(No.136) Free cross-border flow of Internet traffic
Freedom of expression and free flow of information: how do legal framework, regulations, and principles impact this?
International law provides for the exercise and enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and access to information regardless of frontiers. Being a global network the Internet enables and facilitates the flows of information, content and services as well as people’s communications across borders. In this context it is considered important to have a free and unimpeded flow of Internet traffic. Part of the challenge in this area lies with the fact that there are differences in national regulatory and policy frameworks and approaches. How do legal requirements on providers of services or of essential numbering and addressing resources inhibit cross-border flows initiated by users of those services and resources? What is the impact on free flows of traffic and information where ISPs/electronic service providers are demanded to act against third party content or transmissions where alleged infringements of various kinds have occurred? What restrictions or measures on the Internet traffic in one country can have an impact on access to information in another country? The Council of Europe, pursuant to its Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015, will consider developing appropriate human rights-based standards to protect and preserve the unimpeded cross-border flow of legal Internet content. The OECD promotes the global free flow of information as one of the basic principles for Internet policy-making. Also, discussions on the cross-border flow of Internet flows may relate to the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations by the ITU. Major private sector players have called for international commitments to “expressly prohibit restrictions on legitimate cross-border information flows”. The objective of this workshop is to discuss challenges to the unimpeded cross-border flow of Internet traffic and to take stock of best practices.
Council of Europe and the European Internet Services Providers Associations
Mr Bertrand de la Chapelle, International Diplomatic Academy, France - MODERATOR
Mr Matthias Traimer, Head of Department, Media Affairs and Information Society, Federal Chancellery, Constitutional Service, Austria
Ms Anne Carblanc, Head of Information, Communications and Consumer Policy Division, OECD
Mr Franklin Silva Netto - First Secretary, Head of the Division for the Information Society, Ministry of External Relations, Brazil
Mr Michael Rotert - European Internet Services Providers Associations
Mr Iarla Flynn, Google Head of Public Policy for Australia and New Zealand
Mr Milton Mueller, Syracuse University
Mr Robert Guerra, Citizens Lab, University of Toronto