Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet)

A global network for scholars of internet governance

Open discussion on Internet fragmentation - Berlin - 17 February 2016

Is the Internet falling apart? Are we witnessing an unstoppable process of technical, governmental or commercial fragmentation? Are countries, regions or continents erecting digital walls for the purpose of control or national sovereignty? Are companies building walled gardens that render the Internet less open and accessible than it used to be? Or might we actually need barriers and protected areas for the purpose of data protection and copyright?

On February 17th, we will address these and similar questions in an open debate about Internet fragmentation. The discussion will be launched by a short conversation between William Drake (University of Zurich) and Stefan Heumann (Stiftung Neue Verantwortung), which critically summarizes a much-debated study on Internet fragmentation that William Drake recently conducted for the World Economic Forum (WEF), together with Vint Cerf (Google) and Wolfgang Kleinwächter (University of Aarhus) (view the video of the issue briefing during the recent WEF meeting).

All guests and participants are invited to discuss the results and recommendations of this study and to question the interest of economic actors and governments in the hot topic of Internet fragmentation.

The discussion will be in English.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

18:30 - Arrival and welcoming snack
19:00 - Presentation of a study on Internet fragmentation by William Drake, in conversation with Stefan Heumann
19:30 - Open discussion with all participants (in English)
20:30 - Reception and networking

Wikimedia Germany
Tempelhofer Ufer 23/24 - 10963 Berlin
Room Mosaik

The meeting is the first one in a series of events that aim to bring together different actors from civil society and academia who are interested in international Internet policy and its impact on the national level. These networking meetings will take place three times per year, in Berlin, Germany. They are organised by several civil society groups and academia, including GigaNet, Medienstadt Leipzig e.V., Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and the German section of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF-D). All stakeholder groups are welcome to join the meetings. Please contact us for suggestions regarding possible future topics.

The event is supported by ICANN.

Participation is free but registration is required. RSVP via email to:

Lorena Jaume-Palasi:

Julia Pohle:

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