ICANN leader raises Internet governance issue at IGF
All internet stakeholders need to strive to keep internet governance out of the hands of intergovernmental organizations, said Rod Beckstrom, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). If they fail, he warned, there could be unfortunate consequences.
“Most Internet users like businesses, service providers, non-profits and consumers, etc. would be shut out of the governance debate,” opines Beckstrom, during the opening ceremony of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Make no mistake: if we do not address this now, effectively together, the multi-stakeholder model that enabled so many successes will slip from our grasp,” he added.
“If governance were to become the exclusive province of nation states or captured by any other interests, we would lose the foundation of the Internet’s long-term potential and transformative value,” commented the ICANN CEO.
He told the attendees that the multi-stakeholder models represented by both ICANN and the IGF allow for global inclusivity and openness, making the Internet a “fertile field for innovation and competition, an engine for economic growth.”
Beckstrom said ICANN’s signing of the Affirmation of Commitments with the U.S. government, “recognized that no single party should hold undue influence over Internet governance,” and added that the agreement acknowledges the success of the ICANN model and commits to keeping the organization a private, not-for-profit organization.
The IGF was formed by the United Nations and in mentioning that the U.N.’s General Assembly will decide the future the of the organization in the coming months, Beckstrom said all stakeholders should encourage their respective governments to continue to embrace the time proven and effective multi-stakeholder model.
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