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Internet Governance: The Issue, The Myths, The Problems, The Solutions

I have written a short paper on the topic of Internet Governance. Since it includes a number of resources, it would be easier for me to just point to a link with the document itself.

Below are some selected excerpts from the document:

Several myths have been spreading around the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), but especially after the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF):

  • The critical Internet resources (CIR) consist only of the IP addresses and the domain name system;
  • The Internet today is being governed by ICANN, and ICANN is a tool of the US government to control and command other countries;
  • The IGF was created to take decisions on behalf of the Internet users;
  • There are only 13 root servers;
  • Very soon there will be no IP addresses, and the Internet will stop working;


...the big discussion about the development of the Information Society, started as WSIS, transformed into WGIG, transformed into WSIS-2, and finally landed as the IGF, started to look more or less like a discussion about ... ICANN. Or at least, given the attention the media put to this question, it could become the most important one. Luckily there were exceptions in Rio, for example Anriette Esterhuysen, chair of the Association for Progressive Communications, who has warned against letting the ICANN issue dominate the IGF. “There are many other critical issues,” she said during the opening ceremony, like privacy, the need for open standards, prioritisation of Internet access and intellectual property regimes that do not strangle creation and innovation…


There was also a distinction between participants, who have solved the problems around the governance of the Internet (in its very narrow scope—DNS/IP addresses), and the larger issues about the critical Internet resources, and the others, where these problems are just beginning to shape. One such a positive example is the Republic of Bulgaria, which has managed to accept adequate changes in the legal framework, and only then it started to discuss the questions on the international level.

The other group consisted of participants, who have not solved any of the problems (including, but not limited to supporting or drafting, or passing legislature for competition in the field of Internet Service provision, leading to lower prices and higher bandwidth), but have ideas about a “global solution”.

For more details, please read the whole document available in PDF format here.

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