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How to Build an Internet Governance Forum

Public consultations on the new “Internet Governance Forum” being created by the United Nations will be held in Geneva February 16-17. The Internet Governance Project has released a new discussion paper explaining how the Forum could work.

The Forum must be as open as possible and give all stakeholders equal participation rights. Its deliberations must be wide-ranging and resist politically motivated barriers to discussion. And its products must feed into other, more authoritative Internet governance forums.

The proposed structure and process we came up with tries to meld the best of WSIS and IETF; it involves a relatively open working group formation process vetted by a deliberative body that combines governments, public interest advocates in equal status. We also set out three policy problems that exemplify the kind of issues the Forum should take up: spam, Internet free expression, and public policy principles for the coordination of Internet resources.

You can download the paper and the process diagram at this URL: http://dcc.syr.edu/miscarticles/IGP-Forum.pdf

By Milton Mueller, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy

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