INTERNET: CHALLENGES TO PEACE AND FREEDOM
GENERAL GOAL OF THE CONGRESS:
At a time when the amount of technological research has overcome the limits of our imagination, it is necessary to define the state we find ourselves and our societies in, and look towards new advances appearing in the near future and how they will affect our civil rights and liberties.
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For this reason, it was important for the World Jurist Association and its Spanish Chapter to organize a congress focusing on these transcendent matters under the title “INTERNET: CHALLENGES ON PEACE AND FREEDOM”. The congress will be based on the knowledge, research and experience obtained in scientific fields to share them in an informative way. Given the Internet’s wide range of influence, we have approached it by focusing on different fields that have been significantly affected by it. We will have the following panels: Internet: Peace and Freedom (as the main subject of the congress); Justice, Civil Service and the Internet (PANEL 1); The Internet and the Corporate World (PANEL 2); Internet: Taxation and Money Laundering (PANEL 3); Cybercrime, The Penal Code and the Internet (PANEL 4); Data Protection in Social Media, Freedom and Democracy (PANEL 5); The Economy and the Internet (PANEL 6).
Of course, the subjects of the panels represent the possible approaches and do not imply that the Internet will not affect other related subjects. We can ask ourselves where then is there a correspondence between the panels and the main subject of the congress; however, the Internet’s wide scope enables a plausible link between them. These panels will present singular contributions brought by different qualified experts on specific topics. We expect to draw conclusions from the panelists’ contributions, which may shed new light on the subject.
Opening Lecture – Internet: Peace and Freedom
Since the Internet is so poorly regulated, we need to understand which of its features encourage individual and social freedom, as well as which ones help maintain peace at global and local levels. While social networks have promoted higher standards of participation, thus helping to disseminate the ideals of democracy worldwide, it has also propelled terrorist propaganda throughout the world. The moment has now come to analyze the real impact that the Internet has, not only on our day-to-day lives but on geopolitics as well.
PANEL 1 – Justice, Civil Service and the Internet
One of the greatest challenges posed by the Internet can be found in the public sector. The public administration is available to provide citizens with the best possible service. It should not be a hindrance to citizens. New technologies and the Internet allow the administration to provide various services, such as education, health, and social services, so that they may be provided more rapidly and more efficiently. The enormous amount of regulation currently in existence in most countries around the world creates a great deal of bureaucracy, slowing down the performance of administrative tasks, which is a handicap that often hinders initiative and economic progress.
Within the justice administration area, where tardiness and delays have affected diligence in the issuing of court decisions for a long time, Internet usage is an important work tool that improves the quality of the justice administration’s public service.
The Internet can definitely be a useful and crucial tool that brings citizens closer to the public administration, contributing to a greater level of transparency, rationality, and the ability to make better use of budget resources.
The speakers will discuss how new digital tools on the Internet work within the public administration within their different areas of expertise, will draw conclusions and make predictions.
Panel 2. The Internet and the Corporate World.
The Internet has contributed by invigorating the corporate world from the administrative, business, and financial standpoints. The use of tools provided by the Internet has simplified production processes, communication within the companies themselves, among clients, and providers, facilitating the relationship with financial intermediaries.
Within the corporate area, relationships with shareholders and management bodies in the company, such as the board of directors, have become more fluid and direct thanks to the use of the Internet. In listed companies, the organization of general meetings, the relationship with shareholders, institutional investors and retail has become closer and more transparent, allowing an improvement in the company’s good governance.
The speakers will analyze the different aspects previously discussed, performing an analysis of what has been achieved up until now and carrying out the necessary reflections in regards to the points discussed.
Panel 3. Digital Taxation and Money Laundering.
The financial transactions that take place in the international sphere, benefiting from the use of the mechanisms allowed by the Internet, have led different states, including those in the European Union, to regulate and prevent abuses and breaches that may affect money laundering and movements that may be conducive to tax fraud when it comes to money transfers. These new ways of doing business have enabled the relocation of core business functions and, consequently, a different distribution of taxing rights, pursuing low taxation. For this reason, countries around the world are adopting new tax measures or changing the criteria for legal interpretation and that of bilateral tax treaties for an increasingly digitized and globalized economy.
The panel will analyze the current situation of the European Union and the United States in regards to this area, drawing conclusions derived from the debate and discussions taking place in this regard.
Panel 4. Cybercrime, the Penal Code, and the Internet
This is perhaps one of the most enthralling subjects in regards to the Internet. In what way does free access to information and its use for publishing all kinds of information and news, true or false, afforded by the Internet, create important risks that affect criminal aspects and the safeguarding of people’s rights?
The Internet has forced governments to regulate issues concerning what is known as “cybercrime”, which is one of the crimes committed through the use of the Internet, with the objective of suppressing and eliminating impunity in regards to such actions. The speakers shall discuss various topics related to this issue. Our goal is to get to know the current state of the fight against Internet crimes and what the proposals are for the future as well as that which might occur at the legislative level.
Panel 5. Data Protection, Social Media, and Freedom.
Intensive use of Internet tools has led legislative bodies in various countries to regulate data protection and privacy issues in order to protect society against the illegal use of data. It is clear that the business of using people’s personal information is a matter that has yet to be strictly regulated by the authorities. There is no doubt that existing data protection legislation still has many gaps to fill. Although it is true that theoretically speaking people’s rights are protected from a legal standpoint, it is also a fact that these rights are often violated on the web. Therefore, the panel will be analyzing the current situation surrounding legislation in different countries and the proposals to try to improve the present state of affairs.
Panel 6. Economics and the Internet.
The economy worldwide has benefited from the existence of the Internet. The new developments that have been exploited by the web and that have facilitated its usage have turned it into one of the new and most dynamic industrial sectors, which in some countries has brought about a significant increase in GDP.
In the macroeconomic sphere, Internet usage has without a doubt been a huge step forward in the knowledge and research regarding the current economic situation. The ease of access to information has in many cases enabled forecasts regarding situational changes, managing statistics on trends in a direct and simple manner, variables and prices.
A very obvious example of the use of new technologies is that associated with stock market quotations, indexes, and that which affects international financial transactions. The most significant economic sectors have benefited from the Internet. As an example, we need only to list the telecommunications sector, which has revolutionized innovation tremendously. Many large multinational companies have also taken advantage of the resources provided by the internet in this sector: Google, Microsoft, Facebook.
The panel will thus consider the impact the Internet has had on the global economy and will make forecasts and predictions based on its findings in order to continue improving this remarkable tool.
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