LUMS holds Roundtable Discussion on Internet Policy & Law
A roundtable discussion on Internet Policy and Law was held on April 19, 2012 in the Faculty Lounge under the recently launched LUMS Research Initiative on Internet and Society. The Roundtable were attended by around 35 expert participants, including High Court judges, lawyers, business representatives, academics, scholars, activists and students. All attended in their personal capacity and were encouraged to speak freely, under Chatham House Rules. Dr. Ali Qazilbash, Chair of the Department of Law and Policy, and Dr. Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor LUMS, moderated the conversation.
The goal of the roundtable - one of a series that LUMS intends to host on Internet Law and Policy - was to highlight the key priorities and issues that Pakistan should focus on. The diverse group of participants and the open forum of discussion encouraged a wide variety of perspectives to be aired. Participants highlighted a number of priority issues and concerns dealing with Internet Policy and Law in Pakistan which fall into four main categories of (a) rights, (b) legislation, (c) delivery mechanisms and (d) capacity building. In particular, policies to monitor issues and the implementation of existing or future policies were debated, as well as how law could stay up to date with technology, which moves much faster than the cumbersome legal process. Points about privacy, intellectual property, and ways that technology could improve work and life were also brought to the table.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Qazilbash highlighted these, and streSBASSEd on the particular role of the University in the area of creating a basic technology literacy and understanding. He narrated a story about someone asking, “Did you cut and paste?” followed by the reply, “No, I copied and paste” as an example of how important such technology literacy can be in dealing with Internet-related policy issues.
Dr. Najam closed by saying that the event was helpful in providing the outlines of what could turn into a road map of the types of issues that need to be tackled in this debate. He streSBASSEd that as a university, LUMS could contribute in creating a knowledge-base on the subject and convening larger conversations amongst key constituencies.
The event was one more element of the larger LUMS Initiative on Internet and Society and followed closely on the launch of the LUMS Technology for People Initiative the previous day.