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Robust exchange of ideas at Sri Lanka IGF (2)

The second panel was on digital rights and multistakeholderism. I did not think there can be much debate about a Rorschach inkblot so I devoted only one slide to it and made some passing comments, which still managed to elicit some response from the people who live under the protection of the concept.

Digital rights was where the robust exchange occurred. Not because of the relatively uncontroversial issue of governments being prevented from arbitrarily shutting down the Internet and the underlying telecom networks that I proposed. But it was because one of the panelists proposed the wholesale importation of the European data protection regime and rights such as the “right to be forgotten.” I expressed serious reservations. I was supported by the government lawyer on the panel. Then an American activist pitched in on the side of the advocate of the European approach. I pointed out that the cumbersome European approach had been rejected in the US for more or less the same reasons I had given.

So, robust exchange of ideas occurred.

The slideset.


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