(No.154) Internet & Jurisdiction: What frameworks for cross-border online communities and services?

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Workshop Theme: 
Taking Stock and the Way Forward
Concise Description of Workshop: 

This workshop addresses the growing tension between the technically cross-border nature of the Internet and a traditional legal and regulatory framework that bases jurisdiction on the physical boundaries of national territories. Conflicts of jurisdiction regarding personal data, freedom of expression, consumer protection, intellectual property and security are proliferating. But the development of a patchwork of uncoordinated national regulations could threaten the universality of the Internet as a global network. The workshop’s main purpose is to raise awareness and understanding of this problem and to explore how this common concern of governments, private companies and civil society actors can be addressed collaboratively. On the basis of an input paper, the workshop will facilitate discussion on the following topics: • the jurisdictional challenges faced by cross-border online services and their communities (30 min) • the dangers for all actors (including governments) and the Internet as a whole if this issue remains unaddressed (30 min) • how to foster cooperation and identify possible concepts and frameworks (1 h) The open dialogue will serve as a contribution to the main session “Taking stock and the way forward” and other sessions as specified in Question 3a. Moreover, it will examine the next steps of the Internet & Jurisdiction project and will introduce the audience to the planned Internet & Jurisdiction conference in spring 2013 to explore the possible involvement of IGF participants therein.