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Freedom of expression online: identifying and addressing challenges and developing a shared vision and a working partnership (WP1216)

by Prasad Krishna last modified Feb 28, 2013 08:49 AM
Wilton Park organized this event at Wiston House, Sussex, UK from February 13 to 15, 2013. Pranesh Prakash participated in it.

Read the report published by Wilton Park.

In support of Her Majesty’s Government priorities with regard to freedom of expression on the internet, the roundtable strategy meeting provided an expert forum for practical discussion in order to:

  • Identify challenges, drivers and address emerging concerns across a spectrum of stakeholders
  • Map out ongoing initiatives and draw on lessons learned to pinpoint constraints, opportunities and next steps
  • Challenge and progress thinking towards norms of human rights behaviour on the Internet
  • Identify specific streams of work, future projects and practical initiatives that would help protect human rights on the Internet whilst addressing challenges/concerns
  • Broaden dialogue and expand the expert network with a view to future collaboration

The meeting brought together up to 50 people to include governments, industry, NGOs, human rights groups, activists and other specialists with expertise in online freedom of information.

Click to see the list of participants


Wednesday, 13 February

Participants arrive and buffet lunch available

13.00 -14.30 Participants arrive and buffet lunch available
15.00 Welcome to Wilton Park and introduction to strategy meeting
Julia Purcell
Programme Director, Wilton Park, Steyning
15.15 - 16.45

Online freedom of expression: challenges, constraints and the forward vision
Is freedom of expression online important? And why? What are the main challenges and constraints impacting on freedom of expression online? What are the opportunities afforded? Looking ahead - what would be the ideal state of play? And how to attain that vision?

Vijay Rangarajan
Director, Multilateral Policy Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

Johan Hallenborg
Deputy Director, Human Rights, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm

Alessandro Molon
Federal Deputy, Brazilian Congress, Brasilia

16.45 - 17.30
Photograph followed by tea/coffee
17.30 - 18.45

Ensuring a human rights perspective: identifying the challenges
What can be drawn from existing legal and rights based frameworks and conventions? How to maximise the potential of these mechanisms and ensure that lessons learned are applied? What are the practical challenges as seen from different perspectives? How to address national interests in the context of a global internet? What are the related issues eg impact on trade and other revenue? What are the risks of getting it wrong? How to build trust among communities and engendering a shared understanding.

Keir Starmer
Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service, London
Agnès Callamard
Executive Director, ARTICLE 19, London
Chiranuch Premchaiporn
Executive Director, Foundation for Community Educational Media, Bangko

19.30 Informal drinks reception
20.00 Dinner
Hosted by: Richard Burge
Chief Executive, Wilton Park, Steyning

Thursday, 14 February

08.00 - 08.45 Breakfast
09.15 - 10.45 The art of the possible: investigating opportunities
What are the motivators and drivers for different communities, including NGOs, governments, technicians and/or users? What about the positive possibilities? Where are the points of friction or disagreement? And where are the points of potential agreement? What are the practical examples of good practice? How to shape communities of concern towards a platform for shared action?

Session Chair: Andrew Puddephatt
Director, Global Partners and Associates, London

Eunice Kariuki
Deputy Chief Executive and Marketing Director, Kenya ICT Board, Nairobi

Cherian George
Associate Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

10.45 - 11.15 Tea/coffee
11.15 - 12.30

Freedom of expression online: expanding understanding

World Café style brainstorm
6 hosted tables to represent:

  • Table 1: Users
  • Table 2: Civil Society
  • Table 3: Governments
  • Table 4: Industry
  • Table 5: Regional/global bodies
  • Table 6: Technical

Table hosts to include:

Elizabeth Linder
Politics and Government Specialist, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Facebook, London

Andrew Puddephatt
Director, Global Partners and Associates, London

Patrick Robinson
Director, Business and Human Rights, Yahoo!, London

Jason Shepherd
Policy Adviser, Cabinet Office, London

Daniel Weitzner
Director, MIT Decentralised Information Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge

Sameer Padania
Programme Officer, Open Society Foundations, London

12.30 - 13.15 Reflections from World Café
In plenary - brief reports from brainstorming session by table hosts.
13.15 - 15.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.00

Optional activity - tour of the Wiston House Gardens led by:

Robert Mitchell, Kew Dip.
Head Gardener, Wiston House, Steyning

15.00 - 16.15 Discussion groups based on reflections from world café brainstorm
16.15 - 17.00 Tea/coffee
17.00 - 18.15

Practitioners’ exchange: towards realistic recommendations
Discussion on norms, experiences and activities. Each group to consider:

  • Blocks/ Risks
  • Opportunities
  • Gaps - what’s missing: research/information needs
  • Ways forward - action for next 3 years
18.15 - 18.45 Review of discussion group outcomes
Facilitators/rapporteurs in Library
19.30 Informal drinks followed by dinner

Friday, 15 February

08.00 - 08.45 Breakfast
09.15 - 09.45 Report back from working groups
09.45 - 11.00

Who does what: looking to the future

Developed from previous sessions - who does what: remit, roles and responsibilities.

Session Moderator: John Kampfner, Adviser, Free Expression, Global Network Initiative, Washington DC

Reflections from respondents to include:

Jamie Saunders
Director, International Cyber Policy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

*Ahmed Ashour
Journalist/Producer, Al Jazeera Media Network, Doha

11.00 - 11.30 Tea/coffee
11.30 - 12.45 Concluding session: ways forward
Session Chair: Louise de Sousa
Head, Human Rights and Democracy Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Participants depart
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