The 9th Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) kicks off in Instabul, Turkey next week on September 2nd. Internet governance is a top policy priority for the i2Coalition and we look forward to actively participating as we have done in past conferences. Accordingly, I will be attending the IGF along with members Michele Neylon of Blacknight and Jay Sudowski of Handy Networks.
Our goals for the IGF are largely threefold. The theme of this conference is “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance.” A multi-stakeholder process is essential in any discussions for determining rules and regulations of the Internet. Equal participation of entities functioning on Internet governance is equally important to the overall discourse. The i2Coaliton will be there to reinforce the principles of multi-stakeholderism.
Our second priority at the conference will be to address attempts to broaden jurisdiction over data localization. By design, the Internet works to transfer data from user to user in a streamlined process, one inhibited from unnecessary interruptions between data and its intended arrival point. Expanding location-based oversight undermines how the Internet operates by adding layers of needless complication. Such regulatory overreach will not only decrease competition and quality of service, but run contrary to the spirit of freedom and innovation that are crucial to an open Internet.
One constant threat to a free and open Internet remains the question about whether communication platforms and providers are liable for the content posted by users. Indeed, the third priority for the i2Coalition at IGF is intermediary liability. Intermediaries are under increasing pressure by authorities internationally to address content on their networks or potentially be held legally responsible for it. Establishing a level of consistency across national borders that does not impede free speech or stifle innovation is important in global discussions about the Internet to protect intermediaries.
As Chairman of the i2Coalition’s Public Policy Working Group, I’m enthusiastically awaiting to engage in these discussions at IGF with my colleagues. If you have any thoughts or feedback on our priorities, please contact me by emailing [email protected].