TeliaSonera at Freedom Online

This week the Freedom Online Coalition organizes the high level Free and Secure Internet for All conference in Tallinn, Estonia. TeliaSonera’s Patrik Hiselius is one of the some 400 delegates from all around the world representing governments, NGO’s as well as the private sector.

Freedom online panel discussion

Why is this conference so important?

It is a forum for dialogue between private sector, governments, NGO’s and other stakeholders. In Tallinn this week I meet many who proactively want to work on improving the situation of online freedoms.

What is your role at the conference?

I represent TeliaSonera and share our Freedom of Expression policy, which we understand represents the most elaborate and concrete policy and commitment in the industry to date. I also represent the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue along with a colleague from the French operator Orange.

How will you share your experiences?

I try as always to be relevant on twitter (follow @Patrik_Hiselius) through which I spread news about the conference and my own thoughts on the development.

Who do you meet?

I have met with organisations such as the CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. I have also had the opportunity to listen to Vint Cerf as well as presidents of Estonia and Georgia. I contributed in two panels. In addition to this I participate during lunch today in a special meeting with activists connected to the Freedom House, an NGO focused on Human Rights.

How will this meeting in Tallinn change the world?

The world is constantly changing, there will never be a single event which will dramatically change the world. Our work, based on our Principles on Freedom of expression in telecommunications, is a long term effort. If we are to be successful we have to take this beyond UN resolutions and policies, and that is when meetings like these are vital to exchange experiences and share best practice. TeliaSonera has a very important role to play here.

Are there any concrete outcomes of the meeting?

TeliaSonera has actively contributed to the document the Freedom Online coalition which 22 governments have signed in Tallinn. Among other things it calls upon governments worldwide to promote transparency and independent, effective domestic oversight related to electronic surveillance, while committing to do the same, and to collectively condemn violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms online.