Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Recently Commented

UN to Take First Step Towards the New Internet Governance Forum

The United Nations will launch the first round of consultations next month on creating a new Internet governance body [IGF], as agreed by delegates attending the global Net summit in Tunis last year.

The U.N., which hosted the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in November, is welcoming all stakeholders to attend the consultations, which will take place in Geneva on Feb. 16-17, according to a statement published Jan. 11 by Swiss diplomat Markus Kummer, who had previously participated in the WSIS Working Group on Internet Governance. more

Notes from Tunis: The New Internet Governance Forum

I'm in Tunis at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), where the biggest debate is over the future of "Internet Governance." The final text for this was agreed upon about 30 minutes ago. The two quick sounds bites are that (1) the US and the US based Internet Corporation for Domain Names and Numbers (ICANN) retain, for now, control over the most important aspects of the global Internet Domain Name System (DNS), and (2) the conversation over this issue and a surprisingly broader governance agenda is continuing, under the United Nations. more

Development Matters More than Domains

The advance teams are already gathered in Tunisia ahead of next week's second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, and those of us on the press list are being deluged with announcements, releases, notices and invitations to meetings. The meeting, which runs from 15-18 November, is an opportunity to look at the progress that has been made since December 2003, when representatives and heads of state gathered in Geneva. more

Public Policy Questions for Internet

There is little doubt that the Internet has formed part of the impetus for a revolutionary change in the nature of the global communications industry. "Revolutionary" in the sense that the past decade has seen fundamental and highly disruptive changes in the nature of the underlying technologies used by the industry, changes in the composition, ownership and role of industry players, changes in the nature of services offered to the end consumer, changes in the associated financial models used by the industry, and changes in the regulatory environments in which this industry operates. Considering that this industry was, in the latter half of the twentieth century, one of the largest and most influential industry sectors on a global basis, these revolutionary changes will doubtless have consequences that will echo onward for some time yet. 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

Creating a Police State From the Ashes of the Internet

Former CIA Director, George J. Tenet recently called for measures to safeguard the United States against internet-enabled attacks. "I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability, but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control." Mr. Tenet seems about as confused about the internet as the ITU... 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

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part I

This is the first 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 recently published a paper (in German) called 'The Short Dream of Democracy on the Net.' Your conclusion is a rather sombering one. How would you describe the current situation related to ICANN? You state that nothing has been learned from the failed At-Large Membership experiment. Would you even go that far and see a backlash happening right now?..." more

ALAC on WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Actions

The At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) has released this statement about the results of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). It is circulated for public comment, in view of subsequent statements to be released in the next months. At the World Summit on the Information Society held on December 10 to 12 in Geneva, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action that include specific language on the issue of "Internet Governance". ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee welcomes the fact that these statements clearly recognize the role of civil society as a full participant in the international management of the Internet, and bring attention to the need for a deep involvement of individual users into its governance. more

ITU Workshop on Internet Governance

The World Summit on the Information Society will hold its first workshop on internet governance in late February, it has emerged. ...The WSIS, backed by the UN and its International Telecommunications Union, said this week that it will hold the workshop February 26 and 27 at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. more

A Study on Public Participation in ICANN

The following is an executive summary from the preliminary study by John Palfrey, Clifford Chen, Sam Hwang, and Noah Eisenkraft at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. This study considers to what extent the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has achieved its stated goal of a "representative" and "open" decision-making process. more

Nations at WSIS Better Off with an ICANN-Like Structure

There is much talk currently about the WSIS meeting taking place in Geneva this week which means some needed attention is being paid to Internet governance. While some may view the term "Internet governance" as an oxymoron and my natural reaction is something along the lines of "I hope that they continue to view regulation as too complicated so that we Internet-folks can just keep doing what we are doing" I confess to knowing deep down that we would all be better off with a simple, effective policy framework than with the current anarchic state. more

Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond

As the world grows more connected and more complicated, we all need ways of defining, identifying and keeping track of things and cross-referencing them with their owners. The simplest way to do that is with registries -- everything from the Domesday Book, a medieval registry of land, property and people; to current-day auto registries on the one hand and the worldwide Domain Name System on the other...But now, companies and organizations have to keep track of ever more things and people, not just inside their walls but across extended organizational boundaries. Call this new wrinkle an "external registry". Finally, they may want to interact with things and people, rather than just look them up, via an "active registry".  more

National Academy of Science and the Domain Name System Controversy

The National Academy of Science (NAS) has been brought into the controversy over the future development of the Internet and its domain name system, a controversy recently fueled by the creation of ICANN. The US Congress under Public Law 105-305 mandated that the NAS undertake a study of the domain name system, which is to include options for its development, and the potential impact of the various alternatives. The $800,000 expenses for the study are to be funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce. more