Internet Governance

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United Nations Establishes Working Group on Internet Governance

Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today the members of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance, which is to prepare the ground for a decision on this contentious issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005. The establishment of the Working Group was requested by the first phase of the Summit, held in Geneva last December. At that time, countries agreed to continue the dialogue on the management of the Internet, at both the technical and policy levels. more

Does the Internet Need to be Governed?

The term "Internet Governance" has become an area of particular attention in part as a consequence of widespread recognition that the Internet represents an important area of national interest for all countries seeking to participate in the benefits of global electronic commerce, distance learning, access to the encyclopedic wealth of information on the Internet, and in the social dimension that the Internet is creating. From the perspective of governments, the Internet is simultaneously a technology that promises high economic value for parties making use of it and a challenge in that it is unlike all other telecommunications media previously invented. more

The Need to Keep Congress Fully Informed

The MOU between the Department of Commerce and ICANN includes a series of specific milestones that the corporation is required to accomplish by certain specified dates. One of the specific requirements placed on ICANN by the agency is to define "a predictable strategy for selecting new TLDs using straightforward, transparent, and objective procedures that preserve the stability of the Internet...." The MOU goes on to state that "(strategy development to be completed by September 30, 2004 and implementation to commence by December 31, 2004)." more

Fifth Publication of the UN ICT Task Force Series

The following is the introductory excerpt from the United Nations ICT Task Force's recently published "Internet Governance: A Grand Collaboration". This publication offers a collection of works from the March 2004 meeting. more

Internet Governance Has Become a Non-Issue

It's funny, but I recall the battle cry that the WWW was "free" back in its early days. When contributing game concept to the early and great gaming pioneers like Infocom, there was such a great esprit-du-corps amongst our team regarding the fun as well as utility that the WWW offerred. In retrospect, we were so naive. I recall the days when guys like Bill Gates prided themselves on being such a great "hackers" - it was a noble term back then.  more

Can TCP/IP Survive?

The following article is an excerpt from the recently released Internet Analysis Report 2004 - Protocols and Governance. Full details of the argument for protocol reform can be found at 'Internet Mark 2 Project' website, where a copy of the Executive Summary can be downloaded free of charge. ..."In releasing this section for comment, I would like to point out that the report's conclusions are based on a cumulative examination of various protocols and systems. We are at a point of time where other protocols and systems are equally problematic -- the report points to some significant problems with DNS structure and scalability, and also points out that, to all intents and purposes, the basic email protocol, SMTP, is broken and needs immediate replacement." more

NCUC Group Releases Nominations

The Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) is the constituency group representing civil society organizations in the formation of domain name policy. In August 2004 it initiated a process to nominate people to serve on the UN Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance, as representatives of civil society. Our purpose was to assist the Secretary-General to identify qualified and widely-supported individuals capable of serving on the WGIG on behalf of civil society. more

As WGIG forms, Ideas about Defining its Scope Circulate

The Internet Governance Project (IGP) issued a set of reports analyzing the current "state of play" in Internet governance. The reports were commissioned by the United Nations ICT Task Force as an input into the deliberations of the UN Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). The report identifies the international organizations and agreements affecting the Internet, and points out where there are conflicts and gaps. more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part III

This is the final part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "You have been visiting WSIS as a member of the German delegation. Could you share some of your personal impressions with us? Did you primarily look at WSIS as an ICT circus for governmental officials and development experts or was there something, no matter how futile, at stake there?..." more

Averting the Internet Meltdown

A call to action went out: a small, California-based organization called People for Internet Responsibility (PFIR) posted an announcement for an urgent conference - "Preventing the Internet Meltdown." The meltdown that PFIR envisioned was not an impending technical malfunction or enemy attack. Instead, conference organizers foresaw "risks of imminent disruption" to the Internet that would come from an unlikely sector: government officials and bureaucrats working on the unglamorous-sounding problems of Internet Governance. more