How Trade Agreements Shape the Future of Internet Governance

12 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


Without the attention of most stakeholders – even those deeply immersed in multistakeholder discussions on the future of internet governance –bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations are increasingly becoming the vehicles for norm setting on internet policy issues – from intellectual property to e-commerce, domain names on the Internet, to cybersecurity and national security exemptions to free flow of information and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. The norm, in these multilateral forums, is secrecy. In general just governments and a few private sector lobbies have access and can provide informed input to so-called policies of the 21st century . But not just multistakeholderism is affected by the way Trade Agreements’ negotiations are conducted, basic principles of democracy are at stake. This debate/roundtable/workshop will assess how the inclusion of these internet policy issues in closed door, state-to-state agreements impact the future of multi-stakeholder internet governance and what are the digital rights at stake. Workshop participants will receive an update on the state of negotiations of the core trade agreements, and will then discuss how these secret negotiations impact on their rights, business, or expectations regarding the open internet. Additionally, participants will be shown a map of the qualitative and quantitative increase on internet related rules in trade agreements, covering the trade agreements negotiated primarily by the US over the past 12 years.



The moderator will give the overview of digital trade in TISA, TPP and TTIP and introduce the speakers. Then each speaker has 5 to 7 minutes to make their case. The moderator can ask questions to the speakers before she opens the floor to questions. At the end of the discussion, the moderator may ask the participants to summarize what they have said, adding any comments they want to include.

Moderator: Carolina Rossini


Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament

Burcu Kilic, Public Citizen

Claudio Ruiz, Derechos Digitales

Marcel Leonardi, Google

Usman Ahmed, PayPal

Laura DeNardis, American University

Manu Bhardwaj, U.S. Department of State

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