GNI Brainstorming

From Cyberlaw: Difficult Issues Winter 2010
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  • Remember, GNI is about government privacy, not consumer privacy.
  • GNI is about free expression, privacy, responsible company decision making.




  1. Who should be in the GNI?
  2. Why do companies have to join GNI when they can just follow principles and not bind themselves and make themselves a target?
  3. Do we need different GNIs?
    1. One for hardware, for software, service providers? or different policies/implementation guidance?
    2. Different tiers representing different levels of commitment?
  4. How do we incentivize joining?
    1. What are the benefits of joining GNI?
      1. Expanding the scope of service of GNI as a way to incentivize small companies?
      2. Subpoena resistance clinic?
  5. How should GNI work?
    1. an organization where only members can participate and benefit, or a forum where companies can share practice about HR protection?
  6. How should the complaint process work?
    1. Accessibility

Publicity / Branding

We need a logo! Let's get some logos for our presentation.

What should GNI be doing

1. Subpoena resistance? Is this a problem people are really facing?

- Is this more a problem for companies that are not part of GNI? This a way to incentivize small companies to join?

- What do small companies care about privacy? Maybe they do

- A chart with some basic explanation of how ECPA works

- Recognize that don't always need to fight subpoena. There are legit requests even in repressive regimes.

- Can we do something with the Google Italy case?

- But a lot of these cases will be in places that don't speak English.

- Europe harder to share litigation costs because many don't have case law system.

- Subpoena resistance clinic too broad. We need to think "All these subpoenas out there against companies. Is there some way that GNI can help?" annoucment

Is it a failure that Google didn't go to the GNI with their decision to make the China announcement or during their investigation?

Alternatives to GNI

  1. Maybe GNI is a nice try but not working? In that case, how do we solve the problems of privacy and free expression internationally?
  2. More general international privacy rules?

Potential Solutions to these problems

Subpoena Resistance

Is there a way that GNI could play a role in helping organizations determine the validity of subpoenas and to determine whether compliance with a given subpoenas is supported by GNI principles?

Could be a pool of lawyers/students that can review subpoenas, such as a clinic, or could be the preparation of a toolkit to make subpoena analysis easier for companies with few resources.


  • New Logo?
    • Would this be like a the GNI "stamp of approval" that we talked about in class
    • Could this logo appear on privacy pages of participating companies to build the GNI brand?
  • New name?
    • "Global Network Initiative" seems very bland, generic and easy to forget
  • Promotional material
    • Brochure?
    • Video?
  • building up community?
  • resources to use: chilling effects, herdict, etc.