Authors: Deborah Brown (APC) and Lea Kaspar (GPD)
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process and its outcome documents are considered cornerstones of international norms and discourse on internet policy and governance. This year, as WSIS marks its 10th anniversary, the UN General Assembly is set to evaluate its progress and decide its future.
What is WSIS?
The two-stage WSIS took place in 2003 (the Geneva phase) and 2005 (the Tunis phase). It was convened upon the recognition that there was “an urgent need to harness the potential of knowledge and technology for promoting the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.”  The WSIS started out as a primarily development-focused process and the first phase concluded by setting out a Plan of Action to put the “potential of knowledge and ICTs at the service of development.”  However, governance issues became the central focus of the Tunis phase and this was reflected in its outcome document, the Tunis Agenda, which set out a definition of internet governance, outlined the roles of different stakeholders, mandated the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and initiated the process towards enhanced cooperation. 
Since the original WSIS phases, different UN bodies and agencies, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO, have been facilitating the implementation of aspects of the Geneva and Tunis outcomes of WSIS. The system-wide follow-up of the WSIS outcomes was left to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). 
What is the WSIS+10 overall review?
The Tunis Agenda called upon the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to conduct an overall review of the implementation of WSIS outcomes in 2015.  In July 2014, the UNGA adopted a resolution (68/302) outlining the modalities for the overall review. It was decided that the overall WSIS review would be conducted as a two-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly to “take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the [WSIS] and address potential information and communications technology gaps and areas for continued focus, as well as addressing challenges, including bridging the digital divide, and harnessing information and communications technologies for development.”  According to the resolution, the high-level meeting will be “preceded by an intergovernmental preparatory process, which also takes into account inputs from all relevant WSIS stakeholders.” The process will result “in an intergovernmentally agreed outcome document” for adoption by the UNGA. The process is meant to formally commence in June 2015, when the president of the UNGA (from the Republic of Uganda) appoints two UN governments to co-facilitate the process.
Why is WSIS+10 important?
The WSIS+10 overall review will provide the opportunity to revisit the outcomes of WSIS, assess progress made, and look ahead at challenges to be focused on in the coming years. Just as WSIS sought to address pressing internet issues of the day, WSIS+10 will address challenges facing today’s global community. As a high-level event at the UN’s primary body, the outcome of WSIS+10 has the potential to bear significant political weight and could direct further UN action. Alternatively, it could also result in a largely symbolic event.
What are the key issues on the agenda
The scope of the review is so broad that at this stage it is possible for governments to bring a range of issues to the table, from cyber security to human rights to public access to ICTs. However, the key issues we can anticipate to be discussed in the context of WSIS+10 are those that are regarded as unresolved within the current WSIS framework. For example, much work remains to achieve the people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society envisaged in WSIS, with new divides emerging, both within and between countries. Critics suggest that the WSIS framework has done little to help address these issues. The 10-year review could be an opportunity to refocus attention back to the development dimension of WSIS.
From a governance perspective, the review process will most likely focus on the IGF and enhanced cooperation – two significant internet governance processes that were established by the Tunis Agenda. The IGF’s mandate expires in 2015 and the decision to renew it will be made in the context of WSIS+10.  Likewise, the overall review will likely address whether/how the enhanced cooperation process will continue. The issue of roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in internet governance will also likely resurface during the review.
How does WSIS+10 connect to other important events and processes?
The WSIS+10 overall review is likely to have an impact on and be impacted by other major internet governance and UN processes. For example, the transition of IANA function from the US government to the global multistakeholder community should be decided on by September 2015. However, if the deadline is not met, there is a potential to bring some of the political debates surrounding how to solve the IANA transition to the UNGA through WSIS+10. Furthermore, the UN process on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will also conclude in September 2015. The degree to which ICT-related goals are contained in the SDGs will likely impact how much WSIS+10 is focused on bringing forward the development-focused WSIS action lines or on the internet governance aspects of WSIS.
What has happened in the WSIS+10 review so far?
Leading up to the overall review, relevant UN agencies such as the CSTD, ITU and UNESCO have begun aspects of the review, starting in 2013.
UNESCO: In February 2013, as one of the WSIS action line facilitators, UNESCO organised a multistakeholder conference entitled Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace and Sustainable Development in an effort to give the agency’s views on progress in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes and its vision for the future. 
ITU: As one of the WSIS facilitators, the ITU similarly decided to review progress made in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes and take stock of achievements, with a view to develop proposals on a new vision beyond 2015. In June 2013, the ITU initiated an open consultation process, the Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP), which culminated in a high-level event in Geneva in June 2014 with the adoption of the Statement on the Implementation of WSIS Outcomes and the Vision for WSIS beyond 2015. 
CSTD: As the body within ECOSOC responsible for the system-wide follow-up of the WSIS outcomes,  the CSTD was requested to collect inputs from all facilitators and stakeholders on the progress made in the implementation of WSIS outcomes.  As a result, the CSTD adopted the Ten-year Review of Progress Made in the Implementation of the Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society in November 2014,  which was developed through an open consultation process. The CSTD has also been asked to submit through ECOSOC the results of its 10-year review to the UNGA as it makes its overall review of WSIS.
At the moment, it is unclear to what extent the UNGA will take the UNESCO and ITU-facilitated review efforts into account for the overall review. However, the modalities instruct governments to consider the final report of the CSTD in the overall review. 
What is coming up for the WSIS+10 review in 2015?
UNGA resolution 68/302 sets out the framework, timeline and basic modalities for the review.
It is expected that a draft outcome text will become available in September.
Who will participate and how?
The primary participants in the WSIS+10 overall review will be governments. According to resolution 68/302, the review will be “an intergovernmental negotiation process, which will include preparatory meetings, resulting in an intergovernmentally agreed outcome document, for adoption at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly.”
But the modalities do also allow for the possibility of engagement of other stakeholders, mostly at the discretion of the president of the General Assembly, who is meant to “organise informal interactive consultations with all relevant stakeholders of the [WSIS] in order to collect their input for the intergovernmental negotiation process.” The president of the General Assembly, in consultation with governments, is expected to invite representatives of all relevant WSIS stakeholders to speak during the high-level meeting.
It remains unclear how the president of the General Assembly will approach the consultation process with WSIS stakeholders.
 The Tunis Agenda requested that the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) oversee the system-wide follow-up of the Geneva and Tunis outcomes of WSIS, and that it review at its 2006 substantive session the mandate, agenda and composition of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). ECOSOC requested that the CSTD submit information annually on the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to WSIS outcomes at the regional and international levels, which it would submit in its annual report to the UNGA. Source: ECOSOC, 28 July 2006. E/RES/2006/46 (http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/docs/2006/resolution%202006-46.pdf, accessed: 26.01.15)
 Tunis Agenda, paragraph 111
 UNGA, 31 July 2014. Modalities for the overview by the General Assembly of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (A/RES/68/302) (http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/68/302, accessed: 11.12.14)
 The outcome was captured in the Final Statement entitled Information and Knowledge for All: An expanded vision and renewed commitment. Online:http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/wsis/WSIS_10_Event/wsis10_final_statement_en.pdf, accessed: 12.12.14
 See paragraphs 19 and 20 of E/RES/2006/46.
 See paragraph 5 of A/RES/68/302.
Asia Region is world’s most populated region with a number of development challenges posed by range of complex issues in different countries in the region ranging from corrupt governance, socio-economic disparities, diversity of cultures, religion and tribal customs. While Asians should be celebrating the amazing diversity in the region, these issues are often used to create further divisions, promoting discrimination, oppression and controls on people. Freedom of expression and religious freedoms are rapidly regressing at different levels in most parts of Asia region.
For the last three years Pakistan has been rated one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. With over a hundred journalists killed in the last decade, and the prevalence of complete impunity, it is not difficult to imagine the state of freedom of expression in the country. Journalists are not the only community targeted for exercising freedom of– recently a blogger was arrested on charges of blasphemy for writing a blog that was perceived as offensive and blasphemous. The expression of political opinion through gatherings and protests has also attracted violence and ire of the government. The internet remains the communication medium most open for expressions of dissent but even this is under threat.
This crackdown on the expression of political and religious opinion is not limited to Pakistan.
In Maldives, a country where being non-Muslim is illegal, secular bloggers have been targeted either to be killed or forced to leave the country. Article 19 and Amnesty International have raised concerns about the ‘disturbing increase in clampdowns on freedom of expression’. Several bloggers have been killed in Bangladesh on blasphemy charges by mob justice or non-state actors.
After a fact finding mission to Malaysia, UNSRs on Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Association and Assembly and Situation of Human Rights Defenders stated that The Sedition Act is used in a way that prevents Malaysians from expressing and debating, freely and openly, a diverse range of political opinions and ideas”.
All religious groups are experiencing intimidation and repression alongside those critical of government. Whether it is anti-Ahmadiyya laws in Indonesia and Pakistan, the targeting of religious minorities in Burma and Sri Lanka or a crackdown on bloggers and journalists for criticizing the monarchy in Thailand, freedom of expression is under siege across Asia.
The situation is even more troubling when seen in the context of religious freedoms – not only are people targeted for voicing their opinions but the targeting is much more violent, intense and persistent if the opinions of dissent come from a group of religious minorities. In parallel we are seeing internet freedom around the region has declined, with a growing number of countries introducing online censorship and monitoring practices that are more aggressive in the way they target individual users.
The proposed conference is an attempt to bring together human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and other stakeholders from all over Asia to discuss, debate, understand and identify solutions for this urgent human rights challenge and understand the role the internet can play in helping preserve religious freedom of freedom of expression.
The issues highlighted above barely are merely the tip of the iceberg. In countries like Pakistan and other religious states around Asia, discrimination against religious minorities and in effect the curbs on their freedom of expression are constitutionalized. In this regard, we hope that this conference will allow us to create a network that is capable of exerting the necessary pressure on states to tackle these challenges.
The conference has the following key objectives:
Bringing together Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society Organizations from across Asia;
Developing an understanding regarding the direction of future advocacy of FoE in the context of religious freedoms;
To understand what role the internet is playing and can play in promoting freedom of expression and religious toleration online;
Raising awareness about Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred;
Introducing participating CSOs to UN Human Rights Mechanisms, specifically on the issue of FoE and Religious Freedom;
Engaging the relevant UNSRs in current debate over the issues of FoE and Religious Freedoms in Asia; and
Generate global support for the region from research think tanks, academia, donors and human rights friendly governments to help reverse the negative trends on basic freedoms.
The conference aims to generate debate that is productive, form networks that can continue engagement and solution oriented collaboration on the theme. By engaging multiple UNSRs in the event, we also hope to be able to raise some pressure over Asian states to better the situation in their countries.
More specifically, we are looking for the following outcomes;
Joint statement by participating UNSRs on the issue, addressing both the civil society and the government;
Civil Society Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Religious Freedoms in Asia regions;
Renewed Discussion on Rabat Action Plan and UN Resolution 16/18 for combating intolerance and hatred; and
Development of a network of likeminded civil society organizations that can continue to collaborate effectively on the issue.
Format of the Event
The conference will be held on June 3-5, 2015, in Jakarta Indonesia. The event will be held over three days involving different types of activities to ensure maximum productivity. A total of 70 – 75 participants will be invited to attend from across Asia. The select participants will represent different stakeholder groups mainly CSOs, media, researchers and media ranging from Afghanistan to Indonesia. To bring a more global and southern perspective, we also hope to invite few key activists from the Middle East, Africa and Southern American regions.
A regional call will be made for 10-15 slots at the conference to bring in some of the leading bloggers and media professionals from the Asia region. These participants will be selected to participate at the event based on their past work on these issues and future commitments. This process will also help provide much needed media coverage to the conference in all different Asian countries.
The event will be conducted as a mix of keynotes led by UNSRs, plenary discussions, breakout groups and working sessions. Invited UNSRs or globally renowned subject specialists will lead all the panel discussions.
Maximum effort will be made to ensure that the foremost and leading international and regional experts are able to participate in the event. A number of outcomes of this event are tied to active participation of relevant UNSRs. For this purpose the following UNSRs will be invited to attend the conference:
In addition other world-renowned subject experts like Mr. Frank la Rue will also be invited.
The detailed agenda of the conference is yet to be finalized, however efforts will be made to ensure that the whole event is participatory, includes working sessions to encourage participants to come up with their own reports and recommendations and allows space and time for impromptu discussions on sub-themes that emerge from discussion within participants.
Main Collaborating Partners (in alphabetical order):
The visa regime between different countries in Asia region is extremely complex and difficult. Quite often, this challenge becomes quite exclusionary. In addition, the debate on FoE is not welcomed anymore in most Asian countries. Considering these challenges, we propose the conference to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Including India, most of the ASEAN states do not need visas to travel to Indonesia. However, for the South Asians, Indonesian Forum-Asia members are quite influential and already agreed to extend support for visa processing for the conference delegates.
Issues related to religious freedoms are increasingly becoming difficult to tackle at national levels. In Pakistan there has been precedent of people being murdered simply for raising apprehensions about the misuse of blasphemy law. In such environments, it is important to work as a network that can plan, strategies and act together.
We hope that a joint statement by the UNSRs will go a long way for advocacy and campaigning on freedom of expression and religious freedom issues. The involvement of the Special Rapporteurs will make governments in Asia more accountable at UN Human Rights Council. A joint declaration by the Asian civil society will serve as a continued reminder that these issues will have to be tackled on emergency basis. It will also help the human right defenders from across Asia identify and later collaborate on challenges that are similar across the region.
We hope that donors working on the issue of civil liberties, will be also be able to further their own understanding of the dire situation of FoE and religious freedoms in Asia; thus being motivated to support further initiatives in these areas. We also hope that bringing HRDs from African and Latin American countries would lead to increased South-South collaboration, allowing us to learn from different experiences across the world.
INTERNET GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES
The Internet is a common empowering resource for all people and all stakeholder groups. It should not be owned or controlled by any single group or entity and therefore internet governance processes should be inclusive, open and transparent, and enable good management, fair use and the evolution of the internet as a safe and secure platform for economic, social, political and cultural development. To achieve this, Internet governance need to be based on a set of common principles rooted in human rights and the broadest possible public interest. (source: APC)
I. Human Rights
Reinforce the right to privacy
Privacy is a fundamental human right, and is central to the maintenance of democratic societies. It is essential to human dignity and it reinforces other rights, such as freedom of expression and information, and freedom of association, and is recognised under international human rights law. Surveillance is a direct and imminent threat to privacy, therefore societies must not be placed under surveillance. Individuals should be protected against [unlimited] collection, storage, use and disclosure of their personal data.
(source: Necessary & Proportionate + Informational self-determindation concept)
Right to development
Support this. Internet governance should support the vital role of the internet as an enabler of development.
II. Culture and linguistic diversity
III. Unified and unfragmented space
Explicitly address Net Neutrality
Should be reinforced in the following sections: Unified and unfragmented space; Open and distributed architecture and Accessibility and low barriers
Internet should be a globally coherent, interconnected, stable, unfragmented, scalable and accessible network-of-networks, based on a common set of unique identifiers and that allows the free, not discriminating flow of data packets/information, or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
(aditions in bold made as comments to the original text)
IV. Security, stability and resilience of the Internet
V. Open and distributed architecture
Explicitly address Net Neutrality
“The Internet should be preserved as a fertile and innovative environment based on an open system architecture, with voluntary collaboration, collective stewardship and participation, recognizing technical management principles for efficient and improved network operation and preserving the end-to-end nature of the network, protocol equality, network neutrality and seeking to resolve technical issues at a level closest to their origin.”
VI. Enabling environment for innovation and creativity
Reinforce right to access to knowledge and the right to share
The internet enables knowledge-sharing and collaborative knowledge-creation. Protection of the interests of creators must occur in a way consistent with open and free participation in scientific and cultural knowledge flows. The Internet should remain neutral and free from discrimination, so as to encourage free expression, the free flow of information and ideas, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
VII. Internet governance process principles
Set some clear language for a balanced Multistakeholder approach:
Internet governance processes, policy and decisions should respect and support full participation of all affected internet users [and future users] and stakeholders,
including governments, civil society, technical community, private sector and academia. Any multistakeholder approach should particularly enable meaningful participation from developing countries and underrepresented groups. When stakeholder representatives need to be appointed, they should be selected through open, participatory and transparent processes, in which different stakeholder groups should self-manage their processes based on inclusive, publicly known, well defined, well-documented and accountable mechanisms.
(APC language + language of paragraphs 6, 8, 10 of the roadmap)
Accessibility and low barriers
Explicitly address Net Neutrality
Internet governance should promote universal, equal opportunity, affordable and high quality Internet access, in accordance with the principle of net neutrality, so it can be an effective tool for enabling human development and social inclusion. There should be no unreasonable barriers to entry for new users.
VIII. Open standards
Internet governance should promote the use and production of free and open source software and open public standards, informed by individual and collective expertise and practical experience and decisions made by open consensus, that allow for a interoperable, resilient, stable, decentralized, secure, and interconnected networks, available to all. Standards must be consistent with human rights and allow development and innovation.
ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET GOVERNANCE
I. Issues that deserve attention of all stakeholders in the Internet governance future evolution.
SKIP on the basis of: Multi-stakeholderism was addressed in the principles document
II. Issues dealing with institutional improvements.
IANA / ICANN
IANA functions, the discussion about mechanisms for guaranteeing the transparency and accountability of those functions after the US Government role ends has to take place through an open process with the participation of all stakeholders extending beyond the ICANN community, striving towards a completed transition by September 2015.
The transition of the key domain name function to the global multistakeholder community should be discussed and designed with full deliberative participation of all relevant stakeholders in a variety of fora. The Internet is a global resource so everyone has a stake in its future, this should be represented in the open, inclusive and participative deliberation process. To achieve this the transparency and accountability of ICANN in general, and of the board specifically, should be improved.
It is desirable to keep an adequate separation between the policy process and its operational aspects as well as strong independent oversight. All stakeholders must be able to meaningfully contribute to the deliberative IANA transition process in which will be decided whether structural or functional separation is the best way to do this.
Coordination mechanism/”policy knowledge connector” (Bill) / clearing house
#Support and straighten ¶24: “There should be adequate communication and coordination among existing forums, task forces and organizations of the Internet governance ecosystem. Periodical reports, formal liaisons and timely feedbacks are examples of mechanisms that could be implemented to that end. It would be recommendable to analyze the option of creating Internet governance coordination tools to perform on-going monitoring, analysis, and information-sharing functions.
Further analysis, monitoring and information sharing about and within the internet governance architecture as a whole is duly needed. It might help us to identify weaknesses and gaps in the coverage of important issues and, in light of empirical evidence, would help us evaluate the merits of any alternative decision making processes. A multi-stakeholder “coordination mechanism/policy knowledge connector” could also be useful to promote dialogue, build consensus or at least provide inputs into other processes tasked with actual decision making.
#Suggest We deal with the issue about where the coordination function should sit, ie. the disagreement over whether it be the CSTD or IGF. Also whether it should be the same body that hosts working groups for orphan issues.
III. Issues dealing with specific Internet Governance topics
[III/1. Security and stability — Do we want do add here?]
Internet surveillance – Mass surveillance, which comprises collection, processing and interception of all forms of communication undermines internet security and trust in all personal, business and diplomatic communication. Mass surveillance is fundamental human rights violation.
Targeted interception, and collection of personal data should be conducted in accordance with international human rights law. Critical and intermediate infrastructure must not be tampered with in service of targeted intercept. Personal computing devices are the core of our personal lives – their sancitity must not be violated.
No system, protocol or standard should be weakened to facilitate interception or decryption of communication or data.
Future dialogue requires full disclosure of technical sources and methods for democratic discussion on this topic at the international level using forums like IGF and the Human Rights Council aiming to develop a common understanding on all the related aspects and their implementation. The Necessary and Proportionate principles should be the vantage point of this discussion
III/3. Capacity building
Capacity building and financing are key requirements to ensure that diverse stakeholders have an opportunity for more than nominal participation, but in fact gain the knowhow and the resources for effective participation. Capacity building is important to support the emergence of true multistakeholder communities, especially in those regions where the participation of some stakeholders groups needs to be further strengthened
IV. Points to be further discussed beyond NETmundial
V. Way Forward
Please click here to view in a new window.
Issue Comparison of Major Declarations on Internet Freedom Issue comparison chart 1 Issue comparison chart 2 Issue comparison chart 3 Issue comparison chart 4 Issue comparison chart 5 Issue comparison chart 6
We have heard yesterday a number of concerns about security related principles that have been developed for the Korea Cyber Conference as well as concerns with the the African Cyber Convention. These concerns range from
General questions as to how and why we should engage in the cyber governance space:
Cyber Principles –
What are the next steps for Cyber Principles?
How do we engage going forward – what specific opportunities do we have to affect change?
Where in the UN system do we need to focus on security issues and how do engage and impact processes?
Follow-up to the letter sent to the UK at the Seoul conference?
African Convention –
How can we contribute to the debate at this late juncture?
What would be most valuable and effective inputs?
The year 2013-14 will serve as an opportunity for relevant UN agencies and other stakeholders to review the WSIS process so far, and to outline a vision for the Information Society going forward. Outcomes will feed directly into the subsequent review meetings and into the 2015 UNGA overall review. The intention is to integrate findings into the UN MDGs review process and into a possible post-2015 sustainable development framework. There is a possibility of a full blown WSIS-related Summit in 2015, with Russia already putting forward the Russian resort of Sochi as a possible venue. While a renewed WSIS has not yet been officially agreed, there is an assumption of continuity.
A review statement on the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, as well as a visioning statement for WSIS beyond 2015 (forward-looking outcome) are currently being drafted through the Multi-stakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP) facilitated by the ITU.
The review statement and the visioning document incorporate the main messages from the consultation and other inputs and are, along with the summary documents from the Action Lines, are replete with a whole range of issues of “interest” including governance.
WSIS+10 MPP resource page:
Deadline for inputs: 17 November.
The goal is to create an engagement model or road-map that we can use and work off as BB going forward, particularly considering civil society participation and substantive issues for the WSIS+10 review and the Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform.
Primarily involved in managing telecommunications infrastructure, the ITU is becoming increasingly involved in broader internet-related policy issues through the work of the ITU Council, through its sectors, and as one of the facilitators of the WSIS+10 review process. Various stakeholders have expressed concern with ITU’s expanding role in internet governance due to its inter-governmental and closed nature. The upcoming Plenipotentiary conference 2014 will serve as a platform for the organisation to review its basic texts (ITU Convention and Constitution) and strategy for the next 4 years, and, with this, its role within the broader internet governance context.
The goal is to create an engagement model or road-map that BB can use going forward.
Additional specific questions – either for now or for later as the work progresses:
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