Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits

Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits2019-01-13T16:51:19+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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New World Borders: How Governments Assert Authority Across Borders in the Internet Age

October 2, 2018|events, feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Multimedia|

Although the transfer of data across jurisdictions is a fundamental byproduct of the global, interoperable Internet, it can also put pressures on legal systems designed for the pre-Internet age. For the 2018 Learning Forum, "New World Borders." GNI joined with ASIL and OTI at New America to explore pressing questions related to jurisdiction and human rights online.

Experts Share International Perspectives on the CLOUD Act at Capitol Hill Event

October 2, 2018|events, feature, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases|

On 18 September, GNI convened a group of experts to discuss how possible partner countries measure against the criteria the U.S. CLOUD Act sets out for bilateral agreements for evidence sharing, how Congress can help ensure the agreements protect human rights, and how the law may impact Internet governance globally.

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
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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 [...]

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.”
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