Bucharest hosts discussion on how legislation influences internet infrastructure


On May 8, the 5th South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG 2019) concluded in Bucharest. The event is included in the list of regional internet governance forums. Representatives of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU /.РФ took part in it and prepared presentations for a number of the forum’s sections.

Mikhail Anisimov, Deputy Head of External Communications, spoke at the technical section on how regulation influences the creation of internet infrastructure. In his speech, he said that throughout the history of the internet, there was a group of interested parties that determined how the internet looks and functions. At the very beginning these were academics that set up experiments and created new data transfer technologies. Then the military began to play first violin, trying to create a network that was resistant to external damage. After the internet became available to civil society and the first commercial sites and services appeared, the development of the network began to comply with the requirement of maximum economic efficiency. And now a transition is underway all over the world, with major influence on the development of infrastructure and the choice of technical solutions coming from national or regional legislation, as well as various international agreements.

In his talk, Mikhail gave examples of how regulatory decisions influence the work of the internet and hosting providers, domain name registrars, DNS operators, and traffic exchange points. For example, the requirements of legislation to combat illegal content influence, depending on the country, the operation of the IP-addressing system and the domain name system, the work of search engines which are forced to remove links to content from the results of their issuance, and even the bandwidth of communication channels. Various legislative initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of the internet require operators to duplicate part of their infrastructure and enter into additional peering agreements. Personal data protection legislation defines additional technical measures that organizations must take in order to meet new technical specifications.

In addition to the main conference program, there was also a meeting on the sidelines of SEEDIG that involved representatives of ccTLD registries that manage domain zones in national languages and representatives of regional governments. The meeting focused on possible measures that registries, together with governments, could take to support the distribution of IDNs in the region. The meeting participants agreed that it is possible to devote attention to ccTLD domains in national languages only with the full and large-scale support of governments.

SEEDIG 5 brought together about 200 people from 28 countries, including representatives of government, business, academia and civil society.