Multistakeholder Internet Governance and Sustainable Development

Multistakeholder Internet Governance and Sustainable Development by Ines Renique

Privatizing telecommunications— how do you decide who to sell to? Do you pick the highest bidder or pick the one that produces the highest quality, arguable a subject measure? This is a class discussion I wanted to look further into afterwards as it is a curious subject.

I looked into ICANN, which was formerly under the U.S. Department of Commerce and has now taken the responsibility to represent a multitude of global interests to ensure transparent and open Internet across national borders.

The cost of giving up these controlling mechanisms is hard, especially for the U.S., which has previously had significant control due to the Internet’s growth in the U.S. The transfer of powers is criticized by elements in the national security branch of the U.S. government as it weakens the U.S. ability to protect itself against cyber attacks.

Ultimately, the dangers of having a non-profit in control of the Internet has to do with the reliability of having the same priorities, and resources to pursue threats to U.S. national security. The heightened frequency of these threats, as seen throughout the U.S. presidential election is certainly a cause of concern for U.S. politicians, since cyber security will most likely remain a matter of strictly national security in the near future.

The decision, however, is a step towards the right direction regardless of the costs. If the U.S. keeps control of its systems, it would have undermined the development of the ICANN, and made other countries reluctant towards the U.S. ability to cooperate to the make the Internet a truly global playing field.