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Data Centers

Why Internet Policy Engagement is Necessary for Data Centers

Data centers provide the fundamental building blocks on which the Internet’s infrastructure is built; therefore, they represent the heart of the ecosystem that operates the digital economy. However, for the digital economy to function, the ecosystem of Internet providers that fill data centers need to be able to flourish. Maintaining Internet freedom is critical for the economy, and for data centers. The below points highlight the primary areas of policy concern to data centers:

Cross-Border Data Flows, Trade And Data Localization Issues

The decision of where a company should put its data is a complex one. Trade negotiations and decisions by governments on how they require data to behave within and outside their borders, affects where customers decide to house and store their data and equipment. Engagement in these issues is of tremendous importance to data centers.

i2Coalition is a defender of data flows, as we don’t believe in locking in one type of business model versus another.  We actively engage to ensure that the customers of data centers can market around the world, without needing a data center in every country.

Key policy areas we focus on in this area include:

  • Trade Agreements: i2Coalition successfully argued for provisions of the TPP that narrowly define the ways in which countries can force localization. We have continued advocacy in this area in TTIP and TISA.
  • European Digital Single Market: Internet infrastructure providers facilitate the transmission of data. Those whose data is transmitted by an infrastructure provider, or who place data on an infrastructure provider’s services as part of a specific services should be, and are, given access to this data under current European law.
  • US/EU Privacy Shield: This new framework is an important tool in US/EU commerce, and i2Coalition has been a leader in generating support for its creation.  The framework provides a method for companies to facilitate local law compliance without relocating their servers.

Role Of Government In The Internet Ecosystem

Issues around government access to data have tremendous effects on data centers. Between the seizure of customer equipment to the effect of surveillance on consumer confidence, laws around government access to data greatly affects the data center economy. i2Coalition works to support policy positions that support a data center’s role as an intermediary, and tries to assist data centers achieve policy goals that build consumer confidence in the cloud and market understanding of the global economy.

Key policy areas we focus on in this area include:

  • Cyber-Security & Encryption: While responsibly engaging with law enforcement, this industry needs to defend strong encryption and the tools that keep our networks safe. i2Coalition is an active educator within the U.S. Congress on how encryption works, and in attempting to explain its value to the Internet. i2Coalition has been an active voice in Apple’s FBI case, defending against a government mandate against weakened cybersecurity standards.
  • Warrants In The Cloud: i2Coalition is a leader for fighting for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and specifically its Title II Stored Communications Act (SCA). ECPA reform is good for consumer confidence, and it’s good for being able to proceduralize law enforcement requests.
  • Surveillance Reform: i2Coalition was an essential leader in helping pass the USA FREEDOM Act in 2015, which reformed how the PATRIOT Act addressed mass surveillance. i2Coalition expects to be an important voice in FISA Amendments Act reform as well.
  • Government Overreach: In certain circumstances, bills get introduced that simply ask too much of the Internet industry. For instance, i2Coalition successfully advocated against Sen. Cornyn’s amendment to the JRA that requires USAG to certify that countries in Europe don’t impede US intelligence activities.
  • OFAC Sanctions: It’s difficult interpreting and complying with OFAC sanctions in the digital world. i2Coalition is developing relationships with OFAC to seek clarity in this important area.
  • Government Control Of The Internet: i2Coalition has been an active voice within ICANN regarding expanding the influence of governments (the GAC) on the Internet’s world stage. i2Coalition defends multistakeholderism over the cause of multilateralism.

We Need Your Data Center To Join i2Coalition

Join the i2Coalition to amplify the noise we can make to fight for policies that matter to those of us who build the Internet’s infrastructure. The i2Coalition believes that an open and free Internet drives economic growth and enhances the lives of people around the globe. As an organization, we promote policies that foster continued development and expansion of the Internet. Interested in learning more about how the i2Coalition can help protect and grow the data center sector? Use the form below, to get in contact with us about joining the i2Coalition.

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