2019 Submission 41

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Timestamp: 2019/02/07 17:47:52
Email Address: xxxxx@xxxxxx.xxxx
Name: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community
Is the Current Governance System of the Internet a Viable and Sustainable Model for Other Institutions?
The United States has just experienced the longest government shutdown in its history. And, it occurred while the United Kingdom was mired in BREXIT indecision. It is an understatement to say that democratic institutions across the globe are being tested like never before. In the midst of dire concerns and predictions, might the democratic models of Internet governance afford a beacon of hope for other types of global democratic governance? And if so, are they are transferable? And are they even sustainable? The so-called Internet ecosystem is made up of largely voluntary organizations, such as the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and others. They are largely dependent on volunteers who help keep the network of networks stable, secure and resilient. Quite simply, the Internet works. Furthermore, it works well, exemplified by a global reliance on the Internet for commerce, communication, education and information. That is not to say that a bottom up, multiple stakeholder model is a thing of beauty. Like other democracies, it is messy and very slow. But it works and works well because its little-known foundation of democratic governance works. However, the democratic rule of the Internet is about to face some of its own challenges. As the original founders of the Internet governance organizations age and ultimately leave their positions, is there enough interest among young people to assume the vital functions that keep the Internet open, functional and free? This panel will explore not only the democratic rule of the Internet today but the challenges in keeping it sustainable into the future. Panelists will consider whether the democratic models that helped launch the Internet need to be up-dated or altered, and if so, how?
Issue Areas: IG