The panel discussion “Internet Governance: What It Is, Where It’s Going, and What It Means for Your Clients,” sponsored by the ABA Section of International Law, will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, in Room 3008 at the Moscone Center West.
Originally developed as a new world without borders and governmental restraints, the Internet has evolved into one of the most politicized and influential elements of daily life. Panelists will discuss current issues that affect legal practitioners, how lawyers can explain Internet governance to their clients and how Internet governance affects business decisions made by companies as they expand globally, especially in regard to privacy issues and e-commerce.
“Internet Governance: What It Is, Where It’s Going, and
What It Means for Your Clients”
Friday, Aug. 9
“The challenge to me in the subject matter is how to make these issues that seem to be affecting people overseas relevant to the ABA members,” said panelist David E. Satola, lead counsel at the World Bank. “But, more and more, these issues are going to have a cross-border impact. I think, for the lawyers in this space, it’s inevitable that their work is going to be more international, although it might not be obvious now.”
Panelist Francoise Gilbert, founder and managing director of the IT Law Group, also addressed the international nature of the issue.
“Throughout the world, there is an increasing interest in the protection of personal data,” she said. “Countries are enacting data protection laws at a more rapid pace. The handling of personal information, by private entities as well as governments, has become a key factor in the competition to attract new customers.”
As a top executive of an intergovernmental organization, Satola also deals frequently with the complexity of Internet governance in relation to human rights. During a speech at the Creighton University School of Law on Feb. 28, Satola said:
“I’m working in 20 countries at the moment where we’re trying to introduce broadband capability by submarine cables or terrestrial fiber or something like that. So we’re bringing in these big pipes, and there’s a lot of capacity flowing in and out of these countries.
“My view is, and so far I’ve been successful in convincing my institution of it, is that along with that we also need to provide an enabling environment that provides certain safeguards and guarantees around things like privacy of the individual and protection of their rights of free speech, which are human rights that are determined by organizations other than mine.”
About the Panelists
Alan Gutterman, the panel’s moderator, is creator of the Business Counselor Blog and founder and principal of Gutterman Law & Business. He is former chief operating officer of a broadband media company and former chief legal officer of a leading international wholesaler in the information technology industry headquartered in Silicon Valley.
David E. Satola, lead counsel at the World Bank, is co-chair of the Internet Governance Task Force for the ABA Business Law Section’s Cyberspace Law Committee. Before joining the World Bank, Satola was in-house counsel for a major global telecommunications company, worked in private legal practice advising on telecommunications joint ventures and served as the legal adviser to a human rights nongovernmental organization.
Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, has extensively studied the landmark 1986 Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, which amended the federal Wiretap Act. He focuses on the legislative arena and feels that some of the keys to successfully applying and updating the ECPA in the digital age are that the reform be bipartisan, that it have the participation and support of the companies developing technologies and offering communications services, and that it not attempt to harmonize standards under the ECPA with those of the amended 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Francoise Gilbert of Palo Alto, Calif., is the founder and managing director of the IT Law Group, a niche law firm that focuses on information privacy and security, cloud computing and data governance. Earlier this year, Gilbert moderated a session at Santa Clara University on how to encourage global privacy and security programs in multinational organizations. Gilbert also serves as general counsel to the Cloud Security Alliance and has held leadership positions at the ABA, including co-chair of the Science and Technology Law Section’s e-Privacy Law Committee.