Internet is a global issue. But where is it governed and regulated?
Internet: a building under constant construction
“It is impossible to analyze and process all information on the web”, guarantees Roxana Radu. She is Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and Internet Governance Associate at DiploFoundation. The researcher passed by Rio de Janeiro for a conference on internet governance and participated in one of the talks@swissnex. During the event, held at swissnex terrace in Rio, Radu explained about the history of internet regulation and praised the Brazilian internet bill of rights – Marco Civil da Internet – as being one of the most advanced laws on internet governance in the world.
Internet governance encompasses sociocultural and economical aspects, as well as issues of human rights and cybersecurity. In the last 20 years, internet regulations evolved from being mainly related to infrastructure and technology standards to a global agenda of cybersecurity and civil liberties, the main subjects of laws until 2015. “The focus is really on security now a days”, explains Radu.
A member of the Board and currently the Chair of Internet Society – Switzerland Chapter, Radu holds a PhD in International Relations/Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at the University of Geneva. Her research and publications focus on international governance and global internet policy-making.
“The Internet is a building under construction, but it has been like that for the last 20 years”, says Radu. One of the major challenges is how to create regulations for problems that still don’t exist.
The Geneva Internet Platform engages digital actors, fosters digital governance and monitors digital policies. Most of what is discussed about the internet happens in Geneva, a sort of convergence point for actors in the field.
Regarding the Marco Civil from the Internet, Roxana shows enthusiasm: “It is the first time in the history of internet that we have a such a progressive bill of rights” The Brazilian internet legislation came out of a process of seven years of consultations and was assigned into law by the former president Dilma Rousseff in 2014. “As an example of doing regulations, it is definitely an unique case in the world. It has has been written with the user in mind”, praises Radu.
The Marco Civil has ten principles, ranging from human rights to security of the network. The main problem it faces now is implementation. “Despite of being one of the best umbrella concepts for internet in the world, it is not functional because you lack the supporting legislation”, explains the researcher.