Seminar mulls internet governance
An international conference in Brazil has ended with a call for an effective, legitimate and evolving framework for internet governance.
During the two-day Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in Sao Paulo, government officials, academics and technical experts from 90 countries debated how the internet should be run.
The meeting's final statement welcomed Washington's recent announcement that it plans to turn over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as ICANN, which manages the core functions of the internet, to a "global multi-stakeholder community" once its contract with the US Commerce Department expires next year.
"It is expected that the process of globalisation of ICANN will lead to a truly international and global organisation serving the public interest with clearly implementable and verifiable accountability and transparency mechanisms that satisfy requirements from both internal stakeholders and the global community," it said.
China, Russia and other countries have advocated putting management of the internet's core under control of the International Telecommunications Union, a UN body. But online civil liberties activists and governments including the US oppose the idea, fearing such a move would strengthen the hand of countries that have been censoring online expression.
The conference was seen as an effort to chart a path for a less US-centric internet. The conference's final document said "mass and arbitrary surveillance undermines trust in the internet". But it added that "more dialogue is needed on this topic".