What was your contribution to the event?:
I moderated a panel on “International Public Policy and Internet Governance Issues Pertaining to the Internet” and also held a private meeting with various technology groups and NGOs about joint mobilisation around Internet governance and principles.
What outcomes do you have to report?:
At the Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum in Tokyo, CI's Jeremy Malcolm moderated a panel on International Public Policy and Internet Governance Issues Pertaining to the Internet, concerning recent proposals at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that have worried many civil society activists about the extension of intergovernmental control over the Internet. Panelists drew the following conclusions:
- The open and multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance and the free flow of information are important principles to be preserved as Internet governance processes evolve.
- Different policy issues that are suited to be addressed at the global level and at the national level, depending partly on the geographical impacts of policy decisions.
- There is a place for intergovernmentalism in Internet governance, and it is simplistic to talk about a “UN takeover of the Internet”.
- But any treaty that seeks to force governments to do something that they do not want may also risk balkanizing the Internet.
- Some of the institutions in which policy is made are not adequately inclusive of multi-stakeholders, and the ITU is one of these. The neglected stakeholders (particularly civil society) need to be engaged for the long haul if they are to penetrate these institutions.
- Member states of the ITU already have wide powers to regulate at the national level in ways that impact the Internet. However, proposed amendments to the ITRs could further entrench and extend those powers.
- Whilst there is a general trend towards multi-stakeholderism in Internet governance, stakeholders who are currently locked out need to have a long-term strategy to extend their influence.