Cross Border Data Flows

The Internet was created from the ground up as a global entity.  This has created unprecedented creative and economic growth.  The flow of information, services and goods across borders has benefited global citizens in ways that no other technology innovation in past generations has.  This flow meets or exceeds most commercial, humanitarian, legal and law enforcement needs.  The i2Coalition is committed to ensuring this this continues.

Much of what we do centers around being a voice in the complicated world of cross border data flows. How different governments and jurisdictions set rules that impact the data that exists on the Internet’s infrastructure has great impact to business and commerce on the Internet.

Because cross border data flows cross many policy lines, we have developed a general structure to help those interested in the issue understand our viewpoint.  Simply put, public policy is best served when the light regulatory framework currently applied to data flows continues.  This framework has served businesses, people and government well over the past twenty years.  The challenges faced by society from changes created by the development of the Internet have been successfully understood, and addressed, by open, frank, discussions, and a bias towards consensus.  

In particular, cooperation between businesses, governments and law enforcement entities has overcome these challenges.  For example, cross border law enforcement access to data is challenged by the operation of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT).  Our members understand first hand how difficult operation of the MLAT process has become.  Difficulties associated with the MLAT process come from differing factors involved in processing requests that will benefit from embracing the innovation inherent in the operation of the Internet.  For example, standard methods of presenting information to infrastructure providers and understanding the limits of technology will alleviate many of the difficulties presented by the current process.

The i2Coalition firmly believes that bright line tests on cross border data issues lead to bad decisions.  Accordingly, we encourage those interested in the global impact of the Internet to engage communities involved in the operation and use of the Internet in an open dialogue.

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