Plenipot 2018 Debrief: The role and impact of civil society

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Join the Internet Society and the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society and Diplo US for a roundtable on civil society engagement at the ITU Plenipotentiary.

The ITU’s quadrennial Plenipotentiary sets organizational priorities that determine the trajectory of policy and standard developments that shape the future of the Internet. At the 2018 Plenipot, civil society played an important role in deliberations on connectivity and access, privacy, protection of human rights, limiting surveillance, and other issues. The contributions of civil society took over a year to organize, coordinate and strategize.

This roundtable will discuss the challenges and successes on these issues from the perspective of several civil society and technical groups, some of which joined their countries’ delegations and others joined the delegations of the sector members as observers.  We will hear from the Internet Society, Public Knowledge, Article 19, and the Association for Progressive Communications.

Additionally, we will discuss:

  • What role will (or should) the ITU have in Internet governance?
  • How can we best explain and defend the open, inclusive, bottom-up model of Internet governance?
  • How do we protect the right to privacy, human rights, prevent the promotion of a restrictive online environment for users in many countries that do not value privacy and citizen rights?
  • How do we work toward limiting surveillance of citizens?

Discussion Leaders

  • Mehwish Ansari, Program Officer, Digital Programs, Article 19
  • Deborah Brown, Global Policy Lead, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  • Jane Coffin, Director, Development Strategy, Internet Society
  • Judith Hellerstein, ISOC Fellow from the Washington DC ISOC Chapter
  • Gus Rossi, Global Policy Director, Public Knowledge


  • Judith Hellerstein, ISOC Fellow from the Washington DC ISOC Chapter

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Date and Time

December 14, 2018
9:00 PM – 11:00 PM EST

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New America
740 15th St NW #900
Washington, DC 20005