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October 2016

FOC Updates

FO2016 Program Update

We are pleased to announce that the updated program for this year's Freedom Online Conference is now available to view online. You can also download the program here.

This year's Conference is organised along four tracks, with three tracks focusing on the themes of the FOC Working Groups: an internet free and secure, digital development and openness, and privacy and transparency online. The fourth and final track covers a broader range of issues, and aims to ensure that the key themes of interest to the global multistakeholder community are addressed at the Conference. These include issues such as network shutdowns, children's rights online, ICT access and affordability, and the outcomes of the FOC's strategic review process.

Currently, we have over 300 registered participants, and a line up of great speakers from across the world. Don't miss out! Registration is still open and can be completed here.


Update from the Strategic Review Working Group

       'San Jose Statement': A Road Map to Strengthen Engagement with Members and Stakeholders
In anticipation of discussions at the 6th annual Freedom Online Conference on the future of the Coalition, the FOC has issued the San Jose Statement and Work Plan to share the results of its fifth year anniversary strategic review and collective decisions about the Coalition's path forward. The statement and accompanying work plan, available on the FOC website, set forth the Coalition's aims and priority activities and offer a blueprint for revising the existing Nairobi Terms of Reference to update the FOC structure and operations to support these objectives. In addition to this combined document, the FOC has also shared the Final Report of the FOC Strategic Review Working Group, titled "Looking Back to Move Ahead", which presents the culmination of 15 months of extensive consultations and in-depth assessment of the FOC development and its current processes and procedures.

These materials, which include a stock taking report, an independent external review, and the results of a comprehensive survey conducted among FOC members, are meant to provide the evidence base for the San Jose Statement and will inform continued discussion at the Costa Rica Conference and beyond, including with all stakeholders, on strengthening the Coalition's role in promoting and protecting human rights online.


FOC Working Group Updates

       Working Group 1 (WG1): Strasbourg meeting and the Recommendations launch
WG1 met in Strasbourg in early September alongside the Council of Europe conference on Internet Freedoms where it reviewed the first version of the WG1 online platform. Since the meeting, the Recommendations, Narrative and Definition have been uploaded and the platform and contents are set to be revealed in Costa Rica. Members also used this opportunity to discuss further outreach to organizations and individuals to drum up expressions of support for the Recommendations. WG1 is now preparing for the formal launch of the Recommendations in a dedicated session at the FOC annual conference. The "Internet Free and Secure" Track 1 sessions have been populated and the WG members will play prominent roles. The WG is giving consideration to work post Costa Rica and what additional areas of focus the WG might address in the future.
       Working Group 2 (WG2): the intersect between the rule of law and digital development
Since the previous FO Conference, the group's work has been to further explore the existing gaps in knowledge and expertise in promoting human rights and digital development by strengthening the rule of law online. Through a blog series, the group's main aims were to: identify gaps in knowledge relating to the application of rule of law online; and foster productive dialogue between the rule of law and human rights communities. The Working Group will be presenting the output of their work at the upcoming FO Conference in San Jose.
       Working Group 3 (WG3): the Open Government Partnership and the Asia Pacific Regional IGF
The Group is now finalizing a three-part blog series to serve as a resource for individuals and groups working on transparency. Part One provides a definition of corporate and government transparency. Part Two makes the case for transparency, whilst part three covers the human rights approach and legal framework for transparency. The group has also held a workshop on transparency at the Asia Pacific Regional IGF in July, which brought together civil society and company representatives from a dozen countries to share experiences of transparency issues in their countries. Together with the Open Government Partnership, the Group (OGP) hosted a workshop on 7 October that aimed to develop a commitment on transparency to include in OGP National Action Plans and identify future opportunities for collaboration.  

Upcoming Events


Freedom Online Conference 2016, 17-18 October, San José

This year’s Conference will be held on the 17th-18th October in San José, Costa Rica. To register, please follow this link:

The Freedom Online Conferences offer an open platform for discussion among all stakeholders – governments, civil society, the private sector, and others – to share relevant information, develop joint strategies and combine efforts towards their mutual goal of a human rights-based Internet. The 6th Annual

Freedom Online Conference will enhance the ongoing multistakeholder exchange on how to address the challenges, opportunities and potential of free, open and accessible online channels and platforms for political, social and economic development. For futher information about the Conference please see the FO Costa Rica website:

Related News 

Further to the above updates from the Freedom Online Coalition, you may be interested in looking at the following curated news digests on online freedom issues from this month. Note that the views expressed in these digests represent the views of individual authors and not necessarily the views of the Freedom Online Coalition or its members.
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To contact the FOC Secretariat for any further information on any of the events or news items mentioned in this newsletter, please email:
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