The eGovernance Research Strand of the Emerging Technology and Law Department at Invictus Corporation is focused on researching the legal implications of newly deployed technologies for regulatory and supervisory purposes. Electronic Governance (eGovernance) is the application of Information and Communication technologies for delivering government services (IGI Global). The applications of eGovernance include but are not limited to contact tracing, digital diplomacy and cybersecurity. While eGovernance is widely considered to favour transparency and accessibility, reliance on technology in a process which inherently requires human judgement, like governance, raises several concerns which ought to be appropriately addressed and regulated. This Strand aims to evaluate how such regulation is being pursued and ensured, and whether and how it can be improved. Moreover, since a digitalised world is ultimately regulated and controlled by eGovernance, it is of paramount importance to research, and potentially provide recommendations about its legal implications. Such research would be beneficial and instrumental to the primary goals of the Department of Emerging Technology and Law at large.
One of the topics which is currently being researched is the interplay between governments’ disinformation tackling and human rights. Our society is overwhelmed with information, which comes from a variety of sources with varying levels of reliability. Whilst a strict regime ensuring the truthfulness of the information available may be prima facie desirable, freedom of expression is a defining element of most democratic societies. It is thus a governmental prerogative to strike a balance between these two clashing considerations. The eGovernance Research Strand will be assessing how artificial intelligence can be used to contain disinformation without encroaching fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression.
In parallel, the researchers are also evaluating the use and implications of “digital diplomacy”; the use of internet communication technologies to further a State’s interests. It seems that in today’s political arena, an off-the-cuff Twitter post by an influential state official has the potential to be of a similar or even more significant political impact than a full-fledged diplomatic mission. With growing trends of working from home and the widespread use of digital platforms such as social media and news apps as people’s primary source of information, internet communication technologies represent a new context in which the political process takes place. In light of a growing body of literature concerning the Internet of Things and the use of artificial intelligence for administrative purposes, it is of utmost importance to develop a clear understanding about the advantages and disadvantages of emerging technologies of “digital diplomacy”.
How can digital initiatives influence the response of governments in crisis? How is digital diplomacy implemented in different countries throughout the world? Most importantly, does the current international law framework adequately consider the popularisation of such technologies in the regulation of intergovernmental negotiation? Asking relevant questions such as these, the eGovernance Research Strand of the Emerging Technology and Law Department aims to produce timely research into the evolving world of digital diplomacy and its implications legally and politically.
In addition to these two main research avenues, members of the eGovernance Research Strand are also involved in numerous ad hoc publications ranging from the topics of contact tracing to RegTech and SupTech. Given that the field is much broader, it is the objective of the Strand to expand its expertise to achieve the overarching aim of providing comprehensive insight into the legal framework of eGovernance.
Our international team consists of determined, driven and high performing young professionals who deeply care about the pressing legislative and policy challenges affecting emerging technologies of today’s society. The team shares a common goal of providing stakeholders with comprehensive overviews and innovative recommendations, enabling efficient use of emerging technologies by governments across the globe.
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