Internet Governance

Internet Governance


AMBASSASOR BETTY E. KING:
To maintain an internet that delivers the greatest
possible benefit to the world, we need to have a
serious conversation about the principles
that will guide us, what rules exist and
should not exist and why, what behavior should be
encouraged or discouraged and how. “VIRTUAL” VINT
CERF: First of all, let me say that freedom of
expression on the internet is more important than ever. It is under attack in many
parts of the world for a variety of different reasons. Historically,
internet governance has been a rather
bottom-up affair. It’s been very distributed. And it’s understandable
because the internet is a gigantic,
global collaboration. I don’t think that governments
should have a monopoly on internet policy development. ALICE WANJIRA-MUNYUA: The
theme for this year’s Internet Governance Forum is
internet as a catalyst for change, development,
innovation, freedom, and democracy. That theme is particularly
important for us, because the Internet
Governance Forum is coming for the first
time to a developing country in sub-Saharan Africa. And as we know, most of us–
and not just government, but other stakeholders are
looking at the internet from the perspective
of development and how it can
enable and enhance and empower, in terms of
innovation and development in not just Kenya, but
the region as a whole. JIMSON OLUFUYE: There are three
things that need to happen. Number one, leadership 2.0,
that is, humility in leadership. Number tow, there is need
for advanced policies to bring about broadband as
a right to every citizen. And number three, there
is need for policies to be well-focused
even as we discuss those issues around IDF. MARILYN CADE: When the concept
of governing the internet was first considered, it
was a geopolitical argument about which governments should
be in charge of the internet. But then a sort of
geopolitical debate emerged, and governments
started arguing among themselves about who should
govern the internet. The good news is that this
term, “internet governance,” is beginning to catch on. And I would say
that stakeholders are beginning to understand it. BOB KAHN: This topic
of internet governance has been a troublesome
one right from the get go. Then with any countries
around the world, especially those that
showed up at the first world summit in Geneva in
December of 2003, and understood the internet
was important to their future, but they wanted to
know who was in charge. But I think we’ve now
been through so many years of discussion of this that
it’s very clear this is not a simple problem. JENNIFER BLANKE: The information
and communication technologies are really the all-purpose
technologies of our time. These are technologies
that have allowed the world to make a step
change, like we have done with past technologies,
but really an enormous step change in terms of
improving productivity. And so there are real dangers on
the horizon– that’s something that I really understood
from the discussions today– in terms of
closing down the internet, of over-regulating it, perhaps. And this is
something that really needs to be thought about before
taking any excessive action, because the internet
has become so critical to the functioning
of our everyday lives, and to business in
countries around the world. WILLIAM ECHIKSON:
On one hand, we’re seeing the internet lead to
increased freedom and access to information. And Google is proud of its
role it’s playing in that. At the same time, we’re seeing
governments around the globe crack down more and more. So we’re seeing more than
120 bloggers are imprisoned. Google services are
blocked in 25 countries. So it was really to speak
about the great promise of the internet, but also
the dangers threatening it. STEFAN KRAWCZYK:
There are still a lot of governments that see it
as their job to impose rules rather than to empower all
the key players in what is a technically very complex
debate and environment to be involved, and to
be directly involved, in how to shape the
regulatory environment for the internet of the future. “VIRTUAL” VINT CERF: The
internet is for everyone. Let’s keep it that way.

Danny Hutson

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