Just Net Coalition, along with more than 170 civil society groups addressed an Open Letter to the UN Secretary General urging him to shelve plans for a High Level Multistakeholder Body which, if set up, can be expected to become the default apex global digital governance and policy body. This body is to be privately funded, with strong hints also at a ‘pay to play’ model. It is but obvious that Big Tech will come to dominate any such body.
With calls rising worldwide for closer regulation of Big Tech, it is paradoxical that we face the prospect of ‘Big Tech governing Big Tech’.
Quoting from the letter:
Not only in developing countries but also in the US and EU, calls for stronger regulation of Big Tech are rising. At the precise point when we should be shaping global norms to regulate Big Tech, plans have emerged for an ‘empowered’ global digital governance body that will evidently be dominated by Big Tech. Adding vastly to its already overweening power, this new Body would help Big Tech resist effective regulation, globally and at national levels. Indeed, we face the unbelievable prospect of ‘a Big Tech led body for Global Governance of Big Tech’.
Two technical annexes to the open letter explain the background of the matter in considerable detail.
The open letter may also be accessed at https://justnetcoalition.org/big-tech-governing-big-tech.pdf