The recent legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would enable the U.S. government bar (read 'veto') any move to put the governance and regulation of the Internet under the UN represents. This is a very interesting and important development in the on-going debate over global Internet Governance. The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus have introduced a legislation on March 27 "urging the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to oppose any resolution that would allow regulation of the Internet."
What this implies is that Dr. Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations in New York is expected to watch out for any such moves at the UN, and quickly veto it by explaining in an 'uncompromising manner', the United States Government's global public diplomacy policy which favours an open Internet, that is governed based on the current multi-stakeholder model within the oversight of U.S.-based institutions.
The battles lines are already drawn. At DotConnectAfrica (DCA), we see the expected opposition of Internet regulation by the U.S. Permanent Mission at the UN as reminiscent of DCA's strident and principled opposition at ICANN-42 Dakar of the move by the African Union (AU) to include the DotAfrica namespace in the Top-Level Reserved Names List. Thus DCA has consistently argued for unconditional support for the current multi-stakeholder model, and not too long ago, strongly argued why such support should continue, (see 2012: The Year of the New gTLD program and the year to support ICANN)
The present move by the United States Congress is a public vindication of DCA's position. We believe that such moves of putting the Internet under U.N. control would be 'obstructionist' to the Internet's potential as a platform for continuing inventiveness and innovation — prospects that can only be fully realized in an unfettered multi-stakeholder Internet governance model that is now operative.
On a Foot Note: (South Africa in the spotlight)
According to recent news report covered by "Time Magazine" of USA, titled: The Case Against Letting the U.N. Govern the Internet, South Africa was sited as one of the members of the UN Security Council that supported the cause: "The proposal sought to establish that 'policy authority for Internet-related public issues is the sovereign right of States' and not the ICANN, the IETF or the other multistakeholder groups that now run the Internet. At the same time, Brazil, India and South Africa called for creation of 'new global body' to control the Internet."
About DotConnectAfrica – DotConnectAfrica a non-profit, non-partisan org registered in Mauritius, along with DCA Registry Services located in Nairobi, Kenya will sponsor, establish and operate a gTLD registry with global recognition and regional significance dedicated to the needs of Pan-African & African constituency. Learn More
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