Digital sovereignty – is Europe going in the right direction to keep Internet infrastructure secure and open? – FA 01 Sub 03 2022

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21 June 2022 | 12:30 - 13:15 CEST | SISSA Main Auditorium | Live streaming | Live transcription
Consolidated programme 2022 overview / Day 1

Proposals: #58

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Session teaser

Countries around the world are increasingly using the term “digital sovereignty” to justify strikingly different policies to control how the Internet works – but which of these understandings pose the greatest threat to the Internet as we know it?

Session description

“Digital Sovereignty” is a term that has been used to justify an array of policy objectives, ranging from anti-monopoly legislation and data privacy laws all the way to legislation to disconnect a country from the global Internet. This session will explore the diverging understandings of the term “digital sovereignty” around the world, placing the use of the term in Europe within a global context. The discussion will seek to identify the greatest opportunities and threats to the Internet associated with this new term. Participants will address the following questions:

  • How do countries around the world use the term “digital sovereignty” differently?
  • How do key European players use the term?
  • How is sovereignty framed – sovereignty from who or what?
  • When does “digital sovereignty” policy harm Internet infrastructure and how?
  • What would the imposition of geographic borders mean for the global Internet?
  • When is the ambiguous nature of the term harmful or helpful?
  • How any fragmentation that happens "outside of" the Internet reflects on the Internet?


Panelists will share their views on the use of the term digital sovereignty in key countries and regions as well as the risks and opportunities this poses to the open, globally connected, secure and trustworthy Internet. This will be followed by an interactive discussion with attendees.

Further reading


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Focal Point

  • David Frautschy

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  • Vittorio Bertola
  • David Frautschy
  • Alève Mine
  • Charles Martinet

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