Internet freedom

National Internet Governance Forum will be held in Moldova

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As a result of the recognition of the national initiative in the Republic of Moldova by the IGF international secretariat, has started the organization of the Internet Governance Forum (Moldova IGF 2020), which will be held on March 20, 2020 in the Digital Park.

The initiator of this significant event for the Internet community is the “Comunitatea Internet” Association supported by Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova. The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Moldova and a number of other key state institutions joined the open dialogue. International partners, including ICANN, IGFSA, SecDev Foundation, RIPE NCC, and SEEDIG, support MIGF. Among the national partners of the Forum are the Technical University of Moldova, Digital Park and private companies in the field of IT-technologies and telecommunications.

The MIGF 2020 Organizing Committee included representatives from four stakeholder groups: Government, technical community, private sector and civil society. In addition, a representative of an international organization is included in the Organizing Committee with observer status.

At the meeting of the Organizing Committee of the Moldova IGF, which was held last month, there were discussed current issues related to the preparation of the Forum and proposals from the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure and other Government institutions, experts and other community members.

According to Alexei Marciuc, chairman of the Organizing Committee and national coordinator of MIGF, Moldova has become the 88th country in the world where the IGF initiative has started. In total, he said, today 125 national and regional initiatives, including 88 national Internet governance forums, 18 regional forums and 19 youth IGFs, have been recognized by the IGF international secretariat.

According to the expectations of the event organizers, guests and speakers will formulate and discuss current trends in Internet governance, as well as consider the new challenges that the participants in this process face. In addition, during the Forum, representatives of the SecDev Foundation will hold a cyber security and cyber hygiene master class for interested individuals.

One of the main objective of MIGF is to bring together different categories of participants, such as Government agencies, private sector, technical community, academia, civil society and international organizations. Within a multilateral, democratic and transparent process, they will discuss the most important issues of state policy in the field of Internet governance and security in a virtual environment. MIGF supports open discussions to determine a common approach to promoting the Internet and managing the risks and problems associated with its use and development.

During the MIGF, a series of plenary and panel sessions will be held, topics such as:

  • Internet governance in the context of digital transformation,
  • Internet governance and freedom in the digital space,
  • Trust and security in the digital future,
  •  Economic and social value of the Internet as a catalyst for digital technology,
  • Negative phenomena in the Internet space (cybercrime, hybrid war, propaganda, fake news) and their overcoming,
  • Use of the Internet in the context of the European standards for the protection of personal data (GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation).

The MIGF 2020 Organizing Committee invites everyone who is interested in discussing current Internet governance issues to participate in the national initiative. To register, use the online form on the event website. The organizers are also waiting for your ideas and suggestions through a form on the site or social networks.

 

New Comparative Analysis on Internet Blocking: Focus on Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey

The world we live in gave us global Internet, universal right to freedom of expression, but also selective application of national laws to online space. When starting the analysis a few questions were set out as a reference point: Is modern Internet still the same as it was constructed by its founders? How much discretion should the governments enjoy when deciding on the limitations of Internet freedom? These and many other collateral questions are subject of heated discussions at all international forums related to Internet governance and human rights. And while answers are not there, Internet freedom is in danger for many years in a row. If proper actions won’t be taken by international community, we may witness even worse decline of freedom of expression in the upcoming years, and very likely in the countries that gave no alarm signals before. There is also a common misbelief that blocking is something possible and feasible in technologically advanced countries. We decided to check whether technological sophistication and censoring policies always go hand in hand, using the examples of Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey.

The comparative analysis consistently unveils legal framework for Internet freedom, specifics of Internet blocking, statistics naming the most hostile governments, results of Internet freedom survey in Ukraine, as well as restrictive practices implemented in the region by Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey. It concludes with a number of recommendations addressed to the governments in order to ensure proper respect and protection for Internet freedom. 

Text is available in English and Ukrainian

The comparative analysis “Internet Blocking: Fragmenting Network & Violating Freedoms” was prepared by a non-governmental organisation “Digital Defenders Partners” (DDP) within the framework of the project “Securitization of Internet Freedom” implemented under the support of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI).