Governing the Internet

The biggest problem with governing the Internet is that not one entity can claim ownership over it. While it was developed originally in the United States as a military tool, the US cannot and should not maintain control over the entire web. This is not a problem in that one entity should claim ownership as it is and should remain a shared resource. The problem is that it requires a vast number of stakeholders in the Internet to come together to govern it together. When framed this way, it becomes less of a problem and more of a challenge or opportunity for collaboration.

This opportunity was taken advantage of with after the 2005 Summit in Tunis at which WSIS introduced a shared aim to maintain equal access to and treatment of different states in their access to the Internet as well as the importance of net neutrality. In response, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has begun to transition away from being a United States dominated power and is now an international forum for monitoring of the logistics of the Internet.

Additionally, the Internet Governance Forum allows for a balanced and shared overseeing of the right to the Internet, access to it, and issues of neutrality. The IGF notably has a number of inclusive initiatives based on region, age (youth), and provides a “tool kit” for those outside of the organization looking to be involved and have their voice heard regarding the resource that connects us more than any technology ever has.

Not only is this magnificent in that it allows for shared overseeing of the right to the Internet as well as the importance of neutrality and increase access, this collaboration also marks a significant group of stakeholders working together for a shared goal. In what feels like an increasingly divided world, this is no small feat.