Internet Governance Forum

On December 6, join CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch at the Internet Governance Forum. The IGF is a multistakeholder platform that faciliates the discussion of public policy issues pertaining to the internet. On Monday, December 5 at 1P.M. Courtney is organizing a session on “Countering Violent Extremism and Human Rights Online.”

In the wake of terrorist attacks around the world and the ongoing fight against ISIS and other violent extremist groups, preventing and countering violent extremism (CVE) has become a major policy agenda domestically and internationally. While governments have a legitimate interest in combatting terrorism, there is concern about the impact the CVE agenda is having on human rights online, particularly in the absence of compelling data that online CVE efforts are in fact stemming the flow of foreign fighters. Governments and public petitions have called for internet platforms to remove accounts and content that promote or support extremism, expanded surveillance and profiling online, and called for restrictions on encryption all under the banner of CVE. Marginalized and at-risk communities, journalists, and activists are at particular risk as authorities have enacted initiatives aimed at combatting extremism. A joint report by Special Rapportuers on freedom of expression have recognized the threats posed by CVE, but efforts need to be made to reconcile real security threats with respect for freedom of expression and press freedom online. This panel will explore this debate from various dimensions.

Courtney will also speak at UNESCO’s – Protecting safety of journalists online and offline in global Internet Governance ecosystem on Monday at 4 P.M. UNESCO has spearheaded the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity since 2012, as the first systematic mechanism with a multi-stakeholder approach to address the issue of safety of journalists and impunity in digital age. UNESCO seeks to present the UN Plan at IGF as a platform to exchange and coordinate and encourage further co-operation between UN agencies governments, private sector, civil society, media institutions and others on both the international and national levels. On top of this overarching theme, the Session is designed to shed light on four issues:

  1. Building digital safety for journalism

2. UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication has developed the Journalists’ Safety Indicators, which have been implemented in three Latin American countries. The results of this experience, and how to improve the collection of information for monitoring digital safety will also be examined.

3. Combating gender based threats to women journalists and media actors: The session will particularly examine the gender aspect of the safety of journalists, as the UN Plan of Action explicitly recognises the risks that female journalists face and both the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council have acknowledged “the specific risks faced by women journalists in the exercise of their work”, and have underlined” the importance of taking a gender-sensitive approach when considering measures to address the safety of journalists”.

4. Sharing Good practice: Ending impunity and empowering the judiciary system by online courses such as MOOCs

Other Speakers:

Moderator: Ms Nuria Sanz, UNESCO Director of Mexico Office

  1. Mr Guy Berger, UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development
  2. Ms Patricia Colchero Aragonés, head of the Unity for the Defense of Human Rights at SEGOB
  3. Mr Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  4. Ms. Marta Duran, a journalist and expert of the national mechanism on defense of journalists in Mexico
  5. Ms Erika Smith, Women’s Rights team of Association for Progressive Communication
  6. Mr Kim Pham, Deputy Program Director, IREX
  7. Ms Courtney Radsch, Committee of Protecting Journalists
  8. Mr David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression

And on Wednesday the 7th, at 3PM she will speak at WS159: Encryption and safety of journalists in digital age. Over the last decades, encryption has proven uniquely suitable to be used in the digital environments. It has been widely deployed by a variety of actors to ensure protection of information and communication for commercial, personal and public interests. From a human rights perspective, there is a growing recognition that the availability and deployment of encryption by relevant actors is a necessary ingredient for realizing a free and open internet. Encryption supports free expression, anonymity, access to information, private communication and privacy. As a result, limitations on encryption need to be carefully scrutinized.

It will be an interactive discussion built on a brief introduction of the research at the beginning and short remarks from panellists. Majority of the time will be dedicated to the Q and A with the audience and remote participants.

In-Person Moderator: Guy Berger, UNESCO

Remote Moderator: Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, UNESCO

Rapporteur: Xianhong Hu, UNESCO

Other Speakers

Mr. Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO

Mr. Wolfgang Schulz, Hans-Bredow-Institut fur Medienforschung

Mr. Amos Toh, Legal assistant to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom Of Expression

Ms. Courtney Radsch, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Mr. Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Ms. Amalia Toledo, Karisma Foundation and FLIP

Mr. Sebastián Bellagamba, Internet Society (ISOC)

Mr. Janis Karklins, Vice President of Human Rights Council

When: December 6-9, 2016

Where: PALCCO Center

Guadaljara, México

To participate remotely, register here.