Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance

Multistakeholder Internet Governance (MIG) rests on the principle that, in order to facilitate stability of the Internet, stimulate demand, and continue to make Internet governance institutions more responsive to the needs and perspectives of the diverse group of global stakeholders, those diverse stakeholders should be involved in these processes. We have discussed in class the isolation and exclusion that occurs through the monopolization of media and the shift to a less monopolized system. MIG represents an all-inclusive governance framework for the ever-changing information society and it does that due to a number of attributes of MIG that make it effective. MIG is both inclusiveness and transparency; calls for collective responsibility, effective decision-making, and implementation; and enables collaboration through distributed and inter-operable governance. The result is a governance framework that address the infrastructure, governance, and human components of the Internet in a way that encourages innovation, decentralizes governance, and is made responsible to the people it serves.

Now the issue with MIG is its controversy and the manner with which the discussion of MIG has targeted the US, who has historically monopolized the entire internet industry to a point of breach of privacy both within the nation and throughout the world. MIG calls for the US to relinquish that control—and to some extent it has already but more would be required. Another question is how, given the variability in capacity of the public sector, could MIG be maintained. This is where the role of Transnational Advocacy Networks come in; TANs allow for a capacity-sharing and building forum between organizations who share common values, policy goals, and discourse within their area of focus. Existing networks have created a wealth of information and precedent for data-sharing and transnational communication and organization from which MIG could find its framework. Engaging with these TANs could be the key to effective MIG.