The International Institute of Communications UK Chapter (IIC UK), the Internet Society England (ISOC-e) and the London School of Economics Media Policy Project present:
Internet Governance on the move: from ‘NetMundial’ to the US Government IANA oversight transition, the year of institutional evolution
The past year has been rich in developments around the governance of the Internet. But 2015 looks set to be the year when the way the Internet is governed changes radically, forever.
Over the past couple of years, as the Internet has grown to reach a diverse user population of 3 billion people across the globe, and in the wake of the WikiLeaks and NSA revelations, there has been a heightened realization by the general public and the powers that be of the political importance of the Internet, and how it affects every single one of us, our economies and our societies.
One of the fruits of this deepening debate has been a positive effort: the ‘Net Mundial’ conference led by Brazilian President Roussef, which gathered thousands of representatives of governments, civil society, businesses and the technical community in April this year. The conference agreed, through ‘rough consensus’, a “declaration of Internet principles” and a “roadmap for the evolution of Internet Governance”. This evolution straddles areas from cybersecurity to the future of the Internet Governance Forum, to privacy and access to knowledge.
Among the main topics of discussion at NetMundial, there was much talk about the so-called ‘IANA stewardship transition’. Marking a historical development for a technology that was born in the United States as part of an academic effort funded by the government, the US administration took the initiative in March this year by announcing its readiness to transition its oversight of the core domain name system functions performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), to the ‘global stakeholder community’. After further discussions during the ICANN Meeting in London late June, a coordination group is now in place to take forward this transition and shape how the oversight of the Internet (the domain name system, IETF and RIRs) might look like without direct US Government ‘backstop’.
Together with the upcoming ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, and the 2015 year review of the UN World Summit on the Information Society, this makes for an interesting year ahead. What will the map of Internet Governance look like in a couple of years’ time? Where and how will global issues of Internet policy be discussed, from new domain names to net neutrality and other online freedoms? What is ‘the global multi-stakeholder community’ and how should it oversee the basic governance structures for the Internet? What is the UK’s role and place in this evolution? We will aim to answer some of these questions with a prominent panel of experts.
· Sarah Taylor, Deputy Director, Creative Economy, Internet, International, DCMS
· Martin Boyle, Nominet and Member of the International Coordination Group for the transition of the IANA oversight
· Andrew Puddephat, Global Partners Digital and European Council of Foreign Relations
· Malcolm Hutty, Head of Public Affairs, London Internet Exchange (LINX)
· The seminar will be moderated by Professor Robin Mansell of the LSE.