This is a transcript of the session chaired by ConnetSafely’s Larry Magid at the
NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014
“CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR ENHANCED
MULTI‑STAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE”
03 SEPTEMBER 2014
PROTECTING CHILD SAFETY AND CHILD RIGHTS
This is the output of the real‑time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> LARRY MAGID: Would you put up the only slide, please, and leave it up the entire time?
Good morning. I know all of you can read that slide and I violated every PowerPoint rule in the book by having a slide full of text, but it’s important text, so I’ll be summarizing it. My name is Larry Magid and I’m co‑director of ConnectSafely.org along with my colleague Ann and Ann will be moderating a panel tomorrow at 2:30, along the same rights and responsibility and to some extent the protection of children. Today’s session is a follow‑up to one we did yesterday but the titles has been changed slightly. Last year’s title was child protection versus child rights, and we actually talked about how they were in a sense juxtaposed to each other or potentially at odds with each other and in a sense last year was a follow‑up to the previous year where in a workshop of an entirely different title my good friend John Carr and I got into a debate as we often do, and John had the last word and of course I stood up for freedom of speech and John stood up for total control and advocates of childs. He advocates put kids in jail at birth, I kid John, that was a discussion I think in Vilnius so we decided to continue it in Baceew as somewhat of a debate. John and I and pretty much everybody on the panel agree that in reality, child rights and not opposed to each other and in fact when you read the UN Convention of the rights to the child which I did this morning you see they’re actually intertwined because one of the rights or actually very strongly in the UN Convention there’s a great deal of discussion about the rights to protect children against physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, all sorts of protections and also when we talk about protecting the UN Convention of the rights of the child protects of child’s free speech and free expression, so in effect protection ‑‑ oh, Nevine, are you joining us on the panel? Okay. All right. We weren’t sure. Protection includes protection of speech, protection of expression and protection of physical, mental and emotional well‑being. I’m sure you can’t really read up there but I will summarize, Article 12 is about the right to express freely. Article 13 which I am going to read because it’s very near and dear to my heart is the right to freedom of expression, the right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print in the form of art or through any other media of the child’s choice. Now, any other media I’m pretty sure includes the Internet. Now, at the time they wrote the Convention, that was not part of it because it didn’t exist or it wasn’t available to children, but I’m quite sure that the UN Convention of the rights to child expresses it. In fairness, there are certain restrictions provided by law and are necessary. So there are exceptions to the right of free speech just as there are for adults. For example, you can’t go into a crowded theater and yell “fire” and of course you can’t post pictures of child abuse images. So free speech is not an absolute right but it is a fundamental right with a few minor exceptions.
Article 14 talks about the freedom of thought, conscious and religion, and by the way, it doesn’t say that you have to think or exercise the same religion as your parents. It gives the child the right to express his or her own thought and exercise or believe in his or her own religion or no religion, I would presume.
The other is freedom of association and peaceful assembly. Now, I’m pretty sure when they wrote the UN Convention they were talking about physical meetings like today or going to a rally or a protest such as in Tiananmen Square or in perhaps Taksim Square, but I believe that the drafters would adopt the online assembly participating in forums like Facebook or Twitter or instagram. I believe that is a form of Forum. No unlawful attacks on honour or reputation. Boy, is that loaded. We can do a lot with that one. For example, privacy and I think a couple of our speakers are going to talk about privacy. Young people have the right to privacy and social media and the Internet companies need to understand that and respect that. Correspondence, I presume that means e‑mail, tweets and Facebook postings. Young people have the right to correspond with others. Unlawful attacks on honour and reputation I believe they might have been thinking about bullying as part of that or cyberbullying, so I would argue that Article 16 protects children from arbitrary invasions of their had privacy, speech rights and any form of cyberbullying. Article 17 is access to information and material from diverse sources from around the world, and again I would argue that that means that young people have the right to unfiltered Internet access which would include access to content from any other country which means if you’re blocking access from a particular part of the world because you don’t believe in their ideology, I believe you would be violating Article 17 of the UN Convention. Again, I’m not an international lawyer but that’s my personal opinion. Again, there are guidelines to protect children from unlawful material, so I do not believe that the UN Convention of the rights to child prohibits filtering of pornography for example or video or beheading videos, but I do believe that it does protect children from the filtering of ideas of information and social media, so again, that is the legal framework from which we are operating in my nonlawyer’s interpretation of it but we have many people in the room, including at least one person who went to law school, maybe two actually, at least two people who went to law school. With that I’m going to turn it over to my esteemed panelists and I’m going to begin with Janice Richardson, who is a good friend and colleague, she runs the In Safe network and she’s the person largely responsible for Safer Internet Day, a project celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world and I’m proud to say including the United States of America because she asked Connect Safely, our organisation, to run it in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to be doing that. Janice, I’m thrilled to have you on the panel.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Larry, for inviting me.
I’m actually going to start from the viewpoint of young people because I learn so much from them, and when I ask them what else the greatest risk to safety online, as soon as they reach the age of 10, 11, they say us, our behavior towards others. European School Net and the In Safe network are currently conducting a youth manifesto for better Internet. About 1,000 young people came online and in a crowd sourcing process came up with what they think the charter should be for children’s rights and I think it’s very interesting because I had to hear the word protect and I’m going to tell you some of the things that they have included in this charter and the first thing is access. They think that access is a basic human right and therefore governments and industry are totally responsible for providing an open hack‑free environment with wide scale high‑quality access, and I hear that some people, someone, one of our youth panelist, for example, tells me because she lives in the centre of Ireland, she has only occasional access to Internet. How can one learn, how can one learn to be safe if your access is not what it should be? They also want ad‑free access and I think this is important, something we should focus on. They want terms and conditions that are really simple to understand and they want access to good quality and reliable content online.
The next area I would say is knowledge, and here they are really quite demanding because they do want knowledge from themselves, they expect school to give this knowledge, they expect the school curriculum to be mapped in such a way that access to connectivity is there at all times and they learn with their teachers how to use the Smartphone, how to use social media. In fact, there was a very great man who said one day ‑‑ and I’ll let you guess his name ‑‑ children are great imitators, so let’s give them something great to imitate. Any guesses who this might be? Benjamin Franklin. And I think we have a lot to learn because if kids are going to use technology correctly, then they need to have really great models to do this.
They also want, though, education for their parents, education for their grandparents. They think that everyone has this right to education and they can only be safe, free, and have their rights respected if we all get this education free of charge but reliable education, validated by the national authorities. I’m not going to take up everyone’s time, so I’m going to jump quickly into governance because you can find all of this online at youthmanifesto.eu. What do they want in terms of governance, what should we be looking at here? They want free access to an open democratic Internet that will help them learn, be creative, express themselves freely online but also ‑‑ and not many young people really know how to describe this and what they’re really asking for ‑‑ the right to be forgotten. They want better reporting systems and this is something we can already work on, and they want better responses to online crime. They want an online world free of bullying, racism and intolerance. But because they believe that they have the right to information, what I’m asking you is, is it really information that we’re usually giving them online? Is it one person’s idea? Is it just data, or is it misinformation? And there I really think we should look at what’s happening across the world with radicalization of young people with extremism and look at our responsibility in this.
Perhaps crowd sourcing is the answer. Your opinion counts, your values count, and therefore maybe we should be crowd sourcing all sorts of information that comes online so that other people can show us the validity, the credibility. It works with Wikipedia. I said there are only a couple of protects that they ask for. They want to be protected from inappropriate advertising online. They want to have their data and their privacy protected, but they want to be informed enough to take responsibilities for their own actions, and they want their parents to be people who don’t sit at the meal table with a mobile phone there ready to answer or to look up something at any moment. In a recent survey, 60% of young people asked for their parents to take the mobile away from the meal table and to start communicating with them. We often say that young people have their head only in their Smartphone or their tablet. I think that’s a lesson for us. They ask us to take our heads out of the Smartphone, out of the tablet, be with them and transfer our knowledge and our values. Thanks, Larry.
>> LARRY MAGID: Very good. Thanks very much, Janice. Janice, tell me a little bit about ‑‑ you’ve been running Safer Internet Day now for five years and it really started out as a protection, protecting children, but it’s evolved. Without going into a great deal of detail, tell me a little bit about why it was, for example, you choose building a better Internet this year and how does that tie into the notion of young people’s rights?
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: So building a better Internet is really interesting. It’s not my concept, it’s the concept of the European Commission. There is DGE Act which in fact looks after education and culture, there is DG home which looks after home security, there is DG justice, each of these are different departments, so Director‑Generals of the European Commission and the idea was that they all have a role to play in this and therefore perhaps having a more open title like better Internet would be a way of bringing all of these Director‑Generals together to work together and really implement a digital agenda across Europe. One fact to maintain at present, we talk about unemployment in Europe. There are approximately 1 million IT related jobs in Europe where companies simply can’t find the right people to fill them, so we know that a better Internet also means these really good digital skills. Safer Internet Day is another thing. I didn’t know that Safer Internet existed in 2003. I was working with the Council of Europe on many things, and for me this is simply literacy. This is simply education. This is simply knowing how to use today’s tools, to use them effectively, to express ourselves, to interact socially.
When I heard the title, I thought, well, this appeals to parents, so we’ll pick it up and we’ll put it on a day, and hence, Safer Internet Day was born in 2003, 11 years. But an idea, I would like to push this further, I would like to push this onto parent responsibilities, therefore I would urge you to help me make Mother’s Day and Father’s Day days when we make mothers and fathers think what it is to be a parent rather than just giving gifts, et cetera. So I’m hoping that some way we’ll manage to move that Safer Internet Day concept to something that would reach many more people and also the advertisers who love Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you. I appreciate it. Our next speaker is Magnus, and I’m going to try to get his last name right, Falhoy, he’s a tenth grader from Denmark, he’s a sailor, he likes to play video games and also he’s studying science and professionally, because everybody here has a profession, he works in a hardware store, which seems pretty good to me. Magnus, take it away.
>> MAGNUS: The things I want to talk about are these articles because I think in my school, these articles are not in order because they are taking our phones away in the spare time we have between the lessons, and these articles as it stands we’re allowed to get information and by taking our mobiles away in these spare times, we’re not being given this information we’re allowed to. And also this overwatching that some parents are ‑‑ because we have the rights to privacy, and if our parents got our codes to Facebook and checking what we are writing to our friends and what we are doing with the Internet, we don’t get this privacy that we’re allowed to have.
And I think this is a big problem because are this overwatching, of course you need this overwatching, but sometimes you need to cut down on this, that parents don’t need to overwatch your Facebook because you have this privacy.
And you have the rights, and if your parents are looking what you’re doing, and of course it’s by good meaning that your parents are doing this, but it can also be if your parents are hitting you or not that good parents, they can punish you from these things in a bad way, and I think that’s not a good idea. But I don’t know how we can make this better because of course it’s good but there’s also bad things about this overwatching. Yeah.
Back to the thing with taking our phones away from schools, of course in the lessons you have the rights to education, so you’re not supposed to have your phone in the classes you’re taking, and if you are sitting with your phone in your classes, you’re not that concentrating on what you’re supposed to do. I have this project where I search around how concentrated you are at the lessons when you are on the social media, and the thing I found out was that you can’t do both things at the same time. Either you are on the social media or you are in class.
And I think that’s a very interesting thing because a lot of young kids and parents just say, yeah, I can hear you and I understand what you’re saying, but I can also be on the social media and the Internet at the same time, but you can’t. If you’ve got a really good brain or something, I think it’s possible.
But not teenagers in our age. Yeah.
>> LARRY MAGID: Well, first of all, thank you very much. The observation you made about multitasking does not just apply to teenagers. Looking around the room, I see some people are on their computers.
>> LARRY MAGID: And I assume you’re all taking notes or maybe tweeting out things being said here, but I know there have been times when I have been looking at my e‑mail when I should have been listening to the presentation. So I’m guilty of that.
Some day, I don’t know what your future plans are, but perhaps you’re going to be a parent, perhaps you’ll be a science teacher, so if you could give advice to your future self to Magnus ten years from now, how would you be a good parent or perhaps a good teacher?
>> MAGNUS: I would not sit with my phone at the dining table.
>> LARRY MAGID: It would be embed in your brain by then.
>> MAGNUS: I would be with my kids at the dining table and not sit with my phone, as my dad does. And I think it’s a really interesting thing because you’re not supposed to ‑‑ when you are eating, you are supposed to be with your family and have the small talks about what you have done this day, and if I was a science teacher, I would teach about this multitasking, that you can’t do both things at the same time.
>> LARRY MAGID: Good. Thank you so much, Magnus. Our next speaker is an old friend of mean, I don’t mean chronologically old, but we’ve known each other 15 years, when Heba was working for a project in Cairo, I happened to be a judge in an award ceremony, I recognized this young lady, she still is young, but this younger lady was a great example of young people doing amazing things with technology and it was so amazing that she came to attention of Microsoft where she’s now a very important policy person, and I know CEO of Microsoft was seeking her advice, if he wasn’t, he should have been. Anyway, Heba, let’s talk.
>> HEBA RAMZY: Thank you, Larry, for inviting me, it’s great to be on a panel with you and with esteemed speakers but I would say more importantly to be on a panel with Magnus and Elena, that’s very important to listen to you and hear you and work with you, so I’m very excited to be here with you guys.
Online safety is a very important topic to me, I worked on it long ago before Microsoft, it’s an important topic, and the child right is important. Apology for using child, but I mean like young audience, you guys are young audience and you are really holding the baton as a future leader of our countries. So I mean, don’t take offense of the use of the “child”. I use to do take offense when I was little, but it’s not meant to be anything of like undermining what you guys are doing. But it is important, and what I want to share with you in a few minutes, and I want it to be very interactive as well is to talk about what we are doing as an industry player, and Microsoft has been very much committed to the online safety, like it goes back maybe more than 12, 15 years, where we have been committed to the trustworthy computing. We do focus on innovation, we want to make sure that we give the best experience to everybody in terms of like the tools, the devices, but at the same time we have to be mindful of some of the key elements like the safety. And I’ll also touch base on the privacy, which Magnus had touched base on but maybe from a little bit of a different angle, and I would like to ‑‑ I mean, it may be discussed further with you.
If you look at the Internet, and it has been evolving over the number of years, it has changed the way we interact with each other, we do business, you know, like we learn, we have fun, so it has been a key factor to change a whole lot of things. But as anything in the world, I mean, you know, like that’s an open space. There are so many different players there, there is a lot of content there. Some is accurate, some is questionable, you know, like some people would be themselves, other people hidden behind different characters. So it’s not all good as we would love to, and, you know, like people are not very responsible, not all of them, but some. So we have to use some filters and we have to look into that.
It is very important as we are defining like, you know, what is online safety? It’s kind of a risk management that you guys have to apply some filters and look into it as you are embarking on using that, you know, like that tool, and I was just kind of mentioning, I was reading an Article on my way from Redmond at the time and I recall a few things, like they resonate very much with our session today. One of the lines it said we are living in a golden age of answers. If you have a question, you know, go to the Internet, you Bing it or you use any other search engine and you will get some answers to it. So information is at your fingertips. We have to verify this. It becomes very tempting to use the Internet and to access it. The way we looked at it, we looked at it from four different angles, and we call it the four C’s. It’s about the content, it’s about the conduct, it’s about the contact, it’s about the commerce. And let me just kind of elaborate a little bit on that. The content, as I was saying, you know, like we are living in a golden age of answers. It’s awesome. I mean, you know, like at any minute in time you can tap into the wisdom of the humankind. It’s just amazing, and like if you’re reading about philosophers, you can really understand what you’re saying, you go to the Wikipedia, they give like all the background. But again, some of it is inaccurate, some of it misrepresents key ideas and ideologies, and that’s where we need to be careful. And the conduct, these involve people online and who we are engaging with. I could be 13 years old and you would never know or 60 years old. That’s an element that we need to verify. And then I’ll just move very quickly to the conduct. And it’s all about the behavior and how people behave on the Internet and how people behave on Facebook and all the social media. It’s not all genuine. I would say like let’s for the benefit of the argument, everybody should be genuine. However, there are, as anything in the world, there are people who are not genuine. There are people who are like, you know, irresponsible and so on and so forth. So we need really to again apply filters and verify that as you are embarking on this.
The last one is around the commerce, and that’s like touch base on privacy. When you are using like Facebook, any of the social media or even sending an e‑mail using any of the, you know, like the free e‑mail providers, I bet once you press the send button and if you are talking about a trip to Istanbul, I am pretty sure that your in box will be jammed with, you know, like some sites about Istanbul and how beautiful the city is ‑‑ and it is very beautiful ‑‑ but I mean like where to go, where to shop, which hotels and the sites and so on and so forth. And that’s on the privacy. Like is somebody reading my e‑mails? Is somebody using some of the content and profiling me? What does this mean, and how does this impact myself, impact the decision?
So the information, you know, like your data is becoming the price. And it is very important. If you agree to it, that’s fine, but we have to be ‑‑ like we have to understand the models that are there, and we have to really accept that and see how we can address some of these, like some of these issues if we don’t address it.
So these are the four C’s that we look into, and as a company, we have three pillars to be able to work with them. One is around, you know, like the technology and the innovation, and like as it’s mentioned, we have to provide you with the latest technology. As a student, as young people, and like you know to businesses, it doesn’t matter. Everybody has the right for the latest and the greatest technology, but like as a responsible company, we have to look into these tools and just to give you some examples, you know, on the Windows 8 there’s where we call like family safety, it comes first. On the mobile if you want your kids to use the phone, there is a kids’ corner, and I’m going to move fast on that.
Then the second component is that no one single sector or no one single entity can do it alone and that’s where the partnership is very important. Partnership with NGOs, partnership with academias, partnership with you to be able to address it, to be able to address these issues and ensure that we have like a safe Internet and a safe platform for you. The last part is around awareness and education, and it comes as the foundation, but it comes lost, actually, because we need to build and work towards that. So let me leave you with a few questions that I have been actually, you know, not struggling, but I’ve been thinking about and which is around like combining online safety and the child rights. Where do we draw the line? Do we give open access or parents need to work closely with you guys? Where does the responsibility come? Responsibility of the parents, the NGOs, the industry, but you as well. I mean, if there is a game that is rated, you know, like for age 18 or others, where is the responsibility here? So that is one thing. The other thing is that where do we draw the line between the right to access all these apps and knowledge and the invasion of privacy? It’s privacy from a different angle, mag rather than having your parents also check the Facebook, but also have companies and providers use your data as, you know, like appears the price for that. Let me stop here.
>> LARRY MAGID: Heba, one of the things that Janice talked about from which she did the survey of children is that they wanted an ad‑free Internet, the reality is the best online comes from Microsoft, Facebook, the way you monetize this advertising, so how do you make sure this advertising isn’t exploiting children, manipulating them, misleading them, like commercial children trying to get them to purchase sugary cereals, things that aren’t good for them, how do you manage to be responsible to advertising yet be responsible to children?
>> HEBA RAMZY: It’s a great question, there are certain things you need to be cognitive of and you need to give the right to children to kind of opt out also and not to be tracked, so like for the latest Explorer, there is by default do not track. That ensures that if you are visiting that site, your information is not going to be captured and we’re not going to be using it and that’s like ‑‑ so you give the choice.
The other thing which is a little bit different from information is there are business models and there are business models based on subscription and people pay money where there is the responsibility to ensure that the access points, so for students, you need to ensure that they have access and you need to look into the payment, like you give it for free, free offering for that but there are other companies that have the business model, it’s everything for free but then the data is being used. So there are different business models and I think like the one point that I would stress, it is you who has to decide so which way to go, but you make the decision based on information and not finding that by surprise.
>> LARRY MAGID: And I might add that in the United States schools are really struggling with this issue because there’s so much great educational content and resources being provided by companies and schools are really struggling with how to offer that but not allow for that kind of data manipulation or tracking, and hopefully we’re making progress.
Our next speaker is Suzie Hargrave, the chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, has done an amazing job in helping protect children, the most vulnerable children in the world against sexual exploitation, but also having been on many panels with her and just getting to know her over the last couple years has a lot of thoughts on the broader issue of child protection and child rights, so I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
>> SUZIE HARGRAVE: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Larry, and thanks very much for the opportunity to speak today. I was going on show a video, but I’ve decided not to and just keep things very brief because my take on this is very much from the perspective of criminal content, which I think kind of maybe takes the discussion in a slightly on a tangent, so you may want to pull it back to the more general issues of child protection and children’s rights. But I’m concerned with the rights of children who are sexually abused online. Just to give you a very quick overview of what my organisation does with the UK Heart line for reporting child content, child sexual abuse content, we’re self‑regulated body charity independent of law enforcement and the Government and we’re funded by the Internet industry, Microsoft amongst them. We have the most successful site in the world, having content removing in less than an hour in the UK. We have a blocking list that goes out across the whole of the UK and also deployed in many countries across the world, it’s a very dynamic list, normally there are between 500 and one and a half thousand URL’s is our list and it’s updated twice a day. We have an independent board and we have independent inspections and just to give you a sense of the sort of stuff we’re talking about, we’re talking about the worst of the worst. Last year 81% of the 14000 URL’s removed from the Internet were under age 10, 4% under two, 6% sexual rape and torture. We are a fantastic wonderful organisation, you would think we would be universally loved above reproach, everybody adores us, clearly how could anybody criticize the IWF? Actually no that’s not true, a lot of people do not like the IWF, a lot of people who don’t like the IWF are within the Internet governance sphere and I’ve got to tell you why and the argument goes something like this, okay, so even though the European Convention of Human Rights gives us ‑‑ puts a limitation on whether it’s okay to restrict illegal content, as Larry described in terms of child sexual abuse, which many people here would call child pornography, still a number of people object to the IWF and the argument goes like this. What is the IWF really up to? What are we doing? What are we blocking? Is this the start of a slippery slope? Who knows what they’re really doing? Who is defending the Human Rights of the people involved? You know what about child sexual abuse covers anybody under the age of 18? What about people under the age of 16 who are engaged in consensual acts? What about them? What are we doing trampling on all those Human Rights? These are some of the questions thrown at us on a regular basis. Why do you do blocking? Blocking doesn’t work. All these arguments come to us. For that reason we commissioned Lord Ken McDonald earlier this year, who is the former Director of prosecution, to do an independent review of the IWF and he concluded that in fact we were subject to judicial review and in fact we do conform to the European Convention of Human Rights on every level possible.
And the reason I’m bringing this to this discussion and that’s kind of the end of sort of the facts around it, the reason I think it’s important is that throughout this discussion and since I’ve been at the IWF, when people stand up and accuse the IWF of being this horrible censorship organisation with no judicial overview, that actually the one group of people that never actually discussing are the rights of the children who have been sexually abused and I think there’s a group of people out there who believe that any censorship of the Internet is a bad and dangerous and evil thing and sadly one of the prices you pay for that is unfortunately child sexual abuse but that’s just life so we should just get over it. Actually I’m not prepared to just get over that because the children in those images are revictimized on an hourly, daily basis, those children have rights too, children can’t consent to have sex under the age of 16 in the UK and a child sexual abuse image is someone under the age of 18 whether you like it or not. So actually concepts around is it consensual. I recently had a TV company come and do an interview with me in the UK, national news programme, and we were showing them some pixelated images, one was of two children that we gauged were age 12 and 13 involved in sexual intercourse and they asked me, they said but how do you know it’s not consensual? I said, well, we know it’s not consensual because children age 12 can’t consent to have sex, that’s how we know it’s not consensual, that’s under UK law. So what I want to say in terms of this argument and the conversation today is that I want the rights of the children who are sexually abused online to be included in any argument. Thank you.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you, Suzie.
>> LARRY MAGID: And I want to support what you said about the critics. I’m on the board of directors of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children which does similar work in the United States and indeed we’re constantly having to defend ourselves against some people who think that free speech should be absolute and don’t understand that there are certain crimes that really are not speech but crimes. A couple of years Ann Collier and I had a chance to speak at the Safer Internet Day event in Russia, in Moscow, while we were there the Government was in a process of implementing a new law which started outer as protecting the children against the most awful forms of exploitation, essentially a law against child pornography, but somehow the lot got amended and evolved, and they brought in terrorism, and then they brought in extremism and then they brought in protecting against adult pornography and then it even got extended to maybe websites that are critical of the current Government. So using child pornography as sort of the opening gateway to include, the slippery slope really did exist there, and as much as I think all of us here are having a wonderful time in Turkey and love this country and love the Turkish people and are very happy about all the freedom we have today to talk about anything we want, yesterday we had a panel, a gentleman Freedom House bring up the issue that even here in Turkey a similar law has been used reportedly to deny rights of free speech. So how do we do the work you’re doing but make sure we also don’t allow that to become that slippery slope that you referenced?
>> SUZIE HARGRAVE: That’s a great question and one of the things that’s really important to the IWF’s success is that the narrower we make t the more successful we are. We want to be an inch wide and mile deep because industry would not support us if we stray one inch outside of our agreement because child sexual abuse is one area where everybody can get together and agree to work on. So industry has no problem at all, whether it’s Microsoft, Facebook, you know, the big ISP’s, they’ll all work with us on that issue. The minute we step outside of that ring, and we regularly have Government in the UK going we’ve got this organisation the IWF, they can do terrorism, they can do copyright, and we’re absolutely clear, we’re funded by the Internet industry and we’re funded by the Internet industry because they trust us because our agreement is so tight and actually we have to be really careful to stick within that and that’s where an organisation like us in some ways are much safer than governments because we depend on that support to survive.
>> LARRY MAGID: Very interesting. Our next‑to‑last speaker is John Carr, and the reason he’s next to last is I’m never going to let him get the last word in.
>> LARRY MAGID: John is a very good friend and has been really almost synonymous with child protection online in the UK. I don’t think the British Government makes a single move on anything without consulting with John, and properly so because he really has provided a tremendous amount of wisdom over many years as a champion of child protection, and despite the fact that we argued over this last year, I would argue child rights as well. So that’s probably the last positive thing I’ll ever say about you. He gives me an even harder time so ‑‑
>> JOHN CARR: Yeah. Is it on? Now it’s on. Magnus, you did know that this is being live streamed, yeah?
>> MAGNUS: Yeah.
>> JOHN CARR: Your dad has just sent me an e‑mail.
>> JOHN CARR: Sorry, I’m joking.
Just to focus specifically on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as Larry said in his opening remarks, it was adopted in 1989, but the process of writing it, the point getting up to 1989 took about ten years so really the genesis of the Convention is at least 35 years old and absolutely it is well, well before the Internet was a public phenomenon or the public phenomenon that we now know it. And I’ve no doubt whatsoever that if the UN CRC were to come back to be reopened and reconsidered and rewritten, a lot of the language that’s in there would be changed, it would be different because the reality of the Internet today and the way that it impacts upon children and young people’s lives is so phenomenal, so huge, it would have to be centre stage in any reconsideration of how we express and describe the rights of children and young people, but it simply wasn’t there when this Convention was being first considered.
Next week in Geneva and Larry and I and several other people, Janice and several other people in this room will be there. In Geneva there’s going to be a day of general discussion about the Convention, and I’m giving a presentation there specifically on the online aspects on behalf of international global and geobase in Bangkok for whom I’m a Consultant. Now, there is no real possibility of the Convention being rewritten, probably not in my lifetime, probably not even in Magnus’ lifetime, I think we are pretty much stuck with it the way it is, but it is possible following next week’s discussion in Geneva about the Convention that some new guidance notes, some new advice will be issued to governments around the world about how to interpret the Convention in the Internet age, and that’s potentially therefore extremely important.
I think one of the ‑‑ by the way, there’s only three countries in the world that haven’t signed it. That’s Southern Sudan, Somalia, and the United States of America. Sorry, which country are you from, Larry?
>> LARRY MAGID: Sudan.
>> JOHN CARR: Larry is from Southern Sudan. But again, here’s a point to be made about that. Does this mean that children and young people in, say, Mauritania, which have signed the Convention, are living in kind of children’s Valhalla, whereas in the United States every child is a subject of terrible deprivation and leads a completely miserable existence? Of course it doesn’t. So signing or not signing the Convention or the optional protocols, it is very important, and it’s a great shame the United States has not signed up and I know there’s a great lobby in the United States to get them to sign the Convention. Signing and not signing is not the be all and end all of it. It’s what you do with it and how you express it on the ground and in the schools and education system that counts.
I think there is somewhere in there I think the right to education that’s expressed, certainly this Article 17 about access to information and so on and so forth. Now, I think were we to rewrite the Convention today, I’m pretty sure there would be a strong argument for saying right to access to the Internet should be considered to be a fundamental right to children. How can you have a good decent modern up to date education today unless you can get online, unless you can access that huge quantity of rich and varied material and sources that the Internet has given us access to? This is a view that the British Government pretty much adopted a few years ago, the previous one, not the one we have at the moment, and they did a study within the school system about the difference between kids who had access to the Internet at home and kids that didn’t have access to the Internet at home, and what they found was several things. First of all, the kids that didn’t have access to the Internet at home weren’t doing quite so well on average as kids that did, but almost as important and some would argue even more important, what they found was that kids that didn’t have ready access to the Internet either at home or through a mobile or something were being ostracized slightly. They were the oddballs, they were the weird kids or the kids from poor families, so it was causing not just educational issues for the kids not having access, but it was also leading to bullying and a whole range of other things and they weren’t able to participate in the chat room, you know, in the Facebook exchanges and so on and so forth. So what the previous Government did was introduce a scheme whereby every child of school age that didn’t have access to the Internet at home, their parents were given a voucher or offered a voucher, they couldn’t compel them, were offered a voucher so that they could get a computer and they got at least one year’s broadband connectivity to the device so that they could have Internet access at home. And I thought that was a really, really great initiative that the British Government took. And it’s getting pretty close to saying we think every child must have access to the Internet if only from the point of view of the educational well‑being.
By the way, part of the justification for that initiative that the British Government took was that even though they introduced these vouchers and the computers and the broadband connection primarily on educational grounds, what they also found was that having a computer in the house helped the family as a whole. They were suddenly able to shop online, get better deals for groceries and things of that kind, get them delivered, and if there were mobility issues, things of that kind. So it wasn’t just on narrow educational grounds that this idea of access was justified in the UK. There were also these wider benefits.
Now, it’s very, very easy for people to be drawn into extreme positions on this. You get some ultraliberals who say there should be no censorship, there should be no controls, the kids are okay, you don’t have to worry, you’re from the time and go worrying unduly and this will lead to restrictions and I agree this is a complex issue.
I was very, very struck not long ago when I looked at the German example, and I can see my friend Uta Crawley is in the room, if I get it wrong, in Germany they have this statutory Commission which is all about youth protection online so they don’t have to take issues to court every time but you have a group of people who can, away from the glare of publicity, away from the pressure of the media, away from the kind of pressures of everyday politics, if a difficult issue comes up within Germany about whether this content complies with sort of general youth welfare and youth protection laws, some people can consider it and take a view on it. And because this is a respected and independent body, the views that this statutory Commission expresses are generally adhered to by the industry. They do take down bad content, they do take down Jihadi websites and things of that kind, which by anybody’s reasoning are not going to do kids or indeed anybody much good. Of course it’s subject to judicial review, these things have to be subject to judicial review but there we have at least a way of balancing or considering the different and competing interests that exist in this area. I think it’s a system that we should adopt in the UK. I think it’s a system that probably in the end will be adopted in many other different countries. Larry is getting agitated, he obviously ‑‑
>> LARRY MAGID: I have a question, yeah. John, before I ask you this question, I wanted to just say to Eleanor because she’s the next speaker that although John is an advisor to the UK Government, he’s neither the king or Prime Minister or law enforcement so don’t allow anything that he says to influence what you say, because die want to ask you about filtering and I know that you have some strong feelings about that.
>> JOHN CARR: Yeah.
>> LARRY MAGID: Filtering pornography, filtering social media, filtering the same technology that’s used to keep out the kinds of images that Suzie are says can also be blocked, but in the schools, social media, give me your thoughts on that.
>> JOHN CARR: The main problem in the schools is the teachers themselves don’t feel they understand the technology well enough, they don’t feel comfortable about it. And if you’re feeling frightened and cornered and not confident particularly if you’re in a room of 30 kids who know a lot more about the issue than you do, the natural human reaction is let’s just ban it, let’s not use it. That’s not the right answer.
But you know, filters in the UK outside of the school system are very widely available, but they’re optional. Nobody in the UK is compelled to use a filter. Everybody in the UK now is given the opportunity to do so if they want to. Some families want to do it, many, many families don’t. It’s a matter of personal freedom and choice, there’s no compulsion.
>> LARRY MAGID: Speaking of experts, our next speaker is Eleanor Lee who is a student from a small town in the UK. She’s in the 11th grade, which means college must be soon on her plans or whatever her follow‑up activities might be. She plans to study architecture. She’s also involved in martial arts, so John, be careful,s also a musician, and she’s also a teacher, and has work experience in architecture. We’re very honoured to hear what you have to say, Eleanor.
>> ELEANOR: Thank you, Larry. So I would like to start by… I mean, personally I finished unfortunately because of studies, I had to quit a drama group, but some of my friends from that group moved away and I still keep in contact with them and that’s the way even from school we can keep in contact with people that we knew, even if work and education makes us move away so I think the main topic is not dealing with an issue, it’s not making young children educated by educating the teachers, it’s bringing up certain things that the children can learn to do. It’s bringing up maybe categorizing so like an age raising on a film, so on a page you have 12, 15, 18, it’s not limited, you’re not stopping a child, but you’re showing them, think about this again. If you’re not 12, maybe this content isn’t appropriate for you and these adults have put it for a reason. We shouldn’t limit the youth because that’s what being humans is about, it’s about learning, it’s about taking that curiosity and developing it into your work, into what you do. As a teacher, I believe that it’s very important to make sure it’s interactive. What you teach the young people is interactive. You’re getting them involved instead of just talking to them. You need to make sure that when they’re using the Internet, they are exploring sites. Sometimes I find in my lessons it’s better if a teacher says, all right, here you go, here is a question, it’s a big question, you can put anything in the topic, and then that child has to go, they have to use their imagination, their curiosity, to find something within that and then create a presentation, rather than the teacher just saying these are the facts.
And usually within studies, that’s how children progress. That’s how they get the higher marks because they’ve had to go into that themselves. Personally, I didn’t, embarrassingly, before I heard about this conference, I didn’t know about the UN Convention, I didn’t know about some of these rules and regulations, these rights we had. So if I don’t know and I’m here, how do the youth of the world know? We need to get them involved to educate them, and like Janice was saying, the Safer Internet Day I got involved in in the one in London last year and it was really eye‑opening to me to see all these people were all here, but what’s being done? Are the children of the world actually being taught anything? Is it getting better? And I think not necessarily filtering is the right way forward but getting young people involved in websites, in chat pages, and making sure that is the way forward. So yes. Thank you.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you. That was excellent, Eleanor. My question for you stems on what you just said about getting young people involved. Mobilizing students, and I tried, I was involved as a student leader when I was a bit older than you are, I’m too old to be a student leader now, but it’s a difficult process and I wonder how do you engage your Fellow students and how do you get them to think beyond their current whatever it is they’re fixated on at the moment and think about the rights of young people and getting them as involved as you are yourselves and the folks that are here?
>> ELEANOR: I think because some adults like to shy away from the social networking because it is a big thing for young people but I think maybe targeting through social networking sites, chat sites, there are something like 3 million people on social networking sites. Why don’t we use that? It’s something out there, children use it all the time, and even from the age of 13 to 18, they use these sites, so they hold discussions, and if we could promote that idea, make it within something they’re familiar with, then that would be a better way forward.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thinking about using social media as a mobilization tool which has been done in many parts of the world successfully and it’s kind of hard to do if it’s banned in school, but worth doing. We have a lot of brilliant mind in the audience and I know there’s a lot of thought so I want to open this up for comments. Obviously keep them fairly brief and please identify yourself. So who wants to start out. The lady in the red? Do we have a microphone for the audience? Someone is coming up to you with a mic right now. Any answer from remote yet?
>> No, it’s down actually.
>> LARRY MAGID: The Internet Governance Forum minus the Internet. We’ve got the governance, we just don’t have the Internet. Yes, hi. You’re welcome to stand up if you want, but you don’t have to.
>> AUDIENCE: Can you hear me? Thank you very much all of you, it’s great to hear everything that you’ve said. My name is Mandy and I work for World Vision and I see so much work has been done in developing countries like the UK and Europe and the US, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in eastern European countries and the Middle East, and I wanted to just quickly mention regarding Article 17 access to information, a lot of the children in the countries where we work with, they do not have Internet access at home. And we have a lot of, a huge number of vulnerable children, street children in countries like Georgia and Albania and Armenia, and so children go to Internet cafes to access Internet, and recently we conducted a survey in Albania where we spoke with 900 children. 44% of those children have access to child pornography on a daily basis, and when we asked the next question where do they access this child pornography, most of them said in Internet cafes. So one of the policy recommendations that we would like to put to the Albanian Government and to other governments and institutions out there, how can we regulate or how can we tighten controls in Internet cafes? One idea we had was perhaps to have an area for minors and to have some blocking just for these minors blocking their access to adult content. This was just one of our recommendations but I wanted to put that out there to talk about the fine line between access it information and child rights.
>> LARRY MAGID: There are two parts of your comment, one had to do with access focused a lot about Middle East, we happen to have an expert on Middle East in the panel, the other is how do we protect minors on Internet cafes, I would like, Heba, if you wouldn’t mind addressing the whole issue of special considerations in the Middle East and other developing areas.
>> HEBA RAMZY: Again, I totally agree with you, access is very important and we shouldn’t be focusing on the developed world and maybe forget a little bit about the developing world or the emerging market. You know, like a long time ago, and I’ll talk specifically about Egypt and, you know, like we have Nevine here who has been working a lot on that, but in Egypt as well as a lot of the Middle East countries there has been focus on access and providing Internet to like the democratization of the Internet. If I put it that way and how can we address that, like building centers for young people to go there and access the Internet, but also build their skills and capabilities in order to be able to use the new technology in a more effective and efficient way, leverage these centres for learning and other aspects. There’s been a number of initiatives, that goes back maybe 15, 16 years ago in a number of countries, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the likes, which had helped in one, increasing the number of people who are using the Internet, two, increasing like or developing the skills of young people. And like I think I got some comments during the Arab Spring and the revolution that some of these kids who became young adults had led some of the ‑‑ like some of the movement using technology during the Arab Spring.
So it has been there, and there is a responsibility of the Government, there is a responsibility of the industry, there’s a responsibility of the NGOs, where they can work together to ensure that you provide access to all these young people in a more efficient and effective manner but also in a responsible fashion, I would say, as you rightly said, the Internet cafes can expose young people to unwanted sites or allow them to access, you know, like so many different informations that you can’t control and it becomes very commercial. And that can trigger a whole lot of issues that can lead to crime or like, you know, drugs or abuse of young people or what have you. That’s why the Civil Society has a major role to play, you know, like the Government, whether it’s law enforcement mainly because the laws do exist in all these markets, it is more of the enforcement and the awareness. In some markets they need enhancement, and there might be some gaps, but then also the industry had to play a role, you know, like and ensure that you’ve got access.
>> LARRY MAGID: John, Internet cafes, in addition to the access to pornography, there’s physical access to the children while they’re there.
>> JOHN CARR: Exactly. That was the point I was going to make. There were reports not that long ago from Pakistan and also from Senegal, not just about the content and the stuff that was available through the computers, but precisely because the Internet cafes, like flies to a honey pot, children and young people, this is where they hung out, this is where they were hanging out, so they were attracting a whole range of very unsavory characters who had an entirely different reason and interest in being there. I can’t remember which country it was, for example, but the computers were put inside little booths so you couldn’t actually see the individual or what was going on inside the booth, and there were several bad, very, very bad things happening to young people that were enticed into these booths by guys that would pay for the Internet access or give them vouchers to use the Internet later on in return for sex. So a number of countries by the way have had to deal with this question of Internet cafes. It’s a very doable thing to get codes of practice that can be agreed by, because they tend to be owned by chains or the network providers or generally the same, so there are solutions. By the way, this is an immediate problem, but in the short to longer term, it’s not going to be an issue. There are no Internet cafes essentially anymore in the UK because Internet access is so widespread. Obviously in the developing world they’re still very common, but Internet access is now becoming much more readily available in many countries. Facebook in ‑‑ I can’t remember which, there’s two African countries.
>> Facebook and Google.
>> JOHN CARR: Facebook and Google are both pioneering experiments giving essentially free Internet access if you get their devices and stuff like that. So you’re right to focus on it now, and it is an immediate problem and it will be with us for several years, but it’s not an issue for the permanent or indefinite future.
>> LARRY MAGID: So instead of sleazy men exploiting you sexually, sleazy companies are exploiting your information, is that what you ‑‑
>> JOHN CARR: That’s not what I’m saying.
>> LARRY MAGID: I’m just joking. Facebook and Google, by the way, are supporters, so don’t ‑‑
>> LARRY MAGID: Janice, very briefly, if you would.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: I think the day that Internet access becomes a public service, like electricity and like water, then the Government will have a certain control, and I hate control and regulation of any form. Imagine where we would be if anyone could just grab electricity from everywhere and there were no basic standards.
>> JOHN CARR: Shocking.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Exactly. I would say that in fact it should become a public service and that way even the Internet cafes would have some form of control.
>> LARRY MAGID: The only thing I’ll add is that there are some countries that are privatizing the water system but that’s a whole another topic. Gentleman in the are blue shirt?
>> AUDIENCE: It’s a real problem that there are things happening in Internet cafes in developing countries and I wouldn’t say blocking or controlling is even the option, but like the gentleman on the right just said, it’s a place that attracts young people and why not use the tool for the time being that there is this place where people go to browse on the Internet and probably misbehave, through education and parents that are working and adults helping in this place and educating and raising awareness instead of blocking everything through a distance through Government mechanism that can also be abused through limiting access to young people, to actually build and start learning new things. For example, if you block, if the Government was in control of the Internet like a public service and Internet cafes in developing countries, how could the Arab Spring actually come alive and happen? This is something very critical and I really wouldn’t recommend to look for something that’s controlled from a distance, but actually use this local space where people are browsing and make sure that there are adults there and helping and through this way educating and raising awareness about the Internet.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you. Ann, did you want to comment?
>> AUDIENCE: Just a quick follow‑up. On your ‑‑
>> LARRY MAGID: Please identify yourself.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes, Ann Collier with ConnectSafely.org. I’m supposed to be remote monitoring, but we haven’t had a lot of Internet. Your point about raising awareness, that’s a very powerful thing. To Eleanor’s point earlier, young people can help raise awareness about sleazy awful places where they shouldn’t go. I think if young people knew that there are certain cyber cafes in town that you really don’t want to go to, here is where you need to go, the same way that word spreads very quickly when people are protesting against, you know, against poverty and, you know, in the Paris riots or the riots that happened in London later, there can be protest for good, for social change, and young people are very powerful in that way and can protect each other through social media and also NGOs can help raise awareness about what young people are doing and can do, and, you know, social norming and social action can be so powerful in countries like Albania in these temporary problems where, you know, eventually it’s all going to be mobile anyway and people won’t need to go to cyber cafes. It probably is already mobile in Albania now, mostly mobile as it is in Turkey.
>> LARRY MAGID: Perhaps NGOs and governments can create friendly places for children to gather with free Internet access, until Janice’s idea is implemented. Yes, ma’am?
>> AUDIENCE: Just to follow‑up on one of the comments that has been spoken to.
>> LARRY MAGID: Please identify yourself and speak a little louder. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: I’m Anna. You’ve been talking about Georgia, I come from Georgia, and that’s why I wanted to add something. So I don’t know if you have a very deep overview of Internet access in Georgia, but yeah, we don’t have many computers in the regions, but trust me, everyone has a Smartphone. We live in a world of Smartphones. If you prohibit your child to go to Internet cafe, he’ll easily watch whatever he wants and does whatever he wants on his Smartphone. And another thing I wanted to say in addition to what Robert has said, my brother, he’s 14, and there’s been some period of time that he went to Internet cafe every day because he was not okay with his computer, he couldn’t play a lot of games on it and et cetera and et cetera. So he went there every day. We were not okay, me and my mother, so we tried to convince him not to go to this Internet cafe, after half a year he realized that we were very nervous about him going to the Internet cafe and he stopped it. But it took half a year. Every day we tried to say, okay, please, it’s not safe there and et cetera, there are not nice people. So he realized it. So raising awareness, trying to explain to your child in a very normal way, not shouting and et cetera, is I think what they need. And yeah, as I said, Smartphones is the big issue in this case, if you call it an issue. I don’t call it an issue.
>> LARRY MAGID: You’re absolutely right. Somebody else? Gentleman, yes, back there. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. My name is Jonathan Simbadrit from Uganda. My question goes to John, you talked about filtering. I’m wondering, is filtering age appropriate? Because some information which is going to be accessed by a child of 16 years, but which can’t be accessed by a child of 8 years, so how do you go with that? According to everyone 18 years, but someone of 8 years can be prohibited to access that information, but when that information is good for someone of 16 or 18 years, how would you go about that? Thank you very much.
>> JOHN CARR: In the UK, every Internet ‑‑ every one of the major Internet service providers provides free and by default. So when you first turn on the service, it’s there, filters for the whole family. Oh, you can’t hear. So in the UK every major ISP provides filters free for the whole family. There is an issue with them because by default, they’re essentially for the youngest person in the house. I don’t think this is going to last, by the way, because what it means is that just as you’re saying, a 17‑year‑old or a 77‑year‑old gets exactly the same access to the Internet in that house as a 3‑year‑old or a 4‑year‑old. I don’t think in the long run it’s going to work. It’s an experiment, we’re going to see what the results are. We’ll get numbers and we’ll get an analysis at the end of this year. I think the filtering should be age appropriate. It shouldn’t be blanket. It shouldn’t be the same for a 77‑year‑old as it is for a 7‑year‑old. It’s technically difficult, it’s more expensive, but it can be done.
The way the mobile phone companies do it in the UK is slightly different. There you have no choice. When you turn on your mobile phone for the first time or when you open up a mobile phone account for the first time, your account will be filtered whether you like it or not. Now, if you want to, you can go through an age verification process and get the filters lifted, so you could get access to porn, gambling, alcohol, knives, the whole thing, but it’s very difficult for a child to beat that system. So broadly speaking, I think on the mobile phone, it works reasonably well. And it works the same way now in public WiFi. Filtering will be on by default and will apply to everybody. It’s blunt, but I can’t think of any other way of doing it in relation to public WiFi. By the way, with the mobile system and the WiFi system, they also, using the IWF’s list, block access to all sites known to contain illegal child pornographic images, but you cannot, nobody can get that lifted. That’s there for everybody in the country, whether they like it or not.
>> LARRY MAGID: Did you have your hand up? No? Okay, just stretching. Gentleman, I was going to say, I’m get you next, but gentleman right in front of you from Denmark.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello? I’m John Lang from citizens of Denmark and maybe changing the subject a little and maybe it will be a little provocative also, but I’m in charge of the child participation at safer children Denmark and also here with the youth panel from Denmark, and just a comment that I’ve heard from the panel now and from several panels like many IGF’s and so on, that the children we bring here are not like real children.
>> AUDIENCE: They are kind of like, what’s the right ‑‑ I wrote something down here, you’re not examples of real children, and there’s a small pause, please don’t be offended, but meaning also that you are for the coming leaders of the countries and so on, and also again meaning that you’re not real children. And just a short comment, that it seems like every time we bring children, they’re actually very good at speaking child rights, it seems like oh, you’re good at speaking your own rights, you’re not real children. So it’s just a comment that, yeah, it seems like some of the points that have been said here that children’s rights are being violated in a lot of the places, but it’s also maybe that we should also look at ourselves at the IGF’s to say that children actually have a right to speak their mind and also be accepted like freedom of thought and freedom of association, they are actually real children.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you.
>> LARRY MAGID: I’m not sure that everybody on the panel is a real adult, though.
>> LARRY MAGID: Who else had their hand up? I think a gentleman back ‑‑
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, Mohammed from India. Between child protection and child rights, still we don’t know where to draw the line, we do not conclude where to draw the line. One issue we are facing in India, Internet cafe, which they were talking about it, many of the children from particularly in the north state of India don’t have access to Internet and where the schools are giving the homework, you have to use Internet, download the contents and you have to make your homework using Internet. They have only option to go back to the Internet cafe. These Internet cafes are not governed appropriately, they don’t have a standard, they just the a computer there and a connection there and these centres are used as a data collection centre using IP, you know, the key logging and all type of things are happening over there and I often see, as John Carr said, UK, Internet cafes, they are fading out, but developing countries, Internet cafe, it’s Internet as a whole, the criminals connect you, can connect you from anywhere in the world, so getting a village, I don’t know whether you’ve been to some of the villages where you might see only one small Internet cafe there and the children will be coming there and governing and doing that is very difficult. Often I see that when we are talking about countrywide, it’s a cross‑border technology we are talking about, so these places attract for the international society, so how are we going to address that one? Thank you very much.
>> LARRY MAGID: Suzie, would you like to address that point?
>> SUZIE HARGRAVE: Yeah, sure. Is it on yet? Okay. Yes, you make a really great point but I do agree with yon and India is one of the highest takeups of mobile phones and actually the issue we’re dealing with in Africa is straight to 4G issue on mobile phones and I really think that it’s important to focus on that as opposed to the Internet cafes and, you know, I just think mobile phones we have no control over what people do in terms of taking pictures, in terms of what they do on mobile phones, and that’s the area to address really.
>> LARRY MAGID: And even though I joked about Facebook and Google, I actually applaud that idea of making it if not free, affordable, because I think the problem isn’t access to the phones, it’s the problem with the access to the air time and that’s really I think almost a crisis that has to be resolved, somehow getting it affordable.
>> SUZIE HARGRAVE: I agree.
>> HEBA RAMZY: Larry, I’ve got a point. I see all the concerns around the Internet cafe, but if we go back about maybe 12, 13 years, the Internet cafe were the first places that had helped people to access Internet, so they served the purpose. I know they drifted some of them, but to you I would throw back the question, what are you doing about it in your own respective country? What does the Civil Society do about it? What is the industry, they are doing about it, and the Government? I think we cannot only point finger, you know, like I’ve heard a very interesting comment the other day, we’ve got problems, let us bring some answers to it. And, you know, like I don’t think it will be addressed, we can learn from the UK and a good model, we can’t take everything from the developed world and apply it in the developing world because it doesn’t fit and it doesn’t work because of the dynamics and so on and so forth, but I also don’t want us to just forget the fact that Internet cafes had played a significant role a while ago. And then as anything, it evolved and people started drifting and people start using their cell phones because they can access, you know, the Internet and using so many different ways and they had to find a new business model, it doesn’t mean that I agree to it, but they’re having to find a new business model. And I think had it’s our responsibility collectively, that includes young people, it includes the Government and the industry and the NGO and helps them to transform and Asia the Internet cafes had been used as hubs for small businesses, especially in the informal economy to access the Internet and to do business. So we need to think about various initiatives to address that drift.
>> LARRY MAGID: By the way, the first time I came to Turkey, my hotel was charging about 50 liras to access the Internet, so I went to an Internet cafe, I wasn’t molested, but certainly that was a viable alternative at the time. We have so many hands up. Lady has a microphone in her hand. Try to be very brief, maybe we can get one more comment in after yours.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, everyone, my name is Agnes and I’m from Hong Kong so let me focus on protecting child safety. Literally I think protections are not diverse enough nowadays because when it comes to protection, protective issues, people usually just think of what information can the child access, like how to block pornography violation or any kind of harmful contents but the thing is the child can still be harmed even if they use the Internet appropriately. They may not be harmed by the information that they access on the Internet.
But by other Internet users. From my experience, one of my photos has been posted on a Facebook page without my permission, and people comment about my face, my body shape and my personality. They did it for fun or they just considered this as a sharing, I don’t know, but this really made me feel uncomfortable and like invaded. Apart from reporting the post to Facebook, I can do nothing at all. People did not sexually abuse or bully the child ‑‑
>> LARRY MAGID: Try to keep your comments brief because I want to get another one in. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: It seems like people overreact the child himself or herself by controlling what they can access or express online but neglected the negative impacts that abusers can do to a child. I ask what do you all think can or should be done to protect the child from these kinds instead of just education or law enforcement?
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you very much, Nevine. We have one minute. Did you want to make a quick comment? Can you get the microphone from her? Thank you, then we’ll wrap it up.
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Thank you very much, Larry, I just have a very small comment on what Heba said concerning the IT clubs. In Egypt we lived actually this experience of IT clubs becoming very trendy at a certain point and they were actually very useful to get people access online and then suddenly we realized that they are not really performing the functions because it’s not only access, it’s also access and knowledge and other things. So currently what we are doing, and I’m very happy about that, is we are having a plan to reform our IT clubs and I just learned that this plan is going to be launched next Sunday and what I tried to do is to have the people, the team working on the plan to reform the IT clubs actually becoming members of our Child Online Protection committee, so we’re hoping that we’re going to sort of have different interests or different issues now represented better in IT clubs and a better sense of what is useful and not as useful in these very important technology centres. Thank you.
>> LARRY MAGID: Thank you very much. Unfortunately, we’re out of time, but we really aren’t out of time because we’re going to be back again tomorrow morning at 9:00 at the best practices Forum, and I urge everybody to come there, and then also tomorrow at 2:30 there’s going to be the digital citizenship workshop, so as Suzie said yesterday at one of our workshops, this is kind of a rolling feast. We can continue the conversation. Thank you very much for participating, and thank you very much for the excellent panel discussion.
>> LARRY MAGID: And there’s a session right in this room called Internet blocking when well intentioned measures go wrong, so that might be a good places for some of us to hang out as well.
(Session ended at 10:32)
This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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