ICANN Creates Panel to Address Internet Governance

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ICANN announced on Monday that it has created a panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation, bringing together representatives from government, the private sector, and technical community to discuss Internet governance.

The panel will host its first meeting on December 12 – 13 in London, and plans to release a report on global Internet cooperation, proposed frameworks and a roadmap for future Internet governance challenges next year.

ICANN will provide logistical support for the panel, and said it created the panel in response to “growing pressures to address issues outside its sphere of responsibility,” including concerns of US Internet surveillance.

According to ICANN, the panel is committed to a multistakeholder approach, which is an approach that ICANN has tried to take as an organization as well.

“ICANN comes in for a lot of criticism. That’s because people care very deeply about it. The multi-stakeholder model, of which ICANN is the exemplar, is such a radical and revolutionary departure from how global affairs have been managed in the past that many of us are constantly on guard lest ICANN degrade into the command-and-control structure that characterizes other global regulatory bodies,” Antony Van Couvering writes at CircleID. “At ICANN, it’s the volunteers, those who care (as well as, yes, those who are paid to pretend to care) who set policy. Governments, corporations, and the rest of the usual movers and shakers are given an important but not a fundamental role. That’s worth protecting.”

President Toomas Ilves of Estonia will serve as the panel’s chairman, and Vint Cerf will serve as vice-chair of the panel.

A number of organizations helped to develop the panel, and its 19 members were chosen to ensure a “regionally diverse cross-section of stakeholder” representation, separate from their respective organizations.

ICANN is currently hosting its ICANN 48 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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