IGF 2016 Debrief

ISOC-DC hosted a Debrief of the 2016 Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which was held from December 6 – 9, 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The discussion was facilitated by Carolyn Nguyen of Microsoft and David Vyorst of ISOC-DC. The discussants gave brief remarks on their takeaways from IGF 2016, followed by an open discussion from those in attendance.

Discussants:

Liesyl Franz
U.S. Department of State

Andrew Mack
AMGlobal Consulting

Barbara Wanner
U.S. Council for International Business

Dustin Phillips
ICANNWiki

Brief Remarks Concerning IGF National and Regional Initiatives (NRIs)

Marilyn Cade
mCADE ICT Strategies

Is the Internet Fragmenting? Part 4: The Policy Lens


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The Policy Lens

 

On December 1, 2016, Microsoft and The Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) held a panel discussion on “Is the Internet fragmenting? Part 4: The Policy Lens” with Michaela Klein, Cheryl Miller, Andrew Sullivan, Sally Wentworth, Jeremy West, Nathan White, and Dr. M-H. Carolyn Nguyen, who moderated the event. This was the fourth and last dialogue in a four part series on Internet fragmentation and focused on policy dimensions of the issue.

“The Policy Lens” brought stakeholders together from government, industry, civil society, and the technical community to examine how policy decisions can lead to fragmentation, and the impact of such fragmentation on the digital economy globally and nationally with the objective of enabling and informing policy that is well intentioned.

The series “Is the Internet Fragmenting examined Internet fragmentation from technical, economic, and policy lenses was organized in response to recent developments related to the Internet. These developments have prompted alarming questions about whether the Internet is fragmenting as a result of developments and decisions that have been taken in response to the continued growth and globalization of the Internet and its evolving role as critical infrastructure for the digital economy. The series kicked off on May 10th.

In this session, the panelists and audience were asked to consider these issues more fully, including:

  • What are the main challenges to maintaining an open, end to end, resilient, and stable internet infrastructure?
  • How do we best develop and maintain local and sustainable ecosystems for the digital economy, particularly ones that are secure and protect privacy?
  • Going forward, how should policy makers develop more holistic views of Internet governance that involve the necessary stakeholders and take into account human and economic rights?
  • How can we as a community enable policy that is well intentioned by better informing policy makers?

Panelists

Kathryn Brown
President and Chief Executive Officer, Internet Society

Micaela Klein
Senior Advisor for Internet Policy, U.S. Department of State

Andrew Sullivan
Fellow, Dyn; Chair, Internet Architecture Board, IETF

Jeremy West
Senior Policy Analyst, OECD-OCDE

Dr. M-H. Carolyn Nguyen – Moderator
Technology Policy Strategist, Microsoft

 

PANEL REPORT

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • There is a natural tension between the bottom up nature of open standards development and the multistakeholder model best suited for the Internet and the top down nature of policy making. This is exemplified by organization such as the ITU.
  • Internet openness produces substantial economic benefits, however there is currently a lack of robust data to support this. Such data will help to guide policy in the future.
  • Continued interoperability, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow at exponential rates will be essential to achieve the global economic growth and social progress as envisioned by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (STGs). Internet fragmentation is a direct threat to the attainment of those goals.
  • Trust in the Internet will be an essential element in sustaining its future, especially as more and more of our lives are online and Internet use is required. People will need to know that their data, financial transactions, health records, etc., are secure to have continued faith in the Internet.
  • The Internet is by its nature a great amplifier of human rights because it provides a powerful tool for the freedoms of expression and association, and access to information. Therefore, fragmenting the Internet is detrimental to human rights. .
  • The multistakeholder model provides the best framework for people and organizations to work together to ensure the open standards and policies to support them that are necessary to support the continuing evolution of the Internet. It is very important that we provide support and resources to smaller countries that not have the resources to tackle all of the difficult challenges in these endeavors.

SUMMARY

The panelists generally agreed that policy makers across the globe need to act to preserve the openness and connectedness of the Internet in a way that strengthens economic and human rights while building trust. A fragmented Internet would likely have adverse economic and human rights consequences.

Andrew Sullivan started the conversation discussing developments in the Internet transport layers, including Google’s QUIC.  Historically there were distinct low level transport layers. Now new protocols have moved some of the transport layer into the application layer. Thus distinct layers are mostly mythical today because they are intermingled in deployment. Nightly updates to the end user OS changes the transport used. This radically alters the environment that we are working in, making maintaining interoperation more challenging.

He went on to say that without open standards, there is not the Internet but rather only a proprietary network that goes end to end. There is a difference between an internet (a complex network of proprietary networks) and the Internet (an open network of networks; the framework that generally exists today and that is increasingly under fire). Mr. Sullivan stated that the Internet was designed to be open and that open standards are necessary from the bottom on up. While certain aspects of the Internet are tolerant of fragmentation (e.g. multiple domain systems), the Internet was not build for complete fragmentation.

Micaela Klein discussed the tension between open standards (developing common technical standards to allow for interoperability) and regulations (government controls that potentially fragment the Internet). The UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) developed as a top down organization to manage international telephone systems. It is primarily government led and is increasingly trying to figure out how to evolve to be able to develop Internet standards. The ITU offers a different forum for Internet governance, one that has seen new players and dynamics. Governments are interested in top-down control of the Internet in their own countries while certain government actors, such as telecom regulators, are interested in bolstering declining revenue and power. These approaches both potentially clash with the original, organic, bottom-up process of the Internet’s development. Ms. Klein described how different actors are claiming that the Internet is “broken” and thus are taking advantage of concerns about privacy and crime to fragment the Internet. Overall, the political process of fragmentation is complex and involves several actors and choices.

Jeremy West described how the OECD is studying the social and economic impacts that fragmentation would have. He started by saying that measuring concrete benefits is a complex process but that the OECD has produced reports and conducted empirical work limited to Internet openness but not as of yet to connecting openness to economic benefits. They have had to look to other literature to examine these economic benefits. There are three broad categories of impact: international trade, innovation and entrepreneurship, and productivity and growth and varying degrees of evidence about the economic impact.

Mr. West went on to describe how the literature showed that a fragmented Internet would hurt international trade in several ways. The power of Internet openness to boost international trade is closely tied to the rise in the value of global value chains which rely on data flows to coordinate activity. Thus, fragmentation would decrease their value.

Additionally, fragmentation would have a tremendous negative impact on the value created by digital trade and data flows. He cited a study which concluded that $600 billion (USD) of European Union service trade depend on the openness of the digital economy and the same center also concluded that the breakdown of the Safe Harbor framework could also have resulted in a very large reduction of EU service exports to the US.

Fragmentation would also result in decreased competitiveness and would hinder innovation since innovation is a collaborative process. While the social benefits of the Internet are harder to quantify, it is clear that shutting down the Internet is expensive. Mr. West cited a number of other papers and projects of work in this subject matter. He stated that a major problem is that quantitative data on the economic benefits of Internet openness are scarce and the OECD is currently working on projects to better help governments measure the digital economy. Improved metrics and a broader perspective of Internet openness will help policy makers seize the benefits of an open Internet and develop well-informed policies aimed towards growth and wellbeing.

Cheryl Miller cited a well-received World Economic Forum (WEF)paper on Internet Fragmentation referenced the paper’s six buckets relative to Government Fragmentation. Those buckets are: (1) Content and Censorship; (2) Ecommerce and Trade; (3) National Security; (4) Privacy and Data Protection; (5) Data Localization; and (6) Cybersovereignty.

She went on to discuss the Internet of Things (IoT) and its important link to the UN’s STG’s and Verizon’s outlook on both. Analysts predict exponential growth in connected devices from millions today to over 20 billion by the year 2020. These devices could bring great economic and social benefits to the world but this future faces severe challenges from fragmentation. A lack of consistency and the minefield of conflicting rules and regulations presents real challenges to rolling out new things that connect to the Internet and to each other. Data localization rules disrupt the seamless communications needed for IoT devices and slow growth and development.

Ms. Miller suggested framework for solutions that includes: A flexible and multistakeholder approach to policy; interagency coordination to produce consistency; continuing efforts to build trust; preventing delays in Ipv6; and making sure there aren’t local data retention requirements.

Sally Wentworth identified access and trust as areas that the Internet Society view as essential for the Internet to continue to evolve and grow. She described trust as having four dimensions: (1) user trust (which includes privacy, free expression, confidentiality, consumer protections, and other human rights), (2) technologies that enables trust (encryption is the big issue of the day), (3) trusted networks, and (4) trust in ecosystem development (in other words, access to the decision and policy making process). A lack of resources in smaller countries, is a real problem. Technology requires a series of building blocks and an open standards environment would thus be most productive in further developing an open Internet.

Nathan White focused on the effects Internet fragmentation will continue to have on human rights, both social and economic. The Internet is naturally a powerful tool for free expression, free association, and access to information.  With its global reach, it amplifies those rights from an individual to a global level. Thus by definition, fragmenting the Internet harms human right. He made the point that no one who is trying to fragment the Internet is trying have greater human rights.

On the other hand, Mr. White cited the Facebook’s entry to China to illustrate how making cross-border data sharing mandatory also harms human rights. “Fragmentation” is understood in the human rights community as government action that is not beneficial towards human rights. So far, the United States has failed to lead on issues such as encryption and other countries, including China, are filling the vacuum. Going forward, it is important that policy makers frame discussions and incentives to bring people to the table with concerns for human rights. He further discussed how the Internet is a fragile thing, made possible because millions of people and organizations all came together to agree on a common set of standards because it is in our interest to have a global interoperability. He now worries that we are creating incentives that will break up the Internet. We don’t want people to walk away from the table, so the goal has to be greater multistakeholder participation to ensure that we are all making decisions together.

The panelists agreed that getting policy makers and other stake-holders to be well-informed is a challenge in itself. The panelists recommended pushing connectivity, capacity building via common understandings and vocabulary, and not being afraid of multilateral, cross-cutting institutions and processes. Questions raised by the audience raised concerns about building empathetic “human” elements into Internet governance and infrastructure and pointed out how the response to Internet problems such as providing networking for terrorists have been met with a “stop the bad things perspective” whereby complete national control has been taken for granted as a catchall solution. Regulating the connectivity of the Internet in many ways destroys the very purpose of the Internet: free or low cost high speed connectivity. Going forward, the main challenges will involve bringing together the very large and diverse group of stakeholders and developing common voices. Focusing on messaging the benefits of openness as well as the costs of fragmentation will likely have a positive influence. The panelists and many audience members are optimistic that this is happening and will continue to unfold.

Pathfinder – Security and Privacy: Internet Capacity for Non-Profits and NGOs


Speakers

Dr. Katherine Albrecht – Startmail
@Dr_K_Albrecht

StartMail is built by the people behind StartPage and Ixquick, the world’s most private search engines. Startmail’s mission is to make email protection, security, and privacy available to everyone. Dr. Albrecht is a respected expert in the privacy arena, with a decade of experience as a researcher and activist.

Courtney Radsch – The Committee to Protect Journalists
@courtneyr

Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is a journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate. She previously worked for UNESCO’s Section for Freedom of Expression and as senior program manager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she led advocacy missions to more than a dozen countries. She has also worked for Al-Arabiya in Dubai, the Daily Star in Lebanon, and The New York Times. Follow her on Twitter @courtneyr.

Christian Dawson – Internet Infrastructure Coalition
@mrcjdawson

Christian Dawson was a founder of the Save Hosting initiative, designed to galvanize web hosting providers in matters of public policy, and is currently Chairman and co-founder of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition. He is a staunch advocate for Internet freedom as a tool for social and economic growth by fostering the growth and expansion of the Internet infrastructure industry.

 


About the Pathfinder Inititative

The Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, (GKPF), and its partners launched the Pathfinder Initiative to to help build effective Civil Society Internet use strategies. Civil Society Internet Awareness and Capacity Building offers an opportunity for your organization to:

  • Access resources and services that enable you to make better use of the Internet.
  • Offer additional solutions and services to your members and supporters.
  • Develop and implement digital strategies, such as effective online communication, community engagement, and fundraising.
  • Increase your security and stay on top of Internet security best practices.
  • Gain a voice for your organization in how the Internet is run and governed.
  • Demonstrate to Civil Society organizations products and services that enable them to make better use of the digital technologies and the Internet.
  • Gain exposure to and goodwill among Civil Society Organizations.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of and access to an important yet underdeveloped market segment.
  • Demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

Pathfinder 2 – Internet Capacity Building for Social Good

The Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, The Public Interest Registry (PIR) and The Internet Policy Forum of the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) are proud to present:

Internet Capacity Building for Social Good

 

Presenters

 

Marc Noël, Mike Raftery – 501cTECH
@501cTECHDC
501cTech is a nonprofit organization helping to build the capacity of nonprofits serving the common good by providing innovative and sustainable technology solutions. 501cTECH provides services such as Managed IT Support, cloud migrations and IT consulting, and is an organizer and thought leader in the nonprofit IT community.

Roshani Kothari – D-tree International
@roshani  
Roshani Kothari will talk about how D-tree leverages mobile health technology to save lives by empowering frontline health workers to diagnose, treat and follow up with patients more effectively.

Robert Guerra – Priveterra.org
@netfreedom
Robert Guerra is a civil society expert specializing in issues of internet governance, cyber security, social networking, multi-stakeholder participation, internet freedom and human rights.
Ruarai McKennaCare2.com
@Care2
Care2.com was founded in 1998 with a simple mission: to help make the world a better place. Today, Care2 is a highly-engaged social network of over 34 million citizen activists standing together for good and making extraordinary impact – locally, nationally and internationally – largely by working in solidarity on petitions and pledge campaigns.
About the Pathfinder Initiative

The Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, (GKPF), and its partners launched the Pathfinder Initiative to to help build effective Civil Society Internet use strategies. Civil Society Internet Awareness and Capacity Building offers an opportunity for your organization to:

  • Access resources and services that enable you to make better use of the Internet. 
  • Offer additional solutions and services to your members and supporters. 
  • Develop and implement digital strategies, such as effective online communication, community engagement, and fundraising. 
  • Increase your security and stay on top of Internet security best practices. 
  • Gain a voice for your organization in how the Internet is run and governed.
  • Demonstrate to Civil Society organizations products and services that enable them to make better use of the digital technologies and the Internet.
  • Gain exposure to and goodwill among Civil Society Organizations.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of and access to an important yet underdeveloped market segment.
  • Demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

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Pathfinder 3 – Nonprofits and the DNS: Why it Matters

The Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, The Public Interest Registry (PIR) and The Internet Policy Forum of the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) invite you to attend the 3rd event in the Pathfinder series about The DNS and Nonprofits: Why it Matters.

The Program

Public Interest Registry (PIR)

Public Interest Registry’s mission is to empower, through the internet, those who dedicate themselves to improving our world. We’re the people behind the .ORG, .NGO and .ONG domain names, as well as OnGood- an exclusive suite of online services revolutionizing the way NGOs worldwide raise awareness, fund and support for their missions.  The speakers will discuss OnGood and opportunities to collaborate with the NGO community.

Paul Diaz – Vice President of Policy, Public Interest Registry

Mr. Diaz has been with Public Interest Registry (PIR) since October 2011, and serves as .org and .ngo|.ong registry operator’s primary point of contact with ICANN. He also oversees the company’s Operations, Compliance and Customer Care team. Mr. Diaz is the current Chair, Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG), and has been part of the ICANN community since 2004. Tony Connor – Director of Marketing, Public Interest Registry

Tony Connor is the Director of Marketing at Public Interest Registry. He brings extensive experience of product marketing in telecommunications, data center services and contact center services in the global marketplace. His aim is to help non-profits and non-government organizations leverage the potential of the internet whilst at the same time allowing them to focus on their key activities.

ICANN – Civil Society @ ICANN

Joe Catapano – Program Manager, Stakeholder Engagement – North America; ICANN

Joe is part of ICANN’s Global Stakeholder Engagement team, coordinating ICANN¹s engagement with regional stakeholders in the private sector, technical community, academia and public interest organizations. Joe works closely with the Communications and Policy teams to host events and draft outreach materials to be used in furtherance of the GSE team¹s mission and objectives in North America.

Afilias – Protecting Your Domain Name

There are a lot of options for choosing your domain name today, and once you have it you want to build your business and your brand around that name. A domain name is a critical asset to any organization and it is essential you control its creation and management. With a few simple questions you will be better prepared to ensure that you maintain control of your domain name.

James Galvin – Director, Strategic Relations and Technical Standards, Afilias

Dr. James Galvin is Afilias’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Technical Standards. With over 30 years of experience in Internet network security operations and standards development, Jim advises on infrastructure evolution and product development. He represents Afilias in key forums focused on critical infrastructure, the evolution of the Internet threat landscape, and the challenges facing governments and organizations seeking Internet stability. Dr. Galvin is a technical leader in Internet standards and policy setting continuing as an active participant in the IETF since 1989 and serving as the Vice-Chair of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee where he has been an active participant since 2002.

About the Pathfinder Initiative

The Global Knowledge Partnership Foundation, (GKPF), and its partners launched the Pathfinder Initiative to to help build effective Civil Society Internet use strategies. Civil Society Internet Awareness and Capacity Building offers an opportunity for your organization to:

  • Access resources and services that enable you to make better use of the Internet.
  • Offer additional solutions and services to your members and supporters.
  • Develop and implement digital strategies, such as effective online communication, community engagement, and fundraising.
  • Increase your security and stay on top of Internet security best practices.
  • Gain a voice for your organization in how the Internet is run and governed.
  • Demonstrate to Civil Society organizations products and services that enable them to make better use of the digital technologies and the Internet.
  • Gain exposure to and goodwill among Civil Society Organizations.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of and access to an important yet underdeveloped market segment.
  • Demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

Is the Internet Fragmenting, Part 3 The Business Lens



This event is Part 3 in a four-part series of dialogues organized in response to recent Internet-related developments that have prompted alarming questions about whether it is fragmenting. The dialogues on “Is the Internet Fragmenting” examines Internet fragmentation from technical, economic, and policy lenses – developments and decisions that have been taken in response to the continued growth and globalization of the Internet and its evolving role as critical infrastructure for the digital economy. The series was kicked off on May 10th; Part 2 on the “The Technical Lens” was held on June 15th.

“The Business Lens” examines how technology choices and policy decisions that potentially fragment the Internet affect global commerce and economic growth. Microsoft and ISOC-DC are bringing together policy stakeholders, including government, the technical community, civil society, industry, and other organizations, to consider these issues more fully, including:

  • What are the implications of Internet fragmentation on the digital economy, globally and nationally? How does Internet fragmentation impact human and economic rights?
  • Should business offerings that are designed to be competitive be considered as part of the fragmentation dialogue?
  • What are the implications of policies such as data localization on business and the digital economy, globally and nationally? 

PANELISTS:

Ted Dean
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

Robert Pepper
Global Connectivity and Technology Policy, Facebook

Carolina Rossini
Vice President, International Policy, Public Knowledge

Jonathan Zuck
President, ACT|The App Association

M-H. Carolyn NguyenModerator
Technology Policy Strategist, Microsoft 

DISCUSSION SUMMARY:

The panelists generally agreed that Internet fragmentation will have serious economic and human rights related consequences for countless people across the globe. Ted Dean started the discussion by stating that all companies in all industries are dependent on cross-border data flow, and that dependence will continue to grow with the increasing pervasiveness of cloud computing and the internet of things. Misconceptions in Europe that data flows only affect large US technology companies could hurt businesses both small and large on both sides of the Atlantic. The failure of Safe Harbor led to closer examinations of what happens if data is not able to flow, and revealed an unappealing view. Fortunately, successful negotiation of the US-EU Privacy Shield provided an alternative with Europe, but there are countries all over the world where these issues have not been addressed.  Companies can’t function if they can’t move data. Mr. Dean also described how focus on privacy concerns has left many other equally important concerns unresolved. In the future, it is important to really parse the issues and make sure that policies do not have negative impacts on business development and economic growth at a macro level.

Jonathan Zuck pointed out that the Internet allows small businesses to behave like big ones. The same thing is happening in the app space. This is one of the key factors of small business success on the Internet. App developers often encounter data protection problems moving the data and suddenly their applications cannot scale. Systems with more localization will hurt entrepreneurs and small businesses the most. Small businesses are the biggest economic growth and stability drivers after a recession, and they are most impacted by data restrictions. Small businesses also promote distributed economic resources. For instance, ACT has members in every congressional district. There is distribution of resources around the country – this is a function of being able to leverage the Internet to scale. This is also a function of phase 1 of the app ecosystem – local apps, loaded on to the phone that worked off of local data. Phase 2 of the app ecosystem involves client server interaction for information. Anything that causes fragmentation of the Internet will hurt future app development and is bad for innovation, small businesses, and the economy. According to Mr. Zuck, the two main causes of Internet fragmentation are censorship and protectionism. Legitimate concerns such as privacy are utilized as a justification for policy makers with other goals. Issues such as privacy can and should be addressed without fragmentation.

Robert Pepper discussed how connectivity brings about tremendous economic development. For example, 2 million small businesses in India have Facebook accounts and promote their businesses on Facebook. Connecting the unconnected is thus a huge problem to be solved, but there is an income inequality paradox in connectivity. When a country reaches a threshold where 24-25% of its population is connected, as more people connect, there is an income multiplier, the country grows its GDP and income inequality between countries shrinks. However, as connectivity continues to rise, the income inequality gap will also increase within that country because while incomes rise for the connected, the unconnected are increasingly left behind. This disparity will only grow larger as an economy continues to develop. Thus, the only solution is to connect everyone. Research shows that many people who are not connecting are not connecting because they don’t see the value, not because of affordability. So the first step is to increase awareness of the benefits. A main challenge is introducing people to the Internet in ways that are pro-consumer and not anti-competitive. There are ways this can be done, many related to zero rating.  An example of a zero rating service is Amazon kindle; Amazon has a contract with AT&T to provide the connection for Kindle content which consumers are not billed for. This is an example of zero rating. There are many other examples. At the application layer, there are different business models that have different impacts. For example, Netflix has different arrangements with different studios who have varying release windows, so not everyone everywhere can get the same content on Netflix. These are business decisions and not fragmentation. Given the complexity of Internet fragmentation, there are many well-intentioned but ill-informed policy stakeholders. One focus going forward should be to work with the ill-informed to really determine the best policy choices, lest the future of the internet be at the mercy of the well-informed and ill-intentioned.

Carolina Rossini explained that when thinking about fragmentation, one needs to look deeper into freedom of expression and economic rights, which are also a part of human rights. It is important to first clearly define fragmentation and to distinguish what type of fragmentation is at issue.  Are we talking about technical fragmentation which is the most dangerous kind, like when countries try to implement an alternative DNS systems – or are we talking about fragmentation to users of content and applications being delivered to them? It is important to have common standards. This goes beyond freedom of expression towards freedom of economic opportunity. From the civil society perspective, this is not a distraction from the surveillance and encryption issues, but a good positive agenda to pursue. There are many people coming out of the WSIS process who are paying attention to the importance of connectivity. Civil society wants to have a voice, play a role in “what type of connectivity” shapes policy and business discussions and is developing a series of standards so that when international banks fund these connectivity initiatives, they take privacy and freedom of expression into consideration. Using alternative (and thus fragmented) DNS systems would prevent people from accessing cultural and educational resources and would likely further exacerbate inequality.

The Moderator Carolyn Nguyen asked what are the pressures that are causing fragmentation?

Ted Dean responded that Safe Harbor addressed multiple drivers of fragmentation at once. They needed to be disentangled and dealt with. How do countries deal with legitimate goals like protecting their citizens’ privacy while protecting data flows at the same time? How can this be done in a way that enables trade and growth? We haven’t cracked this problem broadly and the Privacy Shield agreement covers only a piece of it. Part of the problem is protectionism. We need to get this right on a macro policy level because businesses depend on it.

Carolina Rossini stated that we need to consider historical cycles and the impact of the Snowden revelations.  There has been an increase in challenges to governments that involve civil rights issues. Governments must allow due process to resolve these issues. For example, with the Microsoft case, the US government was trying to force Microsoft to turn over data that resided outside the US. There are geopolitical implications of going outside existing treaties. The lack of understanding of the geopolitical environment can lead to fragmentation.

Robert Pepper pointed out that very often we have government actions leading to fragmentation. A way to frame this is to use a matrix to evaluate how well informed a government is on the issues that it is developing policies for, and what are its intention. For example, government policies and actions related to connectivity can be classified as well-informed and well-intentioned, or ill-informed and well-intentioned. The latter is unfortunately frequently the case. Recently, a large Asian country discussed why they need local data centers. The actual reason stated was to create jobs and tax revenues. They did not understand what the impact on business and direct foreign investment in their country would be; or that once a data center is built, there are not many jobs in it.  Local data requirements for manufacturing increase the costs of production, thus hurting economic growth. In the same matrix are policy decisions that can result from well-informed, but ill-intentioned, and the ill-informed and ill-intentioned—these can result in real chaos.

Jonathan Zuck said that there are two reasons for fragmentation and a lot of excuses. Those reasons are protectionism and censorship. Everything else is an excuse; the excuses provide the justifications for policies that fragment the Internet. For example, the Snowden revelations weren’t revelations to the people who used them as excuses to pass regulations that fragment the Internet. Another were the late hour attempts to block the IANA transition. These are well-informed, bad actors, who would like to see the open internet be less open under multilateral institutions. What better way to bring that about than to show them that the U.S. can’t be trusted with stewardship over ICANN by not honoring our commitment to let the IANA contract expire.

The Moderator then asked if the bulk of this discussion should be aimed at those well-intentioned but ill-informed countries. How can we get information out there and what are the short term and long term calls to action to move the discussion forward?

Ted Dean said that on privacy, there are legitimate policy aims but we haven’t given people confidence that those aims can be met without restricting data flows. A lot of this is just proving that the solutions work, e.g. making sure Privacy Shield works. The ITA is working on cross-border privacy rules in the APEC context to get ahead on this. Privacy Shield is a limited solution between Europe and the US. With APEC, twenty-one Asian economies came to consensus. They crafted a program where companies get certified that they adhere to these rules. We need to make sure these solutions deliver in practice.

Jonathan Zuck said that the key to innovation is experimentation. Success of small businesses happens when we preserve that environment of experimentation.

Robert Pepper pointed out the need to take away the excuses and focus on the well-intentioned, ill-informed countries. There are opportunities to work with them. Most government officials aren’t techies, i.e., they don’t understand routing. Always ask the first order question, what is the problem you’re trying to solve and find real solutions that won’t cause fragmentation. It’s about building trust and long-term relationships and helping to inform the process. There is a lot of work and it needs to be done. This is not the traditional advocacy. We don’t want to move from a multi-stakeholder framework to a multilateral one. The multi-stakeholder model works but it makes a lot of governments nervous. We need to work with these small governments.

Carolina Rossini said that it’s not just about the policy makers. It’s about the consumers and general public as well. They also need to be informed. We need a bottom-up and a top-down approach.

Key Takeaways

  • Companies of all sizes in all sectors can’t function if they can’t move data. The US-EU Privacy Shield agreement only addresses a small piece of the problem.
  • Small businesses are the engines of economic growth; and the Internet allows for small companies to scale like big companies. The centralization of data is key to this. Restrictions on data flow hurt small businesses and the economy.
  • It’s important to focus on preventing fragmentation on the technical layer, such as countries trying to create alternative DNS systems. This has human and economic rights implications because users in those countries are not able to access the same information as people in other countries.
  • There are legitimate privacy concerns, and they need to be balanced against the need for cross-border data flow to enable economic growth.
  • Solutions need to address the actual problems that need to be solved in ways that don’t fragment the Internet.
  • We need to focus on providing information and solutions that work, especially to those well-intentioned, yet ill-informed policy makers.
  • Stakeholders need to collaborate to help policy stakeholders and policy makers to become well-informed on the Internet, to avoid ill-informed policy decisions that can fragment the Internet and adversely impact economic growth and human rights.
  • Overall, the panelists agreed that stakeholders should focus on developing trust in the digital economy and a truly global internet. By engaging government, civil society, and businesses across the world, the well-intentioned and well-informed actors can build that necessary trust and preserve an internet that has the potential to benefit everyone.

DNS Forum – Day 1

DNS Forum         
September 14 – 15, 2016
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Washington, D.C.

Eventbrite Registration is required. Click here to register.

On September 14 & 15, Public Interest Registry, CENTR, LACTLD, i2Coalition, and ISOC-DC will bring together a diverse group of experts to discuss the impacts of policy on DNS (domain name system) technical operators.  Panelists and audience members will discuss the implications of privacy, security, and content policies for these technical operators and how the technical community can best engage in the evolving multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

Developing sound policies to build trust online, to encourage use and innovation, and to ensure an open and secure Internet is vital.  So is the ability for those policies to be implemented by technical operators. The discussions during this forum are designed to bridge the gap that can form between policy development and the technical implementation.  Encouraging collaboration between policy and technical stakeholders can only lead to a stronger policies and a more resilient Internet for users.

Registration is free but seating is limited.

Eventbrite Registration is required. Click here to register.

DNS Forum Agenda 

Wednesday, September 14 

8:00 – 9:00               Coffee & Registration

9:00 – 9:15               Welcome and Introduction 

Paul Diaz, Vice President of Policy, Public Interest Registry

Stephan Welzel, General Counsel DENIC,  Chair of CENTR Legal & Regulatory Affairs Working Group

Eduardo Santoyo, CEO of CO Internet, Chair of LACTLD Board 

9:15 – 10:45         Panel 1: The Impact of Privacy Regulations and Requirements on Technical Operators and Providers

Moderator
Andres Piazza
, Executive Director, LACTLD 

Panelists
Byron Holland, President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Jörg Schweiger, CEO DENIC eG

Felix Wittern, Fieldfisher

Frank Torres, Senior Director of Consumer Affairs, Microsoft 

10:45 – 11:15           Break 

11:15- 12:15             Panel 2: Content – Policy Approaches and Technical Implications

Moderator
Elizabeth Finberg
, Vice President and General Counsel, PIR 

Panelists
Chuck Tobin
, Partner, Holland & Knight

Christian Dawson, Co-Founder, i2Coalition

David Abrahams, Head of Policy, Nominet

Elisabeth Ekstrand, Head of Legal and Administration, .se 

12:15 – 2:30             Networking Lunch 

2:30 – 3:30               Panel 3: Engagement in the Evolving Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance Model

Moderator
Sally Wentworth
, Vice President of Global Policy Development, ISOC 

Panelists
Annebeth Lange
, Special Adviser International Policy, NORID

James Bladel, Vice President of Policy, GoDaddy

Megan Richards, Principal Adviser in DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT), European Commission

Jamie Hedlund, Vice President, Strategic Programs, Global Domains Division, ICANN

3:30 – 4:00               Day 1 Wrap Up

Paul Diaz, Vice President of Policy, Public Interest Registry

Stephan Welzel, General Counsel DENIC,  Chair of CENTR Legal & Regulatory

Affairs Working Group

Rosalia Morales, CEO of NIC.CR, Member of ICANN CCWG Accountability

Thursday, September 15

8:00 – 9:00               Coffee & Registration 

9:00 – 10:30             Panel 1: Building Trust Online: Security & Encryption 

Moderator
Simon McCalla
, Chief Technology Officer, Nominet UK 

Panelists
Danny McPherson
, Senior VP & CSO, Verisign, Inc.

Jay Daley, Chief Executive, NZRS Ltd

TBC 

10:30 – 11:30           Closing Keynote

Christian Dawson, Co-Founder, i2 Coalition

 

DNS Forum – Day 2

On September 14 & 15, Public Interest Registry, CENTR, LACTLD, i2Coalition, and ISOC-DC will bring together a diverse group of experts to discuss the impacts of policy on DNS (domain name system) technical operators.  Panelists and audience members will discuss the implications of privacy, security, and content policies for these technical operators and how the technical community can best engage in the evolving multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

Developing sound policies to build trust online, to encourage use and innovation, and to ensure an open and secure Internet is vital.  So is the ability for those policies to be implemented by technical operators. The discussions during this forum are designed to bridge the gap that can form between policy development and the technical implementation.  Encouraging collaboration between policy and technical stakeholders can only lead to a stronger policies and a more resilient Internet for users.

Panel 4: Building Trust Online: Security & Encryption

Moderator

Simon McCalla, Chief Technology Officer, Nominet UK

Panelists

Danny McPherson, Senior VP & CSO, Verisign, Inc.
Jay Daley, Chief Executive, NZRS Ltd

Closing Keynote

Christian Dawson, Co-Founder, i2 Coalition

 

Is the Internet Fragmenting, Part 2: The Technical Lens



On Wednesday, June 15, Microsoft and the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) held Part 2 of our series on Fragmentation, “Is the Internet Fragmenting? The Technical Lens” at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center. Stakeholders from government, industry, the technical community, civil society, and other organizations examined how technology choices are fragmenting the Internet and the role of technology in business and policy decisions.

This event is Part 2 of a four-part series of dialogues organized in response to recent developments related to the Internet that have prompted alarming questions about whether it is fragmenting. They include a diverse set of technical, economic, and policy developments and decisions that have been taken in response to the continued growth and globalization of the Internet and its evolving role as critical infrastructure for the digital economy. Taken together, they raise an overarching concern on whether the global Internet may be fragmenting from a universal system due to the intended or unintended consequences of technical, commercial, and/or political decisions taken without full consideration of their potential impact.

KEYNOTE:
Dr. David Farber 
Adjunct Professor of Internet Studies and Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

A PANEL DISCUSSION FEATURING:

Dr. Eric Burger
Research Professor of Computer Science and DirectorSecurity and Software Engineering Research Center, Georgetown University

Micaela Klein
Internet Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of State

Eliot Lear 
Principal Engineer, Cisco Systems

Dr. Milton Mueller 
Author & Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy 

Suzanne Woolf
Internet infrastructure consultantMember of Internet Architecture Board, Liaison to ICANN Board of Directors for the Root Server System Advisory Committee

Dr. M-H. Carolyn Nguyen – Moderator
Technology Policy Strategist, Microsoft 

DISCUSSION SUMMARY

The keynote speaker, Dr. David Farber, started the dialogue stating that fragmentation is a relatively recent phenomenon. Initially, the Internet was designed to connect researchers from around the world, enabling them to share information and results. As such, issues such as security and privacy were not addressed. Researchers were focused on how to make the Internet work – this is still the primary focus of the technical community, and thus fragmentation is more political than technical. Differing views on IPR, privacy, and security drive government policy and regulations that fragment the Internet. As a result, Dr. Farber predicts even more fragmentation in the future. First, in the protocol structure, the machines we use, and software are not robust enough and thus it is hard to implement changes. Second, security will be one of the biggest causes of fragmentations. Security concerns will make countries hesitant to connect to networks and resources in other countries unless there is assurance that their information and systems won’t be compromised. Consequently, more and more governments will try to impose their own encryption standards and require storage of their citizens’ data either in a secure place, or more commonly, within their sovereign borders. These issues are not unsolvable technically, but are very challenging on the policy level.

Dr. Milton Mueller did not think that the Internet is in danger of any major fragmentation technically. The economic and technical benefits of compatibility are what makes the system more valuable. Fragmentation is cause by mis-alignment between political goals and technology, e.g., when governments try to bring Internet communications under their territorial control. Data localization is an example. It fragments the service of cloud providers and destroys efficiencies, but doesn’t break the Internet. This is an example of misalignment between political control and technical capabilities. The big danger is that governments want to make the global Internet match their maps of the territorial sovereignty.

Mr. Elliot Lear discussed some of the challenges intrinsic to having one stable technical layer. A stable layer 3 allows anyone to connect on layer 3 with anyone else with only a few exceptions. The shortage of IPv4 addresses was the primary reason for the development of IPv6. However, this transition has been very slow and difficult – without some very stark regulations, this can cause fragmentation. Higher layer fragmentation, however, can get solved by the market. For example, with Instant Messaging, there are numerous standards and applications. However, market needs have driven the development of programs that can provide interoperability between these applications.

Mr. Lear mentioned that government can cause fragmentation. For example, if one government mandates a certain type of encryption and another mandates a different type, people will not be able to connect between the two. Another example is if one government mandates a particular routing paradigm and another mandates a different one. We saw a little of this friction between ITU and IETF between 2010 and 2012.

Ms. Suzanne Woolf stated that even asking these questions assumes a certain level of interoperability in the infrastructure and there are quite a few challenges in maintaining stability of the infrastructure as the Internet continues to grow and evolve. Just keeping up is a big challenge, and it can be very difficult to deploy new technologies, e.g., the challenges in updating the DNS protocol standards. There can be good reasons within networks for deploying new technologies that can inadvertently create challenges to the infrastructure, such as networks that create fast lanes for select contents. Ms. Wolfe is a big proponent of open standards and open source as keys to maintaining interoperability and interconnection.

Dr. Eric Burger framed fragmentation as what happens when a country cuts itself off from the Internet deliberately. Technology is neutral – neither good nor evil. The same spam filters that are used by service providers to protect consumers from harmful codes can be used by governments to block dissent. The great firewall of China was deployed by the government to protect their citizens from malware as well as control dissent. A deeper problem occurs when the bad guys figure out ways around spam filters and use encryption techniques. The good guys have to look deeper to identify sources of disruption. Again, the same tools that are used for to disrupt criminal activity can be used to silence dissent. Good policy and regulations are necessary.

According to Ms. Micaela Klein, much of the misalignment, as noted earlier in the discussion, is related geopolitics rather than technology. Governments are trying to retain power in a more decentralized world, especially in countries that feel that development has favored western nations, and so they gravitate towards centralized inter-governmental institutions such as the UN. Data localization requirements are the results of protectionist policies.

Technology standardizations is a very relevant part of this discussion. Governments are leveraging inter-governmental institutions such as ITU to drive standardization of technologies that will give them competitive advantages, instead of participating in the traditional voluntary technical standards organizations such as the IETF. Instead of technical discussion on interoperability and development of voluntary standards, specific standards are mandated. This process can lead to choking innovation. This will impact underserved countries more than it will the U.S.

Some takeaways from the discussion include the following:

  • A big part of the challenge stems from policy that is misaligned with technology.
  • Much of the tension is the result of governments trying to impose sovereignty over elements of the Internet.
  • Correspondingly, technology is value neutral, and only informed policy can create solutions to many of the issues driving fragmentary pressures.
  • The Internet is growing and evolving rapidly. Implementing new technologies to keep up with this is challenging and can cause fragmentary pressures. The shortage of ipV4 addresses and the transition to ipV6 addresses is an example.
  • Internet innovations require technology standardization processes that are voluntary, and not mandated by inter-governmental organizations.

ISOC Global/ISOC-DC Event: An Online Dialogue About Encryption

ISOC Global/ISOC-DC Event: An Online Dialogue About Encryption

Please join the Internet Society and the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society for An Online Dialogue About Encryption.

What questions do you have around encryption? What do you see as the major policy issues or technical issues related to encryption?  How does encryption help bring about a higher level of trust in the Internet?  What are your concerns about encryption?

To discuss these questions, and questions you provide to us (see below), the Internet Society and The Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) will co-host a global Online Dialogue about Encryption next week at:

No registration is required – simply join in at the time of the event.

Please send us your questions! Send them via Twitter to @InternetSociety or using the #InternetTrust hashtag – or via email to moderator Christine Runnegar.


Join Us On May 25 for an Online Dialogue about Encryption

By David Vyorst

I am very enthusiastic about this event for many reasons. As the Internet is now part with nearly every facet of society, from communications to finance and healthcare, trust in the Internet is necessary for the Internet and society to function. Without trust in the integrity of the end to end connectivity that is the Internet, people will not communicate with each other, financial institutions will not move the funds around necessary for the global economy to function, and healthcare systems wouldn’t be able to operate. Today’s security and privacy debates underlie challenges to this trust in the Internet. Such challenges will only increase as the amount of connected devices increases exponentially.

Strong encryption is a critical element in maintaining trust. While law enforcement has legitimate needs to access data to prevent crime and terrorism, security experts widely agree that breaking encryption in any way will weaken security and trust.  The way forward will necessarily involve an ongoing conversation between all of the stakeholders involved.

To discuss all these questions, we have an outstanding panel:

  • Olaf Kolkman, Chief Technology Officer, Internet Society
  • Kimmo Ulkuniemi, Assistant Director, Cyber Strategy & Outreach, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation
  • Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Amitabh Singhal, Director, Telxess Consulting Services (Pvt) Ltd (India)
  • Amie Sepanovitch, U.S. Policy Director, Access Now

and the session will be moderated by Christine Runnegar, Director, Security and Privacy Policy, Internet Society.

As noted above we also want YOUR questions!  Please do send them in via Twitter or email.

What really excites me about this event is that it is an opportunity to engage the ISOC staff, chapters, and our global community in such a conversation that will advance solutions by bringing stakeholders together in ways that will advance cooperation and solutions.

Please join us!  You may also want to visit the Internet Society’s Encryption page for links to resources about encryption, including a video made by our ISOC-DC chapter.

I look forward to engaging with many of you in this online dialogue on May 25th!

P.S. If you use Facebook, can you please help promote the Facebook Event for this online dialogue?