IGF 2018 WS #309
Victims of our own Success?

Organizer 1: Judith Lichtenberg, Global Network Initiative
Organizer 2: Usama Khilji, Bolo Bhi

Speaker 1: Usama Khilji, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Patrik Hiselius, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Ashnah Kalemera, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Judith Lichtenberg, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Judith Lichtenberg

Online Moderator

Usama Khilji


Judith Lichtenberg


Panel - 60 Min


Judith Lichtenberg will outline the shared views and concerns of GNI's multistakeholder membership, as well as research commissioned and work done by GNI on network disruptions and surveillance. Patrik Hiselius will discuss how Telia company approaches government requests/demands, in line with the GNI Principles and the UNGPs. Usama Khilji will provide a civil society perspective from the South Asian context. Ashnah Kalemera will discuss CIPESA's research and policy engagement across eastern and southern Africa.


Judith and Ashnah are women; Patrik and Usama are men. Judith (Netherlands) and Patrik (Sweden) are from WEOG countries, Usama is from Asia (Pakistan), and Ashnah is from Africa (Uganda). Usama and Ashnah represent civil society organizations, Patrik represents a telecommunications company, and Judith represents a global, multistakeholder organization.

Judith Lichtenberg from the GNI will start the panel by describing two globally relevant trends: (i) the increase in the number of government-induced network shutdowns/disruptions; and (ii) the uptick in efforts by government authorities to access user data. She will frame the panel discussion by noting a number of scenarios where governments appear to be seeking greater access to and control over communications networks in order to be able to access and/or disrupt communications without having to make formal, legal demands upon telecommunications operators. Patrik Hiselius from Telia Company will outline the steps that Telia and other companies take consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to examine and limit the potential human rights impact of government demands to either disrupt networks or provide access to communications data. Usama Khilji will discuss efforts across South Asia to understand and address underlying government concerns in order to avoid disproportionate and/or unnecessary actions that could violate international human rights standards. Ashnah Kalemera will discuss work done by civil society and ICT companies to assess the impacts of government actions to disrupt networks or access user data. Judith will then offer panelists an opportunity to comment on each others presentations, and then provide the audience with opportunities to intervene. 3-5 questions/comments will be taken from both in-person audience and the online audience before returning to the panel for reactions/responses. This will be repeated until there are 5 minutes left, at which point Judith will provide each panelist an opportunity to provide closing remarks.

The organizers will coordinate panelist presentations in advance of the panel to ensure coherence and avoid possible redundancy. The initial framing remarks by the onsite moderator will last 10 minutes. Each panelist will be given 7 minutes for their initial presentation, which will be timed by the onsite moderator. After initial presentations, panelists will be collectively provided 10 minutes an opportunity to ask questions of other panelists or comment on their presentations. The remainder of the time (20 minutes) will be dedicated to taking and responding to online and in-person attendee interventions.

This panel will address two global, internet policy issues: network shutdowns/disruptions; and online surveillance. This panel will build on previous workshops organized by the Global Network Initiative (GNI) on these topics, including most recently at RightsCon 2018.

Online Participation

The online session open throughout the session. Online attendees will be able to indicate their desire to participate and the trained online moderator will identify if they prefer to intervene orally or in writing. The onsite moderator will work with the trained online moderator to take oral or written interventions from online attendees, alternate between those and questions/comments from those attending in person.