Proposal

APrIGF 2024 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya
Email
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Tech Global Institute
Designation
Executive Director
Gender
Female
Economy of Residence
Bangladesh
Primary Stakeholder Group
Civil Society
List Your Organizing Partners (if any)
Neeti Biyani
Senior Advisor, Policy and Advocacy
Internet Society
biyani@isoc.org
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Regulatory Resilience in the Age of Internet Fragmentation
Session Format
Panel Discussion (60 minutes)
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
In recent years, there have been increasing concerns among civil society, advocacy groups, and businesses about the myriad ways in which the Internet is being fragmented — from blocking Internet gateways to imposing legal restrictions on international data transfers. Policymakers in the Asia Pacific region have faced significant criticism for imposing rules that risk fragmentation. To mitigate this, many experts and business executives have demanded that countries adopt universal playbooks, and some have even suggested that countries emulate the EU or U.S. models to reduce regulatory discrepancies and reduce compliance costs. However, others argue that homogenization of regulatory norms risks weakening sovereignty and resilience of online communities, and only benefits corporate interests. Countries like India and Singapore have favored more divergent regulatory options, while Australia and Japan have advocated for more collaboration and consistency in governing the Internet.

The panel discussion examines the tradeoffs between strengthening national sovereignty through diverse regulatory frameworks, and Internet fragmentation. By bringing together experts from government, private sector, academia, and civil society, the panel challenges the assumption behind norm-building, regulatory homogeneity and the risks of building isolated online communities. Specifically, the panel will examine the Washington and Brussels effect on APAC governments and question whether universal playbooks can, in fact, reduce the risk of fragmentation, or could ultimately undermine regulatory resilience through over-harmonization.
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
This year’s APrIGF touches on both the evolution of digital ecosystems and the principles that govern them with hopes to build more consensus around responsible technologies. The panel discussion fits directly into this year’s theme by: (a) taking stock of different regulatory options in APAC and examining how they fit into global frameworks; (b) examining the tradeoffs between replicating regulatory models and establishing country-specific rules; (c) outlining principles that advance community resilience, while calling out those that risk fragmentation; and (d) providing an opportunity for consensus-building around Internet governance principles, particularly with emerging technologies like AI. The session also demonstrates the importance of multistakeholder, cross-regional approach to Internet governance by bringing together experts from different backgrounds.

The outcome of the panel discussion is an APAC-focused white paper on building regulatory resilience in Asia Pacific and the Global Majority while avoiding Internet fragmentation. We believe the white paper will be an important conversation starter between civil society organizations and policymakers to build consensus on regulating global technologies that have a highly local impact.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 minutes Introduction and context-setting by the moderator on the tension between global Internet fragmentation and national policymaking approaches
10 minutes Each panelist receives 2-2.5 mins to share their take on Internet fragmentation, and why governments should or should not agree on universal playbooks
15 minutes Panelists discuss a principle-based approach to achieve regulatory resilience to address and mitigate Internet fragmentation – including adaptive frameworks, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and the need to balance adaptability and specificity.
5 minutes The moderator identifies common themes based on the panelists’ feedback and outlines them, followed by a single round of panelist feedback to shared principles.
20 minutes Audience Q&A
5 minutes The moderator wraps up the conversation and outlines next steps, including inviting participants to provide input to the white paper.
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Neeti Biyani
    • Organization: ISOC
    • Designation: Senior Advisor, Policy and Advocacy
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Technical Community
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://www.internetsociety.org/author/biyani/
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Sabhanz Rashid Diya
    • Organization: Tech Global Institute
    • Designation: Executive Director
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Asia Pacific / Bangladesh
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://techglobalinstitute.com/members/sabhanaz-rashid-diya/
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: David Kaye
    • Organization: University of California Irvine
    • Designation: Professor of Law
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: United States
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Invited
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/kaye/
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Audrey Tang Feng
    • Organization: Government of Taiwan
    • Designation: Minister of Digital Affairs
    • Gender: Non-binary
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Taiwan
    • Stakeholder Group: Government
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Invited
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Tang
  • Speaker 4

    • Name: Jeff Paine
    • Organization: Asia Internet Coalition
    • Designation: Managing Director
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Singapore
    • Stakeholder Group: Private Sector
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://aicasia.org/about/
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
The panelists were selected because of their longstanding experience and expertise on regulatory intervention and innovation, and diversity of backgrounds. Internet fragmentation is a contested issue and we believe the different positions of the panelists will contribute towards a rich dialogue. Please find short bios below:

Neeti Biyani is Senior Advisor, Policy and Advocacy at the Internet Society. She advocates for an open, global Internet globally, with a keen focus on South Asia. She developed and led ISOC’s work to defend against Internet fragmentation. She is also involved with community mobilization and public advocacy with a view to promote digital rights facilitated by a seamless Internet.

Audrey Tang Feng is a Taiwanese politician and free software programmer who has served as the first Minister of Digital Affairs of Taiwan since August 2022. Their portfolio includes social entrepreneurship, youth engagement and open government, and they are known for their significant contributions in revitalizing global open source communities.

David Kaye is a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In addition to his academic work, he is the Independent Board Chair of the Global Network Initiative and a Trustee of the global freedom of expression organization, ARTICLE 19. His 2019 book, Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet explores the ways in which companies, governments and activists struggle to define the rules for online expression.

Sabhanaz Rashid Diya is the founder of Tech Global Institute, a tech policy nonprofit focused on advancing equity and accountability for the Global Majority on the Internet. From 2019 through 2023, she headed public policy for Meta in the Asia-Pacific region, and brings 20 years of experience in shaping technology regulations in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a visiting policy fellow at Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

Jeff Paine is the Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition, a leading industry body that advocates for effective regulatory changes for the internet economy. Its members include both U.S. technology companies like Meta, Google and Uber, as well as Southeast Asia companies like Grab. He is Singapore-based and brings over 28 years of experience at leading multinational corporations, including Visa, Microsoft, Reuters and the Royal Bank of Canada.
If you need assistance to find a suitable speaker to contribute to your session, or an onsite facilitator for your online-only session, please specify your request with details of what you are looking for.
Not applicable
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2024.
No
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2024?
Yes
APrIGF offers live transcript in English for all sessions. Do you need any other translation support or any disability related requests for your session? APrIGF makes every effort to be a fully inclusive and accessible event, and will do the best to fulfill your needs.
Not applicable
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    Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)
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      I agree that my data can be submitted to forms.for.asia and processed by APrIGF organizers for the program selection of APrIGF 2024.