lighting, Diplomacy

Briefing for the Permanent Representatives of NY Missions on current trends in digital policy & the interplay between New York and Geneva – 2017

06 September 2017 -

New York

Event description

The briefing will be delivered by the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform and Director of DiploFoundation, Dr Jovan Kurbalija, and will tackle the most important developments in the digital policy of relevance to the UN-NY agenda. The event is co-organised with the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Malta to the UN in New York.

The briefing will focus on issues such as cybersecurity, cyber geopolitics, digital rights, digital commerce and Internet economy. Notably, the links between the digital agenda covered at the UN in New York, and the UN in Geneva, will be addressed.

This event is for permanent representatives only. For more information and registration, please contact Tereza Horejsova at or at +1-202-413-9233.


Background information:

2017 has so far been a year full of landmark developments in digital policy. Governments worldwide are taxing the Internet industry and imposing fines for monopoly practices. The Internet industry can no longer be shielded by the narrative of being a ‘different’ part of the economy. The cyber-driven tension between the USA and Russia has dominated cybersecurity discussions since the beginning of the year. Globally, ransomware attacks, and increasingly, sophisticated attacks by cybercriminals, have been a major concern. The UN Group of Governmental Experts ended its fourth session without a consensus on its final report. The search for cyber-stability and certainty continues.

While cybersecurity has featured prominently in most international meetings, we have not yet reached concrete solutions that can properly address cybersecurity risks. The overall digital governance gap is being filled by courts worldwide. Internet users and organisations are increasingly turning to the courts in search for solutions to their digital problems. After ruling on the right to be forgotten and on mass-surveillance, the Court of Justice of the European Union is expected to decide whether Uber is a form of transportation or an information company – a ruling whose outcome will have great impact on the future of the ‘sharing economy’.

Digital commerce discussions are gaining momentum in the build-up to the WTO Ministerial Meeting, to be held in Buenos Aires in December. Since the beginning of the year, the question of how to balance encryption with human rights and security, has surged in the World Trade Organization and the G20, among other policy spaces. Encryption remains the focus of debates in academic and policy circles. The interplay among three technologies – artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and big data – has created a new dynamism likely to be followed by regulatory action.