March 21, 2019

International Issues

The Deciders: The Right to Be Forgotten

In January 2012, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, announced the European Commission’s proposal to create a sweeping new privacy right—the “right to be forgotten.” The right, which has been hotly debated in Europe for the past few years, is part of broad new proposed data protection regulations. Although Reding depicted the new right as a modest expansion of existing data privacy rights, some experts believe it represents a threat to free speech, or rewriting of history, on the Internet. In this lesson, students will learn about the proposed “right to be forgotten,” then discuss its implications for real-life scenarios. 

The European Union and the Right to be Forgotten

In January 2012, the European Union announced a proposal to create a sweeping new privacy right—the “right to be forgotten.” The right, which has been hotly debated in Europe, is part of proposed data protection regulations. In this lesson, students will learn about the proposed “right to be forgotten,” and then discuss its implications for real-life scenarios.

Internet Freedom and the United States

From blocking or closing down blogs and social networking sites, to simply shutting down Internet access, authoritarian governments have made it clear that the control of information has become even more of a central priority than in years past. The United States has issued multiple statements about the need for Internet freedom and offers proxy servers for individuals wishing to skirt government censorship, complicating the role of the nation in these international debates. These teaching ideas encourage students to think about how the United States fits into international debates about Internet censorship.

Pirates and the Law

In this lesson, discussion of modern day piracy begins with a cartoon depicting a 17th century pirate ship pulling a large 21st century ship through the sea. Then, the instructor can lead a conversation about piracy – What is piracy? Who are pirates? What motivates them? The lesson introduces students to issues involving international law in the context of globalization.

United States and the International Criminal Court

In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) began work as the first permanent international court in history created to investigate and prosecute individuals for atrocity crimes. The Court was formally established at a 1998 conference in Rome, Italy, now known as the Rome Conference. The Rome Statute is the resulting treaty from that meeting and outlines the structural and procedural details of the Court. The United States made many contributions to and signed the Rome Statute but ultimately voted not to ratify the treaty. This lesson compares the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights to the Rome Statute, then asks students to consider the relationship between the documents, and ultimately, whether or not the United States should ratify the treaty.