Session 1

Internet governance: A puzzle or a Tower of Babel?

Teaser

Internet became an integral part of our daily lives. Yet, some European areas are under-connected or unconnected, facing many issues related to security, rights, and freedoms. Who shapes the Internet of today, and how do we move forward to meet better conditions?

Key words

Internet, Internet governance, multistakeholder, action plans, telecom policies, ICT, digital economy, Net neutrality, Zero Rate, Europe

Session description

The Internet became an integral part of our daily lives. Europe has 630,708, 269 Internet users in 2017, according to Internet World Stats. Yet, related issues continue to emerge and are preventing users from fully benefiting from it.

Who are the responsible actors to solve these issues and in what way? Is there a value in the multistakeholder approach, and if yes, is it used to its maximum? What is the value of multistakeholderism and are we all giving our maximum? Is the current setup of the multistakeholder participation optimal? Does it allow all interested stakeholders to engage fully? Is there a space for improvement?

In line with problematising the above, this session will will give a special focus on to the role of telecom policies within the Internet governance multistakeholder arena, and explore if these actors should do more, how and where to engage.

Telecom case study: The session will be guided around the current developments in the telecom policy in Europe and as well as in global dimension and the impact it wants to have on the usage of Internet. What implications can it have on the IG in the narrow sense of managing addresses (numbers), domain names (names), protocols and root services? Europe is working on the new regulatory framework for electronic communications in order to enforce policies related to connectivity, rapid changes of technology and market developments and the policy to achieve one single European  digital market. Europe’s position on global IG is based on multistakeholder approach. Is there alternative to it? Network neutrality issue is one of the essential policy questions. What approach will bring the most benefits? Would a possible US departure from network neutrality cause problems? What is at risk?

Session format

The session will follow the format of a standard panel type session. Five key participants  will deliver their opening remarks within 3 minutes each. After that, the moderator will be aiming at creating a dialogue between the speakers and the audience throughout the whole session. Each speaker will conclude his remarks with a 2-minute statement. At the end, the rapporteur will be reading out the key messages from this session, max. 3 minutes.

Main roles

Key participants:

  • Andrea Beccalli, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
  • Zdravko Jukić, Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM)
  • Markus Kummer, Internet Governance Forum Support Association (IGFSA) (online participation)
  • Cristina Monti, European Commission (online participation)
  • Gergana Petrova, RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC)

Moderator: Ljupco Gjorgjinski, Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Online moderator: Ucha Seturi, Small and Medium Telecom Operators Association, Georgia

Rapporteurs

  • Andra Bucur, Chamber of Deputies, Romania
  • Anesa Agović, Association Global Analytics, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Key messages

  • The discussion around Internet governance is one around trust, and global efforts should be made to restore it.
  • An analysis of the Internet governance initiatives is necessary, with the aim of creating common actions for (re)gaining the trust of end users.
  • Preserving the openness and network neutrality of the Internet is important.
  • Global efforts with multistakeholder and open community models of governance contribute to (re)gaining trust.
  • Norms and regulations imply a long process and consultations, while technology is fast developing. This is one of the reasons why it is necessary to act jointly, in sense that all relevant actors need to work together to create a safer and trustworthy online environment.
  • Barriers to Internet governance should be dealt with in order to reflect the value of the Internet, by modernising rules, legislation, and policies.
Resources

1. Jovan Kurbalija, Introduction to Internet Governance, DiploFoundation, 2016

2. 2016 Report of the Secretary-General: Progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels (A/72/64-E/2017/12)

3. Report on improvements to the Internet Governance Forum – by the business representatives to the CSTD Working Group on the IGF

4. Ernest J. Wilson, What is Internet Governance and Where Does it Come From? 

5. Laura DeNardis and Mark Raymond, Thinking Clearly about Multistakeholder Internet Governance 

6. Romania’s telecommunications market

7. Bulgaria – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

8.  Bosnia and Herzegovina – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

9.  Telecoms Market Matrix: Central and Eastern Europe 3Q 2016

10. Proposed EU Directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code

11. Global Internet and telecommunications

12. Open Internet

Relevant proposals

9, 10, 12, (13), 15, 43 – See full list of proposals

Organising team

  • Anja Gengo, IGF Secretariat, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Switzerland (focal point)
  • Zdravko Jukić, CRO-IGF Executive Committee, Croatia (focal point)
  • Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong, IGF Chad
  • Andrea Beccalli, ICANN, Italy/Belgium
  • Tereza Horejsova, DiploFoundation, Czech Republic/USA

Contact points from SEEDIG’s executive committee: Aida Mahmutović, Dušan Stojičević

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