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Plenary Session [clear filter]
Thursday, May 16
 

08:45 CEST

Opening Statement - Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden
Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden 

Thursday May 16, 2019 08:45 - 09:10 CEST
Room A STOCCC

09:10 CEST

Mobilizing for a free, open and secure Internet - Carin Jämtin, Director General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Speech by - Carin Jämtin, Director General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) 

Speaker
avatar for Carin Jämtin

Carin Jämtin

Director General,, Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)


Thursday May 16, 2019 09:10 - 09:30 CEST
Room A STOCCC

09:30 CEST

Opening Plenary - Shrinking Democratic Space Online
Session in brief: In many contexts, the Internet has provided increased freedom and opportunity for citizens and civil society to communicate, gather and share information, to collaborate and organise, in ways and to an extent, never before seen in history.

However, the online landscape is shifting rapidly, and the space for online, democratic discourse is shrinking.

The threats have evolved over the past decade. The mostly inept responses from government to popular protests in the Arab world a decade ago have given way to the complex mesh of threats that is the Internet 2019: an increasingly securitised space that is becoming the main battleground for power in the 21st century. This development mirrors the offline space, with repressive measures spreading and becoming more diverse. With governments emphasising the security perspective, the role of citizens and civil society in advocating for a principled, rights-based approach to the online sphere is more significant than ever.

We are at a fork in the road. A toxic mix of state and non-state disinformation, hoarding of personal data, information attacks on core democratic functions, increased authoritarianism and surveillance has created real risks for global democratic development. Use of algorithms and commercially driven polarisation are poisoning the public debate. The normative space is also changing, as the (sometimes intentional) insecurity created by some actors has succeeded in increasing the demand for regulation and limiting the online space, also in democratic countries.

The situation is grave and requires coordinated action between all those working for democratic online space, whether in civil society, technology, politics or business. This session seeks to unwrap this complex mesh of issues, nuance how the phenomenon of “shrinking space” is expressed in different contexts and to different actors, and frame discussions for upcoming panels and chart possible ways forward to support a free, open and secure Internet.

Speaker
avatar for Agnes Callamard

Agnes Callamard

Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
Dr. Agnes Callamard is the Director of Global Freedom of Expression & Information @Columbia, an initiative seeking to advance global understanding and global progressive norms on freedom of expression and information. She also works as a Special Adviser to the President of Columbia... Read More →
avatar for Gayatri Khandhadai

Gayatri Khandhadai

Asia policy regional coordinator,, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
avatar for Nathalie Besèr

Nathalie Besèr

SIF Moderator
I am the main moderator at SIF2019. I work as an adviser to 16 MPs. For many years I was a Middle East Correspondent to the leading Swedish Daily Dagens Nyheter and before that a producer, radio host and journalist at the Swedish Radio. I also used to work at the Swedish news agency... Read More →
avatar for Carin Jämtin

Carin Jämtin

Director General,, Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)
PP

Peter Pomerantsev

author and journalist


Thursday May 16, 2019 09:30 - 10:30 CEST
Room A STOCCC

14:00 CEST

Plenary session - Unpacking Access
With ever more innovative technologies connecting the farthest reaches of the planet, crucial issues remain unresolved. People living in poverty risk not having either resources, physical connectivity nor capacity to take advantage of new technology, being excluded from yet another development leap. For people living in poverty, lower quality of access limits possibilities for participating in and enforcing the internet as a genuinely democratic space.  

The shrinking space online takes many forms, which often have negative consequences on both civil and political rights as well as social, cultural and economic rights and development. Online opportunities may be hampered by already existing power dynamics, particularly affecting women and other discriminated groups. The discussion on a rights-based approach to access must, therefore, include both the opportunities and risks presented by increased connectivity.

Previous SIF’s have looked at issues of expanding access (2015) as well as access and power (2017). This year’s session will unpack the concept of access, to look more closely at the drivers and interest behind the expansion and limitations of connectivity. It will attempt to identify practices that might limit the agency of the newly connected and try to devise ways to ensure that increased connectivity empowers individuals, rather than merely create new markets for one-way digital consumption. It will also look at the interface between economic growth and reliable, open connectivity.


Speaker
avatar for Alison Gillwald

Alison Gillwald

Executive Director, Research ICT Africa
AG

Arancha Gonzalez

Executive Director, ITC
AK

Ashnah Kalemera

Programmes Officer, CIPESA
avatar for Nanjira Sambuli

Nanjira Sambuli

Senior Policy Manager and HLP on Digital Cooperation, World Wide Web Foundation
avatar for Nathalie Besèr

Nathalie Besèr

SIF Moderator
I am the main moderator at SIF2019. I work as an adviser to 16 MPs. For many years I was a Middle East Correspondent to the leading Swedish Daily Dagens Nyheter and before that a producer, radio host and journalist at the Swedish Radio. I also used to work at the Swedish news agency... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
Room A STOCCC
 
Friday, May 17
 

09:00 CEST

Plenary session - Defending the democratic space in a digital era
About the session:
Human rights defenders and pro-democracy actors are increasingly the only counterbalances to a global trend of populist politics, polarised societies, adverse state cyber activities and profit-maximising algorithms.

At the same time, the issues at hand have never been more challenging: challenges to online democratic space now exist across the technological, political, economic and social spectra, while resources remain limited. New duty bearers and influential actors, including in the private sector, must be brought into a rights-based global discourse. Some existing institutions, previously lacking sufficient knowledge and interest in online issues, are starting to wield their influence, but remain disconnected from the many years of rights-based discussion on these issues.

This session will build on previous panels and be forward-looking. It will:
- Discuss priorities, methods and avenues for maximum impact to protect and expand the online democratic space
- Identify solutions, concrete tools, platforms and strategies for improving online democratic space in a dynamic, conflicting and increasingly hostile global political environment;
- It identifies solutions, discuss tensions rights-holders/duty-bearers, and how traditional and new mechanisms are equipped for dealing with online challenges.

Questions that the panel will discuss:
  • What are the counter-strategies? Who is defending the space and how? Best practice, lessons learned and inspiring examples?
  • What does accountability look like in a digital age? Has international, regional and national systems and mechanisms kept pace with the fast development on the internet and the intersection of human rights violations online and offline?
  • How can stakeholders - UN, development cooperation, companies, civil society - work together to increase impact? What roles can these stakeholders play to defend the democratic space?

Speaker
avatar for Alex Walden

Alex Walden

Deputy Director, JEITA
Alex Walden leads Google’s work on free expression and human rights on the international policy team. Her work includes representing Google in the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and in various multilateral fora dealing with controversial content. Alex joined Google from The Raben... Read More →
avatar for Berhan Taye

Berhan Taye

Campaigner, #KeepItOn Lead, Access Now
Berhan Taye leads Access Now’s #KeepItOn campaign, a global campaign to stop internet shutdowns and censorship with a coalition of more than 150 member organizations from across the world. Before joining Access Now, she was a researcher for the Technology for Social Justice Field... Read More →
avatar for Nathalie Besèr

Nathalie Besèr

SIF Moderator
I am the main moderator at SIF2019. I work as an adviser to 16 MPs. For many years I was a Middle East Correspondent to the leading Swedish Daily Dagens Nyheter and before that a producer, radio host and journalist at the Swedish Radio. I also used to work at the Swedish news agency... Read More →
CV

Clément Voule

Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, United Nations
KG

Kate Gilmore

Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights,, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
PE

Peter Eriksson

Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden


Friday May 17, 2019 09:00 - 10:00 CEST
Room A STOCCC

12:30 CEST

Closing plenary - The way forward
 The closing session of this year's Stockholm Internet Forum will condense two days of discussions and distill a way forward. It will highlight upcoming technologies that present both challenges and opportunities for democratic space (such as the many consequences of ever more advanced AI as well as the widespread adoption of block chain-based solutions).

As new technology proliferates, the onus is on civil rights activists to highlight its impact on privacy, freedom of expression as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Likewise, those still lacking access to to the Internet and other new technologies must be represented in the discussions.

The online world is getting ever more entangled with the offline world. At the same time, complex threats are multiplying. The demand for clear and considered policy advice in solving many of the increasingly acute challenges facing not just the online sphere, but the foundations of democracy itself, will continue to increase.

The panel will, therefore, strive to extract common challenges and strategies, including ways to strengthen linkages between conversations in civil society and the broader global political debate. It will seek to articulate a common purpose and call for a renewed mobilization for a free, open and secure Internet. 

Speaker
DO

Dorothy Okello

Board Chair, Uganda Communications Commission
JC

J. Carlos Lara

Policy Director, Derechos Digitales
avatar for Nathalie Besèr

Nathalie Besèr

SIF Moderator
I am the main moderator at SIF2019. I work as an adviser to 16 MPs. For many years I was a Middle East Correspondent to the leading Swedish Daily Dagens Nyheter and before that a producer, radio host and journalist at the Swedish Radio. I also used to work at the Swedish news agency... Read More →
avatar for Walid Al-Saqaf

Walid Al-Saqaf

Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media Technology, Södertörn University
Walid Al-Saqaf is a senior lecturer in journalism and media technology at Södertörn University in Stockholm where he specialises in data journalism, Internet and blockchain research.  Within the blockchain domain, he has written about its social impact and is the vice president... Read More →
AB

Annika Ben David

Ambassador-at-large for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden


Friday May 17, 2019 12:30 - 13:30 CEST
Room A STOCCC