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TTIGF 2020: Panel Sessions

Based on the community’s responses to the Call for Topics, these topics listed will be discussed at the TTIGF 2020. This section will be updated as more information becomes available.

Panel session – Should we host data locally vs internationally?

As data becomes the lifeblood of the modern economy, a growing number of countries are enacting barriers that make it more expensive and time-consuming, if not illegal, to transfer data overseas. Some nations base their decisions to erect such barriers on the mistaken rationale that it will mitigate privacy and cybersecurity concerns; others do so for purely mercantilist reasons.  We will discuss the pros and cons of these policies and strategies.

Panel Session – Trust in the Digital Age – Fake News and its Impact on You

The Internet, particularly social media, has changed the way we communicate. While it has made information more accessible to users, it has amplified the spread of misinformation. There have been several cases of “fake news” being circulated within Trinidad and Tobago and with general elections approaching, it is anticipated that this will only continue. The accessibility of information on social media gives it a democratising power which arguably contributes to the declining trust in traditional media. However, it can also be argued that a significant amount of information online is not factual as most fake news is spread through social media which as a result, erodes the credibility of the Internet. 

According to a Transparency International Report, 56% of persons surveyed from 18 countries in LAC, including Trinidad and Tobago think that fake news is often spread around elections. Politicians and business have recognised the strategic value of using social media to target voters, and this is done without any regulatory frameworks or laws to govern modern elections. Businesses such as SCL and Cambridge Analytica have exploited this freedom. 

For the purposes of this session, discussions will focus on the following:

  • How fake news can lead to defamation of character and amplify online bullying?
  • Should checks and balances be built into legislation to protect the freedom of expression?
  • Can fake news regulations be successful in curbing misinformation without threatening the rights and safety of journalists?
  • Should electoral laws be amended to reflect new technologies and the digital age?

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About TTIGF 2020

In 2020, while we, in Trinidad and Tobago, join the rest of the world in recognizing and celebrating some of Internet’s greatest achievements, we are also witnessing the Internet facing some of its greatest challenges.

Several experts have alerted us to the reality that the Internet as we know it today is being negatively impacted by global actors and rapidly being replaced by one that we will not be able to recognize if we do not take appropriate action NOW.

The very future of the Internet as we know it is at stake and the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG) is inviting all stakeholders – especially those who will carry the torch going forward – to participate in our 2020 Trinidad & Tobago Internet Governance Forum (#TTIGF2020) on 31 January 2020 to engage and discuss these developments and to actively set a platform for action for 2020 and beyond.