An interns introduction to Internet Governance
In September, the U.S. government’s contract with ICANN will expire and, in good faith, NTIA has proposed not renewing the contract and to, instead, develop a multistakeholder process to manage a transition away from government involvement in this area of internet management. At a recent speech, Secretary Strickling reminded the audience that “this transition is the last step in a process that started 16 years ago when the U.S. government committed to allowing the private sector to take leadership for domain name system management.” Some oppose the transition and have spoken up with concerns about possible future government involvement and claims that the United States is “giving away the internet.”
The Department of Commerce, and the U.S. government as a whole, supports the vital role the open internet plays in economic growth, innovation, education, and freedom of speech. Many of NTIA’s initiatives tie in to this important concept. Administrators emphasize the importance of fighting against government control of content on the internet and opening up these processes to all stakeholders. With this in mind, Strickling promotes the multistakeholder process “as the best model for promoting a free and open Internet across the globe.”
Strickling and Sepulveda both spoke on the IANA transition, some of the mechanics behind it, implications for the internet on an international scale, and ways proposed plans to postpone the transition or limit funding may unnecessarily derail this process. Both of these speakers were also present at AEI’s event “Who gets to govern the internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process. ” Check out Stickling’s remarks, here. If you’re interested in this issue, you can learn more about both sides of the argument by watching this debate on internet governance.