The goal of the MAPPING project (Managing Alternatives for Privacy, Property and Internet Governance) is to create an all-round and common understanding of the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large. MAPPING specifically investigates and debates the existing innovation policies, business models and legal framework related to the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the changes needed to set up an improved governance structure for the EU innovation ecosystem. For the purpose of pursuing its goals, MAPPING had a strong presence at the 9th annual Internet Governance Forum last month.
Internet Governance Forum 2014
"There is considerable interest in the MAPPING project and the fact that it is rapidly highlighting the major issues and opportunities that need to be progressed. We are starting to capture and consider these within MAPPING with a view to populating our roadmap. We appreciate people want a better understanding of our plan/roadmap and its highlights, but it is still too early to speculate what they will be. Technology is complicating the situation; today’s challenges are around cloud and mobile, tomorrow’s will include LISP and NFV, both of which will put further demands on identity management and authentication. My personal view is that identity & access management will become more critical than ever for trust and the management of collaborative risk on the Internet, and no one has disagreed."
The United Nations organized its 9th annual Internet Governance Forum meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 2-5 September 2014 (IGF 2014). The overarching theme for the meeting was: "Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance". With the WSIS Tunis Agenda having given the IGF the mandate to discuss emerging Internet Governance issues, IGF 2014 has been able to play a role in facilitating timely policy debates at a key moment in the Internet governance landscape. The IGF meetings serve as an open forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on issues of Internet Governance, bringing together academia, the technology sector, policy makers, and experts from all over the world. IGF 2014 was attended by more than 2500 participants and focused on issues including policies enabling access, content creation, dissemination and use, the Internet as engine for growth & development, the future of the Internet ecosystem, digital trust issues, Internet and human rights, critical Internet resources and emerging issues in Internet Governance.
MAPPING at the IGF 2014 in Istanbul
Throughout the entire Internet Governance Forum the MAPPING project featured at an exhibition booth of one of the MAPPING partner organisations. All interested attendees were therefore able to find out more about the project, get materials or have a chat with a MAPPING representative.
The MAPPING Policy Observatory - which aims to establish a monitoring tool for policies and initiatives concerned with the three core problem areas of the project (Privacy and Intellectual Property and Internet Governance) - was presented during a roundtable titled Working together: initiatives to map & frame IG. This platform was very useful in finding ways for the MAPPING Policy Observatory and the other initiatives discussed there to learn from each other and avoid mistakes and hurdles already encountered. The participants also agreed on strategies for future cooperation, which would lead to a more structured, “diverse and robust network of initiatives to map and frame IG.”1
MAPPING’s main event at the IGF 2014 was an engaging roundtable discussion on the protection of human rights on the Internet on the morning of Thursday, September 4th.
"Participants in the Round Table approached us with a lot of informal feedback after the session ended. Although a number of people are visibly new to the concepts of “parallel universes” or an international treaty to further regulate the Internet and have yet to understand how these would work, it is clear that issues raised by the MAPPING project have struck a chord. It is worth remembering that before the IGF was established, there was much international discussion as to whether there should be an international treaty governing the Internet. Now, in 2014, nearly ten years after WSIS 2005, some have argued that the IGF has not advanced Internet Governance anywhere near enough, especially given that it would appear that on-line surveillance is disproportionate and overly intrusive vis-à-vis privacy. Perhaps it is now time, especially if IGF does not deliver the desired level and type of governance, to consider the options offered by a new multilateral treaty governing the Internet which, complemented by new technological approaches, would assure the future of Internet spaces open to all but where privacy, security, freedom of expression and other human rights are better protected than they are today."
Prof. Joseph Cannataci
Roundtable: Alternative Routes Protecting Human Rights on the Internet
Since its first months the MAPPING project has been researching if “parallel universes” in cyberspace could be a solution for promoting human rights. The objective of creating spaces within cyberspace where European values on privacy and other human rights may be applied could conceivably be created by technological or legal means.
In the IGF, the MAPPING consortium aimed to take this debate further with as many Internet Governance stakeholders as possible - from Europe and beyond. The questions explored by the roundtable included: How can we have human rights embedded in the current Internet structure? Are there technological or legal solutions to this issue? Would a “Schengen cloud” human rights Internet, as suggested by French and German leaders, be the solution? How would others see such a possible space?
The roundtable was moderated by Alfonso Alfonsi (vice-president of CERFE) and speakers included Joseph Cannataci (University of Groningen), Patrick Curry (Director of the British Business Federation Authority), Bogdan Manolea (Executive Director of the Association for Technology and Internet), Nevena Ružić (Vice-Chair Consultative Committee of the Council of Europe Convention 108), Meryem Marzouki (CNRS & UPMC Sorbonne Universités), Oleksandr Pastukhov (University of Malta) and Christian Hawellek (Leibniz University Hannover).
Roundtable discussion conclusions
- First, the discussion of an international treaty, at least the possibility, is important as past experience (e.g. in copyright) shows;
- Second, parallel Internets or cyber spaces already exist both from technology and law points of view. Whether or not promoting more spaces is the best way forward needs further reflection and debate; and
- Third, it is important to realize and further discuss alternative approaches to protecting human rights on the Internet especially since current approaches do not offer satisfactory protection;
Canadian Professor present at the MAPPING Round Table
It is clear that such discussions and debates or explorations need to be encouraged and the MAPPING project will continue to engage with different stakeholders on these issues.
Watch MAPPING roundtable on YouTube!
To get involved you can join a group of around 100 experts and practitioners who regularly discuss the MAPPING problem areas and beyond: the MAPPING LinkedIn Group.
For more information about the project please visit www.mappingtheinternet.eu where you can sign up for our Newsletter. You can also contact the MAPPING dissemination manager, EPMA (CZ) via: info/at/mappingtheinternet.eu. The Project Coordinator, the University of Groningen (NL) can be reached at: projectoffice/at/mappingtheinternet.eu