Internet Governance and the Global South: Demand for a New Framework

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Firstly, it places pressure on the current system to be more inclusive of emerging economies. Secondly, the development of the NDB places increasing demands on the current process of global governance by potentially undermining its exacting standards. Aside from direct challenges from emerging economies, the process of global governance faces increasing pressure to justify its legitimacy, in light of the shift in global power and the introduction onto the global stage of a broader range of states, groupings and organisations that wish to have influence.

Given the aforementioned economic and political changes that have enabled the growth of the BRICS as an independent force, it could be argued that this western over-dominance represents a failure to ensure representational legitimacy and effectiveness in global governance. Thus, one of the increasing demands that globalisation has placed on global governance in this respect, is that of ensuring maximum participation and representation of emerging economies, thus ensuring legitimacy and results that positively benefit all states in the global system.

That global governance institutions recognised this increasing demand on their processes is best evidenced by the events surrounding the financial crisis.

Whose internet is it anyway? Shaping the internet – feminist voices in governance decision making

When interest rates rose and thousands of individuals defaulted on their multiple mortgages, it was not only the US-lenders who felt the effects Goldin, , p. With the global reach of the crisis came a requirement for a global response, which had to include states outside of the G7 grouping, not only for legitimacy in decision-making, but also in order to successfully stabilise the global economy. Thus, globalisation placed the demand of rapid reform on the process of global governance, which in this instance, institutions responded to.

Thus, the process of global governance at this specific time changed, allowing non-western states to become central players in global decision-making, as a result of increased pressure caused by globalisation. This had led to increased demands on certain sectors of the variety of global governance institutions, most notably in the instance of cyberspace, the banking sector and private firms. However, these ambiguous governance spaces have also opened global governance up to political debate and pressure, all of which have increased demands on the process of global governance to address these legitimately and effectively.

If conducting further study, better understanding of the depth and range of these demands could be achieved by gaining further perspective on the broad variety of global commons that bring challenges to the process of global governance, as a result of globalisation. New globalisation and the fragmentation of the western or centralised global governance system has led to a situation in which emerging economies have the ability to place overt and direct pressure on particular aspects of the process of global governance, but also to highlight the lack of legitimacy surrounding the post-World War II global governance system, and force change.

Thus, globalisation has placed, and continues to place increasing demands on the process of global governance. Goldin, I. Karns, M. McGrew, A. Higgott, R. Figueres, C. Drezner, D. Wang, H. Cooper, A. Murphy, C. Sell, S.

Summary, conclusions and recommendations

While the internet creates many opportunities for economic growth and innovation, it also poses challenges for the legal order and security at both national and international level. In section 3.


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The internet is abused by malicious actors for criminal activities which, regardless of their origin, can cause serious disruption to Dutch society. This involves threats emanating from both state and non-state actors such as cybercriminals and terrorist movements. The National Cyber Security Strategy 2 describes how the Dutch authorities view and tackle the task of providing cybersecurity for the Dutch public and business community.

Free media: issues, challenges and proposals

Their integrated approach includes improving knowledge and intelligence concerning cyber threats, tracking criminals, enhancing resilience and defensive capacity, enhancing military capabilities and actively engaging in cyberdiplomacy. Given the cross-border and global character of the internet, any security challenges that occur must be tackled internationally.

As the international legal order is based on the principle of sovereignty, national authorities have only limited capacity to act alone in tackling security challenges on the internet. The Netherlands therefore contributes actively to international discussions and to measures to strengthen the international legal order. Nonetheless, many matters that are regulated nationally have yet to be fleshed out at international level.

In tackling cybercrime the Netherlands works actively with international partners in the framework of, for instance, Interpol, the EU e. Eurojust and Europol and the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. Combating cybercrime is making new demands on the police and justice system, particularly their capacity to act quickly and exchange information. These developments in the digital domain may also necessitate a reassessment of the legal framework.

The Netherlands plays an active role in the debate on the effectiveness of the international legal framework for cross-border investigation of offences in cyberspace and is itself developing new instruments and legislation to improve its own capacity for action. It goes without saying that any new legislation would be tested for compatibility with obligations under international law.

Nor is there agreement about this at international level. The government is proceeding on the principle that the core protocols of the internet form the public core.

The Politics and Issues of Internet Governance

State interventions that are in themselves lawful may have damaging effects on the public core of the internet, and this may result in adverse repercussions for other states. As noted above, the present governance structure ensures a depoliticised process aimed at solving problems and facilitating the development of the internet in a broad sense.

watch Another aim of the government is to promote the international legal order in cyberspace in a similar fashion as it does in the offline world. Protecting the public core of the internet may be a matter of international security in cases where cyber operations by state or non-state actors may impair the functioning of the core.

Despite some concrete results such as the reports of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts GGE and the publication of the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, the development of an international order in cyberspace is still in its infancy. Hitherto, most attention has been focused on protecting critical infrastructure at national level, in particular for the support of vital public services. The basic assumption is that this critical infrastructure is protected by the prohibition on the use of force and on violation of the sovereignty of other states.

The principles and rules of international humanitarian law may also be expected to afford a degree of protection for critical, non-military infrastructure.

The Netherlands is actively seeking to achieve more clarity on how existing international law applies to cyber operations and to reach broad agreement on this issue. Preventing and regulating cyber attacks is a subject of international consultation and academic research aimed at clarifying how international law applies and at developing additional norms of behaviour between states. The introduction of a framework of norms could reduce the room for manoeuvre of malicious state and non-state actors that refuse to abide by international agreements, and could increase international solidarity in condemning such activities.

The government sees this as an essential first step towards creating an international order in cyberspace. The very nature of the cyber domain makes it difficult to conclude verifiable agreements about the activities of states. However, developing norms of behaviour that enjoy wide support does provide opportunities for introducing a common international order based on a shared interest in ensuring that the internet functions effectively and reliably.

Such norms can increase the political, diplomatic and economic cost of engaging in harmful activities. States recently reached consensus on one such norm of behaviour at UN level. The Netherlands is actively involved in the international debate on possible norms of behaviour to protect — or even ban intervention in — the public core of the internet or sections of it and wishes to carry out further study to determine how such standards can be achieved. The government will also investigate whether it is possible to enhance its support for groups that play an important role in maintaining the technical infrastructure.

An example is the work done, often pro bono, by the open source community in maintaining, developing and expanding important sections of the public core of the internet. This work could be facilitated through financial support, such as support for strengthening encryption via open source projects.

Multilateral Approaches to Deliberating Internet Governance

Digital rights is another field in which national governments face challenges that exceed their own individual capabilities. The protection of human rights in an online environment requires international cooperation within regional and international organisations. In its advisory report the AIV addresses the main themes dominating the discussion on online rights, namely the right to protection of privacy, freedom of expression and the role of the law enforcement authorities.

As the internet evolves, it is necessary to reassess the legal frameworks that were developed to protect rights in a different era when technology was much less advanced. The government considers it important that the core values of Dutch society, as set out in the Dutch constitution and international human rights conventions, form the basis for the legal framework for safeguarding human rights in the digital society. The government seeks to ensure that these fundamental rights are adequately protected in the digital domain and to promote the application of comparable standards in international law.

Recent case law of the European Court of Human Rights ECtHR and the European Court of Justice ECJ relating to the digital domain provides an opportunity to more closely define the requirements of necessity and proportionality, including safeguards relating to the nature, scope and duration of measures that restrict the right to privacy. In addition, there should be adequate legal protection for individuals whose fundamental rights are infringed.

As regards the work of the intelligence and security services, the Dessens Committee 10 has concluded that technology has changed to such an extent in the past 10 years that the Intelligence and Security Services Act should be amended to reduce dependence on technology and introduce a stronger framework of oversight and control. The government intends to rectify this deficiency by amending the legislation and strengthening the safeguards for the protection of private life. As the amendment process is already under way, further discussion of the revised legislation falls outside the scope of this letter.

South School on Internet Governance 2019

The government accepts this recommendation. The Netherlands will benefit from performing a careful assessment of Dutch interests in the internet domain and using this as a basis for an international strategy that takes due account of the different interests involved. The manner in which the Netherlands makes these choices has a direct bearing on its position as a host country, its investment climate, and its ability to lead by example.

Although intensive international cooperation is already taking place in various policy fields, more can be done to strengthen coordination between policy fields to allow a better overall assessment of the different interests at play.

A coordination structure has been established for various policy fields, including cybersecurity and the digital agenda, to determine joint positions and make decisions.

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