Accountability in Internet Governance by Rolf H. Weber

Internet governance and Internet-related decision-making processes are gaining importance due to the increased use of new technological possibilities. Since a fundamental change of the present self-regulatory regime with ICANN as main organizational body is not likely to be realized in the near future, means of improvement of the present mechanisms need to be tackled. A key issue is accountability, apart from transparency. Accountability is the assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions, and policies within the scope of the designated role.So far, accountability, helping to improve the governance regime of ICANN in order to enhance its legitimacy, has become a discussion topic within ICANN and a certain progress in its implementation can be observed. A further enhancement of accountability in Internet governance, however, is needed: On the organizational level, the introduction of specific standards designing accountability requirements should be introduced. Information has to be made more easily available to accountability-holders. Furthermore, sanctions attaching costs to the failure to meet the standards are worthwhile to consider in order to give respective incentives to comply with accountability standards.To read this research paper from the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy in full, see:

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