[connect-bof] Internet governance

Gordon Lennox gordon.lennox.13 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 18:23:14 CET 2013

A sort of conversation seem to be starting and I am not sure where it will take us.

It seems that the Commission, or more precisely DG CONNECT, is working on a significant policy document, a Communication to Parliament and Council.

You can get a flavour of some of their concerns here: 

"What is the situation we have decided to change:

The current multi stakeholder approach to Internet governance is very complex and lacks both transparency and accountability in order for all actors to fully adhere to the way the internet is currently governed. We need to ensure that the global principles for Internet governance continue to develop in line with our internet COMPACT, through enhanced coordination with EU Member States and  proactive presence in international fora. Furthermore, the Commission, in cooperation with the EEAS, will present an EU vision for Internet governance as part of the overall internet strategy.

The current institutional set up needs to be strengthened and streamlined, including the functioning of the Governmental advisory Committee (GAC) to ICANN and an IGF better focused on main challenges in producing concrete deliverables.  The complexity of the current multi stakeholder approach to Internet Governance has to be further developed in a comprehensible manner so as to ensure inclusiveness of all actors. The establishment of GIPO will contribute to this.



So they want to reform the multi-stakeholder set-up? 

And by the way I am intrigued by the mention of "enhanced coordination". That always had a special EU meaning and that was not what people, perhaps naively, thought.

Meanwhile ICANN is also busy. Steve Crocker writes:

"As anyone who has followed the global discourse on Internet governance knows, the multistakeholder model is under threat. Some governments have expressed a clear interest in putting multilateral organizations in charge of Internet policymaking. As the Internet has taken on a larger role in the economy and society, some governments have grown increasingly uncomfortable with their perceived lack of control. More recently, ICANN has received requests to expand its remit to address issues beyond the coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers. This we will not do.

The ICANN Board recognizes that the single, open, global, interoperable Internet is under threat of failing due to emerging pressures on multistakeholder governance. As a consequence, the Board gave the ICANN CEO a mandate to work with other key organizations and leaders to establish a coalition to evaluate and participate in the formation a movement or initiative for an Internet cooperation agenda. We are pleased with his initial engagement with the Internet organizations and the broader multistakeholder community.



Watch this space?


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