Minutes of the 2018-11-04 IAB Business Meeting
- Jari Arkko
- Deborah Brungard (IESG Liaison)
- Alissa Cooper
- Ted Hardie (IAB Chair)
- Christian Huitema
- Gabriel Montenegro
- Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Administrative Manager)
- Erik Nordmark
- Mark Nottingham
- Karen O’Donoghue (Internet Society Liaison)
- Melinda Shore
- Jeff Tantsura
- Martin Thomson
Remote via WebEx:
- Robert Sparks
- Brian Trammell
- Suzanne Woolf
- Allison Mankin (IRTF Chair)
- Carl Gahnberg (Internet Society)
- Konstantinos Komaitis (Internet Society)
- Olaf Kolkman (Internet Society)
1. Internet Society Extraterritorial Concept Note
Konstantinos Komaitis briefed the IAB on the contents of the Internet Society’s Concept Note on “The Internet and Extra-Territorial Effects of Laws.” The concept note looks at the unintended consequences of regulation on the Internet.
Regulations on the Internet are not new; they have been happening since the Internet was first commercialized. Conflicts between the laws and regulations of various countries are not uncommon. In 2000, the French public interest group LICRA sued Yahoo! over an offering of Nazi memorabilia advertised on an auction website, as the display of Nazi memorabilia is illegal in France. LICRA argued that since Yahoo! is accessible in France, it violated French law. Yahoo! argued that the website is protected speech under the United States constitution, and that it is impossible for Yahoo! to block or filter the website in France. The ruling in France was that French law prevails over the United States’ first amendment, and that it is technologically feasible to exclude French users. The United States court rejected France’s “Universal Competence” authority. Yahoo! and France eventually settled out of court.
There are different approaches to regulation:
- Digital sovereignty: expand power globally to surveil and control the dissemination of economic, social and political information online.
- Risk-based: Europe’s GDPR embraces a risk-based approach to data protection. Throughout the GDPR, organizations that control the processing of personal data (known as “controllers”) are encouraged to implement protective measures corresponding to the level of risk of their data processing activities.
- Breaking up big tech: the tech giants are exploiting their monopoly power to stifle competition; they are spreading fake news; their fantastically rich owners portray themselves as right-on yet go to a great deal of trouble to minimize their corporate tax bills; they are ripping the heart out of communities through the closure of bricks-and-mortar retailers.
- Norm-setting: a new trend that sees almost everyone getting involved in norm-setting exercises. The main problem with this is that, unlike norms that organically evolve, these processes are somewhat pressured to generate such norms.
The Internet Society cares about the unintended consequences of regulation that have a negative effect to the way the Internet functions.
Resiliency is ensured through diversity of infrastructure, and this diversity comes from nodes located globally, in different parts of the world. The more there is a push to try to make the Internet fit within national borders or to make it comply with one nation’s regulatory thinking for the sake of maintaining some sense of control, the more we risk sabotaging the diversity that is critical for its resilient and global nature.
Extra-territorial application of laws can provide the wrong incentives for state actors to engage in a regulatory race that will only result in a fractured, less resilient Internet.
Broader external factors include:
- Fragmentation: As well as creating a fragmenting Internet, extra-territorial jurisdiction drives both governmental and commercial fragmentation, leading to narrow and reduced offerings across various countries.
- Business model disruption as businesses try to cope with the compliance burden of possibly conflicting laws. This creates added uncertainty for companies operating globally and weakens the framework of international trade and investment. It can also drive consolidation and competition issues if only the biggest and best-resourced companies can cope with the legal complexity and business risk of compliance.
- The creation of new digital divides: As technology advances in certain parts of the world, many countries consider regulation as a means to catch up with such progress. Such regulation risks being narrow in scope and reflecting cultural, economic and social sensitivities incompatible with those in other countries and with the Internet technology.
- International tension and resentment by states imposing their will in other countries. When one state actor is seen as aggressively using domestic law to assert its hegemony globally, we can expect others to react accordingly.
Konstantinos Komaitis concluded that the purpose of the Concept Note is to start a conversation; the idea is not to stop regulation, but to help regulators understand the consequences of regulation.
Ted Hardie observed countered the notion that content regulation isn’t Internet regulation, because Internet protocols are used to block access to specific things as a way of regulating content. The integrity of the name space and the routing system routinely gets broken by these efforts to limit content.
Alissa Cooper noted that there has been a recent backlash against globalization, and observed that the Internet was in danger of being caught up in that. She asked if there is a way to frame the the story in a positive manner, rather than in terms of only explaining negative consequences of the trend.
Jari Arkko said that he finds the model of highlighting the impacts or regulation to be helpful, and pointed to GDPR and the Australian Assistance and Access Bill as two different results of regulation. He added that we should not think about regulation only in terms of globalism versus nationalism, but as a means of consumer protection.
2. ESCAPE Workshop
Mark Nottingham reported that the W3C TAG requested a couple of changes to the Call for Papers for the ESCAPE Workshop in order to broaden the scope beyond the web publishing use case.
The IAB approved the text for the updated Call For Papers.
Ted Hardie reported that the Internet Society has organized a lunch meeting at IETF 103 to discuss 5G. Jari Arkko said that there are 9 policy guests who will attend the meeting, and that he and Suresh Krishnan will be part of the panel discussion. Jari Arkko reported that they plan to discuss network slicing and its impacts.
4. Checkpoints Document
Mark Nottingham reported that he is working on reviving the checkpoints document.