The Internet Law & Policy Forum (ILPF) is a nonprofit business association that was formed in 1995 by leading companies such as Netscape, AOL, Visa, Fujitsu and British Telecom. The organization focuses on the complex issues facing governments and businesses as the Internet becomes an increasingly significant aspect of our economy and society.
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Through its conferences, working groups, and expert workshops, the ILPF provides a neutral forum and international perspective in order to discover best practices and develop practical solutions for the multi-faceted challenges posed by the Internet in the realms of law, policy, technology and business.
In the seven years since its founding, the ILPF has gained a leadership reputation for helping to shape the laws and policies on issues vital to the Internet in many jurisdictions around the world. We have published works on electronic authentication, jurisdiction, content blocking and most recently, intermediary liability for Internet content all of which address the legal and policy issues facing the constantly-emerging technologies, cross-border functionality and dynamic business models required by Internet use. Our members and our meetings promote substantive dialogue and foster development of operating principles and best practices to advance a global and sustainable Internet.
Without a solid understanding of the related and complex legal, business, policy and technology issues underpinning the Internet, we believe that its future development cannot be properly understood or fully realized. To that end, ILPF calls on the expertise of our member companies as well as others working in legal, policy and intergovernmental organizations around the world.
How the ILPF Works
The ILPF was designed as a flexible organization whose activities and variety of projects contribute to its mission. We provide a variety of forums in which experts can study the range of issues facing the Internet in depth and detail. During our meetings and exchanges, members review policy and current practices, share information, and develop solutions. Three major activities we offer are:
When appropriate, the ILPF also works with other leading public and private organizations to promote the sustainable growth of the Internet, including ICC/BIAC, UNCITRAL, OECD, SIIA, ITAA and GBDe.
- Working Groups
- Expert Workshops
- Annual Conference
This designation covers a range of substantive legal or policy areas which interested members choose to explore. Current Working Groups are:
A new Working Group can be designated at any time with the consensus of the membership. Specific Working Group activities may include:
- commissioning surveys of laws or legislative proposals in a specific area, compiled and analyzed by law firms or law schools;
- convening formal Working Group sessions to discuss a given topic or consider the results of a commissioned survey. Such sessions may result in written reports or ILPF Consensus Principles.
We also promote the sustainable Internet by hosting expert workshops focusing on specific in-depth topics. These are usually day-long events featuring 30-50 experts from around the world who represent a variety of sectors and perspectives. These workshops provide a forum for open dialogue through carefully-planned agendas that ensure participants can explore all viewpoints on an issue.
This past year, the ILPF hosted two expert workshops: Responsibilities and Liabilities Created by Internet Surveillance Laws (Washington, DC, 7 February 2002), and an International Workshop on Content-related Issues: Policy/ Legal Frameworks and Solutions (Tokyo, February 2002).
The ILPF yearly conference attracts international participation and fosters the spirited exchange of ideas among representatives of governments, industry, consumer interest groups and academia. Each conference program is structured around a broad topic. Recent themes have been Global Networks/Local Rules; The Borderless Medium. The most recent conference, Security v. Privacy, took place in September 2002, one year after terrorism and technology converged with global repercussions.
Influence and Advocacy
While the ILPF does not participate in advocacy campaigns directed to national governments, we do play a vital role in achieving workable solutions to complex cross-border legal issues. Members have access to valuable tools for their own advocacy programs in the form of highly respected analyses, statements and consensus principles. The open and engaged debate fostered by our conferences, working groups and expert workshops creates an environment and a network of expertise in which workable solutions become possible.