[IRP] 2010 Asia Declaration on Internet Governance

Rebecca MacKinnon rebecca.mackinnon
Sun Jun 27 02:23:26 EEST 2010


    *2010 Asia Declaration on Internet Governance*

*"[The IGF is] multilateral, multi-stakeholder, democratic, and

        - 2005 Tunis Agenda

*"[We call for] a** people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented
Information Society...**full respect and upholding of universal human rights
including freedom of opinion and expression; and "The universality,
indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms"*

*       * - 2003 Declaration of Principles of World Summit on Information

On the occasion of the first Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum
(APrIGF) Roundtable <rigf.asia> in Hong Kong on June 15-16, 2010, we, civil
society representatives from eight Southeast Asian countries, call on the
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) <http://www.intgovforum.org/> and its
Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) to fully uphold these aforementioned
commitments and principles, as mandated by the United Nations

We applaud the work of the first APrIGF towards building multi-stakeholder
discussion on internet governance. In this vein of inclusive dialogue, we
offer the following perspectives and recommendations to the MAG meeting in
Geneva at the Palais des Nations on June 28-29, as well as for the fifth
annual IGF meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 14-17, 2010.

*Key Observations of the APrIGF*

In response to the first Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum
(APrIGF) Roundtable in Hong Kong on June 15-16, 2010, we, netizens,
journalists, bloggers, IT practitioners and nongovernmental representatives
from across Southeast Asia, offer the following observations from the

*1. Critical issues of internet governance in Asia should guide future
discussions on internet governance policy:

Open access to information is the right of every individual, a right that
servers as a fundamental venue for one's knowledge- and capacity-building.
 Access to information ultimately helps foster creativity and innovation,
thus promoting sustainable human and economic development.

Openness is key to a democratic and open society. Restrictions on freedom of
opinion and expression online, such as state censorship which blocks
Internet intermediaries, is one of the threats to open societies.
Intimidation and state censorship facilitate self-censorship, a hazardous
social phenomenon that further undermines democracy and openness.


The internet is for everyone; it is a public good. Yet a Digital Divide
between those countries and communities with internet access and those
without persists, and has not been sufficiently addressed in discussions on
internet governance. Proceedings at the APrIGF indicated a higher priority
must be placed on addressing not only the global digital divide, but also
regional and national ones. While Singapore enjoys high Internet access
rates (70% penetration), countries like Burma and Cambodia are at the other
end of the spectrum (0.22% and 0.51% penetration, respectively), ranked the
lowest of 200 countries studied in the World

Internet access is fundamental for progress. Various factors, such as
political, economic and social development, poverty levels, and
technological infrastructure affect whether and how often people can access
the internet.  Internationally coordinated efforts must be made to address
domestic policies that contribute to the digital divide in Southeast Asia* *and
find solutions to bridge the gap.

*Cyber Security*

Definition of cyber security must include elements that address right to
privacy and civil and political freedom.

An individual?s right over his/her own privacy, including personal data and
information, must not be sacrificed. Information technology, such as IPv6,
ZigBee, RFID, when used without transparent and accountable oversight, could
pose threats to individual rights.

Today's information society connects personal IT devices directly to the
outside world, no longer storing personal data on a single server.  Given
the involvement of the government and businesses (especially state-owned
enterprises) in running such technologies, surveillance and identity theft
remain a constant threat against Internet users.

In this regard, any national security policy must not deviate from the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all international human rights
covenants to which states are parties.

*2. Opportunities exist to continue to improve the IGF Process:*

Awareness of the IGF in Southeast Asia and at the ASEAN level is presently
lacking.  Furthermore, Asia-Pacific-wide representation of civil society at
the APrIGF Roundtable was incomplete.  There exists a need not only to
develop awareness about the IGF, but also to provide learning materials to
make the IGF accessible to all. Greater access to the IGF would help make it
more inclusive with various stakeholders, including those from the least
developed nations and marginalized and vulnerable groups in Asia-Pacific*. *

During the APrIGF Roundtable, an open dialogue and two-way exchange of
information and ideas was not fully facilitated.  Open space to discuss and
articulate criticism and suggest solutions must be guaranteed in all IGF
events. Such an effort provides practical benefit to Internet users, both
present and future, when the outcome of the APrIGF Roundtable is developed
into a roadmap.  Clarifying and planning the roles of local, national,
regional and international multi-stakeholders, will help promote and protect
transparent and democratic Internet governance and hence information society
in the region.


*Requests to the IGF*

The first APrIGF presented a valuable opportunity to analyze both the issues
upon which the IGF focuses and the process by which it is governed. With
respect to these priority issues and opportunities for improved processes,
we therefore recommend the following:

1.     Immediately address as an urgent global internet governance issue the
increasing implementation of law that suppress and restrict freedom of
expression and access to information, especially within developing

2.     Fully integrate the universal human rights agenda into IGF program
and engage systematically and regularly with the UN Office of High
Commissioner for Human Rights, in particular the UN Special Rapporteur on
Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the UN Human Rights Council;

3.     Ensure that the IGF policy proposals and recommendations are in line
with international human rights principles and standards;

4.     Strengthen the IGF's multilateralism and openness in the upcoming
fifth annual IGF meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania in September and future
national and sub-regional level IGF meetings in Southeast Asia and

5.     Extend the mandate of IGF for another five years;

6.     Conduct wider outreach to civil society actors in Southeast Asia and
Asia-Pacific and allocate financial resources to encourage and support their
participation in the fifth annual meeting and subsequent global IGFs, and
organize national and sub-regional level IGFs;

7.     Ensure active remote participation in the annual meeting and
subsequent IGFs, utilizing digital technologies such as live-streaming
webcast, video conference, twitter and other social media tools;

8.     Guarantee that technical discussions during IGFs fully accommodates
new constituents and stakeholders and incorporate an assessment of policy
implications on the rights of Internet users and society;

9.     Develop a plan of action in order to facilitate follow-up and
monitoring of IGF outcomes; and

10.  Conduct an impact study by an independent organization to assess the
effectiveness of IGF, in accordance with the principles set out in the 2005
Tunis Agenda and the 2003 Declaration of Principles of the WSIS.


*Hereby signed by:*

*Yap Swee Seng*

Executive Director

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development


E-mail: yap at forum-asia.org

Mobile (Bangkok): +66.81.868.9178

Web: www.forum-asia.org

*Sean Ang*

Executive Director

Southeast Asian Center for e-Media (SEACeM)

E-mail: sean at seacem.com

Mobile (Kuala Lumpur): +60.166.533.533

Web: www.seacem.com

*Chiranuch Premchaipor*n
Executive Director
Prachatai Online Newspaper

E-mail: chiranuch at prachatai.com
Mobile (Bangkok): +66.81.6207707
Web: www.prachatai.com; www.prachatai.org/english

*Chuah Siew Eng*
Publicity Officer
Centre for Independent Journalism

 Email: sieweng.cij at gmail.com
Phone (Kuala Lumpur): +60.340.230.772
Web: cijmalaysia.org

*Ernesto G. Sonido Jr*
TechTanod, the Blog and Soul Movement, the Philippine Blog Awards

E-mail: 1fishtank at gmail.com
Phone: +63.917829.8090

Web: http://baratillo.net/; http://techtanod.com/

*Leang Delux*
Active member
Club of Cambodian Journalist

E-mail: deluxnews at gmail.com
Mobile (Cambodia): +855.15.523.623
Web: www.ccj.com.kh

*Ndaru *

Blogger (Indonesia)


*Oliver Robillo*


Mindanao Bloggers Community

E-mail: blogie at dabawenyo.com

Mobile (Davao): +63.918.540.0878

Web: www.mindanaobloggers.com

*Ou Virak *


Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)

E-mail: ouvirak at cchrcambodia.org

Mobile (Phnom Penh): +855.12.404.051

Web: www.cchrcambodia.org

*Phisit Siprasatthong*
Thai Netizen Network

 E-mail: freethainetizen at gmail.com
Phone (Bangkok): +66.2691.0574
Web: thainetizen.org

* *

*Phoutthasinh Phimmachanh*

Senior Knowledge Management Officer**

Swiss Association for International Development (Helvetas-Laos)

Email: phoutthasinh.phimmachanh at helvetas.org

Phone (Laos):  +856.21.740.253

* *

* *

*Civil Society Representatives from Burma and Vietnam*

Rebecca MacKinnon
Visiting Fellow, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton
Co-founder, GlobalVoicesOnline.org
Cell: +1-617-939-3493
E-mail: rebecca.mackinnon at gmail.com
Blog: http://RConversation.blogs.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/rmack
Friendfeed: http://friendfeed.com/rebeccamack
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