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UK Internet Policy Forum

The Open Internet and the Digital Economy

Wednesday 2 April 2014, central London

The digital economy, innovation, and consumers have benefited greatly from the open internet. The nature of the open internet also presents its own challenges, including how best to protect users and intellectual property against a background of the emerging role of big data and increasing concerns about security, access to content and personal privacy. How can the private and public sectors effectively respond to these concerns, whilst promoting the dynamism of the digital economy?

This year’s Internet Policy Forum on “Open Internet and the Digital Economy” will bring together a range of speakers and perspectives to discuss these issues, their influence in stimulating or stifling the digital economy, and the evolving impact of the open internet.


09.00Registration and coffee

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Chair, Nominet


Opening remarks
Dr Simon Moores, Conference Chair


Why Nominet believes in the open internet
Lesley Cowley OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Nominet


Open internet and the digital economy: Made for one another, or a Gordian knot?
Simon Milner, Facebook
Richard Braham, British Retail Consortium
Simon Rice, Information Commissioner’s Office
Richard Mollet, Alliance for Intellectual Property

The symbiotic relationship between the open internet and the digital economy means that regulatory developments in the internet space or other sectors can have a stifling or stimulating impact on the digital economy.

How essential is an open internet to a flourishing digital economy? How has the open internet challenged traditional industries and businesses to innovate, adapt and develop new business models? What should be the role of the private companies sector in filling perceived regulatory voids? What are the threats – political or social- to the open internet? What are the limitations and risks of our existing regulatory model in protecting users and intellectual property, and promoting innovation?


The open internet, filtering, and archiving
Alex Blowers, Nominet
Helen Hockx-Yu, British Library
Dave Coplin, Microsoft
Gabrielle Guillemin, Article 19

Is filtering for political, national security, or social (eg offence or content related to illegal activity) reasons ever desirable or acceptable? Under what conditions and by whom? Is it ever effective? What behaviours and standards should be expected by stakeholders of private actors and states? What criteria generate stakeholder trust in those seeking to filter or archive content?  

With the increasing propensity of individuals and bodies to archive content, how can we be sure that when “it’s gone”, it really is gone? What are the policy implications for private actors in archiving and publishing content or search results for content?  What is the economic and social value of archiving?  Is there a tension between the right to be forgotten and freedom of expression? Can we draw any comparative lessons of the impact of archiving and filtering on the digital economy from other states?


Big data, open data and the digital economy
Carla Bonina, London School of Economics
Richard Sargeant, Government Digital Service
Gilad Rosner, University of Nottingham
Siraj Datoo, The Guardian

What is the value of open data for the economy and society? Who pays and who profits from the use of open data? What are the real issues of open data and what are the myths? What should users be concerned about, and where are the opportunities for the digital economy in terms of new business models?  How can citizens and users of big data be assured of identity security, authentication, and personal privacy? What are the responsibilities of states and private companies in collecting and using data? Is Neelie Kroes right that “a voluntary approach is not enough: not any more. A weak link lets down the whole chain; weak legislation lets down our economy.” How can those managing and using big data restore the trust that has been damaged as a result of recent concerns relating to surveillance?

15.30An interview with Justine Roberts, CEO, Mumsnet

Closing remarks
Dr Simon Moores, Conference Chair


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