Article by Russell Brandom: “One of the biggest negotiations in tech has been happening almost entirely behind the scenes. Organized as a side letter to the World Trade Organization, the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on E-commerce has been developing quietly for more than six years, picking up particular momentum in the last six months. The goal is to codify a new set of rules for international online trade between the United States and 88 other countries throughout Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
But while the participants basically agree about the nuts and bolts of copyright and licensing, broader questions of data protection have taken center stage. The group brings together free-market diehards like Singapore with more protectionist countries like Brazil, so it’s no surprise that there are different ideas of privacy in play. But this kind of international bargaining can play a surprising role in shaping what’s possible. Countries can still set tougher privacy rules at a national level, but with the offending parties almost always based overseas, a contravening agreement might make those rules difficult to enforce…(More)”.