Experts discussed the lack of regulation in the Internet

The CECS and the Operational Unit in Electronic Governance, of the United Nations University, organized a seminar on “Civil Participation in Internet Governance” on April 5 (3:00 p.m.) in the amphitheater of the School of Engineering (UMinho – Campus de Gualtar). The initiative was supported by the GT de Economia e Políticas da Comunicação da Sopcom [Sopcom Economy and Communications Policy Working Group]. Researchers Janara Sousa and Sérgio Denicoli presented perspectives on the Internet governance issue, which was been discussed from the point of view of Law, by Joana Rita Abreu, and from the Information Systems point of view, by Luís Amaral.

Internet governance and the many issues that this issue raises – such as user privacy, child protection and net neutrality – are at the heart of a current debate about the evolution of an increasingly central technology in today’s world life. These were the main issues of the Seminar “Civil Participation in the Internet Governance”, held in April 5th, in the Engineer Auditorium, in the Gualtar campus of the University of Minho. The event was organised by the Working Group of Communication and Economy Policies of Sopcom.

According to Sergio Denicoli, one of the speakers whom has just finished his Post-Doctoral research in the Communication & Society Research Centre, “we still have a long way ahead to find solutions. The power of some countries is remarkable, as put forward by Luís Amaral, Lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at the School of Engineering of the University of Minho: “there are twelve large domain servers in the world. Eleven are located in the United States”, predicting that real “digital sovereignty wars could happen”.

In a context where users’ personal information has an absolutely essential economic value, issues such as privacy, cyberbullying and electronic surveillance will also be increasingly central to the debate. Today, one of the great features of this debate, according to Janara Sousa, a researcher from the University of Brasilia whom has been carrying out a year of postdoctoral research at CECS, is the low participation of civil society. In this context, the researcher defended a greater intervention of the state to motivate civil society to participate, highlighting the importance of a “multitakeholder” government currently limited by the “technicist discourse” that distances most people.

Elsa Costa e Silva