Meeting Report from the IGF 2013

The Dynamic Coalition on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media on the Internet (‘Dynamic Coalition’) ran two events at the 2013 Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia: its formal annual meeting which took place on Day 0, Monday 21 October from 1600 to 1800; and then an ad hoc (but no less valuable) session during on Thursday 24 October.

The first, formal, meeting on Monday was well-attended, with around 50 people present in the audience and a fairly equal gender split as well as audience members from various parts of the world and different stakeholder groups. There were three presentations: Andrew Puddephat (Global Partners Digital) who spoke about challenges and opportunities for the democratisation of free expression brought about by the Internet and an assessment of the current climate; Xianhong Hu (UNESCO) who spoke about UNESCO’s work in promoting online freedoms; and Sarah Clarke (PEN International) who spoke about the impact of global surveillance on writers and journalists. Their presentations were followed by a comments and general discussion from the audience. Many thanks to the speakers for their contributions and to the audience for their participation. This meeting was also live tweeted using the hashtag #DCexp2013.

The second meeting on Thursday was less well-attended but what was lacked in numbers was made up for in substance. The meeting concerned the recent European Court of Human Rights decision in Delfi v Estonia regarding online intermediary liability for defamatory comments posted by users. We were honoured to have the attorney representing Delfi, Karmen Turk (who is also a coordinator of this coalition), with us and her discussants were Michael Harris from Index on Censorship, and John Kampfner, adviser on free expression to Google among other activities. There was a lively and engaging discussion from the floor as well. Apologies to anyone who tried to remotely participate, due to circumstances beyond our control it did not work properly for that event.

A smaller group engaged in discussion subsequent to the Thursday meeting regarding next steps for the Coalition. This consisted of acknowledging the progress that the coalition has made by relaunching itself through organising these events since it did not organise any events at IGF 2012, and we discussed what could be done to increase momentum, particularly via the mailing list between IGFs.

The Dynamic Coalition was pleased to welcome some new members this year including the Centre for Communications Governance at National Law University (Delhi), Electronic Frontiers Australia, PEN International and the Software Freedom Law Centre India (SFLC-IN).

The Dynamic Coalition’s current coordinators are Angela Daly, Karmen Turk and Ben Wagner.

A Twitter account was recently set up for the Dynamic Coalition, @DC_expression, to increase its profile. The website remains www.dcexpression.wordpress.com and mailing list is http://mailman.ipjustice.org/listinfo/expression

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About Angela Daly

Angela Daly co-ordinated the 2013 meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Freedom of Expression in at the IGF in Bali. She is a law and technology researcher at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and the European University Institute, and a digital rights and information freedom activist.
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