The trading of goods and services over the Internet is now routine in the global marketplace and a highly important facet of international commerce. The Internet’s capacity to move data across borders securely and efficiently is an important enabler of international trade. Despite the Internet’s significant contribution to international trade and the free flow of goods across borders, governments are employing a range of potentially damaging restrictions that reduce the ability of businesses to use the Internet as a venue for international commerce. Of these various restrictions, which are the most salient and harmful to online international commerce? How are these restrictions being used to prevent cybercrime or protect intellectual property, are they effective, and are there unintended consequences to these regulations?
On February 26, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a discussion on how governments can best enable online global commerce while also taking precautions to maintain security, national interests and intellectual property rights. A panel of experts discussed the increase in international trade and propose steps that governments should take to strengthen international trade rules and norms for the Internet.