On June 5, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce, issued a notice requesting “comments and recommendations from all interested stakeholders on its international Internet policy priorities for 2018 and beyond.” The comments, due July 2, 2018, are intended to help NTIA identify the most important issues facing the Internet globally. In particular, the notice seeks comments on the following four categories: (1) the free flow of information and jurisdiction; (2) the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance; (3) privacy and security; and (4) emerging technologies and trends.
NTIA’s request for comments follows on the heels of the May 25, 2018 European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rollout. The GDPR was designed to protect personal data privacy and harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, but is concerning in many ways to brand and copyright owners in that it requires redaction of critical identifying “WHOIS” information regarding website ownership from view—a substantial problem for those trying to combat counterfeiting and piracy online. The GDPR also poses several data privacy and security challenges for Internet, telecommunications and global technology companies. Shaping NTIA and the US Government’s global agenda related to “international information and communications technology policies,” moving forward will be critical for brand and copyright owners seeking to protect their intellectual property within the new GDPR regime, as well as for Internet, telecommunications and technology companies that may be impacted by post-GDPR US national and international discussions.