137 Works

The Brazilian approach to internet intermediary liability: blueprint for a global regime?

Nicolo Zingales, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
While intermediary liability is becoming an issue of increasing importance in internet governance discussions, little is being made at the institutional level to minimise conflicts across jurisdictions and ensure the compliance of intermediary liability laws with fundamental rights and the freedom to innovate. The experience leading to the adoption of the Brazilian “Marco Civil da Internet” offers concrete insights for the definition of a baseline framework at the international level. This article also suggests the...

The net neutrality debate on Twitter

Wolf J. Schünemann, Stefan Steiger, Sebastian Stier, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The internet has been seen as a medium that empowers individual political actors in relation to established political elites and media gatekeepers. The present article discusses this “net empowerment hypothesis” and tests it empirically by analysing Twitter communication on the regulation of net neutrality. We extracted 503.839 tweets containing #NetNeutrality posted between January and March 2015 and analysed central developments and the network structure of the debate. The empirical results show that traditional actors from...

Criteria of meaningful stakeholder inclusion in internet governance

Jeremy Malcolm, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Just as the so-called multi-stakeholder model of internet governance has attained broad acceptance, it has also begun to attract criticism for how elastic that term is, extending to processes that at best offer limited opportunity for meaningful stakeholder inclusion, and at worst may be a front for corporate self-regulation or government policy whitewashing. There is an apparent need for a set of criteria to distinguish these deficient processes from those that truly do promote policy-making...

Russia’s 'dictatorship-of-the-law' approach to internet policy

Julien Nocetti, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The Russian 'dictatorship-of-the-law' paradigm is all but over: it is deploying online, with potentially harmful consequences for Russia's attempts to attract foreign investments in the internet sector, and for users' rights online.

Stretching EU competition law tools for search engines and social networks

Inge Graef, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Because of their multi-sided and dynamic nature, the application of competition law to online platforms may prove challenging. The paper maintains that existing competition concepts are flexible enough to be adequately applied to search engines and social networks. It is argued that, in order to take the fast-moving nature of these industries into account, relevant markets should not be defined along strict product boundaries and that the strength of potential competition constitutes a better indicator...

Data control and digital regulatory space(s): towards a new European approach

Roxana Radu, Jean-Marie Chenou, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Data control, among the newest forms of power fostered by information and communication technologies (ICTs), triggers a continuous (re)negotiation of public and private orderings, with direct implications on both regulators and intermediaries. This article examines the stance of the European Union (EU) regarding the position of Google - the world’s largest internet services company as per its 2014 market value - in two controversial instances: the ‘right to be forgotten’ and the implementation of EU...

Internet censorship in Turkey

Mustafa Akgül, Melih Kırlıdoğ, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Turkey passed an internet censorship law in 2007 with the declared objective of protecting families and minors (Akdeniz, 2010). It established a unit within the regulator BTK (Information and Communication Technologies Authority) responsible for imposing bans and blocks on websites based on nine catalogue crimes defined by other national laws (Akgül 2008, 2009a, 2009b). As of May 2015, 80,000 websites were banned based on civil code related complaints and intellectual property rights violations, reports the...

Online debates on the regulation of child pornography and copyright: two subjects, one argument?

Simon Berghofer, Saskia Sell, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Our study analyses the online discourse related to the failure of two internet policy initiatives in two democratic countries: the German Access Impediment Act (AIA) and the US-American Stop Online-Piracy Act (SOPA). Even though the two policy proposals have different goals, they were both heavily opposed in public and led to online and offline protests. We examined the discourse surrounding the policy debates through a qualitative content analysis of 742 online articles on general and...

A heterostakeholder cooperation for sustainable internet policymaking

Luca Belli, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The article discusses the rise of a multistakeholder approach to internet policymaking and takes a critical stance with regard to the sole reliance on the multiplicity of stakeholders rather than focusing on the heterogeneity of stakeholders’ interests. The article analyses the evolution of the multistakeholder discourse from the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society to the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement. Secondly, it presents a selection of examples of stakeholder inclusion within policy-development processes at national and...

Virtual worlds players – consumers or citizens?

Edina Harbinja, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
This article questions the preconceived notions that participants in virtual worlds are essentially consumers. Building on the existing scholarship around virtual worlds and notwithstanding the current character of virtual worlds, this paper explores aspects of End User Licence Agreements and notes the unfairness of their provisions, particularly the imbalance between user and developer interests governed by such contracts. It argues that the contracts cannot be regulated with consumer protection legislation, as interests such as property...

User illusion: ideological construction of ‘user-generated content’ in the EC consultation on copyright

Kristofer Erickson, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Recent policy consultations by the UK Intellectual Property Office, the US Patent and Trademark Office and the European Commission (EC) have highlighted the importance of user-generated content in debates to reform copyright. User-generated content (UGC) – often combining existing copyright material with transformative creativity – remains a contested terrain, with no clear or widely accepted definition. This paper examines how various stakeholders in the 2014 EC consultation on copyright attempted to shape the definition of...

The unbearable lightness of user consent

Rikke Frank Joergensen, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The article discusses challenges to privacy protection in social media platforms, focusing in particular on the principle of user consent. Based on a Danish study, the article argues that in relation to Facebook, user consent de facto served as the price for participating and for gaining access to a social infrastructure. The article opens with a brief introduction to privacy as a human right, followed by a discussion of some of the critique that has...

Staking out the unclear ethical terrain of online social experiments

Cornelius Puschmann, Engin Bozdag, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
In this article, we discuss the ethical issues raised by large-scale online social experiments using the controversy surrounding the so-called Facebook emotional contagion study as our prime example (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014). We describe how different parties approach the issues raised by the study and which aspects they highlight, discerning how data science advocates and data science critics use different sets of analogies to strategically support their claims. Through a qualitative and non-representative discourse...

Hacktivism 1-2-3: how privacy enhancing technologies change the face of anonymous hacktivism

Balázs Bodó, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
This short essay explores how the notion of hacktivism changes due to easily accessible, military grade Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs). Privacy Enhancing Technologies, technological tools which provide anonymous communications and protect users from online surveillance enable new forms of online political activism. Through the short summary of the ad-hoc vigilante group Anonymous, this article describes hacktivism 1.0 as electronic civil disobedience conducted by outsiders. Through the analysis of Wikileaks, the anonymous whistleblowing website, it describes...

The Aereo dilemma and copyright in the cloud

Monica Horten, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Aereo is a cloud-based startup company that offers people the possibility to watch live (or nearly live) television on computing devices and smartphones. It was sued by the major US broadcasters for copyright liability and the case went to the Supreme Court where Aereo lost. It encapsulates a dilemma facing courts in the US and EU – that a ruling to shut down Aereo, on the basis that it is unlawful under copyright law, could...

Privacy evaluation: what empirical research on users’ valuation of personal data tells us

Federico Morando, Raimondo Iemma, Emilio Raiteri, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The EU General Data Protection Regulation is supposed to introduce several innovations, including the right of data portability for data subjects. In this article, we review recent literature documenting experiments to assess users’ valuation of personal data, with the purpose to provide policy-oriented remarks. In particular, contextual aspects, conflicts between declared and revealed preferences, as well as the suggestion that personal data is not conceivable as a single good, but instead as a bundle, are...

Bitcoin: a regulatory nightmare to a libertarian dream

Primavera De Filippi, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
This article provides an overview of national policies and current discussions on the regulation of bitcoin in Europe and beyond. After presenting the potential threat that cryptocurrencies pose to governmental and financial institutions worldwide, it discusses the regulatory challenges and the difficulty for national regulators to come up with a sound regulatory framework, which the author believes explains the current (lack of) regulatory responses in this field. The article concludes that regulation is needed, but...

Internet architecture and the layers principle: a conceptual framework for regulating Bitcoin

Andy Yee, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Bitcoin is the first decentralised, peer-to-peer network that allows for the proof and transfer of ownership of virtual currencies without the need for a trusted third party. It has created a platform for tremendous financial innovation, but at the same time the role of traditional regulatable financial intermediaries is bypassed. The purpose of this article is to address the important policy question of how we can capture Bitcoin’s potential benefits for the economy while addressing...

Decentralised internet governance: the case of a ‘peer-to-peer cloud’

Francesca Musiani, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
This article retraces the early stages of development of the 'peer-to-peer cloud' storage service Drizzle, with the aim of providing an example of decentralised network architecture as internet governance 'in practice'. More specifically, this paper sheds light on how changes in the architectural design of networked services affect the circulation, storage and privacy of data, as well as the rights and responsibilities exerted by different actors on them. This article does not mean to be...

Dangerous Liaisons? Governments, companies and Internet governance

Francesca Musiani, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Private actors in the information technology sector are currently playing an increasingly important role in content mediation, as well as in regulation of online forms of expression, with implications for both internet rights and economic freedom. The “privatisation of internet governance” (DeNardis, 2010), is not a new dynamic; however, in a scenario in which users are taking advantage of increasingly sophisticated technology, the centralisation and concentration characterising today’s most widespread internet services are contributing to...

How Europe formulates internet policy

Andrej Savin, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
This article discusses the interplay of carrier and content regulatory layers in European internet law, how the 'Single Market' agenda informs and influences these layers and whether the proposed EU Connected Continent Regulation may solve some of the difficulties. The article starts with a brief overview of EU policy making in the area of telecommunications, moves on to explain the 'Single Market' background of EU internet regulation and looks at present telecommunications policy in its...

Taxing the cloud: introducing a new taxation system on data collection?

Primavera De Filippi, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Cloud computing services are increasingly hosted on international servers and distributed amongst multiple data centres. Given their global scope, it is often easier for large multinational corporations to effectively circumvent old taxation schemes designed around the concept of territorial jurisdiction and geographical settings. In view of obtaining tax revenues from these online operators whose business is partially carried out in France, the French government recently issued a report emphasising the need for new taxation rules...

Consent under pressure and the Right to Informational Self-Determination

Julian Staben, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
The concept of consent is deeply entrenched in the German constitution's right to informational self-determination, which is itself part of the general right to personality (Art. 2 (1) in conjunction with Art. 1 (1) GG). While this concept still remains valid in law, in practice, it has taken hits that can be attributed to market developments, long contractual terms and conditions, and increasing dependence of users on online platforms. This analysis examines what is left...

New global top-level domain names: Europe, the challenger

Francesca Musiani, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
New generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) are the highest level of domain names in the domain name system (DNS); their number has been restricted to twenty-two for several years, and ICANN has implemented restrictions on the ways in which they are operated. The new gTLD programme, proposed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in early 2013, enables businesses and organisations to apply for their own customised top-level domain names, thereby greatly...

Necessary and inherent limits to internet surveillance

Joss Wright, Internet Policy Review & Internet Policy Review
Information technologies now play a huge role in both personal and institutional life, playing the role of a global communications medium. As our means of interaction increasingly centre on the internet, there is a desire from nation states to exercise control and obtain access to the communications of citizens. The stated reasons for this access and control are to prevent or investigate crimes, and to protect national security. This article argues that mass untargeted surveillance...

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