The GovLab Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance: Issue 39

//The Selected Curation of Articles on Net-governance (the SCAN) is a weekly digest on internet governance news, reports, and events produced by the Governance Lab @NYU (the GovLab) as part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project. The SCAN is cross-posted weekly from the GovLab on the Internet Policy Observatory. The original posting of the GovLab SCAN- Issue 39, August 22, 2014 can be found here.

This week’s highlights:

  • The ninth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place from September 2 – 5, 2014.
  • ICANN has released a proposed revision to its Bylaws that would require a two-thirds majority vote for the ICANN Board to reject Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) advice.
  • The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) of ICANN has released a report detailing and explaining the history and management of…

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IGF Boycott Statement

Yaman Akdeniz and Kerem Altiparmak explain their decision to boycott the 2014 Internet Governance Forum. This letter was originally posted on Cyber-Rights.Org and can be accessed here

The objective of each annual IGF programme is to maximize the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of idea; to build capacities amongst all stakeholders and benefit from the multi-stakeholder perspective of the IGF. The 2003 WSIS Geneva Declaration on Principles reaffirms “as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

The Ninth Annual Internet Governance Forum (“IGF”) Meeting will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 2-5 September 2014. Let us briefly explain why we decided to boycott IGF…

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Internet Policy Formation in Latin America: Understanding the links between national, regional and global dynamics

//Hernan Galperin of the Universidad de San Andrés and Carolina Aguerre, general manager of the LACTLD, discuss their ongoing research on the emergence of internet policy in Latin America.

Brazil is widely recognized as a global leader in the internet policy field. But what is going on with other countries in the region? Following the revelations about widespread network surveillance by security agencies, internet policy issues have become much more prominent in national policy agendas in Latin America. Governments from Mexico to Argentina have started initiatives to address surveillance, privacy, network neutrality, and many of the other complex issues in internet policy. What do these initiatives have in common? Are they guided by similar principles and incentives? Are the national policy dynamics similar? Are there similar configurations of policy actors?

In this research project we seek to understand the incentives and dynamics of the emerging internet policy field in Argentina, Mexico and Costa Rica. Although internet governance has been persistently in the national agenda of Brazil – particularly after the creation of the CGI in 1995, it was until very recently a relatively obscure topic in most national policy agendas in Latin America.  As such, debates were limited to specialized government agencies, a few academics and a handful of NGOs. Today, in the post-Snowden scenario internet governance debates reach the highest policy levels and are prominently covered by the general media. The NETmundial event is a case in point: not only was it organized by Brazil but it was attended by delegations from the overwhelming majority of Latin American countries, most of them headed by ministers or secretaries of state.

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The ‘Balkanisation’ of Russia’s Internet

//Alexandra Kulikova analyzes the current situation of Russian internet regulation. This post was originally posted on openDemocracy Russia on May 19, 2014 and can be found here.

Most reactions from the expert community to recent government initiatives affecting Russian internet regulation bring to mind an old joke about the difference between an optimist and a pessimist: while a pessimist moans and groans that, ‘It can’t possibly get any worse!’ an optimist happily reassures him ‘Oh yes, of course it can!’

For the last few years, the Russian government has been developing an arsenal of regulatory tools devised for Russia’s online space. Starting with a series of laws aimed at child protection and combating piracy, it has recently moved on to blocking online access to alleged extremist content. This has been broadly seen by commentators as another attempt to impose control over an online space, which had developed fairly organically for two decades (on 7 April 2014, the RuNet celebrated its 20th birthday).

These regulatory moves have been recently followed up with a law requiring popular bloggers to register as media outlets; and a set of anti-terrorist laws – introduced into the Parliament as a response to the Volgograd terrorist attack in December 2013 – requiring online platform operators to retain user communications data for up to six months. A bill requiring almost the same of telecoms is also being considered.

Tightening the digital screws

From 1 August 2014, bloggers whose websites have over 3000 followers/visitors per day (the methodology of calculation is not clearly specified) will have to register as mass media outlets. In effect, this imposes…

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