UN Human Rights Council Approves Expert On Privacy In The Digital Age

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The UN Human Rights Council at its 28th session today in Geneva adopted a resolution that establishes a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on Privacy in the Digital Age. The Council also approved a resolution extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights for 3 years, and took note of the current rapporteur’s recent report raising concerns about the impact of copyright on human rights.

EU Trade Commissioner Suggests Special Court For ISDS Cases

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European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem today defended the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement panels in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but offered several amendments for consideration.

NetMundial Initiative: Still Breathing

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After a report by the Register’s Kieren McCarthy on a postponement of the inaugural meeting of the NetMundial Initiative (NMI) Council discussions were revived over the need for the new body in several mailing lists.

Trade Outlook In 2015: The Race Of The Mega-Regionals

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For international trade, 2015 will be “a year of work” rather than of finalisation, as Viviane Reding put it. The comment of the former European Commission vice president and Justice Commissioner focussed on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), as she is now the European Parliament’s rapporteur for TISA. The services agreement is still sailing under the radar compared to its bigger cousins, the US-EU bilateral Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Yet “a year of work” might well describe the 2015 agenda for the mega-regional trade negotiations too. Will any of them get to the finish line? A race is on in which the United States and European Union seem to anxiously look to China’s advance while fighting rising opposition at home.

Researchers Find Liberalised Google Keywords Not Harmful To Trademarks

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A Swiss-US team of researchers is challenging the “belief that the granting of property rights is necessary in order to overcome information asymmetries and other market failures in consumer markets,” a core concept in the fight over trademark protection on the internet.

European Parliament Votes For Renewal Of Mandate For Internet Governance Forum

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The European Parliament today adopted a resolution calling on the UN General Assembly to renew the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), while strengthening its resources and the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.

Political Windows Open And Close, Says ICANN President; Seeks End Of Prep For IANA Transition

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At the opening of this week’s 52nd meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Singapore, the ICANN leadership supported by former President Bill Clinton aide Ira Magaziner, pushed for urgency in finalising the proposal for the future oversight of the private names and numbers regime.

The Year Ahead In Internet Governance: Of Competing Institutions, IANA Transition, And A New Crypto War

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For many years Electronic Frontier Foundation Policy Analyst Jeremy Malcolm has been predicting the next year would be the pivotal year for the UN-led Internet Governance Forum (IGF). With the NetMundial Initiative being constructed these coming months and governments having not yet agreed to prolong the IGF mandate, the decade-old forum might be challenged to either move or become just one of many internet governance conference venues. And while some hope the future oversight over the internet’s underlying IANA function could become an experiment in shared global governance, others point out that more and more of the interesting questions of internet politics are decided elsewhere: national governments, trade negotiators, big data giants and cyberdominance strategists.

TISA Negotiations: Yes To E-Commerce, Data Flows, No To IPR, Data Protection?

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After two years of negotiations, the draft Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) stands at 17 horizontal and sector-specific proposals, negotiators told Intellectual Property Watch after the 2-5 December Geneva round of negotiations. The sector-specific annexes of the agreement, sources confirm, include one on telecommunication and one all e-commerce aspects.

ITU Plenipotentiary Outcome Limiting UN Agency Role In Internet Governance Deemed “Success”

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US Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda on the eve of the final celebration of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference last week said he was “happy” about the results. Asked what he thought was the most important resolution of the three week conference, he told Intellectual Property Watch he would not name one resolution, but rather considered the achievement of overall consensus by the ITU member states on the final documents “a success.”