We live in the age of digital expansion. Technology changes so fast. Technology changes the world faster than human would foresee it, even to understand it.
In 1991, the internet became publicly available through the World Wide Web and this technology fundamentally changed the world. 27 years after, a bit more than 50% of the world’s population is connected to internet and use it. This number is growing every hour, more and more people are getting connected through the world. 156 million e-mails, 16 million text messages, 452,000 Tweets are sent every minute all over the globe. Faster-than-light communication became a reality and none can ignore it.
The emerging technologies are shaping the present and the future of millions of people’s lives, robotics, self-driving cars, automated call centres, Internet of things (IoT), social media, AI are becoming part of daily routines, same for face and speech-recognition systems and AI-powered learning techniques that help predict, reinforce and possibly control behaviors. Progress is even faster. Online platforms connect today individuals, communities, organisations, societies from all continents.
New digital technologies offer huge opportunities and benefits for humans. However, the dark side of this new digital age affects in many ways fundamental rights and freedoms, disrupt the functioning of democratic institutions and overtake the legal frameworks, the standard setting and policies in countries around the world.
“Shaping an Internet of values” is the theme of the Summit for Accountability & Internet Democracy that will be held in the Hague on 31 May-1 June, organised by the Institute for Accountability in the digital Age.
The Summit will gather speakers representing a global multi-stakeholder community from national and local governments, international policy makers and institutes, NGOs, the ICT industry and platforms, as well as other relevant organisations. The Summit will focus on safeguarding the role of the internet as a tool of personal and social engagement, targeting concrete steps to increase access to knowledge, transparency, global common understanding, evidence-based trust and accountability, and thus to promote maximum sustainable net benefit for people and societies worldwide.
The Council of Europe is invited to attend this high-level meeting which expects conclusions and recommendations to shape global thinking and policy about accountability and democracy on the Internet. Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will address the Summit by a video message. Jan Kleijssen, Information Society and Action of Crime Director will represent the Organisation in the round “The State of Play in Accountability and Internet Democracy”.
The Hague Summit should become an annual event, encouraging the cross-sectoral, cross cultural dialogue which is indispensable for the shaping of a truly ethical, inclusive and empowering global Internet.
More information on our activities in the field of Internet Governance
Video message by the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland
Interview with Jan Kleijssen Director Information society and Action against crime