[From Internet Society CEO/President Kathy Brown]
This week, the world’s eyes will turn to Brazil, host of the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. This meeting is an important opportunity to continue discussions on key Internet governance principles and a roadmap for future action.
We are in the midst of a very busy global policy dialogue on Internet governance and, as the discussion grows, it is more important than ever to be clear about what is meant by the phrase “Internet governance.” This is a discussion that has its origins in the 2003-2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and that has, in the years since, evolved as dynamically as the Internet itself. This year is a particularly busy one for those of us who are focused on these issues – an inflection point that could shape the future of the Internet and its governance.
As we look forward to NETmundial, it is important that we consider the broader context: Internet governance is not about the role of any one stakeholder group (governments, technical organizations, private enterprise, civil society, etc.) but is rather about how we all work together to tackle the challenges that emerge in the context of the Internet. Whether the issues are related to ensuring the robustness and resiliency of Internet security and privacy, advancing the deployment and development of core Internet infrastructure, or any number of other concrete challenges, we need to come together to address issues in ways that do not undermine the fundamental design principles of the Internet. Too much focus on static definitions of the roles and responsibilities of any one stakeholder group could distract our attention from achieving the overall balance that is needed for any successful governance system.
On Friday March 14 2014 the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it had invited ICANN to make a multistakeholder-derived proposal to take over responsibility for the “IANA functions“, i.e. management of the Internet’s root zone, when the current contract ends in 2015. In response Internet technical organizations, including the Internet Society, issued the following statement:
Internet Technical Leaders Welcome IANA Globalization Progress
The leaders of the Internet technical organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet infrastructure (IETF, IAB, RIRs, ccTLD ROs, ICANN, ISOC, and W3C), welcome the US Government’s announcement of the suggested changes related to the IANA functions contract.
The roles on policy development processes of the Internet technical organizations and ICANN’s role as administrator of the IANA functions, remain unchanged
The transition of the US Government stewardship has been envisaged since the early days of IANA functions contract. This transition is now feasible due to the maturity of the Internet technical organizations involved in performing their respective roles related to the IANA functions, and ICANN will facilitate a global, multi-stakeholder process to plan for the transition.
The strength and stability of the IANA functions within the above organizations (which make up the Internet technical community) are critical to the operation of the Internet. The processes around the IANA functions have always been carefully specified in the communities that our organizations represent. The IANA functions are faithfully administered by ICANN. We are committed to continuing our proven, community-driven processes as we engage in this transition. Our communities are already considering proposals to progress the transition.
Our organizations are committed to open and transparent multi-stakeholder processes. We are also committed to further strengthening our processes and agreements related to the IANA functions, and to building on the existing organizations and their roles. The Internet technical community is strong enough to continue its role, while assuming the stewardship function as it transitions from the US Government.
ISOC-NY is delighted to present Milton Mueller’s first full exposition of his new book Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance at NYU on Tuesday December 14 2010. Prof. Mueller is a co-founder of ICANN’s NonCommercial User’s Constituency and a renowned cyberlibertarian. His 2002 book Ruling the Root has long been the definitive work on governance. We are excited to hear details of what, in his mind, has changed in the last 8 years. This event is open to the public and will be webcast live.
What: Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance
When: Tuesday December 14 2010 : 7-9pm
Where: Rm 317, Warren Weaver Hall NYU, 251 Mercer St NYC (& W. 4 St)
Who: Public welcome. No RSVP needed. Photo ID required.