The GovLab SCAN – Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance

Supporting the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation

As part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project, we are launching the SCAN – Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance, which we will share every Friday from today onwards. Feel free to share your suggestions with us at [email protected].

This week’s highlights:

  • The majority of this week’s coverage focuses on defining and prioritizing challenges in Internet governance, and on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2013), which ends today in Bali, Indonesia.
  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) also made strides in the implementation of its new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) program.


Van Gelder, Stéphane. “ICANN Explains ‘Brazil Meeting’ Initiative.” CircleID. October 23, 2013.

  • Writing that the main theme of this year’s Internet Governance Forum is the need to evolve the current model of Internet governance, Van Gelder highlights the fact that disparity exists around how that evolution can happen.

Willett, Christine. “First New gTLDs Get the Green Light for Delegation.” ICANN Blog. October 21, 2013.

  • ICANN announces that the first new gTLDs in non-Latin scripts have been delegated: the Arabic word for “web,” the Chinese word for “game,” and the Russian words for “website” and “online.”

Internet Governance

Ermert, Monika. “Bali IGF: Surveillance, Human Rights, Governance Of Internet Resources, ‘Multistakeholderism’.” Intellectual Property Watch. October 21, 2013.

  • Documenting the range of topics for discussion at this year’s IGF, Ermert notes that conversations on how the multistakeholder model works (or doesn’t) may take precedence over topics like surveillance, privacy, open data, net neutrality, better access, access for the disabled, copyright and intellectual property. She highlights that topics like fair trade and tax issues are first-timers on the IGF agenda, and stressed the focus on continued attempts to codify Internet governance principles.

Holland, Bryon. “The 2014 Internet Governance Forum.” Public Domain. n.d.

  • Following up from the Montevideo Statement last week, Holland calls for re-examination of the multi-stakeholder Internet governance model in an effort to preserve future growth of a free and open Internet and to effectively address the issues of today, which deal more with how the Internet is used than traditional and technical issues related to how the Internet works.

Muthusamy, Workshop on Fundamentals: Core Internet Values.

  • This IGF workshop focused on the importance and possibility of freedom of expression on the Internet; old and new threats to free expression including restrictive legal systems, censorship and surveillance; described the need for greater clarification on what human rights standards apply in various online scenarios; and called for greater involvement of the Freedom of Expression Dynamic Coalition in protecting and advancing freedom of expression in and through internet governance.

Meyer, Robinson. “What Does It Mean for the U.S. to ‘Lose Control of the Internet?’.” The Atlantic. October 16, 2013.

  • Meyer asks what the future Internet governance landscape will look like in light of revelations of National Security Administration surveillance and the recent Montevideo Statement made by the I* organizations. In doing so, Meyer focuses on the role that  the U.S. government has historically played in the Internet governance ecosystem and the role it may play going forward.

Reports & Stats

Internet Society. Internet Challenges: A Taxonomy for Tackling the Hard Political, Technical, Operational and Social Problems Facing the Internet. October 22, 2013.

  • The Internet Society distinguishes problems facing the Internet today into several classes, such as: 1) issues for which answers are known by some, but not the people or institutions with questions; 2) issues for which we believe we have answers, but solutions are quite nuanced and for which we need more time and buy-in from many implicated stakeholders; 3) issues which require others to change operations, habits, or capacity; and 4) issues of use or experience of the Internet for which there is not general agreement on a problem.

Internet Society. You Are Here Internet Society Questionnaire on Multistakeholder Governance Report and Summary of the Results. October 18, 2013.

  • In a survey of over 300 individuals from 53 countries, the Internet Society captures important perspectives on the origin and future of multi-stakeholder Internet governance.  In short, it concludes that the model works but can be more clearly defined and made more inclusive. The survey’s results also stress a need to leverage enhanced cooperation to strengthen participation in the Internet ecosystem.

Oxford Martin School – University of Oxford. Now for the Long Term: The Report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. October 2013.

  • The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, chaired by Pascal Lamy, calls for urgent action on climate change, poverty, governance and disease. Failure to address long-term issues exposes current generations to unacceptable instability and risk; it threatens our ability to build a sustainable, inclusive and resilient future for all. The Commission analyses the issues in light of lessons learned from past successes and failures, proposes a set of principles to overcome deep political and cultural divides, and provides practical recommendations for action on critical challenges.

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