In a speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2013, after Snowden’s revelations, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, said it was time to establish new rules for governance and internet use. Since then, two initiatives have cast a new light on the issue of internet governance: NETmundial and the Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms.
The panel, which consists of global stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and international organizations, was created by a partnership between the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the World Economic Forum. NETmundial, which took place in April, brought together government, industry, civil society and academia to discuss the future of internet governance.
Now that both these initiatives are over, it is time to come together to implement the principles and mechanisms that were suggested by those involved. One way of doing this if through the new NETmundial Initiative, which aims to promote and enable a collaborative and distributed system for solving issues related to internet governance.
For the initiative to be credible, it must be inclusive, it must be constructed in a bottom-up fashion, it must leverage existing internet processes, fora and initiatives, and it should consider the different requirements of each stakeholder. In short, the NETmundial Initiative must be a truly multistakeholder process.
Author: Virgilio Almeida, Secretary for Information Technology, Brazil
Image: A woman works on a rooftop deck in San Francisco, California July 25, 2012. REUTERS/Noah Berger