Tag Archives: Internet Governance Forum

Internet Governance: Why Plato is Still Relevant

Abstract: In December 2008, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has successfully completed its third installment on issues pertaining to Internet governance. The IGF promotes a multistakeholder environment, where protagonists engage in an extensive debate to discuss how the Internet should look in the future; with these discussions in place issues of cultural diversity and cultural relativism become more relevant than ever before.

However, culture is normally followed by zeal; zeal to preserve it and to adhere to its historical significance. This is like a Damocles sword, since tradition and its relative – custom – can potentially prohibit progress and pose threats to social structures; more precisely, in international environments, like the Internet, certain traditions can be mistakenly considered as more valuable and exhibited thereon as more ‘exclusive’ than others. This being the case, it is undeniable that custom not only will play a significant role in the governance of the Internet, but this role will, in turn, be able to determine the dynamics within its structure.

This paper discusses the influential role of custom and its effects within the society of Internet Governance; it then proceeds to discuss an interpretation of justice, which demonstrates the way custom might be enforced and imposed upon various subjects. Finally, this paper shows that these conflicting customs should not necessarily annihilate multiparticipatory governance structures, rather assist in their progress.

To read this paper by Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis, originally published in the International Journal of Communications Law & Policy, in full, see:
ssrn.com/abstract=1381625

Egypt Submits Symbolic First Application for Internationalised Domain Name

Egypt, host of the United Nations sponsored Internet Governance Forum being held this week, Russia and China were among the first countries to submit applications to ICANN for internationalised domain names (IDNs) in non-Latin characters.In total six countries applied for IDNs in three languages. Saudi Arabia was another country known to have applied, also applying for an IDN in Arabic, along with Ukraine.ICANN, the organisation charged with overseeing the Internet’s naming and numbering systems, has invited applications for IDNs, receiving the first applications on Monday this week, as part of its IDN country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Fast Track Process.IDNs are domain names that include characters other than the currently available set of the English alphabet (the 26 letters “a-z”, numbers 0 to 9, and hyphens). ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush noted, “The IDN program will encompass close to one hundred thousand characters, opening up the Internet to billions of potential users around the globe.”Egypt’s application is for .MISR, which is the equivalent in ASCII characters as the Arabic language term for “Egypt”. Egypt’s Communications Minister Tarek Kamel said the process of implementing IDNs would require “strong investment in the coming phase.””There will also be issues to deal with: linguistic, technical, legal, related to intellectual property and many other big challenges,” Kamel told reporters at the IGF.China’s application is for .中国 domain name suffix while Russia has applied for .РФ and Ukraine applied for .УКР.It is anticipated the first ccTLD IDNs will come online in 2010.