Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling of the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said “The multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance is the best mechanism for maintaining an open, resilient, and secure Internet because, among other things, it is informed by a broad foundation of interested parties arriving at consensus through a bottom-up process regarding policies affecting the underlying functioning of the Internet domain system.” This sentiment is the best summary of the sentiments of the frameworks in this class regarding internet governance. Specifically, the Internet Governance Forum has epitomized the prioritization of uniting many varied stakeholders together to maintain the internet as open, resilient and secure.

The Internet Governance Forum serves to bring together people from various stakeholder groups as equals. They focus on community leaders, NGO and corporate representatives, and governments. The Forum seeks to unite these dispirit entities in discussions on public policy issues relating to internet governance and the Internet as a tool. While the IGF has no negotiated outcomes as of the end of 2016, it serves a purpose similar to the Sustainable Development goals by uniting those with policymaking power in both private and public sectors towards an end that benefits the world. The Internet Governance Forum facilitates a common understanding of how to optimize Internet opportunities while simultaneously addressing the risks and challenges inherent in reliance on internet use.

The Internet Governance Forum community holds an annual meeting to allow relevant stakeholders normally attended by over 2000 delegates. This meeting is intended to produce tangible outcomes through its scheduled activities. The IGF’s annual meeting is organized by the multi-stakeholder advisory group (MAG), which is intended to represent equally the interests of every stakeholder group. The MAG also encourages members of each group to see the other groups as equal partners. At the IGF’s annual meeting, delegates exchange information and best practices. The most recent meeting actually started on December 6th of this year in Guadalajara, Mexico. The IGF’s schedule focuses on best practices as well as other initiatives intended to facilitate general IGF community activities. This intersessional program was designed in accordance with a 2012 report recommending the development of additional tangible outputs to ‘enhance the impact of the IGF on global Internet governance and policy’.