News: 2017

    In memory of Michael Gurstein

    October 17, 2017

    Michael was one of the founders of CSISAC, an active contributor, a member of the CSISAC Steering Committee, and one of the drafters of the Seoul Declaration. Michael developed the concept of "community informatics," reflecting his belief that local communities and not large organizations should shape their digital destinies. As the post below explains, "Mike was motivated by his commitment to democratising access to the tools of information technology and the advancement of civil society."

    Michael Gurstein October 2, 1944 - October 8, 2017

    Michael Gurstein was born on October 2, 1944 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Emanuel (Manny) and Sylvia Gurstein. While still an infant, the family moved to Melfort, Saskatchewan where Manny grew up and his family still lived. In Mike's youth, Manny and Sylvia ran a successful retail store. There, the family grew with a younger sister, Penny.

    Mike excelled at school. He spent his summers working at a golf club in Waskesiu and graduated from Melfort Composite Collegiate Institute high school, and then completed an undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Mike was driven by pragmatism and curiosity about the wider world that motivated his doctoral studies in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

    While a student, he began his life-long exploration of the world, with trips through North Africa and a long journey from Southeast Asia through Afghanistan and Iran and back to the U.K. Upon Mike's return to Canada, he worked in politics and policy, as a senior civil servant for the Province of British Columbia under Barrett's NDP government (1972-4) and for the Province of Saskatchewan under Blakeney's NDP Government (1974-5). While teaching at York University, he ran for the NDP in the riding of Parkdale.

    Mike moved to Ottawa in the late 1970s where he met his wife, Fernande Faulkner. Together they had two children, Rachel (1981) and Marc (1983). He and Fernande established and ran a management consulting firm, Socioscope, which studied and guided the social aspects of the introduction of information communication technology. In Ottawa, Mike also built and managed a real estate portfolio.

    In 1992 the family moved to New York, where Mike and Fernande worked for the United Nations. In 1995, Mike became Associate Chair in the Management of Technological Change at the University College of Cape Breton. There, he founded the Centre for Community and Enterprise Networking (C/CEN) as a community based research laboratory exploring applications of ICT to support social change in one of Canada's most economically disadvantaged regions. Grown out of his early experience in rural small town Saskatchewan and his later experiences in impoverished but culturally and communally rich Cape Breton,

    Mike's work provided the conceptual framing for "community informatics". He published the first major work in the field, and introduced the term "community informatics" into wider usage as referring to the research and praxis discipline underpinning the social appropriation of ICT. Within the area of community informatics a major contribution has been Mike's introduction of the notion of "effective use" as a critical analytical framework for assessing technology implementation superseding approaches based on the more commonly accepted frameworks such as that of the "digital divide".

    In 1999, the family moved to Vancouver to be closer to Mike's parents and sister. In 2000, Mike and Fernande returned to New York, to work at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the UN, respectively. Mike returned to Vancouver in 2006 and established the Center for Community Informatics Research Development and Training (CCIRDT). With this platform, he traveled the world to consult with governments and civil society organisations, present at conferences, and conduct research. Mike was the founding editor of the Journal of Community Informatics and was Foundation Chair of the Community Informatics Research Network.

    He was at the time of his death the Executive Director of CCIRDT, and formerly an Adjunct Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies Vancouver Canada, and as well as Research Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey, and Research Professor at the University of Quebec (Outaouais). He was also a member of the High Level Panel of Advisers of the UN's Global Alliance for ICT and Development. He has also served on the Board of the Global Telecentre Alliance, Telecommunities Canada, the Pacific Community Networking Association and the Vancouver Community Net. In recent years he was active as a commentator, speaker and essayist/blogger articulating a community informatics (grassroots ICT user) perspective in the areas of open government data and internet governance.

    Through all of his work, Mike was motivated by his commitment to democratising access to the tools of information technology and the advancement of civil society.

    Mike passed away peacefully at home on October 8 after a two year battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife Fernande, his mother Sylvia, his sister Penny, his children Rachel and Marc, his step-children Bruno and Nina, his grandchildren Emmanuelle and Daniel, step grandchildren Patrick, Emilly, Jessica and Erica, and niece, Natasha.

    OECD Meetings: CSISAC to attend the 75th session of the Committee on the Digital Economy (CDEP)

    October 3, 2017

    The 75th session of the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) will take place on 20-21 November, 2017 in the OECD headquarters in Paris (France). The November session of the CDEP will follow up on the work of its Working Parties and Expert Groups, notably the meetings of the Working Parties on Security and Privacy (SPDE) 30-31 October 2017; and on Measurement and Analysis (MADE) and Communication and Infrastructure Policy (CISP) held together 2-3 November, 2017. In addition to continuation of ongoing work (please check our previous meeting summaries) this session is expected to reflect on the outcomes of connected events and work groups in topics such as Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of the Things.

    The CSISAC will take part in this set of meetings to bring the voice of Civil Society to the OECD policy making process. Confirmed participants include CSISAC Steering Committee member Marc Rotenberg, CSISAC member Claire Milne, and CSISAC Secretariat Suso Baleato. Civil Society participants involved in the related topics are encouraged to express their interest towards getting involved in the ongoing work and reinforce the CSISAC delegation at the OECD.

    About the CSISAC

    The CSISAC is the voice of civil society at the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy Policy. We facilitate the exchange of information between the OECD and civil society participants, leading to better-informed and more widely accepted policy frameworks. The formal recognition of this Advisory Committee by the OECD was the result of an effort initiated in the 1990s decade to promote participation parity in the global policy-making. Today, the CSISAC is the main venue to channel the participation of civil society in the OECD work on the digital economy.

    In order to fullfil its mission, CSISAC participates in the regular meetings of the OECD Digital Economy Committee (CDEP) and its working parties: the Working Party on Measurement and Analysis of the Digital Economy (MADE), the Working Party on Communication, Infrastructures and Services Policy (CISP) and the Working Party on Security and Privacy in the Digital Economy (SPDE). In addition, the CSISAC takes part in the OECD Ministerial Meetings organizing a Civil Society Forum, and also in other OECD meetings and projects connected to the Digital Economy Policy.

    The participation of the CSISAC consists in the circulation of the draft reports and working papers of the OECD among civil society experts for analysis and assessment prior to the meeting, attendance by CSISAC representatives at the regular sessions of the OECD committees, and the submission of policy assessments for the ongoing policy guidance. In addition, the CSISAC nominates high level experts to participate in ad-hoc instruments like expert groups or advisory panels linked to specific policy developments.

    The structure of the CSISAC is defined in the CSISAC Charter. To join the CSISAC, individuals or organizations should endorse the Civil Society Seoul Declaration, demonstrate a commitment to the public interest, and do not represent any business, technical organization, government entity, or other institution that sets public policy. To learn more about the CSISAC and how to join, you can visit the CSISAC Website or directly write to the CSISAC Liaison .

    Proclamation of the CSISAC 2017-2019 Steering Committee

    July 13, 2017

    The following members of CSISAC have been elected to stand for the Steering Committee for the 2017-2019 term:

    • Marc Rotenberg
    • Deborah Brown
    • Đorđe Krivokapić
    • Renata Ávila
    • Valeria Milanes
    • Cédric Laurant
    • Malavika Jayaram
    • YJ Park

    With this notice, the 2015-2017 Steering Committee of the CSISAC gets formally constituted.

    The CSISAC Steering Committee is elected by the CSISAC members to manage the coalition and represent it for a two-year term. The maximum size of the Steering Committee is eight members, and they are elected in two steps. First, a maximum of 5 members are elected through vote by the membership. Second, the elected candidates can appoint other CSISAC members to improve the territorial, gender and expertise balance of the final composition.

    The election for the 2017-2019 Steering Committee took place without incidents, following the planned schedule. 66 out of 135 ballots were processed using an open source voting platform, with the results below. The platform provided anonymity and random display of candidates to ensure a fair, open and transparent process.

    1. Marc Rotenberg (EPIC) 37
    2. Deborah Brown (APC) 34
    3. Đorđe Krivokapić (EDRi) 34
    4. Renata Ávila (WWWF) 30
    5. Valeria Milanes (ADC) 25
    6. Cédric Laurant (Artículo 12) 25

    The election rules allow the elected members to appoint other members to improve the gender, territorial, and expertise diversity of the Steering Committee, up to a total size of 8 members. The elected members found that the Asia region needed improved representation, and decided to appointed the following two members:

    1. Malavika Jayaram
    2. YJ Park

    This result was announced in the CSISAC Membership Mailing List, and the new members subscribed to the Steering Committee Mailing List. The former members of the Steering Committee will remain subscribed until the end of a transition period to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and integration of the new members.

    C20 Digitalisation Workshop: Chair Summary

    June 21, 2017

    About 25 civil society participants attended a workshop on "The Digitalisation Agenda of the G20: Why Civil Society Should Care, Towards Argentina" organised by the CSISAC G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force at the C20 Summit, held in Hamburg June 18-19, 2017. The workshop was proposed by the CSISAC to the C20 with the purpose of improving the mutual understanding of the CSISAC and the C20 communities about the relevance of digitalisation for global policy-making, to evaluate the progress of the Civil Society Principles during the G20 German Presidency, and to set the way forward towards ensuring that digitalisation is properly covered in the Argentina G20 Presidency.

    The workshop was structured as a conversation between civil society organisations active in the field of digital policy, and C20 participants working in other areas with an interest on the topic. During the first part of the workshop, the participants exchanged views about the nature of the digitalisation phenomenon and its political, economical and social relevance. The conversation focused around cases exemplifying the relevance of digitalisation and the need for civil society to engage in global policy-making, including mass surveillance, privacy violations, cyber-attacks exemplified by the recent 'WannaCry' ransomware, abuses to digital consumers including kids, wars in areas mining the rare materials needed for electronic components, infra-human labour condition of electronics manufacturing, the danger of failures in digital systems driving public infrastructures such as water or transport, the mass unemployment caused by automation and robots, the risks of big data and the issues of data ownership, the capacity of governments to shut-down or prevent the provision of telecommunications infrastructures in cases of political unrest, the exclusion of the most vulnerable to access governmental services, the problems of biometric identification, or the cases of algorithmic bias and digital discrimination. While the benefits of digitalisation have been addressed as well, exemplified by the utility of the digital tools for the C20 to organise the Summit, the risks of digitalisation for human rights, democracy, the environment, safety and the economy helped to clarify the relevance of digitalisation and the need for civil society to engage in the regulatory and standard-setting work on this area, currently dominated by the industry. As a result, the workshop registered consensus on the need for the C20 to include digitalisation among its priorities in the future.

    The second part of the workshop focused on how to foster that work in the future work of the G20. With this regard, the workshop engaged in an evaluation of the current outcomes at the German Presidency, and a discussion on how to empower the civil society voice on digitalisation at the G20, focusing on how to integrate the work of the CSISAC G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force in the C20 towards the Argentina Presidency. Where it regards the German Presidency, the CSISAC provided an overview of the initiatives developed following up on the invitation of the OECD to engage in the OECD-G20 common work on digitalisation, and on the C20 call to engage in a consultation about the priorities for the German G20. CSISAC activities included:

    1. engagement in the OECD-G20 work, including assessment of the papers, and participation in the OECD-G20 joint conference on17 January, 2017 in Berlin.
    2. facilitation of the participation of civil society to demand the inclusion of digitalisation during the C20 Consultation;
    3. constituted a G7/ G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force as the result of exchange between the CSISAC and the G20 Secretariats on possible ways to include digitalisation, after the topic was neglected in the consultation,
    4. facilitated the elaboration of a G7/ G20 Civil Society Statement on Digitalisation: No Trust, No Trade that was disseminated in the CSISAC web site, forwarded to the C20 to support their participation in the Sherpas meeting, and to be added to the C20 policy briefings,
    5. engaged in three out of the six C20 working groups contributing with views on the digital aspects of finance, inequality and investments,
    6. achieved civil society speakers at the preparatory meeting of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Digitalisation held on 6 Apri 2017 at Düsseldorf, and fostered the CSISAC position at the meeting itself;
    7. facilitated the participation of civil society participants working on digitalisation from both Germany and Argentina in the G20, including the C20 activity;
    8. organised a meeting to raise awareness about the G20 process and to facilitate participation of global civil society at the RightsCon in Brussels;
    9. reminded the C20 about the lack of a position on digitalisation in the final communiqué, and in the C20 policy briefings, and offered the CSISAC position as the reference to elaborate a position on the topic.
    10. organised a workshop at the C20 Summit to report about the request made frustration of global civil society participants in the interaction with the C20, and provided a Chair Summary (this document).

    The workshop reflected on the results of that activity. The main outcome of the civil society engagement on digitalisation during the G20 German Presidency has been the improvement of the G20 language on the topic at the G20 Ministerial Meeting, compared to the less useful references of the previous Baden-Baden Ministerial. This improvement can be seen in two elements. First, the G20 adopted the approach fostered by the CSISAC at the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy such as the need to foster a digitalisation process based on human rights and the rule of law, privacy and data protection, or freedom of expression; and recognised the explicit reference to affordability towards ensuring universal access to the Internet, as proposed in the G20 Civil Society Statement fostered by the CSISAC.

    At the workshop, CSISAC repeated that they welcomed the G20 Statement on Digitalisation where it proposes a continuation of the work on digitalisation at the Argentina Ministerial; and acknowledged the already described improvements in the final text. In the note published on the topic, the CSISAC remarked the need to continue working in several aspects such as the explicit recognition of privacy as a human right, algorithmic transparency and encryption by default, specific plans on affordability and universality, initiatives on skills and digital literacy, and the recognition of risks connected to digitalisation including cyber-attacks, compensation structures for digital disruptions such as Internet shutdowns or labor displacement, or a proper multi-stakeholder implementation.It was recognised that the Civil Society Seoul Principles continue to provide a useful framework for civil society participants to engage also in the G20 work on digitalisation.

    The discussion at the C20 Summit workshop was useful to recognise the disconnection of the C20 in the interactions between civil society and G20 on the topic. While the engagement of civil society on digitalisation proved to be useful, it was entirely developed through the CSISAC Digitalisation Task Force, in a context where digitalisation was a topic excluded from the C20 priorities and also from the policy briefs, even when a substantiated Civil Society Statement on digitalisation was available. On possible explanations about why digitalisation was a neglected topic in the C20, the workshop served to identify two main ones: 1) the need of the C20 to focus on an increasingly smaller number of priorities; 2) the novelty of the digitalisation phenomenon in the agendas of the organisations involved in the German C20.

    Despite the limitations derived from the exclusion of digitalisation from the C20, the workshop served as well to recognise the progress made by the C20, as exemplified by the inclusion in some policy briefs and the draft communiqué of CSISAC language, and also proposals put forward by the Labour Unions Advisory Committee at the OECD (TUAC) supported by the CSISAC; the inclusion of this workshop in the C20 Summit; the financial support for three representatives from CSISAC to attend the C20 Summit, including the Liaison and two representatives from CSISAC member Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, and the active participation and engagement of the C20 Steering Committee members from both Germany and Argentina.

    The workshop was useful as well to identify the way forward towards improving the capacity of civil society to constructively engage in the future work of the G20 on digitalisation. With this regard, the preparatory work towards the Argentina Presidency has been identified as the natural way to continue getting progress on the integration of digitalisation in the C20 work. Following up on an exchange on possible approaches towards the Argentinian C20, two proposals were put forward:

    1. to enable the C20 with a capacity to address the cyber and digitalisation issues (CDI) i) structured as a C20 transversal task force; ii) implemented towards linking the already existing civil society groups working in the relevant settings, such as the OECD, ICANN or the UN/ IGF; iii) deployed on an infrastructure capable to ensure persistence over the subsequent G20 iterations,
    2. to prepare a Chair Summary of the Workshop report on the referred proposal, to feed the discussion of the C20 on structure and priorities for Argentina.

    After putting forward this proposals asking the participants for objections, without any being raised, the Chair referred to the current infrastructure of the G7/ G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force as an useful platform to facilitate the deployment of such a C20 CDI Task Force, and thanked the participants, with a special mention to the German and Argentinian members of both the C20 Steering Committee and the CSISAC taking part in the meeting.

    Note: In addition to the German and Argentinian representatives of the C20 Steering Committee and the CSISAC G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force, a more detailed acknowledgements list would include:

    • CSISAC Steering Committee Michael Gurstein for taking the lead in the proposal of this workshop, and his input in the C20 Inequality Working Group;
    • CSISAC Steering Committee member Claire Milne, for her input in the C20 Investment Working Group and her proposal on affordability, finally reflected in the G20 Statement on Digitalisation;
    • German CSISAC member Wolfgang Kleinwächter for his continued monitoring and participation of the German G20;
    • CSISAC member Pam Dixon, for taking the role of civil society speaker in the preparatory meeting of the G20 Digitalisation Ministerial,
    • Argentinian CSISAC member Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, specially to Valeria Milanes and Alejandro Segarra for their engagement during the German Presidency, and their work taking the lead towards the Argentina Presidency;
    • CSISAC member Access Now, specially Amie Stepanovich, for their support to the CSISAC organised event at the 2017 RightsCon in Brussels to report about the G20,
    • Global Partners Digital, specially Sheetal Kumar and Richard Wingfield, for having prepared supporting materials, including a useful policy brief on "Navigating Human Rights in Digital Environment - the G20", and a blog post on the digital agenda, and for supporting the travel expenses of CSISAC members Kimberly Anastácio from Coding Rights (Brazil) and Grace Mutung'u from KICTANet (Kenya). All the members of the CSISAC organised G7/ G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force
    • The participants of the C20 Working Groups for their interest in the digital aspects of their topics.

    CSISAC Members Called to Elect the Steering Committee

    June 10, 2017

    The CSISAC Steering Committee is elected by the CSISAC members to manage the coalition and represent it for a two-year term. The following candidates have been nominated by the CSISAC membership during the nomination period:

    • Sonigitu Ekpe, Individual Member
    • Dennys Antonialli, Internet Lab
    • Amie Stepanovich, Access Now
    • Renata Ávila, World Wide Web Foundation
    • Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
    • Valeria Milanes, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC)
    • Deborah Brown, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
    • Đorđe Krivokapić, European Digital Rights (EDRi)
    • Cédric Laurant, SonTusDatos (Artículo 12, A.C.)

    CSISAC voters can cast their ballots from the 12th to the 19th of June. The vote is casted using a web-based voting platform reachable through any standard browser. The vote is anonymous and can be casted using accesibility alternatives.

    The full detail of the Steering Committee election can be found in the call for the 2017-2019 Steering Committee Election.

    CSISAC at the OECD Workshop on Digital Risk Management

    May 14, 2017

    The OECD has invited the CSISAC to take part in the OECD Expert Workshop n Improving the measurment of digital security risk incidents and risk management, to be held in the Swiss-Re Centre for Global Dialogue, Zurich (Switzerland).

    While the frequency and severity of digital security incidents has grown, our ability to measure, analyse, understand and manage them efficiently has not kept pace. A long standing problem is the lack of consensus on definitions, typologies and taxonomy, as well as a paucity of historical data on "digital security incidents, threats and vulnerabilities". The lack of data-sharing on such incidents and the resulting challenges in quantifying exposure to digital security risk has been an important impediment to the development of the cyber insurance market (among other
    consequences).

    The development of a more reliable and comprehensive data set on digital security incidents and digital risk management practice would likely require:

    • consensus on typology and taxonomy;
    • trusted public-private digital security incident repository;
    • incentives (e.g., mandatory notification requirements) to promote reporting of incidents and data sharing by organisations.

    At the workshop, organised on the basis of Chatham House rules, different experts shared their expertise on the topic, contributing to the improvement of the knowledge about the scarcity of data and statistical models capable to assess digital security incidents risk.

    The potential un-insurability of digitalisation, and the insufficient characterization of the potential incidents, happened to be illustrated by the case of the difussion of the eternal-blue based ransomware, indicating the need to assess the role of issues such as a mass surveillance, or the militarization of cyberspace, in addition to those linked to the spread of software mono-cultives and the vulnerabilities derived from a commercially oriented intellectual property framework for algorithms.

    Finally, two approaches have been proposed to solve the difficulties to addr need for further collaboration between data sources: the first one, based on a shared repository, and the second one based on standards to ensure the consistency in the collection and comparability of the data.

    Summary of the 74th session of the Committee on the Digital Economy (CDEP)

    June 8, 2017

    The CSISAC has participated in the 74th Session of the Digital Economy Policy Committee (CDEP), held in conjunction with the meetings of its Working Parties on Measurement and Analysis (MADE), Communications, Infrastructure and Services (CISP) and Security and Privacy (SPDE). The CSISAC delegation was formed by the Steering Committee members Marc Rotenberg in in the CDEP and SPDE, and Claire Milne attending the SPDE and the MADE. The CSISAC wants to thank all the civil society experts that have taken part in the preparation of the meeting, contributing with analysis and suggestions of the OECD draft papers and discussions.

    An important part of the meeting was focused in the update about the Horizontal Project Going Digital, and also in the discussion of the draft chapters of the forthcoming Digital Economy Outlook, where the CSISAC contributed asking for a more consistent coverage of the privacy and security issues, raising the assymetry in the responsabilities derived from data collection, specially with regard to consumers. The need to remark the importance of security and privacy aspects was a common issue in the interventions and proposals of CSISAC, including the reports on data security breaches, national privacy policies, digital security incidents or digital risk management. The CSISAC expressed interest to take part in those projects, and also to engage in the ongoing reviews of the Recommendations on Cryptography, on Critical Information Infrastructures, and on Children Online.

    At the CISP and the MADE, the CSISAC contributed with analysis on the differnt reports on telecomunication policy and digital measurements. The case of the refugees was raised by the CSISAC in the context of an analysis about broadband access in rural and remote areas, and the need to take into account also low usage and pre-payment mobile communications in order to ensure the integrity in the compariosn of telecommunication prices, as those could speak about affordability issues; where the need to use the price payed by the user, instead of the potentially different price announced on the provider websites was raised as well. Still in the measurement work, the CSISAC encouraged the OECD to continue performing research on the effects of robotisation in the labour market, as the strong findings could suggest potential displacements of labour to lower skilled positions, that should need to be considered by policy-makers.

    The CSISAC will continue fostering this issues as specific policy issues in the context of the Civil Society Goals, engaging in the OECD Horizontal Project on Digitalisation. The involvement of the CSISAC will consist in the participation of the policy making process both at the OECD and at the interaction with other international settings, and the dissemination of the resulting outcomes. The CSISAC calls the Civil Society participants with expertise on digital topics to engage in this process. Learn more about the CSISAC, or directly contact the CSISAC Secretariat <liaison@csisac.org>

    CSISAC at the OECD Forum

    June 5, 2017

    The OECD has invited the CSISAC to take part in the 2016 OECD Forum: Bridging Divides, to be held the 6th of June in the OECD headquarters in Paris (France). The CSISAC Liaison will take part as a table host leading the discussion in two sessions. The first session will focus on Inclusive Growth, and it will be introduced by OECD Carol Guthrie, Head of Public Affairs and Media, PAC. The second session will focus on Artificial Intelligence with confirmed participants including Diego Piacentini, Italian Government Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Søren Pind, Minister for Higher Education and Science, Denmark; and Yuko Harayama, Executive Member, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet office, Government of Japan.

    OECD Releases Report on the Next Production Revolution

    May 24, 2017

    This publication examines the opportunities and challenges, for business and government, associated with technologies bringing about the Next production revolution. These include a variety of digital technologies (e.g. the Internet of Things and advanced robotics). Link to the report on the Next Production Revolution

    OECD Releases Report on Trade in Counterfeit ICT Goods

    April 27, 2017

    This study looks at the trade in counterfeit ICT goods, including the size of the trade, the main sources of fake goods, and the countries whose companies are most affected. Link to the report Trade in Counterfeit ICT Goods

    Schedule for the Election of the CSISAC Steering Committee 2017-2019

    May 29, 2017

    The CSISAC Steering Committee is elected by the CSISAC members to manage the coalition and represent it for a two-year term. The following schedule has been agreed for the election of the Steering Committee members for the 2017-2019 term (always Paris time, CET/ CEST timezone):

    2017-05-29 Election call to review census and nominate candidates
    2017-06-10 Announcement of nominations
    2017-06-12 Vote starts
    2017-06-19 Vote ends
    2017-06-20 Voting results, and call to nominate extra members
    2017-06-25 Announcement of new Steering Committee
    2017-07-25 End of transition period

    Any member of the CSISAC can nominate candidates for the Steering Committee, posting a message in the elections internal thread (see the regular updates) with the following information:

    - Full name, mail and country/ region of the candidate
    - Brief statement on the expected contribution of the candidate
    - Short bio, including reference to the most related CSISAC goals

    Alternatively, they can send the nomination to liaison@csisac.org with copy to the CSISAC Members mailing list. The list of nominees will be announced once finalised and published in the CSISAC website.

    Once the nomination period is over, voters will receive a ballot to select up to five candidates. Consistently with the committment of the CSISAC with diversity, the elected candidates will be able to appoint other CSISAC members to ensure gender, regional and expertise balance. The maximum final size of the Steering Committee is eight members.

    The full detail of the Steering Committee election can be found in the document describing CSISAC election process. CSISAC members are asked to nominate candidates, and to review the voters list, until 2017-06-09 00:00 Paris time (NOTE: extended until 23:59 to avoid confussion with different time zones).

    OECD Meetings: CSISAC to attend the 74th session of the Committee on the Digital Economy (CDEP)

    May 11, 2017

    The 74th session of the OECD Digital Economy Policy Committee and its working parties will take place from the 15th to the 19th of May in the OECD headquarters in Paris (France). The CSISAC will take part in this meeting to bring the voice of Civil Society to the OECD policy making process.

    The May session of the CDEP will focus on getting progress in the Horizontal Project on Digitalisation, an effort derived from the outcomes 2016 Cancún OECD Ministerial Meeting, involving 13 OECD Committees in addition to the CDEP itself. The Committee and its Working Parties will continue working in the preparation of the next edition of the Digital Economy Outlook, and a review of the Telecommunications Policy in Mexico. The OECD Recommendation on the ICTs and the Environment will enter a monitoring process, and the analysis on remote broadband access will be proposed for approval. The statistical work will include analysis on robotisation, ICT investment, and also on digital risk management. The work on security and privacy will focus on the analysis of indicators about children online, and reports on the protection of critical infrastructures, security data breaches, or security incidents.

    The CSISAC invites all civil society participants engaged in these topics to get involved in the preparation of the meeting.

    About the CSISAC

    The CSISAC is the voice of civil society at the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy Policy. We facilitate the exchange of information between the OECD and civil society participants, leading to better-informed and more widely accepted policy frameworks. The formal recognition of this Advisory Committee by the OECD was the result of an effort initiated in the 1990s decade to promote participation parity in the global policy-making. Today, the CSISAC is the main venue to channel the participation of civil society in the OECD work on the digital economy.

    In order to fullfil its mission, CSISAC participates in the regular meetings of the OECD Digital Economy Committee (CDEP) and its working parties: the Working Party on Measurement and Analysis of the Digital Economy (MADE), the Working Party on Communication, Infrastructures and Services Policy (CISP) and the Working Party on Security and Privacy in the Digital Economy (SPDE). In addition, the CSISAC takes part in the OECD Ministerial Meetings organizing a Civil Society Forum, and also in other OECD meetings and projects connected to the Digital Economy Policy.

    The participation of the CSISAC consists in the circulation of the draft reports and working papers of the OECD among civil society experts for analysis and assessment prior to the meeting, attendance by CSISAC representatives at the regular sessions of the OECD committees, and the submission of policy assessments for the ongoing policy guidance. In addition, the CSISAC nominates high level experts to participate in ad-hoc instruments like expert groups or advisory panels linked to specific policy developments.

    The structure of the CSISAC is defined in the CSISAC Charter. To join the CSISAC, individuals or organizations should endorse the Civil Society Seoul Declaration, demonstrate a commitment to the public interest, and do not represent any business, technical organization, government entity, or other institution that sets public policy. To learn more about the CSISAC and how to join, you can visit the CSISAC Website or directly write to the CSISAC Liaison <liaison@csisac.org>.

    Digitalisation at the G20 Argentina Presidency

    April 16, 2017

    The Civil Society G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force welcomes the proposal of the G20 Ministers to continue the work on digitalisation, during the forthcoming Argentina Presidency.

    The task force acknowledges the explicit recognition in that G20 Ministerial Declaration about the importance of data protection and privacy, human rights and freedom of expression, as well as the emphasis on inclusion. In particular, the task force acknowledges the recognition by the G20 Ministers of the importance of affordability to ensure universal access to the Internet, as expressed in the Civil Society G7/G20 position. The reference to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and more specifically, the OECD 2016 Ministerial Declaration on the Digital Economy sets a favorable context for the development of digitalisation, in the conditions outlined by the Civil Society Issues Statement in Cancún.

    However much work remains to do. The respect for privacy globally as a fundamental human right, the protection of strong encryption able to be turned on by default, concrete plans and commitments to ensure the affordability of internet connections, or the establishment of accountability mechanisms and compensation structures for digital disruptions, which range from job losses to intentional network shutdowns, are some of the tasks that need further work by the G20. In particular, the G20 multi-stakeholder model has showed severe limitations to facilitate the coordination of non governmental participants and their engagement in the G20 interaction. The G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force notes the exclusion of the C20 (the civil society stakeholder of the G20) from the list of stakeholders contributing to the exchange on digitalisation, as in the G20 Digitalisation Ministers Declaration.

    In order to continue contributing constructively to this process, the G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force is starting to plan the engagement towards the next G20 presidency by Argentina. Civil society participants interested in taking part in this process are invited to join the work of the task force, in the context of the OECD-G20 dialogue at CSISAC. To learn more about the CSISAC and how to engage in our work, you can visit the CSISAC Website or directly write to the CSISAC Liaison .

    Civil Society at the G20 Ministerial on Digitalisation

    April 5, 2017

    CSISAC member Pam Dixon (World Privacy Forum) will take part as a panelist in the stakeholder event to be held 6 April in Düsseldorf, in the context of the G20 Ministerial meeting on Digitalisation. In addition that, other CSISAC members will take part in the meeting, including Wolfgang Kleinwächter and Renata Ávila.

    The participation of CSISAC members takes place in the context of the dialogue between the OECD and G20 on the transformations produced by digitalisation, and it will be guided by the G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force position. The Civil Society G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force, was constituted in agreement with the C20 to open a channel for the participation of civil society in the G20 dialogue on digitalisation.

    CSISAC to take part in the OECD Steering Group on Digitalisation

    April 3, 2017

    As part of the outcomes from the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting in Cancún (Mexico), the CSISAC has achieved an increased recognition as the main channel to facilitate civil society participation in the work of the OECD on the digital economy. Following up on this outcome, CSISAC Steering Committee and EPIC's Director Marc Rotenberg has been invited to represent the CSISAC in the Steering Group of the OECD Horizontal Digitalisation Project in the meeting to be held April 4th, in the OECD Headquarters in Paris. This project binds together more than 70 projects of 14 committees accross the OECD. The engagement of the CSISAC in this project increases the opportunities for civil society participants to contribute to global policy-making on the digital agenda.

    Civil Society on the Global Digital Agenda at the RightsCon

    March 24, 2017

    The CSISAC panel at the RightsCon 2017 will be held Wednesday the 29th of March from 14:30 to 15:45 at the Inspiration room, in the 1st Floor of the events's venue. The purpose of the panel is to take stock of the current situation after the Cancún Civil Society Forum, and set the way forward for global digital policy making. With this purpose, CSISAC Secretariat Suso Baleato will provide a brief update about the G7/ G20 and OECD digitalisation agenda, as a way to set the context for civil society leaders to share their views on the global policy-making priorities. Panelists will include:

    • Amie Stepanovich (Access Now), on encryption and mass government surveillance
    • Harry Halpin (INRIA), on encryption and international trade
    • Maryant Fernández (EDRi) on trade and data protection/ privacy
    • Anriette Esterhuysen (APC) on gender and digital access
    • Renata Ávila (Web Foundation) on digital equality and developing countries
    • Richard Wingfield (GPD) on Africa and Internet shutdowns
    • Dennys Antonialli (Internet Lab) on Brazil and digital rights
    • Alejandro Segarra (ADC) on Latin América, including next G20 Presidency (Argentina)
    • Jeremy Malcolm (EFF) on multistakeholderism and Internet policy making

    After the initial round of brief interventions, the audience will be invited to engage in an exchange of views for the remaining time of the panel, moderated by the CSISAC Secretariat. RightsCon attendants whishing to share their views are encouraged to contact the organisation of the panel to facilitate their participation, sending a mail to liaison@csisac.org

    CSISAC on Digitalisation at the RightsCon 2017

    March 10, 2017

    The organisation of the RightsCon 2017 has confirmed the proposal of the CSISAC to organize a meeting for civil society participants to share their view on the priorities of the global digital policy agenda, and setting the way forward towards 2018.

    At the meeting, the CSISAC will provide an update about the recent incorporation of digitalisation in the policy agenda of the G7/ G20. This group of countries represent the 80% of the global GDP and the 64% of the world's population, turning the G20 into one of the most relevant arenas for global policy making. The incorporation of digitalisation to the G20 agenda in the 2017 German Presidency, following up on the Hangzhou outcomes, and the prominent role of the OECD in providing evidence base references, opens the opportunity for civil society to engage in the digital policy making directly at the global level.

    The purpose of the meeting is to have civil society participants reporting on their respective areas of leadership, to set the way forward in this context. The CSISAC invites civil society organizations, activists and scholars to engage in this discussion to set the way forward towards 2018.

    G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force Position

    March 1, 2017

    As the result of the interaction with the G20 Civil Society (C20) stakeholder, the CSISAC is taking the lead to facilitate the coordination of society participants engaging in the G7/G20 work on digitalisation. With this purpose, the Civil Society G7/ G20 Task Force on Digitalisation has been constituted, to contribute to the G7/ G20 process with a civil society perspective on the digitalisation process. As a first deliverable, the Digitalisation Task Force has prepared the following position, to be delivered to the G20 Sherpas in their forthcoming meeting:

    Digitalisation represents an unprecedented opportunity to improve social and economic prosperity. However,

    • while 80% of the population in developed countries have broadband access through their smart-phones, more than half of the global population -3.9 billion people- still do not have access to the Internet, where women in the developing world are 50% less likely to be online than men1, and ethnic minorities 40% more likely to be affected by digital discrimination2,
    • digital disruptions are increasingly registering many negative effects, including job losses and income inequality3, mass surveillance or political de-legitimisation,

    The countries taking part in the G20 representing as they do 80% of the global GDP and the 64% of the world's population have a primary responsibility in overcoming these issues. The relevance given to digitalisation by the 2017 G20 German Presidency, following up on the Hangzhou outcomes, provides a favourable context to address these challenges. In order to contribute to that goal, the Civil Society G7/G20 Task Force on Digitalisation 4 has identified the following recommendations for adoption by the G20 members:

    1. Build digital resilience: foster data protection, privacy and encryption by default/ design,
    2. improve sustainability: enable universal and affordable, full Internet access, skills and use,
    3. assume responsibility: establish a means for compensation for digital disruptions.

    In order to facilitate the implementation of these recommendations, the Task Force invites the G20 to take note of the underlying rationale, and to adopt the corresponding international guidelines, standards and legal frameworks, as follows.

    1. Building Resilience in the Digital Environment

    Building resilience means developing a digital environment that individuals and organisations can trust. No trust, no trade. To build trustworthiness in the digital products, services and infrastructures, personal data and privacy needs to be protected, the safety of the digital environment needs to be assured, and transparency needs to be provided to enable accountability of algorithmic decission-making. With this objective, the G20 members should:

    • Foster a policy making approach that favours strong security and encourages encryption by default/ design for the digital communication and protection of data, adopting the OECD Guidelines for Cryptography Policy. In addition, information security policies should make available measurement and analysis to enable an informed assessment about the safety of the digital environment, taking as reference the OECD Recommendations on Digital Security Risk Management, and the OECD Recommendations on the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures.
    • Recognise the nature of privacy as a fundamental right and strengthen privacy enforcement and data protection by governments, corporations and individuals towards ensuring the safety of personal data, and ending arbitrary or unlawful mass surveillance or interception of electronic communications adopting the OECD Privacy Guidelines, the Civil Society Madrid Declaration, the provisions of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age, the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy of the Human Rights Council, and the positions on this issue of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe.

    2. Improving the Sustainability and Equity of Digitalisation

    Improving sustainability and equity means fostering a deployment of digitalisation which is compatible with the dynamics of the affected ecosystems, where human rights and the democratic rule of law sets the standards for the governance of human societies. With this objective, the G20 members should:

    • Foster investments in digitalisation to ensure universal and affordable, full Internet access and use in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, prioritising women and other digitally excluded groups, and including provisions to evaluate their impact on the ecosystem and on human rights. Current figures for 58 low- and middle-income countries show that only one-third have internet that is affordable for the majority of their people5. This assessment should include a focus on the mining and manufacturing regions involved in the industrial production of electronic devices, on the effects of digitalisation in the full range of human rights worldwide including privacy, freedom of expression, and also economic, social and cultural rights6. Built-in obsolescence and proprietary standards should be excluded from public procurement, in favor of open source and open standard technologies and those with longer life cycles, and improved energy efficiency.
    • Adopt a sustainable multi-stakeholder approach that ensures participation parity for all involved stakeholders, and compliance to the democratic rule of law, improving the models of the bodies currently setting the standards and legal frameworks that are driving digitalisation, and taking as reference the NETmundial Internet Governance Principles, and the OECD Council Internet Policy-Making Principles.

    3. Assuming the Responsibility of Digital Externalities

    Assuming responsibility means addressing the potential harmful effects of digitalisation. Individuals and organisations should be protected from eventual digital failures, and the economic impact of digital disruption should be compensated for to ensure inclusiveness. With this objective, G20 members should:

    • Develop an accountability model that identifies all the actors involved in the provision of digital services and products, identifying their technical and legal obligations, and establishing principles of compensations to the various actors in the case of failure, taking as reference the OECD Recommendations on Consumer Protection in E-commerce, and on Electronic Authentication.
    • Develop an economic model where the profits of digitalisation contribute to support social protection systems capable of compensating for the displacement of individual purchasing and savings capacity, so as to ensure the coverage of basic needs and the acquisition of skills for job transition and to harness the new technologies and modes of production.

    About the G7/G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force

    The G7/G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force was established in 2017 to provide a channel for civil society participants involved in digitalisation to engage in the G7/ G20 process. Recognizing the role of the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) as the main provider of digitalisation policy in the G7/G20 context, the task force works as part of Civil Society Advisory Council of that committee (the OECD CSISAC).

    The CSISAC is the voice of civil society at the OECD CDEP. The CSISAC facilitates the exchange of information between the OECD and civil society participants, leading to better-informed and more widely accepted policy frameworks. The formal recognition of this Advisory Committee by the OECD in 2008 was the result of an effort initiated in the 1990s to promote participation parity in global policy-making.

    Today, the CSISAC is the main venue to channel the participation of civil society in the OECD work on the digital economy, joining the efforts of more than 200 organisations, activists and scholars worldwide. You can learn more about the CSISAC visiting our website7, or by writing directly to the CSISAC liaison at <liaison@csisac.org>

    Acknowledgements

    This paper has been prepared by CSISAC Liaison Suso Baleato, based on the input provided by the CSISAC membership, including Marc Rotenberg, Claire Milne, Amie Stepanovich, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Michael Gurstein, Renata Ávila, Jeremy Malcolm, Roger Clarke, Martin Schmalzried, Deborah Brown, Maryant Fernández, Pam Dixon, Susan Grant, Valeria Milanes, Harry Halpin, Anriette Esterhuysen, Dennys Antonialli and Alejadro Segarra.

    Footnotes:

    1

    Women in the developing world are 50% less likely to be online than men. See: http://webfoundation.org/about/research/digital-gender-gap-audit/ Figures based on 2016 research.

    2

    Politically excluded ethnic groups have 40% less connectivity than favored ones. See http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6304/1151

    3

    See the reports of the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy https://www.oecd.org/internet/ministerial/

    5

    Based on 1GB of mobile data priced at 2% or less the average monthly income. Based on 2017 figures. See: http://a4ai.org/affordability-report/

    Health and Digitalisation at the OECD

    February 25, 2017

    OECD Health Ministerial

    On 17th January 2017, the OECD has held a Meeting of the Health Committee at Ministerial Level on The Next Generation of Health Reforms. The discussion at the meeting included relevant developments in health systems, such as new technologies, the emergence of personalised medicine and big data. The CSISAC welcomes the recognition by the OECD of the need to develop a people-centered health systems, and also about the need to protect the privacy of citizens to harness the potential benefits of digitalisation.

    Health Data Governance

    At the Ministerial, the OECD released the Recommendation on Health Data Governance, developed in a multi-stakeholder approach with the participation of the CSISAC. This recommendation reflects international consensus on a set of guiding conditions for governing personal, sensitive health data both domestically and transnationally to develope knowledge-driven health systems potential of health data to improve clinical practice, research, health system management and surveillance. The CSISAC will continue monitoring this framework to ensure privacy and data protection in the development of health systems public policy.

    New Health Technolgies

    Also in the context of the Ministerial, the OECD released a new report on New Health Technologies. This report discusses the need for an integrated and cyclical approach to managing health technology in order to mitigate clinical and financial risks, and ensure acceptable value for money. In addition to the role of the health technologies, the  final chapter of the report examines how health systems can make better use of health data and digital technologies. The chapter reviews the opportunities and risks related to health data, including explicit references and sections to the role of privacy and data protection. The CSISAC recognises the relevance of the work on health data, and welcomes the approach of the OECD in recognising the role of privacy and data protection.

    OECD Releases Recommendation on Health Data Governance

    January 23, 2017

    The OECD has released the Recommendation on Health Data Governance. The CSISAC thanks the OECD for the opportunity to take part in the dialogue that lead to the final text, including the participation in the Advisory Committee on Health Data, and the meetings at the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP). The text of the recommendation can be found in the OECD site about Health Governance, together with other related documents.

    CSISAC Fosters Digital Inclusion, Privacy and a Multistakeholder Approach at the G20

    January 16, 2017

    At the joint OECD-G20 meeting held the 12th of January in Berlin, the CSISAC fostered privacy and data protection as the main vector to ensure digital trust, and asked for an improvement of the G20 multi-stakeholder model to facilitate the contribution of the non-governmental organizations, scholars and activists with expertise on the topic.

    The main purpose of the meeting was to explore the crucial issues of digitalisation from an econometric perspective. With this goal, the OECD released the report Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20, and the G20 organized a set of panels on the topic. While the panels lacked a consistent civil society representation, several CSISAC members took part actively in the discussions, including EPIC and Consumers International, in addition to the CSISAC Secretariat. G20 stakeholders taking part included the Civil Society stakeholder (C20), participants of the G20 Women stakeholder (W20).

    Privacy and Data Protection at the G20

    At the discussion, the CSISAC recognised the importance and timely delivery of the OECD report, remarking the importance of developing  a digital economy capable to address inequality in the society, and the lack of trust in citizens, users and consumers. On improving trust, the CSISAC fostered the need to understand digital trust not just as the result of security, but also fundamentally, privacy. With this regard, privacy was presented as a fundamental right, therefore leading to the need to improve data protection and the rights of the users. CSISAC proposed a trust approach based on privacy enabling technologies, privacy and criptography by default policies, and algorithmic transparency, as exemplified by CSISAC member EPIC. On digital contracts and terms of service, the CSISAC supported the perspectives raised by CSISAC member Consumers International.

    Towards a Multi-Stakeholder Approach at the G20

    During the discussion, the CSISAC reflected on the priorities of the C20 consultation, which raised concerns about the shrinking space represented by civil society in many regions of the world . In several opportunities during the meeting, the CSISAC raised the convenience for the G20 to implement a multi-stakeholder approach based on participation parity. With this purpose, the CSISAC has raised the existence of several multistakelder models, like those developed by the Internet technical bodies, and others like the UN Internet Governance Forum. The CSISAC suggested the utility of the OECD 'stakeholder councils' model as a reference for the G20 to improve the current implementation.

    In addition, the secretariats of the CSISAC and the G20 Civil Society stakeholder (C20) took the opportunity to share perspectives about possible approaches for collaboration. Both secretariats agreed on the importance of consolidating the C20, and the interest of  incorporating digitalisation as a cross-cutting issue in the G20 civil society work. A proposal to have the CSISAC supporting the C20 as the main channel for civil society participation at the G20, and having the CSISAC assuming the leadership of the C20 work on digitalisation, will be put forward to both Steering Committees for consideration.

    Background

    At the 73rd session of the CDEP, the CSISAC was invited to take part in the dialogue between the OECD and the G20 on digitalisation.  This dialogue consists in a joint policy-making effort that takes as the main references the G20 Hangzhou agenda on digitalisation, and the OECD project in the same topic. The CSISAC is engaging in this dialogue as a way to consolidate and foster the Civil Society Principles by having them consistently incorporated in the agendas and in the policy recommendations of the OECD and the G20.

    CSISAC to Lead the Work on Digitalisation in the G20 Civil Society Process (C20)

    February 9, 2017

    At the joint G20-OECD meeting, the Secretariats of the Civil Society Council of the OECD (CSISAC) and the civil society facilitator of the G20 German Presidency (C20) took the opportunity to share perspectives about possible approaches for collaboration. Both Secretariats agreed on the importance of consolidating the C20, and on the interest of  incorporating digitalisation as a cross-cutting issue in the future work of the C20.

    At the meeting it was acknowledged the recognition of the CSISAC and the C20 as the main channels for civil society participation at the OECD work on digitalisation, and in the G20, respectively. In addition, the joint G20-OECD meeting was useful to make visible the role of the OECD work on digitalisation as the main reference for the G20.

    A proposal emerged to have the CSISAC supporting the C20 as the main channel for civil society participation at the G20, and to have the C20 supporting the leadership of the CSISAC to facilitate the civil society dialogue on digitalisation. With this purpose, the CSISAC is planning:

    • To continue providing the main channel for civil society participation at the OECD work on digitalisation. The focus will be set on the Committee for the Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and its Horizontal Project on Digitalisation, as this is expected to be the main source of policy references to feed the G20 process.
    • To engage in the C20 process, facilitating the engagement of the CSISAC membership in the C20 Working Groups, taking part in the C20 organized meetings, and organizing a G20 task force on digitalisation. The purpose will be to have a civil society perspective on digitalisation reflected in the G20 outcomes.

    The CSISAC invites non-governmental organizations, scholars and activists with expertise on digitalisation to get involved. You can visit our website to learn about the CSISAC and the OECD, and express your interest to engage sending a mail to liaison (at) csisac.org.

    Background on the OECD-G20 Process

    At the 73rd session of the CDEP, the CSISAC was invited to take part in the dialogue between the OECD and the G20 on digitalisation.  This dialogue consists in a joint policy-making effort that takes as the main references the G20 Hangzhou agenda on digitalisation, and the OECD project in the same topic. The CSISAC is engaging in this dialogue as a way to consolidate and foster the Civil Society Principles by having them consistently incorporated in the agendas and in the policy recommendations of the OECD and the G20.