What do we talk about when we talk about Internet regulation?

On Monday, 29 October 2018, Bryan SCHILLING, who is responsible for matters related to safety, security, and legal affairs at ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) visited the College of Europe in Natolin to meet our students.

The day started with an open discussion. Students asked lots of questions about the challenges that we face in Internet governance today, including the risk of a potential fragmentation of the Internet and the difficulty of enforcing national laws in the context of a network that transcends borders. Bryan also talked a bit about his career path, advising students who could be interested in mixing law, technology, and policy issues in their upcoming professional lives.

Following this, a smaller group ended up sitting down for a long lunch with Bryan. There, conversations primarily focused on the nitty-gritty legal and policy dilemmas that we face every day when talking about Internet regulation. What role should governments and national laws play when it comes to taking down illegal or immoral content online? What should big technology firms do? And how should we, as political and social scientists, approach such questions?