Building Internet Bills of Rights

Date: November 26, 2015 (Thursday)

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Venue: Room 7.23, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU

Speaker: Dr. Carlos Affonso Souza, State University of Rio de JaneiroInstitute of Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS)

Abstract: Is there a constitutional moment for Internet governance and regulation? Among a large number of Declarations and Charters of Internet Rights that have emerged in the last years, some countries have already approved their own Internet Bill of Rights. That is the case of Brazil, whose pioneering Bill was built after two years of online consultation and three years of legislative debates. If Brazil decided to follow a hard law approach, Italy has taken a different path. The Italian Declaration of Internet Rights is a soft law initiative, created by the Parliament and with a European ambition. France, in turn, is focusing on a very detailed online consultation around the idea of a Digital Republic Bill. What are the processes to build such texts? Content-wise, how different concerns such as net neutrality, privacy and creating safeguards for intermediaries´ liability intertwine in a single legislation? In the wake of an ever-changing global Internet governance and regulation scenario, the talk will address the challenges and opportunities of the new Internet Bills of Rights.


Founder and Director of the Institute of Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS), Dr. Carlos Affonso Souza is an Assistant Professor of Private Law at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and holds a joint appointment with the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). He is a leading international expert on Internet Governance issues, an Associate Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and a Policy Fellow at Access. Dr Souza holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in civil law from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He has been at the forefront of many international initiatives on Internet governance, including at ICANN and at the United Nation’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Dr Souza is one of the leading authorities in Law & Technology issues in Brazil, where his work has been cited numerous times, with approval, by the highest courts. He is a consulting partner at Chediak Law Firm.