Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits

Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits2018-07-23T16:47:56+00:00

The transfer and storage of data across different jurisdictions is a fundamental byproduct of the global, interoperable Internet. However, it can also result in pressures on legal systems designed for the pre-internet age. GNI is concerned that efforts to assert authority across borders and/or limit the free flow of data can impede privacy and freedom of expression, and have the potential to undermine the open Internet.  

GNI has engaged on a range of issues that raise important questions about when governments can and should assert authority over data in ways that impact how companies store and process data abroad. These include “Right to be Forgotten” decisions through which authorities in one country seek to influence the search results visible in other countries, as well as data localization laws which seek to impede the ability of companies to transfer data freely across borders.

When it comes to law enforcement requests for data held by companies in other countries, GNI’s framework helps companies respond in ways that protect the privacy rights of their users. GNI also supports efforts to streamline and better-resource the existing Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) system, which allows law enforcement in one country to request evidence stored in other country in order to prosecute crime. In 2015, GNI commissioned a report, “Data Beyond Borders: Mutual Legal Assistance in the Internet Age, which sets out key recommendations to update MLATs for the digital age.  The report drew on the expertise of our multi-stakeholder membership and has been the basis of extensive advocacy directed at governments and international organizations.

GNI also believes it is important to consider complementary approaches that could allow companies who hold data abroad to respond directly, in certain instances, to governments whose laws and procedures meet relevant international human rights standards. GNI provided views on the essential criteria that such an approach must meet in its October 2017 submission to the European Commission.

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GNI 2018 Learning Forum: “New World Borders: How Jurisdiction Affects Human Rights Online”

August 28, 2018|events, feature, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

On 18 September at New America, GNI will host two sessions on distinct but interrelated state actions that impact the flow of data across borders: sharing electronic evidence across jurisdictions, and global takedown orders. The event is co-hosted with the American Society for International Law and the Open Technology Institute at New America.
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GNI Provides Feedback on European Commission’s Proposal on Requests to Access Electronic Evidence Across Borders

July 24, 2018|feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, Publication, Resources, Uncategorized|

GNI recognizes that the Commission's proposal on requests to access electronic evidence across borders may expedite legitimate law enforcement investigations, but implementation also raises potential risks for users' rights. Read our recommendations

GNI Provides Input for UN Report on “Content Regulation in the Digital Age”

December 20, 2017|intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

GNI Submission for SR Report on Content Regulation Today the Global Network Initiative submitted input to the UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, for his report on content regulation in the digital age. The report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in [...]
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GNI Submits Comments to the European Commission’s Consultation on “Improving Cross-Border Access to Electronic Evidence in Criminal Matters”

October 30, 2017|Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Publication|

GNI Submission - EC Cross-Border Evidence Consultation On Friday, October 27, GNI submitted comments to the European Commission's consultation on "improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters," emphasizing the importance of rights-respecting legal procedures to the maintenance of the open, interoperable Internet. The Commission's consultation is part of [...]

GNI Statement on the Global De-listing Case Referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union

July 20, 2017|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

The Global Network Initiative notes the decision by the French courts to refer the global internet search de-listing case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. " This important case raises complex issues related to internationally protected rights to freedom of expression and privacy, and the ability of governments [...]

GNI Briefs the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Internet Freedom

March 4, 2016|events, intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, GNI Director of Policy and Learning Lisl Brunner presented to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) at a briefing titled “Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists.”

The Global Network Initiative Urges Kazakhstan to Respect the Security of Digital Communications

December 21, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is troubled by a provision in the new communications law of Kazakhstan which would require all Internet users to install a “national security certificate” on their devices. The certificate would permit government authorities to access all Internet traffic, regardless of whether encryption technology is used. Governments should support strong encryption, and rather than compromising digital security, they should use legal process to make requests of companies who encrypt and store their users’ data.

GNI Meets with UK officials to discuss new “Snoopers’ Charter” bill and mutual legal assistance reform

October 28, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

GNI met with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, and the Cabinet Office to express concerns about the impact the Investigatory Powers Bill will have internationally on privacy and free expression rights.

Event Recap: 2013 Learning Forum in Brussels

November 26, 2013|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy 2013 Learning Forum Brussels, Belgium Event Summary On 13 November 2013, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (ID) held their first joint Learning Forum, presenting an opportunity for information and communications technology (ICT) companies, [...]

2013 Learning Forum in Brussels

November 8, 2013|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy present their 2013 joint Learning Forum in Brussels, Belgium. 2013 Learning Forum 13 November 2013 Brussels Marriott Hotel Brussels, Belgium Moderated by John Kampfner, this first joint multi-stakeholder learning forum will bring to Brussels an [...]

GNI at the Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia

October 13, 2013|events, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, network disruptions, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative will participate in the 2013 Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia. GNI is jointly organizing the following workshop and we and invite you to join the discussion in person or via remote participation: No. 183, Oppression Online: Rights and Restrictions on the Network Day 2 (October 23): [...]

GNI Welcomes Report on UK Draft Communications Data Bill

December 12, 2012|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the report of the UK Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill and the Prime Minister’s commitment to rewrite the legislation. “The UK government has an important responsibility to protect the public, but the proposed bill does not strike the right balance with privacy rights,” says GNI [...]

Event: The Communications Data Bill: ‘Snoopers’ charter’, or safeguarding our security?

October 17, 2012|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

Date: Thursday October 18, 10.30am – 12pm Venue: Free Word Centre, London Tickets: By invitation only. Please email eve@indexoncensorship.org to request a place. Index on Censorship and the Global Network Initiative will be hosting this on-the-record panel discussion considering the government’s planned legislation around our communications online. John Kampfner will chair a panel featuring [...]
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GNI Comments on UK Draft Communications Data Bill

September 11, 2012|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Resources, surveillance|

GNI Submission on UK Communications Data Bill - August 2012 The Global Network Initiative (GNI) submitted the following written evidence to the Joint Committee of Parliament currently considering the UK Government's proposed Draft Communications Data Bill (C8359). Our submission has been published on the Committee website alongside other submissions. Global Network Initiative Written [...]

Global Network Initiative Concerned by Government of Vietnam’s Proposed Internet Decree

May 23, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is deeply concerned by the free speech and privacy implications of the Government of Vietnam’s Draft Decree on Internet Services, draft legislation which, if made into law, would oblige Internet companies and other providers of information to Internet users in Vietnam to cooperate with the [...]

GNI Statement on Protecting Intellectual Property and Upholding Free Expression and Innovation Online

January 20, 2012|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the decision by Congressional leaders to postpone immediate consideration of proposed intellectual property legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives. GNI supports the goal of protecting intellectual property online, but we firmly believe that the approach used in the Stop Online Piracy Act [...]