WSIS: Day One

Cyberlaw: An Asian Perspective


With the growing proliferation of technology, there is a need for effective legal frameworks to combat cybercrime. However, the issue of cyberlaw is complex, spanning a myriad of inter-related but distinct issues – cybersecurity; privacy; data protection; social media; Internet of Things, etc.

The thematic workshop ‘Cyberlaw: An Asian Perspective’ convened an expert panel – Tim Unwin, Secretary General, CTO; Ram Narain, DDG, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India; Pablo Hinojosa, Strategic Engagement Director, APNIC; Francesca Bosco, Project Officer, UNICRI; Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, and President of – to discuss the challenges and opportunities in drafting legal frameworks for cyber activities in Asia.

As Asia’s technology boom continues, there is a greater need for effective legal frameworks on cyber-related issues. Yet Asia is a diverse region comprised of multiple cultural and economic backgrounds. The region needs to define common minimum standards if cyber legislation is to be effective; as cybercrime is rarely confined to national borders, interoperability is key to harmonizing regional frameworks and moving away from the ‘islands of cyberlaw’ paradigm.

One key issue that panellists noted was the speed at which technological innovation moves relative to legal frameworks. This delay means that the general public must be educated about the need for effective data protection and security at an individual user level. But this security must be user friendly and available to everybody.

C7. E-health: Social Media: Putting the ‘Public’ Back in Public Health


“Connectivity is the foundation for e-health.” Today, social media plays a large role in the dissemination of health information as Joan Dzenowagis, Senior Scientist at WHO, noted when she opened the thematic workshop, ‘Social Media: Putting the ‘Public’ Back in Public Health’.

The expert panel –  Monika Gehner, Department of Communications, WHO; Chantal Claravall, Department of Communications, WHO; Helge T. Blindheim, Department of Health, Norway – discussed how social media is both a platform through which to frame public debate and a means to motivate public engagement on health related issues.

Panellists agreed that both of these functions relied first and foremost on attaining a level of trust with followers and supporters. Using a social media code of conduct founded on the idea that you are “always an international civil servant on social media,” WHO built follower’s trust from the inside out.

Once this trust has been established, social media channels can be used for a variety of purposes: to protect institutional reputation, as rumours can be stopped by tweeting or posting a factual statement; to frame and align people’s perception with actual risk; and to influence and elevate the discourse on public health as exampled by the #toilets4all campaign.

Social media is a dynamic tool that is an effective means to engage support for public health initiatives in the field such as #HealthHeartHealing, or to engage public opinion and gather feedback on evolving policy ideas before they are published as showcased by ‘samveis’ from the Department of Health, Norway.

Video Highlights – Day 1

This summary provides a snapshot of two panels – ‘Cyberlaw: An Asian Perspective’ and ‘C7. E-health: Social Media: Putting the ‘Public’ Back in Public Health’ – held on Day One of the 2015 WSIS Forum. These discussions, together with the full days’ programme, is available to watch via the WSIS web archive

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