[governance] TEDtalk on “From Net Neutrality to Network Self-determination”

LB at lucabelli.net LB at lucabelli.net
Fri Jul 20 11:09:46 EDT 2018

     Dear colleagues, 
 At the end of May, TEDxRoma invited me to give a TEDtalk on “From Net Neutrality to Network Self-determination”. The video recording of the talk has just been released and is now available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xlBqbNzGU 
 I would like to thank those on this list with whom, over the past years, I had the pleasure to discuss net neutrality, community networks, prosumer law, data sovereignty and all the issues that I tried to connect and condensate in the talk. 
 As you may know, the TED format prescribes a (roughly) 13 minute long “story-telling” talk and, of course, such format does not allow for an in-depth analysis. For those of you who might be interested in knowing more about the issues analysed in the talk, I am pasting below the short descriptions (with a brief list of references) of two lectures I will give in two weeks at CeTyS, Universidad de San Andrés, to analyse in further detail Net Neutrality evolutions and the concept of Network Self-determination.
 As usual, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to write me a private message. 
 All the best
 Net Neutrality Policies, Zero Rating and the Minitelisation of the Internet
 The Internet was designed as a general-purpose network grounded on openness, decentralisation and interoperability. Such features have allowed innovation to flourish, lowering barriers to communication, participation and cooperation, thus empowering end users. 'General purpose' means that the purpose for which the Internet is used is not predefined by the operator but can be autonomously decided by the end user. In this sense, the network neutrality (NN) principle mandates non-discriminatory treatment of Internet traffic to preserve an open environment, fostering the general-purpose nature of the Internet, unleashing end users' creativity.
 This lecture will explore the evolution of the NN debate, stressing that the rationale of NN policies is to preserve an open and decentralised Internet architecture, empowering end users, fostering innovation and protecting users' rights. The analysis of the different stages of NN policymaking will lead to one of the latest chapter of the NN saga: the emergence of zero rating (ZR) schemes and their compatibility with NN. The lecture will analyse how discriminatory practices with regard to both Internet traffic management and price differentiation may lead to a phenomenon defined as “Minitelisation” (Belli 2017) of the Internet, consisting of the shift from a user-centric, general-purpose network to one with a predefined purpose, thereby creating passive consumers of predetermined services (as in the old-fashioned Minitel), rather than active Internet users. 
 ·         Net Neutrality Compendium. Human Rights, Free Competition and the Future of the Internet. Springer. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Expression/Telecommunications/LucaBelli.pdf
 ·         Net Neutrality, Zero-rating and the Minitelisation of the Internet. Journal of Cyber Policy. Routledge. Vol 2, nº 1. Pp 96-122. https://internet-governance.fgv.br/sites/internet-governance.fgv.br/files/publicacoes/net_neutrality_zero-rating_the_minitelisation_of_the_internet_final.pdf
 ·         European net neutrality, at last? openDemocracy. https://www.opendemocracy.net/luca-belli-christopher-t-marsden/european-net-neutrality-at-last
 ·         The scramble for data and the need for network self-determination. openDemocracy. https://www.opendemocracy.net/luca-belli/scramble-for-data-and-need-for-network-self-determination
 ·         For further information see  www.networkneutrality.info
 Community Networks: towards Network Self-Determination
 Access to well-functioning network infrastructure on affordable and non-discriminatory terms facilitates significantly the full enjoyment of one's fundamental rights. This lecture will start by analysing the current state of play of Internet connectivity in the region while considering some local examples to identify the reasons why almost half of the world population is still offline.
 Subsequently, the lecture will focus on Community Networks, exploring the wide range of positive externalities triggered by such initiatives. Community Networks are better characterised by the fact that they are organised and deployed in a bottom-up fashion, in order to be utilised and managed by the local community as a commons.
 Lastly, the lecture will focus on the emergence of a “right to Network self-determination” (Belli 2017) that should be seen as the right to freely associate in order to define, in a democratic fashion, the design, development and management of network infrastructure as a common good, so that all individuals can freely seek, impart and receive information and innovation. 
 The legal as well as empirical basis of the right to Network Self-determination will be explored. 
 ·         Network self-determination: When building the Internet becomes a right. IETF Journal. https://www.ietfjournal.org/network-self-determination-when-building-the-internet-becomes-a-right/
 ·         Network Self-determination and the Positive Externalities of Community Networks. in Luca Belli (Ed.) Community networks: the Internet by the people, for the people. pp 35-64. http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/handle/10438/19924
 ·         Community networks: the Internet by the people, for the people. Official Outcome of the UN IGF Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity. Rio de Janeiro. FGV Direito Rio.  http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/handle/10438/19401
 ·         Community connectivity: building the Internet from scratch: annual report of the UN IGF Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity. Rio de Janeiro. FGV Direito Rio.  http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/handle/10438/17528
 ·         For further information see  www.comconnectivity.org/resources  
   Luca Belli, PhD
 Senior Researcher 
 Head of Internet Governance @ FGV
 luca.belli at fgv.br
 +55 21 3799 5763

Luca Belli, PhD 
Senior Researcher, Center for Technology & Society, FGV Rio de Janeiro 
Chercheur Associé, Centre de Droit Public Comparé, Université Paris 2

Head of Internet Governance at FGV



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