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December 2015


FOC Updates

The FOC welcomes Spain as its 29th member

The FOC is pleased to announce Spain as its newest member. By becoming a member, Spain has committed to upholding and advancing the Coalition’s shared goals and values as stated in the FOC Founding Declaration and the Tallinn Recommendations for Freedom Online. As noted in its letter of intent, “Spain is fully committed to the respect of fundamental human rights and freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19, as well as the right to freedom of assembly and association, the right to the protection of the law against arbitrary interference with his or her privacy, and the freedom of religion or belief, amongst others”.

FOC Activities at the Internet Governance Forum, Brazil 

The tenth annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held on 10-13 November 2015 in João Pessoa, Brazil. More than 2,400 registered participants from over 116 countries were present at the event, with many more participating online. FOC members were actively involved in the sessions, and the Coalition held several informal and formal meetings during the week. These included an informal meeting between Coalition members and civil society stakeholders, a Strategy and Coordination Meeting for Coalition members, an Open Forum session, closed Working Group meetings, and Working Group 1’s workshop on multistakeholder and human rights approaches to cybersecurity. For a full report on Coalition activities at the IGF, read this blog post.

Working Group Updates

       Working Group 1 (WG1)
WG1's recommendations for human rights based approaches to cybersecurity were agreed in final draft form at the WG's face to face meeting in NY in September. Following informal consultations in October with a diverse set of individuals, a workshop format was agreed on for the IGF in Brazil - taking the shape of working session with breakouts for direct input and comment on the recommendations. In spite of competition from the main session, the session was standing room only, with excellent introductory comments and overwhelmingly positive and constructive feedback from participants. The WG will be conferring on next steps for the recommendations before the end of the year, with the completion of mandate review and renewal anticipated by the end of Quarter 1, 2016. You can find a press release on the IGF WG1 workshop here; the raw workshop transcript is available here and video of the workshop here.
       Working Group 2 (WG2)
WG2, Digital Development and the Rule of Law, has two sub-groups working on freedom of expression, and data protection and privacy. Each group has now drafted their concept note and will carry out independent research on target countries where rule of law principles apply. The sub-groups’ work will culminate in a principles document for presentation to stakeholders at the FO Conference in Costa Rica in 2016, along with accompanying implementation guides. In addition, WG2 seeks to strengthen relations with the established rule of law community, and aim to link their work to the Sustainable Development Goals framework.
       Working Group 3 (WG3)
The WG3 report on privacy and transparency has been published, which Coalition members are urged to read. You can find it here. The report was widely praised at the recent Strategy and Coordination Meeting in Brazil as a demonstration of the value and importance of the Working Groups. WG3 is now designing its activities for the year ahead, focusing on qualitative transparency and government transparency reporting. Among the proposed activities is a series of blogs, launching in the new year, which would lay out the current state of play within the transparency field and address gaps in information.

FOC UNESCO Network Meeting, Paris

The FOC UNESCO Network in Paris held a meeting on 26 November, hosted by Ambassador Dr. Arūnas Gelūnas, Permanent Delegate of Lithuania to UNESCO. Representatives from 17 FOC Member States attended the meeting. A presentation was given by the UNESCO Secretariat on the latest activities of UNESCO in the Communication and Information fields, and this was followed by a discussion on plans for the forthcoming International UNESCO Conference, titled “News organizations standing up for the safety of media professionals” on 5 February 2016. In addition, attendees discussed the launch of the second edition of UNESCO’s Report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development”, the activities during the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November and the feedback gained on the “Connecting the Dots: Options for Future Action” Conference. Finally, attendees discussed planned FOC activities and governmental engagement in the WSIS Review process.

Upcoming Events

Here are a few events on the broader cyber calendar coming up in December that may be of interest. Please note the FOC does not endorse these events..

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.   
Copyright © 2015 Global Partners Digital, All rights reserved. 
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