IGF 2018 WS #324 “The Open, Free Internet” is for EVERY stakeholder

Salle X

Organizer 1: Mariko Kobayashi, Keio University
Organizer 2: Hirotaka Nakajima, Mercari, Inc.

Speaker 1: Sanja Kelly, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Thomas Grob, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

Speaker 3: Guy Berger, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Lillian Nalwoga, Technical Community, African Group

Speaker 5: Olivier Bringer, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Moderator: Mariko Kobayashi, Business Sector, Asia Pacific region(APAC)


Mariko Kobayashi

Online Moderator

Hirotaka Nakajima


Mariko Kobayashi


Other - 90 Min
Format description: Interactive Expert Session


 Ms. Sanja Kelly(Civil Society): A starting point of this workshop is the report which was published by Freedom House in 2017. She is the right expert to share the most updated situation as a director for “Freedom on the Net.” We expect she will tell us how benefits civil society(the Internet user) can gain from “the freedom on the Internet.” She also has enough experience to engage with various governments and international organizations, and she will provide us with good insight into how to appeal to policymakers. 

Mr. Thomas Grob(Business sector):
We invited a European ISP for our workshop, since the venue of IGF2018 will be in Europe region Mr.Thomas, as Senior Expert for Regulatory Strategy at Deutsche Telekom AG, covers various area related to the issue of the workshop, such as Net Neutrality, blocking effects, and he also well know about the “blocking vs. the Open Internet EU regulation.” It is hard for some non-technical people to grasp the ISP issue, and we expect he will help to make them understood what is good for ISP companies to keep "openness and freedom on the Internet." 

We expect Mr. Guy Berger(Intergovernmental organization) talks about "How does the 'The Open, Free Internet' have a good impact on educational, scientific and cultural areas" from the perspective of the UNESCO and "How is 'The Open and Free Internet' is related to accomplishing SDGs?."

We also invite Ms. Lillian Nalwoga(Tech Community), who is the president of ISOC Uganda chapter, and she has profound experiences on the discussion of the Internet Shutdown. AFRINIC26 concluded their discussion of the Internet shutdown as "Nobody supports Internet shutdown. On the other hand, rather than emotionally criticizing, there is an economic impact on Internet shutdown, it is constructive to encourage the government to comprehend that point fully understanding that," and we believe this view is relevant to our workshop. We expect she will help participants’ to understand how “the freedom on the Internet” encourages the evolution of the technology.


Stakeholder: We cover, civil society, Intergovernmental organization, private sector(ISP), Tech community. Organizers belong to Academia and private industry (selling app company) in experts and organizers. We only lose "government" for our team, so we would like to encourage several government to attend this workshop as a participant. Regions: Africa(1), APAC(2), Europe(2), North America(1), Intergovenmental organization(1) Gender: 3(female) : 4(male) including organizers. Newcomer: IGF2018 will be the first meeting to join the global IGF community for two speakers and both organizers. Youth: One speaker and two organizers are active in the Internet Governance of APAC as a young. Besides, we would like to encourage Youth@IGF Programme to join in our workshop and ask their opinion from the young perspective.

The goal of this workshop will summarize the "benefits of freedom on the internet" form each stakeholder, and consider how to appeal the benefits to the government and executives of companies so that it reflects on actual policies which is related to censorship, Internet Shutdown or contents blocking. For the introduction(10min), a moderator briefly explains the background of the issue which is described in “relevance of issues” and share a goal for this workshop. Regarding the first part(40min), we plan to share the current status of “the freedom on the Internet,” such as contents blocking, net neutrality and Internet Shutdown with global experts. The first part will be dedicated to understanding how “the freedom on the Internet” is essential for each stakeholder, and how they can commit to it. This workshop emphasizes the interactive discussion between experts and participants. Each expert shares the view, and audiences freely stand on the Open Mike and ask a question or their opinion. The purpose of this part is to let people know other stakeholders’ status and perspectives and enhance the “multistakeholderism” to deal with the issue. The second part(35min) will discuss how to appeal the benefits of “the freedom on the Internet” to policymakers or executives, and how to reflect our discussions to policies. The goal of this part is that each participant and expert will define the role to contribute this issue. We also expect they will bring back to the local community, and discuss in their local community. At the end of this workshop(5min), we shortly summarize the discussion and concludes the next step we can go forward.

Firstly, to realize the form of this session “Interactive Expert discussion” which means helping participants to understand the issue deeply, and encouraging the discussion among participants, not only participants and experts. We plan to prepare several “Open Mike” in the room to encourage this style of debate, and every audience can stand in line and ask a question or comment. Secondly, we will display the screen of Google hangout during our workshop to make it easier for onsite participants and speakers to track comments from online participants. The online moderator will pick up each comment and help them to follow the discussion. To treat both onsite and online participants equally as possible, both moderators have to determine which participants and a speaker will speak the next. To accomplish the management, we chose both online and onsite moderators who have collaborated with each other for a long time and know well about the aim of this workshop.

The Internet is one of the best platforms to challenge the new and creative idea at any time. U.N. Suitable Development Goals(SDGs) has adopted and came into force in 2016 and nations all over the world decided to commit seventeen goals in various areas. To accomplish these goals, “the freedom on the Internet” is inevitable.

However, with the growing number of blocking, filtering and Internet Shutdown by some governments’ policy, and “Freedom on the Internet” is now threatened. According to ”2017 Freedom on the Net report,” which is released by Freedom House indicates that only  23% of the world’s Internet users are assessed as “Free.” Although some countries which are assessed as “Free,” their situation is started to be changed. Those policies or laws can be a trigger to allow more intervention to the Internet, and the impact will spread from economy to the evolution of technology.

The problem here is that, when people discuss this kind of issue, they sometimes tend to criticize the government, a certain organization, company or a person emotionally. As a result, it is difficult to build a “multi-stakeholder” dialogue between each stakeholder. Therefore, this session will focus on discussing and appealing the advantages of "the freedom on the Internet," instead of insisting "anti-blocking or anti-censorship." We believe that the positive discussion will be effective to seek the solution and fill those gaps. As a result, it will encourage multi-stakeholder discussion on this subject.

- Part1: What are the benefits of  “The Open, Free Internet” for each stakeholder?
- [Business Sector(ISP)] How do ISPs make use of  “The Open, Free Internet” on their business? What is the benefits for the company to emphasize the freedom of economic activities on the Internet? 
- [Intergovernmental Organization]What does  “The Open, Free Internet” provide benefits to accomplish SDGs? 
- [Tech community] Why  “The Open, Free Internet” is essential for the evolution of technology and community?
-  [Civil Society]What kind of benefits for users to claim  “The Open, Free Internet”? 

- Part2: How can we reflect our discussion of the policies? How can we appeal the benefits above to policymakers and executives by cooperating across stakeholders using IGF community? Is there any idea which you plan to work on or a case study that worked well?

Online Participation

Both online and on-site participants, will have equal priority, and we propose to use only chat system to support online participants since the quality of the Internet connection from each country should be unstable, and online chat system enables everyone to track the comments. We suppose to follow the format like below when online participants want to post. When they put a comment or discussion, an online moderator read your name, nation, company/organization and the comments.

【Format】 ------------------------------------------------------

Name, Nation, company/organization



For instance,


Mariko, Japan, Keio Univ.

I’d like to ask….


This format enables an online organizer to read “who are you” and “What you want to ask or comment” in front of the open mic. Mr. Hirotaka Nakajima, who has both Tech and Internet Governance background, and collaborator of this workshop will moderate the online discussion, since he deeply has discussed with a workshop organizer, and understand the background of the issue and have the same perception as an on-site moderator(who is also an organizer of this workshop.) We explain more detail about how to work together between onsite and online moderator in the next question "XV. Discussion facilitation".


Overview: How can we discuss issues such as censorship, Internet Shutdown or contents blocking from a positive perspective  “The Open, Free Internet”? 

- Introduction[10min]: A moderator briefly introduces experts to the participants and explain background issues.

- Part1[40min]:  
We invite experts from various stakeholder such as a business sector, a tech community, an intergovernmental organization, and a civil society, and each of them will share what kind of benefits does  "The Open, Free Internet" bring for their stakeholder. At the end of this part, a moderator summerize topics which discussed and use it for discussion of part2.

- Part2[30min]:
This part focuses on to discuss outreach for policymakers, regulators, and executives. We will include several people from governments and how to build a dialogue.

- How can we appeal the benefits above to policymakers and executives by cooperating across stakeholders and reflect it to actual ICT policy?
- Is there any idea which you plan to work on or a case study that worked well?

- Wrap up[10min]  :
Summarize the discussion and discuss how to output them to the public.


Session Time
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

IGF 2018 Report Template

Pre-Session Synthesis Due: 2 November 2018 

Short Report Due: Within 12 hours of when session is held

Long Report Due: 23 November 2018

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Interactive Expert Session

- Title: “The Open, Free Internet is for EVERY stakeholder”

- Date & Time: 9:00-10:30, November 12(Day1)

- Organizer(s): Mariko Kobayashi, Hirotaka Nakajima

- Chair/Moderator: Mariko Kobayashi(onsite), Hirotaka Nakajima(online)

- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Mariko Kobayashi


  • List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):
    • Sanja Kelly(F), Freedom House
    • Thomas Grob(M), Deutsche Telekom AG
    • Lillian Nalwoga(F), ISOC Uganda
    • Guy Berger(M), UNESCO
    • Olivier Bringer(M), European Commission


- Theme (as listed here): Evolution of Internet Governance

- Subtheme (as listed here): MULTISTAKEHOLDERISM

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [300-500 words]

• “The Open, Free Internet” encourages the digital economy, the evolution of technology, express and share ideas and accomplishing SDGs.

• Appealing benefits of "The Open, Free Internet" is an effective way to build a “multi-stakeholder” dialogue between policymakers and several stakeholders rather than only criticizing about issues, such as blocking, filtering and Internet Shutdown.

  • Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [300 words] Examples: There was broad support for the view that…; Many [or some] indicated that…; Some supported XX, while others noted YY…; No agreement…

Many agreed that the Internet is a key platform for business, education, political debate and “The Open, Free Internet” enables the free flow of ideas, freedom of speech, innovation of technology, social progress and other positive impacts.There was broad support for the view that users  can have the right to access and distribute information, content application and services of their choice, and there is no possibility for Internet access providers to ban or to discriminate at the level of the network.

An expert from European Commission also support the view above, but in case someone hosts illegal contents, it should be removed quickly by takedown notice and when the content is removed by mistake, government should put in place effective judicial remedies as an expert from Deutsch Telekom introduced Net Neutrality rule in Europe. Some audiences worried about the possibility of censorship and he emphasized that removal of illegal contents does not mean censorship. 

Regarding the discussion of how to build a dialogue including various stakeholders, one of audiences asked “how can we reach the Internet technical community?.” Several people from technical communities responded to this, and they indicated that some local community such as regional NIC and ISOC HQ, chapter has issued statement on those issues, and  national or regional network operators’ group(NOG) can be contact point, and they know what is the better way.

Many supported the optimistic view about “the Open Internet” which is essential for human right, business, users, and there is huge facilitation of more diversity and hope more development of the Internet platform.


- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [200 words]

  • Regarding the Internet Shutdown, there is a global campaign of the Internet Society(ISOC) “KeepItOn, ”  and we can push more and push our government to keep it on.
  • The Internet is an essential platform for citizens, business, education, even for a political dialogue. Therefore, any regulators and governments need to look at the value of International standard, necessity , proportionality, legitimate purpose of “The Open, Free Internet.”
  • When we work on the discussion of  blocking, filtering, net neutrality and the Internet Shutdown, we should not go as typical government(topdown manner) but we should really involve the multi-stakeholder community and its different constituencies to make sure that address their worries,  and we produce better rules or cause of practices. It is really a joint responsibility.

What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [150 words]

Take the balance between all stakeholders’ demands and governments’ polices is difficult, but it is important to try to put everyone(different stakeholders) around the table as possible, and we believe that IGF can be the place for the dialogue.

  • Please estimate the total number of participants. 



  • Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

3 : 7


  • To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]
  • Women speaker actively speak on open mic from both participants and speakers. We have diverse participants from each stakeholder,  including several people from governments and one regulator attend our workshop. 
  • Session outputs and other relevant links (URLs):