News, views and what I choose to dos




Who should control the Internet?

Category : ICANN, Internet, Internet governance, Journalism · by Jan 15th, 2012

It is going to be a particularly crazy year in terms of Internet policy and governance, maybe even more than so than 2005, when the World Summit on the Information Society happened.

NPR used the launch of the new gTLD program last week to cover the other big issue – actual governance of the Internet. The slow build up of pressure to again try to bring the Internet under United Nations control is going to let out another big blast of steam this December in Dubai at the WCIT meeting when governments – and only governments – try to rewrite the ITU’s International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) to incorporate the Internet. It will be a big fight and I’ll be heading over there to shine as big a spotlight on the weird world of inter-governmental politics as possible.

Anyway, I was interviewed as was Super Rod of ICANN and David Gross – who was the US’ main man in charge during the WSIS negotiations. You can read the piece online, but it was designed for radio, so listening is much better in this case.

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Download MP3 of NPR piece on Net governance

It’s a good piece considering the complexity of the subject and the length of time available.

Which reminds me – I *really* need to write a couple of pieces about what is going on with WCIT. It’s vital that something akin to the outcry over SOPA – albeit much more diplomatic – is generated to try to protect the Internet as it exists today, and keep it out of the hands of government representatives who view lack of control as something inherently dangerous.

Quick update: Ha! I see that the bad journalist posing as an academic, Milton Mueller, has taken huge exception to the fact it wasn’t him interviewed for the NPR piece and has written a rambling, bitter post about it. Internet governance is a very silly little world sometimes.

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