The objective of this proposed roadmap for the future evolution of Internet governance is to outline possible steps forward in the process of continuously improving the existing Internet governance framework ensuring the full involvement of all stakeholders.
The Internet governance framework is a distributed and coordinated ecosystem involving various organizations and fora. It must be inclusive, transparent and accountable, and its structures and operations must follow an approach that enables the participation of all stakeholders in order to address the interests of all those who benefit from the Internet.
The implementation of the Tunis Agenda has demonstrated the value of the multistakeholder model in Internet governance. The valuable contribution of all stakeholders to Internet governance should be recognized. Due to the successful experiences this model should be further strengthened, improved and evolved.
Internet governance should serve as a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive development and for the promotion of human rights. Participation should reflect geographic diversity and include stakeholders from developing and least developed countries.
I. Issues that deserve attention of all stakeholders in the Internet governance future evolution.
1. Internet governance decisions are sometimes taken without the meaningful participation of all stakeholders. It is important that multistakeholder decision-making and policy formulation are improved in order to ensure the full participation of all interested parties, recognizing the different roles played by different stakeholders in different issues.
2. Enhanced cooperation to address international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet must be implemented on a priority and consensual basis. It is important that all stakeholders commit to advancing this discussion in a multistakeholder fashion.
3. Stakeholder representatives appointed to multistakeholder Internet governance processes should be selected through open and transparent processes. Different stakeholder groups should self-manage their processes based on inclusive, publicly known, well defined and accountable mechanisms.
4. There is a need to develop multistakeholder mechanisms at the national level owing to the fact that a good portion of Internet governance issues should be tackled at this level. National multistakeholder mechanisms should serve as a link between local discussions and regional and global instances. Therefore a fluent coordination and dialogue across those different dimensions is essential.
5. There should be meaningful participation by all interested parties in Internet governance discussions and decision-making, with attention to geographic, stakeholder and gender balance in order to avoid asymmetries.
6. Enabling capacity building and empowerment through such measures such as remote participation and adequate funding, and access to meaningful and timely information are essential for promoting inclusive and effective Internet governance.
7. All stakeholders must renew their commitment to build a people centered, inclusive and development oriented Information Society. Therefore in pursuing the improvements of the Internet governance ecosystem, the focus on the digital development agenda should be retained.
8. Internet governance discussions would benefit from improved communication and coordination between technical and non-technical communities, providing a better understanding about the policy implications in technical decisions and technical implications in policy decisionmaking.
9. All of the organizations with responsibilities in the Internet governance ecosystem should develop and implement principles for transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. All such organizations should prepare periodical reports on their progress and status on these issues. Those reports should be made publicly available.
1. Consideration should be given to the possible need for mechanisms to consider emerging topics and issues that are not currently being adequately addressed by existing Internet governance arrangements.
2. There is a need for a strengthened Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Important recommendations to that end were made by the UN CSTD working group on IGF improvements.
a. Improved outcomes: Improvements can be implemented including creative ways of providing outcomes/recommendations and the analysis of policy options;
c. Ensuring guaranteed stable and predictable funding for the IGF is essential;
d. The IGF should adopt mechanisms to promote worldwide discussions between meetings through intersessional dialogues.
A strengthened IGF could better serve as a platform for discussing both long standing and emerging issues with a view to contributing to the identification of possible ways to address them.
3. There should be adequate communication and coordination among existing forums, task forces and organizations of the Internet governance ecosystem. Periodical reports, formal liaisons and timely feedbacks are examples of mechanisms that could be implemented to that end. It would be recommendable to analyze the option of creating Internet governance coordination tools to perform on-going monitoring, analysis, and information-sharing functions.
4. In the follow up to the recent and welcomed announcement of US Government with regard to its intent to transition the stewardship of IANA functions, the discussion about mechanisms for guaranteeing the transparency and accountability of those functions after the US Government role ends, has to take place through an open process with the participation of all stakeholders extending beyond the ICANN community.
The IANA functions are currently performed under policies developed in processes hosted by several organizations and forums. Any adopted mechanism should protect the bottom up, open and participatory nature of those policy development processes and ensure the stability and resilience of the Internet.
This transition should be conducted thoughtfully with a focus on maintaining the security and stability of the Internet, empowering the principle of equal participation among all stakeholder groups and striving towards a completed transition by September 2015.
5. It is expected that the process of globalization of ICANN speeds up leading to a truly international and global organization serving the public interest with an independent status and clear accountability mechanisms that satisfy requirements from both internal stakeholders and the global community.
The active representation from all stakeholders in the ICANN structure from all regions is a key issue in the process of a successful globalization.
a. It is necessary to continue work pursuing international agreements on topics such as jurisdiction and law enforcement assistance to promote cybersecurity and prevent cybercrime. Discussions about those frameworks should be held in a multistakeholder manner.
b. Initiatives to improve cybersecurity and address digital security threats should involve appropriate collaboration among private sector, researchers, technical experts, governments and NGOs. There are stakeholders that still need to become more involved with cybersecurity, for example, network operators and software developers.
c. There is room for new forums and initiatives, they should not duplicate, but to add to current structures. All stakeholders should aim to leverage from and improve these already existing cybersecurity organizations. The experience accumulated by several of them demonstrates that, in order to be effective, any cybersecurity initiative depends on cooperation among different stakeholders, and it cannot be achieved via a single organization or structure.
2. Internet surveillance – Mass and arbitrary surveillance undermines trust in the Internet and trust in the Internet governance ecosystem. Surveillance of communications, their interception, and the collection of personal data, including mass surveillance, interception and collection should be conducted in accordance with states’ obligations under international human rights law. More dialogue is needed on this topic at the international level using forums like IGF and the Human Rights Council aiming to develop a common understanding on all the related aspects.
3. Capacity building and financing are key requirements to ensure that diverse stakeholders have an opportunity for more than nominal participation, but in fact gain the knowhow and the resources for effective participation. Capacity building is important to support the emergence of true multistakeholder communities, especially in those regions where the participation of some stakeholders groups needs to be further strengthened.
Several constributions to NETmundial identified points that need futrher discussion and better understanding:
- Different roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the Internet governance ecosystem, including the meaning and application of equal footing.
- A principle based code of conduct and related indicators for the Internet governance ecosystem.
All the organizations, forums and processes of the Internet governance ecosystem are encouraged to take into account the outcomes of NETmundial.
All the organizations, forums and processes of the Internet governance ecosystem are encouraged to take into account, are expected to commit to implementing, as well as explicitly adhere to all the outcomes principles agreed in NETmundial.
It is expected that the NETmundial findings and outcomes will feed into other processes and forums, such as WSIS+10, IGF, and all Internet governance discussions held in different organizations and bodies at all levels.
The follow up and future discussions of topics listed in this document should inform work convened by existing entities or bodies. They should present reports of their works in major Internet governance meetings.
The follow up and future discussion of topics listed in this document should inform the work, prompt the creation of expert groups and, task forces or groups of facilitators convened by existing entities or bodies. They should present reports of their works in major Internet governance meetings.
- Internet Governance Principles
- Roadmap for the future evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem