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Stockholm Internet Forum 2013

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    Predrag TASEVSKI

This year the Stockholm Internet Forum 2013 was addressing the freedom of Internet, human rights, freedom of speech, censorship, privacy as well as importance of security. Among the topics, also we have touched the cyber security, surveillance, importance of information security coupled with critical information infrastructure and critical infrastructure. Once Alex Levin has said – “The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it’s against the law.” – What a hack he was talking? Was he right or wrong? For this reason, the SIF was held this year with more than 94 different countries participants, from all over the world. And indeed, it was one of the best conference organized so far. Nevertheless the number of differential participants let the talks and the conference topics just to flow. Even that the four days of talking was not enough. However, this was just a start, or for someone the beginning of an idea due to the poverty of our thoughts.

The opening speech was by Carl Bildt where he presented in fact an importance of digital revolution, African development through connectivity, political debates for freedom of Internet. In addition, he gave a couple of great examples, such as legislations of blocking sites in Russia, violations of human rights in Syria, Vietnam among the others. Also, he noted the security importance of cyber security, where security should be thought but of course should not be used in purpose to limit the human rights. One very good quote, even after two weeks from the conference I still have it in my head, is *“Free societies are strong societies”. Last but not least, was that we should take an examples from the leading nations of ICT, such as, Sweden, where the security coupled with human rights are presented on Internet.

Frankly, in the opening session we have touched the issue with surveillance and software used for this purpose, coupled with the viability of digital divide popular in Africa and among others. Moreover, we have purse the issue of Internet jurisdiction projects, as well as that we have to boost the awareness of regulations united with the important factor to increased the civil societies in freedom. For more info please visit the summaries notes from the session, Opening session.

To continue with the first session again we have to come back some example of the above issue, surveillance, where Mexico has CCTV in private sector for 3 to 4 years. Among the surveillance we have discuss the issue during the riots in London, Syria and Panama as a recent examples where they have shutdown the mobile phone network. Additionally, point in some countries is that people do trust the law enforcement in privacy, where opposite such as in Pakistan they trust only the companies, and not law enforcement agencies. Moreover, hate speech, digital freedom and democracy of freedom was carried out, along with how the law works on Internet with civil societies and that the police need to do their own job. Nevertheless, the note was that vocabulary of cyber security is missing, and it should become a national security and of course the security is a huge problem. This problem is done due to the lack of new laws, by definition of what we mean by a single law treaty. Whom we should secure? What should be asked? In sentence of security importance, civil society. We really need a cyber security strategy, by introducing the legislation and laws throughout experience. In spite of vocabulary e should define and terms, such as, hacktivism and cyberterrorism. One important note was mentioned that we do not want global cyber security law. For more info of the session please visit the following link Reconciling freedom and security in cyberspace.

As we mentioned above the frustration was between the west and developing countries in sentence of digital divide. Also one note was that Sweden people trust to the government agencies, as well as that e-voting system in Sweden will help ICT to boost. The session where split into three parts:

Next day, the second day of the forum (SIF13) we have touched a facts about the free and open Internet and open communications. The second day I will remember forever for speech of the famous Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, which said very good quote “Cuba Internet on Internet” or another one is that if your relatives or you personally travel to Cuba bring the old and unused gadgets with you and leave them in Cuba or just give them, rather than you should just dispose them or throw them into the trash. For more info please visit the Summaries 2013 page.

In conclusion, I might say that the SIF 13 was very successful, as well as very important questions and topics were discussed. However, we should concentrate for the next year forum on more specific topics, either freedom or only a security. It is very difficult when we speak about freedom coupled with security. Does two topics are very linked and fragile. In the end, I would like to thank a lot to the organizers, .SE, Ministry for Foreign Affairs – Sweden and SIDA.