Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network

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[Read more session reports and live updates from the 13th Internet Governance Forum]

Opening the meeting Mr Bertrand de la Chapelle, Executive director of I&J Policy Network, introduced the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network and the main challenges it aims to overcome.  He noted that the international system is based on territorial sovereignty and sometimes it hampers cross-border flows of any kind. The policy network was designed to address this controversy in the digital sphere by reconciling three main objectives to preserve the cross-border Internet: fight against abuses, promote human rights and ensure a vibrant global digital economy. 

Mr Paul Fehlinger, Deputy director and Co-founder of the I&J Policy Network, provided the mission of the I&J Secretariat. It works to:

  • Connect the stakeholders. I&J has convened two Global Conferences on Internet and Jurisdiction and is currently preparing for the next to be held in April 2019
  • Inform the stakeholders. I&J maintains observatory and retrospect databases on Internet and jurisdiction issues, as well as produces global and regional status reports.
  • Advance the field. I&J has established three contact groups on Data, Content, and Domains and their interplay with jurisdiction.

Ms Luisa Paez, Senior policy analyst, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canadian government, shared the main outcomes of the second Global Conference on Internet and Jurisdiction, referring to the Ottawa roadmap that established the contact groups mentioned above and defined their mandate to develop proposals for policy standards and operational solutions.

Then three coordinators for the contact groups discussed in detail the composition of working groups inside the strands and the scope of the work.  Mr Robert Young, Legal Counsel, Canada, Department of Global Affairs, spoke on the Data  and jurisdiction group that deals with the access to user’s data. The group focuses on the development of a proposal that would harmonise different data requests and data orders formats through elaboration of tags that identify common elements in the different kinds of orders and requests for data in different legal systems and industries. The second issue for the group is mutual identification and the establishment of trustworthy points of contact for requests.  Mr Wolfgang Schulz, director, Hans Berdow Institute, supervises the group for content restrictions. They work on elaborating taxonomies that can be helpful to categorise them based on the degree of harmfulness of content. They are intended to be used by policymakers and platforms producing content. Finally, Mr Maarten Botterman, Director of GNKS Consult and ICANN Board member, presented the group dealing with domains suspension. They work on harmonising the vocabulary regarding the take downs of the domains in different jurisdictions. Also they consolidate the practical information regarding the notices on domain suspensions, where to send them, and possible automatisation of the process.

The results of multistakeholder collaboration inside the contact group will be presented in April to form the basis for the next  Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Networkin Berlin in 2019.


By Ilona Stadnik

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