Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Featured Blogs

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part III

For a book project I decided to extend my interview with Milton Mueller from November 2003 (Part I | Part II). Exclusively for CircleID readers, here's part III that deals with WSIS, WGIG, US-American bias and the Internet Governance Project. "...One good result of the WGIG process is that the involved international community has already moved beyond those cliches. No one is proposing that the UN control the Internet. There is growing consensus that control of the DNS root needs to be internationalized..." more

ICANN Call for Submissions of Interest for Leadership

ICANN's Nomination Committee has begun their process to nominate more members to various boards, councils and committees of ICANN. This is the process by which I was elected to the board last year. Contrary to what some people may think, these positions should not be taken to try to gain some privilege or power. These are positions of responsibility and require a lot of work for no tangible return except possibly the opportunity to meet other very interesting people. I think about my role at ICANN like I would think about jury duty. We have all benefited from the proper functioning of the Internet for the last decade. If you've benefited in the past and care about the future of the Internet, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community by applying for one of these positions. more

So, Who Really Did Invent the Internet?

The beginnings of the Internet are shrouded in myth and misunderstandings that have led to some claims of proprietary ownership of the Internet. Where and when did the Internet begin? The only thing Internet historians seem to agree on is that it was not 1969, or the Pentagon, (or for that matter Al Gore). From there on, there is a wide divergence of views as to when, where, and by whom the Internet may have been invented... more

The Geography of Internet Addressing

The ITU-T has proposed a new system of country-based IP address allocations which aims to satisfy a natural demand for self-determination by countries; however, the proposal also stands to realign the Internet's frontiers onto national boundaries, with consequences which are explored here. ...we do indeed see the Internet as a single entity, and we even speak of the Internet's architecture as if there was one designer who laid out a plan and supervised its construction. But despite all appearances, the Internet landscape is indeed made up of many separate networks... This article will explore these issues, particularly in light of recent proposals to introduce new mechanisms for IP address management, a prospect which could, over time, substantially alter both the geography of the Internet, and its essential characteristics as a single cohesive network. more

Could IP Addressing Benefit from the Introduction of Competitive Suppliers?

An article written by Paul Wilson, Director General of Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), and Geoff Huston, Senior Internet Research Scientist at APNIC. "In recent months proposals have been made for the introduction of competition into the system of allocation of IP addresses. In particular, calls have been made for new IP address registries to be established which would compete with the existing Regional Internet address Registries (RIRs). Specific proposals have been made by Houlin Zhao of the ITU-T and by Milton Mueller of the Internet Governance Project, both of which propose that the ITU itself could establish such a registry group, operating as a collection of national registries." ...It would appear that part of the rationale for these proposals lies in the expectation that the introduction of competition would naturally lead to outcomes of "better" or "more efficient" services the address distribution function. This article is a commentary on this expectation, looking at the relationship between a competitive supply framework and the role of address distribution, and offering some perspective on the potential outcomes that may be associated with such a scenario for IP addresses, or indeed for network addresses in general. more

The Ultimate Solution to Internet Governance: Let ITU and ICANN compete

Controversies over ICANN led to the creation of the Working Group on Internet Governance, but so far there have been few specific proposals for change. The Internet Governance Project has entered that breach with a new policy paper: "What to Do About ICANN: A Proposal for Structural Reform." The proposal, by Hans Klein and myself, proposes three clean, clear but probably controversial solutions to the criticisms that have been made of ICANN. more

Why Restricted TLDs Should Not Be Gatecrashed

In recent weeks, thousands of what ICANN describes as "questionable" registrations have been activated... Let me illustrate: Mr. ICANN decides to hold a party. He has decided that he only wants to ask some of his professional friends to come, so they are asked to bring their party invites with them to prove they've been invited, because poor Mr. ICANN has had trouble before with people gatecrashing his parties. At a sunrise party he'd held a few years ago, all kinds of people had gatecrashed and no-one had asked to see their invites and it was dreadful. So Mr. ICANN hires a bouncer to stand guard at the front door of his house. The bouncer, Johnny Registry, assures Mr. ICANN that no-one will get in without an invite... more

The Net-Net on Dot Net

ICANN has posted its suggested .net agreement [PDF]. The new draft puts the ICANN Board and the Names Council firmly in control of the registry's future, and represents a substantial change to the existing registry contracts. No one gave ICANN the power to do this, and it is strange that no approval by anyone -- including the US Dept of Commerce -- is being sought to make this happen. ICANN is taking the occasion of the .net rebid to restructure its entire relationship to the world. more

Internet Governance: Analogue Solutions to Digital Problems

This is an overview of the booklet, "Internet Governance: Issues, Actors and Divides," recently published by DiploFoundation and the Global Knowledge Partnership. "Internet Governance is not a simple subject. Although it deals with a major symbol of the DIGITAL world, it cannot be handled with a digital - binary logic of true/false and good/bad. Instead, the subject's many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception require an ANALOGUE approach, covering a continuum of options and compromises." Update: This article was reposted with additional information and a new title. more

Whither WGIG?

Now, I don't like the word "whither" any more than you do. But this Reuters article was circulating yesterday and it seemed to call for a "whither." It's a short story, so let's do a close reading. "A U.N.-sponsored panel aims to settle a long-running tug of war for control of the Internet by July and propose solutions to problems such as cyber crime and email spam, panel leaders said on Monday." We're going to decide what "internet governance" is by July?  more