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Building Trust 21 October 2015

Human Rights and Trust, two foundations of a people-centered Information Society

By Raúl EcheberríaFormer Vice President, Global Engagement, and Former Trustee

During the WSIS+10 Second Interactive Informal Consultations held in UN New York Headquarters this week, among many other activities, I was honored to participate in the third panel  about Human Rights and Security. The topic of the panel is indeed very aligned with Internet Society priorities..

At the Internet Society, we believe Human Rights must be at the heart of the Information Society. We were pleased to see this idea reflected in the WSIS+10 “zero draft”. Promoting and Respecting Human Rights is a prerequisite to Trust.

It is impossible to build a people centered Information Society if Human Rights is not one of the foundations of that society.

The path to build confidence spans over a lot of things. Security is one of them, as well as the resilience of the Internet and the continued coordination of the network operations to ensure it works. Capacity building is also key for allowing people to connect and bringing ICTs closer to solving real needs of the people.

Challenges on security are changing very fast and we need to be careful how to address them. Over-regulating could be a big mistake. Because technology evolves, challenges evolve and we need to be agile in the way we address them.

From our perspective, it is crucial to adopt a collaborative approach to Security, based on the 5 pillars:

  • fostering confidence which is the objective of security;
  • collective responsibility which means that all participants in the internet share a responsibility on the security;
  • fundamental properties and values meaning that introducing any solution on security should be based on the full respect of human rights;
  • evolution and consensus is that we need to be ready to react in an agile way with a multistakeholder approach;
  • and the fifth one is the think globally and act locally, the most impactful things are those decided and implemented in a bottom up approach and self organization manner.

During the discussion on Monday, the need to have encryption as a principle was also reinforced, as an enabler of privacy. Very much aligned with the the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) statement for encryption adoption in all components of the networks.

It is important to understand that the real challenge is not to improve privacy or security on detriment of each other, but to improve both sides of the equation. This is on the basis of our Collaborative Security approach.

The discussions were very fruitful and we hope that as Members States discuss the future of the zero draft text this week, they also take into account the high value of human rights in the network confidence and the need for a collaborative security framework in order to look for solutions.

NOTE: All sessions have been recorded by UN and are available for morning sessions and afternoon sessions.

Image credit: UN live video stream.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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