In recent years, e-commerce has become an umbrella concept for many issues that matter in public policies, especially in the Global South, particularly on access, affordability, privacy, taxes to hardware, cyber- crime regulation, copyright restrictions. The WTO e-commerce agenda is inevitably complex: it includes far-reaching provisions on the cross- border delivery of services affecting privacy, data protection, consumer protection, cybersecurity and net neutrality, and new Internet-related IP rights in a digital context. They raise significant concerns for the Internet, its global infrastructure, and the right of governments to develop policies and laws that best preserve the free and open internet.

In this project, Opening Spaces for Digital Rights Activism: Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Burcu Kilic and Renata Avila researched how e-commerce and Free Trade Agreements affect digital rights.

The resulting report focuses on the impact of the global digital trade agenda on developing countries, mapping the threats and opportunities for digital rights organizations within the WTO’s e-commerce discussions and working to define a positive agenda and policy recommendations for future CSO engagement in trade negotiations.

Dynamic, easy to understand two-pagers were also produced from the report and were used to prepare civil society organizations in the global south for the MC11 in 2017 as well as future WTO discussions.

The goal of the report and wider project is to raise awareness, interest, and knowledge amongst digital rights CSOs to prepare them to engage strategically and collectively for the next Ministerial Conference, MC12.

To read the full report, please click below.