A thin line between governance and control

India pitches for Committee for Internet Related Policies to end the US monopoly on internet

samirsachdeva

Samir Sachdeva | May 21, 2012



On October 26, 2011 during the 66th session of United Nations (UN) general assembly India made a statement regarding global internet governance. It had proposed a new model of internet governance, a UN Committee for Internet Related Policies (CIRP) which will comprise 50 member states. The committee will be chosen/elected on basis of equitable geographical participation. The main purpose of this committee will be development of international public policies related to internet.

Currently, this role is with California headquartered Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN oversees the assignment of domain names, internet protocol (IP ) addresses, application port numbers on internet. In simple terms all technical and policy-related issues underlying the core infrastructure are administered by ICANN. The board of directors of ICANN is drawn from various technical, business, non- commercial and academics stakeholders of the internet. However, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of the United States department of commerce, has a final say in certain matters.

India has pitched for CIRP to end the monopoly of the United States on internet.  However, there is a sharp contrast to what has been suggested by India and what exists currently. In the current structure the role of government is advisory and civil societies/business groups make policy as part of ICANN. The CIRP proposal puts the representatives of 50 member nations to decide policy and have four advisory groups one each - civil society, business, academics and inter-governmental organizations.

In its statement in the UN general assembly, India stated that this move will make internet more inclusive, democratic, participatory, multilateral and transparent in nature. Though India appears right in suggesting an end to the dominance of one country over internet, the issue still remains that should it be internet stakeholders (NGOs, academicians, businessmen etc) or a representative body of governments from the world which should decide on policy matters related to internet.

There are multiple issues like enforcement of intellectual property, data protection, censorship, and network neutrality that need to be addressed globally. These can be enforced by a government body only as the same will require legislations and their implementation.

India’s intent even as stated in its statement in UN was to ensure “that the internet is governed not unilaterally, but in an open, democratic, inclusive and participatory manner, with the participation of all stakeholders, so as to evolve universally acceptable, and globally harmonized policies in important areas”.

Also, with governments across the world moving towards transparency and openness, this global body will also reign in countries like China which put in curbs on free flow of information. A 50-member body rather than controlling information will democratise it instead.

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2012 which concluded on May 18, 2012 has floated an idea of establishing a Standing Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation attached to the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) for governing internet.

But the fact remains that whatever may be the name or the structure, the idea of a global body to govern internet has come.

Comments

 

Other News

NCP’s Ajit Pawar is LoP in Maharashtra assembly

After the Bharatiya Janta Party orchestrated rebellion in the Shiv Sena partly led by Eknath Shinde who took away with him a majority of MLAs, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government proved majority in the state assembly floor test, crossing  the midway mark (144) getting 164 votes in their favour. The Natio

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter