Presentation Session 1 – Internet Governance as a Science Diplomacy Terrain
Modes of Internet Governance as Science Diplomacy: What Lessons for Europe from the US Experience?
Francesco Amoretti and Domenico Fracchiolla, University of Salerno, Italy
Many of the global challenges connect the world of science to politics. Health, economic growth, climate change are at the core of the strategies of States, OOII, NGOs and academic communities, spreading worldwide the activities of the Science Diplomacy. New challenge recently concerns the developments of digital environment – as resources and constraints – for diplomacy in the international arena. To better understand these transformations and how they could change the role of European Union in the transnational power relations, it is required a more careful analysis in comparative perspective.
This paper aims at developing a theoretical framework of analysis in order to elaborate a typology of models of Science Diplomacy within the processes of Internet Governance. The starting point is an investigation of the strategies and approaches adopted by the United States which have been showing the deepest knowledge of Science Diplomacy as Internet Governance dimension and the more accurate use of it. Proposing the USA approach as a possible model is therefore a preliminary step to define the EU strategies as one of the main promoters of inclusive and democratic internet governance. Indeed, there are three alternatives scenario in the years to follow. The first one is conceal a dangerous and broken cyberspace, ranging from criminal breaches in cybersecurity to cyberwarfare, including attacks on civilian infrastructures such as the power grid or water systems. In the second one some governments are better than others in preserving the Internet’s openness for security reasons. The result could be to cut off billions of people from internet access. In the third scenario the international community experienced a broad and unprecedented progress, with internet fostering more opportunities for social justice, human rights access of information and knowledge, growth, development and innovation. In order to realize an inclusive internet that is open, secure and trustworthy a systemic diplomatic approach needs to be created in the and by the European Union. The methodological plan of the research will include the individuation of the relevant variables and the operationalization the overarching principles. A comparative approach will be used to study the positions and the evolutions of representative governments of the International Community (USA, EU) expressing different vision of the Science Diplomacy in order to satisfy opposing interests. An internal – external dimension of analysis will be added, considering competing policy interests. Covering the national and supranational levels of the policy application, it will be controlled also the shared goals and possible differences between individual member states, compared to the high-level requirements of the EU institutions, which apply equally to all the EU member states collectively.
Framing Internet governance in the context of International Relations theory
Julien Nocetti, IFRI – French Institute of International Relations, France
In recent years, global issues connected to the Internet and its uses have vaulted into the realm of high politics. Among these Internet governance is now one of the liveliest topics in international relations. It has long been ignored and restricted to small silos of experts; however, the leaks disclosed by Edward Snowden triggered a massive response to the historical “stewardship” of the Internet by the United States, destabilized foreign relations and impacted geopolitics of cyberspace. Today, international politics has blended with individual actions (from Assange’s WikiLeaks to Snowden) and the development of multinational corporations in a way never seen before.
For International Relations scholars, the challenge is twofold. The first is to overlap Internet studies and International Relations theory. It seems evident that the tremendous development of the Internet is influencing the way international relations are practiced (Segal 2016). Different communities of practice from diplomats to hackers, to political campaigners to corporate data analysts have very different ideas of how ‘politics’ happens (Böhnke 2012; Daly 2012). Each of these groups brings with them their own normative frameworks and their own ideas about what communications, technology and politics are and should be. International Relations in particular still know little about these communities and would do well to understand them better. Foreign policy scholars tend to see the Internet as an important but not revolutionary development: in this view, it will affect some of the things that states did, but it is not a transformative development that is going to bring democracy, alter the balance of power or shift the agenda of world affairs in fundamental ways. By contrast, Internet scholars usually have greater confidence in its revolutionary potential, see the integration of markets, data, and individual platforms as a game-changer, and emphasize that states have to get up to speed on its implications. They are also (mostly) in agreement on the need for better global cooperation on many of these questions. The second challenge consists in developing a compelling narrative that frames the Internet in the wider context of International Relations theory. Technologies such as the Internet are by no means immaterial but rather an important strategic power resource which states routinely exploit to further their strategic, political, economic, and cultural interests. In the meantime, states are increasingly challenged in their sovereign prerogatives, and are struggling with the pace of technological innovation. In consequence a practice-based International Relations theoretical approach to the Internet requires building on the existing literature on technology in international relations (McCarthy 2011; Carr 2012; Mueller 2010; Rosenau & Singh 2002; Choucri 2012; DeNardis 2014; Drezner 2004) to develop relevant theory.
Together, a practice-oriented approach to International Relations theory and a better understanding of foreign policy in the age of massive flows of information and data can help better integrate digital technologies into the existing body of International Relations theory. This should in turn serve as a potential basis for foreign-policy makers to consider the Internet as an actual diplomacy subject and conceive ambitious Internet foreign policies.
Digital Constitutionalism: Global, Regional and National Initiatives to Entrench Digital Rights
Dennis Redeker, University of Bremen, Germany
The paper develops digital constitutionalism as a common term, which connects a constellation of initiatives that seek to articulate a set of political rights, governance norms, and limitations on the exercise of power on the Internet. We offer an overview of the core actors in the field of digital constitutionalism and a brief exploration of the processes by which these initiatives aim to entrench rights into law and practice. In the paper we discuss the changing sites of intervention and the recent focus on domestic and regional initiatives.
In the context of the current presentation I want to focus on changing levels of intervention. It can be argued that global initiatives for Internet bill of rights created a space for a discourse on digital rights that is now built on by regional and national initiatives. Hence, the argument goes that new levels of intervention and new actor constellations (generally closer to traditional political power) base their relative success on a matured conversation on digital rights that may be tracked back to John Perry Barlow’s anti-constitution of 1996. The next question – unanswered to date – is how national and regional successes like Brazil’s Marco Civil or the Italian Parliament’s Declaration of Internet Rights influence the global conversation in turn.
Presentation based on a paper with Lex Gill and Urs Gasser.
The paradox of globalised networks: internet governance between global consensus and local priorities
Julia Pohle, WZB – Berlin Social Sciences Center, Germany
For more than a decade, internet governance has primarily been conceptualised as a global affair, involving issues, actors and institutions that concern the coordination and regulation of internet-related policy problems and technical questions on the global and transnational level. More recently, we witness an increasing number of initiatives that emphasise the importance of internet regulation on the national or regional level, for instance through policies regarding digital sovereignty, data localisation, citizens’ rights or digital literacy.
Starting from this observation, the proposed paper argues that global debates on internet governance and regulation have always been marked by the tension between the inherently global nature of the internet infrastructure and the attempts to regulate public policy aspects according to national or regional priorities. Although internet governance discussions increasingly often take place in multistakeholder settings that involve diverse groups of actors, many aspects of internet regulations appear to be traditional topics for diplomatic exchanges in which national or regional representatives carefully negotiate a compromise between differing interests, needs and capacities, supposedly for the greater global good. The research question underlying this paper seeks to assess, both on the empirical and conceptual level, whether it is not exactly this discrepancy between the global nature of the network of networks and the diversity of national priorities and needs that causes many of the tensions underlying internet governance debates since the late 1990s.
Based on archival research and document analysis, the paper uses UNESCO’s various attempts to find a global compromise on internet-related issues (late 1990s until today) as examples that illustrate these tensions. UNESCO was among the first intergovernmental organisations in which diplomats sought to negotiate binding or non-binding text that would address the global aspects of the internet, while respecting the cultural diversity and different needs of member states. The empirical findings suggest that, within UNESCO’s internet-related debates, conflicts and disagreements among member states’ representatives reached their peak when the text under negotiation combined two different and seemingly incompatible objectives: the coordination of global policy aspects that concerned all countries and the regulation of policy proposals that only addressed the needs of some member states, e.g. developing countries.
In its last part, the paper frames these findings in a more general way and, inspired by work of Castells and Mansell, proposes to conceptualise them as the result of the paradox of globalised networks. This paradox consists in the problem that a comprehensive internet policy approach necessarily needs to account for the global nature of the internet and, at the same time, for the inequalities in a globally networked world in which not all countries are equally affected by the increasing digitalisation. By providing an alternative frame of interpretation, the paradox introduced in the paper allows us to not only better understand the conflicts in intergovernmental policy discussions about the internet but also the general tensions underlying global internet governance debates since the late 1990s until today.
Presentation Session 2 – Diplomacy at the Crossroads of Globalisation and Digitalisation
Digital rights and market in Free Trade Agreements
Maria Francesca De Tullio, University of Naples Federico II and Giuseppe Micciarelli, University of Salerno, Italy
Our research will observe the European Union acting in an emerging political dimension: a new generation of international Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). By now, a third FTA is being discussed – together with the CETA and the TTIP – i.e. the TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement), which intends to join 23 WTO members, including EU, representing the 70% of the global trade in services. Since March 2013, the procedure has counted 21 rounds of talks and an agreement, in September 2013, while many Parties have stated which markets are ready to be opened.
These FTAs aim to build areas of common market, through the lowering of customs and, overall, of non-tariffs barriers, especially the normative ones. Indeed, the lack of regulatory homogeneity is deemed to hinder the possibility of a single market, causing money and time expenditure. Consequently, FTAs pursue an harmonization effort which is going to modify the national normative textures, by affecting many fields, such as quality controls, technical evaluation rules or sanitary and labour law. Moreover, they are generating a shift of power on a transnational scale, since private subjects act as real negotiators, having an authoritative substance behind their formal corporate nature.
The task of this research is to focus on how TiSA will be affecting the Internet Governance, through its ‘e-commerce’ settlements, also involving net neutrality, access, source code and personal data . Indeed, technology is not a neutral force: depending on how it is regulated, it can pursue mere economic objectives or the free development of personality. The purpose of this study is to design a negotiation strategy for the EU, to combine economy with the Treaties’ engagement to protect human rights.
The contradictions of the free trade ideology are self-evident in the controversy regarding the net neutrality and the zero-rating, fuelled by corporate attempts to fill the digital divide with the sacrifice of freedoms (e.g. Facebook’s Free Basics). But even clearer are they in the fatiguing negotiations with the US over the personal data flow, also in light of the Schrems judgement.
Indeed, the Internet is now shaped by few US-based players, in breach of the informational self-determination, guaranteed by the European law, but also of competition, given the oligopolistic nature of that market. Under that frame, competition law is sometimes an indirect safeguard for human rights, but still an insufficient one. The ongoing negotiations, then, will be the occasion for Europe to address both competition and human rights concerns with a third way, under examination of European Commission: data sharing by default, as an opportunity to free the potential of big data, allowing its circulation, while ensuring a collective management of the data produced by the prosumers’ community.
Contested Understandings: Cybersecurity Governance
Louise Marie Hurel, The Brazilian Naval War College, Brazil
The recent Dyn attacks draws us to thinking again (and again) about how to deal with cybersecurity. The complex combination between actors, institutions, technological developments and contextual occurrences point to one central question: what do we refer to when we talk about cybersecurity? Rather than trying to define cybersecurity as a concept, this article seeks to develop a theoretical framework capable of addressing the relationship between governance mechanisms and cybersecurity. I argue that cybersecurity can be better understood through its conceptualization as cybersecurity governance, in the sense that it cannot be disconnected from the multiple actors, institutions and discourses. With that in mind, the general purpose of this work is to propose a shift in focus; framing cybersecurity as part of a complex continuum of governance mechanisms rather that a sectorial issue area. Cases such as the Dyn hack (in terms of scale) and the DNC (in terms of political impact) partially illustrate the complex relationship between actors, institutions, power asymmetries. That is why, greater focus will be given to how divergent perceptions about cybersecurity have been leading to rising tensions between the forms through which these different actors respond to threats. Finally, I argue that looking to cybersecurity as multiple governance processes allows us to understand how securitization, for example, is not a symptom of the growing distance between cybersecurity and Internet governance but, more importantly, how several different understandings of cybersecurity are being contested and embedded in a never ending process of tension.
The impact of information and communication technologies on a global participatory process
Jerome Duberry, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
Changes in technology and policy have extended the “chains of interdependence” (Elias 1937) across the globe. To address complex and often rapidly evolving global public issues that arise from this intensified international interdependence, states and inter-governmental organizations have turned to a variety of new forms of global governance, such as trans-governmental networks, highly specific hybrid public-private bodies, entirely private bodies of experts, and various club-like arrangements (Pauwleyn et al 2012). Most of these new institutional arrangements entail some level of public authority delegation to networks and expert bodies (Pauwleyn et al 2012; Kingsbury et al 2005), but also offer online platforms for members to exchange resources and participate remotely.
Traditionally marginalized actors, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and some developing states, have benefited from the generalization of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and gained access to resources that were once restricted to some developed countries. New ICTs enable these actors to easily coordinate their actions with other stakeholders globally, simultaneously and affordably. The implications of the generalization of new ICTs are part of a vast change of paradigm. Internet, social media, mobile phones, big data and cyberspace are transforming all aspects of human life and society in an ongoing process of change.
An increasing number of scholars analyze the influence of new ICTs on international affairs and global governance. However, few authors have examined how these new forms of low-cost participation (Leizerov 2000) influence the output of a decision-making process. As behavioral economics scholars argue, some cognitive bias influence decision-making processes (Kahneman, 2002). Since new ICTs imply a different context for the decision to be made, specific, if not distinctive cognitive bias influence the output of the decision. Similarly, developmental psychologists have showed that distance (temporal, spatial and social) influences the output of a decision-making process (Stephan, Liberman, & Trope, 2011).
After offering a brief interdisciplinary review of the main scientific literature, this paper will conduct a qualitative analysis of the online participation platforms offered by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for its members to exchange ideas and decide on new ICT standards. It will focus on the Study group 5 entitled “ICTs and the environment”, and Study Group 7 entitled “ICTs and smart cities”. It will compare the decisions made by states (developed and developing), businesses (multi-national corporations, small and medium enterprises) and NGOs (global, regional and local) online and in situ over the last 20 years.
At a time where more and more global institutions offer online platforms for their members to exchange information and make decisions remotely, it becomes urgent to evaluate and better understand the impact of ICTs on the output of decision-making processes, with the final objective is to suggest some recommendations for the design of future online governance arrangements.
National sovereignty, global policy, and the privatization of telecommunications
Claire Peters, Bristol University, United Kingdom
How does national policymaking that emphasizes state sovereignty fare in the age of privatized telecommunications?
Diplomacy between state and private actors takes on particular importance in Internet governance. In their direct coordination of systems integral to daily life, industry actors now take on many informal regulatory and norm-setting responsibilities. Legislative bodies must therefore enlist the cooperation of private companies if they hope to effectively address issues such as cybersecurity or intellectual property rights.
Previous telecommunications regimes were closely tied with national governments, such that they could coordinate with the interests of the state. The Internet, however, is a global medium, and its proliferation coincided with the privatization and deregulation of American and European telecommunications. Although the nature of their relationship has changed, policymakers often appear unwilling to recognize the new systemic circumstances which hinder their exercise of sovereign power over telecommunications.
To examine how countries adapt to this new situation, this paper takes as its case study the development, enactment, and consequences of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) lawful interception policies and their endorsement by the ITU. Attempts to reassert the traditional state-industry relationship are observable in both the development of the policies and the kind of relationship the policies mandate. The ETSI lawful interception policies are an expansion of those first proposed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1992. Facing national-level opposition from industry over the policy’s mandates, state actors commiserated with one another and reached consensus outside of official policymaking venues.
Through strong international pressure born from this policy laundering, telecommunications industries eventually capitulated. The policies themselves dictate that telecommunications companies not only adopt standards which assist in data collection, but also contact and cooperate with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the data collection mechanisms they are using suit the agencies’ interests and needs. Privatization altered the state-industry dynamic, but the turn to international fora brought with it the benefit of securing more complicity from telecommunications companies than law enforcement had previously enjoyed.
Seeking global solutions to national interests has proven problematic. The endorsement of this set of national lawful access policies by international standards organizations normalized the expectations states and telecommunications companies had of one another. Although the results were favorable to the regulatory bodies that had pushed for the policies’ adoption, they proceeded to decry the telecommunications companies which followed those standards as their businesses extended to countries such as Iran. The case of the ETSI lawful interception policies exposes states’ desire to enjoy the same benefits they had before the liberalization of telecommunications, as well as their shortsightedness regarding the international consequences of their actions.
The paper closes by examining a few potential solutions: the interweaving of international lawful access standards and human rights legislations, mechanisms for the inclusion of civil and industry concerns in policymaking processes, and greater consideration of technological contingency in the legislative process.
Presentation Session 3 – Case Studies of European Policy Diffusion
The struggle over Internet governance as a matter of policy diffusion: reflections on copyright and privacy
Katharine Sarikakis, Olga Kolokytha, Izabela Korbiel and Krisztina Rozgonyi, University of Vienna, Austria
In Internet Governance, not strictly technological but normative and cultural considerations constitute the fields of actions, negotiations – reactions and even conflict- at the level of States, but importantly also at the increasingly mobilised level of citizens and NGOs. In particular, the governance of infrastructure guaranteeing access and the governance of content signalling political and cultural freedom on the Internet has remained at the core of global policies where the EU has held leadership roles (but has also been seriously challenged), but also at the core of policy concerns by global expert and citizen communities.
The EU as a multi-level governance framework has been a primary subject for research on transfer mechanisms (Bulmer & Padgett, 2004; Bulmer, Dolowitz, Humphreys, & Padgett, 2007; Radaelli, 2000). Selected cases on policy transfer in the EU have been studied, especially in sectors that have undergone strict EU-level led governance on liberalisation and market opening (telecommunications, air transport and electricity). However policy transfer has played critical role in other matters that are of direct relevance to Internet governance, and the lessons of these cases could and should contribute to EU science diplomacy efforts.
The role policy transfer plays in shaping policy outcomes, while contributing to ‘policy success’ is potentially of great importance, as a matter of “good governance”. Detailed insights and expanded research into different forms of transfers, embedded and integrated in broader inquiries of globalization, and an understanding of what constitutes policy ‘success’ or ´failure’ in this aspect are crucial. The lack of distinctive factors in determining why and in what extent is ‘lesson drawing’ and ‘policy transfer’ contributes to ‘policy success’ is the focus of scholarly debates, some arguing „the risk of importing unidentified problems and unintended consequences“ (Duncan, 2009: 457) is inherent in those processes. Also, there is an articulated need for the development of clearer measures on ‘transfer’ and the assessment of the extent of ‘non-transfer’ (James & Lodge, 2003).
Using policy analysis as a method, our aim is to identify and analyse policy transfer cases relevant to Internet governance on emerging copyright as diffused in content policy debates and shaping cultural dimensions of users’ access to content, and privacy as a question of rights and condition shaping users’ participation online, we aim to sketch an outline of identifying the main factors of policy success, including the role of principles and ideas determining what constitutes a policy success or failure; we then synthesise the lessons of the cases and link them to EU good governance principles and policy success. On a second level the findings of this paper will be used as a basis for identifying factors that determine success or failure.
The EU and effective multistakeholderism in Internet Governance
Trisha Meyer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium and Jamal Shahin, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Vrije Universiteit Brussel Belgium
The European Union’s COMPACT (2011) promotes a multistakeholder approach to the processes surrounding the governance of the Internet. In subsequent years, EU policy statements show that it encourages participation of a variety of stakeholders in trying to get to grips with a common set of rules for the operating principles of the Internet. This paper will unpack the EU’s approach to the diplomatic (and policy) activity surrounding internet governance in a global context. The question addressed in the paper can be crudely stated as: “What does the EU know about multistakeholderism, and is it capable of contributing productively to this approach in the field of internet governance?”
The framework used relies on the growing literature on multistakeholderism and its relation to more state-led models of governance and diplomacy at the global level. Hailed by many as the alternative to state-driven control of the Internet, multistakeholder approaches to governance of complex issues are present in many fields. Notably in environmental governance (Rantala 2014) and labour standards (O’Rourke 2006) as well as internet governance. Fransen and Kolk suggest that multistakeholder approaches are used because of their potential to improve “consensus-building and sharing of knowledge and expertise, and consequently higher effectiveness” (2007: 668). This paper will complement literature on multistakeholderism with literature that provides critical examination of the EU’s own engagement with stakeholders for internal policymaking (e.g. Kohler-Koch and Quitkatt). We will assert that there is a natural link between the EU’s ‘internal logic of stakeholder engagement’ and its vision on multistakeholderism. As such, we hope to show that challenges noted in EU internal stakeholder engagement ring true for multistakeholder approaches, notably (a.o.):
1. Lack of clarity of the role of different stakeholders;
2. Selective participation of the stakeholders (and thus the diversity of knowledge/expertise that can be shared)
The approach of the paper will specifically address these two points by empirically analysing two examples of EU participation in the manifestation of multistakeholderism in global internet governance: the EU’s Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) and the EU’s High Level Group of Experts on Internet Governance. These two cases, which are designed to engage with different types of stakeholders, are useful for explaining what the EU wants from a multistakeholder approach and how productively they contribute to this approach. Interviews with key officials and stakeholders involved in both initiatives will contribute to the empirical analysis.
We expect to find that these initiatives are innovative and worthy explorations in getting to grips with multistakeholderism, and yet reveal a key set of assumptions on the part of the EU that are derived from their own internal processes of stakeholder engagement.
As a result of these findings, questions concerning the legitimacy and effectiveness of EU visions of multistakeholder processes emerge. The final part of this paper will reflect on the impact that an ‘imperfect’ multistakeholder approach has on concepts of legitimacy and democracy in a broader context.
European models for the governance of Media and Information Literacy (MIL): what lessons for Internet Governance (IG)?
Divina Frau-Meigs, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, France
Public policy-making about Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in Europe has become a very dynamic field since 9/11, with increased focus since the French terrorist attacks of 2015 and the sudden attention they brought to Internet and its social networks. In May 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions “on developing media literacy and critical thinking through education and training” and posited digital competence as “a crucial component of media literacy”. Increasingly the European Parliament and national governments have passed laws for MIL in lifelong learning, following a multi-stakeholder process where public, private and civic sector actors are expected to coordinate their actions for effective implementation. MIL has effectively been placed in DG CONNECT and the EU Digital Agenda while Internet Governance is lagging behind. Could the changing field of MIL governance inform IG diplomacy and foster its policy inroads?
This research paper examines the European governance of MIL drawing on governance theory in a networked society, in its application to policy-making (Prakash & Potoski 2015; Geyer & Cairney 2015; Bevir 2013; Hufty 2011). Multilevel governance is analysed in the context of European integration as the boundaries between supranational and domestic politics are increasingly blurred (Conzelmann 2008; Vedel 1999). In the context of the French National Research Agency (ANR) TRANSLIT project on which this comparative European research is based, the term governance has been problematized for MIL to account for the fragmentation of public decision-making together with the growing inter-dependence between state and non-state actors as well as national and supranational rungs of power.
The methodology used a scoping process to provide for on-going assessments of the local MIL situations. A non-linear approach to the actions and interactions between agents (decision-makers, non-state actors, etc.) with recognized activities (standard-setting, capacity-building, recording…) was used to parameterize the governance model (Koliba & Zia 2015). The 69 national experts in the 28 countries observed were also asked to evaluate if MIL will decline, maintain itself or develop further in the years to come. These scenarios were deemed necessary to establish potential diagnoses and point to better solutions in governance.
The findings suggest a 3D model for MIL governance, according to the stances chosen by the states: a Developing stance, a Delegating stance, a Disengaging stance. In the Developing stance, the policy framework is strong, with a full governance pattern assumed by the state as a driver of coordination and implementation. In the Delegating stance, the policy framework allows for mixed strategies, with a supportive framework that admits other stakeholders (mostly civic sector, NGOs…). In the Disengaging stance, the policy framework is limited, and non-public actors are left to their own initiatives about MIL. The conclusions call for an examination of similar patterns for Internet Governance and suggest robust criteria for diplomacy in terms of dealing with the tensions between intervention or disengagement, centralisation or regionalisation, fragmentation or unification, and civic sector or private sector devolution.
The diffusion of European values in the digital age: science diplomacy and the right to be forgotten
Jean-Marie Chenou, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
Recently, courts in different parts of the world recognized the right for individuals to request the de-listing of their personal information from web search results. The “right to be forgotten” epitomizes a number of issues raised by the regulation of digital markets. The digital era translates into an unprecedented production of data that is generally stored, aggregated, and treated by private companies. The introduction of new responsibilities for internet platforms is an important step towards the regulation of digital markets. It is an illustration of digital sovereignty that raises the issues of the balance between public and private authorities, and of the scope and space where regulation is implemented. The paper compares the emergence and implementation of the right to be forgotten in the European Union and in different Latin American countries and looks into the diffusion of this new right. Drawing upon the norm diffusion literature, it analyzes whether there is diffusion form Europe to Latin America and whether this diffusion is part of an active science diplomacy of the EU.
Presentation Session 4 – Internet Governance Facing Digital Disruptions
Opening the Black Box: The Search for Algorithmic Transparency in Europe
Rachel Pollack Ichou, UNESCO, France
Given the importance of search engines for public access to knowledge and questions over their neutrality, there have been many theoretical debates about the regulation of the search market and the transparency of search algorithms. However, there is little research on how such debates have played out empirically in the policy sphere. This paper aims to map how key actors in Europe have positioned themselves in regard to transparency of search engine algorithms and the underlying political and economic ideas and interests that explain these positions. It also discusses the strategies actors have used to advocate for their positions and the likely impact of their efforts for or against greater transparency on the regulation of search engines. Using a range of qualitative research methods, including analysis of textual material and elite interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, this paper concludes that while discussions around algorithmic transparency will likely appear in future policy proposals, it is highly unlikely that search engines will ever be legally required to share their algorithms due to a confluence of interests shared by Google and its competitors. It ends with recommendations for how algorithmic transparency could be enhanced through qualified transparency, consumer choice, and education.
Not fudging nudges: What Internet law can teach regulatory scholarship
Chris Marsden, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Behavioural or ‘nudge’ regulation has become the flavour of the decade since Thaler and Sunstein’s eponymous monograph. The use of behavioural psychology insights to observe changes in regulated outcomes from the ‘bounded rational’ choices of consumers has been commonplace in Internet regulation since 1998, driven by co-regulatory interactions between governments, companies and users (or ‘prosumers’ as the European Commission terms us). Nudging was so familiar to Internet regulatory scholars in the late 1990s that it came to be termed the leading example of the ‘new Chicago School’ by Lessig (1998), recognising imperfect information, bounded rationality and thus less than optimal user responses to competition remedies, driven by insights from the Internet’s architecture and Microsoft’s dominance of computer platform architecture. Thus recent ‘nudge’ concerns by regulatory scholars and competition lawyers echo 1990s concerns by Internet regulation specialists. It is a mark of Internet regulation’s specialisation in Europe, and mainstream regulation and competition law’s failure to fully absorb the insights of that scholarship, that in 2016 the debate surrounding nudges and privacy affecting competition outcomes has yet to reinvent the 1990s wheel of nudge limitations. Learning their Internet regulatory history can help competition and regulation scholars not repeat the lessons of the 1990s Microsoft case. The competition and regulatory aspect of attempts to direct user and market behaviour are a key empirical perspective for regulatory scholars. The Internet is a network and a real-time laboratory for the distribution and manipulation of information, which is why it is unsurprising that the adaption of that information to affect user behaviour has been a commonplace online throughout the history of the Internet.
Migrating Servers, Elusive Users: Reconfigurations of the Russian Internet in the Post-Snowden Era
Kseniia Ermoshina and Francesca Musiani, ISCC CNRS/Paris Sorbonne/UPMC, France
Since 2010, the Russian Internet (or RuNet) has undergone profound transformations, both technical and geopolitical, due to the recent adoption of laws that increase governmental control over the Net. A former Eldorado for pirates and hackers from all over the world, Russia is witnessing an unprecedented exodus, in terms of both a “brain drain” and a migration of infrastructures and content.
As Edward Snowden is currently on (temporary) asylum in Russia, number of scholars and journalists insist on the geopolitical meaning of this act and underline its importance within a global context of a “cold war 2.0”. Indeed, far from supporting Snowden’s fight for transparency of governmental data and for the freedom of Internet users, the Russian government acts in an opposite direction, gradually centralizing its surveillance over the RuNet. In response to the growing censorship, several tactics have been developed by Russian users and content producers: migration of infrastructures and “inner immigration” (a notion coined by soviet dissidents in order to describe various non-violent ways of avoiding governmental control, such as “samizdat”, underground meetings, encrypted communications etc).
Drawing from a body of literature in Science and Technology Studies (STS) that addresses the interplay of infrastructures and practices in digital networks, as well as the recent “turn to infrastructure” in Internet governance, our paper proposes an analysis of the RuNet’s recent reconfigurations, at the levels of both infrastructure and individual bricolages/local resistances (increased and diverse uses of privacy enhancing software, popularization of anonymizers, VPN services, DarkNet tools).
The paper builds upon empirical findings based on observations of a number of “cryptoparties”, on the interviews with Russian hackers and with expatriated journalists and developers who have had to move their content and infrastructures outside the Russian Federation, and situates this material by means of a brief analysis of Russian Internet legislation.
This work is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-ICT-2015, ICT-10-2015) under grant agreement nº 688722.
Shaping words to shape policy process: discourse coalitions in the Internet Governance ecosystem
Mauro Santaniello and Nicola Palladino, University of Salerno, Italy
Internet Governance is emerging as a new, important global policy domain. Within this domain, crucial clusters of issues are debated and addressed through multilayered and heterogeneous processes, whose complexity challenges the effectiveness of policy-making as well as diplomatic action. Notwithstanding the relevance of these issues, there is a total lack of consensus about how to define Internet Governance, and an ample margin of ambiguity regarding both the concept of governance and the technical “boundaries” of the Internet. This uncertainty depends on the highly controversial nature of the issues at stake. Since the early 1990s, in fact, different actors have strategically been producing different definitions of Internet Governance, in order to mark off sets of legitimated issues, actors and fora. In other words, definitions have been used as regulative resources activated by actors in their struggle for the governance of the Internet. For this reason, they represent traces of a power struggle that can be analysed through written documents, in order to outline policy and diplomatic strategies.
This paper investigates such definitional struggle during Internet governance negotiations and multistakeholder dialogue. In the first part, combining Hajer’s methodology of discourse analysis with the narrative policy analysis approach, authors present a historical reconstruction of different Internet Governance problematics (what is the main goal of Internet Governance? Is Internet Governance itself a problem? Why?). Four main discourse coalitions in the Internet Governance ecosystem are identified: 1) a neoliberal coalition, led by the US government and industry; 2) a sovereigntist coalition, led by the Russian and Chinese governments; 3) a constitutional coalition which gathers several civil society associations and International Organisations; and 4) a developmentist coalition, composed by some developing countries that conceive the Internet just as a tool for development. In the second part of the paper, categories previously developed are used in order to map the effective composition of coalitions in the context of the World Summit on Information Society +10 (WSIS+10) review process in 2015, a focal point of conflict in the Internet Governance global arena. A content analysis of documents presented in five different stages of the WSIS+10 review process is applied in order to shed light on the process by which actors coalesce around common narratives and eventually produce discursive orders.