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[I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet governance? [Was: Europe at a tipping point?]

Dr. Ben Fuller ben at
Tue Dec 17 20:58:35 CET 2013


How this for a first attempt at a broad taxonomy of issues.

Technical, Community centred issues, Cross cutting issues.

These are clearly technical matters that are already dealt with by different agencies; each having is own mandate, membership and terms of reference for its work. The kinds of issues they deal with are (as you mention) packet routing, also DNS, IPv6, and so forth. I don't know how the different groups, IETF, ICANN etc., work together, but conceivably, they could if there ever was a more unified Internet governance structure.

Community Centred Issues.
These issues will be wide ranging and could include; cyber crime, Internet access as a fundamental right, developing national and regional local Internet markets. The way you deal with these issues is to coordinate with existing institutions. Any Internet governance body would never be able to acquire the expertise, nor deal with the geographical scope of activities taking place in many countries. For cyber crime, one might look to working with Interpol or agencies of the UN. For developing national and regional markets, one could work with the World Bank or any of the major development agencies. A commonality of these institutions is that they have long standing expertise and have physical presence around the globe and they can pursue initiatives in many countries. An Internet governance body does not want to replicate these agencies, rather work with them and contribute as far as the Internet may be a cause of the problem or part of a solution. 

Cross Cutting Issues.
These are issues that arise as a result of technical decisions, but have a significant community based aspect. One issues I've wondered about is the WHOIS policy. Lets say ICANN makes major changes to WHOIS policy. The way I understand things, ICANN can then get the gTLD operators and accredited registrars to adopt the changes through their existing contracts. But, that leaves out all the ccTLD managers and registrars who are not accredited with ICANN. Again, any Internet governance body would have to find partners with skills and presence in different parts of the world where they can push the rationale behind adopting the (hypothetical) WHOIS policy, perhaps to the point of assisting in the establishment of national legislation. 

I just looked at the Issue families on page 3 of Baak and Rossini. The issues listed could be sorted into the above framework without much problem.


On Dec 17, 2013, at 7:24 PM, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at> wrote:

> The call for a broad taxonomy is an attempt to get at issues and issue clusters so that they can be addressed individually, and to get away from representation by stakeholder prompted silos.  

Dr. Ben Fuller
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