WSIS TalkX (World Summit on the Information Society Conversations)

Cybersecurity: Online Educational Resources and Child Online Protection during COVID-19

April 07, 2020 WSIS TalkX Season 2020 Episode 1
WSIS TalkX (World Summit on the Information Society Conversations)
Cybersecurity: Online Educational Resources and Child Online Protection during COVID-19
Show Notes Transcript

Starting in April, the WSIS Team will host a weekly virtual WSIS TalkX the for the WSIS Stakeholders to interact, connect and collaborate. Preparing towards the WSIS Forum 2020, High-level Track Facilitators, Workshop Organizers, WSIS Prizes 2020 Champions and others will be conducting virtual interactive talks highlighting their linkages with the WSIS Action Lines and SDGs.

Join our first live session with Q&A on Cybersecurity: Online Educational Resources and Child Online Protection during COVID-19

Inauguration and setting the context of WSIS Action Line C5: 

  • Mr Malcolm Johnson - Deputy Secretary-General, ITU 

Moderator & Speakers: 

  • Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre (High-Level Track Facilitator WSIS Forum 2020)
  • Ms Merle Maigre - Executive Vice President at CybExer Technologies, Estonia (High-Level Track Facilitator WSIS Forum 2020)

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Mr Maximillian Jacobson, Senior Communications Officer, ITU:   0:02
Hello and welcome to the first WSIS TalkX on Cybersecurity: Online Educational Resources and Child Online Protection during COVID 19. At the request and motivation of WSIS Stakeholders, it's a pleasure for the WSIS team to organize these series of regular virtual WSIS TalkX for WSIS stakeholders to interact, connect and collaborate during this difficult time. The WSIS TalkX series will feature different themes each week with various speakers from experts, High-level track facilitators, workshop organizer's WSIS Prizes 2020 champions and others to highlight their efforts in implementing the WSIS Action Lines and SDGs. With a special emphasis on mitigating the social and economic consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic. We hope that this WSIS TalkX will lead to impactful partnerships and collaborations. We would now like to welcome Mr Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General of ITU to inaugurate this WSIS TalkX.

Mr Malcolm Johnson - Deputy Secretary-General, ITU:   1:12
Thank you for joining this first virtual WSIS TalkX. Normally, we would be enjoying the WSIS Forum with you all in Geneva this week. Since that is not possible, like many others, we want to use our technology to overcome the reflections on our life and work caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, and to provide the opportunity for our friends and the WSIS community to contribute to this fight against the virus, with practical suggestions and experience on how you're using the technology, to overcome the challenges we face. In times of crisis, perpetrators and criminals take advantage of the most vulnerable. So this first talk addresses child online protection and online educational resources. Therefore, very grateful to our two finalists who are joining us today, who are also WSIS Forum 2020 high-level track facilitators. Ms Marle Maigre, executive vice president at CybExer Technologies, Estonia, and Mr David Wright, director of UK Safer Internet Centre UK. Thanks very much for joining us. David has kindly also agreed to moderate this session. Thanks all for joining us on. I hope the discussion will in a small way help us meet the challenges we're facing. Thank you. And I'll hand over to David.

Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre:   3:01
Malcolm, thank you very much for the introduction. And also a warm welcome to everybody to this webinar. It is my pleasure to moderate and also to start off this particular session. So by way of introduction, my name is David Wright. I'm the director of the UK Safe Internet Center at the UK Charity SWGFl. I mean, it is also my pleasure to be one of the high-level track facilitators ai WSIS. So we're very much looking forward to that. As Malcolm says, you know, so it's great that we at least we can this week being that the planned date for WSIS, we can at least still have some engagement ahead of the anticipation of the actual WSIS later in the year. Like I say, I am at the charity SWGFL and the UK Safe Internet centre is a part of three charities in the UK. So we're one of 32 European Safer Internet Centres. We all pretty much do the same thing and that constitutes goes extensive of managing illegal child abuse content online nationally, operating as well, helplines, so supporting people and I'll come back to mention that in a moment and then awareness-raising. So trying to bring campaign resources services to national populations all to do with, safe on Internet, or being safer, that's safer online. In the organization as well, we support a lot of industries, industry providers, so we contribute to a number of global industry safety panels, safety councils across the world, where we were able to provide some suggestions, some supports, some guidances around particular policy on reporting. We advise on government policy whether that's around statutory obligation, statutory instruments to do with child protection or child online protection. Should I say as well as participating in publishing leading-edge at research in this particular field, too, it is perhaps the most relevant here. Over the last three years, two or three years, we've been working with the ITU, and that's both ITU Europe Office of Europe, as well as the Child Online Protection Group. It is the corp. Children Online Protection Group that I've had the pleasure of leading the review of their policymaking guidelines. So, these are a set of guidelines. The company published, they were published initially on some 10 years ago and there are four different versions of them for policymakers, the Children, the parents and for the industry. It's a set of guidelines they're intended to support those, those different groups with considering child online protection and measures the national measures and the things that they can actually do. Given they were published a while ago, we have been in the last four months undertaking reviews and updates to those. So from a policymaker guideline perspective. We are in to publish those next month on an event, an online event next month, so please look out, look out for that, and details too will be published on the corp pages of the ITU website.  

Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre:   6:38

Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre:   6:38
We've had the pleasure of supporting governments to with the cop Guidelines, so at two years ago, or three, Republic of Georgia, and then, more recently, Ukraine. So this is about advising and supporting using these guidelines the policymaking guidelines and doing national assessment reports, which of Herm of being particularly helpful. But we are, as Malcolm said, we're all here primarily here, in the situation that we're in due to the Coronavirus COVID 19. Haven't we seen such a dramatic change in our, you know, in our lives in everybody's lives? So that is perhaps through restrictions and through changes. It is with some astonishment that in most parts of people's lives have bean transition to be online and certainly that we, perhaps two or three years ago, that wouldn't have been, wouldn't be impossible, that the technology the connectivity wouldn't have been there to support that transition to be online. Whether that's learning, whether it's entertainment or indeed whether it, it may, well, it may well be socializing as well. And so it is with that context that we are so thankful on the benefit from the technology on the connectivity. But inevitably, and I'm going to say, we have particular child protection concerns at this time as well. Both child protection concerns physically as well as online as well. So with so many schools being closed and therefore Children being forced to stay at home and that that leads to its own issues as well. More recently, it was only last week. I was involved with a round table of organizations, charities and helpline service across the UK and sharing their experiences within the current situation and universally, that there was a reporting of increased, a lot of dramatic increases in calls for support and calls to particular services. And so our concerns are that those children who are being required to stay at home when some Children's lives homemade, not actually be a safe place, being forced now to be and to live with within those, those difficult circumstances. Schools might have been another organization as well, that may have been their safe places that they can no longer access, nor indeed, the service is that they ordinarily would access that they no longer have access to that as well. So those are the if you like the physical concerns that we have particular we're seeing at the moment.  

Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre:   9:47
Just before I go on, I should add, just for everyone's benefit. So I understand we got 120 people roughly on the webinar. So I shout out to the 120 of you. Thank you very much for participating. With this isolation and increased restrictions, people turning to the Internet and to being online that concerns around well being. So we inevitably will see and have seen an increase in screen time. So and we, uh, for just the UK perspective, last week, BT, the incumbent telecom provider reported a 60% increase in Internet traffic. So we are all now living most about living lives, living lives online, and so the increased screen time for us introduces concerns to it. So it is about their particular and particularly Children, not exclusively Children, but particularly Children, that the amount of screen time, the sorts of content, the sorts of contact, and it is the sorts of contact too. The national crime agency in the U. K. And I know this is shared across the world, only last week reported some 300,000 that sex abuses online and some of them as well reporting, and how can they exploit. I quote how to exploit school closures, which is clearly a concern and potential harm that is happening. And so, those schools migrating and moving or they're learning online. We to see that that's often happened without necessarily the usual safeguard measures, the usual things that you would consider around protections of Children. So what sort of content they all income that they will encounter. Suddenly, we're communicating with Children at home and the circumstances that they have at-home management of personal data. So a whole series of different things all of a sudden get introduced. So just as a quick signpost, it was two weeks ago, we published some guidances (, so trying to provide some help and some support around the sorts of things when considering, the considerations for safeguarding, particularly with Children, when it comes to exactly these sorts of things video conferencing, online or indeed merely asynchronous video, perhaps video streaming as well. More recently, we've done some compilation of video platforms and using some of the information to do from terms and privacy statements about the use, particular use of data.  

Mr David Wright - Director of UK Safer Internet Centre:   12:42
So from an organization perspective, the sorts of things that we are seeing, we operate three helplines. One helpline, we support those professionals within the UK so working with Children around on my safety issues, as well we put we earn provides the national UK National Reporting Center for legal but harmful content. There's been lots of coverage of that recently as well. And then, on behalf of the U. K government, we operate a helpline that supports victims of intimate image abuse so that is also in the media, probably more commonly referred to his revenge forms, where someone has their images shared without their consent. And in all three cases, we are seeing an increase in demand. So for the RP helpline, that's near on doubling, particularly to do with calls by a website and near on doubling of traffic and of calls to that particular, that particular help one. So we're very much feeling the effects of the situation and the isolation, perhaps many people will be feeling in the circumstances that they are, they're finding themselves. And so clearly child protection under the protection of the safety of everybody is from our perspective of paramount concern, right at the moment, I'm sure many of you may well be providing those sorts of service is to those communities as well, and I applaud those efforts. We have seen like, I say, a dramatic rise in website traffic along with people looking, like it's mentioned that information around safe, remote learning we've seen a dramatic rise in the last three days. We've typically seen two months with the website visitors to our website which is great, that we're able to provide information. So, like I say, that is a very short introduction to the ITU cut child online protection guidelines. Please do go and check those out with current versions and look out for the new versions that will imminently be published as well. The sorts of demand that we're seeing is as an organization, trying to manage and trying to support people with child online protection. It is my pleasure. Now, to, hand over to Merle, who was going to provide us with a particular case study from her perspective, from her organization to do with Estonia. Merle, the virtual floor is yours.

Ms Merle Maigre - Executive Vice President at CybExer Technologies, Estonia:   15:26

Ms Merle Maigre - Executive Vice President at CybExer Technologies, Estonia:   15:26
Well, David, thank you very much. And likewise, it is great to be connecting with the WSIS stakeholders virtually. I am also, one of the visits high-level task force facilitators and should have been in Geneva this week. But it's, uh, great to engage with you, um, via Internet and then hopefully looking forward to meeting you all, in September, in early September. Um, as I said, my name is Merle Maigre and I come from Estonia, where I keep myself busy with old things, Cyber. I have the privilege of having seen cybersecurity from many different angles. First, from the government perspective, where I used to work and now from the private sector perspective where I currently work as the executive vice president, we're an Estonia cybersecurity company called CybEcer Technologies. So I would like to share with you today, three thoughts from Estonia, in the digital experience of dealing with the COVID 19 global pandemic crisis. Why do that? Because well, around the globe, people are searching for innovative ideas to tackle problems created by the Coronavirus COVID 19. Countries are looking for solutions to combat the economic crisis. Countries are looking for solutions to manage pressure on the medical system, all the while, trying to ensure that normal life can continue as soon as possible. And I think a lot of the ideas that entrepreneurial Estonians have come up with, can actually be implemented more widely beyond Estonia and perhaps can serve as useful, um, at the global level. So what have we done here in Estonia? First, Estonia hacked the crisis. That was back in mid-March, on the same day that the Estonian government announced an emergency situation. On the same day, the minister of economic affairs launched a fully online hackathon called Hack the Crisis. What that meant was that over the course of 48 hours, more than 1000 innovators across 14 different time zones got busy mentoring, conceptualizing and clarifying various solutions. The hackathon produced projects that have already proved to be useful. For example, there is a state-backed chat board which has been providing Coronavirus information, answering questions such as, what are the travel restrictions, what are the movement restrictions, or how can I test for the virus? Additionally, a platform has been set up, that much is volunteers with people needing assistance. And another one helping companies share the workforce that would otherwise remain idle. Now a global hack is set to follow, actually tomorrow, starting from tomorrow, bringing onboard mentors such as the former president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, that was one example. Secondly, Estonia shares its online education experience with the world,  although, of course, no one can predict what will happen with our lives once the crisis is over. I think all signs suggest that online education will get a serious boost after our lives return to normality. The skills of Estonian students rank first in Europe, According to the OECD international survey called PISA. Estonian results show that the country has made some right choices, some right choices in its education policy. And the results also seem to suggest that, Estonia's education system is effective on the insurer's equity, that is compared to other countries. What is behind this first rank? Uh, I think digital skills play a central role, roles in Estonian education and digital solutions support learning as well as teaching. The success of the digital transformation of Estonia education system relies on thorough professional development and training of teachers as well as tech experts in education. In addition to teaching knowledge and skills in the digital field, Estonian education widely uses various numerous smart solutions, such as digital databases, digital textbooks, e-learning materials, digital Klaus diary, digital assessments, not to mention various applications and programs. So now Estonian, together with seven other Nordic countries, has opened up to share their digital education solutions for free. Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden have pooled together their digital education tools to support other countries' education system during the COVID 19 when schools are closed and everybody needs to get the education online.  

Ms Merle Maigre - Executive Vice President at CybExer Technologies, Estonia:   21:12
Thirdly, Estonia helps the world to boost its cyber hygiene at times of crisis. In today's digitally dependent society, people remain the most important link. And here the rule is simple. Independently of our jobs, of our age, our rebel level of responsibility. We all, everybody, each one of us needs some technological literacy at the individual level, if we want, not only to function well in a digital society, but also to make sure that we do not create risks to its by our behaviour. In Estonia, we call that Cyber Hygiene. As the COVID 19 virus has forced offices and schools to close, the Web remains our sole lifeline, often allowing us to work and to educate our kids. The number of people relying on online security has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are also aggressively making use of the situation. And we've seen, um, phishing emails and ransom where, DDOS attacks malware on data-stealing up supplied. And there's a really high number of all of that. To help battle this, Estonia is offering free online cyber hygiene training at ( It is available in 13 languages. This is an interactive site where everybody can learn and test their own personal cyber hygiene skills on preparing themselves better for the threats. The objective of my cyber hygiene course is to excess and decrease the risk coming from the user behaviour in such base. Because ignorance or simple carelessness when using our computers can bring about many problems, not only for our kids, but also us parents, for those schools, for our workplace or the entire country. So this 45 minutes online course results in a personal matrix, showing specific risk areas in different categories, such as personal attitude knowledge about security and technology, exposure to social media on corporate culture. At the end of each online session, each person gets recommendations on how to protect themselves better from specific cyber threats. So I just suggest everybody to check it out themselves. Check it out yourselves at ( Summing up as said, the heart of the technology is always a human factor. Cybersecurity, um, to my mind includes some essential individual components which are needed to function in a modern society safely and ethically. This concludes my intervention and remains open to questions.

Mr Malcolm Johnson - Deputy Secretary-General, ITU:   24:50
Well, thank you very much, David. Thank you very much, Merle. It is being really great that you've been able to talk to us all today and to provide your advice on how we can better protect children online. Especially important now, of course, that so many millions of Children are relying on it for their schooling as well as socializing. My thanks also to, of course, to all the participants. I think we had nearly 150 participants. Thank You'il for joining us. Thank you for your questions. If there are any questions that we didn't get around to answering within time, we'll try and get back to you with answers to those. And I am sure this talk will help us to better protect children online, and I look forward to doing my cyber hygiene course. The talk has been recorded and it will be available on YouTube and on the ITU website as a podcast, including a  transcript for those with hard of hearing. Now, tomorrow we have our second WSIS TalkX on how we're making the best use of the technology to help make the extreme health challenges of COCID 19. That would be starting at 16:00, 4 p.m. Geneva time, and it will be lasting 1.5 hours. So I hope you will be able to join us again tomorrow. Thanks once again for everybody being with us. Thanks, David. Thanks, Merle. Thanks, my colleagues running this talk this afternoon. Keep safe. Keep well. Hope to see you tomorrow. Bye!