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Internet Governance

In: Business and Management

Submitted By habawi
Words 2112
Pages 9
| January 30
| Critically analyse the main global governance issues relating to the internet and discuss how well these issues are being addresses at a global level.
Word count: 1,986 | Global Governance |

The internet has massively changed the business world. The internet has given companies the opportunity to increase their output and improve their competitiveness. The internet has allowed a company to work outside its base. E.g. a company’s headquarters is based in the UK, but they have a call centre in India where wages are a lot lower.
According to (Society 2013) the internet works and runs the way it does, not because of government instructions or the intergovernmental agreement, but because internet governance is comprehensive, transparent and collective. The internet allows innovation, exchange of information between counties and flow of ideas. Furthermore it encourages economic growth, in return contributing to social and economic development.
The term ‘Internet governance’ is used in more context that one. It applies to activities such as; coordination of technical standards, development, operation of critical infrastructure legislation and regulation. The internet is not restricted to government activities. There are different types of stakeholders and each of them has a different role in defining and carrying out Internet governance.
There is not one specific person, company, organisation or government that runs the internet. It is made up of interconnected independent networks this is to guarantee that systems and organisations work together. Some important aspects of the core infrastructure and namespace are overlooked by the Internet Corporation of Assigned for Names and Numbers (ICANN) they oversee the assignment of globally unique identifiers of the internet, which include many different factors. ICANN is one of the few bodies with global centralised influence over the internet.
In 2006 The Global Internet Governance academic network (GigaNet) was introduced. GigaNet is an emerging intellectual community. This is part of the Internet Governance Forum. GigaNet has four main objectives. Firstly, was to support the establishment of a global unit of scholars who specialise in internet governance issues. Secondly, is to promote the growth of internet governance as a recognised, interdisciplinary field of study. Thirdly, is to advance theoretical and applied research on internet governance. And finally, is to accommodate informed discussion on policy issues and any related matters between; academics and the stakeholder which include the; governments, international organisations, the private sector and civil society. (GigaNet 2007)
In 2000 the Internet was continuing to grow at a rapid and steady pace. The internet has become part of the infrastructure of many sectors such as; non-government organisations, professional organisations and business sectors. It is obvious that it is in the government’s interest to be more involved in managing the internet. Even though ICANN’s initial infrastructure does not include governments this imbalance was partially rectified by ICANN’s 2002 reform in which it established the ‘Government Advisory Committee’. While some governments started using this option, other governments mainly from developing companies preferred that the internet should be managed by international organisations. This was the backdrop for the 2003 conference for the world summit on Information society which was held in Geneva. Internet governance became the key issue that was addressed. The conference resulted in the ‘working group on Internet Governance’, whose purpose was to tackle the problem of internet governance on a global level.
There are many different bodies that regulate each part of the internet. Each one is responsible for separate aspects. One of the bodies is the ITU which has three main responsibilities. Each of these activities are organised into separate sectors, which work through conferences and meetings. These main responsibilities are; radio communications, standardisation and development. (ITU 2014)
According to (Newman 2013) the UN, ITU and a number of different dictators are working very hard to calm global worries over the plan to regulate and potentially remove free speech online. Even though there are global opposition to this proposal, the UN is using public relations to spread their scheme which is aimed at controlling the Internet.
Some of ICANN’s decisions have aggravated the debate for increased government involvement in internet governance either through the UN or ITU. The major fear amongst experts is that if a multi-stakeholder model is unrestrained, the internet will stop working the way we know it does.
According to (Mckenna 2013)Jim Flaherty stated that if the ITU succeeds individual freedom will be under serious threat in every country, and as a result it will be up to the internet entrepreneurs to develop a new internet that will go against the ITU restrictions however this could take years to develop.
Even though the internet carries many advantages, there are also many disadvantages which include; privacy, security, freedom of expression and protection of intellectual properties, amongst many other disadvantages.
(Griffin 2012) States that Cybersecurity is the biggest problem that most major economies are facing. Some reports show that hackers are able to access the U.S department of Justice very easily. The internet has become a central infrastructure to the global economy. According to (Burgunder 2007) not every country is involved in stopping cybercrime, which makes it difficult to enforce. One of the major cybercrimes was committed in 2000. There was a virus that attacked the U.S companies. The source of the attack was from a computer in the Philippines. The man who sent the virus was not charged because no laws again cyber-crime existed in the Philippines. After this happened, it prompted many nations to have and enforce laws for internet cyber-crime. The nations that made legislations and agreements become part of World Intellectual Property (WIP), Council of Europe (CE), The United Nations (UN) and the European committee (CDPC). The only countries that could prosecute against cyber-crime were those who signed up to these nationwide agreements.
The more that the global economy depends on the Internet, the more likely that cybercrime increases. (Renda 2013) States that between April and December 2013, the threats that were found on the google android platform increased from 11,000 to 350,000, the increase was more than thirty times. Please refer to diagram 1. The internet is a very efficient network; however more global effort is needed which will help preserve its best attributes and guard against cybercrime.

Diagram 1- (Micra 2013)

Cybercrime and attacks have resulted in what is known as a ‘digital cold war’. The U.S state that cybercrime is state sponsored, and that most of the cyber-crime attacks are coming from countries such as Russia, China and Iran. The penetration of the U.S technology market has raised fears that private and sensitive information are at risk. In February 2013 the U.S passed a new spending law that included cyber surveillance, which limits the U.S gaining access to the Chinese hardware system. Diagram 1.1 it shows that most cyber-attacks in March 2013 came from Russia, Germany and China.
Diagram 1.1 (Telekom 2013) With all these problems, the global internet world is caught in a predicament. The internet plays a very big role in the challenging supporter for democracy; unfortunately the cost of guarding a user’s freedom is too high. Moreover, services such as the health system and e-commerce will not be able to develop if the users are not able to work in a safe environment. China has decided to build a ‘giant cage’ which shields their internet users. Other countries such as Pakistan have formed national firewalls which observe and filter the flow of information which passes through the internet. The U.S has recently liaised with private companies on internet surveillance, and there has been a discussion about a new law which imposes information sharing between companies and the government.
In 2012, the World Conference on International Telecommunications was held in Dubai, during this conference there was a large debate on the future of cyberspace. Each stakeholder was trying to look for a different outcome. The ITU wanted to increase its authority over the internet. European telecoms wanted more revenue by changing any existing regulations of how information is exchanged between networks. On the other hand, China, Russia and India wanted more governmental control over the internet. The U.S and Europe stood by ICANN and wanted to protect their multi-stakeholder model. Finally, some smaller countries looked to have internet access declared as a human right. (Adepoju 2014)
After the conference ended, a treaty was put to vote however, as expected there was eight six countries, amongst them was the U.S and many European states who made the decision not to sign the treaty. As a result the question on how the internet should be governed remains unresolved.
There is not a ‘quick fix’ solution that resolves the problems that affect cybercrime. There are three parts that deserve International cooperation these are; cybersecurity, Internet governance and freedom of expression.
The first part that needs to be tackled is cybersecurity. This needs both a private and public partnership which will involve different steps which include; * There should be an agreement which will require countries to compel to fight and abstain from any sponsored cyber- attacks from the government. * Setting up a computer emergency ‘rediness’ team, the purpose of this team will be to receive notifications from any private groups and secure resilience, this can be done directly or through private network operators. * Develop certain codes at a regional or global level, this will ensure that transfer of information between companies is reliable and fast. * To develop a dedicated public and private platform, this in return will establish trust between private and public operators. * Arrangement and classification of the major problems, and solutions that should be developed. This will create complete insurance market for cybersecurity.
Secondly, there should be protection of freedom of speech, which could be done through the global community, and this could be done through the UN’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. If traffic management became acceptable to use on the internet, global access to a neutral and safe internet will always be guaranteed. However, this is majorly avoided because it gives criminals anonymity, but any other choice undermines freedom of the internet.
Finally, even though there is no credible alternative for internet governance, it is important for the U.S government to realise that the biggest internet assets should not be controlled by one home company, especially, since most of the internet users are from Asia. ICANN also need to make themselves as transparent as possible, they need to structure themselves on the best way possible and ne accountable if it wants to continue as a private regulator.
ADEPOJU, Paul (2014). New global commission on internet governance inaugurated. [online]. Last accessed 22 1 2014 at:
BURGUNDER, Lee (2007). Jurisdiction of Cybercrime. [online]. Last accessed 21 1 2014 at:
DVORAK, Paul (2014). Global risks 2014, Ninth edition. [online]. Last accessed 21 1 2014 at:
GIGANET (2007). Welcome to the GIGANet Portal. [online]. Last accessed 22 1 2014 at:
GRIFFIN, Ronald C (2012). Cybercrime. Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology, 7 (2), 136-153.
ITU (2014). Committed to connecting the world. [online]. Last accessed 21 1 2014 at:
MCKENNA, Barrie (2013). UN to Seek Internet Kill Switch Next Month, Documents Show. [online]. Last accessed 20 1 2014 at:
MICRA, Trend (2013). Growth of Android Malware. [online]. Last accessed 22 1 2014 at:
MOORE, Steven (1994). Evolution of the Internet. ELECTRO INTERNATIONAL, 263-265.
NEWMAN, Alex (2013). UN Using Propaganda to Defend Proposed Internet Regime. [online]. Last accessed 20 1 2014 at:
RENDA, Andrea (2013). Cybersecurity and Internet Governance. [online]. Last accessed 22 1 2014 at:
SEPULVEDA, Daniel A. (2014). Internet Governance 2020 - Geopolitics and the Future of the Internet. [online]. Last accessed 21 1 2014 at:
SOCIETY, Interenet (2013). History of Internet Governance. [online]. Last accessed 21 1 2014 at:
TELEKOM, Deutsche (2013). Security dashboard shows cyber attacks in real time. [online]. Last accessed 22 1 2014 at:

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