Christopher Bavitz, The Right to be Forgotten and Internet Governance: Challenges and Opportunities, 2 Latin Am. L. Rev. 1 (2019).
Abstract: This paper offers thoughts on the evolving nature and scope of Internet governance in the context of the development of the right to be forgotten. It summarises traditional frameworks for: (a) defining and operationalizing principles of Internet governance; and (b) distinguishing the types of issues that raise transnational governance concerns from the types of issues that are commonly considered the domain of local laws and norms. If an issue falls within the ambit of Internet governance, it may lend itself to a certain set of solutions (with input from a broad cross-section of global public and private stakeholders). Issues outside that domain tend to be subjects of local regulatory mechanisms, in accordance with notions of national sovereignty. Categorizing a set of legal, policy, or technical considerations as one or the other, thus, has consequences in terms of the types of approaches to governance that may best be deployed to address them. The paper provides examples of how recent technical and legal developments have put pressure on narrow conceptions of Internet governance as concerned primarily with Internet architecture and infrastructure. It posits that Internet governance models may be relevant to more and more conduct that occurs above the level of Internet’s metaphorical pipes, including developments that occur at what is traditionally conceived of as the content layer. The paper suggests that various global implementations of the right to be forgotten —and, in particular, implementations that are directed at the activities of search engines— offer a useful case study in examining and assessing this transformation.