Nexa Center Annual Report 2013

Presented in 2013 during the Board of Trustees meeting of the Nexa Center


During its 6th year of activity, the Nexa Center reached its most important results in the thematic areas concerning open data, network neutrality, and the commons. The Center also improved its national
and international connections and continued to improve its internal organization and processes.

The Center was recognized as valuable domain expert in various open data-related projects, such as the EU-funded “Homer” (as legal consultants for Regione Piemonte) and “Open-DAI”, a European project supporting innovation in the information architecture of public sector bodies, where the Center has been appointed by the project coordinator as responsible for the exploitation strategy, replacing the previous under-performing partner and contributing to a successful mid-term project review.

The Neubot project on network neutrality progressed on several grounds. The software platform was improved, enabling new experiments, and its overall reliability was increased. Furthermore, a scientific article describing the latest Neubot developments was accepted for publication by the prestigious ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review. In general, Neubot received a growing amount of attention, including a Measurement Lab research grant, awarded by Google, to fund our ongoing activities on this project.

Regarding the public domain and the (intangible) commons, the Center distinguished itself as one of the most active national affiliate institutions of the Creative Commons network during the drafting of the fourth version of the Creative Commons Public Licenses. Thanks to our knowledge of civil and European law, our contribution was critical with respect to the definition of the legal handling of databases in the new CC licenses.

As its main event of the reporting period, the Nexa Center led the scientific organization of the Italian Internet Governance Forum 2012, which took place in Turin in October. IGF Italia included sessions about fundamental online rights, digital divides, logical and physical infrastructures, network neutrality, Internet & entrepreneurship, e-government, digital agendas, and open data. The Forum enjoyed significant national visibility, also thanks to the participation, for the first time, of two Italian Ministers.

As for the public domain and the (intangible) commons, the Nexa Center supported the Italian translation and adoption of the 4.0 version of the Creative Commons Public Licenses, raising awareness on its new features. Moreover, the Nexa Center participated in several critical consultations promoted by Italian and European institutions on copyright-related topics.

As a tangible sign of international recognition, the Nexa Center is amongst the eight founding members of the Network of Centers on Internet & Society. Launched by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in December 2012, the Network supports the cooperation among the main Internet & society research centers worldwide. Furthermore, the Nexa Center has recently become part of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder international group aimed at protecting and advancing freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

Juan Carlos De Martin and Marco Ricolfi – Faculty Directors