The 13th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will convene in France from November 12 to 14. Dedicated to bringing together various stakeholders to address pressing digital public policy issues, Citizen Lab senior researcher Irene Poetranto will be participating in several panels. Please read more information below.

Main session on Technical and Operational Issues: Content Blocking and Filtering: a challenge for Internet growth

November 14, 10:00 am – 11:20 am

As RFC7754 states, the Internet is structured to be an open communications medium. This openness is one of the key underpinnings of Internet innovation, but it can also allow communications that may be viewed as undesirable by certain parties. Thus, as the Internet has grown, so have mechanisms such as content blocking and filtering, to limit the extent and impact of abusive or objectionable communications. The approach to blocking and filtering that is most coherent with the Internet architecture is to inform endpoints about potentially undesirable services, so that the communicants can avoid engaging in abusive or objectionable communications. Technical implementations of filtering and blocking techniques misuse Internet protocols (such as the DNS) and can cause unintended consequences to third parties. These technical implementations have limited efficacy and can be easily circumvented, compare to the alternative which requires dialogue, collaboration and due process, supporting how the Internet actually works. As all communication over the Internet is facilitated by intermediaries (such as Internet access providers, social networks, and search engines) and the policies governing their legal liability for the content of these communications have a larger impact on users’ rights, it is important to balances the needs of stakeholders, incorporating baseline safeguards and best practices based on international human rights instruments and other international legal frameworks.

Combating Fake News and Dangerous Content in the Digital Age

November 13, 11:20 am – 12:20 pm

The world’s struggle against the spread of fake news (or precisely: disinformation) has been ongoing for several years. Recently undoubtedly seen the world’s biggest challenges so far in terms of overcoming the rise of post-truth politics. From rising societal tensions among ethnic fault lines, to the rising number of persecutions and hate-speech against political minorities, it has not become a rare sight to witness world’s news headlines feature one of 2017 and 2018’s most popular buzzwords: “hoax”, “fake news” and “disinformation”. Civilians awareness growing increasingly about the danger that disinformation pose (including dangerous content such as intolerance, radicalism, extremism and terrorism), as both printed and digital media have continued to highlight the issue throughout the year, and the society is currently in the process of learning to become critical of the information that they receive through social media and messaging applications. However, these hopeful developments of digital literacy by multistakeholder should be evenly and massively spread throughout the nation, which is magnified by the collaborative support from multistakeholder. The government must also initiate strict legal implementation of the laws that prohibit the spread of hoax, disinformation and dangerous content with accountable approach.