Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights

‘Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights’ at ‘Computers, Privacy and Data Protection’ Annual Conference in Brussels, 29 January, 2016

Panel Internet Architecture Human Rights

Post-Doctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School, CMCL, Dr. Monika Zalnieriute, has recently moderated a panel on ‘Internet Architecture & Human Rights’ at the annual ‘Computers, Privacy and Data Protection’ conference in Brussels, Belgium

Computers, Privacy & Data Protection * International ...

CPDP is a non-profit platform originally founded in 2007 by research groups from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Université de Namur and Tilburg University.
This year titled ‘[In}visibilities and Infrastructure', ‘Computers, Privacy and Data Protection’ – or ‘CPDP’ as it is better known - is a non-profit platform originally founded in 2007 by research groups from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the Université de Namur and Tilburg University and has now grown into a platform carried by 20 academic centres of excellence from the EU, the US and beyond.

The panel on 'Internet Architecture & Human Rights' was but together by Dr. Monika Zalnieriute and her colleague Dr. Stefania Milan, an Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam, who also works with Monika within the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) towards strengthening of the human rights protection within the Internet Corporation for Domain Names and Numbers (ICANN). The panel ‘Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights’ covered various aspects related to Internet Architecture, Governance and human rights, and the panellists included: Sophie Kwasny (Head of Data Protection Unit, Council of Europe), Stephanie Perrin (University of Toronto), Corinne Cath (University of Oxford), Niels ten Oever (Article 19), Dr. Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam) and Monika herself. A special issue of the journal 'Policy & Internet,' published by Oxford Internet Institute, is in the workings: co-edited by Dr. Stefania Milan and Dr. Monika Zalnieriute, and will include articles from the panel interventions and more. Read the abstract of the panel below.

Panel ‘Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights’ Abstract

There is a growing recognition among a variety of members of the international Internet community that the Internet architecture, including names and numbers, standards and protocols and related policies, might have human rights implications, in particular with respect to privacy and data protection. At the same time, the articles of incorporation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – the body responsible for Internet’s names and numbers – bind the organization to operate in conformity with international law, including respect for privacy, data protection and free speech. Dedicated working groups to explore these challenges have thus emerged within both ICANN and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This panel will connect the debate within those organizations with the CPDP expert community to spur a much-needed discussion on the implications of technical decision-making on users’ privacy, data protection, free speech and participation in the definition of these key policies. In particular, the panel will consider the following questions:

  • What is the role of the different communities within the multi-stakeholder model governing Internet Architecture for the protection of human rights, and personal data protection and free speech in particular?
  • Who in the community is to ensure accountability for personal data protection within Internet Governance circles, such as ICANN and IETF?
  • What is needed to improve accountability for human rights protection within the Internet Architecture?
  • What are the privacy challenges in designing a global policy framework for the WHOIS (system that asks the question: who is responsible for a domain name or an IP address)?
  • What is the current status of the discussion on the WHOIS and how is it possible to participate in the policy-making processes of WHOIS?

Every year CPDP brings together academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry and civil society from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues and trends. Dr. Monika Zalnieriute will work towards establishing collaboration ties and strengthening cooperation between the CPDP, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Law School in particular.

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