Is Free and Open Internet the answer to Free information

The least trade-restrictive measures that fulfill legitimate public policy objectives, including personal data protection, The US, Japan, and Singapore have proposed free flow of cross-border data electronically.

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US, Japan and Singapore propose free flow of data, oppose server localization
Picture shows Data Center: US, Japan and Singapore propose free flow of data
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The least trade-restrictive measures that fulfill legitimate public policy objectives, including personal data protection, The US, Japan, and Singapore have proposed free flow of cross-border data electronically. Experts said will require India to safeguard its interests, prohibition of server localization and formation of clear processes for government intervention invoking data privacy. The move could compel countries to share their confidential data with foreigners. The developing countries, India wants to participate in these discussions and demands.

Insisting that foreign companies must store consumer data on servers located in India, besides India is framing an E-Commerce policy at present. India’s national policy on e-commerce to suit their interests, especially in areas of server localization and data sharing, experts said.

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The proposals to the World Trade Organization in a series of submissions a fortnight ago, the three nations, part of a 71-member bloc that’s seeking global rules for e-commerce. “These papers could pressure India and others who are not part of the e-commerce coalition to join them by making them feel otherwise left out,” said a person aware of the development.

“We are making an e-commerce policy and demands by the US and Japan can adversely affect us. We need to see how India can safeguard its interests.”

The US submissions talk of a free and open internet that encourages a free flow of information and propose a prohibition on data localization and web blocking. The international transfer of data through government policies, encumber cross-border business operations. Hinder the sound development of digital businesses. 11th WTO Ministerial Conference last December in Buenos Aires, 71 countries — almost half the membership and accounting for about 77% of global trade — got together and launched intensive discussions on e-commerce.

“It’s a coordinated effort by these countries to maintain momentum and continue what they began in the last ministerial,” said an expert on WTO matters.