Digital Watch Newsletter, Issue 8

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Borg Psaila, Stephanie
Dincic, Dejan
Kurbalija, Jovan
Mya Nyein, Aye
Radunovic, Vladimir
Rosen Jacobson, Barbara
Sacchetto, Emanuele
Teleanu, Sorina
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Geneva Internet Platform; DiploFoundation
While January’s echoing message was about techno-realism, this month we see how societies worldwide need to make some difficult policy choices. The Apple/FBI controversy and India’s decision on net neutrality highlight the need for a ‘social contract’ around Internet issues. Security and privacy, as well as net neutrality, jurisdiction, and legal issues, were highly prominent in the policy debates this month. A look at the digital policy observatory reveals many developments in February that are shaping digital policy. Child online protection, as the term implies, tends to focus on protectionist approaches. Such approaches may sideline other crucial dimensions to children’s use of the Internet. A rights-based approach looks at the Internet’s potential to empower children, while protecting them from risks. This issue explores the elements of a rights-based approach. India’s decision on zero-rating services upholds net neutrality, and the principle that once a user is connected to the Internet, they can access any available Internet resource. The decision has raised many critical points, including whether it is better to have some access to the Internet (such as Facebook’s Free Basics service), or no access at all, as is currently the case with many communities. Digital policy and technological challenges were the topics discussed during an event organised by the GIP Digital Watch in cooperation with the Internet Society on 9 February. Sally Wentworth, Internet Society Vice-President for Policy Development, and Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform, presented their views on what to expect in the coming months..