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Stephanie Borg ... July 27, 2017

Thank you for a timely blog post that reviews digital policy mid-year. The first trend is what strikes me most. The new proposals from the private industry is to a large extent the result of the realpolitik - digital politics based on very practical needs or interests. Today’s Internet is driven by different needs than, say 10 years ago. Tomorrow’s interests may be more pronounced. They can even change significantly, given the significant advances being made in AI (mostly) and IoT. It is a double-edged sword: on one hand, the needs of end-users can suffer; on the other, this can give rise to some very practical solutions, which we direly need in fields such cybersecurity and cyberconflict.
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Jovan Kurbalija July 27, 2017

Stephanie, I agree with your insight that a pragmatic approach to current digital issues may miss big changes ahead of us. We face many 'known unknowns' (artificial intelligence, virtual currency, big data, ...) and 'unknown unknowns' ahead of us. There are different logic to address them. Elon Mask and Stephen Hocking consider AI to be an existential threat to humanity. Like in climate change, we should use 'precautionary principle' in technology in order to ensure that worst won't happen. Other are less worried about technology and future using a wide range of arguments very often anchored in the past experience, such as.... - humanity eventually adjust to technological changes and disruptions (as it did in the past) - 'invisible hand' will promote positive impacts of technology and contain negative ones - march of technology is an unstoppable. Even if we should regulate fast technological growth, we cannot do it. Among these uncertainties, one certainty is that we are entering a very uncertain era in the history of mankind. In order to navigate this era, we will need a healthy mix of - old Greek - logos (knowledge), ethos (ethics) and pathos (emotions). In modern lingo, we need 'evidence based' policy that should respect some core principles of humanity and that should be implemented with a lot of empathy and respect especially for those who think differently. And, yes, we need a lot of luck!
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Glenn McKnight (not verified) July 27, 2017

As pointed out by Michael Geist, Canada and the US have opposing views on recent views of the US FCC on Net Neutrality. This is illustrated in the Canadian Liberal Party 2017 budget and policy statements which stress an Open and Innovative Internet. Canadian politicians and the public are avoiding the trend facing Americans to rollback the decisions on Net Neutrality. Source Article today by Michael Geist http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2017/07/toward-open-innovative-internet-lies-behind-canadas-net-neutrality-success-story/ On the issue of affordability the Canadian Radio and Television/Telecommunication Commission(CRTC) is pledging its support for affordable Internet across Canada and a pledge to support broadband with an investment of $750 million to upgrade infrastructure with a focus on underserved communities Source http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/role.htm
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Jovan Kurbalija July 27, 2017

Thank you Glenn for a very useful comment on Canada's position on net neutrality and access for all. On the international level, at the time of WSIS, Canada used to be one of the main actors in ICT for development. Will Canada 'return' to ICT development scene after pause of more than 10 years?
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Ginger Paque July 31, 2017

Thanks, Jovan. Starting at the WSIS prep-coms, I've never been able to understand why Internet governance issues have not more strongly highlighted e-voting Internet vulnerabilities and Internet voting. The right/responsibility/need to vote and the privacy of the vote involve IG issues on their own, but particularly as part of the larger encryption issue area. Is there a more important overarching encryption issue? In my mind, e-voting is important to more than half of your ten issue areas (1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9), yet you don't mention it even once (see the GIP DW update: https://dig.watch/updates/voting-machines-hacked-2-hours-defcon ). I'm wondering why this important issue isn't getting more attention.
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Jovan Kurbalija July 31, 2017

E-voting is one of horizontal issue combining a wide range of issues from encryption to basic human rights. Thank you for adding this trend! Jovan
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Jacob Odame-Baiden (not verified) August 24, 2017

Thank you Jovan! I keep coming back to this blog post, matching the analysis, observations and expectations for the months ahead with ongoing developments in the digital space. I just read about India’s Supreme Court ruling that privacy is a fundamental right for citizens, giving interpretation to Article 21 of the Indian constitution and its application to digital spaces (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/privacy-is-a-fundamental-right-under-article-21-rules-supreme-court/article19551224.ece). This goes to buttress point 3.(8) above which shows that without clear laws or regulations, the courts will step in to make decisive rulings to shape digital policies.

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