Although the Internet is a global platform, increasingly countries want to pass domestic laws affecting how individuals and businesses can use it. In the past few months, the United Kingdom has taken steps to have ISPs block pornography by default; Spain is considering legislation that would tax news aggregation websites; Canada is enacting a new law to curtail spam; and Singapore has just passed a bill that would require ISPs to block all websites, domestic and foreign, containing significant amounts of copyright infringing content. Even though the importance of the Internet to the global economy and society continues to grow each day, collectively nations have made little progress in creating a framework for resolving the many conflicts over Internet policy that inevitably occur between sovereign nations.
In a new report to be released at this event, ITIF President Rob Atkinson and Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argue that the dominant approaches to Internet policy, which typically calls for either universal rules applied to all nations or a complete free-for-all among countries—fail to provide a pragmatic path forward to resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise. Instead, they put forth a new framework for evaluating cross-border Internet policy conflicts that respects both the global nature of the Internet and national laws and norms.
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