DescriptionHow to address the tension between the cross-border nature of the Internet and a patchwork of national jurisdictions is one of the biggest challenges of the digital 21St century. To preserve the global character of the Internet, we need to collectively develop innovative cooperation mechanisms that are as transnational as the network itself and guarantee interoperability and due process across borders. Failure to do so might result in a re-fragmentation of cyberspaces along the boundaries of national territories.
The Internet & Jurisdiction Project facilitates since 2012 a pioneering global multi-stakeholder process that actively engages over 100 key stakeholders from around the world, including governments, major Internet companies, technical operators, civil society groups, leading universities and international organizations.
The mission of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project is the following:
1) It facilitates the ongoing and neutral multi-stakeholder process to address this common challenge by fostering dialogue, building trust and enabling multi-stakeholder cooperation. This is complemented by raising awareness about the challenge through outreach at various key Internet governance spaces on all continents and capacity building through the dissemination of knowledge and trends through the Internet & Jurisdiction Observatory, our network of leading scholars.
2) As a first outcome of the ongoing global multi-stakeholder process, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project facilitates the development and implementation of a modular multi-stakeholder cooperation ecosystem to guarantee due process across borders. The transnational framework will provide a “policy standard” for the submission and handling of cross-border requests regarding domain seizures, content takedowns and user identification. Key actors have endorsed the draft architecture. The next step is the collaborative development of an operational pilot.
The Internet & Jurisdiction Project has, with a very small Secretariat and limited resources, managed since 2012 to successfully engage a critical mass of key stakeholders from the global North and South in the ongoing process, gained a very high level of visibility in various Internet governance spaces and raised the global awareness about the need for cooperation.
Now, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project requires stable, balanced and appropriate funding to fulfill the expectations the different stakeholders entrusted it with. To provide the ongoing, neutral space for dialogue and to enable multi-stakeholder cooperation in order to develop and implement operational solutions, the need for contributions in 2016 is estimated at 1.1 million USD.
Alignment with the NETmundial PrinciplesThere are today technical organizations for the Governance OF the Internet (ICANN, IETF, W3C etc.), which enable “globally coherent Internet operations”. The Internet & Jurisdiction Project enables the development of new cooperation mechanisms for the governance ON the Internet, i.e. to handle the digital coexistence of diverse laws in cross-border online spaces.
The Internet & Jurisdiction Project contributes to the implementation of Section IV of the NETmundial Roadmap by providing a neutral multi-stakeholder process to address “jurisdiction issues and how they relate to Internet governance”. Following the Internet governance process NETmundial principles, the Internet & Jurisdiction Project enables the development and implementation of operational solutions to maintain the Internet as a “unified and unfragmented space” in a collaborative manner, in order to protect human rights across borders and to provide mechanisms for small and large intermediaries that operate cross-border online spaces.
Alignment with NETmundial Initiative's Mission & ScopeBy supporting the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, the NETmundial Initiative would directly contribute to the further development of the “Internet governance ecosystem to produce operational solutions” by addressing the “jurisdiction issues”, a key topic highlighted in the NETmundial Roadmap. The Internet & Jurisdiction Project provides the Secretariat for an “issue-based governance network” gathering the relevant stakeholders to collaboratively develop solutions to their common problem, in line with the notion of “distributed governance groups” mentioned in the Report “Towards a Collaborative, Decentralized Internet Governance Ecosystem” chaired by President Toomas Ilves. Moreover, through the Internet & Jurisdiction Observatory, it builds capacities through the detection of trends and dissemination of research concerning the jurisdiction issue. Finally, the pioneering methodology of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project also illustrates how intersessional work and the Internet Governance Forum can complement each other in such enhanced cooperation efforts.
Project's #hashtagInternet Fragmentation, Cooperation, Multi-stakeholder, Jurisdiction, Digital Coexistence, Transnational Due Process, Governance ON the Internet
Funding requirementsUS$ 1100000