March 2017

doteditorial March 2017

Klaus Landefeld, Member of the Board at the eco Association, on ensuring the survival of cyberspace as we know it – by avoiding nationalistic tendencies in global governance

dotmagazine March 2017 − Who Rules the Internet?

Credit: © Spexstudio | iStockphoto

Politics, having failed to establish even the bare minimum of cross-national agreements, and being faced with digitalization in all aspects of modern life, is developing a certain disregard towards the international aspects of the net.

Irrespective of the world region, be it North America, Europe, Russia, or China, national regulations and requirements are being toughened to a point where navigating the thin line of lawful operation on a global scale is becoming close to impossible for a multinational service. 

When one country’s requirement for data retention is another country’s breach of privacy; one country’s prohibited hate speech, another country’s protected freedom of speech – how are service providers expected to operate an international platform? How does one resolve conflicting cultural differences and expectations?

And this is just the tip of the iceberg: With more and more countries establishing laws to enforce national rulings on an international level, even declaring the whole of "cyberspace" as a legal ground of operation for law enforcement with no national boundaries whatsoever – where does this leave us? Where are the boundaries of national sovereignty, and how far is the reach of national law?

As difficult as it may be in the new world order of "my nation first" – it is imperative to quickly resolve these conflicts, to find a common ground for internationally acceptable rules and regulations in order to ensure the survival of cyberspace as we know it.

On that note, welcome to the latest issue of dotmagazine, “Who rules the Internet?” – where we look into the mechanisms of global governance and self-regulation that are helping to keep cyberspace healthy, and we offer insight into the Domain Name System – how the telephone book of the Internet connects us all.

Klaus Landefeld

Klaus Landefeld
Board Member & Director for Infrastructure and Networks
eco – Association of the Internet Industry