Discussion on access to content (first plenary session) highlighted the following issues
- There should be precise definitions of terms like open access and free access to (legal illegal content)
- The distinction should be drawn between access to content and access to services
- Gatekeepers and their role as those who “open the gates” and not vice versa ; consequently the gatekeepers (especially those who dominate on the market) should have additional responsibilities: gatekeepers for content and gatekeepers for traffic should be differentiated
- User: is Google a user? Are robots users?
- Network neutrality, of course: network neutrality guidelines and licensing guidelines should be global
- Governmental control over content: ISPs should not become state –run control instruments; there should be additional parliamentary control over administrative bodies in he sphere
- There is one more interesting issue : access to “old content” – digitalizing pre-internet printed stuff
The plenary session on online social media demonstrated that social networking discussions lead to a bunch of extremely important issues, including privacy, freedom of expression, media literacy multistakeholder partnerships, roles of governments and civil society actors and etc.
From my point of view, the most stimulating discussions were about the ways to draw the line between public and private on the internet, and about privacy of communication. For instance, ir was suggested to use the notion of “management of intimacy” instead of “privacy” and “data protection”.
It has also been pointed out that in many cases governments discuss readaptation of problems of the offline world and classical internet to a new online environment – and this tactics does not work. Much has been said on responsibilities of the owners of big online social networks and consequently on the necessity to involve them into discussions of that kind.
If to squeeze the essence of the debates on “terms of references” for network users and on vulnerability of younger users, I would say that there were four strategic approaches suggested: (1) media literacy and education: (2) creation of a public body monitoring these “terms of reference” and publicly explaining threats and week points of networking online regarding various platforms (look at trems of conditions –evaluate, explain and make it public); (3) establishing “internal governance” of networks based on participatory principles and responsible for internal resolution principles; (4) uniform global legal framework for online social networking.
There was also one very interesting remark on new skills and rights required for social networking (now, and especially in the future):
- dynamic identity management
- the right to validate content.
The next two discussions – on post JPA phase: “Towards a future internet governance model” and “Arrangements for a European IGF and Future EuroDIG events” were important but no so catching. However, some issues were mentioned which I would try to introduce into my country’s internet discussions :
- as there is an intention of EuroDIG enlargement to the East we should educate ourselves in order to become equal and valuable participants of the process;
- at this moment, parliamentarians and civil society actors could become the drivers of the process.
- Human rights remain the most important issue in internet governance discussions
- too much transparency can lead to information overload and can make potential actors passive, therefore a clear and simple introductory presentations on major internet issues which take national context into account should be developed
- multistakeholder partnership is a complicated process, it is not a spontaneous process, and it is civil society’s role to involve stakeholders (especially governments and business into the process).