February 19, 2005

The Definition of Internet Governance a la WGIG

Below are my latest comments for the UN's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG).  (A few typos have been corrected.)

Comments of Karl Auerbach
Former North American Elected Director, ICANN

Regarding the document working definition of internet governance, posted at http://www.wgig.org/docs/WorkingDefinition.pdf:

In the second paragraph the listed participants in this system of governance are:

  • governments
  • the private sector
  • civil society
  • international organizations.

Sadly, this list does not include living, breathing, thinking people.

Has the concept of governance fallen so low that people no longer have a place?

Why should legal fictional persons (i.e. corporations) receive seats via "the private sector" while those who ultimately endure and suffer the burdens of governance and who ultimately pay the price of governance, the individual people of the nations of the Earth, are excluded?

The claim has been made many times that "people don't [need] entrée into the halls of internet governance because they are represented by their respective government[s]."  Were that claim true then "the private sector" and "civil society" would also be represented by their governments.

Do we really want the internet to be regulated through a system of governance that is based on preference for some and exclusion of others?

Posted by karl at February 19, 2005 12:18 AM