Forums on internet governance reveal tensions over how the web should be regulated by Arne Hintz, Lecturer in Media at Cardiff University

How the internet is governed is no longer a matter seen fit to be left to mere technical committees. With the extent of online surveillance, so dramatically revealed by the Snowden files, increased content filtering and blocking, and the issue of net neutrality, which would allow telecoms firms to “create fast web lanes” for some companies, it is a contentious area with major social and political implications.The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which has just met for the ninth time in Istanbul, revealed the extent to which the internet’s decision-making bodies such as ICANN are heavily disputed, with schisms developing not just between governments but also different groups of civil society. A parallel Internet Ungovernance Forum was organised by activists, advocates and academics to expose the areas of discussion not up for debate at the IGF and question the fundamental ideas of governance on which it rests.

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