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Internet Governance - African Perspective


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Internet Governance - African Perspective

  1. 1. INTERNET GOVERNANCE Alain Nkoyock, Tangier, 22 November 2005 1
  2. 2. Internet Governance• Is analyzed as a problem of coordinating a multi-level, adaptive, socio-technical System – that is embedded in and has effects on local, national, regional, supra-national and global levels• A broad spectrum of alternative coordination mechanisms is available: – Reliance on norms and traditions – Decentralized market decisions – Forms of self- and co-regulation – Forms of government intervention and regulation• IG: should not to be restricted to the management of domain name and possibly other technical issues 2
  3. 3. 4 global Main Issues have to be considered1. Issues related to the network infrastructure upon which the Internet rests2. Technical coordination issues related to the Internet as a logical layer protocols, including the organization of the numbering and identifier space3. Issues related to the content of the communications, including intellectual property issues4. Issues related to the applications and services offered using the Internet, including the establishment of legal frameworks for electronic commerce. 3
  4. 4. IG and Specific Policy Issues1. Content Issues2. Crime and cybersecurity3. The Economics of Interconnection for Developing Countries4. Privacy and confidentiality of Information5. Contracts and e-commerce6. IP Telephony (VoIP)7. Universal access and service policies8. Liberalization of telecoms9. Consumer protection10. Taxation of goods and services on the Internet11. Local content, languages and character sets12. Enabling entrepreneurism and the private sector 4
  5. 5. Alternative approaches to IG• Based on those issues, different theories have being considered: 1. Governance of large technical systems 2. Policy design in dynamic environment 3. Theory of complex adaptive systems• And some alternative approaches to IG have being identified: 1. Spontaneous self-organization 2. Forms of self- and co-regulation 3. The theory of distributed governance 4. Public interest government interventionActually, IG follows the second approach 5
  6. 6. Internet Technical Management : Actual Institutional Arrangements (1/2)1. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the Internet’s standards organization, responsible for the development of tested standards upon which the Internet rests.2. The Internet Society (ISOC) contains the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), which sets the general agenda for the work of the IETF. In addition, ISOC is the entity that provides the legal umbrella for the activities of the IETF.3. The Internet Architecture Board (IAB), chartered by ISOC, provides oversight of aspects of the architecture for the protocols and procedures used by the Internet.4. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for technical coordination of the Internet address space (IP numbers) and the Domain Name System. 6
  7. 7. Internet Technical Management : Actual Institutional Arrangements (2/2)5. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the U.S. and the growing number of national CERTs in other countries have responsibility for monitoring network- related threats to the integrity of the Internet and its attached computers.6. The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are responsible for the allocation of IP addresses in their regions of responsibility: – ARIN – RIPE NCC – APNIC – AFRINIC7. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is responsible for various administrative functions associated with management of the Internets domain-name system root zone.8. The root server operators maintain a synchronized set of distributed common data base of the directories for top level domains.9. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is responsible for standards pertaining to the World Wide Web.10. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) provides comprehensive standards at layer 1, (e.g. telephony) for communications technologies that carry Internet traffic. The ITU also provides international coordination of the allocation and use of the communication frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum.11. The tier 1 ISPs, who provide the Internet’s backbone functions, coordinate their activities through formalized network operators’ groups, and have peering arrangements between themselves provide connectivity to other ISPs.12. VERISIGN????? 7
  8. 8. Organizations engaged in IG and public policy1. At the global level • UNCITRAL (United National Commission on International Trade Law): e- commerce and electronic signatures • WTO: basic agreement on telecom, telecom liberalization • OECD: guidelines on privacy, security, cryptography • WIPO: intellectual property2. At the regional level • APEC: security • EU: telecoms, e-commerce, privacy • Council of Europe: cybercrime, freedom of expression • Regional Trade Agreements (NAFTA, MERCOSUR)3. Other international organizations, including NGOs • G8: cybercrime and cybersecurity • Human rights bodies4. At the national level • Government ministries • Specialized organizations – universities and research institutions • Private sector associations 8 • Not-for-profit organizations
  9. 9. Observations1. There are a large number of national, regional and global institutions and organizations whose mandate, at least partially, includes their involvement in one or more of Internet issues described above.2. However, if the aim is to properly address those issues, it is clear that most of those issues go beyond the scope of anyone institution or organization 9
  10. 10. The Debate today is around the 5 following questions1. Is there a need to create a variety of new organizations?2. Or are current institutions in some combination sufficient for coping with the issues raised by IG?3. What about developing country needs and development processes?4. Can one global institution alone take care of most of the existing issues?5. Is there and “institutional gap” that needs to be filled? There is indeed no easy answer to any of these 10 questions.
  11. 11. The African Countries views on IG should be based on the 2 main aspects:• Management and Coordination of Internet names and numbers: – Afrinic represents the continent under the umbrella of ICANN – Specific policies to guarantee that those administrative functions proceed expeditiously and on a uniform standard must be under the responsibility of ICANN – More transparency on Afrinic institutional arrangements – Need to enhance the participation of developing countries in ICANN board – True internationalization and legal independence of ICANN from any national government among others.• Global Internet Governance issues – The existence at the international level of a variety of intergovernemental, non- governemental, and voluntary private organizations working on the various Internet issues seems to support the thesis that the creation of yet other specilaized entities is not required. – Cooperation among national governments and these organizations spans all ICT- related issues, and it seems evident that the extension of this cooperation should be 11 the primary direction for addressing the Internet specific issues
  12. 12. The African Countries views on IG should be based on the 2 main aspects:• The question is: How this can be accomplished in an open and balanced manner? – Developing country governments need to have a focal point within the government for overall coordination of policy with respect to IG – From the point of view of non-governmental stakeholders, there is ample room for creating and strengthening new and existing national and international networks – In Africa, AU and RECs should play a significant role on the IG 12
  13. 13. Policies Implications & Transition• But, Identifying possible alternative governance options alone is insufficient• Unless a feasible transition path from the status quo to an alternative arrangement can be identified, the status quo has to be considered superior• A gradual transformation from the status quo ante is probably the most appropriate approach – Some issues, such as linguistic diversity, may be easily be delegated to decentralized actors – Other issues, which have high potential externalities, such as security issues, may have to be dealt with in a more centralized fashion, albeit with appropriate representation. 13