WG 1 – An Internet Free and Secure

The mandate of FOC Working Group 1 “An Internet Free and Secure” ended in May 2017. This page holds a record of their work.

As cybersecurity becomes a critical issue on the international agenda, there is a growing need for an informed debate on the relationship between governance, security, and fundamental rights and freedoms online, involving all stakeholders.  In this context, the working group (WG) “An Internet Free and Secure” seeks to bring a human rights framing to ongoing debates on cybersecurity and aims to develop, through multistakeholder dialogue, meaningful outputs that feed into existing processes.

Framing and activities

In the above context, building on the Tallinn Agenda and the outcomes of the NETmundial Conference, the WG seeks to add value to the ongoing work on cybersecurity done elsewhere. During the WG’s first in-person meeting on the margins of the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul and subsequent online discussions among members, the activities that the WG will be carrying out include:

(1) Refining the definition of cybersecurity

As of December 2014, WG members have come to an agreement on the following working definition of cybersecurity:

PREAMBLE: International human rights law and international humanitarian law apply online and well as offline. Cybersecurity must protect technological innovation and the exercise of human rights.

DEFINITION: Cybersecurity is the preservation – through policy, technology, and education – of the availability*, confidentiality* and integrity* of information and its underlying infrastructure so as to enhance the security of persons both online and offline.

*as defined by ISO 27000 standard.

Note: The text of the definition was updated on September 2015

(2) Mapping cybersecurity – developing a visual overview of relevant global spaces where cybersecurity debates are taking place

As a step towards facilitating greater stakeholder engagement in cybersecurity debates, the working group has conducted a mapping exercise to identify main global spaces where cybersecurity is being discussed. The main objective of this exercise was to raise awareness among the broader community. The final output of the exercise was a visual timeline of relevant global spaces where cybersecurity debates are taking place which can be accessed here.

(3) Advancing the normative debate on cybersecurity

In order to advance the normative debate on cybersecurity, the Group decided to develop a set of recommendations that promote greater stakeholder-driven and human rights respecting approaches to cybersecurity. These recommendations are being developed with the aim to provide guidance to all stakeholders involved in cybersecurity matters, and in particular those involved in developing and implementing cybersecurity policies and frameworks. They are being designed to encourage stakeholders to incorporate the protection and promotion of human rights in all matters related to cybersecurity and to ensure that cybersecurity policy is rights-respecting by design.

(4) Blog-series – exploring spaces where cybersecurity is being discussed and avenues for engagement

In a further effort to raise awareness about relevant forums and processes where cybersecurity debates are taking place, the group agreed to issue a blog series that would serve as a platform to explore in depth the existence, relevance, and status of various spaces where cybersecurity issues are being discussed. The blogs will cover a range of topics related to cyber security including discussions taking place at the ITU, the UN, the London Process, NATO, OSCE, WSIS, the IGF,  and other forums. The blogs will be a way to share this information with the broader community and highlight potential avenues for greater civil society engagement.

The views expressed in these blog posts represent the views of individual authors, and do not represent the views of the Freedom Online Coalition or its members.

Structure and Membership

The work of the WG is carried out by its members. The Group consists of 14 selected individuals who join the WG Co-chairs – Simone Halink from the Dutch Government and Matthew Shears of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) – and other FOC country members who have expressed interest in participating in the WG, currently Canada and the United States.

Non-members of the WG will be able to input into the WG at various points in the process through physical meetings and online. Please check this page and our social media feeds for updates. Activities of the WG are carried out in correspondence with the ToR and will be supported by the FOC Support Unit.

Working methods and timeline

The bulk of the WG’s work is done remotely via email. Working group members may decide to meet on the margins of existing international events like the Internet Governance Forum.

Group decisions and approval of final outcomes is made by consensus among group members.

At the fifth annual FO Conference in Mongolia, the mandate of the WG has been renewed until the next annual FO Conference to be held in 2016.


Governmental Non-Governmental

Co-chair: The Netherlands+

The Dutch Government is represented by Carmen Gonsalves, Head of the Task Force for International Cyber Policy, and Floor Swart, Policy Officer at the same task force, of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Co-chair: Matthew Shears+

Matthew Shears leads the Global Internet Policy and Human Rights Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT).

At CDT, Matthew focusses on Internet policy and governance, cyber-security, surveillance and human rights. He has represented the organization at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) +10 review and the World Telecommunications Policy Forum (WTPF). He has also participated in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the Freedom Online Coalition and, most recently, the Brazil NETmundial meeting.

Prior to CDT, Matthew was the Internet Society's first Public Policy Director, a member of the UN Secretary General's Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group on Internet Governance and has worked for AT&T, Seattle-based broadband satellite start-up Teledesic and Cisco Systems.

A UK national, he received his MSc in European Studies from the London School of Economics and his BA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

United States of America+

The US Government is represented by Seth Bouvier.

Seth Bouvier works in the Secretary's Office at the U.S. Department of State, in the office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. He focuses on issues at the intersection of cybersecurity, human rights and Internet governance. Previously, Seth spent two years working on Internet freedom in the Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, after joining in 2011. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California Los Angeles and a B.A. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College.


Canada is represented by the Democracy Division at Global Affairs Canada.

Analía Aspis+

Lawyer specialized in ICT with focus on privacy and Internet governance (Faculty of Law - University of Buenos Aires) Master in Law, Security and Criminality on New Technologies (University of Lausanne - Switzerland). She is a PhD researcher at the Swedish Institute of Law and Informatics (University of Stockholm - Sweden) and the The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). Researcher on Internet of Things at the Law Institute Ambrosio Di Gioja (Faculty of Law - University of Buenos Aires) Author, speaker and professor on ICT technologies and social sciences. Responsible for Argentina Hub for Internet Governance. Founder of the NG Internet and Society.

She is also a correspondent for the Cyber Security Capacity Portal, Oxford University, UK; on the Advisory Committee of the Global Internet Policy Observatory; Member of the Advisory Committee, European Commission; Public Analyst for Wayna Consulting and Co-chair of the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (http://internetgov-cs.org/)

Rafik Dammak+

Rafik Dammak is an engineer, working and living in Japan. He is member of the steering committee for the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles /1net, representing civil society. He has been involved in ICANN community as an individual user member of the NCUC(Non-commercial users constituency), a former elected GNSO Councillor for the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group, ICANN nomcom member in addition to his participation in several ICANN WGs like the new gTLD applicant support where he was the co-chair of the cross-community WG on Internet Governance.

He was elected recently as chair of the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group.
He is working on improving awareness and capacity building about Internet governance in Tunisia and MENA in general.

Eileen Donahoe+

Eileen Donahoe, Director of Global Affairs at Human Rights Watch, represents HRW worldwide on human rights foreign policy, especially with respect to Internet freedom, security and governance. Donahoe previously served as the first US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. She has been a scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Her research focused on Internet freedom and security, international norms governing use of force, UN reform, and ethical justifications for humanitarian military intervention.

In her earlier career, Donahoe was a technology litigator at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley. Donahoe holds a BA from Dartmouth, MTS from Harvard, MA East Asian Studies from Stanford, JD from Stanford Law School, and Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from GTU at UC Berkeley. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Camille M. François+

Camille François is a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. Her work addresses the building of cyber-peace, the politics of cyberwar, along with related public policy issues in cybersecurity, surveillance, privacy and robotics. A Fulbright Fellow, she is also a visiting scholar at Columbia University's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, where she consulted for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on cybersecurity.

Previously, Camille worked at Google, managing cross-media market research and key privacy and policy trends. Camille holds a Master's degree in International Public Management from Sciences-Po Paris, and a Master's degree in International Security from the Columbia School of Public and International Affairs. Her work and opinions have been featured in media such as Scientific American, WIRED, The Guardian, and the BBC. She volunteers as a Digital Advisor for Libraries Without Borders, working on digital literacy for refugees and co-organizes the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC).

Sacha van Geffen+

Sacha van Geffen is the Managing Director of Greenhost, a Dutch web hosting company, dedicated to provide a sustainable Internet infrastructure and to protect digital civil rights.

Sacha has a background in Science and Technology Studies (STS), Artificial Intelligence and Law. From his work and background he can relate to the technical as well as to the social and political aspects of technological change. Sacha has been involved in Internet freedom technology since 2001 and through this work connects to many organizations and people working in the field of Internet freedom technology, and users working in hostile Internet environments. He is co-author of Basic Internet Security – a manual primarily for journalists on securing online communication – and a participant in the broader effort to build more secure systems.

Mallory Knodel+

Mallory integrates a human rights, people-centred approach to communications and technology solutions for social movements and organizations around the world. She is the communications manager for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), a member of May First/People Link’s steering committee and on the executive board of eQualit.ie.

An American living in Montreal, she has worked on communications, technology, resource mobilization and governance for grassroots organizations in Bolivia, Brazil, France, Mexico, Palestine, Senegal, and the UK. She has used and promoted free software for over 13 years and considers herself an activist and a hacker. Her history of community organizing with social justice groups also extends beyond a decade.

Tim Maurer+

Tim Maurer co-leads the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on cyberspace and international affairs, with a concentration on global cybersecurity norms, human rights online, Internet governance, and their interlinkages.

Maurer also served as a member of the Research Advisory Network of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, co-chaired the Advisory Board of the Global Conference on CyberSpace in The Hague, and developed the Global Cyber Definitions Database for the chair of the OSCE to support the implementation of the organization’s cyber confidence-building measures. He co-authored “Tipping the Scale: An Analysis of Global Swing States in the Internet Governance Debate,” published by the Global Commission on Internet Governance, speaks frequently at international conferences and is regularly featured in international media. Prior to joining Carnegie, Maurer was the director of the Global Cybersecurity Norms and Resilience Project at New America and head of research of New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. He also gained experience with the United Nations in Rwanda, Geneva, and New York focusing on humanitarian assistance and the coordination of the UN system.

Stefania Milan+

Stefania Milan (stefaniamilan.net) is a researcher, writer and activist whose work explores the intersection of digital technology, governance and activism. She is Assistant Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam, where she leads a research team exploring the politics of big data and datafication (data-activism.net), with funding of the European Research Council.

Stefania holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute, Italy. Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam, she worked at the Central European University, Tilburg University, and the Citizen Lab/Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

She is the author of Social Movements and Their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013/2016) and co-author of Media/Society (Sage, 2011). She represents noncommercial internet users in the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). As a consultant, she has worked for, amongst others, the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and the European Commission.

Chris Riley+

Chris Riley is Senior Policy Engineer at Mozilla, working to advance the open Web through public policy analysis and advocacy, strategic planning, coalition building, and community engagement. His portfolio encompasses a broad range of domestic and global Internet policy issues, including net neutrality, Internet freedom, Internet governance, telecommunications, spectrum, security, data, and intellectual property. Previously Chris worked as a program manager at the U.S. Department of State on Internet freedom, a policy counsel with the non-profit organization Free Press, and an attorney-advisor at the Federal Communications Commission. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Tatiana Tropina+

Tatiana Tropina is a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. In this capacity she has been involved in both legal research and various applied cybercrime projects at the international level, such as cybercrime study for the Global Symposium of Regulators (ITU, 2010), UNODC Comprehensive Cybercrime Study (2012-2013), research on the illicit financial flows and digital technologies for the World Development Report 2016 and others. Her areas of expertise include international standards to fight cybercrime, digital investigations, self- and co-regulation and public private partnerships to address cybersecurity issues, and the multi-stakeholder approach to cybersecurity. Tatiana has a number of publications to her credit, including a monograph on cybercrime. She holds a doctoral degree from the Far Eastern Federal University (Russia) and Master’s degree from the University of Strathclyde, UK.

Vladimir Radunović+

Vladimir Radunović is a director of e-diplomacy and cybersecurity educational and training programmes of DiploFoundation. Prior to this, he has coordinated the Internet governance and policy programmes since 2005. Vladimir also served as a Member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2012-2014. He has actively participated in the global process since World Summit on Information Society in 2003, and has been a lecturer and a speaker in number of online and in-situ professional educations and trainings in Internet governance worldwide. His professional focus is on capacity development and online learning, broadband and access policy, cybersecurity and Internet safety, network neutrality, open Internet and end-user rights, e-participation and e-diplomacy, Internet governance process and negotiations. He holds an MSc in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade and a Master degree in contemporary diplomacy from the University of Malta with thesis on e-diplomacy, and has undertaken a PhD programme in cybersecurity. He was born and lives in Serbia.

Vidushi Marda+

Vidushi Marda is a Programme Officer at CIS, working primarily in the areas of internet governance, freedom of expression, privacy and openness. She is particularly interested in network neutrality and also in understanding how algorithms impact the information we consume. She graduated in 2015 from Christ University with a degree in arts and law.