Paper by Monika Zalnieriute: “As the global policy-making capacity and influence of non-state actors in the digital age is rapidly increasing, the protection of fundamental human rights by private actors becomes one of the most pressing issues in Global Governance. This article combines business and human rights and digital constitutionalism discourses and uses the changing institutional context of Internet Governance and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (‘ICANN’) as an example to argue that economic incentives act against the voluntary protection of human rights by informal actors and regulatory structures in the digital era. It further contends that the global policy-making role and increasing regulatory power of informal actors such as ICANN necessitates reframing of their legal duties by subjecting them to directly binding human rights obligations in international law.
The article argues that such reframing is particularly important in the information age for three reasons. Firstly, it is needed to rectify an imbalance between hard legal commercial obligations and human rights soft law. This imbalance is well reflected in