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Internet Society Launches Questionnaire on Multistakeholder Participation in Internet Governance

The Internet Society today announced the launch of a survey to gain greater insights into multistakeholder governance perceptions and processes at all levels—national, regional, and international. The questionnaire is open to all interested participants and is available until 30 September 2013.

The survey is one component of the Internet Society’s broader initiative focused on the open and sustainable Internet. While the Internet has proven its success from economic, development, technological, and societal perspectives, its continued growth as a multistakeholder platform cannot be taken for granted. The Internet Society strongly believes that to ensure a sustainable Internet, the Internet must maintain its core characteristics of open, global and interoperable technical standards for innovation; open access and freedom of expression for all users; openness for business and economic progress; based on a collaborative, inclusive, multistakeholder governance model.

“The open Internet is challenged on many fronts and from many directions. There are attempts to change the very nature of the Internet to address policy problems in areas such as digital content, human rights, privacy, surveillance, and security,” said Markus Kummer, Vice President of Public Policy, Internet Society. “As technology evolves, as more people come online, as business models shift, and as policy priorities change, the Internet also evolves. These changes will have tremendous implications for the overall sustainability of the open Internet ecosystem. The inclusion of all stakeholders as participants in the Internet’s evolution—this is what we call the multistakeholder governance process—is essential.”

The Internet Society questionnaire will gather information on the different practices and understandings of multistakeholder governance. Survey data will be used in publications on the evolution of multistakeholder participation and the Internet Society will incorporate the survey feedback into its preparations for upcoming Internet governance discussions, including the 2013 Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the 2014 ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), and the World Summit on the Information Society Review (WSIS+10). A subsequent phase of the Open and Sustainable Internet initiative will include a call for research papers based on the survey data and engagements to promote the value of open Internet governance.

In addition to collecting valuable insights and perspectives, the questionnaire is designed to serve as an informational guide on Internet governance. Constance Bommelaer, Internet Society Senior Director of Global Policy Partnerships, added, “The questions provide background information on key topics, and interactive links enable respondents to learn more about how the Internet works. We hope this survey will empower and encourage participants to engage in the multistakeholder dialogue and let their voices be heard.”

By Konstantinos Komaitis, Senior Director, Policy Development and Implementation, Internet Society

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ISOC or its position.

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