No consensus on role of governments in Internet governance

Posted On March 21, 2014
In Governance of Cyberspace / Reply

Richard Hill’s analysis of the 187 contributions to NETMundial show that there is no consensus on whether governments should have equal status with other stakeholders in control of the Internet.

Other findings of the analysis include:

  • there is broad support for:  improving security;  ensuring respect for privacy;  ensuring freedom of expression;  globalizing the IANA function
  • there is significant support for:  increasing the participation of developing countries in discussions of Internet governance
  • there is some support for:  ensuring universal access;  strengthening the Internet Governance Forum;  interventions to foster infrastructure development and deployment;  interventions to ensure network neutrality

Most of the contributions agreed that the following key principles should apply to the Internet and its governances:

  • offline rights apply equally online
  • the Internet should remain a single, universal, interconnected, interoperable, secure, stable, resilient, sustainable, free, and trusted network
  • Internet governance should involve all stakeholders from all parts of the world and be open, transparent, accountable, and bottom up
  • policies should create a stable and predictable environment that fosters investment and favors innovation

But the implementation of these general, high-level principles, is open to significant variation.


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