Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum 2021 Synthesis Document – Draft 0


1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 6 The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) 2021 will be held in a hybrid format, online and hosted in Kathmandu, Nepal with two local hubs in India. The overarching theme for APrIGF 2021 is “Towards an Inclusive, Sustainable and Trusted Internet”. The main theme incorporates three high-level thematic tracks, namely “Inclusion”, “Sustainability”, and “Trust”. 

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 5 The APrIGF 2021 thematic tracks have been designed to encompass various sub-topics under each track. This year’s thematic tracks are a departure from past APrIGF themes which were previously more specific and descriptive. Descriptions of each of the thematic tracks, including potential sub-topics under each track, can be found at: https://ap.rigf.asia/news/2021/overarching-theme-towards-an-inclusive-sustainable-and-trusted-Internet/

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The use of high-level thematic tracks is to enable discussions on cross-cutting issues related to Internet Governance in the Asia Pacific region. It also allows the APrIGF community to recognise and appreciate the complex and interrelated nature of the diverse Internet Governance issues and their significance as public policy issues in all economies across the region. Thus, the APrIGF Multistakeholder Steering Group (MSG) adopted a more flexible and all-encompassing approach to the design of the APrIGF 2021 program. In doing so, APrIGF 2021 session organisers and participants were encouraged to approach policy discussions creatively, and in a more interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary manner. 

Fig. 1: The APrIGF 2021 cross-cutting subthemes under the three main thematic tracks


5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 6 Inclusion has technological, social, and human rights dimensions.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 6 Inclusion, in the context of Internet governance, is about taking actions to facilitate accessibility, affordability, and equity not only in Internet connectivity, but also in improving people’s awareness and skills in using the Internet in a way that best suits their needs. Inclusion is also about meaningful participation of diverse stakeholders, ensuring that all voices are treated equally in the multistakeholder agenda setting and decision-making processes. The inherent diversity and vast geographic scale of the Asia Pacific region presents a daunting challenge to ensure digital connectivity and inclusion for all. 

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 10 Diversity is the factor through which we must consider the personal identity and needs of individuals, the needs of different groups within communities, both rural and urban in mainland Asia and in the island states of the Indian and Pacific oceans, the wide range of technological solutions available to overcome the digital divide, and the varying impact of these solutions in different economies. How can stakeholders work together to facilitate the development of integrated national, regional and sectoral plans for infrastructure and services, to ensure that no-one is left behind and to support access to reliable and affordable Internet? How can we ensure that the Internet responds to the needs and aspirations of all people and communities to meet their aspirations?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 At APrIGF 2021, selected workshops categorized under Inclusion all contained multiple thematic tracks. The following policy questions come from sessions that cut across Inclusion and Trust:

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 1 Building digital information literacy skills for trust and well-being.

  • 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 5
  • The Internet is an indispensable platform for the delivery of library services. Urban and rural libraries are publicly funded, inclusive, and open to all age groups, genders, ethnicities, permanent residents and migrants, and all sectors of the community, and they are safe for all, including vulnerable users. They can support users in developing competencies such as media literacy to cope with online mis/disinformation and other risks and harms, disseminate e-learning, encourage use of  e-services and bridge gender digital divide by empowering people with digital literacy skills . 
  • How do libraries support the development of digital literacy skills of communities, ranging from  the indigenous communities in Australia, to communities in high-density cities (e.g. Singapore), to communities in land-locked developing countries (e.g. Nepal) according to their needs?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 2 More than wor(l)ds : Can AI effectively monitor online harms?

  • 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 3
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now widely used by platforms to detect, categorize and remove harmful online content at scale. In practice, AI systems are beset with serious methodological, technical and ethical challenges. How can these systems be better trained in order to facilitate a better online environment?
  • How can stakeholders collaborate sustainably to keep pace with the constantly evolving nature of online hate speech and meaningfully support offline efforts to prevent violence and build societal cohesion?
  • How can a rights-respecting approach to online hate speech advance more robust ways of tackling online abuse while protecting freedom of expression?

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Advancing Internet Freedom in Asia Pacific via applying UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM Principles and Indicators

  • 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0
  • UNESCO’s Internet Universality indicators aim to assess levels of achievement, in individual countries, of the four fundamental ROAM principles included in the concept of ‘Internet Universality’ which advocates for an Internet that is based on human Rights (R), that is Open (O), Accessible to all (A) and nurtured by Multistakeholder participation (M). How can ROAM principles and indicators help advance Internet freedom in the Asia Pacific?

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 1 Human rights impact of Covid-19 technologies and the role of businesses

  • 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 2
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has posed a fundamental challenge for governments: how do they reconcile the need to deploy huge resources efficiently to roll out large-scale public health programs, with the need to respect democracy and the right to privacy?
  • While governments can place temporary restrictions on some human rights, with respect to tracing and tracking technologies; however many decisions are being outsourced to the private sector. What is the role of the private sector in developing safeguards to ensure privacy rights?

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 Transnational conversations on reclaiming freedom of expression online

  • 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 4
  • Governments’ are increasingly using criminal law to regulate online behaviour and this has implications  for freedom of expression and access to the Internet, especially for communities who are marginalized on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, class, migrant status. But equally, criminal law is increasingly being considered to protect marginalised communities against hate speech.
  • How do macroeconomic ideologies and the platform economy shape access, expression, and experience of violence on the Internet of women, and queer and trans people in Asia Pacific? And what strategies beyond laws, policies, and content moderation, can be used to reclaim the Internet?

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 The following workshop looks at subthemes under Inclusion and Sustainability:

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 4 Helping kids learn in times of pandemic

  • 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 2
  • Through looking at case studies from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, what best practices could be applied in developing countries, especially in remote and rural communities? 
  • What are potential solutions to bridge the digital divide in terms of Internet connectivity, provision of devices, and skills training? And what are the regulatory, technical, operational, administrative challenges and ways for tackling these issues?


22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 1 The evolution of the Internet and its applications has facilitated the development of the digital economy and substantial advancement in science, agriculture, health and education. It is critical that these technological advancements are used to facilitate the present requirements as well as take into consideration the future environmental, human and social requirements for a sustainable world. Strong, ethical and democratic and sustainable governance of the Internet will in turn render the Internet to better support the Sustainable Development Goals and rights of all people. Sustainability is crucial in national, regional and sectoral planning of the global effects and outcomes of technology and its innovations. Awareness about the environmental impact of the Internet could support the necessary sustainable transformation of our societies.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 What is the Internet’s impact on the environment and what has been done so far to reduce this impact? How resilient is it? How can Internet related technologies help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? What role can different stakeholders take to create a sustainable world? How can we put in place policies that remedy the damage caused to the environment and prevent further deterioration?

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 Some policy questions from selected workshops under the Sustainability thematic track include:

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Critical Times: Impact of Digitalization on Climate Change

  • 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 5
  • The potential of the Internet and ICT to monitor climate change and reduce our carbon footprint makes the target of net-zero emissions achievable. What recommendations of possible implementations through policy and regulations can ensure a green economy for the Asia Pacific region?

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 The Internet’s Technical Success Factors

  • 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 1
  • What are the key technical factors that have contributed to a successful competitive environment for the Internet to flourish?
  • Can the technical factors of the current Internet’s success help us determine if the Internet is fit for purpose for the future?


29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 2 Trust calls for striking a good balance between security and people’s fundamental rights and freedoms. The security, stability, and resilience of the Internet is critical to ensure that users benefit from a healthy digital environment. Trust in the Internet and its infrastructure is built by ensuring that the interest and security of people is assured. A human-centric approach and a human rights based approach is needed to guarantee development for all. Collectively, stakeholders must work towards a safe, reliable, and trustworthy cyberspace that enables the fair use of the Internet without compromising on user safety, security of personal data, rights and mutual respect.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 It is important to ask what the roles and responsibilities of governments, industry, civil society, and other stakeholders are to maintain trust in Internet governance.

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 Some policy questions from selected workshops under the Trust thematic track include:

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 1 Don’t shoot the messenger, intermediary liability principles under threat

  • 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 2
  • With India, Malaysia, Indonesia and others exploring regulations or ordinances in this space, what are the challenges and concrete recommendations for implementing Intermediary Liability principles in the Asia Pacific?

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 Decrypting the encryption debate in Asia Pacific

  • 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 3
  • Recent developments related to the End to End Encryption (E2E) debate in the Asia Pacific include the Amendments in TOLA in Australia; the Indian Information Technology (Intermediary Guideline) Rules, 2021; and encryption issues related to CSAM. This complexity of the encryption debate calls for further deliberation and a look at the adequacy of initiatives taken so far. What more needs to be done from the APAC lens?

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Citizen-Centered Approach on Tackling Hate Speech, Hindering State Authoritarianism and Algorithmic Censorship of Tech Platforms

  • 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 4
  • What strategies and tools are Asia Pacific journalists, activists, and CSO’s utilizing to battle hate speech, disinformation, and misinformation?
  • Can a citizen-centered approach foster healthier debate, improve quality of content,and develop trust on the Internet?

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 MANRS for Policy Makers to improve global routing security

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 Weaponization of surveillance amid a pandemic in South East Asia

  • 41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 3
  • In response to COVID-19, many governments implemented new measures including privacy-intrusive contact tracing applications, databases, and new policies. What are the privacy implications of these COVID-19 measures and their impact on individuals, civil society organizations, and others?

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 Is the Internet trusted forever? — The issue about the pirate site on “Manga” and freedom of expression in Japan.

  • 43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0
  • The 2018 “MANGA-MURA” case raised issues of piracy, requests to ISPs to implement website blocking, and legal logic on “freedom of expression” and “the secrecy of communication” under the Japanese constitution as compared to other countries.
  • How does the MANGA-MURA case highlight tensions between the protection of intellectual property and user’s right to private communications and what are the implications on the Internet?

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 The following workshops touch on key themes across all three thematic areas: Inclusion, Sustainability, and Trust:

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 Why open and interoperable Internet infrastructure is key to the Internet’s continued success

  • 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 2
  • What are the principles behind the Internet’s core infrastructure, the importance of security, reliability and resilience, and the key features that underpin the Internet’s success? And why is an open and interoperable Internet infrastructure key to the Internet’s continued success?

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Internet Rules: Judicial and Regulatory developments impacts digital rights in Asia

  • 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 1
  • In Asia, jurisprudence developed around laws and regulatory developments (https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/jurisprudence-shaping-digital-rights-south-asia) have significantly shaped the experience of digital rights and impact the infrastructure, architecture and experience of the Internet. 
  • Developing laws rooted in principles and predictability, an informed judiciary, vigilant in upholding the rights of individuals contributes significantly to the building of an inclusive, rights respecting, trusted, and sustainable Internet. 
  • How can the region improve attention to rulemaking and what are concrete recommendations for changes from a multi-stakeholder perspective and a human rights based approach?

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 Digitally-led, Inclusive Growth in the Age of COVID-19

  • 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 4
  • Online platforms are delivering cost savings, efficiency, and value creation that can be leveraged to achieve an array of positive development goals from inclusive economic growth, to improved health and welfare of marginalized populations, to women’s empowerment. 
  • What are the conditions in the APAC region that inhibit inclusive, digitally-led growth?
  • How can enhanced cybersecurity, cyber resilience and good digital literacy tools help people better understand and address the key risks that both new and experienced users face online, such as online scams, phishing attacks, and identity theft?

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0  The Impact of the Global Pandemic on Schools on Internet Governance

  • 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 5
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted most face-to-face activities, including Schools on Internet Governance (SIGs)
  • What are the challenges of capacity building to continue on a sustainable basis and what are lessons learned from the strategies of the legacy regional/national/virtual SIGs?
Page 9

Source: https://comment.rigf.asia/asia-pacific-regional-internet-governance-forum-2021-synthesis-document-draft-0/