Friday, March 21, 2008

International Topics at CFP '08

As conference chair, I thought that the theme of Technology Policy '08 would be a timely one. It is indeed a US-centric invitation to discuss the important issues facing cyberspace/information society as it wrapped up attention to the US election year cycle. This thread is intended to solicit people's opinions about how to best strike the balance between international issues and the Tech Policy '08 theme.

As I primarily deal with international issues in my work, I have come to appreciate the extent to which US tech policy influences the rest of the world. A better understanding of what technology policy 'is,' in the US electoral process, could help clarify international issues in both the multi-lateral and domestic contexts. If US politicians were more accountable to their decisions regarding tech policy, and felt pressure to have coherent and consistent views on these issues, the US position could possibly be influenced in UN institutions and free trade agreement negotiations.

Given this relationship of US policy and international CFP issues such as privacy, IP, telecom, etc., I see an important role for international issues and panels at the CFP. Panel proposals that reveal this dynamic would be particularly interesting. Even more welcome would be proposals on international issues that impact technology policy everywhere, including the US. It is my opinion that through such discussions, discussions at CFP can actually become less US-centric.

That's just my 2 cents [or insert other monetary unit here].


Giovanni Battista Gallus said...

Eddan I completely agree with you.

A very interesting topic would be the introduction (and enforcement) of a new fundamental right: the right to integrity and confidentiality of information technology systems, as recently stated by the German Constitutional Court.

It seems, however, that this fundamental right is threatened all over Europe, by various national legislations which, on the contrary, tend to curb users' privacy and confidentiality.
It would be therefore interesting to analyze the threats posed to “digital freedom” by European (and Italian) Legislation.
I proposed a topic on this subject matter, which could merge (or could be complementary to) with the "filtering and censorship in Europe" panel idea, proposed by Ville Oksanen.
There are a lot of very interesting comparative issues, to be brought forward.

jon said...

Excellent point, Giovanni -- and thanks for cross-posting on Facebook! I put notes in your and Ville's proposals about the potential synergies.

jon said...

On a different topic, I started up another thread on Voces Contra la FARC.

freedom4internet said...


At last year's CFP (montreal), we had funds to both cover flight and accommodation for some panelists . It was on a as-needed basis, and up to the chair.. but we did have some funding.

If funding is - scarce - then it would be good for the PC to know .

With funding available - we need to be strategic. Do we seek more participation from US based groups - one that perhaps haven't attended in the past, give the opportunity to foreign panelists to attend, or something in between.