of action with nine principles to reassert the web’s freedoms and access for all. This is the opportunity to reclaim the importance of human rights in the digital age, and the role governments, companies and citizens have to play to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone.

Wednesday 27 November

#KeepItOn Coalition meetup
3:30pm-4:30pm – Room 20529, Wing 2, level 5

Access Now is hosting a private meeting for the members of the #KeepItOn Coalition, which campaigns against internet shutdowns around the world. This will be an opportunity for members of the coalition to reflect on 2019, review common positions, challenges, and expectations, and set up goals for 2020. If you are a member of civil society working on censorship and are interested in joining this community, let us know here.  

Thursday 28 November

Network disruptions across borders: a new cyber response
Melody Patry and Peter Micek
9:30am-10:30am – Saal Europa

Government-triggered internet disruptions are on the rise. The justifications used by the authorities range from public safety to preventing the spreading of false information to avoiding cheating during school exams. Most recently, the Iranian government imposed a nationwide internet blackout to silence information coming in and out amidst protests in the country. While this shutdown has been denounced as an unnecessary and inherently disproportionate restriction on freedom of expression online, are there situations when disruptions are a justifiable response? To a cyber attack, for example? 

Transparency and Control for the Internet of Things
Estelle Massé
3:00pm-4:30pm – Raum II

IoT devices have quickly appeared in our homes and workplaces, often outside of regulatory frameworks and security standards. There is also little transparency about the devices themselves and how they function, how they are using the data they collect, who has access to that data, and so on. After several incidents made headlines and exposed IoT hacking and vulnerabilities, and with the European GDPR setting requirements for data protection, it is worth discussing whether transparency and security standardization are needed and, if yes, what framework(s) to adopt. 

Unpacking Digital Trade Impacts: Calling all Stakeholders
Guillermo Beltrà
4:40pm-6:10pm – Estrel Saal C

Trade negotiations predate the internet, and as a result digital trade policy discussions sometimes lack the involvement of the multiple stakeholders we see taking part in internet governance talks. Access Now’s Policy Director will tackle what civil society contribution can look like in a digital trade space that sometimes looks out of reach.