3 Jolting Statements at the IGF by Assoc Prof Ang Peng Hwa

3 Jolting Statements at the IGF by Assoc Prof Ang Peng HwaA/P Ang Peng Hwa is surprised at those who continue to say that (i) the internet is working fine, (ii) that therefore it needs no governance and (iii) that the phrase “internet governance” should not exist. On the first point, he raises the point that many governments feel uneasy that the internet to any one particular country could be cut off by a decision of the US government. Second, that “governance” is not “government” and the differences between them. And third, the US dominance of the internet may not be such a good thing. Point 2, raised by Lynn St Amour President, ISOC, who says in part that the discussion needs to go back to the “national level, local level, participation in the forms that are available to you, that are important to you as an individual” while Ang Peng Hwa who says in part “Taking away the Forum and moving such meetings to the national and local levels would only reduce the quality of the discussion when was is needed is higher, not lower quality.” And third, Vint Cerf who Ang Peng Hwa says “there cannot be competition at the root zone, that ICANN is a “natural monopoly” not in the strict economic sense but because of the requirements of the system — there can only be one root.” Further, “Cerf, however, misses a major point — in the good old USA as well as significant portions of the civilised world, there is only on way to handle monopolies — regulate them. This is precisely the issue of internet governance. If ICANN is indeed an inevitable monopoly, then it inevitably invites regulation. Anything less would not be transparent or fair.”


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