Experts try to find global solution to internet legislation

World Today

The internet and new technology continue to make our lives easier. But, laws and regulations are struggling to keep pace with the rate of evolving innovations developed every year. Now, some of the world’s top universities are joining forces in China’s tech-hub city of Shenzhen to find a solution.

The internet and new technology continue to make our lives easier. But, laws and regulations are struggling to keep pace with the rate of evolving innovations developed every year. Now, some of the world’s top universities are joining forces in China’s tech-hub city of Shenzhen to find a solution.

CCTV’s Ge Yunfei gave us the story.

Experts try to find solution to global internet legislation

The internet and new technology continue to make our lives easier. But, laws and regulations are struggling to keep pace with the rate of evolving innovations developed every year. Now, some of the world’s top universities are joining forces in China’s tech-hub city of Shenzhen to find a solution. CCTV’s Ge Yunfei gave us the story.

Internet regulation has always been a headache for regulators. And, dozens of legal experts and industry insiders gathered in Shenzhen for the 5th Peking-Stanford-Oxford Internet Law & Policy Conference.

The fast-evolving tech industry has raised many new challenges for current legal practices, but experts at the conference say a grey area is quite natural and necessary.

Professor Zhang Ping of Peking University Law School says legislation always lags behind technological development.

“You can’t pass a new law immediately after innovative technology is created,” he said. “New technology will bring new business models but we have to wait for the market to mature in order for all of the problems to be unveiled.”

But sometimes regulators can’t just stand on the sidelines, for instance, when dealing with adult-themed content on live-streaming websites or vulgar and explicit content.

Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and its Chinese counterpart DiDi Chuxing, provide perfect examples of the conflict between the law and reality. And this reminds experts of British law back in the age when the horse-drawn carriage was the main form of public transportation.

Mark Stephens, from the University of Oxford, was the lawyer of Julian Assange, the infamous founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks. He defended Assange against extradition to Sweden.
To crack down on the rising amount of cross-border internet crime, he said no to the idea of a new international body presiding over internet regulation.

“It’s too problematic to set up an international body,” Stephens said. “What we need is to speed and increase cooperation between countries.”

Experts say that governments need to reach a consensus and share principles in order to achieve stronger global internet governance.