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حوكمة الانترنت

Internet Governance

Internet Governance

Early stages of negotiation and determine Internet future management

Omar AL-Hayani

Scandals of National Security Agency surveillance on Internet Network represented a changeable stage that had provoked widespread criticism towards the United States’ action from several countries and relevant partners, including the United Nations which called on global Internet community to engage in furthering the process to ensure a single, open, free, secure and trustworthy Internet.

To mitigate this criticism, Washington announced in March 2014 its willing to relinquish its oversight role of the Internet in the next year.

The US government expressed its readiness to give up its oversight role on expansion of the Internet’s domain-name through, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), suggesting to give this function to an international entity.

The U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement that it will call on all concerning parties around the world to think of ways that allows the U.S. government to relinquish its central role in managing the Internet Network through the ICANN.

As the U.S. announced its readiness to give up this role, disputes over the body that would control this function in the future.

Some countries like China, Russia, Turkey and others are trying to win function of the Internet management whether at regional or international levels despite their bad records in censoring the Internet and information in their own nations.

Actually  if one of those countries taking over control of the web that would be dangerous in enhancing the value of freedom, opinion, and speech.

Many of those countries are not looking for a freely and open Internet; however, they seek forward imposing more control over the Internet practices, which they are inconsistent with simple standards of human rights in freedom of opinion and expression.

In response to this step, American legislators to draft a proposal that hampers the process of the U.S. withdrawal from its central role in the Internet oversight.

According to France Press Agency, which reported that John Shimkus, who said that during March we have seen that Russia blocked websites of opposition, Turkey banned Twitter, and China imposed new restrictions on video exchange via Internet as well as a high-level Malaysian politician promised to exercise censorship on the Internet if the opportunity arises to do so.

He added “There are real dictatorial governments in the world today who have no tolerance for the free flow of information and ideas.”

The Core Problem of Internet Management

The current disputes around the world over the Internet management and the U.S central role in overseeing the Internet Network as a result of a scandal of American spying on the Internet.

However, this dispute returned back to more than 16 years when several countries and institutions along with the United Nations continued requiring the U.S. to relinquish its full control on the Internet management through ICANN which considered the only entity responsible in distributing domain names and  The Internet domains.

Although the United States is the origin of the Internet; however, this does not give it the right to be the individual control to manage the network as it has become a global network.

The U.S. is controlling the Internet through what they known (Root Servers) during which all Internet users which حوكمة الانترنت 2حوكمة الانترنت 2pass through to reach any location around the world.

Actually there are 13 root servers around the world, ten servers were originally in the United States; and they are operating via governmental agencies and scientific entities, while three others are in other places around the world.

The Root Services are the core of international controversy in the U.S. control represented by the U.S. Commerce Department via ICANN organization for assigning of Internet numbers on the global Internet Network.

And that means, the ability of the U.S. in making some changes unilaterally on the domain-names, in addition to its high-level technological ability in spying on everything through the Internet Network. And it is what causing the concern of many governments which considering the Internet the lifeblood of the twenty-first century, particularly as it has a special nature concerning the security and national sovereignty.

Stages of Negotiations

Several changes have been occurred on the Internet Network since it was launched as a private network for the U.S. Defense Department until being developed to a global entity with huge information and data.. during this stage, complications and development have been appeared in technological concepts, topped by the concept of Internet Governance of Internet Management as the most important features of the key digital world.

The Internet Governance needs to global cooperation efforts to find an international entity to take control of all enormous amount of data and technology which did not meet any development in the global network management.

The nature of the internet governance concentrates on a number of arranges concerning the Internet Network as follows;

system for assigning website addresses to a non-government entity, the final phase in an effort to fully privatize and globalize management of the Internet’s backbone.

In a statement, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) called the move “consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance.”

But former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tweeted: “What is the global internet community that Obama wants to turn the internet over to? This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”

System of assigning numeric domain and users on the web.

System of assigning names of the URLs on the web, IP addresses,

System of communication protocols on the web, Protocol-Parameter registries,

System of root services, top-level domain space (DNS root zone)

Managing, operating, developing, and maintaining those four elements is the internet management or the Internet governance.

World Summit on Information Society

During the two summits of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva 2003 and in Tunis 2005, the issue of transition the internet management to global entity was raised especially with the refusal of the U.S. to relinquish its control on the internet affairs despite the threat of some countries to create special entities to operate and control the internet which it will affect on the global network and will decrease its efficiency.

Also in Athens on October 30, 2006, during the opening ceremony of the First Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, which considered the first to discuss the issue of Internet management. That meeting led to the meeting of Brazil in 2007.

Approving the concept of  Internet Governance faced a wide debate during the Global Forum on Internet Governance, held at the United Nations in New York on 24-25 March 2004.

Several speakers told various versions of the story which reflects the visions of various interests of governments and private sector.

The moral of the concept makes it clear that a discussion of the meaning of “Internet Governance” is not merely linguistic pedantry. Different perceptions of the meaning of this term trigger different policy approaches and expectations.

Telecommunication specialists see Internet Governance through the prism of the development of the technical infrastructure. Computer specialists focus on the development of various standards and applications, Human rights activists view Internet Governance from the perspective of the freedom of expression, privacy, and other basic human rights.

The governmental side thinks that the Internet Governance concept reflects the control of government on everything related to the special issues of internet governance at the government level with a limited participation of the other parties.

With those arguments which coincided with the first stages of negotiations concerning the internet management, the Working Group on Internet Governance, (WGIG), gathered all relevant parties to discuss this issues, which resulted in texting a practical definition on the concept of the Internet Governance.

The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) defined Internet governance as: The development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles,  norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

According to Jovan Kurbalija and Edward Gelbstein the definition represents a starting point for the ongoing debate about which is more clear than the two definitions to in Internet governance or Internet management.

The Internet Governance links to a number of dimensions, such as infrastructure dimension, legal dimension, economic dimension, development dimension, socio-cultural dimension.

The concept of governance and Internet management face a number of complicated issues, internet parties in Internet governance from public and private sectors play a significant role in determining all those dimensions.

As well as each part of interests’ parties in the Internet governance has professional, developed, and unique cultures along with sharing participation and various interests.

However, they are working separately from others in addition to multiple languages which reflected the nature of global problems.

According to statistics, the amount of Internet users are only two billion and half speak a number of various languages.

Still five billion are not able to get access to the internet and impossible for them to have this important tool to achieve the economic growth and the social development.

Although several users of the Internet cannot read or write in English, and those users are using other languages, which didn’t use the English alphabets.

While it was generally applauded that by now almost one billion people use the Internet, it was also pointed out that many of these people could not read or write in English, and that these people also used languages that do not use the Latin alphabet

In the Internet governance session at a meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria, in May 2007, it was generally recognized that people everywhere should be able to use the Internet in their own language. A multilingual Internet would foster an inclusive, democratic, legitimate, respectful, and locally empowering Information Society.

The Internet Governance cannot tolerate the viewpoint of a single one-way of thinking, which are not flexible enough, but require tools to find new knowledge to enable them to decipher clues of complexity and set visions and guiding principles in common.

Integration of technical aspects of Internet governance in the political aspects remains complicated issues. Technical solutions are not neutral. Ultimately, each technical solution/option promotes certain interests, empowers certain groups, as Jovan Kurbalija and Edward Gelbstein said in their book on Internet Governance.

As a result of disintegration between technical aspects and political aspects international organizations and states appeared demanding reform of the Internet system, which ended in 1998 with the establishment of a new organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as an attempt to restore the lost balance between the two sides.

The concept of the Internet Governance raised wide debates on the importance of developing several sides related to technical matters, including the exchange of communications and the distribution of numbers of Internet protocols and intellectual property protection and the encouraging the electronic commerce.

The Global Internet Summit held in April 25, 2014 held in Sao Pauloin of Brazil condemned the international spying on the Network.

The summit considered spying personal data an action should be subject to the law, this came in the summit’s final statement which said that the “Mass surveillance and The “mass surveillance and arbitrary undermine trust the Internet and the collection and exploitation of personal data by government agencies or non-governmental organizations should be subject to international law and human rights.”

The Global Internet Summit held in April 25, 2014 held in Sao Paulo of Brazil condemned the international spying on the Network.

The summit considered spying personal data an action should be subject to the law, this came in the summit’s final statement which said that the “Mass surveillance and The “mass surveillance and arbitrary undermine trust the Internet and the collection and exploitation of personal data by government agencies or non-governmental organizations should be subject to international law and human rights.”

Protecting privacy and Freedom of expression and the right of getting access to Internet and using the Internet Network are crucial rights which the non-governmental organizations seek to be approved during the final negotiation on the Internet Management.

Those urgent needs require participation of all internet users from Arab countries in the international debates on how to text the Internet policies.

Scientific journalist

 

 

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