Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights - Taipei

‘Internet Infrastructure & Human Rights’ Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF)

Image from - 2016 Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum
More attention and understanding is needed on how our fundamental rights are complicated and affected by Internet architecture and infrastructure – as opposed to content and usage – as they have enormous impact on fundamental rights and democracy. Internet architecture concerns political and economic implications of design and administration of Internet; and various actors – such as Internet Engineering Task Force and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers; as well as Internet platforms, such as Google, Facebook, do in fact govern and mediate human rights on the Internet via their standard contractual clauses and Internet design (e.g, algorithms). Yet these actors and Internet architecture are mostly invisible in our everyday life. To broaden this understanding, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School, Dr. Monika Zalnieriute, has recently convened and moderated a panel on ‘Internet Architecture & Human Rights’ at the annual Asia – Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) in Taipei, Taiwan, 27-29th July, 2016.  With 500+ registered participants and speakers  - academics, policy-makers, industry and civil society - from over 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific,  APrIGF is a thriving place to exchange ideas and discuss the latest emerging issues. Next year, APrIGF will be hosted in Melbourne!

Dr. Monika Zalnieriute’s organized panel covered various aspects related to Internet architecture and human rights and the panellists included: Malavika Jayaram (Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong, China); Adam Peake (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)); Aarti Bhavana (Centre for Communication Governance, New Delhi, India); Makoto Yokozawa (Kyoto University and Namura Research Institute, Kyoto, Japan); and Arun Mohan Sukumar (Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India). More information about the event, as well as photo gallery, is available here:

The panel was convened as part of the bigger international collaboration project on ‘Internet Architecture and Human Rights’ by Monika 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 Internet Corporation for Domain Names and Numbers (ICANN). As a result of several panels like this one in Taipei as well as various discussions and roundtables, 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.

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