The Transboundary Internet: Jurisdiction, Control and Sovereignty

4 December 2008 - A Workshop on Openness in Hyderabad, India

Agenda

The Internet crosses the boundaries of all nations and raises some unique transboundary jurisdictional problems. The recent case of a British citizen living in Spain, with Internet servers in the Bahamas, selling holidays to Cuba, and having his domain name impounded by a registrar located in the USA because it appeared to break the US embargo against Cuba is one recent case in point. Another landmark case was the French-US Yahoo! case in 1999 dealing with sale of nazi memorabilia, but apart from these high profile content cases there are many examples in other areas such as privacy, consumer issues, cybercrime, and intellectual property.

This workshop will discuss the many implications of competing national jurisdictions being projected into a globalized space where multiple normative sources apply, such as political, legal, technical, contractual, and behavioral regulations. Through practical case studies, this workshop will look at the implications of various approaches to resolving these issues and the implications for Internet governance, international law, national sovereignty, democracy, and human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

The workshop also explores the implications for Internet governance where no structures are in place to deal with emerging issues, and how default unilateral action in the absence of structural alternatives can lead to de facto Internet governance.