IGF: ongoing calls for internet governance to become international
Posted in: Governance at 16/11/2007 16:00
Calls to move the role of ICANN from under US government control to under the control of the international community were one of the outcomes of the Internet Governance Forum meeting in Rio Di Janeiro this week.
Associated Press reports on the meeting there were "no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.
"'I think that there are many Third World countries and developing countries and people from Asia and so on who are pressuring for changes,' said Augusto Gadelha Viera, coordinator of the Brazilian Internet steering committee and chairman of a closing session Thursday on emerging issues."
Further, "As the conference drew to a close, Russian representative Konstantin Novoderejhkin called on the United Nations secretary-general to create a working group to develop 'practical steps' for moving Internet governance 'under the control of the international community.'"
However there is opposition, and going by the AP report, this does tend to come from developed countries. "'The Russian proposal seeks to exponentially increase government interference in the ICANN process, introducing a dangerous and destabilizing force into a global Internet addressing system that has been a paragon of stability under the current oversight structure,' said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a coalition of high-tech leaders including Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, eBay Inc. and Yahoo Inc."
Brazil is another country that has supported bringing ICANN's role under an international body.
Apart from the role of the US government and ICANN, there were other issues discussed with the BBC reporting connecting the next billion internet users to the internet one of the key issues discussed. The BBC reported "More than 1,700 people took part in the event, hailing from government, private sector, NGOs and members of the public. They gathered to debate the current and future use of the internet."
There was a call by Jacquelyn Ruff, from Verizon in the US, who "stressed the need for regulatory barriers to be lifted and the introduction of price caps, to ensure cost did not put access out of reach of people" according to the BBC report.
An example of progress given was Brazil who "is making good progress in terms of connecting citizens to the internet and has 39 million users."
The BBC went on to say "Helio Costa, minister of communications in the country, stressed the need for local focus. He said Brazil had enjoyed success through financing a low cost computers scheme in 2005. He added: "In the next few years I want to have every city in Brazil connected by broadband. [The] internet belongs to the people of the world."
Access in Africa is also difficult with only four per cent of Africans online, compared to around 80 per cent of Americans, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers. Infrastructure of all sorts is a problem for most Africans, whether it be hardware, electricity, software or many other requirements for getting online.
Further reports on the IGF meeting are available from:
news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20071115/wl_mcclatchy/20071115bcbrazilinternet_attn_national_foreign_business_editors_ytop_1 [McClatchy Newspapers]