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Internet & Jurisdiction Project

THE CHALLENGE OF DIGITAL COEXISTENCE The Internet allows billions of people from diverse national jurisdictions to cohabit in shared cross-border online spaces. Transnational interactions become the new norm. As a result, more and more diverse social, cultural, religious and political sensitivities and applicable national norms have to co-exist in cyberspace. In particular, the emergence of global social media platforms, user-generated content and cloud services raises increasing questions of applicable jurisdiction. Potential conflicts of jurisdiction are proliferating regarding privacy, freedom of expression, consumer protection, intellectual property rights and security. A COMMON CONCERN FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS The present situation represents a rare issue of common concern for all stakeholders: companies find it hard to develop global Terms of Service respectful of a patchwork of national jurisdictions; governments face difficulties of enforcement and fear the potential trans-border impact of other countries’ jurisdictions on their citizens; civil society and NGOs are worried that universal human rights principles may be overlooked in the interaction between business and governments; and international organizations trying to establish principles in that domain fear they will end up competing against each other. No stakeholder group – let alone individual actors – can solve this conundrum of how to handle the digital coexistence of multiple and potentially overlapping normative orders alone and piecemeal solutions threaten the very nature of the Internet as a global network. NEED FOR A GLOBAL MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE PROCESS Transnational cooperation is required to enable Digital Coexistence in cross-border spaces, diffuse tensions and avoid fragmentation. Therefore, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project established a global, issue-based, multi-stakeholder dialogue process between states, International Organizations, companies, civil society and the technical community. The project provides a neutral platform to help framing the debate in a constructive manner and to facilitate the discussion on the elaboration of shared due process frameworks to govern interactions between governments, Internet platforms or operators, and users.
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace
Legal & Financial