The Last Frontier of Constitutionalism is… Facebook? Assessing the Oversight Board’s first handful of decisions

The Oversight Board – which was momentarily dubbed “the Supreme Court of Facebook” – finally started to hand down decisions on content moderation in 2021. The Board is an independent institution that, despite being initially founded and funded by Facebook, is now administered by an irrevocable trust. It can hear appeals from Facebook and Instagram users when content is either removed or preserved by the company. The Board has full control over its docket and its decisions to uphold or reverse Facebook’s calls are binding. In this working paper, I argue that the Board’s first decisions were heavily influenced by digital constitutionalism; “the ideology which aims to establish and ensure the existence of a normative framework for the protection of fundamental rights and the balancing of powers in the digital environment” (CELESTE, 2019). Moreover, I show why this is a step in the right direction and how it may help better protect fundamental rights online going forward.

Data security vs National security – Reflections about encryption, cloud computing and (non) personal data.

The use of cloud computing services is still increasing. However, confidentiality issues are considered as the main obstacles for a wide adoption of cloud computing facilities. The objective of this paper is to present the two competing interests at stake: data security and national security, and examine how both could be reconciled. The paper is structured in three distinct chapters where cloud computing services, encryption, and data protection will be adressed. A focus will also be drawn on EU Council proposal on encryption. Encryption techniques are an important tool that can guarantee data confidentiality, limiting the risk of data breaches, exposure of confidential data, and thus essential for customers, individuals or companies deploying cloud solutions at a large scale. As data security cannot be an excuse to form a threat to national security, the reverse should also be true: national security cannot be an excuse (and abused) in order to limit or circumvent data security.

Digital Dissent and Freedom of Expression in India’s Social Media Platforms

In providing a space for individuals to exchange communication on the internet, social media platforms moderate discourse according to their guidelines and societal aims. While it is not possible to dissociate the establishment of social media platforms from the economic perspective of data mining and exploration, the privatization of political deliberation on digital spaces raises fundamental questions concerning the exercise and protection of democracy and fundamental rights in digital social spheres. This paper proposes to examine digital constitutionalism in regard to digital dissent and the right to protest. In order to do so, we will analyze India’s legal framework for content moderation in contrast with the expansion of autocratic and populist measures taken by the Modi government. This investigation considers India’s relationship with social media platforms, exploring the relationship between societal and transnational legal regimes with regional constitutional systems.

The Institutional Design of the Facebook Oversight Board – A Model for the Future?

In my paper, I will consider the institutional design of the Facebook Oversight Board which is mandated to “protect free expression by making principled, independent decisions about important pieces of content and by issuing policy advisory opinions on Facebook’s content policies.” I will compare and contrast the design with other human rights adjudicative mechanisms created at the international level. The objective of my paper is to consider whether the FOB provides for a forum that is institutionally strong, for it is likely to become the blueprint for other mechanisms of digital adjudication.

ICT Standards Bodies as Institutions of Global Economic Governance: What Role for the WTO?

Standardization of information and communication technologies has become a quintessential part of the global economic activity. ICT standards support technical infrastructure, bolster (e)-commerce and rule digital markets, creating normative expectations for the industry; they also have a far-reaching regulatory, political, economic and societal consequences. ICT standards are produced by private standards bodies that have largely managed to escape the purview of the WTO. However, due to their increasing regulatory impact and the importance for international trade, this “status quo” of ICT standards and ICT standards bodies can no longer be neglected. Moreover, the political economy of standardization, as well as the growing role of non-Western actors as leaders of global standardization efforts, puts into question the adequacy of the current WTO framework for standardization. This paper to tailor this framework to the current practices in ICT standardization.

DIGITAL PUBLIC POWER – THE RIGHT TO CONTROL THE PERSONAL DATA

ABSTRACT
The problem of this paper plan relates to the individuals’s rights to control the personal data, his or her own personal data, in the digital information systems administered by public authorities. The topic has close connection to the privacy rights and right of protection of personal data written into the Charter of European Union Human Rights. Public authorities usually collect and save personal data into their digital information systems or registers. The trend is, that public power and the decision-making by the public authorities has been widely digitalized. Instead, there are various kind of digital information systems with no access by individuals. Various kind of personal data is processed in the digital form, also the personal data, which is sensitive, in its nature (registers in traffic, police, health, tax authorities etc.). How are we able to control the public power and our personal data in the information systems?