Internet governance shifting from civil society to government, and getting less free

James from the New America Foundation sez, "I wanted to share this blog post on why civil society voice is essential in Internet governance and some efforts shift control to government-only entities:"

While Indian courts are attempting to control content domestically, a simultaneous effort from India’s national government is focused on increasing governmental control of the global Internet. Last October, India submitted a proposal to the United Nations for the creation of a UN Committee for Internet-related policies (CIRP). CIRP would be a government-only body tasked with overseeing Internet governance and standards setting.

This would alter the current landscape of international Internet governance, which is a multi-stakeholder process including civil society as well as government actors. The US-based public policy organization Center for Democracy and Technology describes the current model as "bottom-up, decentralized, consensus-driven approach in which governments, industry, engineers, and civil society" contribute to policy outcomes. The distribution of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and top level domains, for example, is managed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization. Organizations like Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium work together with engineers to develop standards.

Giving Civil Society a Voice in Internet Governance (Thanks, James!)



  1. The Internet is currently acting as an object lesson in the encroachment of freedom. It’s a land grab where there is no structure of defense. Aboriginals the world over can tell us how this turns out.

  2. Anything that can be centrally controlled, will be. The only way for a system to remain free indefinitely is for it to be architected with decentralisation as one of its core organising principles.

    It’s why I think dumb-client-and-cloud services are not a great idea.

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