WG 2 – Digital Development and Openness

The mandate of FOC Working Group 2 “Digital Development and Openness” ended in May 2017. This page holds a record of their work.

At the end of 2014, FOC Working Group 2 – “Digital Development and Openness” – reframed its work to focus on digital development and the rule of law. This Working Group seeks to provide a timely contribution by the FOC to new and arising challenges for promoting the respect for human rights online. WG2 is co-chaired by the Swedish government and Katrin Nyman-Metcalf.

Through better connectivity and availability, the Internet is fast becoming an increasingly important factor in generating economic growth, innovation and social development, worldwide. In parallel, a range of challenges and threats are also emerging online and to online freedom.

Many countries are looking for guidance in how to implement rule of law-based legislative frameworks* that can deal with emerging challenges on the Internet while respecting human rights and maximizing the impact of the Internet for social and economic development.

Some general properties of such rule of law-based legislative and regulatory frameworks are that laws are clear and comprehensible, apply to all without discrimination and operate with  a functioning judicial system and parliamentary oversight. Although the salient value of the rule of law at both the national and international level is now well recognized, actions to further strengthen rule of law principles and good practices rarely include Internet-related aspects.

Since the Internet “ecosystem” is constantly evolving, and considering its borderless nature, recommending specific regulation as best practice would quickly become outdated. Instead, a principled approach should provide policy guidance on how to develop and maintain legal and institutional frameworks for Internet governance while avoiding a level of detail of technical legal examples.

Furthermore, while legislative acts are relatively easy to adopt, practice shows that the required institutional infrastructure, and capacity to implement them, is more difficult to achieve.

Framing and activities
In this context, the WG seeks to, in a multistakeholder setting, explore ways to further strengthen rule of law principles and good practices in a way that addresses emerging challenges, respects human rights and maximizes the impact of the Internet for social and economic development. The Working group members will identify current challenges and areas for future research in furtherance of this aim through a blog series – please see below.

*The recommended rule of law principles should draw upon the internationally acknowledged UN definition on the rule of law (S/2004/616, S/2012/749 and A/RES/2012/67), OSCE commitments, and similar standard setting normative practice from international and regional organisations.

Structure and Membership
The work of the WG is carried out by its members. The Group consists of 13 selected individuals who will join the WG Co-chairs – the Swedish Government and Folke Bernadotte Academy – as well as other FOC country members who have expressed interest in participating in the WG. Non-members of the WG will be able to input into the WG at various points in the process through physical meetings and online. Activities of the WG will be supported by the FOC Support Unit.

Working methods and timeline
The bulk of the WG’s work is done remotely via email, with potential physical meetings on the margins of existing international events like the Internet Governance Forum.

Group decisions and approval of final outcomes will be 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


The Swedish Government is represented by Carl Fredrik Wettermark of the Swedish MFA and Dominique Gorska and Richard Zajac Sannerholm of the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

Carl Fredrik Wettermark is an advisor for Internet policy issues at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He co-founded a social media analytics company in 2006, after having worked as a systems developer in the Swedish and European Internet industry in the early 2000s. Between 2007 and 2009 he worked with capacity building projects for UNDP and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Rwanda, before joining the Ministry for Enterprise, Energy and Communications in 2009 to work on national and EU information society policy issues. He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2012 to focus on global cyber policy issues.

Dominique Gorska holds an LL.M. in International Criminal Law and currently works as a rule of law officer at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish agency for peace, security and development. Dominique has been working with policy, research and development within the area of rule of law and public administration in countries such as Liberia, Georgia, Kosovo and recently Ukraine. She has been active in developing analytical tools aimed at enhancing the implementation of international obligations, principles and standards on fair trial and local self-governance. She has also been engaged in innovative trial monitoring projects in the field of administrative justice and has previous experience from the International Criminal Court, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the United Nations and civil society organizations.

Dr. Zajac Sannerholm has experience from rule of law reform in fragile and conflict states, working as a researcher and adviser for international organizations, national agencies and non-governmental organizations. Assignments include research and programming on legal education, public administration reform and administrative justice, legal pluralism and rule of law training. He has published on a wide range of issues, including on UN peace operations and rule of law, legal transplants and legal transformation, criminal justice and administrative justice in crisis settings, and donor engagement in authoritarian countries. Zajac Sannerholm is the head of the Rule of Law Programme at the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). He joined the FBA in 2009.

CO-CHAIR: Dr. Katrin Nyman-Metcalf+

Professor Katrin Nyman-Metcalf is Professor of Law and Technology and Head of the Chair of Law and Technology at Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, lecturing in public international, EU and comparative law with a special emphasis on communications law. Her PhD (1999) in Public International Law (the law of outer space) is from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Professor Nyman-Metcalf´s research interests include how law and technology meet with special emphasis on IT and communications issues as well as outer space; international – global and regional – decision-making and the changing structure of governance; implementation of human rights and the rule of law. She has published widely on all these as well as related topics. Apart from her academic work, Professor Nyman-Metcalf is Head of Research for the Estonian e-Governance Academy as well as active as an international consultant primarily in the area information and communication technology law including e-governance. Projects include regular legal analysis of media and communications legislation for e.g. the OSCE and the European Commission; work on setting up regulatory systems and professional training especially for post-conflict societies; and support to e-governance.


The German government is represented by Peter Stentzler of the German Federal Foreign Office.


The Latvian Government is represented by Alise Zalite.

Alise Zalite works at the Human Rights Policy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. Inter alia, she is responsible for issues related to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms online.


The Moldovan Government is represented by Corina Călugăru.

Corina Călugăru joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova in 2004 and took diverse positions with increasing responsibilities from an Attaché to the Counselor within Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva and as current Director for Global Affairs and Human Rights Division of the General Directorate for Multilateral Cooperation. In her current position she is responsible for the development and cooperation with the Council of Europe, the proper transfer of the Council of Europe standards under European Union policy via application of the Association Agreement Republic of Moldova – EU, the coordination of international and regional human rights standards application in to the national system, coordinator for Freedom Online Coalition membership, contact point for anti-trafficking in human beings policies etc.

In other positions that she held, she coordinated different regional and political initiatives, as well as the EUBAM and the transnistrian conflict settlement.

Ms. Călugăru graduated from the State University of Moldova with a Bachelor of Law degree and a Bachelor in Economics, Banks and investments, and earned her Master degree in Law from the same University. She has followed NATO Security Studies from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania; European Training Course in Security Policy at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; and a series of trainings in human rights, multilateral diplomacy, and other areas of activity.


The US Government is represented by Matt Chessen and Jonah Hill.

Matt Chessen is a career Foreign Service Officer currently serving as the Coordinator for International Cyber Policy for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Matt leads regional efforts to promote an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free expression and innovation.

Prior to working in EAP, Matt served as a Senior Innovation Advisor in the State Department Office of eDiplomacy, where he led Department efforts to develop a platform for internal crowdworking. He also provided strategic advice to the Department on mobility solutions and cloud architecture requirements.

Matt served two years in Kabul as POLAD to ISAF-HQ Force Reintegration Cell, where he advised the two-star director of the FRIC and managed policy development and execution for the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program. From 2009-2010 he served in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs as a desk officer covering South and Central Asia. Matt served in Embassy Baghdad from 2008-2009 as a Political-Military Officer working on Weapons Removal and Abatement Programs, and as Vice-Consul. From 2005-2007, Matt was the Economic-Commercial officer at Embassy Monrovia where he developed and implemented the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program, an innovative initiative to re-introduce financial accountability to the Liberian Government.

Prior to joining State, Matt worked for Razorfish in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, managing large-scale web redesign projects and leading delivery management initiatives. Matt holds a J.D. from Georgetown and an M.B.A. from the Eller Graduate School of Management.

For more information, see http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattchessen/

Jonah Force Hill is an Internet Policy Specialist in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he works on a variety of national and international Internet policy issues, including global data flows, data privacy, cybersecurity, and intermediary responsibilities. He is also an Adjunct Fellow (non-resident) in the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C.
Previously, he worked as an analyst at Monitor 360, a San Francisco-based technology consultancy, where he advised corporate and public-sector clients on cybersecurity policy and strategy. He has served as teaching fellow for the course “International Cybersecurity: Public and Private Sector Challenges” at Harvard University; as an intern, consultant, and researcher in the Office of the Cybersecurity Coordinator at the National Security Council; and as a research assistant to General David H. Petraeus (USA, ret.). His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including Lawfare, Harvard Law School’s National Security Journal, the Atlantic, and the Georgetown University Journal of International Affairs. He holds an M.P.P. in international affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. in religious studies from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Susan Ariel Aaronson+

Susan Ariel Aaronson is a Research Professor at The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and the former Minerva Chair at the National War College.

Aaronson’s research examines the relationship between economic growth and human rights. She is currently directing projects on internet governance, trade transparency, repression and civil conflict, and rethinking labor rights in trade agreements. Her work has been funded by major international foundations including MacArthur, Ford, Rockefeller, governments such as the Dutch, Swiss, US, and Canadian governments, the UN, ILO, and World Bank, and US corporations including Ford Motor and Levi-Strauss. Dr. Aaronson is the author of six books and numerous articles on trade, human rights, digital trade, public private partnerships; globalization, corporate social responsibility; and public understanding of economic change. She is also a frequent speaker on globalization issues.

Renata Avila+

Renata Avila is a human rights lawyer from Guatemala. She worked as one of the lawyers representing the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Involved in Internet and Human Rights research since 2009, she joined Sir Tim Berners-Lee as lead of the Web We Want campaign at the Web Foundation, dedicated to preserving and upholding human rights, responding to threats to the future of the Internet. She currently serves as a Board Member of Creative Commons Board of Directors. She is also a member of Courage Foundation advisory board, assisting whistleblowers and sources at risk. @avilarenata

Shagun Belwal +

Shagun Belwal is a technology lawyer at SFLC.in (Software Freedom Law Center) in New Delhi, her work focuses on issues concerning Internet rights, intellectual property rights and the freedom of information. SFLC.in is actively involved in promoting innovation, and enabling open access to knowledge by helping developers make Free and Open Source Software, and protecting privacy and civil liberties for citizens in the digital world by educating and providing free legal advice. SFLC.in also works with policy makers, helping them make informed and just decisions regarding use and adoption of technology. Shagun was part of the team of lawyers representing Internet intermediaries before the Supreme Court of India in a landmark case that challenged the safe-harbor regime provided under the Indian legal framework. She is also working on issues related to net neutrality, software patents, freedom of digital expression.

Lisl Brunner+

Lisl Brunner is Director of Global Public Policy at AT&T, supporting the development and coordination of AT&T’s public policy positions on privacy and Internet issues. Prior to this, Lisl worked at the Global Network Initiative, first as Facilitator for the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue and then as Director of Policy and Learning. In these roles, she supported ICT companies in addressing freedom of expression and privacy rights in the context of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Lisl previously worked as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where her portfolio covered issues including counterterrorism and human rights and freedom of expression and the Internet.

Lisl has taught a Human Rights Practicum at Georgetown University Law Center, has published several articles on human rights issues, and is active in the American Society of International Law. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

Jessica Dheere+

Jessica Dheere is co-founder and executive director of Social Media Exchange (SMEX), a Beirut-based nonprofit that specializes in digital media and advocacy training in the Arab/MENA region. Since 2008, SMEX has developed more than 40 digital skills training and advocacy programs, helped advance several digital rights campaigns, and hosted regional events for technologists and advocates. SMEX also created and manages two online, Arabic-language platforms to make digital skills–building more accessible: NetHawwal.com, an online learning platform, and Tasharuk.net, a knowledge base and networking space for socially minded netizens.

SMEX also leads research on the emerging legal framework for free expression online and other digital rights in the Arab region and is a founding member of the Digital Citizen/Mouwaten Raqamy newsletter that tracks digital rights violations under Arab regimes.

A former arts journalist, Jessica has a master’s degree in media studies from the New School in New York and was a 2014 Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace.

Deniz Duru Aydin+

Deniz Duru Aydin is a Policy Fellow at Access, an international human rights organization that defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. Throughout her fellowship, she has worked on various issues of Internet governance, as well as digital rights in Turkey.

She is also a member of the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, working together with fellow members to increase youth engagement in Internet-related public policy issues.

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at New York University. She is expected to graduate in May 2015, with a double major in Political Science and European & Mediterranean Studies. Her thesis, for which she compiled an original data set using ICT companies’ transparency reports, focuses on internet freedoms and digital surveillance.

Paul Fehlinger+

Paul Fehlinger is the co-founder and manager of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project - a global multi-stakeholder dialogue process developing a transnational due process framework to enable the coexistence of diverse national laws in cross-border online spaces. He started working on Internet governance at Sciences Po Paris and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and is since actively engaged in various global Internet fora. Paul’s comments on Internet Governance were featured in news outlets such as Neue Züricher Zeitung, Die Zeit, Internet Policy Review and Deutschlandfunk.

Patrik Hiselius +

Patrik Hiselius, Senior Advisor Digital Rights, has been working with IT and Law in an international context since the beginning of the 90's. He has served as specialist on ICT regulatory matters, as company lawyer negotiating content contracts, as specialist in national
and international public affairs and, today, as to sustainability issues in general and freedom of expression and privacy in specific. His special focus has been on content related issues such as copyright, privacy, freedom of expression and various other liability matters, most
often in multi-stakeholder contexts such as: The EU Esprit research Project Imprimatur, a multi-stakeholder project which defined legal, technical, standards and business aspects on electronic commerce for content; The EU DG Internal Market multi-stakeholder dialogue on illegal up- and downloading; The formation of the Global Network Initiative (GNI); and the ‘Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy’ where a number of telecommunications companies have teamed together based on principles to support the duty to respect privacy and freedom of expression with growing understanding of stakeholder expectations. Today he works at TeliaSonera Group (www.teliasonera.com).

Ephraim Kenyanito +

Ephraim Kenyanito is a Policy Fellow at AccessNow.Org working on the connection between Internet policy and human rights and is also an affiliate at the Internet Policy Observatory (IPO) (at the Center for Global Communication Studies- Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania). He is also a member of the UN Secretary General's 2015 Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group on Internet Governance.

Previously, Ephraim worked on Democratic Governance, Human Rights, Transparency and International Development and Youth Engagement with a diverse-range of research and social development organizations (Transparency International, MercyCorps and Centre for Law and Research International among others), citizen media/ journalism, and Foreign Policy/ Regional Integration institutions (the East African Community Secretariat and the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade).

He is scheduled to graduate with a Law Degree in 2015 and has previous training in Internet Policy and Media Law from University of Oxford and University of Pennsylvania.

James Losey+

James Losey is a policy analyst and researcher. He is currently a doctoral candidate with the School of International Studies and the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University where his work includes researching comparative internet systems and civil society input in information policy. In addition to his doctoral research he is also an affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a fellow at X-Lab, and an affiliate at the Internet Policy Observatory. Previously, he was a policy analyst and fellow with New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, a Google Policy Fellow with the Global Network Initiative, and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication.

Marília Maciel+

Ms Marília Maciel is a researcher and coordinator of the Center for Technology and Society of Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School in Rio de Janeiro and a fellow of DiploFoundation. She serves as a councilor at ICANN´s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) representing the Non-commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). Marília was a member of the Executive Multistakeholder Committee, which took part on the organization of NETmundial, is currently a member of the Inaugural Coordination Council of the NETmundial Initiative and represents CTS/FGV in the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). She is also a member of the editorial board of PoliTICs Magazine. She is a former member of the Working Group on IGF improvements (2011-2012), created under the auspices of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN CSTD). Marilia is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC – Rio de Janeiro).

Andrii Paziuk+

Andrii Paziuk graduated from Zaporizhya State University with LLM degree in 1996. For 10 years he worked for the Parliament of Ukraine as legal adviser and MPs' assistant. In 1999 he founded NGO Privacy Ukraine and collaborated with the Council of Europe and Privacy International advocating privacy and access to information legislative reforms in Ukraine. He completed his PhD thesis devoted to transborder flow of personal data in 2004. His experience includes work for Ministry of Transportation and Communications as head of the analytical department in 2006-2008 and National Accreditation Agency first deputy in 2010-2011. As from 2012 Mr.Paziuk is a lecturer in the Institute of International Relations International Law Department. His current research interests as post-doctoral fellow in the Institute of International Relations (Kyiv University by Taras Shevchenko) include legal normative concept of digital freedoms from international law perspectives, and practical steps (remedies and redress instruments) to protect human rights online. As Council of Europe and the EU Joint project 'Strengthening Information Society in Ukraine' expert he undertakes two researches: 1) the implementation of CoE standards related to human rights and Internet in Ukraine context; 2) remedies and redress mechanisms for protecting human rights online: a practical application of the CoE Guide for Human Rights for Internet users. Ongoing activity includes elaboration of courses on Human Rights and the Internet for policy-makers, judges and massive online course for Internet users. Recent books: International Information Law (in Russian, 2013), Integration of Ukraine in the European Information Space (Council of Europe, 2014), International Information Law: theory and practice (Spring 2015, forthcoming).

Ben Wagner+

Ben Wagner, PhD is Director of the Centre for Internet & Human Rights at European University Viadrina. He is also a Visiting Fellow at TU-Berlin and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research focuses on freedom of expression, surveillance technology, Internet Governance and Internet foreign policy and has been published in Politics, Telecommunications Policy, JITP and the International Journal of Communications.

He was previously a post-doctoral research fellow at University of Pennsylvania and a Visiting Fellow at Human Rights Watch, Humboldt University and the European Council on Foreign Relations. He holds an M.A. in Political Science, International Law and Statistics from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and an M.Sc. in International Development Administration from the Universiteit Leiden.