Digital Sovereignty - was: Co-Immunology and the Web

Dear Technical Architecture Group, 

   Lucian Floridi, Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute
recently published a short paper [1]

"The Fight for Digital Sovereignty: What It Is, and 
  Why It Matters, Especially for the EU"

In my view, this problem of sovereignty has arisen in the tension 
between the extraterritoriality of the Web/Internet and the 
territoriality of law. Prof Mireille Hildebrandt gave a detailed
history of sovereignty and territoriality 7 years ago [2]. 

Dame Wendy Hall and Kieron O’Hara have written about
the 4 internets as a reality [3].  
We have seen the rise 4 years ago of the theme of borders
and walls transforming politics in the US and the UK.
The problem won’t subside and the fracturing only worsen 
until this is addressed. 

Luckily we can use the web to heal this wound, weaving
the law into the web. This is what I call the Web of 

That paper puts the emphasis on nations, but the proposed
architecture is completely flexible, allowing supranational
as well as regional participation as suggested by Floridi. 
As it happens most of the technical pieces to build this 
have already been standardised by the W3C. But as a coordination 
institution the W3C is well positioned to help bring together
the right players and help this become a reality.

Henry Story


> On 1 Apr 2020, at 20:39, Henry Story <> wrote:
> Dear TAG,
>  I wrote a short essay that looks at the internet and the web from
> an immunological perspective. 
> It starts like this:
> [[ 
> The Covid-19 global pandemic has taught us that immunology is not just
> a biological phenomenon, but a personal one requiring us to adopt hygienic
> practices, a social one and indeed with the closing of frontiers a
> geopolitical one. But it also breaks into the space of technology with
> requirements that we learn hygiene rules about reposting content, to limit
> transmission of false information about the virus.
> I will show how the concept of co-immunity developed by Peter Sloterdijk
> can give us a framework to understand this. The essay ends by developing
> an analysis of the immunological features of the internet and locate pieces
> that we need to make a healthier World Wide Web.  
> ]]
> There are a number of references there that could be useful
> to inform web architecture.
> All the best,
> Henry Story
> @bblfish

Henry Story
WhatsApp, Signal, Tel: +33 6 38 32 69 84‬ 
Twitter: @bblfish

Received on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 10:55:49 UTC