RightsCon Toronto 2018, the seventh event in the RightsCon Summit Series is organised by Access Now. As the world’s leading conference on human rights in the digital age, it brings together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, government representatives, technologists, and human rights defenders from around the world to tackle pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and digital technology.
The Internet industry in the Bay Area is of vital importance for countries worldwide. The Bay Area tech sector provides services for, and collects data of, citizens worldwide. They play a key role, not only in the governance of data, but also in the implementation of voluntary data standards. Some of them provide platforms for communication and democratic dialogue and are seen as key partners in the efforts to curb fake news or fight extremist propaganda online. The significant impact of Internet companies on society is not matched by the existence of clear frameworks for dialogue with other stakeholders. This discussion is very timely, as one as governments are under increasing pressure to take up more regulatory responsibilities and contribute to the public good.
Diplo’s session will identify existing formal and informal mechanisms for dialogue and the themes covered in the interaction between the Internet industry and governments. We will discuss good governance practices enhancing transparency and accountability, as well as the possibility of their application. The roundtable will assess if and how dialogue in the Bay Area could help to introduce early (or ‘by design’) technical and policy considerations that could help to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms and strengthen democracy. The roundtable builds on Diplo’s ongoing research to map the range of models that countries are adopting in order to interact with companies in the Bay Area. See more at www.diplomacy.edu/bayarea
The need for capacity development is voiced substantively and regularly in official speeches and documents. Experienced facilitators and consultants are active in this area. However, supply and demand do not always match. Quality capacity development requires resources, and very often those most qualified in education cannot devote the time and effort required for fundraising. Who should pay for capacity development activities? Those most in need, such as those from least developed countries (LDCs), find it difficult to pay. Several pioneer countries (e.g. Switzerland, with the Geneva Internet Platform project) have gone beyond their own capacity development needs and expanded their provision to the global community. Going further, should the responsibility for funding lie with developed country governments, with the private sector, or with the numerous foundations or NGOs? What, if any, is the responsibility of participants to self-fund?
The discussion will identify specific issues and their solutions from the perspective of government, nonprofit, business and tech sectors in an international setting.
(Last updated: 03 May 2018. Times are local (Toronto).
Originally from the Czech Republic, Dr Tereza Horejsova is currently based in Washington DC. Joining Diplo in 2012, Tereza has had an international career in academia and the non-governmental sector in the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland. During her stay in Geneva (2012‒2016), she coordinated the activities of the Geneva Internet Platform. She holds an MA in International Area Studies and a PhD in European Studies, both from the Charles University in Prague.
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.
Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).