Implications of Post-Snowden Internet Localization Proposals

02 September 2014 - A Workshop on Istanbul,Turkey


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Emerging Issues


Following the 2013-2014 disclosures of large-scale pervasive surveillance of Internet traffic, various proposals to "localize" Internet users' data and change the path that Internet traffic would take have started to emerge.

Examples include mandatory storage of citizens' data within country, mandatory location of servers within country (e.g. Google, Facebook), launching state-run services (e.g. email services), restricted transborder Internet traffic routes, investment in alternate backbone infrastructure (e.g. submarine cables, IXPs), etc.

Localization of data and traffic routing strategies can be powerful tools for improving Internet experience for end-users, especially when done in response to Internet development needs. On the other hand, done uniquely in response to external factors (e.g. foreign surveillance), less optimal choices may be made in reactive moves.

How can we judge between Internet-useful versus Internet-harmful localisation and traffic routing approaches? What are the promises of data localization from the personal, community and business perspectives? What are the potential drawbacks? What are implications for innovation, user choice and the availability of online services in the global economy? What impact might they have on a global and interoperable Internet? What impact (if any) might these proposals have on user trust and expectations of privacy?

The objective of the session is to gather diverse perspectives and experiences to better understand the technical, social and economic implications of these proposals.

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

* Organizer:
Nicolas Seidler, Policy advisor
Technical community
Internet Society

* Co-organizer:
Matthew Shears
Civil society
Center for Democracy and Technology

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session


Duration of proposed session

60 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#surveillance, #localization, #privacy, #fragmentation

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Mr. Chris Riley, Senior Policy Engineer, Mozilla Corporation, Private sector (CONFIRMED)

Mr. Jari Arkko, Chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force, Technical community (CONFIRMED)

Mr. Christian Kaufmann, Director Network Architecture at Akamai Technologies, Private sector (CONFIRMED)

Ms. Emma Llanso, Director of Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy and Technology, Civil Society (CONFIRMED)

Mr. Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, Center for Internet and Society, India, Civil Society (CONFIRMED)

Name of Moderator(s)

Nicolas Seidler, Policy advisor, Internet Society

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Konstantinos Komaitis

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The panel will not feature lengthy statements but rather an interactive discussion with the on-site and remote audience, with ample opportunities for interactions among the panelists and between the panel and the audience.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

Options for meaningful remote participation will be defined. The Internet Society will leverage its rich community of Chapters to be actively engaged in the remote discussion.

Background paper

No background paper provided