The Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network releases its first-ever Global Status Report

Report covers mapping of trends, actors and initiatives regarding the potential cross-border legal challenges that could be encountered in cyberspace.

About the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network

A multi-stakeholder organisation addressing the tension between the cross-border nature of the internet and national jurisdictions. Participants in the Policy Network work together to preserve the cross-border nature of the Internet, protect human rights, fight abuses, and enable the global digital economy. It enables the development of policy standards and shared cooperation frameworks that are as transnational as the internet itself.

The report brings together the findings from a survey of over 150 key stakeholders.

Key findings – concern over ‘dangerous trends’ and topics that need attention

  • 95% believe cross-border legal challenges on the internet will become more acute in the next three years
  • Only 15% believe that the right institutions to tackle these challenges are already in place.
  • 79% consider that there is insufficient international coordination.

Topics of concern

  • Violent extremism, hate, data privacy breaches and other forms of abuse that may become so prevalent that the online environment becomes ‘uninhabitable’
  • A high degree of misinformation causes a trust crisis
  • Cybercrime and cyber-attacks that undermine trust in the online environment and threaten its infrastructure
  • Increasing cost of compliance that may create commercial barriers to small and medium sized players and compromise open competition

The report expresses concern about what it calls a ‘legal arms race’ of reactive and uncoordinated quick fix national and local initiatives that compromise the cross-border internet.

The need for collaboration

Stakeholders called for:

  • More coordination to ensure policy coherence
  • More legal interoperability, through jointly developed standards
  • Inclusiveness and capacity building, including addressing issues such as lack of access to relevant information due to language and cultural barriers, as well as information overload
  • Greater clarity, and a common understanding, of relevant legal concepts
  • Consideration of the roles of the private and the public sector, including a clear need for re-examining and more clearly defining the roles of intermediaries

The full report and the Executive Summary, can be downloaded here.